How Can Restaurants Use Chatbots?

Chatbots are little pieces of technology that can respond to written or spoken verbal cues and so can act as assistants or representatives to a host of tasks. No sector of the service industry can benefit more from this kind of artificial intelligence than food service and restaurants in particular are apt to implement Chatbots into their user interfaces. Here are a few food specific ways that restaurants have found to use Chatbots to improve efficiency and user engagement:

Figuring out what people are hungry for

As personal assistants Chatbots have access to user data that they can constantly recall and analyze to customize their responses to queries and tasks and in turn maximize their helpfulness to their users. These types of chatbots can help users answer the age-old question ‘What do I feel like eating?’ or ‘What food am I in the mood for?’ by taking into account the places the user likes to dine, the recipes they’ve searched for, the foods they’ve shopped for, and coming up with personalized restaurant or meal suggestions based on that very specific data.

Finding places to eat

Once a user knows what they want Chatbots are in place to help them decide on where to go to get it. The same type of chatbot that helps users figure out what they want can then search nearby restaurants and come up with a list of suggestions of where they might like to visit. Once the user is there the chatbot can ask for feedback about their experience and learn whether to suggest it again or not.

Taking orders

In messaging apps Chatbots that text – usually as representatives of the restaurant itself – can message back and forth with users interested in ordering food. These bots can explain and describe menu items, gives pricing information and help guide users to items they might like most. They can also very casually take a user’s order, schedule their pick-up time and in some cases even process payment for the order.

As is true in most cases with Chatbots the capabilities of the chatbot are vast and varied. They’re only limited by the imagination of the business that’s developing them. The number of chain restaurants as well as smaller businesses employing this technology to their advantage is large and growing steadily.