Food Technology: Future of the Restaurant Industry

Posted On: July 11, 2018

Foodborne Illness Today’s customers expect the best experience from their favorite restaurants and if they don’t get it, they are quick to turn to others. No, this does not mean you should pack up shop and open a food truck instead. You just have to work smarter. Restaurants that are successful today invest in the future by incorporating technology in their operations. The digital solutions they use take consumer participation to a whole new level. With the right solutions, you can actually make your workers ambassadors for your establishment and give your customers control over their own experiences. In fact, whether you are in distribution, serving or manufacturing in the food industry, you need to ensure your products are safe for consumption. The key to maintaining a universal food safety culture lies in taking quick action against unsafe conditions and remaining accountable for operations. Food Safety Monitoring Made Easy However, with brands under constant pressure to out-compete competitors, this is easier said than done. This is where Machine to Machine Learning (M2M) and the Internet of Things (IoT) come into the picture. These solutions are changing the way food based enterprises do business and for the better. Simply, put M2M and IoT allow food brands trace products from Point of Purchase (PoP) to their place of business using interconnected devices. This allows business owners to monitor the location of each item as well as their temperatures. These devices are going a long way to ensure food remains safe to consume, streamline inventory management and give owners real time data especially if they are overseeing different locations.

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The reason why such technology has risen in popularity so quickly is simple to understand if you are involved in the industry. Nothing can make you sweat bullets more than a foodborne illness that can be traced back to your operations. If this happens, you need to know which products were involved and where the contamination took place. IoT and M2M devices make that task easy by allowing users to track their products from the time they are ordered till they are delivered. The exciting part is that you can also track your food en route from the back of a tractor trailer that is bringing it down a highway! With these devices, you have access to the entire data trail your products generate during their journey so you can see how each one is handled. It also allows you to ensure safety standards are met. In other words, this technology streamlines traceability by managing and gathering this data thus reassuring business owners that their food is being handled properly. With data to back up this claim, proving compliance is a piece of cake. A good example of this is smart transportation solutions that are backed by IoT and M2M technologies. A connected fleet allows owners to track vehicles and driver location in real time. By paying a bit more, you can also get automated alerts that can track temperature changes which are essential in ensuring food remains fresh en route. Similarly, you can also ensure that your workers comply with food sanitation standards with connected soap dispensers. These send data to a system which tracks the frequency with which they wash their hands before going about their work. This data is important for business ever since the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) was launched back in 2011. The aim of this program is protect public health by reinforcing food safety standards in the US. In other words, all food based establishments have to incorporate preventative control systems according to the guidelines in Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP). They also have to prove compliance by maintaining records of safety practices that conform to these standards for 2 years. Basically, whether you are a restaurant owner or are involved in the supply chain, integrating smart technology into your business can help you meet food safety standards easily. While the initial cost may be a bit high, you can earn all of that money back as sales increase with a satisfied clientele.

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