Sustainability was the theme for RC Show 2019, but you could say, it’s also the theme for the future of the foodservice industry. As we move forward with new technologies, we can leverage these innovative ideas to produce a more sustainable future.
The Restaurant of the Future debuted at RC Show 2019, as an immersive, first-of-its-kind concept for Canada’s largest foodservice and hospitality trade event. The interactive space highlighted how we can use technology that we have today and inspiration for tomorrow for a healthier future for all:
Realize how spaces can be transformed into destinations
Ensuring that your brand carries over into your physical space can help create a cohesive and impactful customer experience. Transforming your brand into a brick-and-mortar reality can be achieved by ensuring its look, feel and personality is impeccably reflected in your built environment. The return on investment will soon follow.
This is the message that Navigate and BUILD IT By Design wanted to deliver. The award-winning studio and full service general contracting company were responsible for the layout and construction of the Restaurant of the Future.
They believe that by teaming up with the right collaborators and thoughtfully adding value through design, your business can effectively sustain itself. Using their own partnership with the RC Show as an example, they taught us how to make that happen beyond the traditional methods of building a restaurant.
Discover sustainability from a design perspective
Green design has gained incredible momentum in the foodservice industry. Millennials and Gen Z want to feel confident they’re supporting eco-conscious establishments. In recognition of this shift, the lighting fixtures and quartz countertops in the Restaurant of the Future were provided by ANONY and Caesarstone, respectively.
For their part, ANONY used minimalism and environmentalism as inspiration, while stressing the importance of usability. Merging LED technology and reducing their manufacturing process, the interdisciplinary design studio has fashioned fixtures for us that can be fully disassembled, recycled or reused for future projects.
Likewise, Caesarstone aimed to turn out durable, low-maintenance surfaces that support healthier environments and better use of material resources. By working with the leading sustainability organizations in the green building sector, the quartz they supplied the bar and café areas of the Restaurant of the Future met stringent product emissions standards.
Learn why refurbished furniture is great for the planet
When restaurants plan, they often fail to address their furniture. Furniture that isn’t built to North American commercial standards will rapidly degrade, which can contribute to a poor dining experience for guests and costly repairs. Worse yet, you can purchase furniture made of the most responsibly sourced materials, but if it falls apart in quick order and winds up in a landfill, it’s not sustainable.
Refurbishment is one way to ensure your furniture actually earns that critical designation. One of the most reputable names in the foodservice industry, Contract Supply assembled the Restaurant of the Future’s chairs and tables using the technique. They took existing materials apart, re-glued, re-screwed, sanded, stained and re-upholstered them. It gives wood and metal a second life. It’s also meant to generate a finished product that is sustainable and functional. Less trees cut down, more forests, more nature — everybody wins!
Add environmentally-friendly items & approaches to your menu
From plant-based protein to marine greens, gut-flora friendly ingredients and root-to-stem cooking, sustainability and transparency are all the rage in 2019. Not only did the Restaurant of the Future promote the social, environmental and economic advantages of embracing these trends, but an impressive lineup of culinary wunderkinds put them (and plenty others) on the plate.
Hand-picked by Restaurants Canada’s culinary curator, chef Charlotte Langley, the roster featured Matthew Ravenscroft, La-toya Fagon, Philman George, Matt Dean Pettit, and Trevor Lui. These are the fearless independents at the front line; the talent visibly championing ethical and traceable practices, leading the ideologies behind what’s coming up in the market and doing it all with integrity.
Sample sustainability behind the bar
Sustainable cocktails are crafted to exist in better balance with nature. They often reuse, recycle or upcycle ingredients that would otherwise be discarded as trash, symbolizing the next wave of mixed drinks. These mixed drinks can save you time, money, energy and valuable resources. Trash Tiki is one of the leaders in the movement. Co-founders Kelsey Ramage and Iain Griffith brought the pop-up platform’s progressive brand of waste-based libations to the Restaurant of the Future. Guests came for unconventional cocktails flavoured with leftover citrus juices, citrus rinds and the seeds and skins of fruits. And guests stayed to acquire an elevated awareness of the impact your mixology can have on the environment.
