2020 has triggered the inevitable discussion of several topics but one topic that still seems to be ignored is technology, but more specifically, how technology has revolutionized restaurant hospitality. Due to the pandemic, many sectors faced economic difficulties. Thousands of people have been fired or have faced drastic wage cuts and many small businesses have been forced to close down. However, the food service industry, with the help of technology, is still somewhat thriving… and this is why.
We live in an era dominated and influenced by technology.
“The advance of technology is based on making it fit in so that you don’t really even notice it, so it’s part of everyday life.” — Bill Gates.
In our digital world, it is not uncommon to see a phone at a dining table. Our phones have now become a regular guest at meal times. Not to mention, it is insanely popular to “instagram” a photo of your breakfast or lunch. There are even specific hashtags on instagram just for food and users also have the option to tag the restaurants they go to in their posts. This new trend of “instagramming” one’s food has forced many chefs to change the way they decorate the food served at their restaurants to ensure that their customers promote it on their social media. In the past, cooks did not approve of cameras in their restaurants but now that they have seen the wonders a simple photo can do for their business, they have welcomed it with open arms.
Technology: The real saviour of the pandemic
The Covid-19 pandemic forced most, if not all governments across the globe to announce nationwide shutdowns. People were ordered to stay at home if their job wasn’t deemed “essential.” This of course did not include food service workers. However, restaurants and other eateries used technology to their advantage.
Food delivery apps such as Uber Eats, Deliveroo, etc, allowed restaurants to deliver food to their customers without having to compromise the sanitary measures put in place. Many food places on these delivery apps also gave discounts to ensure they get customers. For example, Uber Eats offered 10 euro discounts for the first three orders on their app. This of course led to an increase in sales because believe it or not, not everyone can cook and many people do rely on the convenience of fast food. The pizza franchise Domino’s experienced a 22% boost in sales from April 20th to May 17th.
In addition to this, the birth of the hashtag #takeouttuesdays on instagram and twitter encouraged people to buy from their town’s local businesses at least once a week. People started to buy from local eateries more often, even if it was only something as simple as a cup of coffee or a donut. Furthermore, to attract even more customers, some restaurants started donating meals. Every time someone purchased a meal online, restaurants donated another meal to someone who needed it. Most places donated food to health care workers who were and still are risking their lives to treat coronavirus patients. Many hospitals’ cantines were forced to close down due to the global health crisis thus leaving doctors, nurses and other health care practitioners to work long, exhausting hours without food. Businesses seized this as an opportunity to do good and to keep their workers active.
2020 is undoubtedly a year of unceasing surprises. The pandemic being the greatest of them all. Although many sectors have faced hardships due to this worldwide health issue, it is indispensable that we acknowledge how technology truly saved us. Technology provided us with ways to work and study from home as we stayed indoors to protect ourselves and our loved ones. We didn’t even have to miss our favourite fast foods thanks to online food delivery apps and other social media trends. It is more than obvious that technology is the real saviour of this pandemic.
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