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. Tech advances making 24/7 college dining a reality
With the rise in digital ordering and other convenience-focused technologies in recent years, college students increasingly expect to be able to eat what they want, when they want it. “The need for 24/7 access is becoming the norm,” says Paul Kowalczyk, the head of Elior North America’s Education segment. “They want to be able to get something to eat on their time, and not just packaged items. We look at some of the machines and concepts that are available—you can make shakes, cookies, salads, pizza, and it’s fresh.”
2. Delaware North extends deal with supply chain intelligence firm ArrowStream
Delaware North has renewed its long-term contract with ArrowStream, a foodservice cloud platform for supply chain intelligence. The extended partnership reinforces Delaware North's commitment to streamlining its supply chain operations among ArrowStream's network of over 275 chain operators across 100,000 restaurant locations, 1,300 distribution locations, and 10,000 manufacturers.
3. Study: easy order/delivery makes junk food more accessible to kids
A study published in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health says governments need to prepare for the rise of autonomous 24/7 junk food delivery and the potential health consequences for children. Without needing to pay a human driver, the cost of delivery comes down with autonomous vehicles, and “you can have these things going 24/7," said Professor Simone Pettigrew of the George Institute for Global Health who is lead author of the paper. Delivery vehicles could also become mobile billboards, bringing fast food advertising onto suburban streets, she added.
4. Is the restaurant tech boom slowing down?
The technology sector across multiple industries is facing mass layoffs amid macroeconomic uncertainty—from the tech giants like Amazon, Google and Meta, down to unicorn startups. Now restaurant tech seems to be joining them. After several years of new foodservice tech startups popping up and nabbing big investor checks seemingly every other day, the industry is experiencing a slowdown.
5. 7-Eleven tests robot delivery in South Korea
Global convenience store giant 7-Eleven has begun a test run of a robot delivery service at two locations in South Korea in conjunction with Neubility, a South Korean startup. At the location at Konkuk University, customers can order food or products from about 10 nearby restaurants and stores to be delivered to the store, paying just 78 cents as delivery fee while at the other location, in southern Seoul, shoppers can order items from 7-Eleven through a dedicated app to be delivered to their homes, also for 78 cents.
Read more: 7-Eleven tests delivery robot in South Korea
Contact Mike Buzalka at [email protected]