Council Post: Cloud Kitchens: A Technology-Driven Phenomenon

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CTO and Founder at pulsd — a company in the business of democratizing fun in New York City.

Like seemingly everything else, technology has been taking over the food industry. Around 60% of new restaurants fail within the first year, and almost 80% shut down before their fifth anniversary. So if technology can give the industry an uplift, I’ll call it a win.

What are the cloud kitchens (a.k.a. ghost kitchens, shared kitchens, dark kitchens or virtual kitchens)?

They have been in the news a lot lately. So chances are that you have at least heard of them. On the surface, cloud kitchens are delivery-only restaurants. However, if you dig deep, you’ll find out that they are a little more than that.

Historically, we have used the word “cloud” to mean either that the processing happens at some data center or the files are saved at a data center. However, the meaning of the word has evolved lately to include anything that happens in the background so you can get the final product wherever you are. Cloud kitchens are restaurants that only have kitchens. They are essentially food production facilities where dozens of restaurants rent space to prepare delivery-optimized food items.

Cloud kitchens are more of a technology play than a restaurant

The major innovation is not happening in the kitchens but in the cloud. A data-driven approach has all the venture capitalists running to grab a piece of it, as opposed to traditional restaurants, which VCs generally stay away from. There is a good reason for that. Traditional restaurants are capital intensive, not easily scalable and have thin margins, making the ROI for VCs slim.

How do cloud kitchens command higher margins?

The biggest cost for a traditional restaurant is the rent, more often than not. A prime

Technology-Driven Job Search Strategies Have Left Many Older Workers Behind

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There has been a major transformation during the last decade or so in the way people look for employment opportunities. Hardcopy resumes and cover letters, newspaper ads, and face-to-face interviews have gradually given way to LinkedIn and Facebook profiles and personal websites, electronically transmitted career materials, job boards and web searches, and Skype interviews.

While technology advances have certainly expanded the scope of opportunities for people to take advantage of in finding great jobs, the benefits have not been equal among all job seekers. Research conducted in recent years has shown that, in general, older workers have not kept pace with their younger counterparts in the use of technology to design and execute job search strategies.

This is troubling since there is plenty of evidence that older workers face greater challenges in finding worthwhile employment. Data from the 2014 Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Displaced Workers Survey show that people aged 50 and over took 5.8 weeks longer to find employment than those aged 30-49 and 10 weeks longer than those aged 20-29.

Data from the 2015 BLS Current Population Survey found similar results; 44.6% of employed workers aged 55 and older lacked employment after 27 weeks compared to 22.2% for people under 25 years of age and 36% for people aged 25-54.

Can Older Workers Learn to Use Technology-driven Job Search Tools?

Older workers are often stereotyped in ways that adversely affect their ability to find worthwhile employment. These stereotypes include:

  • Lack of motivation,
  • Less willing to participate in technology training and use,
  • More resistant to change,
  • Less trusting of superiors and co-workers,
  • Less healthy, and
  • More vulnerable to work-family imbalances.

Many of these stereotypes do not necessarily pan out upon a closer examination of older worker behavior patterns in relation to employment. In regard to technology, there is …