It seems everywhere we turn social media is overflowing with food pics. Between sumptuous Snapchats and checking in at an up-and-coming eatery, the culinary world is cooking up a storm on social media.
Forget Instagram-worthy dinners for a moment, though – although your local café’s meals look great, the intersection of food and tech goes a lot deeper than just some pretty pictures. Through careful innovations, companies are able to develop new business models and revenue streams – food apps truly are shaking up the way people do business. Not only this, but technology can go some way towards improving food security for some of the world’s homeless.
When you learn about the following gastronomic innovations, you may not be so quick to complain about your cousin’s latest #cleaneats post. After all, food and technology might just prove themselves the perfect pair for business and social enterprise alike. Whether inside the home, at a restaurant or on the streets, here are some recent launches that will tempt your technology tastebuds.
Food is something we all have in common. It goes beyond just satiating our hungry stomachs. From delicious date-night banquets, green smoothies and breakfast bowls, to a Sunday morning brunch, food is a point of connection; something to talk about.
Food transcends cultures, languages and generations. It’s only natural that the tech world should be innovating in an area that appeals to all – it’s always going to be a money maker that makes people happy.
Bringing restaurant culture to the home
App technology provides new streams for the hospitality industry to market to their final consumer, bringing the delicious experience of destination restaurants into the comfort and privacy of the home. Providing on-demand food delivery, apps like Foodora, Deliveroo and Menulog connect patrons directly with their restaurant of choice, giving them the chance to sample foods in the comfort of their own homes.
Such apps allow restaurants to reach a new demographic, process even more orders and maximise their bottom lines – all while minimising their overheads and cutting costs on delivery.
It’s the next step in comfort and allows people to add some colour into their lives (while remaining in their pyjamas). All this, and it allows restaurants flexibility in their business models, well beyond the scope of traditional delivery.
Hitting up the high street
When diners decide to venture outside their home, they have access to some apps that help them decide where to eat. Apps like Zomato, and the ability to stream videos while on-the-go, helps diners to map out their city and find their next food destination. Simply by representing the physical world in an app format, technology enriches the user’s city experience, whether they’re passing through for the weekend or have lived there for years.
Smart food apps with a social conscience
Going deeper, apps are able to provide an ideal system for feeding some of the world’s hungriest people.
San Francisco-based Copia (formerly Feeding Forward) began after founders noticed a gap in local food consumption: local restaurants were producing more food than they needed, yet the city’s homeless people were still starving at the end of each day, unable to afford a meal.
Copia were the first to solve this problem with technology, making it easier, quicker and more cost-effective for food businesses to donate their unused food to homeless shelters. Simply by matching restaurants and shelters, the app provides eateries an easy way to offload surplus food and remain ethical at the same time.
With food so integral to our everyday lives, what will be the next steps in offering up more flavours to tempt our tastebuds? We’ll have to keep monitoring the menus to find out.