Artificial intelligence is set to transform the front and back of the house – both out of efficiency and, due to the labor crunch, necessity. It can help operators manage inventory, monitor waste, identify staffing inefficiencies, adjust production pacing and direct more targeted menu suggestions to guests. But as futuristic as it sounds, it’s only an extension of (and as good as) the data your business has collected about these parts of the operation. Even if your restaurant has no plans to adopt AI tools, it’s important to be able to collect real-time data to build a stronger base for the decisions your business makes day to day. In practice, that could mean tracking sales of each menu item in real time so you’re aware of which customers are ordering them when, if they’re returning for them repeatedly, and if they might pay more for a premium special or cocktail designed with that item in mind if they receive a targeted offer from you beforehand.