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5 Things
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Robots like these Kiwibot units at the University of Denver are expanding across U.S. campuses this fall.

5 tech things: Robot food delivery expands to more campuses this fall

This and automated food lockers debuting at a campus football stadium 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. Robots expand across campuses

Robotic food delivery is expanding across the higher education landscape with schools large and smaller debuting the automated units to get remote ordered foods to students around the campus. They include the University of Findlay, the two campuses of the University of Southern Maine, Ohio Northern University, the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire, Jacksonville State University,. Framingham State University and Tulane University.


  1. University of Missouri stadium debuts food lockers

Memorial Stadium at the University of Missouri is the first college stadium to debut automated food lockers where fans can collect food orders quickly without waiting in concession stand lines, according to Director of Athletics Desiree Reed-Francois. An order can be placed for food and drinks through a kiosk in front of the lockers or a link in the Mizzou Tigers app and a text message is sent once the food is ready. The food lockers were brought to Memorial Stadium in partnership with Mastercard and Levy, the stadium concession vendor.

Read more: Food lockers at Memorial Stadium provide a new concession stand experience


  1. Firm tests robot food and package delivery to office park

Using robots to deliver packages to various locations around office buildings is being tested by the Mesh Korea firm at the Incheon Startup Park in Korea. In the test, which will continue through next April, employees deliver packages to the building and load them on the delivery robots at a station next to the entrance, and the robots then navigate the buildings on their own to deliver the items. Mesh Korea says Incheon Startup Park is an ideal test site because there will be various restaurant deliveries from over 80 companies that use the building, allowing it to effectively test the service and see if it can be applied to other locations in the future.

Read more: Mesh Korea to test autonomous robot deliveries in Incheon buildings


  1. Panera testing AI in drive-thru lanes

Panera Bread became the latest restaurant brand to invest in drive-thru automation technology, with the announcement of the bakery-café chain’s partnership with OpenCity to test out AI voice ordering technology in two café locations in the Rochester, N.Y. area. This is not the first test of automation technology Panera has announced recently: the company also tested a coffee-brewing robot in partnership with Miso Robotics earlier this year.

Read more: Panera is testing out AI in the drive-thru lane


  1. Firm develops goose-safe “foie gras”

Sophisticated food technology from plant-based products firm Better Meat Co. is allowing Bon Appétit Management Co. to offer "foie gras" to the employees at LinkedIn’s office cafeteria in Sunnyvale, Calif. While authentic foie gras is illegal in California, Better Meat compensates by substituting fungi for duck or goose liver.

Read more: Better Meat Co. Serves Legal Foie Gras To Hungry Silicon Valley Workers


Bonus: The 2022 Hospital Power Players



Contact Mike Buzalka at [email protected]

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