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HX Foodservice Pioneering Concept 2020 Winner Builds a Touchless Experience

G2 —short for Grains & Greens —is the 2020 winner of the Foodservice Pioneering Concept competition presented by HX: The Hotel Experience. The winning G2 concept touches on many elements that connect with current trends, including creating a touchless experience and offering locally sourced ingredients.

G2 is the brainchild of elite|studio e, a design, build and consulting firm specializing in foodservice and hospitality solutions in Farmingdale, N.Y., and Seattle-based 3.14 DC, which specializes in food hall experiences, planning and sustainability.

Typically, the winner of the Foodservice Pioneering Concept showcases a prototype of the concept at the HX Experience, an annual trade show that takes place in New York City. Since that event was cancelled this year due to the pandemic, a virtual experience is now underway with plans to roll that out by the end of 2020. The intent is to showcase the G2 prototype at HX Experience in 2021.

G2 HX Hotel Experience 2G2's design features a hydroponic garden providing healthy, hyper-local options.

G2 combines foodservice trends such as an indoor urban garden, healthy menu options appropriate for any daypart and the ability to craft a meal with a small, touchless fast-casual style of service. “We noticed more people were starting to look for grab-and-go options, and it happened that G2 fit the COVID mold,” says Marcy J. Weiss, director of marketing for elite|studio e.

G2’s design allows customers to place orders via a smartphone app, a QR code or by the operation’s website. Concept developers anticipate being able to complete an order in four to five minutes, similar to a traditional fast-casual concept. Customers can watch the bowl preparation process as it takes place through a glass partition. Staff load meals in the back side of a locker that enables customer pickup on the front side. When the meal is ready, customers receive their locker number and access code via their smartphone. The locker’s interior is self-cleaned prior to each meal pickup.

“The customer is asked to engage in the nutrient-rich mobile app. A custom G2 bowl is ordered,” explains Melanie Corey-Ferrini, founder and CEO of 3.14 DC. “The making of the bowl is fully transparent and once complete is put into a UV-cleaned touchless locker. The container is a fully compostable, low-waste solution.”

Hydroponics is designed to be part of the G2 format, which offers greens, fruits, vegetables and dairy add-ons for customized bowls.“This is a very simple menu and hyper-local concept,” says Corey-Ferrini. “It’s an easy way to use local ingredients and showcase to customers how it’s being done in a way that’s unique in the market. In a larger CEA [controlled environment agriculture] concept, all kinds of grains, fruits and vegetables can be added, depending how far operators want to take it.”

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