Rarely do we think about technology when we have pizza on the brain — instead our minds wander to sauces, cheeses and the myriad ingredients and aromas that lead to mouthwatering cravings. However, technology allows for faster brain-to-taste bud satisfaction, and this year’s innovation predictions aim to please.
Giving Consumers What They Want
The National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Industry 2030 Report takes a 10-year glimpse into the future, and convenience via technology is in high demand with consumers. “Ordinary won’t cut it,” the report shows. “Carryout, delivery, drive-through and mobile units is where the majority of industry growth is going to come from over the next 10 years. But, the only reason that growth can occur is that the technology is now in place to support it.” Restaurant definitions will change, thanks to digitization and the onset of delivery-only restaurants, which are prime markets for the traditional delivery of the pizza. Autonomous vehicles, bionic restaurants and third-party delivery apps are sure to disrupt what we now see as the restaurant.
PMQ Pizza Magazine reports that consumers are clamoring for technology that makes ordering food easier. The National Restaurant Association’s 2019 State of the Restaurant Industry Report says: “A majority of consumers say they would like to see restaurants incorporate more technology with a focus on improving customer service, making ordering and payment easier, and offering more convenient takeout and delivery options. Diners are particularly interested in service-enhancing tech, such as tablets at the table, self-service kiosks and wearable technology for servers.”
Robotic Pizza Delivery
We may not be seeing flying cars in 2020, but the next best thing is coming sooner than we think: Robotic pizza delivery services. PMQ’s Pizza Power Report 2020 reports that the top pizza chain in the United States, Domino’s, is bringing its R2 delivery bot to Houston, TX, by the end of 2020 thanks to self-driving delivery company Nuro. R2 is about half the size of a sedan, and pizza purchasers will be issued a code to enter into a screen that opens a compartment that will deliver their pies. Wired reports that R2 won’t have a human driver, but the car bot will have “a chase vehicle along to keep an eye on the bot and intervene if it gets into trouble.”
DoorDash, Uber Eats, Grubhub, Postmates — the list is endless when it comes to third-party delivery services, and more fast-casual chains are partnering up to serve consumers’ taste for faster pizza delivery. Mod Pizza, PMG reports, has partnered with DoorDash, following its rival Blaze Pizza, which partnered with Postmates in 2018. Blaze also hopped on the DoorDash train as of recent, and co-founder Rick Wetzel told Yahoo Finance that the smaller company is ready to take on Domino’s. “We built our network with DoorDash and Postmates nationwide. We’ve really beefed up for it. We’re leaning in hard. I think third-party delivery is gonna take down the legacy pizza players — I really do,” he said.
Although there are challenges popping up along the way that come with progress, like losing the personal connection with customers once pizzas leave the store, third-party delivery services come with tons of benefits. Rick Drury, owner of Precinct Pizza in Tampa, FL, told PMQ that in using third-party companies, he doesn’t “have to worry about hiring, training and insuring drivers and can save money on advertising, since third-party companies do that for you.”
Ready to get techy in the kitchen before your creations hit the streets? LloydPans offers the latest innovations in pizza pans, disks, cutters, dough prep and more.