Artificial intelligence is quickly infiltrating all corners of the restaurant industry. The latest development is the announcement of Incentivio’s new Menu Intelligence tool that uses AI to determine how a restaurant’s menu affects its customer retention. 

According to the restaurant engagement provider, its new product will provide restaurant owners and marketers alike with detailed insights to make data-driven decisions around menu and marketing campaigns. 

The company says sales numbers don’t tell the entire story when determining the ultimate success factor of specific dishes. On top of seeing which items sold the most or drove the most revenue, Incentivio claims there is great power in knowing which items are driving the highest customer retention and which are creating more churn. 

As one example, fries may be a top seller due to most dishes coming with fries; however, that doesn’t mean the fries are particularly good. It doesn’t mean that when someone orders your fries, the fries contribute to bringing restaurant customers back for another visit. 

Before Menu Intelligence, the company said in a press release, all that is known is that fries are ordered a lot— and that information alone would be missing most of the story. 

“Because Incentivio has data not only on the volume at which menu items are ordered but also rich data on who those customers are, we can provide much more meaningful menu analysis. This can help restaurateurs decide which items they need to improve or even take off the menu entirely and also which items they should be promoting more,” said Mathew Todtenkopf, Incentivio’s head of product. 

To develop the product, Incentivio had machine learning engineers and data scientists spend nearly a year analyzing which data points on each item contributed to long-term customer loyalty and churn. They then used this analysis to create an AI model that scores each menu item based on how they impact long-term customer behavior. 

Menu Intelligence rolled out to clients on Nov 10.