Smart Technology

Top 5 reasons restaurants are using AI

AI is more than just a passing trend, it's a huge step forward in operational efficiency and it's helping restaurants all over the country save costs and grow their business. Here are the top 5 reasons restaurants are using AI.

AI is taking the restaurant industry by storm, quickly becoming an indispensable tool in every restaurant’s tech arsenal. But, like any good business owner, it’s important to consider why others are getting so excited before implementing new solutions for your restaurant. In this blog, we’ll cover some of the top reasons restaurants are using AI.

1. Streamlining restaurant operations with AI solutions

Some of the most important tasks for your business—such as scheduling staff, answering the phone, or putting online orders into your POS—are also some of the most time-consuming. There are a plethora of solutions tailored to help restaurant owners reclaim valuable time in their day. However, not every tool is created equal.

A great example is using AI to write social media content. While free tools like ChatGPT are appealing, generating unique content that’s tailored for your restaurant often demands significant effort. Instead, use time-saving tools that integrate with your website and social media platforms. These will leverage details such as upcoming events, popular menu items, and recent reviews to generate engaging content that’s unique to your restaurant. Some AI restaurant tools can even create a calendar for you, complete with social posts, email, and text content.

2. Enhancing customer experience and driving sales with AI

AI technology offers an efficient and consistent method to guarantee your customers receive top-notch service. Beyond saving owners time for more personal interactions with guests, many tools are designed to directly engage with customers. 

For instance, automated phone answering uses information from a restaurant’s website to address inquiries from calling customers. Some restaurants even customize responses for the AI to deliver, creating a branded experience that can include mention of upsell opportunities and help restaurants increase their ticket averages. By automating these touchpoints, restaurants can enhance the overall customer experience and streamline the path to increased sales.

Max’s Restaurant, a Filipino restaurant chain with over 170 locations globally, has seen how AI can do both. They used AI Answering for 16 locations and in one month the tool fielded over 12,000 calls, resulting in over $45,000 in online sales. Without AI Answering, these customers may have received a busy tone or been sent to voicemail and chosen to seek dining options elsewhere as a result.

3. Cutting costs with AI in restaurants

While the most effective AI tools require an investment, many provide enough cost savings that they pay for themselves. Tools such as AI Answering help manage the influx of calls during peak hours, maximizing staff utility without ignoring guests over the phone. Additionally, AI can aid in optimizing inventory management and minimizing food waste. By analyzing extensive data sets and considering factors such as shelf life and order history, AI systems enable more accurate ordering, leading to cost-efficient inventory management.

Keep in mind that it can still take some time and effort before you see significant results from AI technology. The best companies are those that make the data from their tools visible, so you can easily identify how it’s working for your business and how long it could take before you break even.

4. Empowering restaurant staff through automation

By automating repetitive tasks, AI empowers restaurant staff to approach their work more strategically. For instance, if your restaurant uses AI to draft marketing content on a monthly basis, your team can focus on implementing a discount strategy, experimenting with different audience segments, and analyzing results from their efforts. This enhances marketing performance and sales while fostering a more engaging work environment—potentially leading to higher retention rates among staff.

It’s important to note that AI is not advanced enough to outright replace your employees. Instead, it should be used to make them more effective at their job. Be transparent about your interest in utilizing such tools and bring employees in on training so they can make the most out of your investment.

5. Eliminating human error with AI

From tracking every dollar earned from your emails to informing guests of unexpected changes in your hours of operation, there are a number of ways AI handles the small details that might get missed due to human error. The best way to ensure those details are caught is by having AI integrated into a comprehensive technology platform.

Popmenu is the industry’s leading provider of technology that helps restaurants get the most growth with the least amount of effort. Our platform has everything a restaurant needs to thrive in a competitive market—from AI phone answering and AI marketing solutions to first-party online ordering hosted on websites designed to win traffic. Schedule a demo with one of our experts now to learn more about how Popmenu can help your restaurant.

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