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Many experts in the foodservice industry believe one of the most effective things restaurants can do to prosper, amid state and county COVID restrictions, as well as changing consumer preferences, is innovate. The use of new technologies has made possible much of the restaurant innovation we are currently seeing. Technology has enabled many restaurateurs to pivot, and ideally create a pathway to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic.

Restaurant Closures

The City and County of the San Francisco Department of Public Health led the nationwide shelter-in-place with their March 16, 2020 declaration, which included the announcement that “restaurants and cafes – regardless of their seating capacity – that serve food are ordered closed except solely for takeout and delivery service.” Other counties throughout California and the U.S. quickly followed suit, in an effort to slow the infection rate of COVID-19. The result, as everyone knows, was widespread closure of countless food establishments.

The Pivot

Pivot: To pivot means fundamentally changing the direction of a business when you realize the current products or services aren’t meeting the needs of the market. The main goal of a pivot is to help a company improve revenue or survive in the market, but the way you pivot your business can make all the difference.

The restaurants that are still operating more than a year after the shelter-in-place began, are those that quickly learned to embrace technology for such functions as starting (or growing) takeout and delivery divisions, managing outdoor dining, establishing and running virtual kitchens, and offering cooking classes. Without online ordering systems and third party delivery apps like Door Dash and UberEats, many restaurants would have certainly lost touch with customers. Contactless purchasing and QR codes have helped to keep workers and customers safe from COVID infection, while modernizing access to menus and payment processing.

The Rebound

Rebound: 1. to spring back on or as if on collision or impact with another body; 2. to recover from setback or frustration; 3. to gain possession of a rebound in basketball.

While it seems like the restaurant industry has been playing the longest-running pick-up game in history, with COVID running a full-court press for the last 12 months, many organizations are recovering and even finding new revenue streams. Strategies initially adopted to keep the doors open during the shelter-in-place have proven to be profitable. Providing on-line cooking classes, for example, is an idea many chefs might never have tried if a pandemic hadn’t come along. E-commerce is another business model that some foodservice providers have added to their operations.

Temperature Monitoring

Although temperature monitoring isn’t a new technology, it is an example of using technology to save industries, by saving lives. Ensuring appropriate temperatures are maintained when raw ingredients are shipped to restaurants helps prevent outbreaks of foodborne illness. DeltaTrak’s real-time data loggers and other foodservice solutions help to keep consumers safe, while our forehead thermometers and thermal imaging systems help to prevent the spread of COVID infection among workers. For customized solutions for your business, contact your dedicated DeltaTrak account manager or call 800-962-6776.

References

Allday, E. “Bay area orders ‘shelter in place’, only essential businesses open in 6 counties,” SfChronicle.com, March 16, 2020, https://www.sfchronicle.com/local-politics/article/Bay-Area-must-shelter-in-place-Only-15135014.php Accessed April 12, 2021.

EHL Insights, “7 Restaurant Technology Trends to Watch in 2021”, https://hospitalityinsights.ehl.edu/restaurant-technology-trends. Accessed April 12, 2021.

Nissen, A. “Game-Changing Tech Innovations for Restaurants: Back of House”, QRSMagazine.com, February 11, 2021, https://www.qsrmagazine.com/outside-insights/game-changing-tech-innovations-restaurants-back-house Accessed April 12, 2021.

Agrawal, V. “How to pivot successfully in business,” Forbes.com, July 3, 2020, https://www.forbes.com/sites/theyec/2020/07/03/how-to-pivot-successfully-in-business/?sh=631006787316 Accessed April 15, 2021.

Merriam-webster.com, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rebound, Accessed April 15, 2021.

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Category: Food
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