In the Store | January 2014 | By Korsha Wilson

Bringing Tech to the Table

State-of-the-art technology draws customers to Richtree Natural Market.

High tech restaurant tools give customers interactive games to play in the store
A customer at Richtree Natural Market in Toronto interacts with a new game system intended to boost the guest experience. Richtree natural market
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When Richtree Natural Market, a Canadian quick-service brand, began developing a food-court concept for the Toronto Eaton Centre mall, company leaders knew they wanted to incorporate innovative technology into the customer experience.

“In today’s age, when you think about efficiency, you immediately think of technology,” says Joshua Sigel, chief information officer for Richtree Natural Market. The challenge, Sigel says, was creating a marketplace that showcased new technologies while still staying true to the company’s core value of “where good comes together.”

The result is a food court with 11 food stations and technology that engages and entertains customers throughout the dining experience. The marketplace features video walls that show farms where the produce is grown, an interactive game wall for children to play while their parents eat, interactive ordering kiosks to cut down on guest waiting times, and a hologram hostess, Ms. Greene, to introduce guests to the concept.

Richtree worked with Infusion, a technology firm, to create the state-of-the-art marketplace. “Richtree has a very strong brand,” says Robert Burke, senior account manager for Infusion. While it may seem counterintuitive that a brand based on natural and organic ingredients is using computer programs to connect with guests, he says, the technology is used in a way that is instinctual to diners instead of foreign.

“Even though we were using technology, a lot of our work was turning technology into something natural,” Burke says.

Technology may have a place at the table at Richtree, but food and hospitality are always the company’s main focus. “Technology is important, but it’s nothing without the star of the show, which is food, and the people that serve it,” Sigel says.