Jonathan Azzopardi Frantz / Tableo

Tableo CEO Jonathan Azzopardi Frantz has said that the Malta Council for Science & Technology’s (MCST) grant will help the company embark on a “groundbreaking project” to integrate artificial intelligence (AI) into its restaurant reservations software.

This came after Get Hitched Inc Ltd, the developers of Tableo, secured a €35,000 grant from the MCST on behalf of the Foundation for Science and Technology through the FUSION: R&I Technology Extension Support Programme (TESP). The funds will be dedicated to advancing the Tableo Restaurant AI Assistant Project, aimed at tackling the time constraints and operational hurdles frequently encountered by restaurateurs.

Founded in 2020, Tableo is a restaurant reservation and management platform that is used by thousands of restaurateurs worldwide. It offers restaurants the ability to easily manage all their reservations from any channel, through a simple interface.

The TESP programme incentivises private entities to seek technical support from higher education institutions (HEI) to ensure incremental product or process improvement. It aims to expedite the application of technological innovation to industry, thus creating a conducive and low-risk environment for transformative advancements.

Tableo
MCST Senior Executive R&I Unit Stephen Borg (left) and Tableo CEO Jonathan Azzopardi Frantz (right) / Tableo

For this programme, Tableo has chosen to work with the Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology (MCAST), leveraging its researchers’ extensive knowledge and proficiency in AI.

Commenting on the news of the grant, Mr Azzopardi Frantz said: “We are thrilled to embark on this groundbreaking project that promises to revolutionise the landscape of restaurant management.”

He remarked that Tabelo is grateful to MCST for “recognising Tableo’s potential” and for awarding it this grant.

“With these funds, we anticipate accelerating the project’s development, positioning Tableo at the forefront of innovation in the restaurant reservation industry,” Mr Azzopardi Frantz added.

By integrating AI and algorithms into Tableo’s platform, the Restaurant AI Assistant Project seeks to enhance the efficiency and profitability of the hospitality industry. The AI component will be designed to handle reservations, offer customer support, and provide insights. Through machine learning and natural language processing (NLP), Tableo stated that the AI assistant will engage customers through chatbots on platforms such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram.

Aside from that the assistant will have capabilities for reservation management, taking into account variables such as availability, cancellations, and modifications. It will also produce reports and visualisations, with the aim of helping managers make “informed, data-driven decisions” regarding menu offerings, promotions, and optimisation of staff.

“MCST is delighted to be supporting Get Hitched Inc Ltd in seeking technical support from a HEI to ensure incremental product or process improvement in its industrial activity,” Stephen Borg, Senior Executive R&I Unit at MCST said.

He added that the scope of this measure is designed to incorporate R&I at “all technological stages and support collaborations between private and public entities.”

Additionally, Tableo’s collaboration with MCAST also aims to harbour the potential to open “new avenues for academia.” The developers engaged in working on the AI assistant algorithms will gain insights and hands-on experience in the development and implementation of these AI solutions.

“The integration of AI technology into Tableo’s platform through the TESP programme marks a significant milestone in both technological advancement and educational enrichment,” Owen Sacco from MCAST explained.

He remarked that the project “not only promises to revolutionise the restaurant industry,” but also serves as a “vital educational platform.” It will offer MCAST students and lecturers the opportunity to apply their theoretical knowledge to a dynamic and real-world environment.

“It’s a venture that aligns perfectly with our mission at MCAST, fostering a culture of continuous learning and innovation,” Dr Sacco continued.

Featured Image:

Tableo CEO Jonathan Azzopardi Frantz / Tableo

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