Artificial intelligence - also relevant for restaurateurs

04 July 2024

New digital applications with artificial intelligence help to optimise offerings and processes

Artificial intelligence - also relevant for restaurateurs

Artificial intelligence has revolutionised the possibilities of digitally advancing one's own business: AI-based applications simplify many processes and often deliver impressive results in a short space of time. Where previously an IT specialist was required, users now often use programmes intuitively and benefit from creative input, quickly generated overviews, summaries and much more. Another opportunity for service-orientated areas of application: Services in particular can be personalised more easily and customer relationships can be better maintained. This also applies to restaurateurs, from administration to the restaurant.

Dr Volker Gläser, CEO of DISH: "This is a pivotal moment for the hospitality industry. The integration of technology opens up endless opportunities for innovation and customer loyalty." AI can provide low-threshold assistance with all aspects of day-to-day business, for example with reservation management, handling food orders, utilising customer data or managing stock levels. For example, AI can recognise whether the delivered items need to be stored in the freezer or recommend the correct storage temperature.

One particularly profitable area of application is menu optimisation, where the individual menu is analysed: Are the dishes correctly priced, which are the top sellers on the menu, which tend to sell poorly? How can a different arrangement of dishes or drinks within the menu improve sales? DISH, a METRO subsidiary that supports restaurants with digitalisation, offers this service alongside other digital tools. Data from the restaurant is analysed with the help of AI. The results provide insightful, data-based findings on how the business can operate better. The service is already being successfully implemented: In 2022/23 alone, almost 1,100 such "menu engineerings" were carried out with a subsequent consultation, which subsequently generated up to 20,000 euros more turnover for the restaurant each year, based on an average number of 20,000 guests and an increase of 1-2 euros contribution margin per main course.

However, AI can also help with personnel management, especially with shift planning, onboarding new employees and internal training and, in times of social media and search engine use by guests, can also be used for personalised marketing activities and offers. The focus here is on the individuality of the offer, while guests' expectations - characterised by other areas - will continue to rise. Many restaurateurs have already recognised this and are breaking new digital ground. Dr Volker Gläser sums up: "The enthusiasm and creativity that we are already seeing in gastronomy today is truly inspiring. We are at the forefront of a digital transformation that will shape the future of our industry."