What impact has Artificial Intelligence had on the restaurant industry during the pandemic?

This article was translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors may exist due to this process.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

The digital transformation process has advanced by leaps and bounds during the pandemic. In this journey, companies have had to reinvent themselves and adapt to the new conditions of the game. The implementation of technological tools, such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), have changed the paradigm in different industries and have allowed them to optimize and make their processes more efficient.


Technological solutions are being used more and more in the restaurant sector. For example, as of COVID-19 , the consultation of menus via QR code was incorporated, a functionality that allows users to consult the food and beverage menu without the need to have contact with a physical menu.

This measure helped streamline the ordering process and reduced the risk of contagion. However, this is just one example of the changes that restaurants have had to make amid the health emergency. Whether due to a specific situation such as the pandemic or the change in customer consumption patterns, companies will have to incorporate new technologies to keep their business afloat.

“The implementation of new technologies in a company is a necessity and at the same time an area of opportunity. In the specific case of the restaurant industry, it can be useful in simplifying several of its processes: from making purchases, order management, inventory management and even self-service ”, says Gustavo Parés, director of the company Mexican specialized in Artificial Intelligence, NDS Cognitive Labs .

Artificial Intelligence and the transformation of restaurants

68% of companies in Mexico use automation software and 19% seek to implement this technology in the coming months, revealed the AI Adoption Index 2021 study, prepared by Morning Consult and commissioned by IBM. During the pandemic, it is explained in the document, that 38% of businesses increased their automation.

The restaurant sector, in this context, can make use of Artificial Intelligence to optimize its processes. Through predictive analytics and Machine Learning , these establishments can streamline their purchasing and inventory process, reduce costs, and waste less food.

Based on this information, such as the demand for certain dishes and the number of consumers they serve on average, restaurants can adjust their purchases to make this process more efficient and avoid unnecessary expenses or food waste.

Artificial Intelligence can also help automate and streamline scheduling for workers. In this case, some variables are taken into account, such as the hours and days with the highest number of users. In this way, the shifts of the restaurant employees are scheduled according to the needs of the establishment.

Chatbots and Machine Learning in restaurants

Some restaurants have implemented some tools so that customers can place their order through virtual assistants, either chatbots or voicebots . Through different channels, users can place their order and even pay with the help of these assistants.

Through these tools, businesses make communication with customers more efficient and at the same time, they can learn more about them in order to provide better service and experience in future occasions with the help of the data analysis generated by the tool.

In the case of home delivery logistics, this technology also has useful applications for restaurants. Through Machine Learning , better routes can be designed to deliver food to customers. In this way, it is possible to ensure that the order is delivered quickly, the food arrives in good condition and costs and times are reduced.

Some fast food restaurants are experimenting with the possibility for users to order their food through self-service kiosks powered by Artificial Intelligence, although this concept has not yet become widespread.

These are just some of the applications that Artificial Intelligence has had in the restaurant sector in recent years. However, it will be increasingly common for this technology to be implemented in these types of establishments.


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