The Future of Restaurant Dining

We live in a world that is ever so changing. New technology is introduced and replaced. Greater and more powerful gadgets and tools are constantly released. For any type of industry, we are surrounded by technology.

Restaurant Gadgets

Speed and power are key elements in a restaurant kitchen. Equipment that can save time, increase business and reduce costs are what all restaurants seek. Each year, suppliers compete with newer and improved kitchen gadgets. The ability to cook food at high speeds, holding temperatures for hours, all this while still keeping food at its highest quality is now possible. Introducing the Turbo Chef, this compact oven is 15 times more powerful than a convection oven. Who ever thought it would be possible to cook a whole chicken in less than 20 minutes or bake an apple pie in 17 minutes. Having near “human like” capabilities, the Turbo Chef can learn a user’s preferences. Navigating through an extensive list of preprogrammed foods, the user selects an item and answers a set of questions. Chicken? Fresh or frozen? Whole or portioned? Stuffed or unstuffed? Once the information has been saved, the oven goes to work and rapidly preheats. Food is added and bam, within minutes the food is done.

If you like entertaining at home, you can purchase the Turbo Chef’s home version at a price tag of $7,895. I guess when you are willing to spend more money, anything is possible.

Hi-tech Restaurants

Recently featured by the BBC News, the restaurant, Baggers, in Germany is described as the world’s first fully automated restaurant. The kitchen is manned with real people, but the restaurant has no waiters. Customers order their food by a touch screen system that indicates how long their food will take, cooking methods, information on ingredients and food sources. Food is delivered to the customer via a mini-railway using the power of gravity from the 2nd floor kitchen. Currently, the restaurant is such a hit, its sold out everyday and requires reservations weeks in advance. The restaurant menu is focused on local ingredients including organic produce and healthy low-fat foods. Owner and inventor Michael Mack who has patented the technology has reported enquiries have been made from several major foodservice chains. Could this be the trend for restaurant dining?

Mobile Marketing

Studies reveal mobile marketing can drive customer traffic. With increased competition, restaurant chains are competing to find ways to target 18 to 34 year olds. So where do this people spend most of their time? It’s on the phone. Chains such as Denny’s and Starbucks are some who have used mobile coupons and text messages in the past to offer special promotions. The latest chains to try it include McDonald’s and Extreme Pita. So how does it work? Both restaurant chains have partnered with mobile coupon provider Cellfire where subscribers download the application and instantly receive coupons and future notices of special promotions. Consumers who subscribe to Cellfire receive a free iced coffee from one of 113 McDonald’s who is testing the system while Extreme Pita’s US locations offers a free combo meal when a regular sized pita is purchased.

What’s next for Restaurants?

While restaurants are using technology in their attempt to attract new customers, new technology continues to be researched and formed. Will mobile couponing and automated restaurants be the trend? How far will restaurants go to attract customers? Technology is changing the landscape of how restaurants operate and compete. Perhaps, it won’t be long until robots are seen in kitchens. Integrating technology to improve service is one thing, but to remove human interaction is another. Is Bagger’s restaurant a tourist destination or a trend that will be adapted? What do you think?

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2 Responses to “The Future of Restaurant Dining”

  1. Joe Says:

    I think it’s (Baggers) just a concept that will fade away. It maywork on low end restaurants or chains, but I can’t see it in better places. I like interaction with a knowlgeable staff person.

  2. Joe Says:

    I don’t think it will work with top restaurants. I would miss the interaction with a knowledgeable waitstaff person.

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