At SKS, we spend a lot of time talking about how technology is transforming the kitchen. But eating obviously goes far beyond the home — specifically into restaurants.
In this panel from SKS 2019 journalist Kristen Hawley spoke with Clayton Wood of Picnic (formerly Vivid Robotics), Derek Pietz of Sweetgreen, and Adam Brotman of Brightloom about how shifting consumer demands and technology is reinventing the restaurant as we know it.
If you work with restaurants, or even just eat out frequently, you should really watch the whole video below. But for all of your impatient folks out there, here are a few high-level takeaways from the conversation:
Restaurants are transforming at light speed
The biggest conclusion from the panel is that restaurants are not only undergoing a dramatic change, but it’s happening quickly. “There’s going to be more change in the restaurant industry in the next five years than there’s been in the past hundred,” said Pietz, pointing to delivery, robotics, digital ordering, and shifting consumer tastes as the main catalysts.
Our concept of ‘the restaurant’ will shift
New technology and menu preferences will not only change the ways that restaurants look (digital kiosks) and function (more delivery), but will also challenge our conception of what a restaurant is.
For example, is a robotic oven a restaurant? Clayton Wood of automated pizza company Picnic would say, absolutely. In fact, robotics can actually help reduce risk for restaurants and help them keep up with changing consumer trends, like the uptick delivery and takeaway.
Customer engagement is more critical than ever
Obviously restaurants have always had to focus on customer loyalty. But recently, with the rise of delivery and automation, restaurants — especially fast-casual ones — have to be more proactive about it than ever before.
Brightloom, which Brotman calls “the AWS or Shopify for restaurant tech,” builds white-label customer engagement platforms. They use data science to help restaurants draw in more diners, facilitate their purchasing experience, and incentivize them to keep coming back for more.
That’s just scratching the surface of the knowledge these panelists served up onstage. Watch the video below to catch the whole conversation and keep your eyes peeled for more content from SKS 2019 coming soon!