Augmented reality will transform food delivery within five years

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Ardian Mula says AR will allow customers to experience the sights, sounds, and maybe even smells of their favorite take-out, allowing them to have the full take-out experience without leaving home.

This year, the bosses of Foodhub put in place plans for the development of AR within the company, placing the food delivery company at the forefront of the technological revolution.

Mr Mula says many of the 20,000 restaurants and takeaways currently in partnership with his Stoke-on-Trent-based company could have access to the technology within just five years. He sees development as a win-win solution for consumers, who will benefit from an unprecedented purchasing experience, and for merchants, who will have access to an exciting new marketing tool.

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An artist’s view of AR software

Mr. Mula commented: “I see this technology as a game changer for both the industry and the takeout consumer. Imagine as a consumer if you could have a full on-the-go experience, using just your smartphone and a pair of glasses?

“It could allow customers to efficiently walk into a take-out restaurant and get all the flavor of the business, of the branding inside the store. They could then ‘shop’ for their own order, from making a burger to selecting a store-bought pizza to interacting with staff, all from the comfort of their own living room. .

“Since the Covid-19 pandemic, people’s ordering habits have changed, and technology like this is going to revitalize the industry in ways we haven’t seen in a long time. “

As the development of this software progresses, Foodhub is also devoting significant resources to improving the technology currently available for independent take-out, with the aim of using the technology to improve efficiency, order levels and profitability.

Mr Mula said: “While big chains have had access to different technologies for some time, at Foodhub we want to see a level playing field between the big players in the industry and local take out.”

Meanwhile, it’s possible that take-out food will soon become entirely cashless, with more affordable technology such as QR payment becoming the norm.

Mr Mula commented, “QR codes can be printed for pennies, a stark contrast to expensive payment hardware. In global markets such as India, the focus has been on providing businesses with these more affordable technologies, and we see a great opportunity to provide business owners with the opportunity to save on technology and instead invest elsewhere. “

In fact, online software deployment will reduce the need for takeout owners to rely on hardware at all levels. Fusion 2.0, an exciting update to Foodhub’s software system currently in trial with 100 takeaways nationwide, will see traditional tools like checkouts and printers replaced with a single device, such as a iPhone or iPad.

Using a device that can act as a digital chef menu, order management system, payment device, and tool to remove boundaries between multiple locations will result in less waste and increased efficiency.

Modularization within the platform also gives takeout the ability to access different features, while being able to simply and easily turn on and off anything they don’t need to access. In turn, this gives access to cutting-edge technology at an affordable cost.

Another development that aims to align independents with large chains is the more widespread introduction of automation. In practice, this means that kitchens have access to machines that cook food in the same perfect way every time.

Mr Mula said: “While this technology, used by large companies for years, will reduce staffing requirements, it would solve staffing issues for many while increasing customer satisfaction by providing a better and more accurate product. . We would like to see more freelancers have access to technology like this.

Looking further into the future, a decade from now, Mr Mula predicts that food will be delivered by drones and robots, especially in rural areas which are less accessible by car and motorbike than cities.

Natasha Archer, at Archers Sweets in Leeds, has been working with Foodhub for just under a year and can already see the benefits of technology on the business: “Over the past few years we have improved our technological capabilities in line with the functions available with the Foodhub platform.

“We are currently testing the new Fusion software and are really excited to see the changes this will bring to our business. We can already see a difference when it comes to cost efficiency and the ease of running everything through one device.

“As an independent company, using the software developed by Foodhub means that we are able to keep up with the biggest players in the industry, which we would be hard-pressed to do without access to technologies such as these. this. “

All in all, it’s an incredibly exciting time for the industry, which has thrived through recent lockdowns and now needs to keep up an appetite for food deliveries.

Mr. Mula added, “We are incredibly excited about the evolution of the food industry today and Foodhub is delighted to be at the forefront of it. We devote a lot of resources to ensuring that we are at the forefront of this technology and are able to help our independent partners capitalize when the time is right.

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