Delivering applied AI for the hospitality sector

2 May 2024

Do you work in hospitality and think you are not getting the most out of your data and applied AI? Do you have reports or dashboards but are not really getting the most useful insights or "so what" outcomes? Like everyone you probably hear lots about AI but do not really know where to get started. Read on....

Anyone can built a dashboard, then add another and another. This is not getting the most out of your data. This is simply presenting the past using several lenses and perspectives.

Likewise, anyone can write a quick note or insight using Chat GPT, Claude or any other Large Language Model (LLM) . This is very useful and saves lots of time, but is essentially copying what others have done and presented before. The real value of text understanding in hospitality is in document synthesis which can deliver much more value than auto-generating reports.

AI in hospitality in not about lots of dashboards and using Chat GPT to quickly generate marketing messages.

True applied AI in hospitality is about better informed decision making for the right people at the right time. It is also about helping reduce administrative processes and letting staff focus on service.

The source of all success in applied AI is business transformation, ie allowing an organisation work better using a better mix of staff, tasks, data and technology. When all working well together, processes are easier, quicker and outcomes are higher quality. This means staff are more focused on the important things and customers get better service. This has knock-on effects with better HR, more efficient supply chains and less need for large teams of analysts.

AI models excel at handling complex models that are fast changing. Linking models across domains such as sales forecasting, ordering, inventory, production, staffing and supplier management means that good decisions can be shared across domains to make the whole organisation even more efficient.

Existing hospitality systems are not typically linked across domains and do not typically have AI intelligence layers that determine what the best action to perform at any given time. Applied AI means identifying the areas of a business with most opportunity to improve and then building a prioritised plan to roll out the technology and ways of working to get the most out a "joined up" plan. In technical terms, using a "systems approach" to problem solving and then building the technology in an "agile iterative" way alongside the teams using it will mean that "change management issues" are minimised and the organisation will be on the "best path to value".

So what does this mean...

Here are a few things to consider in the applied AI journey in hospitality:

  1. Co-ordinated product sales forecasting across ordering, staffing and production. This means you serve fresher food, waste less and have the right people working at the right time. Read more about this here.
  2. Staff support systems such as training requirements, staff selection and retention.
  3. Supplier management
  4. Customer understanding, marketing campaigns and loyalty schemes.
  5. Data collection is at the heart of great AI systems. This will be be from databases from existing tools. More advanced systems are able to use raw documents (including emails) and video to capture new sources of valuable data for proactive decision making. Read more about extracting meaning from emails, surveys and documents here. Read more about using cameras for stock takes, production activities and customer activity here.
  6. Decision support framework for new site investment. Predict sales, store characteristics and trading patterns for locations throughout the UK. More about this here.

Summary benefits from applied AI in hospitality:

  • No more spreadsheets and disparate systems
  • Data driven marketing and loyalty scheme management
  • Better staff engagement
  • Increased staff productivity - right roles at the right time
  • Increased product availability and optimised waste levels
  • Better inventory and supplier management
  • Improved product freshness - right products at the time the time
  • Higher customer satisfaction- faster service with fresher products
  • Improved profitability

Algospark are experts in applied AI in the hospitality sector. Get in touch if you would like to learn more and get started on your applied AI journey.

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