Revel Blog

The Pros and Cons of AI in Restaurants

Andrew Maff | February 14, 2023 |

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The Pros and Cons of AI in Restaurants

Artificial intelligence (AI) is making inroads into every field of business, and the restaurant industry is no exception. Chatbots and other forms of machine learning-based technology are now used by almost 70% of companies to reduce costs.

When it comes to adopting AI technology in restaurants, there are both advantages and drawbacks that should be taken into account. Therefore, one must weigh the options carefully before making a final decision.

In this blog post, we will explore the benefits of artificial intelligence features as well as discuss some of the drawbacks of using an AI program in restaurants.

By the end of this post, you'll be able to make an informed decision about whether or not AI is right for your restaurant!

The Pros of Using AI in Your Restaurant

Increased Efficiency and Reduced Labor Costs

For starters, artificial intelligence technology can bring your restaurant to the next level of efficiency and productivity. AI systems can automate many business processes that are critical to your restaurant, such as ordering, inventory management, and customer service.

By automating the kind of business process management that previously required manual labor, the introduction of AI into the restaurant ecosystem allows establishments to reduce operational costs (including training, wages, benefits, and safety liability issues).

In short, intelligent automation eliminates much of the need for costly human labor, especially when it comes to repetitive tasks.

Improved Customer Service and Satisfaction

AI systems can help improve the experience of your guests in a variety of ways. For instance, AI-powered chatbots and voice assistants can provide customers with personalized service and quick answers to their questions.

In addition, AI algorithms can be used to predict customer preferences and then customize menu items to match those preferences. This level of customization can lead to higher customer satisfaction.

Enhanced Data Collection and Analysis Capabilities

AI-powered systems are invaluable when it comes to forecasting future trends and predicting customer behavior. AI algorithms can analyze historical data, such as sales numbers, weather patterns, and customer reviews, in order to make accurate predictions about future demand and customer behavior.

This information, which can include both structured and unstructured data, may be used to guide decisions about menu items, pricing, marketing strategies, and more. Plus, this type of data collection and analysis can be used to create custom-made loyalty programs that truly understand your customer base.

This allows your restaurant to tailor its loyalty programs to each individual's tastes and preferences, leading to more engagement and loyalty among customers.

Automated Ordering Processes and Streamlined Inventory Management

AI systems also can be used for predictive analytics, allowing restaurants to accurately forecast demand for their products, plan ahead, and reduce waste. An AI can also be used to automate your restaurant's ordering process, allowing your establishment to quickly and easily place accurate orders with suppliers.

On a related note, AI-powered inventory management systems can streamline the process of tracking incoming shipments and keeping tabs on stock levels.

This type of business automation makes it easier to track shipments and stock levels so that your business has the right ingredients when it needs them.

Reduction in Food Waste

As you likely know, wasted food is a massive problem in the restaurant industry. In fact, a 2014 study found that almost 85% of unused food ends up getting disposed of instead of recycled or donated each year! Furthermore, a 2012 study discovered that food waste in America totals over $165 billion annually!

AI-powered systems can help mitigate this problem by using predictive analytics to accurately forecast demand for certain items and adjust production accordingly.

Specifically, AI hyper-automation can be used to make sure that orders are placed and fulfilled quickly, while AI forecasting algorithms help predict how much food is needed by customers.

This means your restaurant will better know how much to order and prepare. This reduces the amount of food that goes to waste, saving your business money in the long run.

The Cons of Using AI in Your Restaurant

Costly Technology, Implementation, and Ongoing Updates

One of the biggest drawbacks for a restaurant looking to make the leap into robotic process automation is the high cost of entry. As a new and still-developing technology, professional AI set-ups are still pricey and can also be difficult and complex to set up.

It can also be hard to understand how AI technology works. Not to mention, AI technology is always changing at a rapid pace, meaning your business will need to keep up with the latest updates in order for your AI to work correctly.

Privacy/Data Security Concerns

Apart from cost concerns, the use of AI in a restaurant setting can introduce a new type of risk. All of the wonderful data about customers that you can use to create better loyalty programs and produce a more accurate inventory presents a liability if that data is ever stolen by hackers.

To responsibly run an AI in your restaurant, you will also need to take necessary cybersecurity precautions. These may include:

  • Implementing strong passwords and two-factor authentication
  • Ensuring proper physical security of data storage facilities (e.g. servers)
  • Regularly assessing potential cyber threats & vulnerabilities
  • Installing firewalls and other network security measures
  • Establishing secure remote access protocols for employees & customers
  • Training personnel in cybersecurity best practices
  • Monitoring networks and systems 24/7 to detect suspicious activity
  • Creating a formal incident response plan in case of an attack

Risk of Job Displacement

Using AI in a restaurant business could also mean fewer jobs. One of the benefits for a restaurant owner is the fact that digital process automation can be used to replace people in ordering processes. However, what this means for employees is that AI technology may end up putting many of them out of a job, especially if their work revolves around completing a repetitive task.

While AI technology is highly unlikely to ever make human staff members entirely obsolete, some team members may still become disgruntled when you first implement an AI system. Be aware of this potential drawback and its effect on team morale before you start an AI-based digital transformation in your restaurant!

Difficulty in Managing AI Systems

Restaurant owners and employees may have a hard time managing an AI system, especially when first configuring the technology. AI can be challenging to understand, as it is based on complex algorithms and predictive analytics.

Therefore, if you decide to use AI in your restaurant business, make sure that everyone who will be managing the system is properly trained on how it works. They must know exactly how to use the AI and what its limits are, so that team members don't expect more than the technology is able to provide.

In addition, while AI systems can be very helpful for your establishment restaurants, they are not infallible. An AI can still make mistakes, whether from user input error, a coding problem in the algorithm, or some other factor.

If this happens, it can cause problems like ordering too much food or not enough food or even setting the wrong prices for items on the menu. Just like a mistake made by a human employee, this sort of error can lead to customer dissatisfaction or lost sales for your business.

Limited Customization Options

If you decide to implement AI in your restaurant, you may be limiting the number of customization options available to your guests.

For example, when AI automation technologies process order items from suppliers, they may do so within preset parameters and predetermined settings that cannot be changed for every order.

Similarly, AI forecasting tools are designed to predict customer demand but may not be able to account for unique customer preferences. This also applies to customer preferences that change depending on the season.

Depending on the limitations of the AI your restaurant is using, these variables may limit the variety and customization options available to customers.


The use of AI in restaurants can help reduce food waste, track shipments, and stock levels, and improve business forecasting.

However, the technology is expensive to implement, and there are privacy concerns about the security of data collected from guests, in addition to other drawbacks.

Because using AI in a restaurant has its fair share of pros and cons, you should weigh these factors carefully before making any decisions about introducing an AI into your restaurant.

By taking the time to think through the ups and downs of this exciting new technology, you can ensure that your customers have an enjoyable experience while maintaining profitability for your restaurant.

If you’re a restaurant looking for a comprehensive and easy-to-use POS system and other forms of tech innovation, look no further than Revel Systems.

Our product experts are eager to show you how our technology can take your business to the next level, enabling increased sales and providing personalized customer experiences that were previously unimaginable!