May 17, 2018 |

Three Tech Advances Popping Up in Restaurants in 2018

By Denise Greer

Real-world business applications of AI, chatbots and augmented reality may blow your mind

The future is here when it comes to advancing technologies that are shaping the way customers interact with companies. Restaurants are at the forefront of launching tech to engage with their Millennial and Generation Z customers. Take a look at three high-tech tools that have made their way into restaurants in 2018:

  • augmented reality, social media, lens, filter

    Augmented reality (AR) lenses on social media like this are being used for more than just fun faces. AR has a real-world application on restaurant menus.

    Artificial Intelligence (AI): AI is no longer something out of science fiction. It’s here with real-world applications. If you haven’t heard Google Assistant make a restaurant reservation, you need to hear the realistic human-sounding AI interact with a hostess, even using ‘em’ and “ah”.  Watch as Google CEO Sundar Pichai demos an AI reservation call.  While Google Assistant Duplex is on the market yet, it’s a good indication of AI’s capable interactions with restaurant staff.

  • Chatbots: Chatbots are specially designed computer programs that simulate conversations with human users. They can be used to serve as a customer service tool on Web sites, apps, text messaging and social media. Odd are good that you’ve already, perhaps unknowingly, interacted with chatbots through Starbucks, Lyft, Spotify and even Pizza Hut and Domino’s. The pizza chain giants enlisted chatbots to aid social media ordering a few years ago. As the technology has advanced, small businesses are now capitalizing on the automatic response that chatbots deliver. Forbes outlines why entrepreneurs are jumping on chatbots.
  • Augmented Reality: The best way to describe augmented reality are the altered images you see on social media, especially Snapchat and Facebook Messenger. It’s a live view of a physical, real person or object that has computer-generated effects in the form of lenses (masks and animated gifs like pizzas flying into a person’s mouth) on those platforms. But the technology isn’t all fun and games. Burger Chain Bareburger recently released a new menu which allows customers to place a virtual dish on the table in front of them using a custom Snapchat lens on their smart phone. They can view the dish from any angle, bringing a whole new meaning to the term eating with your eyes. See how Bareburger’s augmented menu works.

It’s an exciting new frontier to explore for your pizzeria.

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