For food service businesses that have a repetitive aspect to their production processes there is an increasing level of automation being introduced. Among them is US-based Zume Pizza uses robots to create its pizzas. This has dramatically reduced staffing costs.
Amazon launched its voice-driven Echo (better known as Alexa) device in 2015 and myriad ‘skills’ have been added that enable it to do much more than answer questions and order goods from Amazon. Ordering pizza is one such skill and several large operators are finding it a useful tool.
TGI Friday’s is the first UK brand to launch Bar Tab that allows customers to set up, manage and pay bar tabs, on their smartphones and even split the final bill. The function sits within Mastercard’s Qkr! Payment app that is being integrated into Oracle Hospitality’s restaurant management platform.
An increasing number of leisure and hospitality businesses are using location-based technology, among them is Dunkin Donuts, through a partnership with Waze.The ‘Order Ahead’ feature in the Dunkin Donuts app uses Waze to allow customers in the US to locate their nearest restaurant and order from that venue in a single tap.
Tesco and Just Eat have both been using the automated delivery vehicles of Starship Technologies to solve the last mile issue. They have partnered with the innovative logistics company to test the potential of robot deliveries in London of groceries and pizzas respectively.
GoInStore has initially been focused on the retail sector where its technology enables customers to undertake personalised tours of stores remotely via a live two-way video stream and two-way audio channel. This has been applied to the leisure sector with Marriott Hotels using the solution within its European Convention Network.
At the Wynn Las Vegas hotel each of its 4,700 rooms has an Amazon Alexa unit installed for guests. It enables them to undertake a number of tasks in their room including controlling the lighting, heating, opening and closing the curtains, and operating the television.
Starbucks continues to set the benchmark for seamlessly integrating the mobile and in-store experience through its massively popular Mobile Order & Pay, which allows members of its Rewards programme who have downloaded the app to order their drinks and pay via their mobile device and then collect from store.
There is little doubt that waste is increasingly moving up the agendas of those companies dealing with food. Not only is it seen as environmentally and sustainably ethical, but in these times, when cutting cost is an imperative, it also makes financial sense.
Delivering a seamless experience to customers is the objective of all businesses and one of the ways to enable this is through using new forms of identifying people – which might ease the process of them paying or in the case of airlines provide a more painless way to check-in.
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