How Is AI Changing the Shape of the Hospitality Industry?
Restaurants & bars are not necessarily the first places you’d consider when thinking about AI and robotics research and innovation, but they happen to see some of the most amazing products the field has to offer. Robots that can cook meals, or AI systems that can see how long customers have been waiting, reducing queue times. They are changing the game in regards to customer experience and interaction, as well as creating new possibilities in kitchens.
It’s important to remember that AI and Robotics doesn’t just mean self-thinking computers and robot arms swinging around constructing things. It can be anything from a mobile, computer-based ordering system, to an intelligent bar, or cocktail machine. Automation can save time, money and effort, and the bars and restaurants of the future are only now learning just how game-changing it truly is. But what are the sectors that AI could benefit most? And how easy is it to become an early adopter of the latest restaurant AI technology?
App-based reservation, ordering and pre-ordering is one of the main ways that AI is making its way into restaurants. The ability to book a table, pre-order the meals that you would like to eat when you arrive saves on waiting time and can make customers with busy lives a lot more likely to eat out. There are a number of different systems that implement this technology, and the possibilities are exciting. This could be perfect for small, fast food restaurants. It could be extremely useful as well for restaurants that find their custom dwindles at what should be one of their busiest times - lunchtime. A restaurant that offers a quick pre-ordering system could find themselves welcoming the leagues of office workers in and around the city that look for a quick, easy and delicious lunch.
An AI based mobile menu is another way that AI is finding its way into restaurants and bars. A menu that a customer can scan with an app, and find out all kinds of information about a specific menu item could be extremely attractive to, for example, a customer with diabetes who wishes to know the sugar content, or a customer with specific allergies, who wants to know what allergens are in a menu item. An excellent way of making sure that customers know whats going into their food, in an increasingly health conscious world. Not only that, however, but it could well be really good for offering a more detailed description of any menu items - less space on the menu used to have better pictures, and the app can demonstrate flavour profiles, perfect wine pairings, or even suggestions for sides.
The way that restaurants and bars are being marketed is being completely overhauled by the introduction of AI systems. Digital displays with constantly shifting advertisements, that let you change the way that customers view your business. It could shift based on consumers ordering habits, or show new offers and draw new customers in with a tailored ad sent to their phone when they walk past. AI could be huge in marketing in general, but even more so when it comes to getting your restaurant seen and heard.
AI is all about saving time, and making life easier for both customers and staff. Bars are seeing some of the most exciting tech in this regard. Digital bars that can see who’s in queue, spotting queue jumpers. Seeing how old a person is likely to be, making life easier for the bar staff, and making it faster for the customer. A bar that tells bar staff what drink people want on the till, and then lights up in the spot that the customer is. Bars are extremely busy places, and AI bar technology looks to make working in a bar a much easier proposition. From a pure materialistic view as well, having a digital bar is something that sets you apart from everyone else. You have a screen on the bar, stretching the whole way from top to bottom, and you instantly look like an establishment from a slick sci-fi film. In the age of social media, having something that people want to share could mean the difference between a consistently growing customer base and a stale one.
The Kitchen is also welcoming AI innovations. Automated ordering services that can predict trends in customers ordering that can potentially make preparing orders a lot quicker. Systems that can read temperatures automatically and measure the safety of food being prepared, making staying up to date with ever-evolving food safety standards. Automated dishwashing machines, ensuring that crockery and cutlery is constantly at an excellent standard. All can help a restaurant or bar run more smoothly, and in a safer and more efficient manner.
AI is coming into the restaurant and bar industry in a big way. It’s revolutionising the way that we interact with our customers, the way we interact with our staff, and even the way we interact with our own kitchens. Investment is anything from affordable to more expensive, but however you get involved with the robotic future, it’s sure to make your life not only easier, but more efficient and most certainly more lucrative.
Restaurant & Bar Tech Live is the only place to see the very best of AI and Robotic technology for the hospitality industry. Live product demos give you the chance to try out the latest technology on offer, and a lineup of clued-in experts will give you key insight into the changing of the industry. Make sure you’ve registered for your free tickets, and get to see and experience the future of restaurants and bars.