Another year another Smart Kitchen Summit, which happened this week and included much discourse on the connected kitchen, food as medicine, and, of course, how tech is changing the restaurant world. And while the event is over, there’s still plenty of news from the week to catch up on. Here are a few more tidbits of what went on in restaurants:
Burger King Launches Silent Drive-Thru
Burger King is up to its PR stunts again, this time capitalizing on the stereotype that people in Finland hate small talk. The resulting Silent Drive-thru option is exactly as it sounds: You order via the BK mobile app, select the “Silent Drive-thru” option, then wait in a dedicated parking space until an employee drops your food off with nary a “hello” exchanged. While Burger King has admitted the promotion — originally meant to boost mobile app orders — is “a bit of an exaggeration,” it has also doubled sales via the app and sped up orders by 7 to 8 minutes, according to Adweek. No word on whether you still have to make eye contact with the person dropping off your Whopper.
POS Company Qu Launches New Platform
Maryland-based POS company Qu introduced a bundle of new features this week as part of a new “data-centric platform” meant to improve the POS experience for restaurants. Among the new offerings are the ability to directly integrate orders from third-party sources directly into the POS system, a unified menu management system, and greater ability to add dynamic pricing options to items. The idea behind these new features is to end some of the fragmentation that’s entered the restaurant industry of late thanks to new sales channels and multiple versions of menus floating around.
Over Half of QSR Customers Worry About Data Breaches
Digital security company Sift released new research this week that suggests data breaches are a major concern for QSR diners. Over half — 62 percent — of survey respondents said they are concerned their digital interactions with QSRs will lead to fraud like stolen payment information, hijacked accounts, and fake reviews. Meanwhile, 49 percent said they would hold the restaurant responsible for any fraudulent activity. While Sift’s report is obviously a little biased in urging companies to prioritize security of their digital properties, there’s nonetheless plenty of truth to the idea. Just ask DoorDash.