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Technology Feeds Fast Food in 2017

McDonald’s and Starbucks continue to cultivate customer relevance, leveraging technology in both the front and back of house operations.  However in 2017 both will elevate the consumer focus with voice recognition ordering.

That’s right can you HEAR ME Now.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadellarevealed said at a conference this summer that development is already underway, a collaboration between Microsoft and McDonald’s. Nadella explained that technology would enable customers’ spoken orders to be turned into text and relay the info directly to the kitchen, shaving time off the process and eliminating the possibility of the customer and an employee mishearing one another. Starbucks will update its smartphone app next year to include voice recognition ordering, a capability some are predicting will be a major focus of restaurants in 2017.  The coffee chain indicated that the capability will be extended to some iPhone users early next year, with the availability broadened as the year progresses. 

So if you skipped FSTEC last year you had better think about attending next year.

McDonald's reported that it plans to add voice recognition, with the intention of adding the capability at drive-thru’s. Starbucks' new system, called My Starbucks Barista, will enable customers to speak their orders into a smartphone loaded with the chain’s popular app. The order will be relayed to the store designated by the customer, and the charge will automatically be added to the patron’s account.

There are also several other restaurants in the San Francisco Bay Area that are participating in another test of a Google-supported system, which combines voice and face recognition. Customers say, “I’ll pay with Google,” initiating a visual confirmation that the customer is who he or she says they are. The account is charged, completing the transaction.

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About Steven Johnson

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Do you know who your competitors are today?  Do you know what they are selling? Do you know what your customers think of their food?  No? Well, maybe it's time to get a Grocerant Scorecard completed by the Grocerant Guru.

Steven Johnson is Grocerant Guru at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions® and a recognized food industry thought leader. Johnson excels at vertical brand and product positioning, marketing strategy and business development specifically identifying, quantifying and qualifying niche opportunity for global foodservice related activity.  He can help place new products in non-traditional channels of distribution.

 With an emphasis in grocerant niche, his focus has been on better for you food that is fresh or prepared ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat.  He developed and implemented of the 5 P’s for food marketing for all retail foodservice companies, including chain drugstores, grocery stores, QSR’s and particularly C-store clients.

 During the past 15 years he has developed over 7.5 billion Dollars in avenues of new business revenue for clients and companies. His experience has focused primarily on C-level sales and brand  building opportunity with industry leading international companies including: The Procter & Gamble Company, Papa John’s International, Minnesota Mining & Manufacturing, Chi Chi’s, TGI Fridays, Fuddruckers,, Technomic, The Hartman Group.

 Prior to Foodservice Solutions, Johnson worked for the US Department of the Navy, where he led the development of Parcheesi’s Pizza Pasta Plus for global roll out and implementation including the development of the first dockside mobile pizza kitchen for use by the US Navy during the first Gulf War.

Johnson holds a Master’s of Science in Food Marketing degree with distinction from Saint Joseph’s University and a Bachelor of Art degree from the University of San Francisco. He is a member of Beta Gamma Sigma, the International Business School Honor Society.  Johnson has received numerous awards including 3 EMMEY; Awarded by 3M for “Outside the box” thinking and team leadership. Food Marketing Award; Awarded by Saint Joseph’s University, Outstanding Service Award issued by the Boy Scouts of America.

Don't get trapped doing what you have always done. Position your company with the evolving consumer. Interested in learning how Foodservice Solutions 5P's of Food Marketing can edify your retail food brand while creating a platform for consumer convenient meal participation, differentiation and individualization? That's simple, call for Outside Eyes call the Grocerant Guru. Email Steve at: or visit: for more information. Visit us at, or tweet Steve at

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