Sodexo brings innovations to campuses: autonomous grocery stores, ramen-making vending and virtual dining

March 30, 2022
Eat>NOW autonomous campus grocery stores powered by AiFi, high-tech vending and virtual dining concepts with robot delivery on U.S. campuses this semester.

Sodexo is innovating campus foodservice to students across the U.S. this spring.

“Students want three things: convenience, choice, and quality – often in that order,” said Kevin Rettle, global vice president, Sodexo Innovation and Digital, Universities. “Sodexo is in the business of helping our clients meet those needs head on, so we’re introducing campuses to the latest in innovative foodservice with eat>NOW autonomous grocery stores, high-tech vending, partnering with the top brands that students are looking for, and delivering it to their doors.”

In partnership with AiFi, an AI platform enabling autonomous shopping solutions, Sodexo introduces eat>NOW, a frictionless, checkout-free grocery and convenience offer. Among the first campuses to host this AI-powered retail is the University of Denver with a grand opening on April 6. 

“We’re proud to partner with Sodexo, a leader in innovating campus foodservice,” said Steve Gu, AiFi’s CEO and co-founder. “This partnership allows AiFi to bring our leading technology to campuses across the country with a proven leader in food services. With Sodexo, we can bring today’s students the ultimate convenience they’re looking for.” 

In partnership with Yo Kai Express, Sodexo clients will now be able to offer students high-tech vending machines, with 80-plus ramen and udon noodle bowl combinations. Already on campuses, including New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, NM, Yo Kai Express kiosks allow guests to place their orders and make payments via touch screen. With this technology, Sodexo is able to provide students with 24/7 access to delicious meals, particularly late at night when demand is highest and options are limited.  

In Partnership with Virtual Dining Concepts, Sodexo will now offer campuses three delivery-only options available on Sodexo’s Bite App for Universities. Virtual Dining Concepts is a collection of concepts such as MrBeast Burger, Mariah’s Cookies, and Buddy V’s Cake Slice. Already in place on Sodexo campuses like Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA, these concepts bring the brands students are asking for delivered to their dorm rooms.