Technology Wins (DELOITTE )

Platforms are enabling a substantial re-shaping of the supply chain, with virtual kitchens (either entirely new facilities, or under-utilized existing restaurant kitchens) and other innovations that match supply to demand and create new opportunities for entrepreneurial restauranteurs.

Many restaurants have struggled in recent years and there is naturally a concern that the sector might lose out as the market changes. Given the prominent economic and cultural role of restaurants, any impact on their businesses could have important consequences for urban life and the vitality of local economies.
I heard GaryVee share the other day this from the stage at one of his events recently (he keynotes like a mofo… I could never do that!):
Technology wins, every sing...

I don't see how dining out is a supply chain problem. Healthy socially well-adjusted people dine out as part of a shared social experience in a shared space. And let's stop calling it on-demand food service. It's just adding a software layer to the old fashioned pizza delivery that we've had for decades.

We live in a town with roots in farming. We have no downtown unless we drive into Princeton or Hopewell. We have very few local shops, all within mini strip malls. If we want to shop for large appliances, electronics, clothing, etc., we have to drive to one of three large shopping malls, three towns away.

We use online shopping, mostly just Amazon.com, for things we can't buy locally and only occasionally have food delivered.

When:

  1. The weather outside is frightful
  2. We're under the weather, aka. sick.

I don't so much care about the economic impact as I do about the social impact. To me, a society of shut-ins all remote working and ordering food, clothes, etc. delivered is not a healthy society.

Princeton is located midway between New York and Philadelphia and was the overnight stagecoach stop on the Trenton-New Brunswick line until the mid-19th century. Just like now, people travelling long distances and parents visiting their college-aged children who are attending Princeton University will need a place to dine and stay overnight. That is how Princeton's downtown developed. I didn't see how vital these downtown shops and restaurants were until I attended my first Communiversity a few years ago.

If technology continues to win, we might as well board up the downtown and let drug dealers, users, and sex workers occupy the space.

I hope Gary Vee is proven wrong.

Hat tip to John Saddington.

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