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SXSW 2020

Can Virtual Kitchens Deliver Real Connections?

We are increasingly choosing the presumed deliciousness of a restaurant meal … without the actual restaurant, thanks to technology. In 2019, 60% of US consumers used a mobile service to order delivery or takeout from a restaurant at least once a week; 30% used delivery services 2x or more.

Complicating matters is the rise of the “virtual kitchen”—an auxiliary kitchen whose only job is to churn out food, quickly; it may exist only online, or as a streamlined version of a physical restaurant.

Join our experts to discuss the future of restaurants in a mobile world: What happens to the connections provided by a shared dining experience? Restaurants have spent millions to create their brand: food, atmosphere, community, people. What do we lose—or gain—in the name of convenience?

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  1. The audience will better understand the forces disrupting the restaurant industry: what will change for restaurants, employees, and consumers/diners?
  2. Understand the opportunity in virtual kitchens — the pros and cons of this new movement.
  3. Learn how to create and strengthen the connections between diners and restaurants (virtual or physical) in a convenience-on-demand, mobile world.



Merredith Branscombe, Strategist, Writer, Leap Strategically

Meta Information:

  • Event: SXSW
  • Format: Panel
  • Track: Connection & Culture
  • Level: Beginner
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