If you’re currently hiding from your in-laws, stuck at the airport on your way home, or just need a mental break from the holidays, now would be a good time to catch up on all things restaurant tech.
Behold, our the last restaurant tech roundup of 2019, complete with news on ghost kitchens, facial-recognition software, and Amazon’s latest antitrust woes:
Kitopi Kicks Off U.S. Operations With NYC Ghost Kitchen
Dubai-based ghost kitchen provider Kitopi has expanded operations to NYC. The startup, which already operates kitchens in London, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and other cities around the globe, provides kitchen infrastructure to restaurants wanting to use ghost kitchens to fulfill off-premies orders. The company signed a 10-year lease on a space in Brooklyn and has plans for 10 to 15 kitchens to be housed in the facility. Kitopi also plans to open another location, in Manhattan’s West Village neighborhood, in February 2020, and expand further across the U.S. (no specific locations have been named) later in the year.
The Next Phase of the Amazon-Deliveroo Investigation Begins
Amazon’s investment in UK food delivery startup Deliveroo is now in serious jeopardy after the two companies failed to address the concerns from UK antitrust watchdog the Competition and Markets Authority around how the deal would affect competition. Earlier in December, the CMA cited concerns around how the deal could hurt emerging competition in the food delivery market as well as raise prices and lower quality for consumers. The investigation now enters a second phase that will further delay, if not derail, Amazon’s investment and in the process give competitors like Just Eat and Uber Eats a leg up in the meantime.
PopID Is Launching Its Facial-recognition Platform In Dairi-O Kiosks
North Carolina QSR chain Dairi-O, may be older than McDonald’s and far less known, but it’s on the cutting edge as far as implementing restaurant tech is concerned. The chain has teamed up with PopID to launch the latter’s facial-recognition software inside self-service kiosks at Dairi-O restaurants. PopID is owned by Cali Group and already has its technology in place at CaliBurger, Deli Time, and other small-to medium-sized restaurant chains. With the facial-recognition technology, users can access saved favorite meals, re-order, and pay for their food without a phone or credit card. Dairi-O said it plans to install the tech in all of its locations in the first half of 2020, and has expansion plans for the brand itself in the near future.