Wondering what the future of enterprise food services holds? Get ready, because 2019 and beyond would see some amazing things to bring to the table. The consumer-related food tech advancements that we have seen in the previous decades are truly exciting, but the enterprises continue to be on outdated systems. We predict that enterprise legacy systems will pale in comparison to the types of innovative food technologies & services that will be created in the coming years which will have a deep impact on an employee choice, convenience, and overall food experience.
While it is impossible to say how the future will unfold for sure, with close to a decade of our deep customer knowledge & the data insights, we expect to see and be part of building disruptive products & services. Focusing on leveraging the rapidly advancing fields like the cloud kitchens, food robots, waste management, IOTs and deep learning frameworks in a manner that will improve the health of every enterprise, individual, food supply chain ecosystem. It will also assist in ensuring consistent food security around the globe.
Here’s what we are envisioning,
- Cloud Cafeterias
Traditionally, employers would hire one caterer for a year-long contract, bringing food to the office canteen for employees to purchase. Even when it’s good, it’s the same thing every time. There are multiple use cases of an employee where food ordering and expectation standards differ. To bring innovation, imagine daily food served by a different caterer while still having just one vendor to handle the contract and end-to-end services. This allows for food variety where your corporation could do a food trial from a pool of caterers, home chefs who have the capabilities to serve for smaller companies and shortlist different caterers who could bring in daily food on a rotation basis. We like to call this concept “Cloud Cafeterias” where we create a pool of cloud caterer brands, get array of menu options like a healthy meal, local or global cuisine based specialties and satisfy the taste buds of your employees and delegates. While providing the variety, collecting daily feedback from the employees allows you to improve performance & experience. As we know the preferences of the employees, individual custom menus being available on daily basis, systematic suggestions and ordering will be a reality soon.
2. Food Robots
From restaurants to grocery stores, robots will play an increasingly important role in the way we prepare and get our food. And since robots can run 24 hours a day, they are the perfect solution for making food and even food deliveries on demand, all around the clock. We are already seeing them in places like Spyce, Caliburger, Creator, and Cafe X.
Now things are moving from pilot programs and tests to become integrated into our everyday lives. We are bound to see these revolutions coming into the office’s captive cafeterias and kitchens as well. Restaurants of high-traffic and high-volume locales will be the first to dive deep into the robotics games. Be ready to see food robots in corporate offices, airports and food courts in malls. Need a visual? Check out below the video.
3. Enterprise Health Report
As the old saying goes, “You are what you eat.” With more and more employees ordering their daily office meals online, the data insights can show us what kinds of eating habits they have. When you compile this data together for each organization, an enterprise health report can be crafted. This way, your company can know the overall health and wellness of your employees compared to other companies. By encouraging healthy eating habits, you can encourage healthier employees that are more productive. They will need less sick days and will be less likely to suffer from major health issues which will keep health insurance costs lower.
One aspect of future food technology that is sure to take hold is the adoption of rebate-enabling food journals by health insurance providers. As an individual’s diet is one of the greatest ways to determine their overall health and risk factors for serious diseases, we wholly expect health insurance providers to create a system where the upkeep of an accurate food journal could potentially lead to lower health insurance rates for those who work to upkeep healthy lifestyles.
4. Food Waste Management
With technology on your side, your office can help to minimize food wastage and implement new techniques to reuse food. An example of this is donating the excess to the needy instead of letting perfectly good, unused food go to waste from the office cafeteria.
5. Food Traceability
Ever wonder how much time that banana you’re snacking on takes to travel to where you have purchased it from? What about those seemingly-healthy apples coated in sugary wax? Knowing where our produce comes from is essential for better health.
There’s currently a huge demand for food transparency, one where consumers want to know where that banana or apple was picked and how much time it took to arrive at the point of purchase. Blockchain technology is just one approach we’re experimenting with to solve this dilemma. There’s much room for tech-enabled solutions to bring a clearer vision of the foods we eat before we bite into them.
6. Catering Merchant Rating & Ranking
Thanks to the online food discovery and ordering platforms which provide restaurant rating and ranking systems, consumers can provide instant feedback which could help restaurants take action to improve. Likewise, when it comes to the daily office catering industry, there isn’t a systematic way to provide feedback mechanisms. Expect to see this change quickly where all feedback is revealed so that every enterprise can see the caterer infrastructure, employees, and overall service health report to see if they meet proper service standards.
7. Deep Tech
Augmented & Virtual reality, Artificial intelligence (AI) continues to transform office and personal meal journey.
In the coming years, we may be able to take an instant photo of the food being served in the office cafeteria (or anywhere) and know the quality of food through deep image processing techniques. That would be a huge asset to those who want instant information for how many calories they’d be consuming if they were to eat everything in their photo. Through artificial intelligence and machines learning data insights, algorithms can be built to suggest personalized food recommendations.
8. Biryani Machine
Everyone loves biryani. Getting it at the touch of a button would be heavenly! Just like the coffee vending machine, dramatic, roti maker etc., biryani is the most preferred food item which can be cooked through an assembly machine. It would bring in scale, predictability and more efficiency, plus it would minimize pilferage and wastage. Automating simple repetitive tasks like this are more measurable and benefit everyone.
Embracing food tech doesn’t mean we should fear robots will take over our jobs. After all, there are some things that they just can’t do, like add a personalised human touch. But as we look to mature markets like the US, China, and Europe and watch them move from pilot to adoption phases of deep food tech solutions, it’s getting better and better. Are you ready to taste what’s next?
Sooner than later we all have to build multiple technology enabled products & services and embrace the new wave of foodtech. It’s not a question of if the revolution will happen, and it’s increasingly less of a question as to when the revolution will happen–because it’s already started!