Mastering Hospitality with AI

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Adam Theobald By Adam Theobald

Even in hospitality where a warm personal touch is a hot commodity, that chatbot has sparked a lot of talk about AI.
But while Chat GPT is a brilliant tool that can generate fun menus, it’s a distraction from the true impacts of the rapidly building AI tidal wave. 
Venue owners have three choices: Put their head in the sand and ignore it, but be ultimately drowned. Another is to pretend their riding the wave by playing with Chat GPT.
The smart ones are starting to get their teams and systems in order. 
That’s because AI’s real value lies beneath the digital tools that many venues and their suppliers already use, such as making orders, taking payments, and tracking down the best produce. 

Pivotal time

In most venues, these digital tools have replaced pens and paper. But in the rush to digitize some businesses are now suffocating from SaaS and the monthly fees for the range of apps they’ve downloaded.
We’re now at a pivotal moment when venues must choose tools that will provide streamlined support in the long term. 
Those tools will be sourced from quality partners who offer data for good, not from opportunism, and will provide dynamic pricing, forecasting, and inventory management. 
Venue owners and wholesale suppliers with this information will be empowered to be 10 times better and more scalable. 
Those who can’t access it will be pounded by that coming wave and then struggle to come up for air.

Guesswork to get the chop

Quality digital solutions find the best suppliers for an individual business’s needs at the right time and simplify procurement. They ‘say’ things like, ‘Are you really sure you want to order that quantity? Did you know if you ordered these, you could get a better return on investment?’. 
It’s like having a scalpel to snip costs in precisely the right places to drive up revenue rather than the old blunt knife ‘chop 10 percent across the board’ method.
And, if a business’s financial heart beats strong, it can channel resources into the things that truly matter to customers – great menus and produce at the best available cost – plus those baristas who remember regulars’ names, in a tight and transient labor market. The equivalent is true on the supply side too.
End consumers get venues they love that stay afloat and that are contributing to a more eco-friendly future by minimizing their waste. 

Top three tips to prepare for digitization’s third wave

  1. Make sure your existing teams – and any new hires – are at ease with the right tech. 
  2. Shift your ordering and invoicing into the digital realm so everything funnels seamlessly into one unified accounting system. This is the ticket to unlocking the valuable insights that AI brings to the table.
  3. When you pick a tech provider, ensure they have a track record of not just keeping up but leveling up their solutions over the next decade – or more.

About the author: Adam Theobald is the founder and CEO of Ordermentum. This is an opinion column. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of this publication.

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