A simple walk through Spanish food stores reveals that raw foods such as vegetables and fruits, intended to be consumed directly without going through any cooking process, they are less secure than they were just a few months ago.
They proliferate in the fruit and greengrocery sections of our supermarkets warnings and posters that strongly invite us to rinse all vegetables in soapy water, or use a natural acid like vinegar to destroy the lipid coating that protects the virus that has turned our lives upside down.
Of course, having experienced firsthand the devastating effects that the coronavirus can trigger, shoppers follow the directions of grocery store managers to the letter. But what is happening in restaurants?
How the consumer knows that food eaten without cooking carries a greater risk, its consumption has been reduced in restaurants, as many visitors are still wary of sufficient anti-COVID-19 measures.
This is a serious problem for some niches in the restaurant sector. A clear example is that of the places specializing in salads. The demand for this type of dishes has fallen significantly, well, far from containing a single raw ingredient, a variety of fresh produce is often used that, nowadays, produce some rejection.
Restaurants whose economic performance depends largely on these items have now set their sights on a tool that is slowly making a dent in restaurants around the world. We talk about the robots cooking.
Restoration robotics is still in its infancy. US only. THE. and in some Southeast Asian countries, the presence of robots in dining rooms or restaurant kitchens is beginning to be seen with some frequency. Out of there, market analysts point out that there is some delay in the adoption of the technology. Something that could be changing now, with the coronavirus crisis, as regaining consumer confidence is a priority and show that food is not handled by people (potential vectors of contagion) and that in its place are automata that are in charge of preparing the orders, gives some peace of mind to visitors.
Food mixers they are making their way in those tasks that are more or less simple. In this sense, preparing a salad is not too complex because the number of tasks to be carried out is low, and the movements that take place during the preparation of the dish are easy to execute by the automatons.
So that, In the market there are kitchen robots specialized in the preparation of salads for years. And the professionals who operate in this niche are interested in using them to try to stop the economic drain that this niche is suffering. 2020.
The salad restaurant niche was already suffering for some time. In 2016 consumption started to decline, and in later years it was accused, reaching a average annual decrease of around ten percentage points. Until now, restaurateurs in this segment were getting ahead adjusting margins, changing suppliers and doing all kinds of pirouettes to overcome changes in customer consumption habits. But 2020, with the coronavirus pandemic, Has ruined any chance of afloat.
With a decrease in demand around the 30% mid June, the only way these restaurants can cope is to reduce their workforce. In a restaurant, Salaries make up one of the most important items in local expenses. Food mixers, although they represent a large initial investment, are profitable in the medium or short term.
Another possibility that is being explored is the self-service oriented automated dispensers. Since the 80% of customers who usually shopped in places like supermarkets or grocery stores, and other places specialized in fresh products, now understand that there is a lot of danger when consuming these types of items, it is logical that any alternative route that allows to recover the interest of the habitual buyers is being explored thoroughly.
Some of the systems that are having the most success among professionals are the automatons of Chowbotics. Coined with the name Sally (o Sally 2.0 in the most modern models), son a robotics-based solution for restoration that by 35 000 dollars can automate the entire salad preparation process.
Slightly more expensive are the Amtekco Industries Inc., an Ohio-based tech company (OF. UU.) that sells for 75 000 dollars your holistic proposal to convert from restaurant to salad point of sale with automated self-service. An idea that although interesting, It is not within the reach of any restorer given the high cost.
And is that decrease the staff of the equation, either in real or in appearance, seems to be what this market demands in these complex moments. Another option that is being explored is the elimination of the restaurant as a point of acquisition for salads. A) Yes, the establishment becomes supplier of supermarkets and grocery stores to use, where salads are sold sealed.
This mode of operation hides the work of the cook in pursuit of greater economic performance in these difficult times. This reduces friction with the consumer and increases interest in the item in question.
Salads are not the only item that follows this path. The sushi bars they are also exploring this path. Some steakhouses have even done the same to promote their products cooked on artisanal barbecues..
Wholesalers and restaurants are intertwining, and the barriers between the two continue to blur in a path that some experts say will continue even after a vaccine against it arrives. SARS-2. A transformation that has its origin in the mobility market and in the taste that the population has taken to receive their orders to eat at home, without leaving your home.
Is it true that many restaurants will end up becoming suppliers? Only time will tell, but the pandemic has certainly caused a change of course that benefits kitchen machines and food stores.