Digital technology in the food world isn’t just about putting tablets on tables and giving smartphone users new ordering and payment options. It’s also about digital employee training programs that teach proper procedures, provide insights for human resource departments, boost sales and give employees a way to fit classes into their schedules without disrupting business.
“The biggest thing technology has brought is standardization,” said author and consultant Allan Barmak, whose firm creates custom training programs for businesses including restaurants. Typically, a new hire will train under an experienced employee, who will be working a shift while also trying to teach the trainee how the job is done, Barmak said. “The challenge is that the company has to trust that the person is teaching the right things and the company-approved message.”
Online courses that new employees take before they start give each new hire the same introduction to the job and the way the company wants things done, and with video-based training and webinars, the company controls the training session from beginning to end, he said. (read more…)
As online shopping, and increasingly, online grocery shopping, has become ubiquitous in the lives of consumers everywhere, supermarkets and grocery stores are jumping in line to serve the needs of today’s busy consumer. From Webvan to Amazon Fresh, online grocery shopping sites have come and gone over the past 10-plus years. Still, Zach Buckner, CEO of Charlottesville, Va.-based Relay Foods, saw a need to feed consumers’ growing hunger for convenience, and started the online food marketplace focused on delivering groceries, local and organic produce, and specialty items in 2009.
Now, with five years under its belt, Relay Foods is looking to the future with new priorities including investing in tools, products and enhancements to its website in order to streamline and simplify customers’ efforts to incorporate high-quality foods into their lives, Buckner told SmartBrief.
We talked to Buckner about his journey in starting Relay Foods, the lessons it’s taught him and what he looks for in potential leaders. (read more…)
Mayor Bloomberg’s push to outlaw over-sized sugary drinks in New York City didn’t succeed, but that and other efforts, including upcoming “soda tax” ballot measures in San Francisco and Berkeley, Calif., have kept the debate going about the health consequences associated with the drinks we consume, and helped fuel a shift toward healthy beverages.
Last month, the American Beverage Association and major soda companies joined with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation in a voluntary effort to reduce beverage calories consumed by 20% by 2025. Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and Dr. Pepper Snapple Group will invest in local and national initiatives, including making and marketing smaller-sized sodas, bottled water and new lower-calorie calorie drinks.
The measures come amid changing consumer habits. U.S. soda consumption has been falling since hitting a high in 1998 and calories from soda fell 23% from 2000 and 2013, according to Beverage Digest. Meanwhile, a new generation of soft drinks is growing up to quench the thirst of health-conscious consumers. (read more…)