Restaurant Development & Design

SEP-OCT 2018

restaurant development + design is a user-driven resource for restaurant professionals charged with building new locations and remodeling existing units.

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4 8 • r e s t a u r a n t d e v e l o p m e n t + d e s i g n • S E P T E M B E R / O C T O B E R 2 0 1 8 TECHNOLOGY AND CONVENIENCE: THE RESTAURANT OF THE FUTURE restaurant come to them," Riehle says. Riehle rightfully points out the business model and operating metrics differ greatly between traditional restau- rants and those that rely heavily on delivery and other forms of off-premise consum- ers. Front-of-the-house costs can become almost nonexistent and kitchens can be more productive, focused only on delivery. There are no hosts, servers or bussers, which reduces some of the labor woes. Several restaurant companies continue to cash in on the growth of off-premise dining by creating virtual or ghost kitchens. These facilities pre- pare food for delivery only. The virtual kitchens can expand a brick-and-mortar restaurant's delivery territory or can be the commissary for delivery-only brands. Kitchen United in Pasadena, Calif., serves as a harbinger of the bright future for virtual kitchens. In addition to deliv- ery, it supports food trucks. The company promotes itself as "culinary on demand." It handles everything — storage, prepa- ration, orders, delivery — under one roof. It has parking spaces outside the facility for pickup by consumers or third-party delivery services. Cloud Kitchens is another entry in Robotics and automation promise to play a prominent role in the kitchen of the future. Some operations are already headed in that direction. Here's a quick look at four concepts using technology to enhance the customer experience. CaliBurger. Flippy, the robot burger flipper, is "alive" and well at CaliBurger. Flippy provides consistency, food safety and speed. Staff assemble and serve the burgers, but the robot handles the patties on the grill. Flippy cleans the grill and spatulas. Staff are freed up to serve bever- ages and keep the dining room tidy. CaliBurger has also introduced facial recognition at its self-ordering kiosks. Guests can face pay when they order. CEO John Miller wants to have 50 units by 2019. Hamasushi. Hamasushi is a 400-unit conveyor sushi chain with locations in Japan and China. Pepper, a robot with a touch screen on its chest, greets guests. The robot determines how many people are in the party, whether they want to sit at the counter or at a table, and if they all want to sit together. A nearby printer produces a ticket that assigns the guests a table. Con- veyor belts run by the seating areas with plates of sushi in easy reach of patrons. Once seated, diners can order from a touch-screen menu. Music and a signal notify guests when their orders are on the way. Customers pick their food items off the belt and dine. When guests finish din- ing, waitstaff comes to count the plates, which is how guests are charged, and prints a check. Guests pay on the way out. Spyce. Spyce is the brainchild of four MIT engineering students who made a prototype in their fraternity basement. In the restaurant, a line of robotic cylindri- cal woks mixes and cooks Thai, Lebanese, Indian and Moroccan salads and bowls. Humans prep the ingredients in a commissary and fill containers that will de- posit the food in the woks after customers enter orders at a kiosk. Then the automated system takes over. The system deposits ingredients for each order into a cylinder, which turns at an angle and rotates, mixing and cooking the dish. The order is put into a bowl. Humans then add any condiments, cover the bowl and label it. Is the food good? Michelin-starred Chef Daniel Boulud not only invested in the concept, but he is also the culinary director. His former executive chef at Café Boulud, Sam Benson, is now the Spyce chef. Zume Pizza. At Zume, robotic machines produce pizza for customers, who place orders online or via Zume's mobile app. Orders are only for delivery; there is no front of house. A robotic machine presses mounds of dough into crusts, which move across a conveyor belt. Two robots, Giorgio and Pepe, dispense the sauce. Next is Marta, the sauce-spreading robot. A human steps in and adds cheese and toppings — in 22 seconds. Vincenzo, a robot, places the pizza onto a rack and lifts it into the conveyor oven, where it cooks at 800 degrees F. A human places a pizza in a self-cleaning slicer and places it in a uniquely designed box made from "sustainably farmed sugar cane fiber" that is recyclable and compostable. The box's design features sloped edges, keeping any liquid away from the pizza. The system can produce 375 pizzas an hour. Zume has created a delivery truck that is fitted with 56 ovens. Pizzas to be delivered nearby are kept warm. For destinations more than 12 minutes away, a partially cooked pizza gets loaded into an oven and finishes while en route. Cooking is completed, and a human places each pizza in the slicer and into the delivery box. Indeed, the influence tech companies have on Generation Z can't be understated. "There is this dynamic of immediate grati- fication powered by brands like Amazon," says Robb Depp, senior vice president and principal of FRCH Design Worldwide. Technology has made access to brands easier and more convenient. When Gen Z wants to purchase something, he says, "they order it, they get it, there is no delay and no confusion. That's the benchmark for how young consumers expect to interact with every brand." Four Progressive Operations Already Reaching into the Future

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