Technology has given small restaurants tools to become more efficient and productive thus better able to compete against larger businesses — including chains and franchises. These same big chains have been early adopters of Artificial Intelligence (AI) solutions to improve and streamline their operations. And now, AI delivered through the cloud is also available to small restaurant owners so they can reap the same benefits.
If you own a small restaurant, you might be asking why you need AI. And the answer is because you now operate in an environment where the competition is constantly targeting your customers. If you don’t do the same, your customer attrition rate will continue to increase as they get bombarded with more offers, incentives, loyalty programs and other promotions from the competition. Artificial Intelligence solutions will eventually be part of all restaurant operations. As an early adopter, you can take advantage of what the technology offers to increase your customer base.
AI Cloud Services to Benefit Your Small Restaurant
Here are 7 AI enabled solutions you can deploy now to give you that head start.
Whether you are looking to open a restaurant or you are up and running, location intelligence solutions will bring to bear all available data related to your location. Using AI and complex analytic tools, location intelligence can predict how the presence of other businesses affect your bottom line.
And as the AI system continues to learn and improve, it will “learn” who your customers are and where they are. This data can then be used to deliver targeted marketing campaigns using social media and other platforms for better return on investment.
No-shows cost restaurants a lot of money, but with waitlist management systems, you can alert guests using text when their table is ready. The AI-enabled management system gives you real-time view of your floor to get accurate wait times so you can deliver VIP services to your customers. You can also view the history of your customers to see their preferences so you can make informed recommendations for more personalized service.
AI-driven kiosks are used to reduce customer wait time, increase revenue, improve customer experience, expedite the payment process, increase order accuracy, decrease lines, and promote new items, specials and loyalty programs.
Best of all, this is accomplished with a device requiring minimal maintenance but delivering multiple benefits towards the overall efficiency of your restaurant.
Voice Enabled Ordering
Whether it is Amazon’s Echo, Google Home, mobile apps or other AI-enabled systems, voice activated devices are in the homes and hands of more people. By implementing voice enabled ordering system into your restaurant, you can receive voice and chat orders.
This frees up your staff to deliver better customer service and other important tasks.
As a small restaurant operator, answering queries from your customers can be time consuming and costly. However, well designed chatbots with AI capabilities can be programmed to answer the most asked question. This includes opening and closing times, price, menu and specials. But the technology can also respond to comments, and even make reservations.
The greatest benefit of this technology is the ability to customize the answers it provides in response to the changing demands of your customers. You can even use the comment feedback to respond to customer complaints and suggestions to improve your restaurant.
Back of House Automation
Manual processes in restaurants require more hands to perform them, which means more workers. With AI automation, everything from processing orders to staffing, inventory, marketing, maintenance, security and more can be automated.
Systems can be programmed to integrate all of these functions into a single dashboard so managers will always know who is available for work, never run out of supplies, view social media engagement, and keep an eye on the business 24/7. And with an AI cloud service, you can access all of your data anytime, anywhere on any device with real-time dynamic reports.
The one thing digital marketing does is generate data, and with AI this data can be optimized to improve engagement with your audience.
A properly implemented AI marketing solution can respond to customer searches, create ads that are much smarter, refine the delivery of content with smart targeting, and as always continue to learn to deliver better data in the future.
According to the National Restaurant Association’s 2017 State of the Industry report, there were more than 1 million restaurants in the US generating $799 billion for the year. Of these restaurants, 7 in 10 are single-unit operations, which makes them ideally suited to deploy the AI solutions available in the marketplace. With AI now being delivered through the cloud, it is more accessible than ever for businesses of all sizes.
For small restaurants, it will mean an increased level of efficiency in front and back room operations, digital presence, customer engagement, identifying opportunities, developing growth strategies and much more.
For more on how cloud-based services can help your business, contact Meylah today.
Photo via Shutterstock
Wow. I thought that AI is just for online businesses. I didn’t know brick and mortar stores like a restaurant can benefit from it.