October 18, 2023

AI on the menu: How AI is transforming the restaurant corporate office

Enterprise-level applications of AI can save you time and money
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From financial analysis to supply chain optimization, there are lots of business operations that can be addressed through the application of AI at a restaurant group’s corporate office level. By harnessing the power of AI, restaurant groups can gain a significant competitive advantage and drive growth.  

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has emerged as a powerful tool that can streamline operations, inform decision-making, and boost productivity across the enterprise. 

Financial management

AI can help automate tasks such as invoice processing, payroll management, and financial reporting. By using AI-powered software, the corporate office can streamline financial processes, reduce errors, and improve overall efficiency. For example, AI can analyze financial data to identify potential cost-saving opportunities (vendor analysis, regional cost evaluations, etc.), optimize pricing strategies, and predict future revenue trends. 

Inventory management and performance measurement  

AI can analyze historical sales data, weather effects on business, and customer preferences to predict demand accurately. By leveraging AI, the corporate office can optimize inventory levels, reduce waste, identify secondary sources and ensure timely replenishment. For example, AI-powered systems can automatically generate purchase orders based on real-time demand forecasts, eliminating the need for manual intervention or data aggregation. It also can make it easier to retrieve sales and other performance data to help flag issues quickly, such as setting a notification when a unit’s sales dip below a prescribed level. With AI, information is immediate, which means problems can be solved quickly. 

Customer relationship management 

AI can help personalize customer experiences by analyzing customer data, such as order history, preferences, and feedback. By leveraging AI-powered recommendation engines, the corporate office can provide tailored suggestions to customers, enhancing their dining experience and fostering loyalty. Additionally, AI can streamline order management processes, ensuring accurate and timely delivery. 

Franchisee management and support  

Just as AI can deliver customer support and insights based on the combination of various data sources, AI can also provide franchisees with that same level of service. Whether it’s providing an “always on” corporate hotline that streamlines issue management or delivering macro insights to inform planning and investment, AI can be a part of the formula for success.  

Other aspects of AI to explore: 

Corporations can employ AI-powered chatbots to handle the majority of customer inquiries, freeing up staff to focus on more complex tasks or escalated issues. AI can also be used for employee scheduling, performance analytics, and to measure the success of marketing campaigns, among others. The possibilities are vast, and exploring these aspects can further optimize operations and drive growth. 

Next up: Getting started with AI implementation including selecting the right AI solutions, overcoming implementation challenges, and other practical ways to leverage AI's potential.  


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