DoorDash is Using Its Technology to Give Back to the Needy

DoorDash is Using Its Technology to Give Back to the Needy

By law, restaurant owners cannot serve leftover food to guests the following day. So, what is a chef or restaurateur to do with all the extra food?

You could always have employees take some home, but what if you still have more after that?

According to “Fast Company,” “An average restaurant might waste 100,000 pounds of foods a year.”

Enter DoorDash. This food delivery company is using its algorithm to help restaurant owners with a surplus of food finding a person to deliver it to the nearest shelter caring for hungry homeless people, for example.

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SF Chef Jeffrey Weiss Talks the Importance of a "Picture-Perfect" Dish

“Never judge a book by its cover.” This old adage is just that: old. In today’s world, diners enjoy their meals as much with their eyes as they do with their mouths. And more importantly still, these same diners judge a restaurant by the images it presents on a variety of social media platforms of the dishes it serves.

With the ever growing importance of social media in influencing dining decisions, dishes must captivate an online audience for restaurants to remain competitive. The importance of plating and presentation is thus incredibly essential for chefs and restaurant owners to consider when designing dishes to feature on their menus.  

With the overwhelming push towards crafting the “picture-perfect” dish, chefs risk venturing into a danger zone where the presentation of a dish trumps the actual quality. San Francisco chef and culinary consultant Jeffrey Weiss explains “In the modern online gastronomic world, it’s a fact of life that chefs are gauged less on their knife skills and more on their Instagram following. And that’s why a beautiful plate of food that’s tagged and hashtagged has become more valuable than whether that same plate of food was crafted with care and tastes delicious (a sad truth for the chef in me and many of my peers).” Read More

SF's eatsa Succeeds With Automated Food Service Model

eatsa Restaurant  | Instagram

eatsa Restaurant | Instagram

So, when is a restaurant no longer a restaurant, at some point becoming nothing more than a vending machine with tables and chairs?

So far, guests seem unphased with the impersonal technology, probably due to the fact that at most establishments, its use, thus far, has been at minimal scale.

eatsa, a fully automated restaurant aimed at San Francisco’s high-tech demographic whose tagline happens to be “Better, Faster Food,” is unlikely to become the norm in the fast-casual segment, Tommy Woycik,  founder and president of Nextep Systems, speculates.

But in its first eight months or so, the restaurant has done quite well. One of eatsa’s founders, Tim Young, attributes its success, in part, to a simple and interactive ordering experience; a virtual cashier that remembers every customer, allowing for highly personalized interaction and tailored suggestions; and zero wait time.

An automated food pickup system features a collection of glass door "cubbies."  When a customer's meal is ready, the cubby door transforms to display personalized graphics and presents the food at the touch of a button, ensuring that every customer receives their food when and how they want it.

Scott Drummond, eatsa’s other founder, actually credits the technology for a lower price point for customers, allowing the restaurant to offer $12 dishes for less than $7.

“[eatsa’s] success does demonstrate that guests may not value a traditional experience as much as some restaurants might believe,” Woycik contends. Read More

Now Trending: Pickled and Fermented Foods

Now Trending: Pickled and Fermented Foods

By Courtney WalshWest Coast Editor

A staple element of many European, Asian, African and Middle Eastern culinary traditions, pickled and fermented ingredients are just now starting to make their way into a wide range of restaurants nationwide. From accoutrements to integration in cocktail programs, pickling has become all the rage for U.S. chefs and mixologists alike, with many restaurants choosing to initiate house-made pickling programs as well as experimenting with unique vinegars and nontraditional pickling ingredients with which to work with.

Below, we explore restaurants in three major cities that are spearheading this trend.

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New California Waste Disposal Laws To Require Restaurants to Recycle or Compost

landfill+food+waste.jpg

Laws that regulate food waste disposal seem to be popping up with more frequency. In California, beginning April 1st, businesses will be required to divert organic waste from landfills to recycling or composting facilities.

Currently, the regulation affects only those generating eight cubic yards of organic waste a week. Next year, the threshold will be lowered to four cubic yards. This presumably will bring more restaurants under the mandate’s coverage. 

So what’s behind this effort to combat food waste? Read More