February 14, 2023
Author: Kris Lensmeyer
Fresh Ideas partners with Tortoise, a logistics automation company
Food service management company to launch robotic delivery service
Columbia, MO — Fresh Ideas Food Service Management and last-mile logistics automation company Tortoise announced a partnership to bring a new kind of robotic delivery to dining service operations across the United States.
The fully electric sidewalk robots can carry up to 150 pounds at a speed of 3-7 mph and will provide value across the dining service operation for the Fresh Ideas team, clients and guests.
“This partnership can change the way we do business, maximize labor and add new ordering options and opportunities for our clients and guests,” says Bob Love, Chief Technology Officer at Fresh Ideas.
The Tortoise robot will help operators achieve the following three goals:
First, the robots will allow Fresh Ideas to offer delivery without significantly impacting labor in a time of labor shortages and higher labor costs across the country. The Tortoise robot can do multiple deliveries at one time where other robot solutions are made to do single deliveries. This feature increases operational efficiency and sustainability.
Second, Tortoise can help augment staff to support nearby food service venues and outlets without dedicating a person to deliver supplies and goods.
Lastly, the robot creates an opportunity to increase sales through developing new revenue verticals including ghost convenience stores, bulk grocery delivery and a centralized office supply program. These programs keep guests and revenue on property by allowing the dining team to facilitate orders without extra labor.
An added bonus is that the heavy payload allows for automated contactless delivery of larger orders and bulk items to vulnerable guests reducing their risk during the pandemic.
Robotic delivery presents a solution to make delivery more efficient and profitable as customer’s desire for on-demand convenience continues to increase.
The program will launch in the next few months.
Hesston College selects Fresh Ideas
Food service management company to lead campus dining program
Hesston, KS — Fresh Ideas, an innovative food service management company, was recently selected as the new dining services provider for Hesston College.
“We’re pleased to partner with Fresh Ideas as we seek to deliver a re-imagined dining experience on our campus,” said Deb Roth, vice president of student life at Hesston College. “This partnership will provide our campus community with high-quality, healthy food options, increased variety and innovative concepts.”
Fresh Ideas is collaborating with Hesston College leadership to transform the dining experience. This fall, students and campus guests will experience new culinary concept stations with menu items created by the on-site executive chef and the Fresh Ideas culinary team.
In the future, Hesston College may utilize additional technology products offered by Fresh Ideas, including micro-market kiosk vending options and proprietary apps to help track meal plans and complete mobile orders.
“We look forward to using our technology to ensure students, faculty and staff have options to easily order and enjoy meals when it suits them,” said Taylor Strecker, Regional Director of Operations for Fresh ideas.
Hesston’s dining services staff has long been employed internally by the college. Recent staffing changes, retirements, and a changing food service landscape cleared the way for a new and forward-facing iteration in how Hesston College feeds its students.
“We believe that good food takes people on a journey and creates lasting relationships, which is a reflection of our new partnership with Hesston College” said Kris Lensmeyer, Chief Innovation and Experience Officer for Fresh Ideas. “We’re excited about the future and can’t wait to get started.”