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We Asked AI How and What It'll Change in Restaurant Operations: Here's How it Went

We Asked AI How and What It'll Change in Restaurant Operations: Here's How it Went

You may think AI will be present in the food service industry in the near future, but in fact, it’s already here!

AI, as a technology that can perform tasks usually done by humans, has become extremely relevant to restaurants. It’s improving various aspects, from saving time to improving food quality and reducing waste and there’s more to come as tech advances.

For everyone’s benefit, it’s worth staying up to date on AI’s capabilities. And when you discuss this with AI like ChatGPT, it’s clear that the robots are already here.

To show you just how well-aware modern AI models are of how you can run a restaurant business and how they can help you with that, we asked the most famous of them - ChatGPT a couple of questions on that matter.

The answers were quite impressive! Here’s what we’ve got.

First Things First: What is chatGPT, and Why Did We Ask Questions to It?

ChatGPT is a language model developed by OpenAI, based on the GPT (Generative Pre-trained Transformer) architecture. It is designed to generate human-like text based on the input it receives. As an AI-powered conversational agent, ChatGPT can engage in conversations, answer questions, provide information, and even perform tasks like rewriting or summarizing text. The GPT models have undergone several iterations, with the latest version at the time of this response being GPT-4. These models have been trained on a vast corpus of text from the internet, enabling them to generate coherent and contextually relevant responses.

Questions We Asked ChatGPT & Answers

How can AI help in automating and optimizing the cleaning process to ensure a hygienic environment?

AI can play a significant role in automating and optimizing the cleaning process to ensure a hygienic environment. Here are some ways in which AI can help:

  • Intelligent scheduling: AI can be used to create optimal cleaning schedules based on usage patterns and foot traffic in different areas. This can help ensure that high-traffic areas are cleaned more frequently and less frequently used areas are not over-cleansed, resulting in a more efficient and effective cleaning process.
  • Smart sensors: Smart sensors can be used to monitor areas and provide real-time feedback on areas that require cleaning. These sensors can detect dirt, dust, and other pollutants and notify cleaning staff when it's time to clean.
  • Robotic cleaners: AI-powered robots can be used to clean and disinfect surfaces in areas such as hospitals, schools, and offices. These robots can navigate through a facility, identify dirty areas, and clean them autonomously, reducing the need for human intervention.
  • Predictive maintenance: AI can be used to predict when cleaning equipment needs maintenance or replacement. This can prevent breakdowns and reduce downtime, ensuring that the cleaning process is never interrupted. 
Human explanation: AI will come to do part of the managers’ job to schedule maintenance and cleaning based on actual data. Of course, Smarter sensors and robots will do part of the actual cleaning and maintenance as well. They are doing already no? 

Should I trust AI to generate a menu for my restaurant?

The decision of whether to trust AI to generate a menu for your restaurant ultimately depends on several factors, such as the complexity of your menu, your personal preferences, and your level of trust in AI technology.

AI can analyze customer preferences, dietary restrictions, and other factors to create a menu that is tailored to your target audience. It can also help you identify popular dishes and ingredients to include in your menu. However, it may not be able to take into account more intangible factors such as cultural or regional tastes or incorporate the chef's personal touch.

Therefore, it is important to carefully evaluate the AI system you are considering and determine whether it can meet your specific needs and expectations. You may want to test the AI-generated menu and compare it with menus created by human chefs to see which one performs better. Ultimately, the decision to trust AI to generate a menu for your restaurant should be based on your own analysis of the system's capabilities and your own goals and preferences.

Human explanation: Yes, it can. Will you trust it, that’s your call. 


Can AI be used to monitor food quality and ensure consistency in taste and presentation?

Yes, AI can be used to monitor food quality and ensure consistency in taste and presentation. With advances in computer vision and machine learning, AI-powered systems can analyze food samples and detect potential quality issues such as spoilage, contamination, or defects.

In addition, AI can also analyze data from various sources such as customer feedback, sales figures, and production processes to identify patterns and trends related to taste and presentation. This information can then be used to adjust recipes and processes to ensure that each dish meets the desired standards.

Human explanation: First part of the answer is unbelievable. That’s probably far away and probably quality assurance will not be trusted by AI anytime soon, but doing analytics and helping quality assurance is definitely happening. 

How can AI assist in scheduling staff and managing labor costs?

AI can assist in scheduling staff and managing labor costs by analyzing historical data on employee scheduling and labor costs, as well as external factors such as weather, seasonal trends, and business cycles. By analyzing this data, AI can identify patterns and make predictions about the optimal staff scheduling and labor costs for a given period.

AI algorithms can also take into account employee availability, preferences, and skill sets to create optimal schedules that maximize employee productivity and job satisfaction. Additionally, AI can help managers monitor labor costs by alerting them to potential issues such as overtime expenses or underutilization of staff.

