The impact of technology on foodservice

Operators say technology has made their work lives easier.

Jack Batten, chef manager at il Creations, a government foodservice contractor based in Maryland, observes that today even his daily sales and purchase reports are submitted directly to the corporate office through the use of technology. “When I went to culinary school they didn’t use computers for anything; now they’re everywhere,” he says.

For Kenneth Smith, director of nutrition and hospitality services at the Regional Medical Center of San Jose, in California, keeping up with emerging technology is a necessary part of the job but finding the time to do so is challenging. “I work for a billion-dollar hospital corporation, and new technology is always being introduced to use,” he explains. 

Despite the technology available, food still requires preparation methods that technology won’t ever be able to perform. “We’re a foodservice provider; we’re still going to prepare a piece of chicken in a conventional manner, but communication about that piece of chicken, the ordering process, and the nutrient information and allergen information is easy for various members of the organization to access [through technology],” Klos explains.

We asked operators to rate their level of agreement with several statements regarding technology on a six-point scale, where six was “agree completely” and one was “do not agree at all.” The following percentages are for those who strongly agree with this statement (rated a six or five).

85%: “Technology has had a positiveimpact on my foodservice department.” Operators in schools (92%) and hospitals (89%) were the most likely to strongly agree. 

81%: “Technology has made my job easier.” School respondents were the most likely to strongly agree with this statement (89%), while only 75% of college respondents gave it that rating.

62%: “Technology has made the jobs of my employees easier.” Schools were significantly more likely than other segments to strongly agree (78% versus 59%, respectively).

44%: “It is hard to keep up with emerging technology.” Those who are 45 or older (50%) and females (49%) are more likely to strongly agree with this statement than those less than 45 years old (27%) and males (38%).

12%: “I do not understand enough about new technology to take advantage of it in my operation.” Conversely, 61% of operators strongly disagree with this statement (rated two or one) indicating they understand enough about new technology to take advantage of it. This was even more apparent among schools, where significantly more people strongly disagreed with this statement (71%) versus those in all other segments (59%). 

More From FoodService Director

Menu Development
sam kass peter romeo

We’ve heard it time and again—millennials are extremely conscious about what they eat. They want to know what is in their food, where it is from, how it was made and more. And, as we’re learning, Gen Zers are even more aware and information-demanding about the food they eat than their older counterparts.

Hitting those higher-quality food standards is no easy feat. But it’s becoming a must, said chef Sam Kass—known for being the White House chef for the Obamas, a senior White House policy advisor on nutrition policy while he cooked, and currently the senior food analyst for NBC News...

Sponsored Content
chicken veggies recipes

From Tyson Food Service.

With operators becoming increasingly strapped for time and labor, it’s a strain to prepare every aspect of a menu item back-of-house or keep the menu populated with a variety of options. While it doesn’t mean they have to cut corners when developing new items, operators can use more versatile items that are simple enough to apply across the menu to save on labor and cost as well as be more efficient.

With versatile proteins, operators can increase menu opportunities without kitchen complexity, and drive new customer traffic or increase the number...

Industry News & Opinion

An audit into Kennesaw State University’s dining services revealed the university accrued roughly $2 million from off-campus students paying for meal plans as part of their semester fees, according to a report by Fox 5 Atlanta .

Meal plans at the Kennesaw, Ga., university are automatically assessed to students whether they live on campus or not. The university does not refund unused meals, draining the pockets of commuter students each semester.

“I think it’s ridiculous that we pay all this tuition and then we’re here paying another big fee,” commuter student Emmanuel...

Industry News & Opinion

As part of a 10-year contract to run Eastern Michigan University’s foodservice, Chartwells will invest $5 million in the Ypsilanti, Mich., university, as well as provide it with $18 million in capital improvements, according to a report by the Detroit Free Press .

The university’s board of regents approved the contract on Tuesday, citing the new revenue as an opportunity to expand and improve campus foodservice. EMU’s website indicates the partnership will allow for more student input as well as the introduction of food trucks and improved technology.

“The primary reason...

FSD Resources