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:
- Aramark goes high-tech for new NFL season
As part of its preparation for the 2021 NFL season, Aramark is rolling out a variety of high-tech service offerings and ordering methods to provide convenience, variety and safety to fans, including checkout-free smart stores, AI-powered self-checkout devices that visually identify food and beverage items and ring them up in a single transaction, mobile ordering/payment via QR codes—including in-seat delivery service for premium ticket holders in four locations—and self-order kiosks in three client stadiums. Also debuting are mobile beer express locations at Cincinnati's Paul Brown Stadium that allow fans to place an order for beer or water and pick it up immediately.
- Biometric dining hall check in has some students concerned at Syracuse
Syracuse University has implemented fingerprint scanning in dining halls for students with unlimited meal plans this fall in an effort to reduce the time waiting in line and asked students to register their hands by Sept. 17. However, multiple students using unlimited meal plans this fall said they believe logging their fingerprints is unnecessary and worried about how their biometrics information will be handled, especially after a data breach last fall that compromised the names and Social Security numbers of nearly 10,000 students, alumni and applicants.
- High school uses QR code check-in to track lunchroom seating
Paul V. Moore High School in New York is using plexiglass barriers between each pre-assigned lunch space in its cafeteria for which students are asked to check-in at every lunch period using a QR code at each spot that launches a form for the student’s name, table and seat number. That's so that in the event of a contagious case in the room, the data will help determine who else needs to quarantine.
- Guckenheimer to use smart kitchen tech to meet food waste goal
ISS Facility Services and its dining contract unit ISS Guckenheimer, an FM Top 50 firm, have announced a program to reduce by 50% all food waste produced in facilities where it provides food management services in the U.S. by 2024, something it says would make it the first major U.S. food services company to do so. To meet its target, the company has partnered with smart kitchen technology vendor Winnow to equip more than 200 of its client kitchens with technology that captures food waste data in the kitchen and feeds it back to teams with actionable insights that enable the kitchens to make better inventory decisions. ISS Group piloted Winnow in sites across Europe and Australia and saved over 38 tons of food in the first year of the program.
- Brooklyn Dumpling Shop automat concept expanding to Dallas
New York based restaurant concept Brooklyn Dumpling Shop is expanding its automat-style round-the-clock service to Dallas with five locations. The units offer up to 32 different dumpling varieties, plus wontons, pot stickers, spring rolls, dessert dumplings and beverages—including some alcoholic drink choices—through touch-screen ordering/payment that gives access to the desired slots in the store's temperature-controlled food locker. The move is another example of the expanding use of automation to offer 24-hour access to gourmet-quality food options without the need for onsite labor, a platform with application in environments such as colleges, medical facilities and even some businesses where potential customers are on the premises round the clock but off-hours manned service is impractical.
Contact Mike Buzalka at [email protected]