At pop-up restaurant, customers wash the dishes instead of paying

There’s no such thing as a free lunch, but we’re increasingly seeing businesses offer their service in exchange for other forms of currency than plain old cash. We recently wrote about several NYC gyms that are using work-trade programs to enable volunteers to get free workout sessions. Now a French washing liquid brand has created the Mir Restaurant, which is charging customers in the form of dishwashing tasks, instead of money. READ MORE…

In Australia, restaurant makes soup out of waste

Half of all edible food gets sent to landfill instead of being eaten — that’s about 2 billion tonnes. We recently wrote about France’s Intermarché supermarket, which is turning ugly fruits and vegetables into sellable soups and juices. Now Brothl is going one step further by using food commonly considered as organic waste on its menu. READ MORE…

Solar powered trikes deliver food to local businesses without the emissions

The major problem with the modern food industry is how much it relies on oil. Consumers demand food from all around the world, even when they can get seasonal fruit and veg from their local neighborhood. Startups such as FreshRealm have already aimed to reduce the number of trips produce makes by delivering it straight from farms to consumers by mail. Now Amsterdam-based FOODLOGICA is using sustainable e-trikes powered by the sun for ‘last mile’ food transport from city farmers’ markets to local catering businesses. READ MORE…

Smart grill cooks food perfectly every time

Home cooking can be very rewarding when it goes right, but also kind of soul crushing when it goes wrong. Devices such as the Drop smart kitchen scale have already helped amateur chefs to avoid disaster by adjusting recipes on the fly if they accidentally veer from the instructions. Now Palate Home wants to take out the human element altogether, with an intelligent cooker that never undercooks or overcooks meals.
the patent pending algorithm will make sure the food is never under-cooked or over-done. READ MORE…

App offers 1:1 daily diet advice

When it comes to dieting, most of us require a bit of friendly encouragement — or harassment — in order to stick to weight loss goals. In the past, we’ve seen innovations such as the Virtual Fridge Lock leverage embarrassment as a motivation tool, using a sensor that detects when users raid the fridge at nighttime and letting their friends know by posting an update on their Facebook profile. Now an app called Rise wants to help users reach their dieting goals by connecting them with a remote personal coach, who checks up on them daily. READ MORE…

Hotel restaurant’s pop-up store lets diners wear what they eat

The hospitality industry is a hotbed of resource waste and unsustainable practices. Bedsheets need washing every night, lights are left on 24/7 for guests coming and going, and leftover food can’t be reused and has to be thrown away. In the past, hotel chains such as UK Marriott have aimed to recycle resources by turning its used bedsheets into the Bed Linen Tote as a memento for customers. Now Marlow Goods has launched a pop-up store at the Wythe Hotel in Brooklyn, which turns meat byproducts from the venue’s restaurant into leather clothes and bags for guests. READ MORE…

In France, supermarket turns ugly fruit and veg into own-brand soups and juices

Like airline food? Service wings it to your door each week

Airline food, especially in economy class, has a bad reputation, although part of its tastelessness can be attributed to the desensitization of the tastebuds at 30,000 feet. Back on the ground, its full flavor can be enjoyed and we’ve even seen Arlanda Foodtrucks offer up airport food on the street. Now Germany’s Air Food One is a subscription service that lets anyone get airline meals delivered to their home once a week. READ MORE…

Food Cowboy locates nearby food banks to take unsellable produce

Every three weeks, the US throws away the same amount of unused produce that is donated to food banks in 12 months. That’s 11 months and 1 week of food that could go to charities, but ends up in landfill instead. Aiming to change this, Food Cowboy is a system that helps those in the food supply chain to find local nonprofits that can use the food they’re throwing away. READ MORE…

From China, smart chopsticks alert diners if their food is unsafe to eat

Food poisoning is never a nice experience, but those dining out at restaurants often have no way of knowing how their meal was prepared before they eat it. While devices such as Peres have offered a way for professional chefs and home cooks to see if their ingredients are safe to eat, a Chinese tech giant has now created smart chopsticks, which detect contamination in food and use a red light to indicate to diners that they should think twice about finishing their meal. READ MORE…

At upmarket SF restaurant, non-refundable meal tickets help tackle no-shows

The way diners pay for a meal has remained largely unchanged in the last few decades — customers reserve a table for free, pay for what they order and leave a tip at the end. Startups such as Cover have previously aimed to shake up this model, with automatic payments that enable guests to simply eat and leave without waiting for the bill. Now San Francisco restaurant Coi is introducing a ticketing system for its reservations, enabling diners to pay a flat fee and managers to avoid the headache of cancellations. READ MORE…

Smart surface offers up recipes based on the ingredients placed upon it

Computers are beginning to be able to process real world objects without the need for codes or tags in their own language. Innovations such as Peres have previously used chemical data analysis to quickly recognize food types and determine if they’re ok to eat. Now the Netherlands’ Studio diip has created the Vegetable Recognizer, a system that uses image recognition to detect types of vegetables and provide recipes that include those foods. READ MORE…

Restaurant teaches customers sign language to relay their order to its deaf staff

The problem with sign languages is that — although they give those with hearing difficulties a way to express themselves — non-deaf people often don’t learn it and therefore can’t understand it. While it’s not the first of its kind in the world — we’ve already written about the Atfaluna charity’s restaurant in Palestine — Canada’s Signs Restaurant is now hoping to get all of its customers to sign by printing ASL instructions next to each menu item. READ MORE…

Browser bookmarklet seamlessly adds recipe ingredients to online shopping carts

We’ve seen quite a few startups helping to make mealtimes easier by delivering all of the ingredients for a recipe to the door, most recently in the form of Forage, which selects meals from the menus of high-end restaurants. But for fussy eaters who prefer to choose their own meals, Popcart enables them to simply copy the ingredients from any online recipe and immediately get them delivered through FreshDirect. READ MORE…

Digital magazine helps those with learning difficulties to cook their own meals

People with developmental disorders can often learn to perform difficult tasks, but they need special help in order to do so, and instructions designed for non-disabled readers can be confusing. We’ve already seen Match use color-coded equipment to help those with autism make sense of the kitchen, and now a new interactive magazine called Look, Cook and Eat is designed especially to teach those with learning difficulties to cook for themselves. READ MORE…