Aug 8, 2023
 min read

How Generative AI is Changing Restaurant Marketing

This article outlines:

The rise of AI in the restaurant industry

How generative AI will enable restaurant marketers to do more with less

Four use cases for Olo’s AI Creative Assistant—with real-world examples

The restaurant industry continues to go through a period of significant transformation, with brands attempting to adapt to changes in guest behavior, staffing shortfalls, and increased pressure on margins.

While each brand has unique struggles based on its size, category, and concept, one feeling appears to be universal: there simply aren’t enough hours in the day to accomplish everything on the to-do list. 

Artificial intelligence (AI) is changing that.


The Rise of AI in the Restaurant Industry

In the not-too-distant past, AI felt like an abstract concept. Today it’s practically impossible not to hear about or engage with it.

ChatGPT reached 100 million monthly active users just two months after launch, making it the fastest-growing consumer application in history. MarketsandMarkets now projects the overall AI market size to grow to $407 billion by 2027.

It’s not just large tech companies like Google and Microsoft riding the AI wave. Restaurants have begun using AI in innovative ways, too. QSRs like CKE are piloting conversational AI in their drive-thrus. Chipotle is using AI and robotics to perfect its chips. Yum Brands leverages AI to automate the kitchen flow.

Olo has also been an early adopter of AI, helping customers optimize operations and the guest experience with restaurant-specific solutions. 

And now, with the introduction of AI Creative Assistant, we’re enabling restaurants to scale their marketing efforts.


How Restaurant Marketers Can Use AI to Supercharge Their Content Creation

Olo’s AI Creative Assistant is designed to save restaurant marketers time and enhance their creativity by leveraging powerful generative AI to turn content ideas into compelling copy. 

Built directly into our Email Design Editor, users simply provide starter prompts and AI Creative Assistant will instantly draft relevant, attention-grabbing copy. Users can then refine the suggested copy to match their brand’s voice, tone, preferred length, and styling within the intuitive interface.

Keep scrolling to find out how you can use AI Creative Assistant to reduce your workload.


Four Use Cases for AI Creative Assistant

The next time you’re tasked with writing a restaurant marketing email, AI Creative Assistant can help you work smarter in four ways:

1) Generating Headlines: Brainstorm ideas for concise, catchy titles that will drive guests to read more.

Example Starter Prompts

  • Write a short title for a new [item] on our restaurant's menu
  • Create a title promoting [exclusive offer/discount] with a compelling call-to-action (CTA)
  • Formulate a title that highlights the [exclusive offer/discount] that expires [expiration date]
  • Write a title for a [restaurant event] on [date] with a compelling CTA

2) Outlining Body Copy: Provide a few details about the essence of the campaign and let AI Creative Assistant craft high-converting email copy for you.

Example Starter Prompts

  • Write a brief paragraph about the launch of our new [menu item] featuring [selling points/ingredients]
  • Create body copy for a promotional email about [subject line or title]
  • Develop a short email to re-engage lapsed guests to our [concept type] encouraging them to come back


3) Creating Lists: Develop captivating bullet points that reinforce the main value propositions of the campaign and jump out to content skimmers. 

Example Starter Prompts

  • Explain why our [menu item] is better than others
  • Showcase the value and benefits of joining a [concept type] loyalty program
  • List reasons to subscribe to our [concept type] email newsletter


4) Inspiring Action: Develop engaging CTAs that are too irresistible for guests not to click.

Example Starter Prompts

  • Generate compelling CTA options for ordering our [menu item]
  • Generate a CTA suggestion for lapsed guest emails for our restaurant
  • Create a CTA for cross-selling [item] with [item]
  • Create a CTA for [target audience] to join our [concept] loyalty program

Download Olo's 2024 Restaurant Marketing Guide

Start Increasing Your Marketing Output with AI

The restaurant brands that understand, embrace, and leverage AI best will have a significant advantage moving forward. In fact, a McKinsey report on The Economic Potential of Generative AI estimated generative AI could increase the productivity of the marketing function with a value between 5 and 15 percent of total marketing spending. 

Whether you’re just getting started with AI or looking for additional ways to harness its power, the opportunity cost—from boosting creativity to reducing manual work—is too high for restaurant marketers to ignore. Treat AI as an extension of your team that can help you achieve your goals and do more with less.

Current Olo Marketing customers can learn more about AI Creative Assistant in the Help Center. Not a current customer? Contact our team of restaurant experts to learn how AI can help take your business to the next level. 

Photo by Canva Studio at Pexels

More blog posts

What are you waiting for?

Transform your guest experience today.