The food-tech industry has come a long way from the traditional set-up to the current new-age tech set-up. Today, technology is making an impact on all aspects of the foodservice industry – from sourcing to reservations to on- demand delivery. It has led to the emergence of new business models such as restaurant aggregators, cloud-based kitchens that support home cooks and online food delivery. In recent years, several new food tech start-ups have emerged that have helped organise the unorganised food retail industry by enhancing access to small restaurants and home chefs.
Online sales form a small fraction of the total foodservice sales pie. However, its prominence is increasing at a rapid pace. It is estimated that online foodservice sales has witnessed a 2x increment in the past couple of years. Big Data analytics and cloud computing assist restaurant owners to derive value out of data, improve the management and customer experience, facilitate inventory management, customer management, order management, among others.
Restaurants and cafés have started using digital devices such as digital kiosks and tablets for displaying menu items, place order and provide feedback, which are helping enhance customer experience and operational efficiency. In turn, consumers have also started to rely on technology to compare restaurant ratings, menu items and user reviews for making decisions about their eating preferences.
Going ahead, it is expected that new niche start-ups will continue to emerge, picking up specific gaps in the entire food- tech ecosystem and building their business around it. But it’s not that there are no challenges to be addressed. The market in general is still quite fragmented and there are many other issues. However, no matter what the challenges are, a new breed of crazy and determined entrepreneurs will continue to create viable and sustainable business out it.