Kitchen United bets bigger on ghost kitchen model | Domino's Australia turns out consistent pies with AI | Mass. eatery turns to drive-in dining via digital tools
July 7, 2020
Restaurant Technology SmartBrief
On the Front Burner
Ghost kitchens were on the rise before the pandemic, and the uncertainties facing the foodservice industry have created an environment in which the delivery-only model can flourish, said Kitchen United CEO Jim Collins. Kitchen United has raised $50 million in funding and it has opened facilities in four US cities with plans to enter New York City by the end of the year.
Full Story: Forbes (7/1) 
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The Connected Restaurant
Domino's Australia turns out consistent pies with AI
(Domino's Australia)
Domino's Australia's "DOM Pizza Checker," tool uses artificial intelligence to scan each pizza to ensure they're up to quality standards. The tool launched a year ago as a way to ensure consistency, and it now also offers a sense of security to consumers concerned about COVID-19, Domino's Group CEO and Managing Director Don Meij said.
Full Story: Forbes (7/1) 
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The 1,200-seat Chinese restaurant Kowloon in Massachusetts has turned its expansive parking lot into a drive-in movie theater and diner. The family-owned eatery worked with digital payment tech vendor Paytronix to create a contactless system that lets customers access menus, order and pay from their mobile devices.
Full Story: PYMNTS (7/6) 
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McDonald's is partnering with tech firm InstaVolt to install rapid charging stations for electric cars at McDonald's drive-thru restaurants in the UK. The stations, which will be placed at new locations and some existing ones, will have the capacity to charge vehicles to 80% in less than 20 minutes, according to McDonald's.
Full Story: CNBC (6/29) 
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Tech Talk
SpeedPro has launched new signage that helps restaurant patrons and employees maintain social distancing by using their phones to access menus. Customers hold their phones up to QR codes on signs, which can be placed on tables or at host stands, to open web-based menus.
Full Story: Small Business Trends (6/29) 
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Startup Spotlight
Bread & Butter Ventures launched in Minnesota last month with a plan to invest in global startups in the areas of food and agriculture, health care and software. One of two managing partners, Brett Brohl, previously led the St. Paul, Minn.-based Techstars Farm to Fork accelerator program.
Full Story: Star Tribune (Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn.) (tiered subscription model) (6/25) 
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Edible Innovation
Startup builds plant-based beef substitute with 3D printer
(Redefine Meat)
Israel-based startup Redefine Meat is creating 3D printers that will be able to create plant-based steaks that mimic the real thing by layering different textures. The machines are on track to roll out to high-end restaurants this year and meat producers in 2021.
Full Story: Fast Company online (6/30),  Reuters (6/30) 
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Dunkin' is testing several new drinks in the Northeast including bubble tea, which is made with tapioca balls. The chain is also testing nonalcoholic citrus shandies made with coffee or tea as the base, instead of beer.
Full Story: Nation's Restaurant News (free registration) (7/2) 
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Take good advice, make sure it is good advice, then do it your way.
Vidal Sassoon,
hairstylist, businessman, philanthropist
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