Have you ever wondered if robots can make the food you eat? But today, phrases like “human vs machine” change into “human plus machine.” We can see technological advancements in every field of life. Similarly, AI in the restaurant industry is taking its place quite rapidly.
Humans manage the food industry because it needs specific skills and expertise. You cannot ace the taste and texture by putting ingredients together. Nobody was expecting robots to replicate or help humans in the cooking industry. But in 2021, most restaurants took the initiative and started applying AI in their businesses.
And we can say AI in restaurants is here to stay!
How Important is AI in Restaurant Industry?
AI can help the food industry in every possible way. It allows it to manage inventory, speed up the cooking process, promote the taste, and maintain the nutritional value of ingredients to the maximum level. It also helps you to build customer service and get better reviews through consistent performance.
According to a survey conducted in 2022, AI can help restaurants to increase their efficiency by up to 43 percent. This percentage might have grown even more if we look at the numbers and profits. Restaurants have recorded the following benefits of incorporating AI in their work procedures:
- They can gain more Return on Investment (ROI) by each quarter.
- Customers are getting their desired food and taste consistently.
- With thorough inventory chase and balance, the wastage of ingredients is declining rapidly.
- Customers are getting better customer care, and their queries are adequately followed and resolved.
- Restaurants can find new clients through AI by tracking their appetite patterns and likings.
AI in Restaurants — Reshaping the Future Of Industry
If we go back ten years, the concept of AI or robots in the kitchen was just a dream. But after the pandemic and its restrictions, humans had to find a way to increase their customers and engagement. At that point, AI came to the rescue, and now it’s an integral part of almost all the food chains in the world.
AI as Virtual Assistants
AI can do wonders, The most prominent example is chatbots working as virtual assistants who can take customer orders–big food giants like Wingstop and Mcdonald’s.
KFC China is experimenting with facial recognition for customer identification and future orders. There are screens placed in restaurants, and the AI uses your facial expressions and supposed age to suggest you something. For example, a lady of 80 years might get a suggestion for porridge and salad. Meanwhile, a guy of 25 years might get the offer of a crispy fried chicken combo.
AI can automatically order the most favorite meal with this feature and customer data or suggest customers’ liking accordingly. In one way or another, it will help customers and restaurants get better service and profit.
AI as Chef
AI does not just take orders; it can also cook meals. Is it a dream or just a theory? But it is not.
Chipotle and Caliburgers are using this technology in their cooking process. Chipotle made a custom-made Miso Robot to prepare perfectly cooked tortilla chips. Yes, you read that right! There is a robot who can prepare, cut, mix, and then cook the chips with your favorite dip in Chipotle. They call it Chippy – the robot that can make the town’s best chips.
Taking this to the next level, Caliburgers made a robot that can flip burgers and maintain the temperature of the burgers. Flippy is the flipping robot that can cook the perfect patty every time. It is in the initial stage, but right after its launch, the restaurant saw a massive increase in its response and popularity.
AI as Food Nutritionist
Do you believe you can know your food order’s ingredients and nutritional value by scanning? Tellspec is an AI-generated application that can detect all the ingredients on your plate. It helps you avoid food that can you are allergic or intolerant to. All you have to do is aim your phone at your food and scan it. The company behind it also makes products that can analyze the content of baby milk powder, the freshness of fruit, and the provenance of fish.
This application is currently in the prototype stage, but it can do wonders in the future by getting more updates and additional features. It can also help detect any abnormality in food.
AI as Hosts
Humans love when they interact with something exciting and unique. To cater to this, a Japanese company develops a robot that greets customers on their arrival at the restaurant.
Pepper – the well-mannered robot – says ‘Hi’, takes orders, presents guests with the perfect meal, and even takes payments. It records the data in its database and helps customers get comfortable and enjoy their time. Pizza Hut Singapore and Carrefour France already use this technology to save time and human interaction.
AI as Inventory Manager
Starbucks is a USA-based coffee shop known for its creamy frappes and chilled lattes. Along with their taste and expertise, they use an AI-driven tool called ‘Deep Brew’ to manage inventory, help customers personalize their orders, allocate labor to promote more efficiency, and, last but not least, smooth drive-through operations.
This application helps the cafe build better customer relations and get more ROI. In the USA, Starbucks saw a massive 6 percent increase in sales in the first quarter. After enormous success, Starbucks is also experimenting with the same in China.
The inclusion of AI in restaurant industry is creating a new era of dining experiences and operational efficiency. From improving customer service to enhancing operational efficiency, AI offers significant benefits that restaurants cannot ignore. With restaurants, AI is also revolutionizing the food and beverages industry for the better.
As AI technology continues to evolve, it’s clear that it will play an increasingly central role in shaping the future of the restaurant industry. Embracing these technologies now can give restaurants a competitive edge, improve customer experiences, and drive overall business growth.
Until 2025, investment in the food business went up to $500 million yearly. It has seen a surge of 80 percent from 2018.
Suppose we look at the advancements and wonders of AI in restaurants and food chains. It is safe to say that AI is here to stay; maybe after a few years, we may only have to interact with robots in our favorite fast food chain restaurants.
On the one hand, Gen-Z loves the technological wonders of AI in restaurants; on the other hand, it may take employment opportunities from humans. Some experts deny it and say that machines cannot replicate humans, but there is no denial AI is replacing humans rapidly.