Visitors to Henn-na, a restaurant outside Nagasaki, Japan, are greeted by a peculiar sight: their food being prepared by a row of humanoid robots that bear a passing resemblance to the Terminator.
The “head chef,” incongruously named Andrew, specializes in okonomiyaki, a Japanese pancake. Using his two long arms, he stirs batter in a metal bowl, then pours it onto a hot grill. While he waits for the batter to cook, he talks cheerily in Japanese about how much he enjoys his job. His robot colleagues, meanwhile, fry donuts, layer soft-serve ice cream into cones, and mix drinks. One made me a gin and tonic.
H.I.S., the company that runs the restaurant, as well as a nearby hotel where robots check guests into their rooms and help with their luggage, turned to automation partly out of necessity. Japan’s population is shrinking, and its economy is booming; the unemployment rate is currently an unprecedented 2.8 percent. “Using robots makes a lot of sense in a country like Japan, where it’s hard to find employees,” CEO Hideo Sawada told me.
Read more at The Atlantic: https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2018/01/iron-chefs/546581/
Today Facebook is announcing that users can now order food for takeout or delivery using both the Facebook mobile app and website. But it’s not at all what you might think; Facebook hasn’t created its own answer to Seamless, which would be massive news for the restaurant industry. This isn’t that.
Instead, the company is partnering with existing services GrubHub, Delivery.com, DoorDash, ChowNow, Zuppler, EatStreet, Slice, and Olo, and will now link out to those food ordering businesses for restaurants that support them. You head to the new “Order Food” area of Facebook under the Explore section, find the local spot you’re craving, and then hit “start order.” From there, if a restaurant supports more than one of Facebook’s ordering partners, you’ll be able to choose between them. Once you do, Facebook will bring up an in-app browser that takes you through the existing websites for Delivery.com and the others. That’s where all the ordering actually happens, so you’re not actually doing much with the Facebook app beyond finding a restaurant and tapping your preferred delivery option.
Seamless is not currently among Facebook’s partner services, but parent company GrubHub is, so that should get you most of the same delivery restaurants. But there are other omissions such as Caviar, so you’ll still need to open those apps separately to know which restaurants use them and place an order.
Read more at The Verge: https://www.theverge.com/2017/10/13/16468610/facebook-food-ordering-new-feature
PORTLAND, Maine—Over the past decade, this once-sleepy New England town has experienced a remarkable culinary boom that’s put it squarely on the map for foodies, with restaurants like Eventide, Central Provisions and Vinland bringing national renown to the city of fewer than 70,000 people.
And one design agency helped make it all happen.
Might & Main, a small shop on Fore Street in the heart of the Old Port, has developed the brand identities for more than a dozen food clients in and around town, including many of the hottest restaurants that have opened up in recent years.
Currently counting four full-time and five part-time designers, Might & Main got its big break into the restaurant business in 2012, when it developed the branding for Eventide, an oyster bar on Middle Street that was an instant sensation and remains one of the best restaurants in town—indeed, one of the best in the region. (Chefs Mikey Wiley and Andrew Taylor won the James Beard Award this year as the best chefs in the Northeast, following their third nomination.)
Read more at AdWeek: http://www.adweek.com/creativity/how-a-design-agency-helped-make-portland-maine-the-hippest-foodie-town-in-new-england/
McDonald’s is promoting a new “gourmet” burger range, the “Signature Collection” in the U.K. with a spot that spoofs high end fragrance ads.
The Signature Collection, which has been on trial in selected restaurants, will be made available in more than 900 McDonald’s restaurants across the U.K. by the end of 2017. In a move that seems designed to compete with the popularity in the U.K. of upscale burger chains like Byron Burger and Gourmet Burger Kitchen, the premium burgers are served in a brioche-style bun. They are available in three flavours, The Classic, The BBQ and The Spicy, featuring ingredients such as “natural” cheddar cheese, wholegrain mustard and Batavia lettuce.
Read more at Creativity-Online: http://creativity-online.com/work/mcdonalds-signature-collection/52522
For a long time, augmented reality appeared to hold potential as the next great tool for advertisers to engage their audience. In recent years, food and beverage manufacturers have started to realize some of that potential — as shown by the stratospheric, if short-lived, success of Pokémon Go last summer — but it has to be leveraged correctly, an executive with UK-based AR firm Zappar told FoodNavigator-USA.
Zappar recently worked with snack manufacturer Wise Foods to develop an AR functionality on the brand’s packaging that would allow consumers to scan a “zapcode” with their smartphones and then swat baseballs thrown at them by a pitcher.
Read more at FoodDive: http://www.fooddive.com/news/can-food-brands-make-augmented-reality-come-to-life/448852/