Sally the Salad Robot

Sally the Salad Robot

August 26, 2020

Are you missing your self-serve salad bar because of the pandemic?  Maybe technology can get you the salad of your dreams.

Chowbotics has created a self-serve salad robot called Sally The Salad Robot.   Sally can be filled with 22 canisters of various items, with over 150 ingredients that are approved for the containers.   Through a touch screen, the user can combine these 22 ingredients into a variety of feature salads, grain bowls, yogurt bowls, and snacks.  Over 1,000 possible bowls can be made by combining these 22 items in different ways with Sally.  You can select a predetermined recipe, or combine the items to make your own unique creation.

Sally the Salad Robot has an expanded appeal with the presence of Covid-19.  Many locations have eliminated their self-serve salad bars for safety reasons. But, the demand for customized salad remains.  As a result, Sally the Salad Robot is very attractive for several industries, including the food department in supermarkets like ShopRite, in hospitals, and in higher education.


Video Spotlight: The Salad Station’s rapid brand expansion through the 24/7 salad robot. (Nov 27, 2019, chowbotics)


This post is based on the Continue reading

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Wholesalers Reducing SKUs

Wholesalers Reducing SKUs

August 12, 2020

During the pandemic, many supply chains have been stressed with rapidly changing demand and disruptions in supply.

One way to reduce this stress is to simplify operations.  The supply chain can function better with fewer SKUs (Stock Keeping Units).  This allows supply chains to focus on fewer, more important items, which helps offset some of the additional problems added by the pandemic.

Many organizations are reducing their SKUs, including Kraft Heinz, Coca-Cola, and Hershey.  Coca-Cola has a goal of reducing SKUs by 25%, and has established a mechanism to identify SKUs to be eliminated.

To give you an idea of the complexity of the supply chain, the average grocery store stocks 33,000 SKUs; a Walmart Supercenter will carry around 120,000 items.  Over the years, the number of SKUs has tended to increase.

Offering a greater variety of SKUs provides the customer with a greater selection of items.  This works well when customers are taking their time shopping for items.  During the pandemic, however, many customers are trying to reduce their time in the store to avoid potential exposure to the coronavirus.  Reducing the number of variations of products allows customers to more easily Continue reading

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Limited Menus for Restaurants

Limited Menus for Restaurants

August 8, 2020

Taco Bell is the latest restaurant to trim the size of its menu. Many restaurants have recently reduced their menus in light of the pandemic’s impact on their business.

For example, McDonald’s temporarily eliminated all-day breakfast.  IHOP condensed its menu from 12 pages down to 2 pages.  Dave and Buster’s reduced its 40-item menu to 15 items.

Much of the reduction in menu sizes is attributed to the pandemic, but reduction in menu sizes provides many operational advantages.  These organizations may continue with the limited menus after pandemic restrictions end.


Video Spotlight: Taco Bell Menu 2020 Fast Food Chain Changing Menu Removing Items (July 22, 2020, News Today)


This post is based on the Newsweek article, Taco Bell Menu 2020: Fast Food Chain Changing Menu, Removing Items, by Seren Morris, July 22, 2020; the CNN article, Restaurant Menus Are Getting Smaller. Here’s What Some Big Chains Are Dropping, by Danielle Wiener-Bronner, June 24, 2020; and the YouTube video in the Spotlight. Image source: weedezign/Shutterstock

Discussion Questions:

1.  Why are restaurants reducing the size of their menu?

Guidance: The biggest reason for the reduction in the menus at restaurants is to simplify Continue reading

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