The top 3 AI solutions for back of house operations

By Christian Berthelsen|Sep 29, 2023|4:08 pm CDT

When crafting a plan to reach your profitability goals, there are two areas of opportunity to examine:

From more efficient hiring practices to optimizing scheduling and inventory management, here are the top 3 ways to optimize your back of house operations with the help of AI.

1. AI programmatic building

Hourly hiring remains a top priority for operators, but attracting best-fit candidates and managing sponsored job postings is a time-consuming and daunting task. And with popular job boards beginning to evolve their sponsored post programs—resulting in the rise of 1-Click Apply and new pricing models—recruitment challenges and expenses only continue to grow. But by integrating AI-powered programmatic bidding with your Applicant Tracking System (ATS), you can reduce your cost per application, increase quality application volume and lower your cost per hire.

Increase quality application volume 

AI programmatic bidding continuously analyzes your source-to-hire data, identifying where and when you historically find new hires. With these insights, it automatically adjusts where your ad spend is allocated throughout the day, switching between job boards during their most successful timeframes.

By only spending your budget when and where you’re most likely to hire, you’ll not only increase the number of applicants you receive, but the quality of applicants.

Reduce cost per application 

By using programmatic bidding with 1-Click Apply you can move from paying-per-click on your sponsored job listings to paying for every start of an application. Programmatic bidding will then target the key days and times applicant volume tends to peak.

“It makes a massive difference to your deployment of budget, which means that even though you might be spending the same daily amount, you’re going to see a lot more applications which is where we see that drop in cost per application,” said Mark Taylor, CEO of TalentTrack. There AI-programmatic solution is integrated into PeopleMatter, Fourth’s ATS.

2. AI labor forecasting

Traditional forecasting is time-consuming and subjective, resulting in frequent and costly errors. Using data-driven AI to create accurate and predictable labor forecasting and scheduling models, however, gives restaurant operators a powerful tool to manage ever-changing swings in demand while fighting inflation and razor-thin margins.

AI demand forecasting uses machine learning algorithms to analyze millions of internal and external data points, including years of historical sales data, promotions, holidays, weather and more. This extensive analysis is automatically calculated, removing common industry issues like manager turnover and human biases from the equation, resulting in a more accurate demand forecast that continues to learn and improve its calculation day by day.

Always staff to meet demand 

By building schedules to meet future demand, you can maintain peak efficiency across all your locations. AI forecasting equips all restaurants and managers with predictive, actionable insights into future demand, allowing you to lower and stabilize the labor budget by avoiding overstaffing, resulting in unnecessary labor spend and understaffing, resulting in overtime pay and poor guest experiences.

Improve the manager experience 

48% of food service managers say they feel burned out on a daily basis while 1 in 2 workers quit because of burnout. Empower managers with AI forecasting so they can spend less time in the back office and more time doing the work they love—creating exceptional guest experiences.

3. AI inventory forecasting

Similar to labor forecasting, inventory issues can quickly add up to costly errors and burnt-out team members. But with AI-powered demand forecasting integrated into your inventory solution, you can reduce food waste, drive profitability with smarter menu engineering and rest easy knowing you have the right inventory at the right time.

Reduce food waste 

Perhaps a dish on your menu is regularly unfinished by customers, suggesting that the portion size could be too large, or an ingredient is frequently being thrown away because it’s going past its use-by- date, indicating that too much is being ordered. With AI forecasting delivering actionable insights and near real-time recommendations, you’ll understand exactly what food is being wasted, why it’s being wasted and how to stop wasting it.

Ensure profitable menus 

With advanced algorithms analyzing historical sales data and purchasing costs, you’ll always know what ingredients are trending up and down in both popularity and cost. Running through “what if” scenarios, AI forecasting will recommend what ingredient changes you should make based on seasonality or demand, making it easier than ever for you to create 5-star menus you and your customers love.

With all the demands of running your restaurant, you’ve got a lot on your plate – but taking these steps will help improve your profitability. Once you’re set up to optimize your product and empower your workforce, there is even more opportunity for you to generate savings by increasing efficiencies and reducing costs.

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