Artificial intelligence (AI) is the future of foodservice. Restaurants are constantly innovating with technology, both in customer experience and management. The benefits of AI can be seen immediately for food companies by cutting their costs, increasing profits, improving productivity levels, and enhancing customer service. All this enables them to compete against competitors better.
At first glance, artificial intelligence seems like something out of science fiction, but the truth is that it’s already changing our lives for the better. From using AI to cut food waste in grocery stores or giving advice on how you should cook dinner (which may sound like a chore but is pretty cool), there are numerous ways this emerging technology can help improve the food industry.
The food and beverage industry consists of thousands of companies competing for market share. Technology can help them in this quest by making production more accessible, more efficient, and profitable in the long run.
Here are some examples of how AI can help in different aspects of the business cycle:
AI Can Play a Role in Forecasting by Analyzing Data
Before a company starts its operations, it must forecast the costs, revenues, and profitability of entering a market. This can be done by preparing a breakeven analysis that considers the various expenses incurred during the production of goods or services for sale (variable costs), plus an approximation of fixed costs (costs that are irrevocable regardless of how many goods are sold).
The breakeven point is when revenues are higher than costs so that the company can have made a profit.
AI calculates numerous scenarios and presents them in an easy-to-understand manner. It can therefore provide more opportunities for accurate forecasting. It would take 490 years for a person to run the same number of scenarios that an AI system can in just five minutes.
AI Can Calculate Losses
Another way AI can be used in this area is by calculating losses and waste, both at the production level and after a sale. Losses typically occur due to overproduction (producing too much output or producing items that cannot be sold) or spoilage.
AI can make a big difference for buyers by forecasting the commodity’s market price. This information will help them negotiate better deals and get the best possible prices for their products.
What About Fast Food Establishments?
A quick service or fast food restaurant franchise also stands to benefit from AI. AI can accurately forecast labor costs, so managers can plan for the number of employees they need to hire.
AI also helps control food waste and reduce shrinkage (or theft). These two factors represent a significant loss to fast-food restaurants that should be minimized as much as possible; this means that restaurants don’t buy too much food and employees don’t steal from the kitchen.
In terms of staffing, AI can be used to schedule workers for a shift to be hired during periods when they will be most needed. In this way, the restaurant won’t have to pay for an employee who isn’t doing anything but won’t leave customers short-handed when busy.
Using customer feedback and sentiment analysis (which evaluates the tone of a conversation) can also help managers improve their business. When customers are surveyed about what they would like to see at a restaurant or post feedback on social media outlets, this information is captured by AI that helps identify trends in food preferences. Managers can use this information to improve their menus to be happy with their food.
AI has been used in logistics operations to improve production output from manufacturers. The system identifies issues that may result in disruptions or failures (bottlenecks) and then makes predictions to resolve these issues.
It is important to note that AI should be used with lean management skills to improve production output. Lean management is an approach that aims to eliminate waste from all processes, even non-value-added activities, if necessary. It focuses on perfecting value streams to concentrate on processes with a competitive edge.
AI will play a more significant role in food industry operations by giving better decision support to executives making decisions about new products or services. It can learn from historical data and anticipate what may happen concerning these decisions.
Artificial intelligence is a powerful tool that can give food companies a competitive advantage over their rivals to help them attain long-term profitability and market share. It can reduce costs by cutting losses from spoilage and overproduction in the short run. In the longer term, it can assist executives in making better decisions by anticipating what may happen.