Robot-flipped burgers at CaliBurger, self-ordering kiosks at McDonald's and self-serve beer taps at Denver's Stanley Beer Hall are all examples of the ways tech innovation is reshaping what hospitality looks like. "In our industry, there's been this debate: Should we offer old-fashioned hospitality or offer technology? We reject the idea that it is either/or," said Malibu Poke founder Jon Alexis.
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Wendy's is increasing its investment in technology with customer-facing tools like digital ordering kiosks and digital scanning technology designed to boost convenience, speed and order customization, CEO Todd Penegor said. The chain also now offers delivery from about 75% of its locations.
Burger King used real-time traffic data to offer delivery to drivers stuck in Mexico City gridlock. The promotion, which used ads on electronic billboards and Waze to show drivers how long they would likely be sitting in traffic, boosted delivery rates 63% in one week, the company said.
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One year after its debut, Google Duplex is coming to the web in an attempt to better assist users in booking movie tickets and car rentals as well as making restaurant reservations. Duplex previously used voice-calling artificial intelligence to mixed reviews.
Uber went public on Friday with ambitions to grow beyond ride hailing by using its data and algorithms to create smoother global logistics and delivery systems. Currently, the company is working to solve issues with its Uber Eats food delivery service, including the problem of food arriving cold.
Experts Louis Rosato and Andrew Retrum say optimal cybersecurity comes from combining human ingenuity with artificial intelligence, rather than focusing on one over the other. Speaking at the SIFMA Operations Conference and Exhibition, Rosato said the challenge is not a job only for technologists but also requires collaboration between departments and between humans and technology.
Food-ordering platform ChowNow has won $21 million in a new funding round led by 3L Capital and Catalyst Investors. ChowNow provides a platform that allows independent restaurants to set up digital ordering systems online and in mobile and social channels.
Karakuri, a London-based startup that developed technology to help commercial kitchens measure precise quantities of ingredients and dispense them, raised $9.1 million in a seed funding round led by the British online supermarket Ocado. The company comes out of Founders Factory, a startup incubator.