3 Years in 5 Months

3 Years in 5 Months

Restaurants are notoriously slow to adopt new technology. But inside the pressure cooker that is the coronavirus pandemic, the industry has undergone years’ worth of innovation in just a few months. RB takes stock of that quantum leap and what it means for restaurants.

Restaurants’ virtual reality

With real estate at a premium and more consumers shifting to digital channels, many restaurants are turning to ghost kitchens and virtual brands to help drive sales with less upfront investment. The pandemic has put that trend in overdrive, helping to establish these models as a real force.

At Kitchen United in Chicago, multiple restaurants prepare food for delivery and takeout in scaled-down kitchens with minimal staff. Restaurant Business takes a behind-the-scenes look at the facility.


Contactless Convenience

Mobile ordering has taken off amid the pandemic as people stay home and make greater use of takeout and delivery. That has the added benefit of reducing human interaction—another area in which restaurants are turning to tech for help.

“If you’re a restaurant in downtown Denver and you want to expand throughout the Denver metropolitan area, we can put your concept in multiple locations to enable you to deliver throughout the entire city, rather than just a 3-mile radius. You can also expand into other major markets. We can expand your footprint in a short period of time with no capital expenditure by the brand.”

—Alan Philips, chief creative officer, Reef Kitchens


Digital Innovation

Health and Safety with the help of Tech