During 2020 and 2021, both diners and operators were focused on safe service. The market responded to this desire to have distance during takeout, delivery and on-premise dining through a wide variety of ordering innovations. As diners continue to return, operators are introducing tech solutions such as ordering kiosks, table-side credit-card processing, QR codes for menus, and more.
But there are other technology-centric innovations for the foodservice operator. Learn more about the opportunities these present to become more efficient, profitable and competitive.
Improving operations through data and connectivity
We’re starting to hear more about more about “smart technology” or “IoT (internet of Things)” in foodservice technology. We’ll be watching this for the next decade as advanced sensors continue to gather and analyze data for more optimal decision-making. Here are some ways we’re seeing IoT technology in the kitchen already:
- Ovens that can be remotely programmed with cooking instructions, updated on command.
- Dishmachines with monitors that collect, transmit and analyze data points such as water temperatures, energy, water, and detergent usage and overall sanitization.
- Fryers that keep track of filtration and temperature, and provide alerts about non-optimal use.
- Refrigerators that record storage dates and predict spoilage, facilitate automatic ordering, and streamline inventory management.
- Completely connected kitchen solutions that manage workflow, facilitate automated reporting and distribute key data such as recipes.
Streamline costs with labor-saving technology
Automation is a hot topic for foodservice operators right now, as minimum-wage hikes are debated across the country. While delivery robots and drones are slowly rolling out into the market, here are some more widely available tools to enhance automation:
- Advanced kiosks can help facilitate quick ordering and payment, and instant transmission of accurate tickets to the kitchen.
- Handheld table side payment scanners save server time running back to a POS off the floor and keep guest information safer.
- Ovens that can be programmed with cooking modes per dish. Requiring little training and fostering cross-functionality, employees just hit a button, and the oven produces quality food, every time.
- Change cooking methods to foster advance preparation of ingredients using versatile combi-ovens then brought down to temperature in blast-chillers and finished to order.
Spotlight on food lockers
This piece of equipment has been extremely useful during the recent boom in delivery and takeaway. Here are some of the features and benefits of this flexible addition:
- Temperature controls facilitate keeping food at the right temperature from package time to pick-up time.
- Locking mechanisms that can be opened using unique codes help ensure the right order goes home with the right customer.
- Advanced models feature self-sanitizing functions to ensure ultimate cleanliness.
- Integrate food lockers with apps that alert customers that their order is ready for pick-up.
A new age of vending
Grab-and-go has been the name of the game for foodservice in many locations, such as businesses, healthcare facilities and colleges and universities.
- Today’s vending machines have advanced refrigeration abilities that facilitate having an array of fresh fare on order and some models even assemble ingredients on command into a fully finished dish.
- Available in a range of footprints, these more advanced models integrate easily into more environments, including novel spots, such as apartment lobbies, in grocery stores and in healthcare settings.
Discover the technology solutions you need today and start thinking about what goals tomorrow’s developments might help you achieve — only at The NAFEM Show.