Alright folks, today we’re diving into the world of AI and how it’s revolutionizing the restaurant industry. You’ve probably heard about the use of AI in various sectors, but did you know that it’s shaking up everything from menu creation to staffing needs? That’s right, even your favorite local spot or national chain restaurant is hopping on the AI train.
Now, some restaurants are taking it to the next level. We’re talking about Shake Shack and Coca-Cola using AI to design menu options and flavors. It’s a whole new experiment that’s gaining popularity and getting foodies excited about the possibilities.
Let’s hear from some real restaurant owners who are seeing the benefits of AI. Clay Dover, the CEO of Velvet Taco, a Dallas-based taco chain, knows firsthand how AI can speed up the research and development process. They recently featured the “Chat GPTaco” as part of their “weekly taco feature” (or “wtf” as they call it) and it was a huge success.
Dover’s head chef discovered this thing called Chat GPT and plugged in every menu item they had to create the perfect Velvet Taco. The AI recommended what would most appeal to their customer base, and after some tweaking and testing, they had a taco that became their best-seller and highest-rated taco of 2023. I mean, that’s a big deal!
But it’s not just national chains that are hopping on the AI bandwagon. Local restaurants are getting in on the action too. Greg Tierney, the owner of Motor City Pizza, a Detroit-style pizzeria in Texas, used AI to enhance his menu. One of his regular customers had an idea for a new pizza, and they turned to AI to bring it to life. They plugged in standard pizza ingredients and threw in ideas like “Mexican street-corn pizza.” The AI spat out an initial recipe, and after a few adjustments and tweaks, the Winston’s Elote pizza was born. It’s now a permanent item on their menu, and customers can’t get enough of it.
So why are restaurants turning to AI for their menu creativity? Well, according to Dover, it eliminates personal bias and speeds up the process. As chefs and CEOs, they tend to lean towards their own tastes and preferences. But AI provides a neutral way around that, helping them create dishes that truly resonate with their customers. It’s not about replacing chefs, it’s about giving them one of their most valuable tools.
And the possibilities don’t stop there. Velvet Taco plans to feature another AI-generated taco in the future, maybe a vegetarian version or something specific to a region. Motor City Pizza wants to explore fall pizzas and keep up with hot trends by leveraging AI’s capabilities.
The future of AI in the restaurant industry is looking bright. After the major disruption caused by the pandemic, AI is seen as a driver of automation to help with restaurant production. According to a survey, 50% of restaurant owners and operators plan to implement some kind of automation technology within the next few years.
Dover emphasizes the advantages of AI in providing unbiased data to help with decision-making, like where to open the next location or improve site selections. It levels the playing field and takes the emotion and blame out of the process. Meanwhile, Tierney is excited to see just how far the possibilities of AI can go and wants to use the technology to its fullest extent.
So there you have it, folks. AI is changing the game in the restaurant industry, from menu creation to customer satisfaction. Who knows, the next time you’re enjoying your favorite taco or pizza, it might just be thanks to the power of AI.