Tech 2.0: Digital Innovation Tops Menu of Must-Haves for Restaurant Operations

Posted in Technology on March 8, 2022

Tech 2.0: Digital Innovation Tops Menu of Must-Haves for Restaurant OperationsAs the catalyst for industrywide disruptions, the pandemic has proven that, once again, necessity is the mother of invention. Labor-saving automation and robotics, personalized in-app experiences, AI-enabled digital menu boards and numerous other tech advances became mission critical as the hunger for contactless convenience and greater operational efficiency intensified.  

Now that digitally expedited and enhanced experiences have become ingrained behavior, foodservice continues to build out digital solutions, even as the intensity of the pandemic may ease and the industry adapts more nimbly to a new norm explored in a previous post.

Food Tech Startup Lunchbox Feasts on Funding

The $50 million series B funding acquired by digital innovation platform Lunchbox is an example of the growing interest in tech integrations that take contactless speed and convenience to a new level. Lunchbox’s tech toolkit encompasses an end-to-end customer experience, from web and app ordering to loyalty programs to solutions for ghost and virtual kitchens.

As Nabeel Alamgir, CEO, and co-founder of Lunchbox, explained: We've built a transformative food tech company by creating products designed by restaurateurs for restauranteurs. The pandemic forced restaurants to understand and quickly adapt to new technologies in order to stay afloat.”1

In October 2020, Lunchbox secured $20 million in series A funding to help restaurants build their own ordering experiences without being dependent on third-party delivery services.2 The new round of funding comes on the heels of its acquisition of the online marketplace Spread, which connects restaurants with diners.3

With a coterie of high-powered investors, including executives from DoorDash, Sweetgreen and &pizza, Lunchbox is “definitely becoming the tech solution to beat,” said Nation’s Restaurant News reporter Joanna Fantozzi, who wonders if the new round of funding could lead to the development of an “entirely virtual reality restaurant.”3

Touch-Free and Go: Tech Advances for Contactless Experiences

While a virtual reality restaurant remains to be seen, human-free technology continues to connect with consumers, and major brands continue to tap into its potential. Panera Bread’s new contactless dine-in eliminates any interaction with employees. Customers simply order in-app at the restaurant or en route and receive an email, text or push notification when they can pick up their food at the counter.

To improve order accuracy and upsells and free up employees for other tasks, Checkers Drive-In is integrating voice ordering AI at its drive-thrus nationwidethe largest rollout of such technology to date.4 Developed in partnership with restaurant technology provider Presto, the pilot program “delivered a high level of automation and accuracy with over 98% of drive-thru orders completed with minimal intervention from restaurant employees,” a press release stated.4

At Mondelēz International Foodservice, our chefs are ready to help your foodservice operation optimize its menu mix for a new era. From signature dishes to standout LTOs to creative desserts and beverages, we provide the culinary expertise and brand ingredients to help maximize sales on premises and off. Contact us below with questions or comments, or to learn more about all we can do for your operation during this critical juncture in the industry. 

 

 

1 Lunchbox, “Lunchbox Raises $50M Series B Funding to Shake Up The Restaurant Industry,”
Cision PR Newswire, February 1, 2022

3 Ha, Anthony, “Lunchbox raises $20M to help restaurants build their own ordering experiences,” TechCrunch+, October 28, 2020

3 Fantozzi, Joanna, “Tech Tracker: Why human-free technology is taking over the restaurant industry,” Nation’s Restaurant News, February 3, 2022

4 Presto, “Checkers & Rally’s and Presto Announce Largest Ever Rollout of Drive-Thru AI Voice Assistant in the Hospitality Industry,” Press Release, January 10, 2022

 

 

Topics in this article

Related Articles

All About Newstalgia in Desserts

Tweaking familiar dishes to include a new flavor or format could be the menu addition that will pique consumer interest and help increase sales.

Asian Flavors & Formats Feed Dessert Inspiration

Flavors found in a number of dishes traditionally served in Southeast Asia are helping to inspire creative dessert menu options with widespread appeal.

Sweet Spots: Dessert Diversification Bites and Insights

Indulgent desserts are trending as key to a balanced approach to wellbeing. Explore the diversity of desserts hitting the sweet spot in foodservice today.

Grab-and-Go Breakfast Inspiration

Grab-and-go breakfast items can satisfy customer cravings for convenience—but to make sales soar, operators need to include the right elements.

Global Street Foods Offer Portable Culinary Experiences

Global trends around street foods are having an increasing impact on restaurant menus in 2023 and beyond. Learn more about these trends.

Transforming Nostalgic Desserts into New Formats

Basing desserts on a classic dish or nostalgic flavor is a growing trend — which operators can utilize to boost consumer interest and orders.

Social Media Feeds Menu Inspiration, Promotion

Get tips for improving your social media presence and leveraging social media as a tool for your restaurant and convenience store.

How to Use Sweet Treats to Help Drive Profits

An enticing dessert menu can translate into higher sales — if restaurants are able to offer sweet treats that deliver what consumers want.

Perking Up Profits: What’s Brewing in the Coffee Shop Segment

Coffee shops continue to generate buzz and big sales. Explore data-informed insights into the strategies driving the success of Starbucks and Dutch Bros.

Winter Seasonal Desserts: Tips and Trends

Use these winter dessert trends and tips to boost profits throughout the holiday season and beyond.

Join the Let’s Chat Snacks Community

Be the first to know when we drop new articles, trends and insights, with updates delivered directly to your inbox. Plus, you’ll get an insider perspective on all things foodservice, carefully curated to help you grow your business.