Chatbots in Restaurants: What are the Advantages and Disadvantages

As machine learning is catching up, chatbots that are based on machine learning are getting better. In the previous article, we talked about how chatbots are going to be a major force in the retail industry in the upcoming future and how they will define your competitive factor and impact your work efficiency and running costs.

Automation is going to impact a lot of jobs. But for restaurant owners, it will become more important than ever to implement this technology. It is pretty simple the earlier you employ the technology the better are your margins.

Let us look at the immediate pros and cons of bringing in this new technology into the restaurant business.


  • Chatbots essentially change the way we order, what is most notable is the fact that this makes the entire ordering process much easier and something that is more likely to be repeated by the customers.The entire thing happens like if you are talking to someone. Not like you are just pushing some buttons to get something done.

  • What makes this process extraordinary is that he chatbot makes ordering a more enjoyable process. The chatbots which are based on machine learning don’t just stop at receiving orders. These bots also keep the conversation interesting by sharing trivia, asking questions, cracking occasional jokes and the chatbot keeps the conversation as you would expect when you are texting a friend on a messenger.

  • How convenient would it be to use a service just by sending a message: Yes, it would be very nice. Chatbots are built inside the apps that you are already using. So, there is no pain of learning to use it. If you are using a messaging app then you don’t have to switch to a different one to order food. You do it from your messaging app by simply sending a text to your favorite restaurant and rest is handled by the chatbot employed by the restaurant.

  • Bots are built for the places where the customers actually are: You don’t have to spend a large portion of your money on different marketing channels. With chatbots, it becomes more organized to channel your marketing drive. You don’t have to spend on developing custom mobile apps for your business and then spend more of your money to promote it and make customers download it from an app store. The chatbots are already made to work inside social/messenger apps. This provides a very streamlined approach to reach your customers.

  • A complete and scalable package: A chatbot is essentially a computer program which has information about various aspects of your business. A bot can act as a virtual agent which can be used as a one-stop solution for development, sales, and support. It gives you the option to scale your business pretty easily. It can be easily modified according to your requirements.

  • Keeping track of the calories: As people are getting more conscious about the food they are consuming, they keep track of the calories they consume per meal. This healthy lifestyle which keeps strict tabs on calories means a lot of efforts at the restaurant’s backend. This painstaking process can be easily taken over by a bot which can monitor the calorie requirement based upon a diet.

  • The Chabot can even recommend a meal according to mentioned limits by the customer.

  • The business potential: It is an upcoming technology and early adopters have an unfair advantage to reap maximum profits. This huge business potential that is offered by the bots will redefine running costs. Possibilities of improvements from machine learning could push the business further. As voice search gains more preference, the ability to use chatbot to process this information would be a great advantage.

Now let us look few of the disadvantages of using chatbots.

  • It takes away the joy of exploring your restaurant's menu. In a normal scenario when someone reaches your restaurant’s menu from a website or a mobile app. They reach the landing page, go to the menu, take their time to read through the menu, see the item images, read the descriptions, check what others have to say about your restaurant. A lot of these small things work together to complete the purchase. This makes the entire process a very different kind of experience.

  • And during this process, as the customers fumble and stumble they find different items on the menu. They might end up ordering these completely new items instead of what they actually wanted to purchase.

  • It’s something like the experience of visiting a supermarket where you find so many products on the shelves that you didn't think were even there.

  • A virtual shopping experience may be a great thing but not everyone is up for a virtual shopping experience. There will be people who like do things a bit differently and you have to be careful and include them in the process.

Since machine language is at it beginning stages there chatbots are equipped to understand various slangs that we use. There are also cultural and language boundaries that need to be kept in mind while using a bot for a specific geographical area.

Chatbots are going to fundamentally change a lot of things in the upcoming years and instead of running at full speed from the starting point it is better to have a head start and manage things more efficiently.

For any further suggestions or inquiries, you can reach us at Restolabs is an online food ordering system for restaurants, catering and food trucks.

You can avail an exclusive 30 day free trial by clicking here.