Even in the hospitality industry where the human touch is gold dust, that famous chatbot has sparked an explosion of discussion about AI.

But while Chat GPT is a brilliantly simple tool that can create fun and fancy menus, it’s a diversion from the real impacts of the fast-approaching AI tidal wave that’s going to hit us all, says Ordermentum founder and CEO Adam Theobald.

Ordermentum is Australia’s leading ordering and payments platform for the wholesale food and beverage industry and has an even bigger bite of that market since its $16 million capital raise and purchase of wholesale food marketplace Foodbomb last month.

It’s now further accelerating its ambitious national growth strategy while pulling the industry into the fast-approaching future.

“For venue owners there are three options for dealing with AI,” Theobald says. “One is to put their head in the sand and ignore it. Another is to play with Chat GPT and pretend they’re on it.

“The right response is to get their teams and systems in order. That’s because the true value of AI today lies underneath the digital tools that many venues and their suppliers already use for business tasks such as making orders, payments and more.”


Pivotal moment is now

In most venues these digital tools have replaced the old pen and paper, tills and telephones. But some businesses are now suffocating from SaaS and the monthly fees from a range of apps they’ve downloaded in the rush to digitize.

“We’re at a pivotal moment now where venues need to pick sustainable tools that are going to offer streamlined support for the long term. These will be sourced from quality partners who offer data for good, not out of opportunism,” Theobald says.

“Making the right digital choices will empower venue owners and wholesale suppliers to be 10 times better and more scalable. That will be thanks to the dynamic pricing, forecasting, inventory management, route optimisation and personalised recommendations they’ll be able to access. Businesses that don’t adapt in this way will flounder then struggle to catch up.”


Guesswork on chopping board

Theobald says high quality digital solutions can offer the right information at the optimal time for the best decision. This comes from having a tool that finds the best suppliers in the country for a particular business and simplifying procurement; one that says, ‘Hey are you really sure you want to order that many? Did you know if you ordered these, you could get better return on investment?’.

It’s like having a scalpel to cut costs in exactly the right places to drive up revenue rather than the old blunt knife ‘let’s chop 10% across the board’ approach.

And if the commercial heartbeat of the business is healthy, it’s going to be reinvesting in the important things customers love – fantastic menus, great produce at the best available cost – and baristas who remember every customer’s name in a competitive staffing market. The equivalent is true on the supply side as well.

And for the end consumer? They get venues they love to go, which can keep their doors open and which are more environmentally sustainable as well.


Top three tips to prepare for digitization’s third wave

For the many small business owners who feel overwhelmed and anxious about how to use AI, Theobald says there are really only three key tasks to keep in mind.

Firstly, get teams feeling comfortable about embracing the right tech, including hiring people who are amenable to using it.

In terms of ordering, do all this digitally so all invoices go straight into the accounting system and all data is in one place. This is essential to accessing the business insights AI offers.

Lastly, make sure you choose a provider with the demonstrable ability to level up the tech over the next 10 years at least.


This article was developed in collaboration with Ordermentum, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.  

This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.