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How IoT, AI, and Leveraging Data Will Transform Off-Prem

Orietta Verdugo, General Manager of Hospitality and Restaurants for the Internet of Things Group, Intel Corporation

The right POS is essential to restaurant operation. What criteria do you recommend for restaurants evaluating POS options?
In the market there are several form factors of restaurant POS systems including desktop POS, All-in-one POS and self-ordering kiosks. It is essential that the POS solution helps improve customer experiences such as seamless and accurate ordering, promotional recommendations and offer loyalty opportunities to customers.

As the demand for off-premise ordering increases, through mobile purchasing and third-party delivery services, it’s imperative that the restaurant POS can sync with the order management application and the kitchen display system. Intel core processors deliver performance and reliability needed to power the variety of POS systems. When combined with Intel vPro Platform, processors offer increased hardware security features and enable remote management capabilities.
How can technology help restaurants seeking to optimize drive-thru, curbside pickup, and delivery?
Technology can increase the speed and efficiency of a QSR drive thru by using a digital sign with audio AI to take orders and offer menu suggestions. The digital sign can communicate the order directly to the POS and the kitchen management system, thus providing the drive-thru operator assistance without needing incremental staffing for peak periods.

Tracking the order for a customer or a driver is essential to ensure the meal is picked up or delivered on time. Its important that the meals arrive warm and drinks remain cold. With the use of computer vision restaurants can count vehicles in the drive thru lane, match orders to ensure the right order is delivered to the right customer in the drive thru lane or on curbside.
What benefit does the Internet of Things (IoT) offer to restaurants? How would you define IoT in layman’s terms?
The past 10 years technology has enabled devices to become connected and intelligent. The drivers were the cost of compute has reduced by 60x, the cost of bandwidth by 40x and the cost of sensors reduced by 50%. These devices or “things” are now becoming autonomous through computer vision and artificial intelligence. These include simple benefits like IoT sensors controlling dining area control for lighting and temperature to addressing more immediate concerns with computer vision technology to help monitoring safety compliance requirements. Intel has a focus in the Internet of Things for Restaurants that includes processing, movement and storage of actionable data at the edge that enables operators to make the right business decisions. More information here:
What role can interactive kiosks play in restaurant efficiency and ROI?
Self-ordering kiosks makes it easy for customers to quickly place an order, customize food choices and pay for orders. The kiosk is able to prompt the customer to increase the order size or add a dessert boosting the ticket amount. One study showed that through interactive self-ordering kiosks the total order value is increased by 20 to 30 percent.

Interactive kiosks increase order accuracy and provide flexible menus. Restauranteurs can quickly add a promotion if they need to reduce inventory or take off menu items when inventory is not available.

Additional benefits include contactless transactions, temperature scanning, and serve as a digital sign for advertisement and information.
How will artificial intelligence (AI) transform restaurant operations and guest experience?
Restaurants are in need of technology solutions that can deliver intelligent operations to ensure food safety compliance and reduce inventory costs. With AI, restaurant operators can monitor kitchen sanitary compliance by detecting improper food practices, cross contamination and detect kitchen temperature and humidity abnormalities.

AI enhances the guest experience through computer vision and audio solutions. It can be used to prompt past orders to loyal and regular customers on the digital signage while in the drive thru. Customers can use voice to make orders through an interactive kiosk for a contactless experience.

The Intel® Distribution of OpenVINO™ toolkit makes it easier to incorporate and optimize these AI capabilities.
How can restaurants leverage data (both real-time and static) to boost loyalty, efficiency, and revenue?
Static customer data can be used to understand the customers habits, such as food preferences, order frequency and if they favor dine-in, delivery or drive-thru/curbside pickup. Restaurants can boost loyalty by providing the customer with targeted promotions, order tracking, and offering innovative services such as the recipe to a favorite sauce.

Real-time data can provide insights on when the peak ordering periods occur to optimize staffing for dine in, delivery and drive-thru. It can be used to forecast inventory requirements and update the menu real time to decrease food costs. All of this while protecting the privacy of the customer and their data.