Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Participation Dining – Part 2

Top: Inamo restaurant; bottom: Alan Ducasse’s Adour restaurant

I was talking yesterday about how the Participation Economy is impacting the food & beverage business. Here are five examples which give a hint of how technology will be tempting the tastebuds of tomorrow…

Inamo Restaurant – London


This space-age pan-Asian restaurant combines technology and participation in an amazing way. The top of each table is an interactive touch screen that allows you to alter the look and feel of your space. Add that to the menu that beams images of the food onto your blank plate as you scan through and we’re talking about something Tom Hanks would be really impressed with.

Alan Ducasse’s Adour – New York
Alan Ducasse’s Adour Restaurant in New York’s St. Regis Hotel uses a similar idea, only this time at the bar. Diners can browse through the wine list with a table-top touch screen, pulling up background and tasting notes on bottles that they’re interested in. (And Ducasse food isn’t too bad… how many Michelin stars does he have in total… 13?)

4 Food – New York
This is another New York restaurant that’s taking diner participation to all new levels. Not only do customers order online before they go, but you also get to design what you want to eat. It’s like staying in to cook, minus the leg work.

Rex Sorgatz, a representative of the resto says:

People will be encouraged to create their orders online. Customers who create accounts on the website will be given simple customization offers that can produce millions of outcomes. Once a food choice is created, the customer can schedule a pick-up time. If the customer chooses to name their creation ("The Yoko Ono Burger"), they can market it and receive $.25 in store credit for
every customized burger they sell.
If you want to order the old-fashion way (in person), you can choose between a touch screen kiosk or a clerk with an iPad. Did I mention there is also free WiFi and a 240 square foot monitor that will stream Foursquare check-ins, tweets and info from the restaurant? No wonder Sorgatz said it was like “the Apple store meets a Chipotle.”

Coke Freestyle

On the other side of the food & beverage world, Coke is doing some really inventive things to push their brand into the Participation Economy. Most notably, the Coke Freestyle – a reinvention of the soda fountain and a brilliant new way to sell their product in the public space. It’s a fact that Coke is a Lovemark, and it’s products like this that keep them there. When these things start getting rolled out in a wider area, watch the iPhone videos come rolling in.

Touch Screen Vending Machine


A company called sapient has created a new type of vending machine that takes full advantage of the wonders of touch screens. It’s a fully-immersive example of Internet meets shopping mall, and it’s the next big thing.