Skip to main content

Putting AI Technologies on the Static Menu: A Recipe for Success

Here are a few ways AI and related technologies can be used to help your business run more smoothly, better manage costs, and ultimately, grow.
AI machine learning blue
AI and related technologies can be used to help your business run more smoothly, better manage costs, and ultimately, grow.
Advertisement - article continues below

While food services and drinking places added thousands of jobs in March. Even when roles are filled, however, the conundrum remains that the restaurant industry is prone to employee churn. As team members – and their experience and knowledge – come and go, the importance of processes and tools to streamline tasks, promote productivity and drive successful operations are heightened.

To support this effort, many restaurant owners and operators look to technology. In fact, according to the National Restaurant Association, “more than 4 in 10 [are] planning investments in equipment or technology to increase front- and back-of-the-house productivity” this year.

So, it’s no surprise that emerging technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and automation tools are making their way from the specials onto the static menu at many establishments. But you don’t need to invest in an expensive back-of-house robot or have a degree in computer science to tap technology for your restaurant.


Eighty-seven percent of operators say they’ll likely hire additional employees during the next 6–12 months if qualified applicants are availableaccording to the National Restaurant Association's 2023 State of the Restaurant Industry report.  

While the future of AI, including potential risks posed by further innovations, is widely debated on the world stage, there remain numerous applications to make life easier as a restaurant or ghost kitchen owner or manager that are worth exploring.

Here are a few ways AI and related technologies can be used to help your business run more smoothly, better manage costs, and ultimately, grow:

Inventory management

Having a clear picture of what ingredients are in stock or running low can help you make smart decisions about what supplies to re-order, when, and what menu items to eighty-six or promote. Additionally, predicting when certain ingredients will run out or surpass their peak freshness can also help avoid unnecessary food waste, which is a win-win for the earth and your business. Using an inventory management system fueled by AI can help you better understand trends happening across your inventory and even take time-consuming tasks, like manually placing supply orders, off your plate, as some tools enable automatic re-ordering of supplies.

6 Effective Ways to Reduce Food Waste in Your Restaurant

Menu refresh or development

Developing a menu from scratch or revising it as the seasons or food trends change (spicy ranch, anyone?) can be daunting. But AI chatbots like the popular ChatGPT can help to generate ideas and enticing menu descriptions. Just feed the tool a prompt -- or a direction on the assignment noting any parameters, such as maximum description word count and ingredient list-- and see what it cooks up. For example, with a prompt like “Act like a pro marketer with a passion for food and provide a 20-word description of a sandwich featuring a chicken cutlet, spicy ranch, and lettuce,” you may be delivered a tantalizing description such as “Perfectly crispy fried chicken on toasted brioche gets a kick from spicy ranch and is cooled down by leafy lettuce.”

Additionally, as the needs and tastes of your target customer base change, consider using such tools to incorporate new or trending flavors and help evolve or expand your menu. A recent survey found that 27% of consumers base their choice of restaurant for delivery or takeaway on whether the business offers variety in terms of menu.

Marketing support

A well-stocked kitchen and menu full of alluring dishes only get you so far if consumers aren’t aware of your restaurant. If you don’t have the luxury of time or a dedicated team member focused on promoting your business, again, consider exploring ways a chatbot can help. With the proper prompt, these tools can do anything from helping to draft copy for an Instagram post showcasing that new spicy ranch-laden chicken sandwich to proposing a limited-time promotion designed to drive sales during a slower period.

Finding ways to streamline operations by automating tasks that take time and attention away from what you and your team do best is smart business. This could include testing the waters with trending AI-powered technologies, using a single point-of-sale to manage all your orders better, or simply putting dining room lights on a timer. Finding the right balance of technology and human touch for your business so you can focus on making delicious food and providing efficient, consistent, and personalized service to your customers is the best recipe for success.  


About the Author

Zhong Xu is CEO and Co-Founder of Deliverect


This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds