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4 Significant Problems Solved by AI in the Restaurant Business

By Food and Beverages | Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Artificial Intelligence acts as a technological aid by replacing human power and solving issues with its innovative applications to provide satisfying customer service.

FREMONT, CA: According to Hospitality Technology’s 2019 Lodging Technology Study, almost 44 percent of hotel operators consider artificial intelligence (AI) for massive impact in the future after implementation in use cases. Especially, voice-enabled devices, chatbots, and other forms of AI are gaining significance in hospitality. Here are the common problems in the hotel industry, which AI helps in addressing, thereby providing a real return on investment (ROI).

Limitations with Customization

Hotels have begun to employ voice-activated digital assistants that are managed by the cloud to enhance guest experience. It allows them to access hotel amenities and services through multi-lingual voice and high-resolution touchscreen interfaces. An example would be a chatbot named Rose used at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas where the bot fulfills guest requests, answering 82 percent of inquiries by eliminating human intervention. Apart from service requests, the bot recommends and offers ways for guests to book experiences like restaurant reservations, tours, and spa treatments. Additionally, it gives them insider information, thereby driving them to the clubs and bars.

Some hotels and restaurants build chatbots into their own apps, while others embed smart messaging into apps and associated websites with bot-builders and messaging APIs. In the future, brands will utilize chatbots in suggesting a taxi or ride service for a guest who has consumed a significant amount of alcohol. In some instances, wherein there is a potential to upset guests, AI can minimize this. Also, these apps can improve the guests’ loyalty by allowing them to avoid embarrassing situations encountered with the staff. Thus, these chatbots provide an enhanced experience wherein the recommendation engine supports the employees, which makes them feel personally cared for and achieve a high level of customer satisfaction.

Recruitment and Retention Challenges

Hotels are increasingly facing trouble in acquiring appropriate staffing candidates. Interviewing prospective hires by inefficient communication with employees and screening falls under significant recruitment and retention challenges. Some AI recruiting software from vendors address the obstacles mentioned above by using AI to locate candidates through integration with online job platforms and functions like “text-to-apply”. This unique function allows texting to schedule and reschedule interviews, performing post-interview follow-up, executing “new hire” check-ins. It will eliminate a candidate who does not meet critical job requirements in the pre-screening process utilizing natural language processing capabilities. Also, it tracks individuals who were not hired for a position or did not accept an offer identifying them as viable candidates for other open positions.

Operational Inefficiencies

By integrating virtual assistants and chatbots with property management system (PMS) or other back-office systems, hotel managers can save time. A perfect example would be “Hotel Internet Services”, where the service saved 901 hours, which is equivalent to 112 workdays, by equipping the guest rooms with virtual assistants to handle guest requests and questions. AI and voice-enabled systems have positive results on operating efficiencies by predicting staff under and overflows. These systems can identify staffs who perform better by up-selling so that they can be given priority for high-volume shifts.

Ineffective Guest Engagement

Hotels should appreciate attempts to engage customers. Hotel operators can create special offers using intelligent property management systems and solutions. These systems harness deep learning algorithms to identify trends from personal preferences, past trips, favorite amenities, and payment methods. Also, the systems determine individual favors based on their previous experiences and derive insights from likes and dislikes. Soon, hoteliers and restaurateurs will apply deep learning algorithms to help hoteliers develop timely offers. They obtain this information from third-party data sources, including 5G devices and the Internet of Things. Also, details on consumer patterns and behaviors that are currently impossible to identify can be derived from images, video, and speech with the help of AI.

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