Whether we realise it or not, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is already a big part of our lives. Not convinced? Have you started typing a search term into Google and seen how recommendations automatically appear to help complete it? That’s AI in action. Perhaps you’ve used Go-Jek, Grab, or Uber and seen how the app predicts how long it will take the driver to reach you, and for you to reach your destination? Again, that’s AI working in the background.
Maybe you’ve spoken to Siri on your iPhone, or to a virtual assistant like Alexa? Or listened to Spotify or watched Netflix and seen how your listening and viewing habits are tracked and you’re prompted with recommendations? Again, that is AI quietly at work. These are just a few examples, but there are plenty more. So it’s inevitable that AI would find its way into our eating out experience.
And it has well and truly arrived, with AI-powered cloud ordering platforms now becoming increasingly commonplace and reshaping the traditional dining experience. This is particularly true of quick service restaurants (QSRs) in Asia and Australia, where tech-savvy customers are happy to browse a digital menu at their leisure, order seamlessly through devices and take care of payment digitally in exchange for avoiding queues. The ‘secret sauce’ driving the acceptance of this technology is personalisation.
Modern-day customers demand a personalised experience
Online retailers like Amazon offer each customer a landing page that’s personalised to them, based on previous engagements. In contrast, though, most restaurant menus remain standard; they present exactly the same items to each customer no matter whether they’re a vegetarian or a meat-lover, whether they drink alcohol or are a teetotaller.
The breaking opportunity in the F&B industry is to offer a personalised dining experience for each and every customer; AI is the driving force that makes this possible. In the same way that AI suggests other movies you might like on Netflix, offers related products as it does on Amazon, or adds products to the checkout page like on Deliveroo, Menulog or Uber Eats – it can also provide the same functionality within the QSR environment.
And, while AI can drastically improve the dining experience for customers, it also offers tremendous benefits for venues, many of whom face common challenges. A big headwind facing QSRs, for example, is the labour pool they operate in.
AI helps QSRs overcome challenges and edge the competition
Traditionally one of the fastest staff turnover industries, QSRs face extremely tight labour markets around the world and compete with other industries for employees. They face a constant race to attract, recruit and retain staff, who often leave the industry because of its high-pressure environment.
Business profitability is directly affected by the number of staff available to take orders and serve food. Under-pressure staff are also prone to ordering errors, which slows down table turns and results in costly food wastage.
AI not only helps overcome these challenges, but it also puts QSRs on the front foot by dramatically changing their operating model and boosting all their key metrics, including average order value, average item value and table turns. It also removes the reliance on waitstaff to prompt customers with cross-selling (‘do you want fries with that?’) or up-sell offers; it takes care of this when customers are interacting with the AI on the ordering device.
Diners love AI too. We all appreciate being offered relevant personalised promotions that are offered at the right time in the dining cycle. We like to read meal details at our leisure and look at high-quality images. We appreciate not having to wait to place our order or be disappointed if the wrong dish arrives. We like to pay at the table, then just get up and walk out without any fuss.
TabSquare’s AI engine introduces next-level customer experience
Food and beverage software solutions company TabSquare has been in on the ground floor of AI-driven cloud ordering platforms, and have been in operations since 2012. It offers cutting-edge technology solutions that overcome many of the challenges faced by the QSR industry and which boost their bottom lines.
Through its AI engine, nicknamed Aiden, TabSquare helps drive restaurants’ profitability by creating seamless operations, saving labour costs, boosting average cover value, and speeding up table turns. Their solution is compatible with POS platforms and it works with existing payment systems to give F&B chains, bars, bistros, cafés, and full-service restaurants an edge in their highly competitive market.
TabSquare’s SmartKiosk is the perfect self-ordering kiosk venues like QSRs. Customers interacting with the kiosks are identified using smart facial recognition technology or by entering their phone number. This then triggers personalised menu recommendations and allows them to order and upgrade their meals, providing an AI-enhanced, hassle-free experience.
SmartTab is like a personal waiter, managing all touch points from the time a customer enters the restaurant to when they leave. This iPad restaurant ordering platform helps relieve the burden on often overwhelmed staff, makes sure ordering is a smooth, painless, error-free experience and speeds up table turns at the same time.
The smart tablet emenu allows customers to browse the personalised menu, and it recommends dishes based on preferences, suggests food and wine pairings, takes the order, accepts vouchers, displays the bill and accepts payments. It even allows feedback directly from the table. It helps to drive up average cover value through its interactive UI by promoting high-value items, best sellers and specialties.
SmartWeb is a perfect companion to the other two solutions. It puts restaurants in diners’ pockets by allowing the full dining journey from pre-ordering to loyalty on their mobile device. No app download is needed, giving diners a smooth, personalised dining experience. It allows venues to drive impulse purchases and add-on sales to lift average cover/check value.
Find out how an AI-driven cloud ordering platform can help your QSR
If you want to provide a seamless dining experience and keep your customers coming back, join other F&B businesses that are seeing significant benefits from the latest that technology has to offer. Download our case study to find out how.