A Call for Human-Centric Restaurant Leadership in an AI Future

In the wake of the post pandemic world, the restaurant industry is undergoing a transformative phase, embracing AI technology at an unprecedented pace. However, as we surge forward, it's imperative to highlight what's missing from today's dining experience and identify the qualities that elevate a great manager to give the next level service assisted by AI, required to succeed in this new environment.

Current Challenges of Rapid Technological Advancement

As technology evolves, the hospitality sector faces the dilemma of integrating the useful tool of AI and robotics seamlessly into the customer experience. AI does have so much to offer the service industry in areas of fry cook tasks to food running robots. With AI we have all the positive areas to improve service but we must begin acknowledging that the ability of machines to replace every human position and all guest interactions may pose a threat to the long-term vitality of businesses. While AI robotics streamline processes and increase ROI, it cannot replicate the warmth, empathy, and concern that human service provides. For this reason we must uncover a way to bridge that gap.

What's Lacking in the Dining Experience?

Work Ethic: The foundational principle of a strong work ethic seems to be fading from business training faster than the implementation of robotics. The mantra "If you have time to lean, you have time to clean" underscores the importance of commitment to work hard. Learn a trade or skill, not everyone has the talent to be a successful influencer. 

Managerial Skills: Managers must be more skilled than their staff, possessing the ability to lead by example. The scarcity of training, communication and preparation skills are diminishing the quality of service across the board and should be of concern for the industry as a whole. 

The Blueprint of an Outstanding Manager

Outstanding managers excel in scheduling, communication, financial management, the ability to utilize future technology and also maintain an acute attention to detail, but they also exhibit compassion for their staff and customers on an individual level. By truly caring, recognizing that each team member and guest is unique, along with effective communication skills, will create a culture of together and trust. Exceptional managers listen to guests before deciding outcomes, exhibit excellent problem-solving skills, and adopt a proactive "Figure 8" managing style, foreseeing issues before they arise. They touch every aspect of the business, showing equal and individualized compassion for all staff and customers which round out the profile of a superior manager that tailors their approach to nurture staff to be future leaders.

The Future of Hospitality

While the future of new technology is promising and solidified in the industry, it's crucial to remember the timeless elements that keep customers coming back. As we embrace innovation and elevate it, let's not lose sight of the human touch, work ethic, and managerial excellence that have been the bedrock of the restaurant industry for over a century. In the ever-evolving landscape, the next level of success lies in the hands of leaders who seamlessly blend technology with humanity, creating an unforgettable dining experience for patrons.