Comstock's magazine 1218 - December 2018 - Page 60

AUTOMATION that is then delivered by a self-driving car is more feasible. Consumers throughout the Sacramento area have several apps through which to get food delivered to their doors, including DoorDash, Postmates and the Sacramento-based FoodJets. (The self-driving car part isn’t yet on the radar.) During Kosmont’s presentation, he said the new millennial consumer is attracted to a sense of place and to an experience. That’s what will get them out of their houses and into brick- and-mortar businesses — like entertainment centers, brewer- ies and, in Sacramento, the farm-to-fork restaurants for which the city prides itself. For Patrick Mulvaney, owner of Mulvaney’s B&L in Sacra- mento and a nationally recognized chef at the forefront of the farm-to-fork movement, automation is not likely to be key to his operations anytime soon. He says automation’s advantages — the ability to produce the exact same product in the exact same way every single time — are lost on a restaurant with a constantly changing menu irrevocably tied to seasonal avail- ability. Even something as simple as tomato soup would be problematic, he says, “because the tomato soup I want to make changes all the time.” Kurt Spataro, executive chef for the Paragary Restaurant Group, agrees, saying automation lends itself much better to fast food or fast casual than higher-end fare. But he can see GET YOUR ACT TOGETHER! Act! Software Licenses and Upgrades User Training, Basic to Advanced Personalized Support, Plain English Contact me for a 30 minute complimentary needs assessment. No charge to you, no obligation. I can quickly take the pulse, answer your questions, and make recommendations on improving your use of Act! 406.493.7047 60 Chris Pumphrey, ACC 30 years hands-on experience | December 2018 where the right technology would work for other tasks. “Robot- ics could do a lot of the tedious or time consuming prep work, like prepping artichokes or cutting vegetables,” he says, noting that his kitchens serve about 1,000 salads a week. Mayugba thinks there is a role for automation even in fine-dining restaurants focused on the farm-to-fork man- tra, perhaps in food prep or cleanup. For food service with a captive audience like at the Golden 1 Center, it makes sense to prioritize speed over charm, because who wants to miss a game-winning shot while ordering a hot dog? But for smaller brick-and-mortar establishments and sit-down dining, a hu- man touch is essential. “Every restaurant has to understand what makes their specific customer experience work for them,” Mayugba says. “Most people want that human experience from a food place — they want to know the servers and owners, and they like that those people know them.” n Rich Ehisen is the managing editor of State Net Capitol Journal. His work has appeared in Sunset, San Francisco Magazine, California Journal, Sacramento Magazine and the Lexis Legal Network. On Twitter @WordsmithRich. (Sena Christian contrib- uted to the reporting of this article.)