Restaurants Combat Rising Costs with AI Technology, Boost Efficiency
The restaurant industry, one of the hardest-hit sectors during the Covid-19 pandemic, is now facing a new challenge: the rising costs of food and labor. In an effort to combat these issues, many restaurants are turning to AI technology for innovative solutions. One such establishment is Rodrigo’s Mexican Grill in Orange, which has implemented handheld devices to improve efficiency.
Rod Fraser, owner of Rodrigo’s Mexican Grill, expressed the benefits of this technology, stating, We can take orders directly to the table, making things much quicker for turnaround. Once the order is placed, it goes directly to the kitchen, allowing the cooks to prepare it immediately. This streamlined process not only ensures faster service but also eliminates potential errors.
To assist restaurant owners in leveraging technology, Popmenu, a company specializing in digital solutions, conducted a study on US restaurant leaders and consumers. The study revealed that while restaurant revenue remains steady or even growing, there has been an average increase of 34% in labor costs. To address these challenges, Popmenu offers an AI phone system capable of managing hundreds of calls simultaneously. Tony Roy, COO of Popmenu, emphasized that this technology is not intended to replace workers but rather to enhance efficiency and alleviate the burden on the existing labor force.
Roy highlighted various applications of AI in restaurant operations, such as automatically posting on social media platforms, answering customer inquiries, and more. We have a greater insight into peak ordering times, reservation trends, and call volume patterns, Roy explained. By harnessing AI technology, restaurants are equipped with valuable data that can optimize their decision-making processes and enhance customer satisfaction.
Furthermore, the use of AI technology addresses the persistent issue of labor shortages in the industry. While many business owners struggle to find employees, implementing AI systems can help alleviate these staffing challenges. The automation of certain tasks enables restaurant staff to focus on more critical aspects of their work, improving overall productivity.
Convenience has become a top priority for consumers, leading to an increase in dine-in and takeout orders. By capitalizing on AI technology, restaurants can provide a seamless experience for customers, from online orders to reservations. Moreover, the insights gained from AI systems allow businesses to identify patterns and trends, enabling them to tailor their services to meet customer demands more effectively.
In conclusion, the restaurant industry continues to navigate the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic, compounded by rising costs of food and labor. However, with the implementation of AI technology, restaurants are finding ways to combat these challenges while boosting efficiency. By streamlining operations, leveraging insights, and alleviating labor pressure, AI is proving to be a valuable tool for restaurateurs in the quest to thrive in a post-pandemic world.