April 20, 2022, 1:00pm PDT
Running a profitable restaurant has never been more challenging, as managing operations and keeping ahead of competitors has turned into a puzzle that many can't solve. And to make matters worse, the industry is facing a labor shortage never seen before, with drastic supply chain shortages that only compound the crisis.
To help mitigate this situation, restaurants can benefit from using automation technologies to alleviate the labor shortage crisis, allowing them to do more with less while enhancing the guest experience. Historically, restaurants have been slow to adopt new technology. Automation will enable restaurants to keep up with their competitors and help ease current and upcoming industry challenges. One critical type of automation that should be part of a restaurant's strategy is voice AI.
Voice or conversational artificial intelligence (AI) is a type of machine learning technology that understands natural language and can talk to users by imitating human interactions. In other words, it can hold a conversation and answer follow-up questions, which is a critical differentiator of conversational AI from traditional chatbots.
Not too long ago, people were hesitant about voice AI as it entered the market. Nowadays, with the advent of Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant, it’s been completely adopted into most of our daily lives. Voice AI has significantly improved, which is escalating adoption in industries such as healthcare, banking, and the restaurant industry. In the particular case of voice AI, implementing this technology for restaurants is a much easier problem to solve than for in-home voice assistants. Restaurants’ use cases are much narrower than those found at home, as they don’t need to answer every question under the sun. Because of this, the implementation results in extremely realistic and accurate conversations, providing a superior guest experience.
Voice technology is available for many restaurant applications, optimizing tasks and improving the customer experience. AI voice assistants greet guests and take their orders in the drive-thru. The friendly, human-like assistant never lets guests wait and always offers additional menu items of interest. Orders are accurately taken and confirmed with the guest, allowing staff to focus on more important tasks.
Voice technology prevents staff from answering too many calls or guests from dealing with busy phone lines. AI voice assistants automate phone orders, manage reservations, and answer most customer questions. It’s a refreshing experience for guests to receive automated real-time updates on wait times. This reduces crowding at the restaurant and eliminates guests leaving due to long waits.
Handheld server assistants also benefit from voice technology, as it’s much easier for the device to capture the guest's order as they say it, so the server doesn't have to enter it by hand. The server can quickly modify orders and confirm what they see on screen with what the guest said to avoid any misunderstandings. And should a server want to inquire about the ingredients of a dish or complete their staff training, they only need to ask their handheld device, and the voice AI provides a quick answer.
Even back-of-house tasks such as real-time inventory management become more efficient with voice technology. Simple verbal commands can be used to update food or supply quantities, and immediate answers are provided should one need to know how much of an item is still available.
In the coming years, many restaurants will implement automation technology to get ahead of industry challenges and simply do more with less. Voice AI technology allows restaurants to operate with fewer staff members, optimize operations, and maximize revenue.
Presto offers restaurant operators enterprise-grade next-gen technology with powerful AI algorithms that meet security standards and scale with restaurants. Voice AI technology benefits restaurants by improving order accuracy, labor productivity, operating costs, and service speed. Once implemented, restaurants can get ahead of industry challenges and meet customer demands with superior service.
Presto Voice is a technology that integrates with our vision and touch technologies, providing restaurants with powerful solutions and rich in-store analytics. Please contact us here, and we will happily explain how to get started with your pilot program.
Presto overlays next-gen digital solutions onto the physical world. Our enterprise-grade touch, vision, and voice technologies help hospitality businesses thrive while delighting guests. With over 100 million guests using Presto each month and 300,000 systems shipped, we are one of the largest technology providers in the industry.
Founded at M.I.T. in 2008, Presto is headquartered in Silicon Valley, Calif. with customers including top 20 hospitality chains such as Applebee’s, Aramark, Chili’s Grill & Bar, Denny’s, and Outback Steakhouse.