The Robot Army Every Restaurant Should Enlist
By Keenan Baldwin, Co-Founder of SiteZeus
The experimentally determined angle at which you flick your wrist to achieve the perfect toss of the contents in the pan. That slight brownish color that indicates a delightful crisp. The unmistakable shine of freshly polished silver. What does a robot know about any of these nuances in the art of food service? Probably very little. The magic of the restaurant industry lies in the irreplaceable human aspects of creation and service. So how do robots fit in in an industry so human?
The answer is simple: machine learning sees what you don’t. While you work to establish a warm atmosphere and make delicious food, big-data technologies use real, raw data to analyze patterns and understand which factors really result in profit. The difference between failure and wild success may not be a matter of taste, but simply location.
Location intelligence is a new class of artificial intelligence designed to reduce the risk of some of the biggest and most crucial decisions a restaurant may face. There’s no such thing as a guaranteed success when it comes to opening new locations, no matter how profitable your existing sites may be. But some savvy restaurant owners are going forth in their expansions with a newfound confidence in their chosen locations, all thanks to the robots that are doing their dirty work.
These incredibly intelligent platforms combine GIS location information and real, in-depth demographic data from every potential area with data from your business to bring to light the relationships and variables that have the biggest impact on profit: traffic patterns, income and education levels, competitors, and so much more. Visualize and predict the success of your expansion before you take the plunge. This is where the immeasurable value of artificial intelligence lies within the restaurant industry. This is the technology you probably can’t afford to ignore.
By analyzing systems through a location standpoint, location intelligence presents recommendations that you can literally see on a map. Advice you can see in real time is advice that you and your team can digest with ease and clarity. Not to mention trust: some platforms can predict the profitability of a new site with razor sharp accuracy. Like all artificial intelligence, the more you feed it the smarter it gets. The more you empower the machine, the more meaningful its suggestions will be to you.
No more relying on your gut when it comes to decisions that require a sophisticated understanding of complex systems. The right location intelligence will provide you with a very clear picture of exactly who your customers are and where they are most likely to go next. This will guide you in determining inventory, designing expertly targeted local ads and so much more. Having a deep understanding of your customer will inevitably reduce the danger in every risk you take when it comes time to grow.
Think twice before you invest in a location that might be a huge misstep. While you focus on the tasks that require distinctly human creativity and persistence, let the machines be your support system that guides the more involved decisions. Don’t go into battle unarmed: with location intelligence, it’s simpler than ever to stay informed.
Keenan Baldwin, Co-Founder at SiteZeus, is a Fifth generation Tampa native. A graduate of University of South Florida in 2010 where he earned his Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. Upon graduation Keenan and his brother Hannibal formed B3 Ventures (formerly Baldwin Beach Capital), which serves as a private equity & venture capital fund for the Baldwin Family Office.