AI’s role in hospitality

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Technological advances: Zonal's Glenn Tait highlights how AI can influence and aid businesses in the hospitality sector
Technological advances: Zonal's Glenn Tait highlights how AI can influence and aid businesses in the hospitality sector

Related tags Multi-site pub operators Technology Newcastle

Artificial intelligence (AI) has the potential to be the next piece of technology to help operators grow their businesses, one expert has revealed.

Delegates at The Morning Advertiser​’s MA Leaders Club conference in Newcastle last week (Thursday 18 May) heard how AI can impact the sector from Zonal product director Glenn Tait.

According to IBM, AI “leverages computers and machines to mimic the problem-solving and decision-making capabilities of the human mind”.

At the conference, Tait outlined while the data in chatbot ChatGPT is only up to 2021, systems like this can be used to aid operators reduce food waste.

Sustainability impact

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He said: “One of the biggest things in our industry that we all know is 40% of all food in the hospitality industry is thrown away and that’s obviously a huge waste.

“We can start to use AI machinery to predict whether or not you’re going to need all that chicken that is perishable, by the end of next week [it’ll] be able to tell you exactly how much you should be able to order.

“Other things are coming in such as photo imaging captures. As the food goes through the pass, it takes a photograph and sees whether or not the portions served are the right size.

“The food coming back through the pass, it will look at the waste and what is left i.e. most people didn’t all that potato therefore, we don’t have to serve that much.”

Looking ahead

Sales predictions is happening already, as Zonal works with a business that can predict its drinks sales a week in advance to £10 within the mark, Tait said.

He added: “It’s interesting because it means they can start to forecast what staff they might need and the stock.”

Furthermore, Tait highlighted how the AI can analyse promotions and their performance within the business.

“The same with promotions. Whenever we start to push promotions on our menus, how do we know there was a success, how can we measure that ROI,” he said.

“Using AI machine learning can access all that data [such as] this promotion fares better when it’s warmer weather. It means in the future, you can start to use that information to suggest promotions based on all the data.”

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