Artificial Intelligence in Restaurants: Should We Be Terrified or Excited?
3 Min Read By Maurice Walker
When Artifical Intelligence (AI) is brought up, it’s hard to shake the rising fear of robots outsmarting humans and making us the subservient species. We can thank Hollywood for the assumption that AI will bring violent, uncontrollable robots and a lack of control as these new machines begin to think autonomously and more efficiently than us.
AI will soon affect every dining experience.
But what about AI in restaurants?
Will robots completely replace humans, from servers to managers, as AI advances in the food and hospitality industry?
Restaurants and food service businesses truly have more to anticipate than fear as smart, self-learning systems are applied to bring food lovers a better experience and meal. Artificial intelligence will soon affect every dining experience.
Top artificial intelligence technologies for restaurants like AI-powered chatbots, recommendation systems, and self-ordering kiosks will become normal interfaces for customers to engage their favorite food brands.
Recommendation Systems powered by AI are prevalent in many industries already, not just food and hospitality. Apps and websites that auto-suggest links, advertisements and search engine results based on your web browsing preferences are examples of recommendation systems. Recommendation Systems depend on user data that is processed by machine learning algorithms to make smart suggestions for the user. This technology is critical to restaurants for ease of ordering and improves the customer service experience by taking the pressure off customers to quickly peruse a menu and make choices every time they visit.
Customers love being reminded of their own eating preferences because customers many times forget what they like from restaurants. Without recommendation systems, customers couldn’t open a restaurant website or app and immediately see their preferences upfront. Recommendation systems drive higher e-commerce sales and conversions by letting the user think very little about what they want to order.
Taking away the need for training humans to operate POS systems, self-ordering kiosks put the power to place orders completely in the hands of customers. Giving customers more control over their ordering experience frees up employees’ time to prepare more orders and creates a more seamless restaurant experience altogether.
Self-ordering kiosks help lower order error since customers place their own orders ensuring higher accuracy and cutting out human error from listening to orders over intercom or counter. Examples of this technology include self-serve soft drink machines that allow users to pour beverages or add special flavors to soft drinks or kiosks that make custom salads while keeping track of ingredient freshness and placing orders when ingredients get low in quantity and freshness like Sally the Salad bot by Chowbotics. Self-ordering kiosks will soon replace cafeteria vending machines since they self-maintain and automate vending and food preparation, saving companies lots of money.
Possibly the most exciting AI technology for restaurants is the food ordering chatbot. This technology gives customers a new interface, whether a third-party app like Facebook messenger or even SMS text, to engage and interact with their favorite food brands. Chatbots are completely automated systems that take away the need for someone to answer phones or make customers wait on hold. Companies like Domino’s Pizza have adopted chatbots to better engage millennial and Generation Z customer base especially – their chatbot allows users to text emojis of pepperoni pizza as food orders.
With more than 98 percnet of U.S. population using smartphones, and more than 69 percent of smartphone users preferring SMS text as their communication medium, SMS chatbots will become the premier customer engagement tool for cutting-edge restaurants to allow ordering via SMS text. Fastfood.ai develops an artificially intelligent SMS chatbot designed to automates restaurant takeout and delivery, customers can order food, add customer reviews, complete surveys, and much more right from the convenience of a text message.
It’s clear now, we all have much to look forward to with AI in our favorite restaurants. From systems that know our preferences to SMS chatbots like Fastfood.ai SMS chatbots that allow food ordering by text message, artificial intelligence is not a threat to our existence or position on top of the food chain. AI is here to perfect efficiency and destroy human error in aspects of food service that don’t replace humans but assist their productivity.
If the application of artificial intelligence stays contained within purposes for improving society and not capitalism, we can steer clear from looming war against the very machines we create.