Purpose: This paper aims to explore how artificial intelligence (AI) technologies have redefined the hospitality industry. It develops a theoretical framework to evaluate its impact on employee engagement, retention and productivity levels, stemming from its potential implications for service quality and customer satisfaction. Design/methodology/approach: Based on the exploration of relevant literature, role theory and service-profit chain were used to develop – role-service-profit chain. Findings: Role-service-profit chain is an analytical tool which has strong implications for investment and deployment analysis of the new technologies in hospitality and tourism businesses. It proposes how managers can evaluate how the role expectation of technological innovations relate to service quality and customer satisfaction through its impact on employee-related outcomes (such as employee engagement, retention and productivity), and assess the corresponding impact on profitability and growth, in the context of their own unique internal environment and position in the market. Research limitations/implications: Although an empirical assessment of the hypothesised relationships in the model is required to evaluate and validate it in the hospitality industry, role-service-profit chain presents promising implications for tourism and hospitality practice and future research. Practical implications: Role-service-profit chain is an analytical tool from which managers can make improvements on talent and talent management practices and adjust expectations and behaviours in ways that facilitate improvements in service quality and customer satisfaction. Originality/value: This paper makes an important contribution to hospitality and tourism literature, as it explores how AI technologies implemented to improve on talent and talent management practices impact on service quality and customer satisfaction, and develops analytical tools by which this may be evaluated.