Monthly Archives: July 2018


Food is no exception to lifestyle trends, and top chefs and restaurants need to stay up to date and ahead of the game if they want to attract the type of customer who cares about what they eat, how it is served and the quality of the ingredients.

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World Influences

The focus on healthy eating, well-being and locally sourced produce has seen a rise in popularity over recent years along with in-house condiments, ethic spices and fermented products. Foods originating from the Middle East, the Caribbean, Asia and North Africa have all also seen a rise in popularity, and chef-driven menus are at the heart of restaurants offering a variety of sophisticated dishes.

Chefs are also focussing on lighter desserts inspired by cultures from around the world and looking to include only natural ingredients such as cacao to meet the demand from educated and well-informed diners. For example, savoury dishes are including turmeric, known for its anti-oxidant benefits, and there is a greater use of fungi, algae and seaweed, which are also known for their anti-oxidant, anti-viral and probiotic properties.

Vegetable Dishes

High-profile chefs are seeing an increase in the popularity of vegetable-based dishes and especially those which are locally grown and produced. Vegan options and vegetarian options are also becoming more and more appealing to all diners, including meat eaters who are wanting to cut down on their meat consumption.

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Diners are wanting their food and drinks to be exciting and unique, and tasting menus and innovative cocktails are being created to meet this demand. Ensuring the ingredients are fresh and available is essential for restaurants, and having a Saladette Counter from companies such as means guests can see for themselves the freshness of the food before placing their order.

Social Media

Social media, and especially Instagram, means food is being photographed more than ever before, so the more creative and aesthetically appealing a dish is, the more popular it will become. This is discussed in this recent article by The Guardian.

Customers who enjoy eating out are also wanting an experience, and pop-up dining, intimate dining for private groups and food being prepared at the table are just some of the ways restaurants are encouraging diners and keeping up with the latest eating-out trends.

In 2016, Starship robot delivery services started operating in the UK, along with the United States, Switzerland and Germany. Using autonomous vehicles, the service can deliver up to 13kg of groceries or other items within a three-mile radius.

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How do they work?

The vehicles work by using ultrasonic sensors to detect obstacles, GPS to record location, and cameras monitored by human operators who can take over the controls if needed – to help the delivery vehicle cross a road, for example.

While the vehicles have been used in 12 countries and driven more than 100,000 miles, they have only been tested in South London so far in the UK, where they were used to deliver takeaway orders for Just Eat.

Next steps

Now, the company – which was founded in 2014 by the creators of Skype – is looking to expand with plans to introduce 1,000 delivery robots into up to 20 university campuses by 2019 and an agreement with the Co-op to delivery groceries in Milton Keynes.

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Benefits and downsides

One of the main benefits of the delivery vehicles is that they reduce the cost of delivery for the last mile significantly (from $3 to $1 or less in the US). Another advantage is that they bring efficiencies to companies or organisations with large sites. In Germany, for example, Mercedes uses them to deliver parcels internally.

However, with a top speed of 10 miles per hour and a radius of no more than three miles, experts say that their use is likely to be limited to specific industries or areas for now, such as universities.

Their size is also an issue. While the creators say that if it fits in a vehicle, it can be delivered, not everything will fit. Items larger or heavier than the machine’s capacity will still need to be delivered by more traditional means, such as, the man and van Slough moving service.

There’s also the question of how the public will react, especially in busy cities. However, Starship says that so far, no vehicles have been damaged or stolen, and there have been no insurance claims. Perhaps people will get used to seeing the vehicles on the pavements in Milton Keynes and this will convince businesses in other areas to use them. Only time will tell!