Restaurant chatbots are playing an increasingly valuable role within hospitality, helping businesses to deliver customer service on an around-the-clock basis while saving both time and money. In this article, you can learn more about what these chatbots are, how they work, why they are used, and how they can be beneficial.
- What is a Restaurant Chatbot?
- What Can You Use a Restaurant Chatbot For?
- What Are the Benefits of Restaurant Chatbots?
- Voice Ordering as the Future
- Restaurant Chatbot: Why Hospitality Businesses Need This Technology
- Exploring the Advantages of Restaurant Chatbots
- Restaurant Chatbots: Voice Search for the Tourism & Travel Industry
A chatbot is a name given to a software application or service that replicates human-to-human interactions. This is usually achieved through artificial intelligence and machine learning, which allows the chatbot to interpret communication from a human user and respond in a seemingly intelligent way.
With this in mind, a restaurant chatbot is a service that allows customers to ask questions or make requests without the need for a human staff member to respond. Restaurant chatbots are specifically designed with restaurant customers in mind and so respond appropriately to the most common queries.
Video: Restaurant Chatbot Preview
What Can You Use Restaurant Chatbots For?
Restaurant chatbots can be used to automate a wide range of customer service tasks within the restaurant industry. Some of the most common examples of restaurant chatbot uses are outlined below.
One of the most significant potential uses for restaurant chatbots is to allow customers to reserve a table without having to communicate with a member of staff. This is most commonly achieved by providing an automated chat feature on the restaurant website, but it may also be achieved through social media integration.
The primary benefit of accepting table reservations through chatbots is the ability to process bookings at any time of the day, even if staff are unavailable or preoccupied with other tasks. When chatbots are integrated with high-quality booking engines, it can also actually improve accuracy by eliminating human error.
The main way restaurant chatbots are deployed to allow customers to actually order food is by having them process takeaway orders on restaurant websites and social media channels. This can be advantageous when compared to other approaches because specific requests can be made, and orders can be placed in advance.
Chatbots may also be used in other ways, however. For instance, a restaurant may opt to use chatbots to allow customers to place sit-in restaurant orders in advance, while a growing number of restaurants are also adopting chatbots inside the restaurant itself, allowing orders to be made without the need to wait for service staff.
Another crucial way that those in the hospitality industry can utilise restaurant chatbots is for the purposes of delivering live customer support via a chat function. Again, this can be delivered via the restaurant website or social media channels, and it is also common for chatbots to be deployed on messaging apps as well.
Using a restaurant chatbot for customer support can be ideal for handling some of the more simple queries you may receive, such as questions about the menu or the restaurant itself, special requests, or queries about food allergies. This also frees up customer support staff to spend more of their time on more complicated issues.
What Are the Benefits of Restaurant Chatbots?
For those involved with restaurant management and delivering customer service, the potential benefits associated with the use of restaurant chatbots are numerous and include the following:
Perhaps the single most significant benefit associated with the use of restaurant chatbots is their ability to save businesses both time and money. A chatbot can engage with customers instantly, at any time of the day, which means it can contend with modern demands for swift response times on a 24/7 basis.
On top of this, a high-quality, carefully designed chatbot can deliver quality answers, does not need to be paid, does not need to rest, and is capable of passing on more complex tasks to human staff members, when necessary.
Modern restaurant chatbots are capable of assisting businesses with upselling to guests who are placing orders. This could mean highlighting the option to order a large portion instead of a small or medium-sized portion, or it could mean suggesting side orders that are regularly ordered alongside what has been ordered so far.
Additionally, chatbots can collect contact details for those who interact with them. This can help restaurants and others in the hospitality industry to get in touch with those individuals who have expressed an interest and target them with relevant and tailored promotional content, such as special offers and discounts.
Another crucial way that those in the restaurant industry can benefit from the use of chatbots is for follow-up and reputation management. With follow up, a restaurant chatbot can communicate with customers and ask questions about their experience, their views on the food, what they liked, and what they did not like.
This follow up can also be used as part of a wider reputation management strategy. Restaurant chatbots have the capacity to send communications to customers, asking for them to write reviews, or submit feedback, and this can then help to influence other customers, who seek out reviews before booking a restaurant table.
Restaurant chatbots also have the capacity to learn from previous interactions with customers and this can be extremely valuable for customer service purposes because it allows customised recommendations to be made.
For example, a restaurant chatbot that has previously taken food orders from a customer may be able to intelligently recommend meals that are similar to what has been ordered before. Alternatively, it could suggest meals that have previously been enjoyed by other customers who ordered the same menu items in the past.
Voice Ordering as the Future
Although most restaurant chatbots are text-based, chatbot restaurant technology can also utilise speech recognition and voice-to-text technology, which can deliver exciting opportunities for businesses.
This follows wider trends, which have seen voice technology become more popular thanks to voice assistants like Siri, Alexa and Google Assistant. For customers, voice recognition technology can allow them to carry out tasks like booking a table, or making a food order, even if they are busy with other things.
For this reason, restaurants are increasingly using voice technology and chatbots to allow for automated voice ordering, which can drastically reduce waiting times and free up staff to focus on other tasks. At the same time, it can also provide accessibility benefits for people with disabilities or physical impairments.
Restaurant chatbots form part of a wider trend of increasing chatbot usage within the hospitality industry. Hotels, restaurants and similar businesses are using this technology for a number of reasons, including the 24/7 availability of customer support, the potential for upselling, and efficiency benefits.
Within some businesses, chatbots can also help deliver greater personalisation and reduce the burden on staff. To learn more, read the article “10 Reasons Why Every Hotel Needs a Hotel Chatbot”.
The use of restaurant chatbots and similar technology within the travel industry has a number of advantages, ranging from improved marketing potential and rapid responses to customers, to multilingual functionality, increased direct bookings and a variety of other benefits besides.
To explore the topic of chatbots within the hospitality and the travel industry and find out about the specific benefits, take a look at the “AI Chatbot: What Are the Advantages for the Travel Industry?” article.
Restaurant Chatbots: Voice Search for the Tourism & Travel Industry
The voice control element of restaurant chatbots links to another similar topic: the rise of voice search within the travel and hospitality industries. Businesses that optimise their website content with voice search in mind can benefit from greater visibility while delivering a superior overall experience for users.
However, the uses of voice search and its benefits extend further still. To explore the topic in more detail and find out more, read “Voice Search for the Tourism & Travel Industry: All You Need to Know!”
Restaurant chatbots are an automated service, which allows customers to interact with an artificially intelligent live chat feature at any time of the day. The benefits of this are wide-reaching, including improved efficiency, the ability to upsell, swifter response times, and the capacity to enhance the customer experience.