Foodservice Innovation Zone 2024 Recap

The latest in food tech

Retailers are constantly innovating to meet consumer expectations and stay ahead of the latest trends.

Adding dining, vending or grab-and-go foodservice has become a strategy to increase consumer dwell time and drive sales. Whether it's full-service dining, fresh gourmet food or pre-ordered meals, how prepared food is experienced continues to evolve.

At NRF 2024, attendees took a step into the future in the Foodservice Innovation Zone, an interactive exploration of the tech and innovations transforming the customer foodservice experience.

Activations included:

Drive-thru, C-store, autonomous retail, vending and two full-service restaurants

Big Show Foodservice Innovation Zone

2024 photo gallery

  • Big Show 2024
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Highlights from NRF 2024

Watch NRF 2024 Foodservice Tech sessions

At NRF 2024: Retail's Big Show, attendees stepped into the future at the Foodservice Innovation Zone.

View the 2024 Foodservice Tech Stage agenda or browse all available session videos on our session replay page below.

WATCH REPLAY

Amazon Pay Stage
 

7 ways foodservice tech is redefining tomorrow’s retail

Foodservice in retail isn’t just about the food court at the mall anymore. Instead, it’s about convenience stores brewing barista-quality coffee, clothing stores with chic cafés and home goods outlets offering wine and tapas.

The vision is clear: Any retail space can be a space for foodservice. That was the whole idea behind the “why” in the Foodservice Innovation Zone at NRF 2024: Retail’s Big Show.

Read the blog post

Foodservice Innovation Zone
 

Thanks to our 2024 sponsors

Foodservice Innovation Zone created in partnership with
Association Partners

Immerse yourself in the future

The immersive activations throughout the Foodservice Innovation Zone place you in real-life environments so you can see and interact with the technology that is changing the way retailers and operators deliver food to their customers.

The center of the plate

  • Taffer’s Tavern, presented by Middleby, lets attendees order food prepared in state-of-the-art ventless ovens, featuring sous-vide cooking tech (food provided by Cuisine Solutions).
  • Jukebox Pizza, showcasing Middleby’s PizzaBot, demonstrates how robots can streamline and automate the cooking process within a small footprint, while delivering piping hot, fresh pizza in just minutes. Order and enjoy your pizza to-go.
  • Comcast Business: Connectivity, Managed WiFi that extends wireless coverage to outdoor areas – powering digital kitchen technology, customer-facing apps and touchpoints, and POS, all managed remotely.
  • MachineQ, a Comcast company, powers IoT solutions. waste fill-level monitoring, leak detection, smart restrooms, utility monitoring, staff safety alert, fridge/freezer temperature management, inventory tracking, occupancy monitoring.
  • LetzChat harnesses advanced AI technology to provide real time, seamless multi-lingual menu translations to enable superior customer experiences.
  • Cisco Meraki Cameras capture and monitor foot traffic in and out of retail environments to reimagine security and analytics and modernize security infrastructure.
  • NCR provides the systems to make the ordering process easy and food preparation efficient through their POS and Kitchen Display Systems.
    • Once you’ve placed your order via NCR kiosk, or online, you’ll receive a text letting you know your order can be picked up in a Middleby connected locker with the scan of a barcode.

The “more convenient” convenience store

Showcasing the perfect example of the Grab & Go solution, check out the technology that can change how customers shop, and how operators use tech to monitor and provide seamless services in this environment.

  • TLines successful retail depends on effective and appealing design – that’s what we do!
  • SymphonyAI delivers a Store Intelligence solution, powered by advanced AI and computer vision technology, delivers a real-time view of shelf conditions, prioritized workflows to remedy disruptions, and insight-based recommendations to achieve new levels of compliance, on-shelf availability, and operational excellence.
  • PepsiCo foodservice leverages the best of PepsiCo to help our customers drive the future of food and beverage experiences. Our unparalleled line-up includes beverage, snacks and food brands that touch every consumer occasion.
  • ShiftSmart connects companies with skilled workers to increase fulfillment, reduce turnover, and improve quality. Check out their team in action.

