7 Ways Generative AI Can Help F&B Startups & SMEs Attract & Grow Customers Without Breaking the Bank

7 Ways Generative AI Can Help F&B Startups & SMEs Attract & Grow Customers Without Breaking the Bank 

Thought Leadership

From managing inventories and recipe optimization, to dealing with suppliers and ensuring deliveries are accurate and made on time, running an F&B business is a delicate juggling act. For even the most experienced of entrepreneurs, it’s an emotionally and financially taxing undertaking.

Luckily, a recent technological innovation has surfaced that could reshape our economic landscape: generative artificial intelligence (AI). From creating art to coding websites and penning screenplays, this technology has redefined what the average person can accomplish with a single piece of software.  Imagine, then, the potential it could have on your F&B business. 

Here are 7 ways you can start using generative AI to grow your F&B startup or SME:

1. Generating menu descriptions    

You can’t publish a list like this without including large language models (LLMs) and the highly influential ChatGPT, created by US company OpenAI. 

Essentially, large language models are AI algorithms that utilize deep learning techniques and vast amounts of data sets to comprehend, condense, create and anticipate new content. They’ve been used in several scenarios within different industries to surprising success. 

For our case, these programs are ideal for generating menu descriptions for your products. At Grubtech, for example, we’ve developed and integrated an LLM feature into our platform that generates full item descriptions based on the name of the item and its ingredients, saving you time and money. 

2. Conversational chatbots

Chatbots have existed for a while now, but they’ve remained rigid and impractical for customers to truly use. With LLMs, chatbots can serve as customer service personnel, online waiters, sales staff, and more. Furthermore, paired with a user’s previous order history, they can make personalized meal recommendations and pairings. 

3. AI-generated recipes

According to recent research, AI-generated recipes are among the top AI-related products customers would be willing to pay for, topped only by AI-powered online search. 

While many people might still be averse to trying food thought up by an algorithm, this could be an interesting avenue to consider, either as a marketing stunt, or to actually aid your recipe-crafting process. These algorithms are familiar with cuisines from all over the world, so you never know when you could land on a winner flavor pairing.

4. Content creation

Content is at the heart of marketing in the digital age. Be it on social media or on your own website, creating and sharing content will help you put your brand out there, convey brand values, provide information about your business, and set you up as a source of value. 

If you are an Indian restaurant based in the United States, for example, you can use LLMs to generate content that educates users about the basics of Indian cuisine, common dishes, how-to guides, and more, helping you become an authority on Indian cooking within your community (or country if you’re a big franchise), while also helping circulate your brand across social media and improving your SEO rating. 

5. Personalized marketing

We’ve already discussed using generative AI to personalize product recommendations for customers, but we can take this a step further still. Why not use generative AI to analyze the data you have on customers to reach out to them instead of waiting for them to come to you? 

You can send automated personalized recommendations, deals and more to customers based on what you know about them, and be proactive about generating more sales.

6. Predictive analytics

This is perhaps one of the most powerful uses of generative AI: why not use this technology to predict the future? 

Well, not exactly ‘predict the future,’ but if within the business world you are able to predict which product will sell well, or when customer demand will be the highest, not only will your P&L sheet thank you for it, you will also be leagues ahead of the competition. 

7. Inventory optimization

Generative AI works best when it’s analyzing large sets of data, and identifying patterns among them. For that reason, it’s perfect for helping optimize inventory management by predicting demand, identifying potential bottlenecks, suggesting ways to improve efficiency, and reducing costs. 

At Grubtech, we are working on several ways to incorporate generative AI into our restaurant management platform. The potential for this technology is immense, and we are excited to be able to give our customers a cost-effective and streamlined solution that allows them to capitalize on this new innovation.

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