Artificial Intelligence in Restaurants: Should We Be Terrified or Excited?

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When Artifical Intelligence (AI) is brought up, it's hard to shake the rising fear of robots outsmarting humans and making us the subservient species. We can thank Hollywood for the assumption that AI will bring violent, uncontrollable robots and a lack of control as these new machines begin to think autonomously and more efficiently than us.


Hokkaido-Ya Restaurant launches AI-powered ordering kiosks

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Hokkaido-Ya Restaurant in Singapore has deployed AI-powered kiosks from TabSquare. SmartKiosks use AI to identify customers and analyze guests' dining patterns and preferences. This aims to help the restaurant gain better understanding of guest behavior so more personalized meal recommendations can be given. The AI uses consumer data and deep learning algorithms in a bid to enrich the dining experience and help restaurants increase profitability. Guests interacting with the kiosks can now get personalized menu recommendations and promotions by simply entering their phone number or through a smart facial recognition option.


Artificial Intelligence, Real Impact

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"Nothing will affect the future of humanity more than digital super-intelligence." Machines that can "think" like humans and simulate intelligent behaviors...it's the stuff of science fiction, but also of your most recent hotel stay or restaurant experience. Chatbots, robotics, voice-enabled devices and other artificial intelligence (AI) -driven technologies are rapidly being leveraged by hotels and restaurants of all sizes to enhance the guest experience. In doing so, they are part of a broader trend. Hospitality Technology's own research indicates as much.


Welcome to the drive-thru, AI will take your order

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Daniel McCann, founder of 5Thru, became frustrated with waiting in growing drive-thru lines -- sometimes 15 cars deep -- to buy his morning coffee. As a payments expert, he knew that payments at the window take 23 to 25 seconds to process in addition to cook times, which adds up quickly if there is a line. Instead of waiting, he would often have to forgo the drive-thru and head to the office without his caffeine fix. He thought there had to be a better way. "Drive-thrus are one of those things that are still being done today as they were 50 years ago," McCann told Restaurant Dive.


This fast food drive-thru is now using AI to take orders

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We already had a robot that could make fast food burgers. And now we have an artificial intelligence that can take your order for one. Earlier this month, Colorado-based startup Valyant AI announced the launch of a voice-based AI customer service platform, which is now taking customer orders at the drive-thru at Denver's Good Times Burgers and Frozen Custard. "We're excited to deliver a customer service experience unlike anything you've ever experienced before," Valyant AI CEO Rob Carpenter said in a press release. Unlike multipurpose assistants such as Alexa or Siri, Valyant's fast food AI has just one ability: greet drive-thru customers, take their order, and send them down the line.