CU Boulder gets top honor in foodservice tech

By 
Peter Romeo, Director of Digital Content

cu boulder fstec

The food and beverage operation of the University of Colorado at Boulder has been named Tech Accelerator of Year, an honor recognizing the foodservice industry’s outstanding user of technology. 

The college’s foodservice department was chosen by the editors of Restaurant Business—sister magazine to FoodService Director—over a host of restaurant operations because of the tech incorporated into the school’s newest dining facility, the Village Center Dining and Community Commons.

Its advances extend far beyond smartphones and back-office systems, the prime areas of tech innovation for restaurants. CU Boulder’s new facility sports such high-tech features as electrochromatic storefront-like windows. The walls of glass automatically tint in proportion to the intensity of the sun, enabling students to enjoy views of the nearby mountains with minimal interference. The windows also provide a significant saving on utility costs by letting natural light in, but keeping the heat out.

A biodigester breaks down garbage into “grey water” that can be safely channeled into the wastewater stream. The kitchen features video monitors so it can double as a cooking instruction facility. One area features “blender bikes” that students pedal to mix their own breakfast smoothies.

CU Boulder’s selection as Tech Accelerator of the Year was announced Monday at FSTEC, an annual technology summit for the foodservice industry. It was chosen from three winners of Restaurant Business’ Tech Accelerator Award.

The college was the winner of that honor in the nontraditional category. Cava, the Mediterranean fast-casual chain, was the first-place finisher in the limited-service category, and BJ’s Restaurants was the winner among full-service restaurants. Past Tech Accelerators of the Year have included Panera Bread and Eatsa.

FSTEC is presented by FoodService Director’s parent company, Winsight Media.

More From FoodService Director

Ideas and Innovation
oversized portions

Here are the trends FSD's Chefs’ Council members wish would go away.

Kale Gluten-free Sriracha Chipotle Microgreens on everything Sous vide cooking Aversion to bread Healthy desserts Vegan diets Lies about local sourcing/organic food Fast food Cupcakes Pumpkin spice Fat-free or low-fat Meatless Mondays Bread cones Rigid child nutrition guidelines Bacon on everything Cajun Doughnuts with over-the-top toppings Oversized portions Fried foods Pinterest
Ideas and Innovation
Frose

Frose, sushi burgers and single-item restaurants are hot topics as of late, according to Forbes, which recently released a list of seven buzzwords in the foodservice world. Here’s what’s trending, in no particular order.

Blended burgers Frozecco and frose Goth food Hemp Single-item restaurants Sushi burger Upcycling
Industry News & Opinion
MeuDirections

One of my favorite cartoons shows a commander whose soldiers are in the midst of fighting a war with bows and arrows. Without turning around, he tells a man who has come up behind him, “I’m sorry, I’m too busy to talk to you.” The man was a rifle salesman.

In today’s time-pressed world, we are all too busy. So, it can be difficult to find time to reach out to others for ideas, solutions and best practices. But as that cartoon illustrates, it’s critical to being successful. The sharing of knowledge is a pillar of FoodService Director . Through our magazine and events, we have been...

Ideas and Innovation
chefs

We started inviting chefs and FSDs from other districts to come prepare lunch. Through featuring different chefs and chef-inspired meals, I’ve found the students have been looking forward to coming into the cafeteria. They are willing to try new things with crazy names, and to ask for their favorite outside items turned healthy.

FSD Resources