The technology has been for years one of the great promoters of the hospitality sector. Virtual assistants, robotics for restoration, artificial intelligence, macrodatos, 3d print food, virtual reality, augmented reality… There are many fronts that contribute to digital processing Of bars, restaurants, cafeterias and others hospitality-related businesses.
The digital training platform The Valley has recently presented its report Rethink: Food & Restaurants. It contains the four fundamental axes around which innovation in restaurants and grocery stores will revolve in the near future.. The study, signed by Juan Luis Moreno, CEO of The Valley, summarizes the technological lines in R + D + i, connectivity, new operating models and circular economy that will energize this business network.
1.- Research and development applied to food production and design
The study points out the growing interest of the population in consuming fresh products, quality, and whose provenance is known. The technology block chain offers unbreakable traceability suitable for these types of applications. The famous supermarket chain Carrefour has entered into a collaboration IBM Food Trust recently to value this technology in Spain.
Consumers can use their mobile phone to scan a QR code labeled on the packaging of the product they want to buy and check all the information on it.. It is foreseeable that more and more food stores and supermarkets will join this trend.
The search for healthy options is not limited to knowing more about the product. Consumers place a special emphasis on what they eat. Recent surveys in Spain, like the one made a few months ago by TheFork, they show that customers want more healthy alternatives on restaurant menus.
This is exemplified by a increasingly rapid adoption of plant-based meat substitutes. In our country there are already almost five million people who consume this category of food with some assiduity. In coming years the market volume of this segment will continue to increase. Examples of pioneering companies in this sector are Ethica Meat (Basque Country) O Future Farm (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil).
2.- Omnichannel demand at unsuspected levels
The passing of a business eminently on-premise, prevailing until the nineties, starts to wobble. The coronavirus crisis has caused bar managers, coffee shops and restaurants realize that running a successful business using the salon alone is no longer feasible. The volume of digital business represents a 30% of the total on average.
This percentage is increasing at a dizzying rate. Social distancing and the good service provided by food delivery companies have a lot to do with this phenomenon.
Omnichannel sales are decisive for the future of the New Hospitality business because. Nevertheless, the complexity of these channels will only increase in the near future.
Customer comfort and the elimination of friction during the transaction is everything. That is why a la carte subscription services begin to emerge (as Fabián from Masterchef via Carrefour), virtual assistants based on artificial intelligence (Google Home), new reservation routes (Google Maps Instagram), voice commands integrated into the latest generation digital car console (such as the collaboration between Chevy and Domino’s Pizza through MarketPlace) and more.
The artificial intelligence the AI also allows the use of autonomous driving or opening of ghost kitchens in particularly profitable locations.
3.- Robotics for restaurants and grocery stores
The implementation of robotics in many sectors lags behind. The technology exists but is not yet used as it should. Retail giants like Amazon have been put to work to mitigate the consequences of the mistakes made. The titan of retail digital now has a training program, Career Choice Program, that will allow the company's employees to learn about robotics and adapt in time to the future envisioned by Jeff Bezos.
Alibaba, Amazon's Chinese competitor has also joined this technological macro trend.
Grocery stores will soon undergo a complete revolution. Walmart he already uses robots in the 45% of your points of sale. Automata take care of repetitive tasks like replenishment and collaborating with human workers.
In the hospitality industry, specialized solutions for restaurants and similar establishments are coming out with a dropper.. In the last two years we have seen Casting robots, robots camaraderie, articulated arms in kitchens, robotic vending machines and even comprehensive robotics solutions that automate all restaurant processes. These solutions will become ubiquitous over time, although Moreno assumes that hybrid models will also be the order of the day.
4.- Hospitality and sustainability in the 21st century
The largest investment fund on the planet, Blackrock, recently announced that it would begin removing publicly traded companies from its portfolio if its environmental commitment was not up to par. For companies, eco-responsibility is not a whim, it is a necessity. Both the capitalist partners and the clientele demand that their activity be as sustainable as possible.
The Circular economy is one of the ways this can be achieved. He local trade is another option that reduces emissions. Have a portfolio of microproductores can save the restaurant money and help regenerate the soil and conserve biodiversity.
further, hoteliers do not have to face all the responsibilities on their own. They can, And they must!, require suppliers to reduce their ecological footprint, minimize the use of plastics in packaging and help reduce the use of single-use kitchenware.
Both restaurants and grocery stores should also make an effort to reduce food waste. For this there are apps Mobile phones that allow unsold food to be offered at the end of the day. These are listed in the application with discounted prices, which also has a beneficial social effect.
Even the 3D printing food has enough potential to help combat climate runaway, the great challenge of humanity in this century.
NovaMeat uses this technology to create plant-based meat substitutes, Sushi Singularity analyzes customer samples to design parts of sushi ultra-personalized by printing, Y Solar Foods You have opted for a product that looks like something out of science fiction, a protein food extracted from the very air thanks to carbon capture technology designed by IRTA, Plant and Food Research and the agribusiness platform Hot Climate Programme. The idea? Fight hunger while fighting anthropogenic climate change.