Autonomous retail

  • Sensei showcases a store blend technology seamlessly with traditional shopping, streamlining the customer's journey, from browsing to checkout, with AI, sensors, and more. It's convenient and quick, like accessing their pantry at home.
  • Auki Labs showcases Convergent, the spatial computing platform for retail which enhances retail operations. It offers features like augmented reality overlays for store layouts, searchable maps for inventory, route optimization for order picking, and spatial notes for effective communication. It aims to reduce training costs, improve efficiency, and streamline everyday tasks.
  • PepsiCo foodservice leverages the best of PepsiCo to help our customers drive the future of food and beverage experiences. Our unparalleled line-up includes beverage, snacks and food brands that touch every consumer occasion.

Game-changing grab-and-go

  • Structural Concepts will showcase its Autonomous Retail Merchandiser, the only refrigerated display case to offer a complete smart solution for autonomous shopping that will offset labor challenges, streamline inventory management, and deliver a quick ROI turning into increased profitability.

Drive-thru drives new tech to the storefront

Technology for drive-thru window staff: See what the future holds.

  • CRI provides ordering boards that illustrate how using tech in displaying menus helps drive higher sales and improve the customer experience, order accuracy and flow.
  • LetzChat offers translation in 104 languages, making it easier than ever to take accurate orders in any language.
  • Par's packaged drive-thru solution includes the POS for the cashier booth, integrated headsets, drive-thru order management and payments.
  • Cisco Meraki Cameras capture and monitor foot traffic in and out of retail environments to reimagine security and analytics and modernize security infrastructure.

This unique exhibit of leading innovation is made possible by:

  • Fortinet - providing data security for the Foodservice Innovation Zone.
  • PepsiCo – foodservice leverages the best of PepsiCo to help our customers drive the future of food and beverage experiences. Our unparalleled line-up includes beverage, snacks and food brands that touch every consumer occasion. Fueling visitors with their snacks and beverages across the Innovation Zone.
  • Samsung - showcasing its state-of-the-art digital signage.
  • ShiftSmart - a tech powered labor platform helping retailers address critical staffing needs by leveraging the gig-worker community. Staff will be showcasing their capabilities throughout the Zone.

Foodservice Tech Sessions

Sunday, January 14

11:00am11:30am

Thermal intelligence - Advancing food safety and profitability for retailers

11:00am11:30am
Level 1, Special Events Hall, Amazon Pay Stage
12:00pm12:30pm

'Outsmarting' every corner of the restaurant

12:00pm12:30pm
Level 1, Special Events Hall, Amazon Pay Stage
Emma Powers

Emma Powers

Executive Director - Enterprise Marketing
Comcast Business
John Strom

John Strom

VP & General Manager, Innovation
Georgia Pacific
1:30pm2:00pm
3:00pm3:30pm

Five Guys and Flybuy - Challenges, innovations, and what's next

3:00pm3:30pm
Level 1, Special Events Hall, Amazon Pay Stage
David Helms

David Helms

Chief Technology Officer
Flybuy by Radius Networks

Monday, January 15

11:00am11:30am

Unveiling automation's wow factor with Invafresh

11:00am11:30am
Level 1, Special Events Hall, Amazon Pay Stage
Pat Iannotti

Pat Iannotti

Director of Retail Operations
Price Chopper/Market32
1:00pm1:30pm

Driving optimal decision-making in fresh grocery

1:00pm1:30pm
Level 1, Special Events Hall, Amazon Pay Stage
3:00pm3:30pm

Drive enhanced customer experiences with the power of data

3:00pm3:30pm
Level 1, Special Events Hall, Amazon Pay Stage

Tuesday, January 16

12:00pm12:30pm

Conversational digital humans: The future of retail?

12:00pm12:30pm
Level 1, Special Events Hall, Amazon Pay Stage

Other Michelin Sponsors include: NCR Corporation.

The latest from the Foodservice Innovation Zone

At NRF 2024: Retail's Big Show, attendees were busy stepping into the future at the Foodservice Innovation Zone.

Browse all available videos on our NRF 2024 Foodservice Tech Replay below.

WATCH REPLAY

 

Foodservice Innovation Zone Sponsorships

For sponsorship information, contact Tami Sakell at sakellt@nrf.com or by phone at 202-661-3044.