Predicting the future is easy, but predicting the future accurately can be really hard. Contributing Editor Caroline Perkins makes that point very clearly in the intro of her article Technology and Convenience: The Restaurant of the Future.

Despite the inherent hazard that comes with trying to peer too far into the future, we find ourselves attempting it with some regularity. In a way, it makes perfect sense. When you spend as much time as our editors and contributors do talking with and writing about the people and projects that make up the restaurant industry, it is only natural to form an opinion about where we are headed and to want to share those insights with our readers.

Whether writing about the kitchens of the future, as we have over the past eight years in the pages of our sister magazine, Foodservice Equipment & Supplies, or trying to gauge the impact of the latest technological advances on “smart kitchens,” a subject that FE&S has been writing about for 20 years, we are always trying to apply our best educated guess to what happens next.

As dicey a proposition as that may be, it is also a useful exercise 100 percent of the time. Whether the predictions turn out to be somewhat accurate, completely true, or completely wrongheaded, the real value comes in the discussion of where we are today and where we may go tomorrow.

The industry is evolving quickly driven by larger societal changes in the way we work, travel and communicate — in the way we live. This seems like a good time to stop and consider what comes next.