Restaurants have had to make big changes during the pandemic to stay afloat and keep staffers and customers safe, and many of these practices and features are likely to stick around well into the future, Blake Morgan writes. Eateries have accelerated digital innovation, updated menus, grown takeout and delivery options, and begun to reconfigure dining spaces to allow for proper distancing.
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Denny's has been testing a pair of virtual brands focused on burgers and melts that it plans to roll out to more than half of its US restaurants this year. "Both concepts have shown promising results in testing and each is expected to be launched in the first half of fiscal 2021," the company said in a press release.
World Central Kitchen uses a combination of apps and other technologies, such as Slack, WhatsApp, drones and unlocked phones, to maintain communication and ensure reliable service delivery while working in remote regions and different cities around the world. "You just can't rely on one technology or one thing," says CEO Nate Mook.
Technology that has a practical purpose and can help people navigate a pandemic-affected world will be prevalent in 2021. Examples include technologies that enhance online shopping and facilitate digital payment and other touchless tasks.
"[P]eople will find a way to work around security measures that don't align with their business needs," warns Lakshmi Hanspal, global chief security officer for Box. Hanspal outlines four steps top management can take to enhance trust and security.
Too Good to Go, a startup that sells surplus food to consumers at discounted prices, raised $31 million in its most recent funding round. With the new capital the Europe-based company will continue its expansion in the US.
Startup Air Protein has won $32 million in a new funding round that included GV, ADM Ventures and Barclays. Air Protein uses carbon dioxide and other molecules found in the air to create meat in fermentation tanks filled with genetically modified microbes.
New Wave Foods is gearing up to debut plant-based shrimp made with a proprietary recipe of mung bean protein and seaweed extract which the company says gives it the texture and "snap" shrimp lovers expect. The company spent five years developing the product that will roll out first in restaurants and other foodservice channels.