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Sponsored feature: presented by Elevate
Toronto’s technology and innovation festival, Elevate, takes place September 21 to 27, with speakers including Al Gore, Bumble founder and CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd and artist Wyclef Jean.
This year, the conference is introducing Elevate Eats, a digital food event taking place during the festival, which can be accessed via the Elevate app. Elevate Eats has partnered with companies such as Foodora, Ritual, SIPBAR and Nespresso, so that during the festival, attendees can order coffee, track down food trucks or get lunch delivered straight to a conference seat.
Ruth Buder, Elevate Eats festival events manager, says that many companies have already started using technology to solve the problem of food distribution.
Ritual allows users to pre-order meals from neighbourhood restaurants and coffee shops, while Foodora delivers meals from your favourite restaurant via bike courier.
“They’re helping people optimize for fast, easier access to food, on-demand,” says Buder.
Technology can also expand a consumer’s education and knowledge when to comes to how they cook. Companies like Good Food and Chef’s Plate are helping busy people and families prepare home-cooked meals using meal kits that contain fresh ingredients delivered to their doors.
While food trucks take advantage of social media to let patrons know where they are, Buder believes there’s potential for technology to deliver more elevated forms of dining.
“We’re seeing this already from companies like SIPBAR,” she says. Through their online ordering system, you can book pop-up bar service. SIPBAR brings everything: the bartender, glassware, ice and most importantly, the drinks. “It’s a turnkey solution,” says Buder. “So, who’s not to say this model will evolve to being able to order a chef to your home or event?”
Technology is also playing a vital role in helping to reduce waste and create more sustainable ways to obtain food.
“We’re seeing a lot of automation happening,” Buder says. “Amazon Go grocery stores are eliminating a checkout point completely, and robots like Flippy are in the kitchen flipping perfectly cooked burgers.”
When it comes to delivery, self-driving cars are on the horizon, and Buder sees a future where technology replace humans when it comes to food delivery.
Elevate Eats essentially came about as a solution to preventing food waste. With over 200 venues hosting the festival, you can’t always predict where people will be on their lunch hour. “So instead of us deciding where and when the food would be, we wanted to put that back into the hands of festival goers,” says Buder.
One company that’s helping to alleviate food waste is Feedback, which allows restaurants to offer food coming to the end of its shelf-life at a discounted rate. Feedback has also partnered with charities to help companies who do large catering orders to redistribute food to those in need, including Elevate.
Elevate Eats digital food festival takes place throughout Elevate, from September 21 – 27, 2018. For more information visit https://elevatetechfest.com/elevate-eats/