Restaurant Design in the Age of Food Delivery Featured

Dec 24 2017 8 comments
Rate this item
(34 votes)

The exponential growth in home food delivery is changing not only the way we purchase and consume food, it is also changing the way Restaurants and Food Retailers design and build their restaurants and shops.

With some restaurants and food retailers garnering more than a third of their sales from delivery, it was only a matter of time before this fact began to determine key aspects of the overall design of the workspace. If a third of your production is being set aside for collection by delivery drivers, you are bound to want this to be managed as efficiently as possible.

 

Quick Serve Restaurants (QSRs), Foodservice Operations and Delivery

Although the much needed changes to restaurant design might be thought to be substantial, they are in fact rather straightforward. Perhaps the most obvious change and one which is often readily seen in the service area or front of house of restaurants, is the creation of a dedicated delivery collection point. This space is used for a number of purposes including a.) holding of finished packaged product, b.) management of order and collection data - often through systems provided by the major Delivery Service providers, c.) meeting point for drivers collecting delivery orders, d.) collection point for pre-orders (click and collect), and e.) key communication area for orders and returns.

The combination of Rapid Heating/Cooking Technology, Hot Holding Cabinets and New Traceability Systems is being widely adopted as a new model for Food Delivery Services....

 

Rapid Heating Technologies and Production Efficiency

Another key change to the service and operational design of restaurants is taking place in the back of house production area (kitchen). Here, you will often find a dedicated space where specialist equipment for the rapid re-heating, packaging and tracking of food delivery product is kept. With increased demand for food delivery product, many restaurants and food retailers are now turning to the operational models of Quick Serve Restaurants (QSRs) for inspiration and with the aim of introducing essential time-saving techniques. Importantly, QSRs often rely upon pre-cooked and pre-assembled product to speed up their production process. Pre-assembled product, such as pre-cut and pre-cooked items, when combined with rapid heating/cooking technology can truly speed up the production process to seconds per item rather than minutes per item. With many well established restaurants now beginning to rely on these techniques to help them meet the increasing demand for delivered food product, it it likely that this trend will continue. The Foodservice Network will be looking at the ramifications of this for the quality and safety of food product in future articles.

 

Hot Holding Merchandisers and Display Cabinets

In addition to the above, innovation is also being seen in two important areas of foodservice operation that is likely to accelerate the changes we have already noted in restaurant design. The first is the introduction of operationally advanced, efficient and ergonomically designed Hot Holding Cabinets for hot food product (nearly 80% of all delivered food product is hot). The urgent need for this capability (referred to in the industry as hot-holding) is clear to those restaurant staff managing food delivery services. It is well known that food delivery orders are regularly placed and expected at specific and confined intervals during the day. In order to meet the demand during these intervals (12:00 PM - 2:00 PM, 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM), restaurant production must be done quickly and efficiently. Restaurants will in fact often need to anticipate the orders that they receive. In order to achieve this efficiency, they often resort to production in batches which must then be kept hot (>63C). Quick and efficient batch production will also mean that the product must be stored. To manage this, restaurants now require hot holding units that have the capability to hold hot food product at the correct temperature (>63C) and under the right conditions and without damaging the food product (there are several manufacturers). Depending on when the order was placed, the product will need to be kept hot and often for an extended period of time. The Fooderservice Network can provide information on several manufacturers of Hot Holding Merchandisers and Display Cabinets that can be used for this purpose.

Another important criteria for the design and operation of Hot Holding Cabinets is that they must be easily accessible and set up in such a way that products can be identified and removed. Hot Food Display Cabinets have been available for many years but it is only now that they are being adapted for food delivery services. 

 

RFID and Food Traceability Systems

The second innovation stems from the need to track food delivery items from the time of production to the time of receipt by the customer. To aid this, a recent technology (RFID) that is better known for its use in tracking retail items in shops, is beginning to be put to use. RFID technology, when used in conjunction with an appropriately designed Food Delivery System, provides a means for tracking and recalling, if necessary, any food item sent out for delivery. This combination of technology when used correctly can also ensure that food delivery items are only ever delivered to the individual who ordered them. This capability addresses one of the most pronounced and serious risks currently faced by most if not all food delivery services.

With Restaurant design undergoing rapid change in response to the uptake of Delivery, we are expecting even further and more dramatic changes in the next few years. 

If you would like to know more about how Food Delivery is changing the design and operations of restaurants, please contact us. The Foodservice Network provides advice to companies on the equipment, processes and operations mentioned above. You can reach us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or or use our contact form.

 

 
Read 1658 times Last modified on Jun 01 2018

Founding Director of the Foodservice Network

Comments (8)

Rated 5 out of 5 based on 2 voters
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

This is an interesting article and the changes are as significant as claimed. The food service industry is about to change beyond all recognition and so much of it will be driven by the vast troves of information now available on food purchase,...

This is an interesting article and the changes are as significant as claimed. The food service industry is about to change beyond all recognition and so much of it will be driven by the vast troves of information now available on food purchase, both for the consumer and for businesses themselves. Well done!

Read More
Guest
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Food Delivery is already having a huge impact on how restaurants manage their operations. This is a very insightful article.

Guest
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Fascinating! Would like to have heard more about the equipment used..

Guest
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

A really insightful article! Would love to hear more about the way this hot holding technology work and who the manufactures are.

Guest
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

A very useful read. Here, in the US, we are beginning to see this change really take hold. Thanks for the info. Who can I speak with about joining?

Guest
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Hello Brad, Joining is fairly easy. Just follow the registration steps by choosing register on the login page and follow the steps.

Guest
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Imagjne a world in which most, if not all, meals were prepared by professional chefs and delivered to your door. This is not that far off.

Guest
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Excellent guidance on the subject!

Guest
There are no comments posted here yet

Leave your comments

  1. Posting comment as a guest. Sign up or login to your account.
Rate this post:
Attachments (0 / 3)
Share Your Location
Cron Job Starts