Evaluate what energy-efficient equipment can bring to your business
Upgrading to new, modern, high-efficiency equipment can reap significant performance and energy-saving benefits. Attendees toured the Restaurant of the Future’s operational, sustainable open kitchen to find out for themselves. It was equipped with the finest in energy-efficient hardware. The selection was curated by sustainability expert André Larivière, who recently published The Next Course: Reinventing the Modern Urban Restaurant.
Visitors could examine ENERGY STAR certified appliances that wield the most efficient methods in transferring energy to food, be it electric or induction-based, like the commercial induction cooktops from Garland Canada. They could also test gear that’s versatile, adaptable and easier to move around, including multi-function, high-speed ovens from Merrychef and Alto-Shaam, or reliable, smart refrigeration from True and Delfield. Guests also caught sight of a fully automated indoor herb and vegetable garden, from Urban Cultivator.
Bring your customer experience to life
It’s very important to attract a customer’s attention. Digital displays can inform and persuade them. They can provide you the chance to experiment with different menu sizing and content, only without the need to reprint anything. They can also bolster your on-site digital marketing strategy. As such, installations from the leading supplier of commercial digital signage solutions, Stingray Business, were implemented throughout the Restaurant of the Future. Think ultra-thin bezel video walls — a must-have for engaging shoppers as they walk into your establishment. Think interactive kiosks — a prime choice for interactive maps, booking systems and click-and-display descriptions of your products. Think bright and weather-proof LED arrangements — ideal for storefront windows and billboards.
Speak with cutting-edge service providers
Pushing the limits of technology has been at the vanguard of restaurant growth for ages. In particular, end-to-end solutions are smart and efficient ways of setting up a business. Consider SilverWare POS, a leading developer of them within our industry. Relentlessly delivering the most innovative and beneficial technologies available, the company is dedicated to improving your profitability. They premiered a game-changing, all-in-one handheld device in the Restaurant of the Future; a device that no one else can offer- the Silverware Clover. With full POS functionality and payment processing, the Clover is the only point-of-sale solution that lets you manage the entire guest experience and collect payments from one mobile device.
Pursue a proven path to delivery domination
As it pertains to food delivery, big data analytics can help your app improve its level of operational efficiency and survive, drones can potentially rid you of escalating urban mobility issues and virtual kitchens can afford you a podium to test and sell food concepts without a major capital outlay. Having revolutionized food delivery itself by offering hundreds of thousands of Canadians an opportunity to connect with local foodservice outlets, Uber Eats was at the Restaurant of the Future to discuss their forthcoming plans in the category. The trail they’ve blazed is one you’re encouraged to follow.
Build business solutions for a new reality
When we inevitably move from mobile phone devices to wearable glasses technologies, we’ll experience a major shift in human communication from 2D to 3D. The ability to create augmented reality interactions within a menu and spotlight food options in a digital format can greatly enhance your sales. MetaVRse is a virtual and augmented reality innovation agency that devises revolutionary VR and AR solutions for businesses spanning a broad range of industries. Alan Smithson, its co-founder and CEO, brought physical and digital menus to life in the Restaurant of the Future. Employing the most advanced AR platforms and hyper-realistic 3D modelling of restaurant menu items, visitors glimpsed food orders in all their three-dimensional glory, as if the food was placed on the table already!
Meet the new generation of restaurant robotics
Autonomous robots continue to make their way into our dining experiences with increasing frequency. These innovative and reliable team members can modernize your business — and fast. Autonetics Universe is the gold standard in Canada for commercial robots. One model has a touchscreen display to welcome customers and guide patrons to their desired destination. Another can greet, serve and entertain your guests with elegance and grace. Another can easily accomplish tasks such as customer reception, interpretation and guidance, food delivery and more. Within the walls of the Restaurant of the Future, attendees saw Autonetics Universe’s collection in action and witnessed how the kitchen is evolving faster than ever.
At RC Show 2019, you were able to connect with dynamic leaders in Canadian foodservice and hospitality; and to experience the foodservice industry’s very best in sustainability at the Restaurant of the Future.
Want more? We have something for you!
Whether you’re looking to start a new business, improve your existing operation, take things to the next level, download Restaurants Canada sustainability report: