Food Industry Trends: Modernizing Food Service with Smarthphones, Tablets, and Hardware

In this article, we highlight three examples of smartphone-interfaced hardware solutions that are giving businesses a competitive advantage.

Its no secret that businesses are constantly looking for way to improve their bottom line, and one approach that consistently delivers value is investing in new technology to do things smarter, faster, or more efficiently. In this category of business-enhancing technology, one of the largest and fastest growing trends is the adaptation of smartphones and tablets. Previously considered consumer devices or portable email clients at most, these devices have recently proven to be cost-effective tools for solving problems and improving processes. And while the various app-marketplaces are flooded with business and productivity software, people are quickly discovering that some problems require hardware solutions in addition to smartphones and tablets in order to directly interact with the physical world. Below, we outline three such solutions in the food industry trend that is changing the way we do business.


What we consider the “poster child” of the smartphone-hardware revolution, this simple little device plugs into your iOS or Android smartphone or tablet and allows you to accept customer credit cards with ease. It offers several advantages over traditional credit card readers: its less expensive, its simpler to set up and operate, and its portable, rather than fixed to a spot on your counter. Square has enjoyed early popularity among food trucks and other mobile vendors, but its now becoming more mainstream, with the recent announcement that all Starbucks locations will be using it to take payments. Freshtemp uses Square to process payments, perhaps you should too: get yours here at no cost upfront (and a small processing fee on all transactions).


Dozens of companies such as Honeywell, Motorola, and DataLogic,have recognized the opportunity to link barcode scanning directly to smartphones and tablets. By quickly scanning inventory items and reviewing them with tablets and smartphones, businesses of all kinds, including restaurants and grocery stores, are given more control and visibility into what can be a murky and complicated process. The bluetooth connection offers more mobility over wired scanners, increases speed and efficiency of inventory management, and may offer further advantages when used with off-the-shelf or custom-developed smartphone apps.


Developed at the MIT Media Lab with partners in the food-service industry, the Freshtemp Bluetooth Food Probe is the leading smartphone-compatible temperature probe on the market. The probe allows restaurants, food suppliers, food distributors, and grocery stores with smartphones or tablets to dramatically speed up the manual temperature-checking process required by regulators. It also eliminates the hassle and human error of paperwork with digital, HACCP-compliant temperature logs. These logs can be accessed easily online from any internet-enabled device and customized to fit your specific application. Click here to learn more about the Freshtemp Bluetooth Food Probe.

There you have it.

Take payments faster with Square.
Take inventory faster with Bluetooth barcode readers.
And now, take temperatures faster with the FreshTemp Bluetooth Food Probe.

Email us at [email protected] for answers to your specific questions.