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5 Ways AI Benefits Your Restaurant Business


AI is a massive boost to the restaurant industry. Already more than 3.5 million restaurants worldwide use AI to streamline their processes, boost decision-making, improve customer experiences, train staff, and maintain safety and quality standards.

AI-generated content is getting most of the attention (for good and bad reasons) — but don’t let that fool you into thinking AI can’t benefit your restaurant business. Because it 100% can.

In this article, you'll learn how AI can benefit your restaurant and how some restaurants have successfully implemented AI.

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The benefits of AI in the restaurant industry

The benefits of AI range from streamlined processes to reduced costs and better-trained employees. 5 of the most significant ways restaurants and food services can benefit from AI are…

1. Streamlined processes

The day-to-day running of a restaurant is a huge challenge. You need to keep a lot of plates (pun intended) spinning. Here’s where AI can help out. 


Chatbots can take orders or reservations (and cancellations) on your website or through apps like WhatsApp or Messenger. Your staff don’t need to drop what they’re doing to answer the phone. They can continue prepping food, dealing with customers, or preparing the front of house for the evening rush. Chatbots also take dine-in orders through QR codes, picking up the slack when front-of-house staff are busy (or understaffed). 

Chatbots also keep your customers informed. They share order status updates, reservation reminders, and promotions and offers. They upsell at the point of ordering, recommending, and introducing new dishes and drinks. 

Chatbots work with your front-of-house staff to make sure everything runs smoothly. They’re extra hands on deck that help you get through a tough shift.

Optimized delivery

You can use AI to pre-plan delivery routes. This way, your drivers will take the most efficient route, avoiding the worst traffic. Customers will receive their orders quicker, and you will reduce delivery costs.

AI is fantastic at automating repetitive tasks like ordering and route planning. It gives you and your staff the time to serve your customers.

2. Happy customers

As mentioned, AI can give you and your staff more time to focus on your customers. But that’s not the only way it can boost customer satisfaction.

AI systems collect data — it’s what they’re built on. And they use this data to offer personalized experiences. You can think of it like an old-timey bar or restaurant, where the server knows all the customers and what they want (like in the movies when someone says they want their “usual” and the server somehow knows exactly what they’re talking about).

AI tracks your customers’ orders and preferences and offers them personalized suggestions. For example, it can notify them when a new product they might like is available or when their favorite dish is back on the menu. Later in the article, we’ll have a look at how Starbucks does this. 

It doesn’t matter how great your staff are — if you’re a busy restaurant, it’s impossible to give this level of personalized service. You can’t remember all of your customers and what they like. But AI can.

3. Reduced costs

AI can help you reduce costs through waste reduction in two ways: inventory management and automated staff scheduling and labor forecasting.

Inventory management

AI can predict what products will sell by analyzing sales history, customer trends, seasonality, and special events. These AI-powered predictions stop you from over — or under—stocking supplies and ingredients.

Through connection with IoT (Internet of Things) devices, inventory sensors, and computer vision, AI monitors inventory in real-time. It tells you when stocks are low. And in some cases can even do the reordering for you. 

Shelf-life prediction is another cost-reducing feature of AI that helps minimize food wastage. The algorithms take into account the type of food, where it’s stored, the storage environment (temperature, humidity, etc.), and the condition of equipment like refrigerators to keep you up-to-date on your perishable inventory.

Some restaurants have seen a 20% reduction in costs due to implementing an AI inventory management system.

Automated scheduling and labor forecasting

Just as AI systems can understand your customers and offer them personalized experiences, they also understand your restaurant’s dynamic needs — sudden rushes, peak hours, and busy seasons — by analyzing your sales history and using algorithms to forecast demand.

There’s a lot to juggle when creating schedules: Local labor laws and regulations, demand, and your staff’s personal needs. But AI helps you predict how many people you need to work on any given day. And it does so in a way that complies with regulations, considering staff preferences.

