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How AI Checkouts Can Revolutionise Decision Making in Facilities Management 

How AI Checkouts Can Revolutionise Decision Making in Facilities Management 
18 March 2024 | Updated 20 March 2024

AI checkouts have ushered in a new era of data-driven decision-making, transforming how FMs manage their catering operations. 

In this Opinion piece, Sergii Khomenko explores the impact of AI on decision-making in facilities management catering, focusing on its ability to provide detailed insights into sales, menu trends, volume planning, waste reduction, quality control, supplier management, and even catering to the diverse preferences of different business sectors.

Sergii is a technology and eCommerce expert with over 20 years of experience, and Co-Founder of Autocanteen the UK’s first touchless self-checkout solution. Since his schooldays, Sergii has had a deep interest in computers and technology and before founding Autocanteen he spent 10 years working in the e-commerce industry looking after and consulting e-commerce retailers


Data Analysis from AI Checkouts


One of the primary advantages of AI checkouts in facilities management catering is its capability to generate real-time reports on what's selling and what’s not. This invaluable data empowers managers to make immediate decisions regarding menu adjustments, ensuring that offerings align with current trends and customer preferences.

Another key aspect of facilities management catering is volume planning and AI checkouts can provide valuable input. By analysing sales data and predicting demand patterns, these technologies help facilities plan their catering volumes efficiently, minimising waste. This not only contributes to cost savings but also aligns with sustainability goals by reducing food wastage.

This data-driven approach allows facilities to optimise their resources, ensuring that they prepare the right amount of food to meet demand without overstocking. This precision in volume planning is a significant step towards creating a more sustainable and environmentally conscious catering operation.

AI checkouts also provide facilities managers with detailed insights into how food is presented and consumed. This level of detail allows for enhanced quality control, as managers can analyse deviations from menus and ensure that products meet the standards required.

The technology goes beyond traditional quality control methods by offering real-time visual feedback on customer preferences and presentation. This not only improves the overall dining experience but also allows for immediate corrective actions to maintain high standards. The ability to monitor and analyse these aspects provides a level of data that was previously unavailable.


Tracking Supplier Performance


The transparency that operators can see what is being served on sites vs a planned menu also brings accountability to supplier management. The data gathered allows managers to track supplier performance and analyse delivery timelines. The technology's ability to provide visibility of ingredient shortages can be a helpful instrument for negotiating contracts, optimising costs, and fostering strong and reliable partnerships.

Through data-driven insights, facilities managers can identify potential issues in the supply chain, such as delays or fluctuations in product availability. This proactive approach enables managers to address concerns promptly, minimising disruptions and ensuring a consistent supply of quality ingredients.

The versatility of AI checkouts extends beyond immediate decision-making; they can be tailored to suit the preferences of catering to different business sectors. This adaptability is particularly valuable for catering services operating in diverse environments or across various locations. The platform can analyse the preferences of different departments and sectors, which in return is valuable feedback for tailoring menus to meet their unique requirements.


Personalisation Based on Customer Demand


Looking to the future, the efficiencies that AI checkouts enable are significant. Compatibility with loyalty schemes enables facilities to offer personalised menus based on customers' historical preferences. Additionally, the potential to integrate temperature sensors could ensure the quality of food served, addressing concerns related to compliance with health and safety standards.

In facilities management catering, the speed of service is a critical KPI. AI checkouts, with an average system interaction time (before payment) of just two seconds, contribute significantly to monitoring and improving this essential metric. The technology's ability to analyse transaction times provides managers with valuable insights into the efficiency of their operations.

AI checkouts have emerged as a transformative force in facilities management catering, offering benefits that extend beyond traditional transaction processing. From real-time reporting and menu tweaking to effective volume planning, waste reduction, enhanced quality control, supplier management, and catering to diverse sector preferences, these technologies are reshaping the industry.

As the technology continues to evolve, the future looks promising. Compatibility with loyalty schemes, temperature sensors for food quality assurance, and the potential to address food allergies are just a glimpse into the possibilities that lie ahead. The era of data-driven decision-making in facilities management catering has arrived, and those who embrace these innovations will undoubtedly lead the way towards a more efficient, sustainable, and customer-centric future.

Picture: a photograph showing some self-checkouts. Image Credit: Autocanteen

Article written by Sergii Khomenko | Published 18 March 2024


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