the Restaurateur 4 Ways Artificial Intelligence is Transforming the Hospitality Industry August 27, 2018 Has your restaurant or hotel considered the benefits of artificial intelligence yet? Maybe you already use a kiosk for customer orders, or a chat bot for customer inquiries…Learn more about how your business can benefit. The future is now and restaurants and hotels must embrace the latest cutting edge technologies to succeed and drive revenue. By allowing machines to carry out traditionally human functions, hotels and restaurants have been able to cut costs, increase customer satisfaction, and eliminate human error. But are there risks involved in implementing artificial intelligence (AI) in your business? 4 artificially intelligent innovations for restaurants and hotels Self-ordering Kiosks- Many restaurants are now using AI driven kiosks which reduce customer waiting time and enhance the overall ordering experience. Customers can order food, drinks and appetizers through the kiosk (whenever the need arises), and also pay through the kiosk whenever they are finished dining. Chat bots- Many hotels and restaurants have started to use virtual assistants to respond to customer inquiries and to process and customize customer orders. Smart chat bots like Alexa or Hey Google in hotel rooms could soon manage guest needs by making reservations, booking tickets, ordering meals, suggesting restaurants and more. Robots- The Hilton recently started using an AI robot, “Connie” who acts as a concierge in the hotel. Connie is able to provide tourist information to customers who interact with “her” and she is able to learn from human speech and become “smarter” overtime. Some restaurants are looking into AI driven robotic solutions for the kitchen environment (i.e. a robot to take care of grilling, frying, prepping, plating, etc.) Recommendation systems- Recommendation systems powered by AI are gaining popularity as well. Machine learning algorithms process user data and make smart suggestions on what customers might enjoy given their past orders. (Just think of the Amazon feature, “Customers who bought this item also bought…”) This has proven very valuable in the restaurant industry in that customers appreciate the opportunity to be reminded about what entrée they might enjoy. Any concerns about artificial intelligence in the hospitality industry? There are concerns across all industries that AI technology will threaten the “personal touch” that many businesses seek to provide. For the hospitality industry in particular, the human element is key (just think of how many waiters, waitresses, cooks and concierges you’ve interacted with on vacations). Some customers prefer ordering through an actual human. Also, there is the issue of job loss. Some workers will inevitably lose their jobs at the onset of some of these AI driven tasks. The food service industry in particular will be hit hard by this. Worth the risk? It’s no secret that AI is transforming business as we know it. The hospitality business thrives on technological advancements, and anything that makes the consumer experience easier and more enjoyable is important to consider. If you’re considering implementing one (or more) of the four tactics above in your restaurant or hotel, let us help you consider the cost, benefits and risks involved. Contact any member of our Hospitality Services Team.