FoodtoEat takes on Internet Week New York: Day 1

By Emily Collins

In case you didn’t know, yesterday kicked off Internet Week New York (#IWNY)! All week (5/19-5/22), we have the pleasure of feeding and mingling with some of New York’s finest business people, innovators and Internet all-stars. We’ll be collaborating with our vendors to provide delicious food for #IWNY. Check out some of our pictures below and on our Instagram.

Jonah Peretti, the CEO of Buzzfeed speaking about how he found success on the Internet.
Jack’s Sliders and Sushi provided the hungry people of IWNY with some fantastic eats!
The lovely ladies of SheKnows.com loved their food from mamagyro.
The IWNY cafe, sponsored by FoodtoEat!
Salad Pangea providing IWNY with a variety of awesome salads.
IWNY Cafe presented by: FoodtoEat!
Nadia’s Moroccan Kitchen provided IWNY with Moroccan meatballs over couscous today.

DailyFoodtoEat is the official blog of FoodtoEat, a sustainable online food ordering and concierge catering service featuring your favorite restaurants, food trucks and caterers. Check out the deliciousness here: www.foodtoeat.com

 

Electronic Tip Jar Makes Debut

Tip jars are a common sight at many local food establishments, coffee shops and even food trucks. However customers don’t always have cash on hand, especially as Americans increasingly rely on credit cards and mobile payment options for all their daily purchases. A new invention called DipJar aims to solve this problem, accepting credit and debit card payment for customers to fully show their gratitude for great service.

DipJar is a New York invention by Ryder Kessler, inspired by the tip jars seen in Manhattan coffee shops that often go neglected. Particularly during rushes baristas often serve dozens of customers without seeing even one tip. With DipJar, one swipe of a credit card will leave a $1 tip, with each additional swipe adding a dollar to the tip amount. The product is still being tested, and Kessler said during this pilot period the company will cover any processing fees and distribute the full $1 tip from each dip. Eventually however, they will have to charge a credit card processing fee to cover the cost of the system.

Alternative credit card payment systems have been catching on lately, with Square, LevelUp and others gaining traction among many small businesses. Square has even partnered with Starbucks, signaling an increased demand for innovative mobile payment solutions. DipJar is currently being tested at a few locations, including Oren’s Daily Roast.

Ultimately DipJar should provide a convenient way for customers to reward good service even without cash on hand. While they seem to be catching on mostly with food related businesses, DipJar could easily expand to any service-based industry.

DailyFoodtoEat is the official blog of FoodtoEat, a sustainable online food ordering and concierge catering service featuring your favorite restaurants, food trucks and caterers. Check out the deliciousness here: www.foodtoeat.com

 

Startup Companies Use Food Trucks to Treat Employees

California is home to some of the country’s greatest and most original food trucks, so it should come as no surprise that many startup companies are finding innovative ways to work with them. Small software companies in particular have identified food trucks as a low-cost way to reward their employees and improve employee retention from larger technology companies like Facebook and Google.

This makes more sense if you look at food trucks as startup companies themselves, with low entry costs and the advantage of mobility, most food trucks are relatively new to the road and are still looking for a way to become a permanent fixture in their city’s dining scene. Many programmers have come to expect job perks and free time at work, and startup companies that aren’t able to provide these often lose quality employees to large corporations. While many larger companies have built in-house kitchens and hire culinary staffs, food trucks provide healthy, quality food and a recreational vibe.

At the digital advertising startup Rocket Fuel, ‘Free Food Truck Fridays’ have become a huge hit, citing happier and healthier employees since the onset of the weekly event. Another software company called Twilio treats its employees with caterings and prepaid food truck meals in a variety of cuisines. Though the company plans to move and expand its office it will still retain food trucks as part of its company culture, rather than building an in-house kitchen.

Technology companies are increasingly looking to food trucks to build morale and create a ‘hangout’ atmosphere at the office. Gamefly, based in Los Angeles, began bringing food trucks to their office after the company’s founder Sean Specter became aware of Kogi BBQ. Now the company feeds its employees from food trucks about twice a month. “The reality is that people don’t want to eat the office every day of the week,” says Specter. “It’s an added perk to working here. It’s very social.” There are also less dining options in Los Angeles without the food trucks. Known as a ‘work island effect’, employees often get sick of the same two or three restaurants over and over.