Being understaffed is a great way to miss out on revenue and have unsatisfied customers. And being overstaffed is a waste of resources, hurting your already slim margins. AI helps you win this balancing act.

4. Maintained food safety and hygiene standards

AI systems prevented 20,000+ food safety incidents in 2023 by using computer vision (the processing, analyzing, and understanding of images) to monitor standards.

By analyzing the data from cameras in your restaurant, AI keeps track of table cleaning, telling you how long a table has been waiting for cleaning. It monitors food preparation areas, looking for contamination problems, checking cooking temperatures, and identifying safety hazards (spillages, etc.) to ensure your restaurant is in compliance with food safety and hygiene regulations.

In a busy restaurant, it’s easy to miss things. With AI assistance, you get real-time support, ensuring you don't fall foul of food safety regulations.

5. Competent staff

With an annual turnover rate of 70%+ in the USA, finding and keeping quality staff is a massive challenge for restaurants. So, how do you keep hold of your staff? Well, training is one of the best ways to boost staff retention. It gives a huge boost to morale. It improves efficiency, leading to fewer mistakes. And it results in more happy customers.

But training takes time and resources. Time and resources you probably don’t have. Luckily, AI can help you train your restaurant staff. You can create effective training materials that are relevant to (and engaging for) your staff and business in seconds with AI. You can digitize materials you already have so staff can access them online. You can also get feedback on how to improve your training materials.

When you’re flat out with running your restaurant, pre-made training materials are tempting. But they’re generic. And staff won’t engage with materials that aren’t specific to them, their job, or your business. You don’t need to compromise anymore—use AI to generate relevant training content in seconds that satisfies your, and your staff’s, needs.

4 restaurants that are optimizing their processes with AI

Yum Brands

Yum Brands which runs fast-food chains Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, KFC, and HabitBurger Grill, uses AI in thousands of its stores to take orders in its drive-throughs, with computer vision tech counting cars and analyzing wait times. They’re approaching their fast-food restaurants with an “AI-first mentality” and have seen a huge growth in their digital orders in the last few years.


Starbucks uses its Deep Brew AI to offer a personalized customer experience. It analyzes customer data — sales history and preferences — and offers relevant products to customers. For example, Deep Brew can offer products based on a customer’s dietary needs. Starbucks has integrated AI with its loyalty program to offer targeted and personalized rewards, boosting engagement. 

The vast amount of data collected by Starbucks' app allows the company to respond to customers' needs and identify revenue opportunities. For example, if Starbucks' AI identifies specific patterns (e.g., fewer sweet drinks ordered in winter), it can respond by creating new products or rejigging the menu.


Chipotle is piloting an AI system that monitors food pans in real time, tracks inventory levels, and tracks traffic patterns (even taking into account factors such as traffic conditions) to forecast demand. It uses this data to minimize food waste: Stores only order, prepare, and cook the necessary amounts of ingredients. By taking this task off the hands of managers and staff, the AI system allows them to focus more on serving customers.

Burger King

Burger King is just one brand that has adopted AI in its staff training process. Burger King uses AI-enabled content production to localize training content across regions, and to convert existing long-form training collateral into visual, bite-sized microlearning lessons on SOPs (and more) to upskill frontline staff.

Restaurant brands using AI-powered LMSs see up to a 70% reduction in training creation, optimization and localization, signifying a significant cost saving. 

Improve the day-to-day of your restaurant business with AI

AI is a powerful assistant in the restaurant industry. It takes repetitive tasks like ordering and delivery route planning off your hands. It keeps customer satisfaction high and costs low. It helps you comply with food safety and hygiene regulations. And gets your staff up to speed, allowing you to deliver consistent, ongoing training by making its creation and upkeep more efficient. 

AI Translation

Discover how eduMe AI can help you transform your training efforts with fast creation from scratch, easy digitization of your existing materials, AI-powered multi-language translation, and training optimization features.  Get in touch with us now.

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