We’ve come a long way with technology solutions for almost everything. It might feel like they’re replacing our human workers, but the truth is that they aren’t, and, currently, they can’t. The joy of the hospitality industry is interaction. Nothing can truly replace a good employee.
By now, you’ve probably heard, seen, or read stories about robots in restaurants. These things can prepare and serve food, and they do it pretty efficiently – portions are the same, food prep is quick, and the food comes out the same way every time. But they can sometimes struggle with special or custom orders, and if they break down, getting them running again is not easy. It can be expensive in addition to the time it takes. In addition, most are incapable of transferring food or dishes to and from the table on their own, so they do require input. They also don’t know how to add the irreplaceable human touch that can be readily seen in certain meals, and they don’t know how to smile genuinely at guests. Luckily, your human staff can handle those things, and ensure staff members don’t have to get stuck in the monotony of menial tasks.
You may also be aware of AI technology that can fully replace humans in drive-thrus and phone calls. These systems are so intuitive that you can place an order, tell it to change something minor back at the beginning, and have it accurately fix your order. As long as they are properly integrated with the menu, they are amazing. However, even as conversationally functional as they are, they aren’t human and can’t respond to questions that aren’t within the bounds of their programming. If anyone has a very random or unusual request, the system can be totally stumped.
Phone automation, whether AI or self-serve menus, are amazing and save both time and staff, but again, they have limitations based on their programming. They can’t answer unique questions. In addition, some half-baked AI services can fall short of expectations due to lack of polishing, leaving customers frustrated. Of course, there are always automation services, such as Reachify, which can support and simplify your restaurant phone situation with seamless integration and easy adoption, and make things easier not only for your staff, but for your customers as well.
Most importantly, what these issues all have in common is that technology cannot currently replace human intuition. Human-to-human contact and interaction, the ability to quickly process and address what’s happening around you, and the sheer satisfaction of a human smile can’t be replicated by AI, robots, or software. Until they can – which is a long way out – they aren’t meant to fully replace your human staff, but to help with the tasks that don’t require that human touch. They’re meant to offer a little support during the hours and stress of peak meal times. And, since the majority of restaurants are grossly understaffed right now, adding a little technological muscle to your staff is a great way to relieve their burden while letting them do what they do best. Many of them are lower-priced and easier to set up than you might think, making them feasible solutions for almost any business.
For more information on how Reachify can help complement your current staff, contact us here.