Technology and food may not seem like an obvious recipe for success, but in recent years the way consumers order meals has been augmented through the power of data, robotics and different applications. Society is are already comfortable with ordering food online, but technology can do so much more, such as identify ingredients’ local sourcing, determine the exact temperature insight an oven and even calculate every nutrient in a meal. Technology has gone far beyond being used for just customer convenience and is now empowering customers and their decision-making through the power of innovation.
Mobile application-based services and other new technologies are now the expectation. In a recent report published by Ernst and Young, the spending trends of consumers show that they are ready and willing to pay for food tech innovations that can meet their increasing needs of convenience, health, and low environmental impact. Check out three of these innovations that are impacting the food service industry today.
Robotics and the customer experience
Hands-free technology is helping restaurants deliver a better experience to their customers, ensure COVID protocols are followed and expediting customer service. This applies whether the customers are dining in, getting takeout or ordering for delivery. Convenience is the name of the game, and some innovators have taken this further by experimenting with robots. Using data analytics and facial recognition, these robots can pull up a customer’s entire order history at that location to help with the decision process, all while keeping a constant connection with the kitchen staff to ensure any requests are communicated quickly and easily.
Help staff help customers
There are a lot of moving parts to kitchen, especially during the dinner rush. Human error can come into play with older methods like hand-written order tickets. Digital screens are being utilized today to expedite orders and ensure kitchen staff is efficient with their time. Having a digital platform to manage this operation by checking current inventory and raw materials in real time helps staff stay organized and avoid getting bogged down. This way, a foodservice location’s customer-facing operation is in sync with the kitchen and back office to ensure everything is running smoothly for both customers and staff alike in an agile manner. According to a recent report from Panasonic, 71% of those surveyed said digital transformation is very important, more than any other factor, for business agility.
Don’t let proper nutrition go to waste
Many consumers are now prioritizing nutritious food by checking labels and reviewing the ingredients list before deciding to make a purchase. This could be because of personal preference, concerns for potential allergies or food intolerance. Regardless, people want to know what they’re getting. Without a platform to store and deliver this information instantly in a digital format, consumers’ decision making will slow down tremendously. These decisions can also be tracked, allowing operators to anticipate order patterns and streamline operations to predict consumer demand. Knowing what is needed before it is needed it greatly decreases food waste, as operators can avoid over-ordering certain ingredients.
An example of these platforms can be found with Fulcrum Digital’s CulinarySuite—a food management software that seamlessly connects all aspects of foodservice operations. CulinarySuite comes equipped with a recipe index to provide thousands of easy and delicious food ideas for healthy eating to help deliver nutritious and popular dishes every time.
Both the food and beverage and hospitality industries have seen an exponential change from the pre-pandemic days. These changes in operations and consumer behavior will only continue to accelerate. Things will not be going back to the way they were. Having the necessary digital landscape in place and adopting that technology will enable operators to keep up with the competition. This is not only an investment in the present, but also in the future where agility and response to everchanging demands is the difference between success and becoming obsolete in the consumer’s eyes.
This post is sponsored by Fulcrum Digital