Credit: Google News
Machine learning takes artificial intelligence (AI) to the next level by allowing a system to learn without prior programming. Now, restaurants are starting to benefit from this technology. Simon Bocca, COO at Fourth, shared how his company is using machine learning.
Fourth recently announced its end-to-end restaurant and hospitality platform and services. The company provides an all-in-one solution for purchase-to-pay, inventory and workforce management with advanced demand forecasting, predictive analytics and collaboration tools. Additionally, Fourth offers access to full-service, hospitality-specific payroll, benefits and HRO services. Machine learning and predictive algorithms are part of its advanced demand forecasting, which uses historical trends, weather and local events to help restaurants predict when guests may arrive.
“Founded in 1999 by serial restaurant entrepreneurs, we serve more than 1,200 customers in 60 countries, including many notable U.S. restaurant brands such as TGI Fridays, Eataly, Bar Louie, Dairy Queen, Shari’s, Brio and Bravo, Soho House and Pinstripes. On the hotel side, we are proud to look after major hotel brands like the Intercontinental Hotel Group, Mandarin Oriental, Kimpton, Hyatt, Loews, Shangri-La and Jumeirah. Our goal is to help restaurant and hospitality companies run their business more efficiently. We do this in two ways: through our hospitality operations platform and through our full-service HR, payroll and benefits offering,” Bocca says.
Fourth’s hospitality operations platform streamlines the back-of-house processes so that restaurant managers and operators can spend more time doing what truly matters, which is engaging with their customers and employees. Powered by demand forecasting, the purchase-to-pay, inventory and workforce management solutions integrate with every major POS system, finance platform and most industry-specific third-party applications. With one user name and password, operators can quickly access reports and dashboards.
“One of the things that sets us apart is our advanced demand forecasting functions powered by machine learning. Supported by analytics and collaboration tools, this allows operators to see the present and plan for the future for purchasing and staff deployment,” Bocca shares.
Fourth developed a predictive, multi-layered algorithm to calculate a daily baseline forecast, which can be broken down into periods as short as 15 minutes by sales item. The forecast takes into account everything that affects demand: data from the same day last year, last month and last week, notable days, recent trends, last year’s trends, public holidays, local and national events and the weather. Managers can refine the forecast further with local information, like roadwork outside the restaurant.
“Demand forecasting drives every feature on our platform because we know that when the demand forecast is right, the magic happens: The food and drinks are available to be served, and the staff is scheduled correctly to deliver a great guest experience every time. Repeat visits and competitive advantage naturally follow,” Bocca says.
Fourth is also investing in a multi-million-dollar, multi-year research and development program for data science in hospitality. The company reinvests 20% of its revenue in research and development. The company believes that open architecture is the future, enabling operators to integrate the other tech they use, like health and safety or Mystery Diner programs, with its platform.
Credit: Google News