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:
- Robotic kitchen to make celebrity chef’s branded bowl creations
Startup firm Nommi and global food tech platform C3 are piloting a program through which the Nommi robotic kitchen produce bowl meals 24/7 from celebrity chef Masaharu Morimoto's Sa'Moto restaurant brand menu. Able to hold 330 bowls and lids before needing to be refilled, Nommi units can prepare multiple bowl meals simultaneously and store them in a safe, sanitary locker that can hold up to 21 meals, ready for the consumer to pick up via a unique QR code.
"With Nommi, we are working to reimagine the restaurant experience by partnering AI with proven recipes and menu's helmed by C3's world renowned chefs," says C3 Founder/CEO Sam Nazarian. "By doing so, we are taking traditional concepts and making them new for an ever-changing restaurant industry."
- Orders for robot “workers” accelerating
The total orders by North American companies for robotic "workers" climbed to nearly 29,000 this year, an increase of 37% over last year, according to the Association for Advancing Automation (A3) trade group, which represents organizations working with robotics, artificial intelligence (AI) and other technologies. In the third quarter alone, North American companies placed orders for 9,928 robots, marking the third-highest quarter for orders on record.
- Voice-first units replace walkie-talkies for AT&T Stadium f&b operator
Sports/entertainment venue f&b firm Legends Hospitality has formed a three-year partnership with voice-first communications platform Relay to supply 400+ pocket-sized, voice-first technology devices to stewards, suite expeditors, servers, runners, barbacks, managers and supervisors at AT&T Stadium in Dallas, providing cloud-based, Slack-like communications and inventory management for the venue's nearly 300 points of sale and 350 suites. Unlike traditional walkie-talkies that are limited by range and repeaters, Relay operates on WiFi and 4G networks that enable users to stay in communications with colleagues anywhere a traditional cell phone works, while also being able to switch between different channels to communicate with different groups or teams. Relay units also feature GPS and 3D-mapping capabilities that allow logistics to better distribute staff quickly via a cloud-connected dashboard, and a verification feature that validates employees responsible for delivery or receiving of goods and services via auto-capture.
- Whitsons develops digital internal messaging system
FM Top 50 firm Whitsons Culinary Services has developed an internal messaging system called Café Connections that it says significantly changes how it connects with team members. The new platform seamlessly integrates with its existing systems while transforming plain data into attention-grabbing digital messages, and it maintains company branding and messaging while allowing location level access that lets managers create personalized messages geared towards their own teams.
“This new technology is a state of art product we developed to replace traditional internal bulletin boards, memos and posters using a high-impact visual messaging system,” says Kelly Friend, COO for Contract Management. “The goal of this back of the house platform is to improve the delivery of relevant and timely information [and] is ideal for communicating customer and client related information, in real-time, to our on-site teams—even reaching those without email access.”
- Fashion store replaces floor stock with video wall displays
In another indication of ways technology is altering the retailing landscape, high-end fashion retailer Modivo says it is has opened the world’s first fully automated ‘phygital’ retail store in Warsaw, Poland, with floor stock replaced by video walls that display the latest fashions to customers, who can then browse the shop’s catalogue on tablets linked to the stock room. Once they make their selections, a code is sent to their mobile device that can then be presented at the fitting room entrance, where their items are then made available and where they can amend their selections, confirm orders and collect them from a collection point where it is paid for.
“With consumer shopping behavior already shifting online, Modivo had a vision to bring the same speed, convenience and cost benefits to their physical stores,” Sales Director Mariusz Chludzinski comments about the store, which is designed for 24/7 operation.
Contact Mike Buzalka at [email protected]