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Amazon Go stores, first launched in 2018, have no cashiers or checkout lines—customers pay automatically through an app.

5 tech things: Amazon closes eight metro Amazon Go c-stores, looks to expand Just Walk Out on campuses

This and how to make better use of smart vending machines are some of the tech-related developments you may have missed recently.

In this special edition of its 5 Things series, Food Management highlights five recent technology-related developments affecting the foodservice world.

Here’s your list for today:

1.    Amazon to close eight metro Go c-stores…

Amazon has announced that it will permanently close eight of its Amazon Go convenience stores, including two in Seattle, two in New York City and four in San Francisco. Amazon Go stores, first launched in 2018, have no cashiers or checkout lines—customers pay automatically through an app.

Read more: Amazon to close 8 of its Go convenience stores

2.    …but looks to Just Walk Out expansion on campuses with Transact alliance

Even as Amazon pulls back on some metro locations for its Amazon Go stores, it looks to be expanding the program on college campuses, with its latest move being a collaboration with mobile credential and payment solutions vendor Transact Campus to integrate its Just Walk Out technology with Transact’s Card System for declining balance and credit card transactions, enabling a fast and frictionless way to make payments with vendors on and off campus. Transact will begin rolling out the Just Walk Out technology integrations in the coming months for early-adopter campuses already using Transact Mobile Ordering and will open the service for additional campuses later this year.

Read more: Transact Campus and Amazon Collaborate to Bring Just Walk Out Technology to College Campuses for Fast and Frictionless Shopping

3.    How to use smart vending machines to boost sales

The need for ready-made food has increased in recent years due to consumers’ busy lifestyles, urbanization and a change to a convenience-first mindset, leading to a drastic increase in the demand for vending machines in offices, commercial places and public areas. In these environments, smart vending machines can bring more tools and opportunities from dynamic pricing to screen advertising. For example, an office can include vending machines on each floor with different products based on data and consumer behavior.

Read more: Ways You Can Take Advantage Of The New Generation Of Vending Machines

4.    Robot helps retirement community expand dining to all-day service

The GenCare Lifestyle Tacoma retirement community in Washington has introduced a robot to help dining staff deliver meals, allowing it to expand its dining to all-day service while cutting the number of daily steps taken by its human servers in half. Along with meal delivery to tables, the robot can greet residents, share announcements, assist in clearing tables and even sing “Happy Birthday” as it delivers birthday cake to a resident.

Read more: This robot is helping one retirement community expand its dining services in Tacoma

5.    Drone delivery firms touts customer retention in test market pilot

Flytrex, a drone delivery service that has partnered with major companies like Chili’s parent Brinker International and consumer packaged goods giant Unilever, is seeing high loyalty levels a year into its first test in Holly Springs, N.C. “In Holly Springs, the first town we started operating in, a year after, we’ve managed to penetrate close to 60% of the households within range, so that means more than half the households downloaded the app and made at least one order,” said Flytrap Co-founder/CEO Yariv Bash. “One year after we started, we’re at roughly 50% retention—50% of the households keep using the service. If you compare that to any other on-demand service, it’s exceptionally great.”

Read more: Flytrex CEO Touts 50% Consumer Retention in Drone Delivery Test

Bonus: IFMA announces the 2023 Silver Plate Award winners

Contact Mike Buzalka at [email protected]

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