Advancements in Foodservice Technology

12 08 22NAFEM advancements in foodservice technology THUMB

The past several years have brought many new innovations into foodservice operations, especially in response to the rise in demand for takeout, delivery and more flexible on-premise dining. What had been novel, such as QR codes in place of menus, ordering kiosks, and table-side credit-card processing, is now more expected. In fact, as labor supplies fluctuate, these once-new innovations are becoming must-have tools that save labor for more high-value tasks.

But there are other technology-centric innovations for the foodservice operator. Learn more about the opportunities these present to become more efficient, profitable and competitive.

Improving operations through data and connectivity

We’re starting to hear more about how “smart technology” or “IoT (internet of Things)” in foodservice technology is increasing. We’ll be watching this for the next decade as advanced sensors continue to gather and analyze data for more optimal decision-making. Here are some ways IoT technology is in the kitchen already:

  • Ovens that can be remotely programmed with cooking instructions, updated on command.
  • Dishmachines with monitors that collect, transmit and analyze data points such as water temperatures, energy, water, and detergent usage and overall sanitization.
  • Fryers that keep track of filtration and temperature, and provide alerts about non-optimal use.
  • Refrigerators that record storage dates and predict spoilage, facilitate automatic ordering, and streamline inventory management.
  • Completely connected kitchen solutions that manage workflow, facilitate automated reporting and distribute key data such as recipes.

Streamline costs with labor-saving technology

Automation is a hot topic for foodservice operators right now, as economic factors including low unemployment, higher wages and inflation are front-page news across the country. Here are some smart ways to use technology to stretch your labor budget:

  • Advanced kiosks can help facilitate quick ordering and payment, and instant transmission of accurate tickets to the kitchen.
  • Handheld table side payment scanners save server time running back to a POS off the floor and keep guest information safer.
  • Ovens that can be programmed with cooking modes per dish. Requiring little training and fostering cross-functionality, employees just hit a button, and the oven produces quality food, every time.
  • Change cooking methods to foster advance preparation of ingredients using versatile combi-ovens then brought down to temperature in blast-chillers and finished to order.

Spotlight on food lockers

This piece of equipment has proven itself invaluable as a tool for off-site and commissary kitchens, and for managing an array of food-delivery services. Here are some of the features and benefits of this flexible addition:

  • Temperature controls facilitate keeping food at the right temperature from package time to pick-up time.
  • Locking mechanisms that can be opened using unique codes help ensure the right order goes home with the right customer.
  • Advanced models feature self-sanitizing functions to ensure ultimate cleanliness.
  • Integrate food lockers with apps that alert customers that their order is ready for pick-up.

A new age of vending

Grab-and-go has been the name of the game for foodservice in many locations, such as businesses, healthcare facilities and colleges and universities.

  • Today’s vending machines have advanced refrigeration abilities that facilitate having an array of fresh fare on order and some models even assemble ingredients on command into a fully finished dish.
  • Available in a range of footprints, these more advanced models integrate easily into more environments, including novel spots, such as apartment lobbies, in grocery stores and in healthcare settings.

The NAFEM Show offers commercial foodservice operators an all-in-one destination for exploring these innovations as well as hardworking E&S staples. Top exhibitors from across the industry are bringing their products to the show, plus smart strategies for implementation, training and service.

Learn more and register today at https://www.thenafemshow.org/

The original version of this article first appeared on The NAFEM Show site.


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