3 Ways AI is Transforming Fast Casual
Imagine if every employee had an answer to even your most difficult business questions. From employee attendance records to KPI tracking, there is really no limit when it comes to artificial intelligence (AI) — all you have to do is “feed the beast!” The number one requirement for successful AI is having data — data is how the system learns and evolves. No data, no AI.
If you are not already creating a technological backbone for your restaurant(s), it’s not only a good idea to get moving, it’s a must for survival and exactly why our team at Square Roots Kitchen has based all of our operations around our proprietary Ordering and Kitchen Management System (KMS). We made it not only fast, accurate, customizable and ultimately helpful to the user, but also a machine that never stops working towards a stronger infrastructure for our team.
Here are three ways that AI will be a transformative influence on the fast casual space and the restaurant industry as a whole.
Google Home, Alexa and other technologies such as chatbots are now being used as a way to order from favorite fast casual restaurants. These devices make it easier than ever to reorder your favorite meal or to answer the age-old question of “What should we do for dinner?” You now have a true eating companion that never forgets your preferences when it comes to diets, allergies and even the levels of spice that will hit your taste buds just right. Fast casual restaurants have a huge opportunity to become the go-to spot for families across the U.S. by embracing the shortest path to a good meal, AI.
2. Kitchen Efficiencies
AI doesn’t stop at the customer. Fast casual restaurants that embrace AI can create major efficiencies in the kitchen. By using historical data, AI has the ability to predict business on a day-to-day basis. Here is an example: It’s June 1, 2018, your system tells you that based on this date, the weather and any other local events historically scheduled at this time, you better prepare at least 530 chicken wraps, 612 steak wraps, 250 chicken salads, etc. This can help management to properly order and ultimately eliminate waste. The same holds true for dry goods and other supplies. Ding, ding, ding — the traditionally low-margin industry just got a little bit sweeter.
3. Operations & Management
Traditional restaurants count on alcohol to offset the minimal margins on food so where does that leave fast casual? It leaves a race to find new paths to a successful formula. Many of the points we discussed above lead to what we call “operational efficiencies.”
AI has an opportunity to become not only an acting general manager of each location but the hub of everyday business by taking on responsibilities of all sorts, from revenue forecasting and KPI analysis to employee management and scheduling.