Automated Food: The Tech Trend Transforming the Restaurants of Tomorrow
Nearly one in five diners plans to use mobile ordering for food more frequently in 2018; while one in seven wants to have more kiosk ordering options available in restaurants this year, according to Mintel’s US report on dining out in 2018. And these statistics haven’t gone unnoticed by the world’s leading fast-food and restaurant chains.
McDonalds now has self-serving screens, meaning customers can order what they like with the touch of their fingertips and then collect their order at a manned counter. A vast number of food chains are deciding to operate their business with sans staff, for front of house and in the kitchen.
One American fast-food chain that has taken the concept of automated food one step further is Eatsa; as customers can place their order, pay and collect their food without any human interaction.
The whole restaurant resembles a vending machine - customers order their food at an iPad kiosk and then wait for their order in front of a wall of little glass cupboards. The cupboard doors will light up with the name of the customer and their food inside when it’s ready.
Eatsa serve freshly prepared prepared bowls of quinoa, rice and grains, with a range of toppings, and customers can order from their set menu or even create-their-own. Their computer system will also keep a record of each diner’s previous orders, so when a diner returns, the iPad can display their previous orders and even recommend alternative meals based on their previous orders.
However, as the popularity for virtual reality continues to increase, some restaurants may start using 3-D printers, to print sample items off the menu for their customers to try! For example US-based Project Nourished allows users to eat almost anything they want (minus any calories) by hacking vision, gustation, olfaction, audition and touch.
Their tech products can mimic all forms of food… including dinosaur meat! To create a complete sensory dining experience, the project includes an aromatic diffuser to create tempting smells, a VR headset, and a bone conduction transducer which emits chewing noises.
Even robots are now becoming a prominent fixture in food establishments. A number of restaurants have already invested in tech-infused cooking equipment - designed to help inexperienced chefs complete tasks that would usually be assigned to the more experienced chefs.
Looking to the future, expect to see fully-automated robotic chefs cooking and preparing complete dishes single handedly in restaurants across the globe!
Robotic chefs will be able to mimic precise movements of a human chef through the use of motion capture technology. They will also have a plethora of recipes and dishes programmed into the robots, meaning the “chef” can whip up incredibly delicious meals in all kinds of restaurants.
Seeing as the concept of driverless cars is gaining serious momentum, if you combine this with the automisation of food, diners may have their favourite takeaway cooked and delivered to their home without a single human being involved!