Restaurant Marketing

No, A.I. Isn’t Ready to Take Over All Your Digital Ordering

Digital ordering is the next frontier. That much is clear.

But Captain Obvious is also here to report that the world of Artificial Intelligence has some work to do before it’s ready to completely take over your future digital ordering.

I saw the bold claims that it’s literally right around the corner — the ability to have an automated system interact with your inbound requests to place an order, including customizations to those orders — and gave one company’s online demo a spin.

The company is Motion AI. I have no reason to think they’re not run by geniuses. I have no reason to think that in five years they will not have it all figured out. So, I’m not picking on them here, just having a little fun.

Watch the video in this post by clicking on the play button in the image above.

Digital Ordering Will Dominate the Future of Food Ordering

I firmly believe that people will grow accustomed to ordering from anywhere. I even challenged restaurants to offer this up with urgency quite some time back and dubbed it “omni ordering.” I mean, if 40% of humans are already able to philosophically embrace driverless cars, surely we’ll embrace ordering food in a variety of different ways besides walking into a restaurant.

We’ll use your restaurant’s website. We’ll use an app we go to for more daily activities like Facebook, Instagram, Uber, or Amazon. We’ll use an aggregated app like an OrderUp (iOS / Android). We may use your restaurant’s app.

And maybe someone will come along to finish what a company called Seconds once hoped to accomplish back in 2011-2012 — order (and pay) via text message. I really wish this would have worked out for Nick Hughes, on a personal note. Update: Maybe Zingle is that company???

It will be easy and it will just work.

Here’s Why We Need Some Time to Invoke A.I. Into Digital Ordering

The reality is, we’re not quite there. Motion states on their website that you can “easily create artificial intelligence to do just about anything.” But, yeah, this video shows how things can go wrong when even the most basic of common, human interactions happen.

The 1-minute, 41-second screencast/video (no audio, so don’t be confused when you hear nothing) in this post is the result. Watch it carefully. It’s pretty funny.

So much for ordering one large pizza. I guess I want two pizzas.

So now here’s the question, Mr. or Mrs. or Ms. Restaurateur. Do you want anything to do with this? Are you shaking your head with disappointment and annoyance, or laughing out loud that people want this for the industry? Or are you entertained and excited?

There may very well be a $100 billion shift towards digital ordering. But things are going to have get lined up much better to reassure even the most creative and forward-thinking restaurateurs — let alone customers.

(On an unrelated side note: I’ve recently shut down comments on the site due to the effort involved in managing spam and because so much conversation is better suited for social media than at one website, even if it’s mine, so hit me up at @NextRestaurants with your thoughts. Hashtag #artificialrestaurants!)

About the author

Brandon Hull

Brandon is the original founder of He has helped thousands of restaurants implement innovative marketing strategies, campaigns, and tactics by incorporating new technology, in order to attract loyal guests.