In Austin, Texas, food trucks have taken off in a huge way, and tech startups have not failed to notice them. Employees are often given lunch tickets to food trucks parked outside their offices, and at one company employees let out an audible cheer when they received a company-wide email announcing that a food truck was on its way. According to the Society for Human Resource Management, offering healthy meal options has become a best practice for employers.

Now at California’s Rocket Fuel employees are coming into working more instead of working from home, and the company is using ‘Food Truck Fridays’ to attract new talent, often interviewing candidate on Fridays. Employees who have left the company for larger corporations even tell coworkers how much they miss the food at Rocket fuel.

DailyFoodtoEat is the official blog of FoodtoEat, a sustainable online food ordering and concierge catering service featuring your favorite restaurants, food trucks and caterers. Check out the deliciousness here: www.foodtoeat.com

 

The Future of Coffee is Here

With technology and food coinciding more and more as a recent trend, it was only a matter of time before someone took coffee to the next level. The Scanomat TopBrewer is that next level, with a flawless design, remarkable speed and ability to control it with an iPhone.

This new coffee machine offers a sleek design with all of its working parts concealed behind the counter. The TopBrewer focuses on the actually brewing process, offering users the ability to customize every brewing parameter of their coffee or espresso. Coffee brews in just 15 seconds, and espresso brews in just 25 seconds; though the TopBrewer is a single-serve device, all it takes is a push of a button and the machine can make four cups of coffee in just one minute.

The Scanomat TopBrewer takes cares of all of its own maintenance, making it remarkably easy to use. It grinds its own coffee beans, measures out ingredients and foams milk. The machine is also capable of cleaning itself throughout daily use, and can instantly switch between hold and cold beverages. The machine comes with a stainless steel tap remains exposed while underneath your counter the machine is busy making you a delicious cup of coffee. You can even dispense cold milk or water, hot chocolate and even carbonated water from the same spigot.

Lastly, the Scanomat TopBrewer can be controlled via an app on your iPhone or iPad. Customers can create a beverage of their choice remotely, and watch while the TopBrewer prepares it in just seconds.

DailyFoodtoEat is the official blog of FoodtoEat, a sustainable online food ordering and concierge catering service featuring your favorite restaurants, food trucks and caterers. Check out the deliciousness here: www.foodtoeat.com

 

New Sushi-Robot is a Game Changer

Sushi-making has long been respected in Japan as a cultural expression of art because of the emphasis on appearance, as well as taste. However Japanese company Suzomo has just modernized the sushi industry with a line of sushi robots that can automatically roll sushi with ingredients pre-assembled for them.

These machines can be small enough to fit on counter-tops, and create 3,600 mounds of sushi per hours. Another machine roll about 300 medium-sized sushi rolls in an hour (larger rolls take more time to create). The machines work by grabbing a pile of rice from a rice bowl placed on top of the machine and sculpting it into a flat sheet. Then the machine adds a piece of seaweed, fish and veggies. Then at the press of a button the conveyor belt platform covers the sushi and rolls it up.

Suzumo hopes with these machines it can “precisely recreate the handmade taste and technique used by an experienced sushi chef.” No mention was given to appearance however, which many sushi-lovers know is almost as important as taste itself. It can be hard to imagine a sushi machine acutely dropping sauce on a roll, or arranging a dragon roll to actually look like a dragon. For this reason it’s hard to imagine most high-end sushi restaurants replacing their experienced sushi chefs with a sushi machine. These machines may find more use in malls or franchises that require fast output. These machines have the added advantage of standardization, letting a franchise creates a perfectly standardized sushi product that doesn’t alternate depending on the chef.

Sushi machines should cost only a few thousand dollars each, making them far more cost effective than hiring an experienced sushi chef, though these machines do require some labor to place ingredients and operate them.

Suzomo machines may ultimately drive down the costs of sushi, and thus raise demand for the pricy raw-fish food. With fish conservation efforts growing, many popular fish including bluefin tuna are being increasingly protected by environmental groups from ending up in our sushi. There is still no word on how Suzomo machines might affect the food industry, but given their low cost and high yield of output, they may have devastating effects upon fish conservation.

Watch the video below to see how Suzomo sushi machines are changing the world of sushi as we know it.

DailyFoodtoEat is the official blog of FoodtoEat, a sustainable online food ordering and concierge catering service featuring your favorite restaurants, food trucks and caterers. Check out the deliciousness here: www.foodtoeat.com