|Even before the spreading of coronavirus, restaurants were dealing with labour issues and at the same time adopting new technologies to meet the consumer’s taste. Now, technology is even more of a necessity to the food industry amid pandemic. This is because technologies can help in the recover of job losses and business closures.
There were roughly 2.5million restaurant-industry jobs lost nationally in the United States since March. Around 100,000 eateries have closed their doors temporarily during this pandemic. Even with the improvement in sight, the industry is forecast to suffer from a $240billion lost revenues this year.
However, it is not over yet. Restaurant owners are bracing for a possible second wave of COVID-19 as colder weather approaches. Therefore, here are some ways that restaurants are adapting and relying on technology to help cut costs or merely to survive.
Virtual restaurants will become more common in this current situation. According to the prediction of the National Restaurant Association, virtual kitchens help eateries to lower their costs in many ways. For instance, it helps lower the rent and ease the process of finding a trendy locale.
One of the virtual kitchen, named Kitchen United, allows customers to order meals from more than a dozen brands. These brands range from P.F. Chang’s and Baja Fresh to Boston Market and White Castle. Besides, it also offers a dining hall experience at its Scottsdale location, along with pick-up and delivery services.
The concepts of the virtual kitchen rely majorly on increasing consumer comfort with smartphone ordering. At the same time, third-party-food-delivery services such as Grubhub is also provided.
In addition, the concepts of the virtual kitchen are all about flexibility and greater customer choice.
“We allow customers to have multiple restaurant orders on the same ticket,” said Lai, Kitchen United’s chief operating officer. “Everyone doesn’t have to agree on what they want to eat.”
Robot technology in the food industry
Robot technology already exists and industry could see a much wider application of it. It is especially useful in quick-serve businesses.
According to a new report from Ball State University, robots are capable of flipping hamburgers, making pizzas and mixing cocktails as bartenders, with more accuracy and less shrinkage. Besides, robots also help in maintaining social distancing by reducing the number of labours in the kitchen.
Some estimations have shown that more than 80% of restaurant jobs could possibly be taken over by automation.
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