[STUDY] Food Service Vision x Food Hotel Tech / How Artificial Intelligence is Going to Revolutionize the Hotel and Restaurant Industry

Consumers and professionals unanimously anticipate a rapid deployment of AI in the industry.

The main applications will concern back-office, communication, marketing, and customer relations.

AI will not lead to staff reductions or price decreases in restaurants and hotels.

Artificial intelligence will significantly change the landscape of the hotel and restaurant industry according to the French: this is the main finding of a study conducted jointly by Food Service Vision and Food Hotel Tech. The intelligence company of the food service sector and the leading trade show of innovations dedicated to professionals in the hotel and restaurant industry have examined the expectations of the French and professionals facing the deployment of artificial intelligence in these two sectors.

Artificial intelligence in restaurants: strong customer expectations

Many French people have heard about artificial intelligence (87 %). One in three French people has already tested AI software, but only 12 % in the context of going out to a restaurant or hotel.

71 % of the French believe that artificial intelligence will be significantly deployed in the next two years, and 27 % of them think that the restaurant sector already uses it. A good estimate, since 28 % of the professionals surveyed report using AI today in their businesses.

For 45 % of the French respondents, the development of the use of AI in restaurants is of interest, a proportion even higher among 18-24 year olds and especially among 25-34 year olds.

Interest is even stronger among professionals: 89 % are interested in the use of AI in the next 2 years.

For the daily management of restaurants, clients identify as a benefit of AI usage, a reduction in food waste and waste, a quicker response to customer reviews, and an improvement in revenues. According to professionals, AI will be especially useful for predicting their activities (attendance, CA…), scheduling, and managing customer reviews.

Improving the customer experience

In which areas does AI usage seem most convincing ? They prioritize five services in which AI could improve the customer experience:

  • A restaurant recommendation adapted to their budget constraints and tastes (67 %) ;
  • An alert to choose the restaurant with the least waiting time (61 %) ; Choosing a restaurant via an intelligent chatbot (58 %) ;
  • Suggestions for accompaniments (vegetables, sauces…) or drinks that go well with the chosen dish (55 %) ;
  • Help in choosing a restaurant based on ratings left by friends on social networks (2 %).

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No to robot waiters and robot cleaners

There are areas in which the use of AI will still need to convince customers and restaurateurs.

A voice-activated and digital robot for serving dishes and drinks in the dining room, and cleaning tables, would detract from the restaurant experience for over a third of the French (39 %) and over half of the professionals (52 %).

The compatibility between “homemade”, “conviviality” and artificial intelligence divides customers and professionals. For 6 out of 10 French people, artificial intelligence would be difficult to reconcile with the practice of “homemade” and the notion of “conviviality” Conversely, professionals believe that these notions are not incompatible (66 % for homemade and 56 % for conviviality).

A remedy for inflation ?

60 % of the French believe that the use of AI will allow professionals to save money. But only some consumers believe that this saving will be passed on by restaurateurs and hoteliers in the prices of menus and rooms (42 % for restaurants and 47 % for hotels).

Professionals are less convinced. From their point of view, the impact of AI usage on the drop in final prices (menus and rooms) would remain very low, with only 17 % of respondents considering it.

Hotels: virtual concierge and personalized service

Even more French people (77 %) anticipate the deployment of artificial intelligence in hotels over the next two years. The French prioritize five services in which AI could improve the customer experience in a hotel:

  • A virtual concierge available 24/7 (68 %) ;
  • Easy online payment (63 %) ;
  • Help in choosing a hotel via a chatbot that takes into account their tastes, preferences, and selection criteria (62 %) ;

Personalized service (61 %) ; Simplified reservation via a voice assistant (59 %).

French people believe that artificial intelligence will allow operators to save money in the hotel industry: 7 out of 10 in this case, even if less than half of them anticipate a reduction in room prices thanks to AI…

Professionals prioritize usage for back-office

If more than 9 out of 10 professionals already use digital solutions extensively, only 28 % of them have deployed artificial intelligence applications. But professionals’ expectations are high: 40 % of them declare themselves “very interested” in integrating AI into their activities. Essentially, back-office functions are the most suitable for this transformation, such as the management of maintenance and reservations or room maintenance in hotels and stock management or waste reduction in restaurants.

But professionals also see the benefit of artificial intelligence in customer relations: creating content for social networks, managing reviews, communications… The main expected benefits of artificial intelligence are first and foremost time savings (for 80 % of those surveyed), ahead of cost savings (41 %) and improved customer satisfaction (39 %). Today, the majority of AI solution users feel well supported on this subject and the reduction in team size, linked to the use of artificial intelligence, is envisaged by very few professionals (18 %).

In total, this study reveals the most evident expectations of customers in the hotel and restaurant industry regarding the deployment of artificial intelligence. With the support of Food Service Vision, Food Hotel Tech aims to play its role as a guide for restaurateurs and hoteliers in mastering the technologies that are transforming their business. A valuable role at a time when the announced revolution of artificial intelligence is taking place.

Methodology:

The consumer survey covered 1,010 French people who frequent restaurants at least once every 3 months and/or have stayed in a hotel in the past 6 months. The survey of professionals was conducted in November 2023, with 103 professionals in the restaurant and hotel sector visiting the Food Hotel Tech trade show.

About Food Hotel Tech:
Created by Karen Serfaty in 2017, Food Hotel Tech is
the trade show for digital and technological innovations and eco-responsible dedicated to
hotel and catering. Six editions of the FHT show in Paris and three editions in Nice
combined with numerous talks and interventions in schools allow the event to promote its content and culture. The FHT Paris 2023 edition had
attracted 7,500 visitors and 200 exhibitors, including 50 startups. The 7th edition will take place in Paris-
Porte de Versailles on April 3rd and 4th, 2024. www.foodhoteltech.com

About Food Service Vision:
Leader in Europe for the economic intelligence of the restaurant sector. Thanks to its 24 expert employees, its mastery of data collection and analysis technologies, and its intimate knowledge of the various segments of the restaurant sector, Food Service Vision produces studies, strategic monitoring, data analysis, and supports its clients in their transformation and strategic decisions. The company is based in Lyon.

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