Illustration ? Express
BENGALURU : Have you ever pondered on how life would be without the helping hand of technology? Honestly, it is tough to even imagine this. Technology has influenced every sphere of human life, and food is no exception to it. The modern food is all about experience and the restaurants are adapting to newer forms of techniques, equipment to catch up with the technological advancements.
How do you think a restaurant prepares a glass of smoothie for you, in a blender? That might be the case everywhere but ZEE5 Loft has a specific equipment designated for this job, they have a smoothie cycle. Explaining how this works, its business head, Ali Zaidi says, “It is a concept where the cycle is connected with a blender around the bars. Once somebody starts peddling, the blender starts working on its magic and creates the perfect smoothie, right in front of your eyes.”
Restaurants are already gearing up to bring in more advanced gadgets. However, does it make life easier or smarter in a kitchen? David Raj, managing partner – Culinary Development, Elior India, has a sensible take on this. He says, “As new technologies unfold, chefs are empowered to create more innovative dishes in a better environment and it definitely makes life better. However, many gadgets fail due to their lack of adaptability to Indian conditions. If the devices are built to suit Indian cooking then it would surely find a place in many of our kitchens.”
There has always been a debate on human versus machines – will they ever complement each other or the machines will always have an upper hand. Adding to this debate is Vinesh Johny, co-founder and executive pastry chef at Lavonne, who believes that with the growing demand for nothing but the best, it is highly critical for establishments to find a balance between technology and human intervention. He adds, “It does not matter how advanced technology gets, in the service industry, at hotels and restaurants, the need for human touch will always remain.”
One trend in the F&B industry that has spread like a wildfire across the country is, Stock Exchange. Completely driven by technology, this concept was pioneered by The Bar Stock Exchange in India and is based on an algorithm-run software. Speaking more about this concept, Mihir Desai, co-owner, Corum Hospitality says, “All spirits start at MRP and are governed by the basic law of demand and supply. Based on the frequency of order and the time period within which different customer place orders, the demand of a particular spirit, wine or beer grows or declines and the prices accordingly go up or come down.”
India has traditionally been perceived as a vegetarian nation by many across the world. However, a closer and factual examination of this preconceived notion reveals that India possesses meat-eating food-lovers in abundance. Which opens up the discussion on the underlying problem of food safety and quality standards maintained within the meat industry in India. Talking about how technology plays a vital role to keep a check on this, Naveen Kumar Venkatesh, CTO at Licious says, “We believe that technology can greatly aid in offering traceability, right from the time the meat is sourced till it is made into the final product. At Licious, we use technology to deliver products in temperature-controlled boxes and monitor temperatures of processing centers and van using IoT-enabled devices.”
Online delivery and table reservation at restaurants is another trend that has disrupted the F&B industry. This has made life convenient for the diners in every possible way. Zomato use date sciences to effectively personalise services to the customers. Pramod Rao, VP, Marketing & Growth, Zomato concludes this for us, he says, “Technology is a very crucial enabler for our business. Restaurants prefer online reservations because the business tools we have built for them. It makes managing online bookings, even during busy hours extremely effortless.”