Pandemic Pushes Grocers to Adopt New Tech

Pandemic Pushes Grocers to Adopt New Tech

October 14, 2020

The pandemic has created a need by grocers to make customers feel safer.  As a result, contactless technology is being retrofitted to brick-and-mortar stores.

Price Chopper, Wegmans, and Giant Eagle have introduced checkout-free technology in some stores.  Grocery chains were reluctant to invest in technology given the low profit margins in the industry, but the pandemic has put an emphasis on checkout safety and speed.


Video Spotlight: 


This post is based on the CNBC article, How the coronavirus pandemic helped convince grocery chains to experiment with new tech, by Annie Palmer and Melissa Repko, September 9, 2020, and the YouTube videos in the Spotlight. Image source: Cryptographer/Shutterstock

Discussion Questions:

1. Given the pandemic, one order qualifier that is emerging is checkout speed at a grocery store.  Research several contactless technologies Continue reading

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New Service Process Designs at Fast Food Restaurants

New Service Process Designs at Fast Food Restaurants

September 28, 2020

Taco Bell, Shake Shack and Burger King are introducing new service process designs. These changes allow for more drive-thru lanes and increase automated pick-up in the store and at walk-up windows.

The changes are in response to the 26% increase in drive-thru orders during the pandemic.  The new stores also shrink the total building square footage of the restaurants, due to less indoor seating requirements.

Contactless customer order and pick up is a key feature in the new designs as well.


Video Spotlight: 


This post is based on the CNBC article, These restaurant chains are unveiling new designs inspired by the pandemic, by Amelia Lucas, September 5, 2020, and the YouTube videos in the Spotlight. Image source: calimedia/Shutterstock

Discussion Questions:

1.  What are the order qualifiers being addressed by the new designs mentioned in the article?

Guidance: Students should agree that delivery speed is the major order qualifier.  Continue reading

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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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