Human explanation: This is already happening and expect to lose a job if you are in a big franchise and do scheduling and analytics. 

How can AI improve the accuracy of order-taking and reduce errors in the kitchen?

AI can improve the accuracy of order-taking and reduce errors in the kitchen in several ways.

Firstly, AI-powered systems can be used to automate the order-taking process, reducing the probability of errors caused by miscommunication or transcription errors. These systems can use natural language processing (NLP) to understand and interpret customers' orders, ensuring that they are accurately recorded.

Secondly, AI-powered kitchen automation systems can be used to assist chefs and kitchen staff in preparing orders. These systems can provide real-time feedback on the status of orders, alerting staff when an order is ready to be prepared or when it is about to become overdue. This can help to prevent errors caused by staff forgetting or mismanaging orders.

Finally, AI can be used to analyze data on past orders, identifying patterns and trends in customer behavior. This information can be used to optimize the ordering process and reduce errors in the kitchen. For example, if a particular item is frequently ordered with a certain customization, AI can suggest that customization to customers to ensure that the order is prepared correctly.

Human explanation: Taking orders from robots is already a thing of the past. Taking orders by AI as if they are human is coming up, but for sure AI can analyze data of orders and recommend significant improvements in processing and preparation. 

Can AI be used to predict the demand for certain dishes and optimize stock management?

Yes, AI can be used to predict the demand for certain dishes and optimize stock management. By analyzing data such as sales history, customer behavior, and even external factors such as weather and holidays, AI algorithms can forecast demand for specific dishes or ingredients. This information can then be used to inform stock management decisions, such as ordering the right amount of ingredients to meet demand, minimizing waste, and maximizing profitability. Many restaurants and food service companies are already using AI-powered stock management systems to streamline their operations and improve efficiency.

Human explanation: Yes, it can and yes it does. 

Can AI help me by suggesting the dishes I should be serving in my restaurant?

Yes, AI can help suggest dishes for your restaurant. One way to do this is by using machine learning algorithms to analyze customer preferences, past sales data, and trending dishes in your area to make personalized recommendations.

There are also various food recommendation engines and chatbots that can be integrated into your restaurant's website or mobile app, which can assist customers in selecting dishes based on their dietary preferences, budget, and taste preferences. These systems can be trained on vast amounts of data and can make intelligent suggestions that may increase customer satisfaction and sales.


Would AI be able to cook delicious dishes in the restaurant kitchen and speed up the process?

AI has the potential to assist in making dishes tasty in restaurant kitchens and speed up the cooking process. One way AI could help with this is through the use of machine learning algorithms that can analyze recipes and ingredient combinations to recommend optimal flavor combinations. AI could also analyze customer feedback and adjust recipes accordingly to improve the taste of dishes over time.

In terms of speeding up the cooking process, AI could help by automating repetitive tasks such as chopping vegetables, measuring ingredients, and monitoring cooking times. This would free up chefs to focus on more creative aspects of cooking, such as recipe development and plating.

However, it's important to note that AI is not a replacement for human chefs. AI can assist and enhance the work of chefs, but it cannot replicate the creativity, intuition, and personal touch that human chefs bring to the kitchen. Ultimately, the success of a restaurant depends on a balance between technology and human expertise.


Can AI prevent bad customer feedback in a restaurant?

AI can play a role in preventing bad feedback from customers in restaurants. One way AI can help is by analyzing customer feedback and identifying patterns and trends that could indicate areas for improvement. This could include identifying common complaints, such as slow service or issues with food quality, and alerting restaurant staff to these issues so they can be addressed proactively.

Additionally, AI-powered chatbots or virtual assistants can be used to gather feedback from customers in real-time, allowing the restaurant to address any issues before they escalate into negative reviews. These systems can also be used to provide personalized recommendations to customers based on their preferences, helping to ensure they have a positive experience.

However, it is important to note that AI alone cannot completely prevent bad feedback from customers. Ultimately, it is up to the restaurant to provide high-quality service and products, and to respond effectively to any customer complaints or issues. AI can certainly help in this regard, but it is not a substitute for good customer service and attentive management.


Can AI suggest creative ideas for the holidays to customers in a restaurant?

Yes, AI can suggest creative ideas for holiday days to customers in restaurants.

One approach is to use natural language processing (NLP) to analyze customer inquiries and conversations to identify keywords related to holidays or special occasions. Based on these keywords, the AI can suggest relevant holiday-themed menu items, promotions, or activities that the restaurant offers. 

Another approach is to use recommendation systems to suggest personalized holiday ideas based on customer preferences, past orders, and behavior. For example, if a customer frequently orders vegetarian dishes, the AI might suggest a special vegetarian meal for a holiday like Thanksgiving or Christmas.

