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RB's Tech Accelerator of the Year honor goes to a surprising party

The food and beverage operation of University of Colorado at Boulder was named Restaurant Business’ Tech Accelerator of the Year, an honor recognizing the foodservice industry’s outstanding user of technology.

The college’s foodservice department was chosen by the editors of Restaurant Business over a host of restaurant operations because of the technology that was incorporated into CU Boulder’s newest dining facility, the Village Center Dining and Community Commons.

tech accelerator year

The advances extend far beyond smartphones and back-office systems, the prime areas of tech innovation for restaurants. CU Boulder’s new facility sports such high-tech features as electrochromatic storefront-like windows. The walls of glass automatically tint in proportion to the intensity of the sun, enabling students to enjoy views of nearby mountains with minimal interference. The windows also provide a significant saving on utility costs by letting natural light in, but keeping the heat out.

A biodigester breaks down garbage into “gray water” that can be safely channeled into the wastewater stream. The kitchen features video monitors so it can double as a cooking instruction facility.

One area features “blender bikes” that students pedal to mix their own breakfast smoothies.

CU Boulder’s selection was announced today at FSTEC, the annual technology summit for the foodservice industry. It was chosen from three winners of Restaurant Business’ Tech Accelerator Award.

The college was the winner of that honor in the nontraditional category. Cava, the Mediterranean fast-casual chain, was the first-place finisher in the limited-service category, and BJ’s Restaurants was the winner among full-service restaurants.

FSTEC is presented by Restaurant Business’ parent company, Winsight Media.

Past Tech Accelerators of the Year have included Panera Bread Co. and Eatsa.


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