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    Driving through efficiencies in coffee service


    Drive-thru technology is helping businesses improve customer service, reduce waiting times and personalise their marketing, as Costa UK has discovered. 

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    Back for good: how back of house technology can transform your business


    If there’s one thing those in the restaurant industry have learnt more than anything in the past 12 months, it’s the true value of back of house tech. 

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    ​How technology is revolutionising the post-pandemic restaurant sector


    At the end of 2019, if a customer wanted to order and pay for their food using their mobile phone the number of restaurants in which they could do this would have been relatively small. Fast forward to this year and, once lockdown is lifted, the number of places offering digital order and pay will be significantly bigger.

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    Brandwatch: Shake Shack @ Deliveroo Editions


    Deliveroo Editions was hailed by CEO Will Shu as the future of food delivery when the dark kitchen platform launched in 2017.

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    Wahaca’s journey to Nando’s stablemate


    The acquisition of Wahaca by the owners of Nando’s gives a much-needed injection of equity to a brand that has experienced more than its fair share of turmoil over its 13 years.

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    Lights out for late night?


    Having already provided your full name and contact details, you pass by the thermal imaging camera and through the personal protection tunnel, where you remain for five seconds to ensure the chlorine dioxide has thoroughly disinfected your clothes and skin. No, this is not Area 51. Welcome to opening night at Piano Works, Farringdon. In its preparations for reopening, which operations director Tristan Moffat hopes will be by the beginning of October, the London-based live music concept isn’t taking any shortcuts when it comes to consumer safety.

  • Department of Coffee

    The rise and fall of Coffeesmiths Collective


    One of the more intriguing growth stories of the past ten years, Coffeesmiths Collective is the latest business to begin insolvency proceedings, as parts of the business enter liquidation.

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    ‘The model is broken’: solving the leasing question


    Throughout lockdown, it has been easy to cast commercial landlords as the big bad wolf.

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    Navigating the double edged sword of delivery


    Delivery and takeaway are one of the only tangible ways left for operators to serve customers during the coronavirus outbreak. With consumers no longer able to eat out, common sense logic assumed they would simply transfer spending to delivery. Yet for various reasons, this has not played out ...

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    Getting social - the risks and rewards


    As Chancellor Rishi Sunak grinned next to an unnecessarily large bag of Yorkshire Tea and Jacob Rees-Mogg threw caution to the wind in clutching a single walkers crisp, social media managers everywhere groaned in solidarity. “Look how relatable we are,” called the two men, “so normal!” Within minutes, Twitter warriors throughout the country were primed for battle. Yorkshire Tea, Walkers and Pringles (which committed the crime of simply sitting, unopened, on Reese-Mogg’s desk), were immediately inundated with online abuse.

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    Instagram: Looking Good Enough To Eat


    No dish reaches the candy pink menu at EL&N cafe without having its photo taken first. The chain’s head of food Daniel Booth will “play around with dishes during the development process, taking photos to see how they look through a lens before finalising them,” says head of marketing Sahar Mahdavian. The result is immaculate. Sambazon acai smoothie bowls and edible flowers perch pristinely on ancient grain granola, more modern art than breakfast. 

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    Bangkok bounce back?


    Once the darling of the Thai restaurant scene, Busaba has had a tough few years, with falling profits and site closures. Now with a simplified offer and a fresh focus on the capital, it’s looking to bounce back

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    Mixing politics with advertising: a risk worth taking?


    What do politicians and fast food have in common? No, not a new deal every day and a tendency to fall slightly short of what the menu promises, but cause to print a huge Whopper on the side of a bus, apparently. In a world where an advertisement for Iceland that dared to criticise palm oil is met with uproar and banned for being ‘too political,’ brand engagement with political debate may seem like something best avoided.

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    The Epipen epidemic - how is the industry coping with allergens?


    It lurks within the industry like a parasite. With every order comes its next opportunity, with every new dish a new hiding place. A matter of when, not if, the next fatal allergen waits to be served. With the number of allergy sufferers on the rise, particularly among young people, one ill-informed waiter or one poorly labelled sandwich could mean the death of a child, and, potentially, the death of a business.

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    Drowning in plain sight


    Oh, we don’t like to be beside the seaside. It wasn’t always like this, coastal towns used to thrive on hoards of tourists flocking to the beach to lick ice creams, feed chips to seagulls, have fun on the pier and paddle in the channel. But in the 1960s the rising popularity of relatively exotic package holidays to sunny Europe saw numbers drop and the trend never stopped.

  • Blazing Bird

    The virtual world becomes reality


    Virtual restaurants might sound like a computergenerated fabrication – but the food they delivery is very much a physical reality, and it’s growing. As the major delivery companies start to push into restaurant brands, Finn Scott-Delany examines the lie of the land.

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    Delivery presents bitter/sweet pill for operators


    A new wave of delivery is rapidly transforming the dynamics of the restaurant industry, with everyone from fledgling operators to listed hospitality groups entering the fray - whether they want to or not. But has the impact been wholly positive, and is the current model sustainable for operators already battling a series of cost pressures? Finn Scott-Delany reports.