Additionally, AI can also use data analytics to identify trends and patterns in customer behavior, such as which holidays or occasions are most popular among customers. This information can help the restaurant anticipate and prepare for peak holiday periods and offer targeted promotions or activities to attract customers.

These answers were quite impressive, right? To sum up, ChatGPT tells us that AI models can help restaurant owners in a variety of areas - from stock management to creative work and planning.

Now let’s analyze the findings we got from ChatGPT and give you an overall summary of what you can achieve with AI in your professional kitchen.


Benefits of AI in Food Service

One may imagine robots in kitchens and start wondering if you would like to eat a hamburger prepared by a machine. For a realistic view, consider how AI impacts this industry and you’ll discover outcomes can be good for customers, staff, owners, and managers. 

Improve Efficiency

  • AI has the ability to make various processes more efficient, including but not limited to:
  • Thanks to fewer human errors in aspects like taking customer orders, teams will waste less time and effort fixing mistakes.
  • With AI tracking and analyzing Big Data, restaurant teams can plan staff schedules more efficiently, so you don’t have too many waiters during quieter times.
  • By moving from manual processes to digitized workflows, companies become more efficient. AI can help improve order-taking, stock management, and more.
  • With AI taking care of mundane tasks, everyone in the restaurant will have more energy and focus, which potentially will make them more efficient, whether it’s a waiter, chef, or manager.

Improve Kitchen Operations

Even in the kitchen, AI has its place. For safety and hygiene, AI can monitor whether staff are wearing appropriate protective clothing and following procedures.

Furthermore, when AI helps to standardize what happens in the kitchen, customers get the food and experience they expect every time. This makes it easier to impress and manage customer expectations.

Enhance Customer Experience

Customers may appreciate restaurants that are less inclined to have human errors affecting orders and food preparation. You can also implement data analysis to identify loyal customers AND gauge which special offers they’ll find most beneficial. This can result in more sales and a happier clientele. 

Better Inventory Management and Less Food Waste

Thanks to improved inventory management, such as how much stock is needed during a certain period, there will be much less wastage. Expert data analysis makes it much more likely that purchasing will align with what’s needed, instead of having excess because of assumptions or human error.

Enhance Food Safety

Throughout the supply chain, AI can track and monitor products used in the food industry. This ranges from identifying diseases on produce to monitoring freshness. In this way, AI helps kitchens to only use ingredients safe for human consumption.

Also, the team preparing the food can be monitored by AI, so restaurant managers know whether the necessary protocols are followed to optimize hygiene.

Develop New Products

AI has the ability to analyze customers’ preferences and gauge if there are drinks or dishes they would appreciate more. Furthermore, drawing from data about cuisines, dishes, and ingredients, AI can now create new recipes for chefs to follow. AI can even predict trends, so restaurants can be ready with a new menu item when customers want it.

All of this can be done without kitchen staff and managers wasting time on research or recipe development.

Increase Profits

Companies using AI, including restaurants, will discover various areas they start saving money in. For one thing, AI can take over certain tasks, reducing labor expenses. Also, salary costs can be lower thanks to better labor allocation and with less product waste, restaurants will start noticing positive changes in their bottom line.

Personalize Recommendations

AI technology can analyze historical data and make recommendations to customers about which dishes or special offers are available—all aligned with that client’s personal preferences. Thanks to the efficient analysis of data, customers feel better-taken care of, improving the restaurant's reputation and increasing the chance of returning customers.

Benefits of AI in Food Service

Case Studies of How AI is Being Utilized in the Food Industry

In theory, AI can help restaurants. But are the big brands using it and is it worth the investment for them? These examples show the truth:

  • McDonald’s: This brand has implemented AI in drive-thrus to speed up processes, but there have been some glitches, such as the technology picking up another person’s speech as part of a driver’s order. Time will tell if customers embrace the technology that carries much potential.
  • KFC: Machine learning has made weekly ordering more efficient and easier for KFC outlets. By analyzing data, AI predicts with remarkable accuracy the stock that will be required for the upcoming days. The more accurate it is, the less waste there is.
  • Starbucks: This coffee-focused brand has embraced the power of AI. They use the technology for various tasks, such as labor allocation, inventory management, and personalization to optimize customer experiences. This is thanks to the AI platform Deep Brew.

AI-powered Solutions for Food Service

Many of the potential benefits still need to become the norm but as stated, there are already many AI-based solutions available. What does it look like in practice?

