Technology

Heinz unveils touchless ketchup dispenser

Customers will be able to get ketchup and other condiments with a wave of their hand.
Heinz touchless
Image courtesy of Heinz

Diners will soon be able to add ketchup to their fries with a wave of their hand. 

That is thanks to Heinz’s new touchless ketchup dispenser, which is now widely available following tests last year in restaurants, movie theaters and college campuses.

The idea is to reduce touchpoints and give diners peace of mind as they begin returning to restaurants amid heightened safety concerns from the coronavirus pandemic. 

Customers will be able to get ketchup by waving their hand over a sensor on top of the Heinz Keystone Automatic Dispenser, prompting it to deliver a pre-portioned half-ounce serving. Restaurants that already have an original Keystone dispenser can buy the contactless top separately. The dispenser can hold 1.5 gallons of any Heinz condiment, which include mustard, mayo and ranch along with ketchup.

Many restaurants adopted contactless technology during the pandemic as people sought to avoid human-to-human contact. That led to wider use of things like QR codes and no-contact pickup, and has now extended to condiments and other products. Coca-Cola, for instance, developed a contactless soda fountain that customers can operate with their phones.

And even as the pandemic begins to subside, much of that contactless tech is likely to remain. More than 75% of restaurants said they plan to continue offering contactless technology, according to a recent study by payment processor Square.

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