Measuring the consumed food at the caf

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4 years 9 months ago #2811 by Kettlekorn
Kettlekorn replied the topic: Measuring the consumed foot at the caf

Kristin Darken wrote: This is the basis behind the size of portions served in the average restaurant. They could very easily serve you a portion that is 1/3 the size... doing so would actually be more appropriate to caloric intake levels of the average customer. But they cannot do so and also charge you 1/3 of the price... which is what most people would expect for the smaller portion size. You might only use 1/3 of the raw materials, but the time to prepare is going to be nearly the same, the effort involved in serving the table will be the same, the number of dishes/service used that will need to be cleaned is the same.


Oh, cool. I learned a thing. :cheer:

I am the kernel that pops in the night. I am the pain that keeps your dentist employed.

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4 years 9 months ago #2813 by E M Pisek
E M Pisek replied the topic: Measuring the consumed foot at the caf

Blue Moose wrote: Okay, I'm doing a piss-poor job at trying to describe what I'm saying, and waffling between ideas. (Sadly, This is normal.)

Let's say that these gadgeteer-designed trays that weigh the food on them cost around oh, $50. (considering the miniaturization involved to make the necessary sensors, that's probably on the low end, but I'll stick with that.) In comparison, The price of a simple plastic tray is $2.99. Let's also assume that the trays can be replaced at the same rate: 1 business day plus shipping time. (I'd expect the scale-trays would take longer to manufacture, due to electronic work, but gadgeteers are amazing that way.)

So at the start of the school year, the cafeteria orders 500 trays. With that amount, the scale-trays have cost $25,000, whereas the normal trays have only cost $1,500. Over the course of a semester, let's say 100 trays are damaged or stolen. Providing that the cafeteria crew can stay on top of this turnover, they spend another $5,000 for the scale-trays, but only $300 for new normal trays. After 1 year, the scale-trays have already cost an additional $27,900, money that the cafeteria can use for other things.

I'm also not taking into account things like damage to the scale-tray sensors, where the sensors are down, but it's still a functional tray, or the increased wear from having 'moving' parts in the tray, as opposed to a solid chunk of plastic.

I know that Whateley has a significant amount of money, but would something like this be worth the cost?


Edit: If I'm still sounding like a moron, just tell me, and I'll shut up.


Sounds like you've worked as a contractor for the military procurement office. Hammers: $750.00 Bolts: $170, Toilet Seats $1500.

What is - was. What was - is.

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4 years 9 months ago #2818 by Blue Moose
Blue Moose replied the topic: Measuring the consumed foot at the caf

Phoenix Spiritus wrote: @Blue Mouse.
The trays aren't the scale, the scale is built into the serving cabinets. The food is loaded into a stock standard tray, same as always. But brand new serving cabinets now inanition to heating / refrigerating the food, also have sensors to weigh them. As a student reaches into a tray, computer's work out the difference in weight in the tray, not down the weight, the type of food and the student and incidentally trigger an alert to the kitchen if the tray is starting to get empty.

By the way, are we getting caught up in the "trays" terminology? Maybe you guys call the things inside the serving cabinets "Platters" or "dishes" or something? Here you put food on trays, and trays go into the warmers to be served from.


Yep, that's exactly what is happening here.

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4 years 9 months ago #2825 by Valentine
Valentine replied the topic: Measuring the consumed foot at the caf
Foodie,the famous biodevisor, rebuilt some security scanners in the late '80s so they scan people as they enter, than again as they exit recording the amount of and types of food eaten.

Don't Drick and Drive.

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4 years 9 months ago #2834 by sam105
sam105 replied the topic: Measuring the consumed foot at the caf
Velentine said."Foodie,the famous biodevisor, rebuilt some security scanners in the late '80s so they scan people as they enter, than again as they exit recording the amount of and types of food eaten."
It was burnt out by I don't think so the famous antidevisor.

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4 years 9 months ago #2839 by Sir Lee
Sir Lee replied the topic: Measuring the consumed foot at the caf
OK. A few points first.

First, yes, there was a suggestion of building scales into the individual trays the students use to carry food to the table. I was the one to suggest it. But I agree with Blue Moose's criticism: it is certainly an expensive solution and maybe not much better at tracking what students eat, in practical terms, than simpler solutions.

Second... weighing the entire meal IS actually useful. It's not as good as tracking the individual calorie content of each individual item, but it does give a general idea.

Around here, there is a very popular sort of restaurant -- mostly catering to the lunch trade, which Brazilians like to have as a full meal, and in fact employers are legally obligated to supply -- nicknamed a "kilo": it's a buffet system, but the price is computed from the weight of the food you put on your plate. It's not as precise as tracking the individual items (which can range from the very cheap lettuce and rice to expensive meat and seafood, depending on the place) but it's considered a good enough approximation.

Yes, there is an entire business model built around the idea that, for the most part, people will eat a bit of everything, instead of concentrating on the most expensive/tasty items. And it works, and it's reasonably efficient: unless you go to the poshest places, a full meal will go for about the same as a McDonald's combo.

Don't call me "Shirley." You will surely make me surly.

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