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.