Faced with the market impacts of one of the greatest health issues to date, restaurants of all sizes are at a pivotal moment where every decision—short-term and long-term—counts. In order for their businesses to thrive, restaurant owners had to act quickly by rethinking their operations and implementing pandemic measures.
Why AI made its place on the Carte Du Jour of good restaurants in Singapore
A recent survey showed that 70% of respondents would be more comfortable with delivery if they were able to track their order planning from start to finish. Consumers want to be at the forefront of making their food—they don’t want to cook it, but they want to know it was cooked in a healthy environment and delivered hot and new to their doorstep.
Apart from AI’s role in the back-end helping with time estimation and driver scheduling, the technology is now being used in cameras, for example, which exchange real-time images with customers so that they can be sure that their orders are treated with care. In the midst of the pandemic, this means ensuring that gloves and masks are used during the planning process and that workspaces are fully sanitised.
It is clear that AI is already fundamentally changing how work is done in and out of the kitchen. Fearmongers also say AI’s ability to automate processes and make better decisions in faster time than humans, but restaurants that implement it solely to displace workers may see only short-term productivity gains.
The optimal mix of AI teamwork allows staff to concentrate on tasks where they excel, such as customer service, so that the human element of experience is never lost, but only improved.
AI enhancing delivery management of restaurants in Singapore
Another factor is order prioritization—by default, most kitchens and restaurants prepare FIFO-based (first-in-first-out) meals. For example, by using AI to improve kitchen prioritisation, cooks are notified when ordering, ensuring that drivers are actually available to deliver it to the customer in a timely manner.
Delivery management then helps drivers to make more deliveries every hour just by following the system’s decisions, which boost and refine the dispatch features.
With the pandemic, our understanding of hygiene and cleanliness grew significantly, and there was a need for solutions. AI cameras give customers just that—a real-time, never-before-seen view inside the kitchen to track how their order is being packed, handled, and delivered.
Another factor where AI comes in handy is avoiding dine-in and doing more take-out and drive-in. When the customer orders online and picks up the order in their car, the AI camera can detect the car plate number in addition to the customer location (GPS phone) when entering the drive-through area to provide quicker service to the “runner” from the restaurant.
In addition, the modern idea of “contactless menus” where the entire menu is online with a fast scan of the QR code is another factor that creates awareness during the pandemic. Benefits go beyond eliminating interaction with physical menus; when a restaurant introduces a smart online menu, it can gather data and give customised suggestions based on customers’ favourite food, food/drink combinations, weather-based food recommendations, upsell, cross-sell custom, etc.—all driven by AI.
Restaurants in Singapore can’t resist Aversion to Technology
Technology-related problems, including deployment and long-distance charts, are fading away—most technology providers provide “Plug & Play” products or services, and most of them operate on the SaaS model. This means there’s no effort, they’re easy to use and they’re easily incorporated with the POS.
Technology improves experience, giving customers a reason to keep buying from their favourite locations at a time when the stakes have never been so high and competition has never been so fierce. The pandemic is far from over, but the improvements we’re witnessing will be here for a lifetime. That’s why it’s so important to leverage technology and AI now to see long-term changes in customer satisfaction and restaurant performance.