Restaurant patronage and operations underwent a significant transformation during the pandemic.

Picture a quick-service restaurant manager currently addressing the demands of the lunch rush, with orders accumulating through the omnichannel experience. The staff, though understaffed, is diligently striving to keep pace.

Operational interruptions, such as systems malfunctions, power outages, and network issues, negatively impact both franchisors and franchisees of quick-service outlets. Additionally, quick-service establishments face constraints imposed by their size, staffing, and operating hours, resulting in an upper limit on the capacity for serving food and beverages, thus capping same-store sales and profits.

As a quick-service store manager, one juggles numerous responsibilities, including business growth, cost management, customer service, staff recruitment, inventory monitoring, and ensuring prompt service. Because of the small profit margins, it’s important to find ways to make more money and work more efficiently.

What if the quick-serves could use digital technology cost-effectively to dramatically improve customer experience, efficiency, revenue, and profitability by using Generative AI?

Specific Ways AI Can Enhance Your Restaurants

A quick-service store manager juggles many responsibilities—growing the business, watching costs, serving customers, hiring staff, monitoring inventory, and keeping the service quick. With slim profit margins, finding ways to boost revenue and efficiency is key. Could AI be the solution they have been seeking? Here are the concrete benefits of an AI strategy:

Customer Experience: Enhancing Customer Satisfaction

Experiencing the personal touch of a business that knows your name and regular order is delightful. It can give customers the same personalized experience by gathering information about past orders, which lets it create profiles for each customer. Customers feel like they are getting something of value when they are offered focused deals for their favorite foods or ideas for new ones based on what they have already bought.

AI chatbots on the web portal elevate the eCommerce customer experience by offering personalized promotions and menu suggestions to individual customers based on their past orders. They provide customer service 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They take orders and answer basic questions.

Sales: Amplifying Revenue

AI contributes to revenue growth through demand forecasting, ensuring adequate ingredients and staff availability for projected busy periods. This optimization makes it possible to serve more customers more quickly during busy shopping times. AI can find food items that make the most money based on how much they cost to make and how popular they are.

Moreover, AI can propose new menu items based on food trends and local customer taste preferences, adding excitement, and increasing sales.

Time and Cost Savings with Predictive Operations

By analysing past sales data and local seasonality, AI forecasts demand surges for significant events in your location. Armed with these predictions, you can adjust staff schedules and order the optimal ingredients, preventing unnecessary expenses on idle staff or wasted food. This predictive approach also reduces wait times, contributing to heightened customer satisfaction.

AI streamlines the aggregation of omnichannel orders—online, line-busting, drive-thru, third-party apps, and in-store—into a unified preparation workflow for seamless execution and monitoring. It also analyses operational data to identify inefficient processes, offering recommendations for optimization in areas such as inventory management, supply chains, and production workflows.

AI ensures your operations remain prepared for health, safety, municipal inspections, and other compliance requirements.

Efficiency: Minimizing Equipment Failures

AI proves instrumental in averting struggles with malfunctioning dishwashers, unpredictable grills, and constantly rebooting computers. Through the surveillance of Internet of Things (IoT) sensor data across the equipment, AI anticipates when maintenance will be required, proactively preventing surprises. This foresight is particularly valuable when critical kitchen equipment risks failure right before the dinner rush.

Operational View: Access a Powerful Analytical Tool

AI’s continuous data analysis confers an unparalleled level of insight upon the user. Whether assessing sales, customer satisfaction, inventory levels, equipment performance, or other metrics, AI provides an up-to-the-minute pulse check on the entire operation. Immediate problem identification allows for swift resolution, eliminating the risk of issues going unnoticed for days or weeks. Slow periods, previously overlooked, become evident, enabling targeted promotions to enhance customer engagement.

Data Engineering: The Lifeblood of AI

Like a car requiring gas, data is essential for the vitality of AI. The better the quality of data, the more effective AI becomes. In the case of quick-service restaurants, data is sourced from various channels:

  • Point of sale and online order systems.
  • Inventory and supply chain management.
  • Customer relationship management.
  • Equipment sensors and IoT devices.
  • Utilities and facilities management.
  • External sources like network operations, weather, and local events.

Getting Started with AI

A suitable next step for franchisors or franchisees is to engage with an AI services company that understands their business and industry, coupled with a robust background in data engineering and AI solutions. quick-service restaurants adopting AI stand poised to enhance revenue and profits without additional space, staff, or extended operating hours.

Tom Dickhaus and Vish Thirumurthy, integral members of the executive leadership at Tev5, bring a rich background in software technology, global business, and expertise across diverse industries, including manufacturing, distribution, and retail. Tom’s extensive product management experience, overseeing over 1200 consumer, enterprise, and telecom products, is complemented by his deep familiarity with quick-service restaurants quick-service. The collaboration of Tom and Vish, originating at Microsoft Corporation, continues at Tev5, fuelled by their shared entrepreneurial passion for leveraging AI to contribute to a better world. Tev5, a design and delivery company, is dedicated to utilizing technology and disruptive innovation to empower businesses transitioning to AI, offering innovative solutions to enhance customer experience, revenue, profitability, and efficiency for our customers.

Outside Insights, Story, Technology