16 Apr, 2019

What does hospitality look like for a Manager, a Waiter and a Chef in 2040?

This article by Ryan Smallwood-Simpson, one of H&L’s Software Developers, takes a leap into the not-so-distant-future to look at how AI will impact all of us in hospitality. Read on for a trip down the track...

 Anyone who knows H&L’s ethos and purpose understand that we are committed to looking ahead and bringing innovation to Australia’s hospitality industry through the technology solutions we develop. With over 30 years of customer data that we can tap into, we’re well poised to bring further innovation with AI, maybe sooner than later.

Hospitality globally adopts new technology at a moderate pace which suits the industry, after all, we have front of house demands keeping us on our toes! But making sure you are utilising technology at your venue, in the best way you can, will make the inevitable transition to AI easier and less costly.

Artificial Intelligence in front and back of house – a day in the life

Part 1 of this two-part blog describes a day in the life of staff, Part 2 goes into more detail with some of the features that we will be able to use to better meet customer needs and keep stock and cash flow under control. Note that everything below is already technologically possible, so these are not pipedreams, but they do need a little leap of faith.

 “Death and taxes may be constant, but technology is not.” Ryan Smallwood-Simpson, H&L Software Developer.

John the Chef

John arrives at his shift and Workforce Manager (WFM) automatically clocks him in via facial recognition when he walks through the front door. WFM then sends him a push notification that tells him he’s required at Kitchen 2, where he then goes.

Arriving at Kitchen 2, John boots up his personal Order Display Monitor (ODM) tablet. ODM recognises John and loads up a priority list of work for him to do. It’s a pretty standard start to the shift. A large family has just arrived and ordered something of everything, so John, Jason & Perry have to make sure they finish up the 6 dishes at the same time.

Not that he has to worry about that because ODM has it all figured out, he just needs to prepare according to his list. Cut the carrots for the veggie burger, then stir the noodles in the pot for three minutes, grab the chopped onion from Perry to add to his carrots. When he finishes each task, he tells ODM in his usual way “done the carrots”, which it recognises and therefore moves him onto the next task. Sometimes, a high priority order comes through, or Jeff burns the beef (again), so the priority list shuffles around what he has to do next. And on the shift goes.

Sally the Waitress

Like John, Sally arrives at her shift and Workforce Management system clocks her on. Seeing that she’s required on the restaurant floor, she heads over. The POS terminal, Exceed, notices a regular, Sean, coming in. Exceed knows that Sean almost always orders the chicken burger with fries (which he likes extra salty), and that he’d likely respond well to try a newly imported beer with the meal, for which he’d get a discount for taste testing.

After taking Sean’s order, Exceed notifies Sally that it’s noticed another customer, Daniel, who hasn’t been coming in as often lately, has quite a throaty cough which could be soothed with a green tea they stock. So Exceed suggests that Sally politely offers him a free cup. The rest of the shift goes by as usual, with Exceed letting Sally know which tables need refills, who’s allergic to what and which dessert to recommend a customer based on their tastes and what they’ve ordered.

Marion the Manager

Marion finally had enough money saved to take her family on that month-long trip to France she’d always dreamed of. Off she goes with the family, however, after a few days she decides to check up on the restaurant. Logging on to the H&L Portal from France, she can immediately see the restaurant has not burnt down in her absence as there are no critical alerts requiring her attention. There is however a notification that it’s International Ice Cream Day on Friday, so the Portal would like to automatically stock up for it, as last year saw a 312% increase in dessert orders. Marion confirms this request, and the system goes ahead and sends out the orders.

Marion then scrolls down to the order logger, which tells her that chicken dishes are currently trending, steaks are taking 31% more time to cook than last month and that the new floor plan has received very positive attention in the outdoor seating area. However, the seats near the bar should be rearranged to host larger groups. She is content that she doesn’t have to immediately action anything, but she knows what’s happening, so Marion goes back to enjoying wine by the poolside.

Stay tuned for Part 2 coming next week with more on AI and the future of Hospitality.

H&L Australia – Innovation in Supporting Australia’s Hospitality Industry

We may not be quite ready for all the features of AI to be used in our venues, but we can help you head in that direction and be properly prepared for the not-too-distant-future. Call H&L today on 1800 778 340 to discuss how we can make your front of house more efficient and your back of house more integrated.