Thursday 30 May 2024
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Here is how artificial intelligence and big data are changing the world of hospitality

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TME - Cialdy Evo

MILAN – Artificial intelligence that is capable of analysing clients’ Big Data, of taking orders and of organising the work in the kitchen. What was once a fantasy has now become a reality. In other words the future is already here and there is an even more urgent demand for A.I. in industries that in the last few months have relied on it to provide solutions to the various problems that arose during lockdown at a global level.

“Touchless solutions involving A.I. are present in various fields of application,” says Juan Bernardo Kferman, Buyer Food, Beverage & Supplies for Club Med – USA and Caribbean Region. “From coffee machines and menus, to room keys and even flushing a toilet. Added to this are a series of apps and automation systems available on any mobile phone. New ideas and new trends that will continue in the 4.0 era. Companies are devoting a lot of attention to innovation.”

La Cimbali

Last year fast food giant McDonald’s made its biggest acquisition in 20 years when it bought the Israeli start-up Dynamic Yield for 300 million dollars. This company has developed technology based on A.I. technology for the creation of personalised menus from an analysis of data regarding customer preferences.

Closer to home, the leading coffee machine manufacturer Gruppo Cimbali – a pioneer first in telemetry and then in IoT applied to professional espresso-making machines – now believes that Artificial Intelligence is essential for the whole industry. “A.I. is on the agenda of all companies, with a focus not just on the technology as such, but also on the extent to which it can generate value and wellbeing for companies and, hence, for the market,” says Maurizio Tursini, chief technology and innovation officer for Gruppo Cimbali.


“It is necessary to make use of, develop or implement a technology that can render the experience unique rather than allowing it merely to be perceived as an ‘add-on’ to existing systems, because it is now becoming an integral part of them. So Artificial Intelligence is a solution which, on the one hand attracts users by offering them an excellent service tailored to their needs, and on the other enables manufacturers to optimise the performance of their machines and systems generally. The challenge now is to see how A.I. can respond to the new needs that are emerging in this period of global emergency.”

And it was during lockdown, that Rational Italia ran a series of webinars in Italy aimed at all those interested in finding out more about the new line of professional ovens, increasingly geared towards the development of smart cooking solutions that learn from and adapt to the requirements of the chef.

“We are satisfied with how the webinars are going and the feedback from participants has been really positive, says Federica Padrin, head of marketing at Rational Italia. “There is clearly a great deal of interest in this kind of online activity, and that stimulates us to go on with the programme and extend it over the coming weeks.”

While robots are useful for carrying out the most repetitive and strenuous tasks, the true value of A.I. lies in its capacity to help caterers make the best decisions in running their operations and in serving customers.
“First of all, the data regarding supplies and orders have to be digitised, and managed from a palmtop device,” says Samuele Fraternali, senior researcher at the Osservatorio eCommerce B2c, a monitoring body at Milan Polytechnic. Then we can think about Big Data management solutions with which to perfect the supply process, reducing waste and costs.”


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