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. Chartwells expands automated pizzeria partnership
PizzaForno, an automated pizzeria that bakes handmade pizza in less than three minutes, has announced a partnership with Chartwells Higher Education following the success of a pilot location at University of New Orleans that had opened last September to address complaints about a lack of food options when the dining halls closed for the day. Easily accessible through PizzaForno's app, users can check inventory, order, and reserve pizzas for pick-up, providing the ability to order via the app from anywhere in the world.
2. Chipotle looks to robots to speed up guac production
Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. is testing a “collaborative robot,” dubbed Autocado, that will cut, core and peel avocados before they’re hand-mashed by the restaurant’s staff to prepare guacamole. To develop Autocado, the restaurant is working with tech outfit Vebu, which is looking to improve the device’s processing speeds that could ultimately result in a 50% reduction for guacamole preparation time.
3. AI-powered system looks to reduce food waste
London-based food waste solution company Winnow has developed an AI-powered system that aims to reduce food waste in commercial kitchens worldwide. CEO Marc Zornes said the company's tech can measure the foods that get tossed daily using machine learning and a camera. Food waste makes up an estimated 30% to 40% of the food supply, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
4. Uber Eats removes 8,000 virtual restaurants from its system
After Uber Eats announced plans in March to crack down on redundant and poorly rated virtual restaurant brands that are noncompliant with the aggregator’s rules, the company has begun to remove thousands of delivery-only restaurants from its marketplace. As first reported by Business Insider, since March, Uber has removed 8,000 restaurants from its system, many of which are duplicates of parent restaurants. The company said it will continue to monitor virtual brand rule-breakers moving forward.
5. Your next friendly bartender could be AI enabled, expert predicts
Artificial intelligence may one day take customers' orders at bars and even recognize regulars as the food and hospitality sectors "slowly" move to embrace integrating AI into day-to-day tasks, according to Glenn Tait, the product director of UK-based hospitality tech firm Zonal, who outlined six ways artificial intelligence will shape the food and hospitality industry as the technology both grows in power and in use. He added that incorporating AI in the hospitality sector "is slow," but that the tech will streamline work while helping humans "create better experiences for their customers."
Contact Mike Buzalka at [email protected]