The restaurant industry is amongst the most extensive, and most elaborate industries globally, not to mention evolving constantly. Given the rapidly changing food trends, consumer choices, operation models and stiff competitions, the restaurant business is one of the challenging businesses. It’s regarded as the most complex, tough to manage and succeed, in today’s world. The choices of food and dining of today’s consumers are greatly influenced by their peers and reviews by influencers on social media platforms. To keep up with the changing food trends and preferences, the restaurants require to continue innovating their menus and offerings more frequently than before. 

Taking these factors into consideration, the F&B sector stands to deploy AI to adapt to the changing consumer demands and stay in the market as well as ahead of the competitions. Shaping the world of F&B, digital tools are streamlining every process, from ordering to inventory management, simplifying tasks for everyone at every level. AI serves a massive transformative possibility for restaurants with its ability to deliver actionable recommendations, along with analyzing data and providing insights. AI can recognise trends faster than humans. Furthermore, in spite of its reputation for being a difficult innovation, AI is, in reality, a lot simpler to use.

Leading towards a data-driven restaurant business

Many restaurants are sitting on a conduit of immense data that is mostly not put into fitting use. Thus, restaurant owners are unable to drive potential customers and business from this data. AI platforms, created for the F&B industry can help to capitalize on new business opportunities, boost repeat sales and visits, and enhance the overall satisfaction level among their customers, by turning this data into insights. 

Here are some AI-driven existing and emerging trends.

Voice assistant ordering:

With brands improvising on digitally first ideas, voice assistants have seen an increase in applications. Voice Assistant-enabled ordering using the Amazon Echo (Alexa) or Google Home application programming interfaces (APIs) might not just be for customers ordering from home. It also could be employed in the stores. Imagine walking up to the store of Mc Donalds, and placing your order using a voice assistant, instead of touching it or standing in a long queue in front of the counter. This will not only improve the customer experience but also, will make the store’s process more seamless and effective. What else? Since it is AI-driven, the voice assistant ordering system would ‘learn’ and constantly update based on actual orders and spoken language. 

Facial recognition for customization:

This technology is already in use at a place like Wow Bao restaurant chain in the USA, as well as BurgerFi in Florida, USA. This tech involves the installation of a camera placed in the self-help counter, where customers place orders. Next time customers visit the store, they don’t have to wait in the queue to speak with the barista, the app will recognise your face, and suggest or place your order based on your order history. 

Integrated purchasing and inventory management:

POS (Point Of Sale) systems that integrate purchasing and inventory capabilities could create efficient work processes and reduce losses. Integrating these functions into the POS, they could track and order based on actual sales, menus and recipes. Using AI-powered restaurant management systems, one can compare these data with actual supply levels and can determine whether their kitchen staff is complying to the recipes and portion sizes and potentially uncover sources of waste.

Accurate insights and predictions:

In today’s digital era, data is a powerful tool and it’s becoming even more with each passing moment. The larger the POS for the restaurant management system, the more pools of data have access to. And they can turn this enormous pool of data into a potential trend in the industry. Imagine, a system installed in your store that can predict and recommend beverages and food choices to the consumers based on the weather conditions. Modern AI makes this and more not only possible but manageable. 

Your customers and probably your competitions have already embraced the digital wave in their lives, now it’s your turn to keep up with them.

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