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Caribbean Tater Tots, Kiosks Are Sizzling & Sexting Servers


When companies started using automated press button 1, press button 2 phone systems (was that 15 years ago? Twenty? The present becomes the past so quickly that one day I’ll just be 75 and think that Starbucks’ Trenta is still newish. At least I don’t put two spaces after periods even though that’s how I learned to type) I was happy to bypass conversation with annoying humans.

Now, eliminating personal interactions could change the way we eat. Well, if you’re influenced by packaged goods companies and like third-tier chains, that is.

I would love to test out Kraft’s “Meal Planning Solution” kiosk. The machine, which is meant to increase the average shopper’s ten-recipe meal repertoire, will be placed in grocery stores and will offer personalized recipes—incorporating Kraft products, of course—using face recognition technology. I don’t know how it could possibly peg me as anything other than a mom since marketers assume all females 25-45 have children in the home. I can live with that miscategorization, but I’m having a hard time understanding how their Tater-Topped Casserole (which calls for “frozen bite-size seasoned potato nuggets.” Kraft really needs to acquire their own tot brand) exists as the featured recipe in their Caribbean section. Also, their “tropical feasts” all seem to be casseroles blanketed with baked cheese.

Sizzler has been experimenting with ordering kiosks to speed up service and increase check size. So far, in the California test locations, it has been working. And don’t think that ordering Malibu Chicken by touchscreen is just for young, white-collar kids. Michael Branigan, VP of marketing at Sizzler, told Nation’s Restaurant News, “Though it might seem as if 18-to-24-year-old urban professionals would be the greatest users of the kiosks, it really is a broad spectrum of people coming in and using them.”

I figured mobile technology would kill the kiosk and TextMyFood is going the cell phone route. The service, which allows diners to boss around restaurant staff via SMS, is being tested at Charlies Kitchen in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The idea, once again, is to speed up ordering and get people to spend more money. In practice, it is turning into low-risk method for proposing foursomes to servers like Joshua DeCosta who was the recipient of ‘Two of us need something and three of us need your number.” Pls bring Jager asap.

Photo: Intel

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