October 12, 2021
Restaurant Technology SmartBrief
On the Front Burner
3D printing tech enables customized chocolate creations
A 3D food printing system from byFlow has won a patent in Europe and is expected to earn a US patent later this year. The company demonstrated the culinary possibilities of its machinery at the World's 50 Best Restaurants Awards 2021 in Belgium, showcasing its ability to print custom creations made from chocolate, which is notoriously difficult to print with because of the required tempering and cooling process.
Full Story: 3D Printing Industry (UK) (10/5) 
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The Connected Restaurant
Chipotle Mexican Grill's digital evolution under CEO Brian Niccol brought a range of new features designed to make the brand more accessible to customers, including the addition of drive-thru lanes dedicated to fulfilling digital orders. The chain now boasts Chipotlanes at 250 locations and the feature helped spur digital sales to $916 million in the second quarter, compared to $262 million during the same period in 2019.
Full Story: QSR (10/4) 
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TGI Fridays has teamed with ghost kitchen operator Reef Technology on a plan to create delivery-only locations for the casual dining brand in as many as 300 global locations, starting with Reef's hometown of Miami. Reef has been in expansion mode, and other new restaurant partners include Wendy's and fast-casual pizza chain 800 Degrees.
Full Story: Nation's Restaurant News (free registration) (10/7) 
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Cinnabon is expanding beyond malls with delivery and a customized rewards app and by exploring co-branding with fellow Focus Brands companies Carvel and Auntie Anne's. "We want to grow in non-traditional venues, food trucks, ghost kitchens, and whatever we can get our hands on," says Kendall Ware, chief brand officer.
Full Story: Nation's Restaurant News (free registration) (10/5) 
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Tech Talk
ChowNow's Order Better Network enables restaurants to simultaneously post listings on more than a dozen sites, including Yelp, TripAdvisor, NextDoor and Google. Changes will automatically update across all sites.
Full Story: Restaurant Business (10/5) 
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Roots 657 Cafe chef and owner Rich Rosendale worked with drone maker Vayu Aerospace and training center Xelevate Solutions to make the first food delivery via drone in northern Virginia. "We wanted to show this can be done in northern Virginia because this airspace is one of the most complicated," said Preston Huntington, client relations manager for Xelevate Solutions.
Full Story: Loudoun Times-Mirror (Leesburg, Va.) (10/7) 
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Cybersecurity Update
The recent boom in mergers and acquisitions activity could be arming a cybersecurity time bomb as operations are combined, writes Varonis' UK technical director, Matt Lock. "The arrival of a vast amount of new data in a company's systems can dramatically increase the blast radius of a ransomware attack," Lock warns.
Full Story: Infosecurity (U.K.) (10/6) 
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Edible Innovation
Hormel's startup and innovation accelerator 199 Ventures has partnered with The Better Meat Co. to produce protein alternatives based on the latter's Rhiza mycoprotein, which is produced by fermenting potatoes. Rhiza creates a "much meatier" texture than other mycoproteins, and the startup is giving Hormel early access to it prior to building a full-scale fermentation facility, said Paul Shapiro, Better Meat's founder and CEO.
Full Story: FoodNavigator (10/6),  Twin Cities Business (Minneapolis) (10/6) 
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Nestle pilots vegan eggs, shrimp
(Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images)
Nestle is targeting mainstream consumers with a pilot rollout in select European markets of plant-based alternatives for shrimp and eggs called Garden Gourmet Vrimp and vEGGie, said CEO Mark Schneider. Comparing vEGGie to other egg substitutes on the market, chief technology officer Stefan Palzer said, "What makes us different is [our use of just] five ingredients."
Full Story: BNN Bloomberg (Canada) (10/6),  FoodNavigator (10/7),  Reuters (10/7) 
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National Hispanic Heritage Month is Sept. 15 to Oct. 15
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