As the world enters the third decade of the 21st century, one thing is eminently clear—this is a world increasingly driven by technology, especially the technologies of automation and of interactivity. Both have significant application in onsite foodservice and are changing the ways in-house dining programs interact with customers, the responsibilities and skills they require of their employees and the way they produce and serve their food.
The adoption of technological innovations by onsite dining programs is also being driven by a number of other factors ranging from rising labor costs accelerated by an extremely low unemployment rate and local “living wage” campaigns, to growing societal demands for convenience and customization, demands that commercial and retail competitors are already aggressively adopting.
Hence, 2019 was characterized by continued experimentation with and adoption of technology solutions by operators across the onsite dining community, ranging from remote ordering and automated production to robot delivery and high-tech vending units. Here are 15 stories from 2019 dealing with technology innovations.