Beyond Imagination: 10 AI Tools Redefining Hospitality Training

March 13, 2024 | 505 Views

Beyond Imagination: 10 AI Tools Redefining Hospitality Training

Patrick Yearout, FMP, CHT

Director of Innovation, Recruiting, and Training | Ivar's & Kidd Valley Restaurants

The hospitality industry stands on the brink of a technological renaissance, where artificial intelligence will play a pivotal role in reshaping our guest’s experiences, optimizing operations, and enhancing employee training. As we dive into this new era, it will be imperative for CHART members to explore and embrace AI applications that will allow them to remain competitive, productive, and ahead of the curve.

Donna Herbel at CHART 105 Charlotte March, 2024

At our recent 105th conference in Charlotte, North Carolina, Blue Phoenix Learning CEO and Chief Igniter (and past CHART President) Donna Herbel led a breakout session where participants discussed innovative AI applications that they considered indispensable at their workplaces. From the insights shared during this session, here is a list of 10 tools that could revolutionize your approach to training:

  1. Slido – An AI-driven platform that facilitates real-time interactions between presenters and their audiences through such features as quizzes, polls, and word clouds. It’s an effective tool that hospitality trainers can use to liven up classes or workshops by fostering higher levels of engagement and an inclusive atmosphere for everyone in the room (or on the call if your event is virtual).
  1. Tango – A browser extension that you can use to create detailed step-by-step training guides. As you work, Tango will record your keystrokes and automatically turn your actions into screenshots with descriptions so you can easily share your knowledge with others in the organization who need to follow the same routines. No more cutting and pasting graphics, and no more typing out all the steps to make essential training materials!
  1. Microsoft CoPilot – Acts as a comprehensive business assistant that can streamline your email management, meeting scheduling, document creation, and other administrative work. Like ChatGPT, CoPilot is equipped with natural language processing to understand and execute commands efficiently, making it easy for trainers to tackle laborious tasks like the creation of standardized checklists for proper cash handling procedures or the steps required to check in a hotel guest.
  1. Canva's Magic Write – Many people know about Canva’s graphic design tool, but it also offers Magic Write, an AI-powered writing assistant. This tool can be invaluable for CHART members who are seeking to quickly create text-based training materials, such as course outlines, lesson plans, and handouts, while at the same time ensuring consistency and quality in their content. If your boss doesn’t truly understand how long it can take to generate impactful training materials and is constantly setting unrealistic timelines for completions, then Magic Write may turn out to be your new best friend.
  1. Meet Cody – An AI-powered chatbot designed specifically for the hospitality industry, providing quick and accurate answers to common questions and scenarios that either guests or your staff may encounter. Hospitality trainers, for example, could upload their operations manual or employee handbook into Meet Cody, create a custom chatbot with a specific tone you are going for (cheery, helpful, sarcastic, etc.), and then embed that chatbot into your internal website. When employees have questions for which they need immediate answers (“What is the cook time for our French fries?”), they use the chatbot as a reliable, always-available resource to help them navigate these challenges and deliver consistent guest experiences.
  1. Natural Reader – Converts written content into spoken words, offering a wide range of hospitality applications such as reading out menus for visually impaired guests or providing voiceovers for training videos. Natural Reader is relatively inexpensive, easy to use, and includes over 100 voices across 16 different languages from which to choose (meaning you can really tailor content to your specific audience).
  1. Adobe Photoshop – Allows for the creation of high-quality, custom graphics for presentations, manuals, and online training modules, and can use AI features to automate complex photo editing tasks, such as object removal or image enhancement. The latter can be very helpful, for example, if you have a picture of a delicious hamburger in a sesame bun that you are going to use for an LTO training, and the powers-that-be decide at the last minute to use a plain bun instead. You can just tell Photoshop to remove the seeds on the bun photo without having to rehire the photographer or reschedule the shoot.
  1. Vyond – An online tool that enables users to quickly generate customized animated videos using a vast library of characters, objects, and effects. It's particularly beneficial for non-technical workers to produce content without needing to learn complex animation software, and for hospitality trainers, Vyond can generate engaging e-learning material, training videos, or presentations that will be more memorable than traditional materials. Also, because the videos are animated, they are much easier to edit and update than filmed videos if your company introduces new items or adopts new standards.
  1. Gan.AI – An advanced image generation tool that utilizes artificial intelligence to create high-quality, customized visuals. Basically, you can record a video just once, and then use the AI in this program to create hundreds or thousands of copies with minute differences – for example, change the name of the person to whom you are speaking, the tool you are using, or a place you are going by editing the narration text (which then changes the video). Each copy that results will look as though you recorded it for a specific person in a specific situation, but you really only need to do it one time. This one you need to see to believe!
  1. HeyGen – An AI-powered application that generates personalized videos featuring realistic avatars. For hospitality trainers, HeyGen can be a game-changer in creating immersive and interactive training videos, such as customer service simulations or role-playing scenarios, and they can be converted into over 40 different languages for ESL employees.

The integration of AI into our hotels and restaurants signifies more than just technological advancement; it marks a new age of innovation, personalization, and efficiency. By adopting some or all of these AI applications, CHART members can not only enhance their operational capabilities and forge deeper connections with their team members and guests, but also chart the course for the future of our industry.

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Comments (1)

  1. Jim Sullivan:
    Mar 24, 2024 at 08:05 AM

    Great job as always Patrick (and of course, kudos to the OG Donna Herbel for inspiring your article!)