New tech for contactless fresh food ordering

Chowbotics encourages grocers to ‘Reclaim Your Salad Bar’

While some people fear COVID has pushed salad bars to extinction, Californian company Chowbotics has unveiled new technological developments for its fresh food robot Sally that should allow grocers to reclaim this once profitable area of the store.

The Hayward-based Chowbotics company has developed a mobile app for fast, contactless ordering. The company has also expanded the robot’s menu capabilities and introduced a large-format video interface designed to create an engaging customer experience, even when socially distanced.

“Through these new capabilities, Chowbotics continues to propel its mission of fresh food accessibility anytime, anywhere, bringing capabilities to foodservice and prepared food teams that were otherwise limited by new food safety challenges,” says the company.

Chowbotics’ proprietary app allows contactless ordering, creating a safer self-serve experience for patrons and faster throughput for operators, the company adds. Users can now browse the menu and place an order with their nearest Sally from anywhere, through their own personal smart devices. Upon arrival at the robot, a QR code is scanned to complete the order.

“We realized that with the pandemic there was growing demand for a contactless ordering experience,” Chowbotics CEO Rick Wilmer told “Customers greatly appreciate the custom nature of Sally’s made-to-order meals and easy-to-use interface, but they also want to reduce surface-contacts, which our contactless ordering experience provides.”

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