Technology provides a power assist that helps operators improve efficiencies, ride out staffing gaps, reduce waste and enhance customer service.
More than half of operators are exploring automation to increase sales. The technology landscape is an ever-changing one, so here's a quick look at what's happening now.
Lots of 'Bots
Once a novelty, more and more robots with AI are in use at foodservice operations.
In the back of the house, 'bots are hard at work. Sometimes called "autonomous kitchen assistants,
'bots with jaunty names as Chippy, Wingy, and Floppy operate deep-fryers, flip burgers and place toppings on pizzas. Barista 'bots can customize beverages and even draw designs on the foam. Front-of-the-house "Servi" bots work as runners and bussers. Fully automated 'bots working from recipes downloaded from an operation's cloud-based database do all the cooking at some ghost kitchens.
Robotics are often sold as a service option paid for via monthly fees so operators don't have to make hefty outlays for equipment purchases.
These technologies are designed for employee redeployment, not replacement. They free up time for staff to refine dishes and ramp us hospitality in ways that enhance experience.
An App That Reduces Food Waste
Sustainability efforts and opportunities for exceptional value are near and dear to today's consumers - and to Shamrock Foods. The online app Too Good To Go offers both. It notifies consumers when an operation has surplus food slated to be discarded and offers options for purchase at a discounted price.
QR codes for ordering and paying aren't new, but more consumers are using them for the sake of convenience or as no-contact options. They also staff to spend more time focusing on hospitality.
Foodservice-industry research from last year showed that 85% of consumers use or want to use mobile and digital apps in foodservice and usage of QR codes has recently doubled. Expand your QR-code offerings by making them easy to understand and use.
Sources: Datassential 2021 and 2022; Nation's Restaurant News; Shamrock Foods' The Defining Flavor Trends of 2022.
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