AI Ordering Systems: The Future of Automated Food Ordering

Nick Mirev
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    The advance of artificial intelligence in the past seven decades has made it a popular tool in the arsenal of many businesses. One of the most common uses of AI is in customer service. AI ordering systems are popular in automated AI restaurants and regular fast food places as electronic ordering systems for restaurants. Artificial intelligence is likely to continue improving. That’s why businesses need to be familiar with it and integrate it with their processes. In the following blog article, we’ll dive a little deeper into the topic of AI ordering systems, one of the most frequent uses of AI in the restaurant business.

    What Are AI Ordering Systems?

    AI-powered ordering systems are solutions that use the capabilities of artificial intelligence in order to manage orders placed by customers. They combine data analysis and AI algorithms in order to streamline operations. Additional benefits of these powerful tools include improving customer experience and maximizing profits for businesses in the food and beverage industries. AI ordering systems are among the hottest restaurant industry trends.

    Self-Service Capabilities

    Probably the biggest feature of smart ordering systems is their self-service interface. They combine touchscreens or speech recognition technology so that clients can place their orders without having to interact with the staff.

    Queue Management

    Thanks to AI ordering systems, queues in the establishment can be managed optimally.

    Integration with Restaurant POS Systems

    Undoubtedly, the most important part of a restaurant’s technology is the POS system. That’s why a popular feature of AI ordering systems is their seamless integration with point-of-sale software. This also assists with data analysis and helps restaurant managers plan menu changes, special offers, or seasonal menus.

    Real-Time Updates on Orders

    Restaurant guests or online ordering customers can track the progress of their orders live. This improves the customer experience and can lead to loyal customers and positive reviews online which directly helps the restaurant’s marketing efforts.

    Key takeaway: AI in food ordering is a powerful tool to improve customer service. The multilingual support and cost savings are additional reasons why restaurants switch to self-service ordering systems powered by AI.
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    What Businesses Use AI Ordering Systems

    These smart solutions can be used by a variety of companies in the eCommerce niche. The most common application of AI ordering systems is with chatbots. The hospitality businesses that are keen to integrate them include:

    • Food trucks and fast food places. When it comes to fast food, clients expect speedy service. That is why self-ordering kiosks or tablets are increasingly popular among these businesses;
    • Restaurants. It’s not likely to see an AI ordering system in a fine dining restaurant where personnel and human touch with the staff are of utmost importance. However, casual dining places can rely on these restaurant automation solutions;
    • Cafes. Coffee shops can streamline their operations with the help of self-service kiosks integrated with AI ordering systems.

    Advantages of AI Ordering Systems

    As artificial intelligence is becoming smarter, many businesses in the hospitality field begin to use it not just for their ordering systems, but also for data analysis, menu engineering, and optimization of business processes. Let’s dive a little deeper into the main advantages of AI ordering systems and the reasons why an increasing number of businesses start relying on them.

    Faster Service

    Streamlining the ordering process results in quicker service. That’s especially true in peak hours.

    Improved Customer Experience

    Thanks to smart ordering systems, clients have the opportunity to conveniently browse menus and customize orders without any pressure from staff members.

    Reduced Human Error

    During peak hours, waiters might be overwhelmed. This leads to a higher chance of miscommunication or human error. Integrating automated food ordering systems reduces the chance of such mistakes to a minimum.

    Cost Savings

    AI ordering systems are an upfront investment. However, in time, they pay for themselves by reducing labor costs and order errors. 

    Multilingual Support

    AI ordering systems can be especially helpful for tourist destinations. Restaurants near tourist attractions or in cities that gather tourists from all over the world might find it difficult to hire the right staff members. But automated ordering kiosks or tables can easily be translated.

    Operational and Data Insights

    One of the biggest advantages of AI systems is their ability to analyze data and offer operational insights based on it. This can help a restaurant optimize its menu, improve its processes, and enhance its inventory management.

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    Disadvantages of AI Ordering Systems

    Potential Technical Issues

    When investing in technology, businesses should always keep in mind that technical problems might arise. In order to minimize this risk, a company should count on reliable hardware support and skilled developers.

    Initial Costs

    The upfront investment in AI ordering systems can be challenging for some businesses. That’s especially true for small companies like food trucks.

    Technological Difficulties

    Customers less familiar with user interfaces and technology might find it difficult to use self-ordering systems. It’s recommended that businesses integrate these solutions gradually in order to ensure a smooth adaptation process and lower the potential losses.

    Loss of Human Touch

    A lot of customers value personal interactions and might be less keen to visit a restaurant that uses robot waiters or self-ordering solutions.

    Privacy Concerns

    As data is collected everywhere, legislators are introducing new regulations related to collecting customer data. This means a business that uses an AI ordering system might need to often adapt it to comply with the latest legislation.

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    Frequently Asked Questions about AI Ordering Systems

    As artificial intelligence is something that sounds extremely complicated to many people, you might have a lot of questions regarding automated ordering systems. Hopefully, we’ll be able to answer some of them in the lines below.

    How to Integrate AI in Ordering Systems?

    With the boom in the field of artificial intelligence, there are multiple companies and solutions on the market that offer businesses the chance to integrate AI into their ordering systems. The first thing you need to do is define the business objectives you want to achieve with this process. Make sure you have the data needed to create the AI models. After that, you should integrate it with the existing systems or develop new ones. Testing and continuously improving the AI ordering system is a must. Keep in mind that technologies like self-ordering kiosks or mobile apps can be hard for some clients. Thus, it will be optimal to either integrate these systems gradually or to calculate the risk of losing customers by counting only on self-service AI ordering systems.

    Can Clients Customize Orders on AI Ordering System?

    Yes. In fact, AI ordering systems help clients customize their orders by offering them ingredients most frequently used by other customers. Additionally, automated restaurant systems can recommend dishes based on different dietary restrictions. User experience in online food ordering can also be improved by AI. The system can recommend desserts, starters, main dishes, or beverages based on previous orders by this user. These cross-selling examples help AI restaurants increase the average order value (AOV).

    What Types of Restaurants Use AI Ordering Systems?

    Virtually all restaurants can implement these smart ordering systems. Fast food restaurants can use automated food ordering systems like kiosks or online pre-ordering and takeout options. On the other hand, casual dining establishments can integrate self-ordering tables or tables. Combined with robot waiters, they will increase the efficiency of the service. For fine dining restaurants, the human touch and personal service are a must. Thus, AI can be integrated into online ordering systems or as an analysis tool. AI in the food industry can have many faces. It can be used by wholesalers for their delivery routing software and by food manufacturers for supply chain management and optimization of business processes.

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