I have to admit; I was not one of the early adopters when it came to using food apps. Perhaps it is my age, maybe it is my level of pickiness when eating, or perhaps it is that I am a decent cook. Whatever the reason, I never saw what all of the fuss was about until COVID.
While we have not become regular users of the delivery apps, they had brought us some of our favourite meals that we were missing when the dining areas of restaurants were shut down.
The ability to get food from dozens of restaurants is something that most of us never saw coming, and if it were not for many IoT components, it would never have happened in the first place! IoT has allowed for two major trends in the restaurant world to occur food delivery apps and the “virtual kitchen.”
Food Delivery apps
These apps rely on three key pieces of technology to happen:
- The location of where you are (which is often done using GPS or other location-based services).
- The area of the closest available delivery person (using the GPS of their phones)
- Internet connectivity on three sides (the application’s servers, the restaurant and the user) provides cellular-based connectivity on at least one connection.
If any of these components were not functioning, much of the convenience of the process would disappear. This includes how you can track the location of your food while avoiding being surprised while in the shower, which is the UPS driver's domain!
For some, this is a new term that you may not be familiar with. We are all familiar with our local restaurant, where they have a fixed address that we go and visit. However, there is a growing trend in the food business where there is no actual storefront for you to visit a restaurant; instead, you can only place orders via your favourite food delivery app.
Many of these “restaurants” share kitchen facilities with other “restaurants,” which lowers their operating costs. It may be underutilized kitchens or facilities like schools that rent them out on the weekend for extra revenue.
Since their only way to receive orders from customers is via the application, most of these places have more than one way of accessing the Internet (in the event of an outage). Some of them use cellular-based routers to enable high-speed connectivity, especially in places where it is not feasible to have a landline installed (such as at a school cafeteria).
When you combine these new inventions, it is easy to see how it is changing the restaurant business forever (whether it is good or bad, I will leave you to decide). Either way, you can thank IoT for allowing it all to happen in the first place!