National Restaurant Association 2018

Design Central spent a few days at the National Restaurant Show exploring the latest in commercial restaurant equipment and services. As long-time collaborators in the industry, we always look forward to discovering future-focused technologies from around the world. This year’s show didn’t disappoint.

Here is some of what we saw.

Manufacturers are focused on using technology to save time, money and the environment. From retail self-check-out and kiosk ordering to automated drink dispensing in bars, it’s all about convenience, economy and sustainability for businesses and customers. At Design Central, we look forward to seeing how technology will continue working to:

  • humanize the machine experience
  • simplify controls in equipment
  • drive the consumer ordering experience at-home or in-store
  • reduce food and water waste
  • divert waste from landfills
  • track and control utility usage

Customers are becoming more dependent on food delivery than ever. It's being called the “New Age of Delivery,” and according to Zach Goldstein at Thanx, delivery is projected to grow from a $9 billion to a $16 billion business by 2022. With this growth comes change and restaurants could soon be forced to completely rethink the kitchen and business model in regards to food preparation and delivery services. The dilemmas restaurant purveyors may soon face are whether to prepare food on-site or off-site, and whether to source delivery externally or do it themselves.

Looking to the future, companies will find technology impacting their businesses more heavily as they evolve with the economy/marketplace and their customers. Technologies such as facial and voice recognition, widely used by consumers, are already expanding to the commercial level for payment transactions and more. We anticipate some intriguing work ahead.

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