IHOP Enhances Online Ordering Experience with Google Cloud AI

IHOP to deploy an AI-powered food ordering recommendation engine across its stores nationwide

Aug 28, 2023 - 11:22

IHOP to deploy an AI-powered food ordering recommendation engine across its stores nationwide

  • IHOP is the first restaurant chain to power its online ordering system with Google Cloud's Recommendations AI technology
  • Across IHOP restaurants nationwide, guests will see more helpful and personalized recommendations when ordering online in the coming months
  • The brand's move is part of strategic investments in its rapidly growing online ordering and to-go business

 Google Cloud and IHOP announced that the restaurant chain is partnering with Google Cloud to enhance its online ordering experience nationwide with AI technology. Logged-in guests ordering from IHOP online will soon see more helpful and personalized options, including suggestions for their favorite IHOP items that they frequently order. The brand is the first in the restaurant industry to use Google Cloud's Recommendations AI technology for online ordering specifically.

Powering IHOP's new food ordering recommendation engine is Google Cloud's Recommendations AI solution, which draws on Google's years of experience in delivering recommended content across Google Ads, Google Search, and YouTube. With Recommendations AI, IHOP will lean into Google's experience and expertise in AI and machine learning to create a more personalized and tailored online ordering experience for guests based on customer preferences and changes to IHOP's menu offerings, pricing, and promotions. For example, if a guest has shown an affinity for spicy items in past orders, IHOP will be sure to recommend its new Poblano Eggs Benedicts.

"At IHOP our guests always come first, and we're constantly making new investments and improvements to meet their evolving tastes and expectations. One of the biggest shifts we've seen with our guests is a preference for online ordering, with IHOP's to-go business rapidly growing to more than 20 percent of total sales in the last few years alone," said Kieran Donahue, chief marketing officer, IHOP. "Our new partnership with Google Cloud infuses AI into IHOP's online ordering experience, making it even easier for our guests to place online orders, quickly find the items they love, and discover our newest products relevant to their individual tastes and interests."

The deployment of Google Cloud's AI capabilities across its nationwide online ordering system comes as IHOP has nurtured increased growth in online orders. In recent years, IHOP has optimized its to-go experience with the launch of a new website, an easy-to-use app, and guest loyalty program that offers exclusive rewards. Additionally, IHOP provides industry-leading to-go packaging that cuts down on moisture, while still trapping heat, thanks to its modular shape. The wide circular design was specifically built to accommodate the brand's signature pancakes.

"Using Google Cloud's Recommendations AI and BigQuery products, our internal technology team developed an item recommendation engine, the first of its kind in the restaurant space using Google's AI," says Krish Lakshminarayanan, Dine Brands Vice President, Data and Analytics. "IHOP is now quickly building, training, configuring, and launching our own AI models that seamlessly interact with our guests and will provide them with a personalized online experience."

"IHOP is a perfect example of how an action-oriented business is practically deploying AI to create better customer experiences," said Carrie Tharp, VP of Industries, Google Cloud. "Now, one of America's favorite restaurants is using the latest AI innovations from Google Cloud to not only help its guests, but also help boost growth."

IHOP's selection of Google Cloud's AI technology was based on a variety of factors, but importantly came down to the ability to fuse disparate data sources together, a flexible model, and overall ease-of-use.