Everyone’s talking about ChatGPT, the online program that can read and write like a human. It can assist you with marketing, staff management, number crunching, kitchen tasks and even predict customer behaviour. It’s simple and free to use — just go to chat.openai.com

Start with something simple such as asking it to write a thank-you letter to the local TAFE for sending two apprentices or request better prices from a seafood supplier as they are no longer competitive. The results will amaze you — you could have written it yourself in between 50 other jobs. Can you see how it will lift your productivity?

What about marketing? Social media requires consistency. You can use ChatGPT to create Instagram captions and other marketing copy by giving it a prompt in your tone of voice. For example, your instruction might be “write 20 captions for Instagram posts based on this menu”. Copy and paste the menu and let it do the work.

Or you can narrow it down by providing a recipe and requesting 10 Instagram posts. ChatGPT can also be integrated with Canva to create combined images to post. Take it further for your next newsletter. Ask it to write a short article about the food of Sicily or wine trends. Plus, a press release on the new winter menu, revised about us wording for the website and more ‘salesy’ email replies to function enquiries.

Customer research is always helpful: ask GPT to give you a summary of Thai restaurants in the Geelong area rating them on service and food quality and to base the answer on online reviews, looking at ratings and opinions. You will see the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors and the opportunities. I did this in my area, and the key issues were wait times and slow service.

Discovering customer ‘personas’ is useful for menu and service design. When I did this for a Sydney suburb, details for one included: “appreciates being able to preorder or book a table online” and another: “appreciates creative and visually stunning dishes that are Instagram-worthy”.

Stuck for words with the new menu? When I asked ChatGPT to write a one-sentence menu description of chicken picante, it came back with “a fiery combination of juicy chicken breast cooked with red pepper flakes, garlic, onions and fresh herbs”. You can change this, but it’s so much easier to edit than write from scratch.

What about the kitchen? Chefs can use it to generate order lists, training material, staff memos and rewrite recipes. Ask it to write a training quiz with 20 questions for restaurant staff on Lebanese food and put the correct answer after each.

Or if you need to revise an old staff manual, copy and paste in the old one and ask for an update. Dive into ChatGPT and watch your productivity soar — it’s the best
thing that’s happened to the sector since the release of Excel and iPhone.