Monday, June 28, 2021

Grocerant Foodservice Operators Leverage Robotics


Virtual restaurants, virtual kitchens, and chain restaurants are all expanding their brands footprint for less without having a ‘store front’ or paying millions to lease land or build a new building.  Technology has strengthened the hand of good food marketers according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma WA based Foodservice Solutions®.

Understanding how important it is for restaurants to reduce cost of operating Miso Robotics has introduce an automated beverage dispenser.  According to Johnson this technology will help drive down cost for grocerant niche fresh prepared food retailers giving them an advantage over legacy CPG retailers.

Miso Robotics is a startup targeting transforming the foodservice industry via Intelligent Automation.  Miso Robotics recently announced a partnership with Lancer Worldwide, (a global beverage dispenser) manufacturer trusted by the world’s top food and beverage brands – to build an intelligence backed, automated beverage dispenser that will bring enhanced functionality for a future-focused commercial kitchen.

Fast Food restaurant demand is up, while the restaurant industry is facing record labor shortages, operators are looking for ways to streamline operations, cut costs and implement solutions that drive a better and faster customer service experience.

Food retailers must look a customer ahead, mindful of the past but can’t get stuck in the past according to Johnson. Miso is creating new models for operator revenue streams that relied on drive-thru, takeout and delivery more so than ever before. While 60 to 70 percent of certain sales came from the drive-thru lane pre-pandemic, as COVID spread, major quick-serves experienced a jump as high as 90 percent. Looking a customer ahead operational efficiencies will help drive success and Miso is helping light the path forward.

Consumers are still time starved, so, the new delivery and drive-thru model have made the always-critical need of speed and efficiency an even bigger challenge as volume increases and staff decreases have added minutes to the clock for order completion. Because of this, total average drive-thru times slowed down by 29.8 seconds last year. How are you going to increase order fulfillment?

Legacy foodservice retailers need too warm up to the power of automation and robotics to accelerate recovery and meet demand. Miso Robotics has been leading the field in commercial kitchen automation through a robot-as-a-service (RaaS) and software-as-a-service (SaaS) model that began with Flippy and has since branched out to CookRight.

While these two flagship products focus on food specifically, implementation success has proven broader back of house tasks can benefit from intelligent operational efficiency. Miso Robotics and Lancer saw the need for beverage automation in the commercial kitchen (virtual kitchens and virtual restaurants).

Jake Brewer, Chief Strategy Officer of Miso Robotics, stated, “Lancer has consistently supplied the market with dependable products for more than 50 years and there was no question when it came time to decide who to partner with to create an automated beverage dispenser,” …

Brewer continued, “Lancer has a legacy of stand-out industry quality and shares in our vision for beverage innovation and futuristic design. Order fulfillment is a major factor for customer satisfaction and operators can’t afford to have a beverage left behind when a delivery driver or customer visits. We are extremely excited to create a product that will not only make the lives of those working in commercial kitchens better, but will be a game changer for the industry as a whole to deliver a world-class customer experience.” 

Consider that the new automated beverage dispenser will integrate with the point of sales (POS) system and come equipped with a guided workflow for employees to ensure accurate order completion synced with driver and customer arrival times. The machine will be able to automatically pour drinks and advance beverages to enable an easy grab-and-go format for staff. When an order comes in, the connected approach will allow the beverage dispenser to ‘know’ the beverage needs associated with the order and will automatically issue the appropriate sized cup, begin pouring and seal the drink. The entire process is timed to complete as close as possible with the time the meal/remainder of the order is ready for hand off to the customer or delivery driver.

Brad Davis, Director of Applied Technologies for Lancer Worldwide, stated, “Lancer has always stood out as a trusted global beverage dispenser manufacturer because we put our customer and partner needs at the forefront of every project we undertake,” … “The quick service brands we work with every day are well aware of what their challenges are – they know they need more efficiency, and they know there is new technology out there that could make it possible.  How are you brining fresh food faster to the consumer?

Success does leave clues. One clue that time and time again continues to resurface is “the consumer is dynamic not static”.  Regular readers of this blog know that is the common refrain of Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.  Our Grocerant Guru® can help your company edify your brand with relevance.  Call 253-759-7869 for more information. 

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