The rise of artificial intelligence has been swift. Once thought of as a pipe dream, 2021 has marked some of the biggest advances in its implementation yet. 

While AI is already helping to fly airplanes and drive the stock market, it’s likely to be taking your next food order soon as well. 

men ordering at fastfood restaurant with AI

How AI Can Work in Restaurants

According to Restaurant Dive, AI has the potential to revolutionize the restaurant industry with innovations like:

    • Spotting signs of foodborne illness
    • Personalization based on unique customer preferences
    • Increasing throughput and upselling customers
    • Eliminating mundane tasks to cut down on employee wage costs

Here’s how AI implementation is fueling the Restaurant sector:

Examples of Some Major AI Investments in Restaurants

As with most technological upgrades, it takes buy-in from industry leaders before an innovation takes off. For artificial intelligence in restaurants, that moment has officially arrived. Below are just a few of the food giants who have invested heavily in AI this year:

young woman at mcdonalds with many AI services

McDonald’s Dynamic Yield & Apprente

McDonald’s has already invested $300 million to acquire companies Dynamic Yield and Apprente to bring personalized experience and an enhanced voice technology interface to their drive-thrus. The real meat of this investment is for the adoption of multi-language order taking, combined with automation of their fryers – Which creates more accurate order fulfillment at the drive-thru window. According to TechCrunch, this may even make its way into store kiosks as well. 

Sonic Adds AI to the Drive-Thru

Sonic is also doubling down on artificial intelligence and the user experience by partnering with Mastercard and Zivelo to seamlessly integrate customer orders with their drive-thrus. A signal via their phone app is registered by the drive-thru monitor, and repeat customers are automatically prompted to have their usual orders filled and paid for. Additionally, the technology is able to look at weather forecasts and recommend, say, a Sonic slush for patrons to purchase on a hot day. 

Considering AI in Your Restaurant in 2022

All of this begs the question, what are the cons of implementing AI in your restaurants? Well, it’s still too early to know if this technology will be universally adopted in the coming years. Restaurant dive asserts that a third of the time, implementation is a direct result of the C-Suite pushing it forward, which could cause friction with franchise owners who are more adept at food service than they are at deploying technology. This helps explain why a quarter of companies who have already attempted implementation report a 50% failure rate for their AI projects. In other words, the technology shows promise, but it also comes with a lot of risks. Those risks may not hurt major brands but could be too much to handle for a local label.

burgers at fast food restaurant with milkshakes

Partner with Worldlink to Deploy Your New Restaurant Tech

At Worldlink, we’re here to help. Our team is well-versed in the deployment of AI-based technologies and can help make your location’s aspirations a reality. We’ll help you find the best possible tech innovations to improve your business.

Partner with our knowledgeable team today.