4th of July rallies get automated assistance

The days of major national events causing backlogs in commercial catering establishments and absolute chaos in consumer kitchens may soon be behind us. As new robotic solutions emerge to automate food preparation and production, producing large quantities of delicious treats for big parties may no longer be the gargantuan task it once was.

Take, for example, the burger, a staple of any 4th of July party. Party hosts have long grilled each person’s order individually, cooked to their particular doneness level, while asking whether or not they want cheese or maybe even if they’d even like to eat no meat.

While this process is sure to stay in play for those who enjoy it, there are now also robotic options in commercial kitchens, such as the Flippy 2 robotic robot from Miso Robotics’ Robots-as-a-Service catering company. It’s a development that suggests it may not be long before a version of the technology for home cooking hits the market in droves.

However, in a conversation with PYMNTS, Jake Brewer, chief strategy officer at Miso, warned that the rush for new innovations could actually distract from opportunities to make the most of existing technologies.

“It’s the old adage: one in the hand is worth two in the bush,” Brewer said. “You could always hunt two of these two birds in the bush and never catch them… Many of these brands, including Miso, have several products on hand that we know work and we know solve a big problem in the world. ‘industry… [Some] people have been chasing that next big innovation forever, and they never really do their first thing on the floor.

Read more: Robotics could be integrated into digital restaurant systems within a year

Automation could also soon transform the way party hosts prepare each guest’s drink to their liking. At a time when robotic bartenders have been popping up everywhere from showrooms to the Beijing Winter Olympics, Reuters recently tweeted a video of a cocktail-making robot working in a bar in Munich.

Likewise, pizza has long been a staple of large group events, and a range of technology providers have emerged to automate the pizza-making process. Take, for example, Picnic Works, a company whose robotic pizza stations will arrive on five college campuses next fall.

See more : Kitchen automation transforms the volume of digital orders from challenge to opportunity

“We’re doing something that, for a human, isn’t complicated — it’s just difficult,” Picnic Works CEO Clayton Wood told PYMNTS in an interview last year. “It’s tedious. It requires attention to detail. When you have poorly trained workers, it’s hard for them to be consistent… So we think pizza is a great food to automate for that reason.

It’s not just food preparation and production that are getting a technology upgrade for the post-2020 era, but also the ordering experience, with food vendors enabling their customers to spend more more easily catering orders.

In fall 2021, leading grocery aggregator Instacart announced the acquisition of restaurant software company FoodStorm. Since then, other restaurants have announced the launch of their own digital restaurant businesses or upgrades to augment their existing programs.

Read more: Instacart acquires restaurant software company in Push to compete with restaurant aggregators

Sandwich chain Subway, for example, which has nearly 40,000 restaurants worldwide, announced a digital-focused relaunch of its restaurant program in May. During the development process of this redesign, the brand learned that while individual restaurant customers often seek personalization, restaurant customers tend to seek the convenience of pre-selected options.

See more : Subway says convenience trumps personalization for restaurant customers

“Prior to redesigning our dining program, we invested in extensive research to understand what customers really want from dining in today’s environment,” said Subway’s Director of Dining, Jenn Saunders. -Haynes, in a June interview with PYMNTS. “We…identified some key trends in the restoration that helped guide our program. First, our customers are looking for easy and convenient options to make decision making easier, so we look at easy ordering and pre-selected dining options.

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NEW PYMNTS DATA: HOW UTILITIES AND CONSUMER FINANCE COMPANIES CAN IMPROVE THE BILL PAYMENT EXPERIENCE

About: More than half of utilities and consumer finance companies have the ability to digitally process all monthly bill payments. The kicker? Only 12% of them do. The Digital Payments Edge, a collaboration between PYMNTS and ACI Worldwide, surveyed 207 billing and collections professionals at these companies to find out why going digital remains elusive.

Sara H. Byrd