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How is artificial intelligence revolutionizing the food service industry?

By automating tasks, improving the customer experience and increasing efficiency, AI can help restaurants and bakeries grow faster and cut costs...

Alexandre Leuliet

Alexandre Leuliet

11

Sep 2023

How artificial intelligence is revolutionizing the food service industry | Inpulse
In this article :

Artificial intelligence (AI) is no longer a fantasy, but a reality that is revolutionizing the foodservice sector. How can it be put to practical use by restaurant chains? Here's a roundup of applications:

What is artificial intelligence in the restaurant business? 

There's a lot of talk about artificial intelligence, but it's hard to really grasp how this technological innovation can help restaurant chains grow faster. First and foremost, we need to understand the different types of artificial intelligence that could be used in the restaurant industry:

Conversational and generative writing AI: 

This technology is based on natural language processing, which enables machines to understand and generate human language. Recent advances suggest that AIs can now recognize the meaning, emotions and intentions behind words, or even impersonate humans. The latest update to Chat GPT brings us a voice assistant capable of recognizing emotions. These advances are made possible by the huge amount of data used to train these models. For example, a chatbot can manage reservations and answer customer questions in real time, improving customer service. Restaurateurs can use this functionality to optimize their customer service and ensure greater satisfaction.

Predictive AI:

This approach aims to anticipate future events or behaviors using algorithms. For example, it can predict a restaurant's sales trends based on historical data, such as weather and special events. This improves profitability and reduces food waste. Restaurants can better forecast production and staffing requirements, reducing wasted time and ingredients. What's more, AI can estimate customer preferences and adapt the menu accordingly, offering a personalized culinary experience.

Image generative AI:

Thanks to Deep Learning, computers can now accurately understand the content of images and videos. This technology can generate images and videos from text, opening up a wide range of creative possibilities. For example, a restaurant can use this technology to create attractive visuals for its menu on its website or social networks, thus increasing the visual appeal of its dishes. Establishments can thus improve their online marketing and attract new customers.

Let's take a look at the different applications for the foodservice sector.

How are restaurants and bakeries using artificial intelligence?

Improving inventory management with AI

AI is particularly useful for inventory management. AI-based sales forecasts help automate procurement, while real-time analysis of profitability ratios, such as material cost, helps optimize costs. By using AI-based control systems, restaurateurs can monitor stock levels and place orders online more efficiently.

Forecasting restaurant traffic

AI tools are used to forecastrestaurant footfall, by analyzing historical data and taking into account local events (festivals, vacations, roadworks...). As a result, it is able to plan production, and even trigger promotional offers at the right time. Thanks to predictive analysis, restaurateurs can adapt their service according to forecasts, ensuring greater customer satisfaction and optimal staff management.

Automate customer relationship management

AI, through chatbots and virtual assistants, can automate responses to private messages on social networks such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. This enables restaurants to respond faster to customer queries and manage their online presence effectively. It also makes it possible to write posts on social networks more quickly. All aimed at improving customer satisfaction. AI semantic analysis can monitor customer reviews and identify recurring problems. This enables restaurants to improve their service and proactively address customer concerns.

To explore this topic further, we've just launched the first guide to concrete tools and tips for harnessing the full potential of artificial intelligence and automation in restaurants and bakeries, download it for free here.

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Using AI to combat food waste

AI plays a crucial role in reducing food waste by enabling the right quantities to be ordered, improving recipe card tracking, and forecasting production. These advances help restaurants reduce losses of fresh and finished products. AI can also analyze order data to estimate future demand and adjust production accordingly.

For example, if the AI predicts high demand for pizzas at the weekend, the restaurant can order the necessary ingredients in advance.

With Inpulse, you have real-time access to your profitability ratios (such as material cost). This allows you to optimize costs and reduce food waste. We've been supporting restaurants, bakeries and themed corners looking to reduce food waste and optimize their material cost since 2018. You can see our customers' testimonials here as well as the concrete results AI has enabled them to achieve.

AI-assisted menu customization

Finally, restaurants can offer personalized menus based on customer preferences. For example, if a customer is vegetarian, AI can recommend meat-free dishes. AI can also take into account food allergies and dietary restrictions, guaranteeing a culinary experience tailored to each customer.

What are the benefits of artificial intelligence in the foodservice sector? 

As we've just seen, AI is a powerful tool capable of generating personalized recommendations, analyzing data with incredible accuracy and automating many tedious tasks. Here are the main benefits you'll be able to reap:

  • Eliminating errors: Unlike humans, AIs are accurate and improve with experience. Automating certain administrative tasks, such as managing staff schedules, reduces human error and frees up time to focus on the customer experience.
  • Time savings: Automation reduces repetitive tasks, allowing employees to concentrate on higher value-added tasks.
  • Cost reduction: retailers become more efficient thanks to automation, reducing their operating costs.
  • Hiring less expert profiles: AI recommendations and analyses enable employees to rapidly acquire new skills.
  • Accelerating development: Reliable data analysis helps identify dysfunctions and make informed decisions for growth.
  • Enhanced quality and food safety: Detecting anomalies, such as inappropriate storage temperatures, helps guarantee food safety and avoid health risks for customers.

AI is transforming the foodservice industry by automating tasks, improving the customer experience, optimizing inventory management and reducing food waste. The benefits are manifold, and the possibilities seem endless for retailers looking to embrace this technology to stay competitive in the ever-changing foodservice market.

The innovations brought about by artificial intelligence are opening up new prospects for the foodservice sector. By integrating AI solutions, restaurateurs can not only improve their service and reduce costs, but also anticipate market trends and offer their customers an exceptional culinary experience. From managing inventory to predicting footfall and automating customer interactions, AI is proving to be a valuable asset for foodservice professionals.

To explore these possibilities further, download our complete guide to practical tools and tips for implementing artificial intelligence at your facility.

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