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:
- Compass Canada to use auto kitchens for off-hour meal service
Compass Group Canada has announced an exclusive partnership with foodservice automation firm SJW Robotics through which it will pilot three RoWok 24/7 autonomous kitchen robots in select operations to provide warm, fresh, customizable meals for healthcare workers on a night shift or students studying after hours. Using robotics, AI, machine learning, data science and cloud analytics technology, RoWok occupies only 100 square feet of space and can produce 60+ meals per hour, providing an alternative to large-scale kitchen operations and mixed schedules, such as for healthcare workers and hospital guests eating during non-business hours or office workers without easy access to fresh cafeteria services..
- Texas A&M stadium to feature Just Walk Out stores
Texas A&M University and hospitality partner Levy have announced that three checkout-free food and beverage stores equipped with Amazon’s Just Walk Out technology and Amazon One will be brought to the university's Kyle Field stadium this fall, selling products such as snacks, chips, soda, bottled water and alcoholic beverages (IDs will be required to be shown to store attendants to purchase alcohol). “Texas A&M seeks to always be on the cutting edge of technology so it’s fitting that Kyle Field, Home of the 12th Man, would be the first collegiate venue in the world to feature Amazon’s innovative customer shopping experience,” Ross Bjork, Texas A&M’s director of athletics, said in a release. “We must always make the fan experience better, and I know that Aggies and our guests will love having the ability to avoid the line and get back to the football game as fast as possible."
- DoorDash to shutter Chowbotics
So long Sally? DoorDash confirmed that it is shutting down Chowbotics after acquiring the robotics company in Feb. 2021. Chowbotics, which is known for Sally the salad-making robot, will cease operations on Aug. 31, 2022, according to a statement released by DoorDash, and first reported on by food robotics substack, OttoMate.
- Flippy 2 to make wings, etc. for Wings and Rings chain
Restaurant automation firm Miso Robotics has announced a partnership with club-level sports restaurant chain Wings and Rings to begin a piloted test of Miso's Flippy 2 kitchen robot in the Wings and Rings location in Crestview Hills, Kentucky, with possible plans for further integration in the months ahead. "We've been so impressed by our conversations with Miso and our initial tests of Flippy that we're adding more menu items into our pilot," said Wings and Rings COO Bob Bafundo. "Flippy is consistent, dependable and cooks our food even quicker than before without sacrificing the flavor-forward taste we're known for."
- ‘iPhone of Vending Machines’ expanding to more locations
Retail solution firm PopCom is expanding its PopShop Local concept, a digital pop-up shop hybrid between e-commerce and local brick-and-mortar storefronts, to seven new locations in the U.S., including John Glenn Columbus International Airport in Columbus, Ohio. Referred to as the “iPhone of vending machines,” PopShops utilize facial recognition technology to capture consumer demographic information, machine learning to help deliver targeted content, and blockchain technology to enable identity verification and the sale of regulated products in high-traffic areas such as hotels, convention centers, airports and malls.
Contact Mike Buzalka at [email protected]