The restaurant industry is amongst the largest, and most complex industries globally, not to mention evolving unceasingly. The restaurant business has been regarded as tough to manage and succeed in. This holds true in the present age, given the rapid pace at which the operating models of restaurants and consumer tastes are changing, coupled with stiff competition. Also, the way consumers discover food and cuisines has transformed with social media. Today, consumers’ choices about food and dining experience, are largely influenced by their friends and peers, as well as influencers and reviews on social media platforms. For restaurants, keeping up with changing food trends and preferences requires innovating their menus and offerings more frequently than ever before.
Considering these factors affecting the restaurant industry, the F&B sector stands to gain huge benefits with artificial intelligence. And the sooner they deploy it, the easier it will be to adapt to the changing demands of consumers as well as the market in general, and ultimately, stay ahead of the competition. AI represents a massive transformative opportunity for restaurants because of its ability to deliver actionable recommendations, in addition to analyzing data and providing insights. AI can identify trends faster and better than humans. And despite its reputation for being a complex technology, AI is actually much easier to use.
With AI, restaurant businesses can become proactive towards trends
One extremely significant value that AI brings is that it can anticipate changes within the industry as well as in consumer tastes and preferences. The demographics of restaurant business owners or operators do not match customer demographics always, as a result of which they may overlook emerging trends or fail to identify them at the right time. Failing to offer something new or not keeping up with trends can lead to lost opportunities and fewer customers. Since artificial intelligence runs on data and AI-driven platforms can be easily integrated across multiple systems, data from various sources can be quickly analyzed, and AI can then provide relevant recommendations and steer innovations.
Machine learning, a subset of artificial intelligence, can play an integral role in helping restaurant businesses make their operations more efficient and deliver better customer service. It can do so by analyzing vast sets of information on past and present trends from various sub-sectors and across diverse demographics and geographies to offer solutions customized as per the specific needs of a business.
Another major advantage that AI offers is that it can identify not only emerging marketing trends, but also the underlying factors which either influence these trends or cause them. With an efficient AI solution, restaurant businesses can process data from varied sources such as surveys, product shipments, outlet demographics, location, etc. The AI solution helps to identify new and potential growth areas for the businesses and arm the decision makers with the right insights, enabling them to leverage emerging trends for maximizing their revenues and catering to the evolving tastes of consumers.
AI platforms or solutions can also be scaled up across the organization and different functions. This way it allows businesses to not only manage functions like sales, marketing, but also take care of essential activities such as product development, revenue optimization, inventory management, etc. This makes AI a highly valuable investment that offers long-term dividends to the business.
While many businesses may be wary of digital transformation or adopting AI, thinking that they do not have a team of data scientists to operate the technology, the truth is that most AI platforms are usually of the plug-and-play form. At the same time, they are also self-operating and self-learning, and thus do not require many experts to operate them.
Moving towards a data-driven restaurant industry
Most restaurants are already sitting on a trough of enormous information and data, which goes largely unused. As a result, restaurant operators or owners are unable to derive potential business value from this data. AI platforms created and customized for restaurant businesses can help turn that information into insights, as well as deliver precise recommendations for business owners and managers to capitalize on new business opportunities, boost repeat sales and visits, and enhance the overall level of satisfaction among their customers.