How is A.I. Changing Restaurant Real Estate?

06.5.24 | Business Planning

‘AI’ aka Artificial Intelligence has been a hot topic for the past few years – and it’s only becoming more relevant. As AI technologies advance and become more accessible, the technology has steadily played an increasingly influential role in a number of industries, including restaurant real estate. 

At a glance, it’s easy to see why these advancements are exciting. However, as with any new technology, it’s important for entrepreneurs to understand its implications and limitations. 

So how has AI and evolving technology changed the restaurant real estate industry – and what do restaurateurs need to know about it? 

Data Analysis  

Because restaurant real estate revolves around markets, entrepreneurs have always paid close attention to data from their local market for insights and ideas on how they can accomplish their buying or selling objectives. 

Today, some commercial real estate agents and entrepreneurs are using various AI tools to collect and interpret data from their local market. While this integration can save time, it’s not foolproof. Unfortunately, AI doesn’t have a perfect track record when it comes to accuracy, especially with open-source programs like ChatGPT. 

On the hunt for more restaurant real estate resources? Check out these other resources from our blog – on the house!  

AI & Restaurant Operations 

Beyond the real estate process, we’ve also seen an uptick in AI integration when it comes to everyday restaurant operations. On top of finding new ways to make operations more efficient, some technologies have specifically emerged in response to common industry challenges. 

Labour Saving Solutions 

Right now, one of the biggest challenges facing Canadian restaurant owners is labour. Both an overall shortage of labour supply and rising costs have made it more difficult for business owners to find and retain staff members. As a result, some restaurants are embracing new technologies (including) AI that are designed to alleviate the need for human labour in certain aspects of their business. 

As an example, chatbots, which are powered by natural language processing – a type of AI, are used to handle reservations, answer basic FAQs, and even take orders online. This automation frees up staff to focus on in-house guests or other duties and as a bonus, enhances the customer experience. 

AI & Third-Party Partners 

In today’s day and age, third-party food delivery apps play a big role in most restaurants’ and franchises’ business models – at least in midsize to large markets. These services not only make it easier for customers to order from their favourite eateries, but they also help restaurants to expand their client base by reaching diners they otherwise wouldn’t. 

Just like restaurateurs, these delivery partners are also utilizing certain AI tools to improve their business. One common example of this is algorithm and behaviour-based recommendation systems, similar to those used by social media apps, streaming services, and online retailers. By analyzing customer preferences and order history, these systems suggest restaurants or even specific dishes that align with individual tastes – enhancing the dining experience and encouraging repeat visits.

Looking for a crash course on Canada’s restaurant industry? We’ve carved up some helpful resources on our blog. 

What Are the Risks of AI?

AI (and its potential) is without a doubt exciting, but the technology is far from perfect. At the end of the day, if you’re looking to make restaurant real estate moves, there’s no substitute for the guiding expertise of a professional commercial agent. 

On top of avoiding errors and inaccuracies, an experienced, reputable agent can more effectively assist you in reaching your goals than AI can. For instance, a reputable restaurant real estate agent will have an extensive network of contacts, including lenders, contractors, and specialized legal professionals. These relationships can provide clients with access to smoother financing processes, off-market deals, and other valuable resources that AI alone cannot offer. On that note, professional agents also have the negotiation expertise to advocate effectively for their clients. 

Taking into account both data-related insights and the emotional elements in communications, they can navigate the personal aspects of negotiations that AI algorithms might miss – helping restaurateurs land a favourable deal.  

Work With Carve Real Estate

If you’re thinking about buying or selling a restaurant in Ontario, Carve Real Estate can help. Unlike AI, our strategic recommendations are based on decades of real-world, industry-specific insights and experience. Not only do we know where the market stands today, but our (human) skills and expertise allow us to anticipate and prepare for where it’s headed next. Whatever your restaurant real estate goals look like, our personal service and unrivalled knowledge protect your interests at every turn.

Have more questions about restaurant ownership? We can help! Send us an email or give us a ring at 416-618-0054 to get started.