New Food Equipment Technology

Feb 14, 2023

The days of long-winded menus, paper straws, and sneeze-shielded buffet tables are numbered. Make room for cooking robots, rotating pizza ovens, and salad dispensaries; these are just a few examples of food equipment technologies coming our way. With innovations that make dining more efficient, safer and fun, going out to eat might make a huge comeback.


Food equipment technology is on the rise again as more and more people venture out to dine after the lockdown in 2020, says Nation’s Restaurant News. There was no better place to see the showcase than at the 2023 North American Association of Food Equipment Manufacturers (NAFEM) show in Orlando. After a five-year hiatus, the show featured equipment created to make both restaurant workers and patrons happy.


One of the most popular items at the showcase combined high tech with delicious food: a robotic pizza-making arm. The Middleby Robotics PizzaBot 5000 designed to offset the staff shortages still affecting the food industry, said Nation’s Restaurant News. With a four-part system, the PizzaBot can add sauce, cheese, and toppings to a pizza, has smart racks that detect temperature, and includes a conveyor oven. According to the article, it also functions as a nifty co-bot next to its human counterparts.


Another exciting addition to the food tech world brings up a solid question we’ve all been asking: Are buffets coming back? It’s quite possible with Vollrath’s new self-serve salad dispenser, says QSR. The touchless system looks like a tower of salad ingredients, each in its refrigerated case. At the bottom of each tower is a smart sensor that can detect if a bowl or plate is underneath, says the article, and each dispenser can be programmed to provide the desired amount of food to each customer.


Sustainability is on the rise, especially this year with on-premises gardens and hyper-local trends in high use, says Restaurant Technology News, which is why the Styrogenie is so amazing. This incredible machine liquifies styrofoam and turns it into an infinite amount of recyclable products, says Nation’s Restaurant News. Currently used for school lunches, countless fast-food restaurants can utilize it in numerous ways. According to the article, each tray or styrofoam item is turned into a small rectangle and picked up, distilled, and reused as another polystyrene product. This process helps create more products and keeps more garbage out of our landfills.


How could any food industry showcase be complete without representing the nation’s most beloved drink? Coffee. Hardtank nitro cold brew machines make cold brew coffee or tea in an hour, says Nation’s Restaurant News. This technology is incredible because it usually takes 12 to 24 hours to brew. The machine, which resembles a beer tap, recirculates water constantly, allowing extraction at any time. Having cold brew coffee anytime our heart desires is something to look forward to. Apparently, the world runs on it.


Going out for a meal has always been fun, but with these technologies added into the mix, it makes it an experience. Here’s to a year full of innovative, efficient, and fantastic dining.