Food scientists, beekeepers and even sanitary-minded robots are making waves in the restaurant and foodservice industry and impacting how the future of food will play out not just on Canada’s culinary stage, but on the global stage. Here’s an exciting round-up of some of the top industry disruptors and ideas transforming the restaurant and hospitality world:
Restaurant robotics – Sophie, the first robot to be granted citizenship, has recently graced headlines and ignited endless conversations about artificial intelligence and the advancement of robotics. While not as charismatic, Intellibot, a floor cleaning robot, has already been embraced by the restaurant and hospitality world. Intellibot is only one of Diversy’s Internet of Clean line-up of smart technology products. Through data analytics their tools gain insight and streamline practices to positively impact operations, dosing, compliance and machine performance.
Sensory and space – Redefining how we interact with food is the creative scientific director of Future Food Studio & BEVLAB, Dr. Irwin Adam. His notable projects include the Ice Cream Museum, drum beat, dancing soup at Toronto’s Sensorium event and the opportunity to sip on clouds with his sky-high cloud generator concept. Next on his plate? Working with the Canadian Space Agency for the Space to Spoon exhibit at this year’s RC Show 2018. This exhibit highlights Canada as a world leader in satellite technology, and illustrates how space technology benefits Canadian farmers and sustainable agriculture, impacting the food we serve and eat.
Community connectors – While not as high tech as robots and satellites, community connecting platforms and services are reshaping the hospitality and food world dramatically. Airbnb was the first player to the field, opening people’s home to travellers. Expanding this model, This Open Space is a platform that connects restaurants, cafes and hotels to event planners looking for a unique space to host weddings, pop-ups, corporate team buildings or whatever one’s heart, eyes or stomach desires. Another player that is the “antidote for boring retail” is Toronto Container Company, who offer pop-up spaces made from shipping containers to aspiring restauranteurs.
Another buzzing community innovator is Alveole, which connects urbanites with nature through hive hosting. They will install a beehive on your rooftop or in your backyard, and then depending on your needs, will show you how to care for the bees and encourage you to take part in the honey extraction process. These hives not only educate people on the importance of bees, but positively impacts the environment through pollination, and your palate with freshly-made honey!
Outdoors in – The founders at Aqua Greens and Planet Shrimp have brought the outdoors in. Both companies have taken traditionally outdoor practices and reimagined them, bringing them indoors and with forward-thinking sustainable twists. Aqua Greens practices aquaponics to grow their organic greens. Aquaponics is the cultivation of fish and plants together in a re-circulating, closed loop ecosystem. Planet Shrimp is Ocean Wise™ endorsed and reduces consumption by using clear-water recirculating systems, ensure that ocean wildlife is preserved by growing indoors, and eliminates the by-catch associated with outdoor shrimp farming.
Beyond the walls – The trend of grocerants is another movement that is changing how we utilize space. Grocery stores are bringing restaurant-style aesthetics and offerings to consumers, allowing them to shop for dinner after enjoying a relaxing lunch, all under one roof. Longos is taking a bite into grocerants with their Corks Beer & Wine bar and Farmboy has an endless number of in-store dining options from the fresh salad bar to sushi stop to the stir fry station.
Intrigued? You can experience, taste and learn all about how the restaurant and hospitality world is changing at #InnovationUnleashed RC Show 2018 on Feb 25-27, 2018 at the Enercare Centre in Toronto. To learn more and to register visit https://www.rcshow.com/.
Editor’s note: A previous version of post incorrectly stated that the Space to Spoon exhibit is in partnership with NASA. It has been corrected to note that the Space to Spoon exhibit is in partnership with the Canadian Space Agency.