  • Chatbots and Virtual Assistants: These days all restaurants should have websites and some even have apps but customers may still have questions about the brand or the menu. A chatbot—rather than customers talking to someone on the phone or waiting for an email—provides instant answers to questions, usually very accurately since it can analyze questions and provide company information to offer sensible feedback.
  • Automated and Voice-Enabled Ordering: AI can converse with humans, using information provided to them. In this industry, information can be standard menus, available special offers, and other relevant information that customers would need to place an order. With humans taking orders, there may be a holdup while double-checking the day’s specials or trying to remember the details of a menu item. It’s more efficient when clients place orders via voice-enabled systems—whether on an app or at an ordering kiosk in the store. Customers don’t even need to scroll through a menu if voice AI is used because all happens in a conversation. Information is available instantly upon request and there’s less chance of human error in the order given to the kitchen.
  • Autonomous Kitchen Equipment: To speed up kitchen processes and offer a standardized process with standardized outcomes, there is already equipment available that helps restaurants improve workflow. AI-driven equipment is especially helpful for repeat tasks—such as flipping burgers—as it frees up workers’ time for other more creative work.
  • Menu Personalization: Using an ordering kiosk, customers can be given the option to customize an order. Thanks to the technology the order will be human-error-free, with no middle man in the form of a waiter messing up the order. Also, using data from sales and special requests, AI can help restaurant owners personalize menus to be more relevant to local clientele or launch a new product, knowing it’s what customers want.
  • Food Quality Monitoring: AI helps with tasks such as sorting fresh produce or monitoring for germs and microbes. This can be done with sensors and cameras, even rejecting discolored fruit or vegetables, so kitchen staff only work with the best. By alerting humans to problems, there’s less chance of serving substandard dishes.
  • Customer Sentiment Analysis: AI can help review data such as reviews and provide feedback on people’s opinions on dishes or other restaurant features. In addition, advanced AI can now note characteristics such as the mood of customers. Restaurants can use this to manage difficult customers better or make product suggestions based on analysis, to increase sales.
  • Predictive Analytics: AI can analyze data and predict upcoming trends, so restaurants can align menus with those suggestions. Also, AI can help restaurants maintain equipment better by analyzing when services are needed to reduce repair costs. 

Some Challenges Associated with Using AI in the Food Industry

Of course, the technology isn’t perfected yet and there’s still a long way to go before it will suitably cater for all the needs of restaurants and their clients. Drawbacks are listed below:

  • Data Quality and Quantity: Even with technology that can analyze data efficiently, the outcome is still dependent on the quality of the data fed to the system, often by humans who could make errors.
  • Consumer Acceptance: Despite AI improving customer experiences in general, people are still sceptical about engaging with this technology. Some may simply prefer human interaction, or not trust AI as much as the well-known faces in their favorite eateries. It’s necessary to prove the advantages of AI in the restaurant industry before people will be willing to give it a fair chance.
  • High Costs: Unfortunately, this technology is still only available at a high price. Also, restaurants may require skilled experts and pay them high salaries to fully implement and utilize the power of AI in the establishment.


How is AI used in the food industry?

For the food industry, AI is used in supply chains, for example, tracking produces quality from source to kitchens. It’s also used to make staffing more efficient, simplify ordering processes and help eateries save money, for example by reducing waste. This results in more efficient restaurants that improve their bottom lines.

How is AI used in food delivery?

Food delivery can improve with the help of AI. This happens when there’s a faster, more efficient ordering system, for example using chatbots or apps. AI can also analyze data to find faster delivery routes.

Why is AI important in the food industry?

For restaurants, AI can help reduce errors, speed up processes and reduce risk, such as preventing kitchen staff from using produce that’s gone off. Also, by streamlining customer experiences, restaurants can improve companies’ reputations.

Are there any ethical concerns with using AI in food service?

With AI not being driven by moral guidelines, there are ethical risks, such as AI creating plans that are innovative, but not environmentally friendly. Also, there may be a lack of transparency. AI users must continually evaluate outcomes to ensure it aligns with ethical principles.

Can AI help improve the customer experience in restaurants?

Yes, AI can help customers have better restaurant experiences, such as saving time during ordering and ensuring there are fewer ordering errors. AI, such as chatbots, also makes menu information more accessible, helping customers make more informed choices. By improving kitchen workflows and monitoring food quality, meals are prepared faster and can be of higher quality than before.

Can AI be used to personalize menu offerings for individual customers?

Yes, AI can monitor data and identify which types of special offers will be relevant for each customer. Also, the technology can make menu suggestions based on previous data and choices made by the customer. This creates a more personalized experience, making clients feel their needs are met.

What are the potential cost savings associated with implementing AI in food service?

Since AI can analyze and monitor data about food items, sales, peak times and inventory, it creates opportunities for monetary savings in all these departments. The technology can help save money by creating staff schedules more in line with the busy times of the restaurant, reducing product wastage and much more.

How AI is changing the food industry?

AI can make the food industry more efficient and ensure positive customer experiences. The technology reduces human error, streamlines workflows, and helps restaurants offer more creative options that align with clients’ preferences.