This week we’ve been thinking about the technologies companies might want to have in place as they reopen to the public. Specifically, we’ve been looking at kitchen automation, guest management, and off-premise technologies. Why should a business really use a kitchen automation software? This was the answer we came up with, broken down into five parts.
- Data, information and analytics
In this modern technology-driven world there is little more useful to a business than the data it collects and the way it analyses that information. When taken advantage of, data can determine the direction a business takes, streamlining front and back of house operations, focusing menus and ultimately, driving revenue. Using kitchen automation software specifically, a brand can collect data about average ticket times, item times, cook time variances versus expected cook times, cooking delay times and item/order time (and more), and that information can be used to examine the kitchen output and refine the service it provides.
- Quality control, speed & efficiency
Keeping tight control of the kitchen and the quality of the food produced is fundamental to a business’ success; management needs to know that when they are not on-site the quality of the food continues to be prepared and served at a high standard. Kitchen automation provides oversight and therefore confidence in the consistency of the product, and because items and courses can be preset to specific cook times and pacing between courses, control is constantly maintained.
Furthermore, the software prevents there being any miscommunication around the kitchen because everyone sees what they need when they need it. This gives staff the chance to focus on cooking, not on listening out and trying to remember all the items the head chef is shouting at the kitchen.
- Long term cost savings
Once a business is confident that its kitchen is running at peak output and maximum productivity, kitchen automation software can start saving money by removing the need for clunky, costly and temperamental printers. There will be no more lost or illegible paper tickets, printer jams, no need to buy printer rolls, ink ribbons or other consumables. Further, staff costs can be reduced because the guidance the software provides means the team no longer needs to be ‘top heavy’. High level, experienced chefs can be balanced out with lower cost cooks, thereby saving money on the wage overheads.
Automation software, like ConnectSmart® Kitchen, can stand alone – but, vitally, can also integrate with technologies in use throughout the kitchen and business. Commonly, brands will integrate it with their POS platform. Why? Because the time benefits are huge! When orders are sent through the POS, they appear on the kitchen system – this leads to faster ticket completions, reduced food waste, and a much more efficient and streamlined server-chef operation.
- Division of kitchens
Before COVID-19, and even more so since, the food industry has seen massive growth in the number of ‘ghost kitchens’ serving the market. These kitchens don’t have an associated diner, the food they serve is 100% takeaway (whether collection or delivery). This means that all of the food going out, is going out in a bag/box, not on a plate. Once the food has been bagged, it becomes instantly harder to identify, and with many many orders being prepared at once, it’s easy to mix bags or leave items off of a dish by mistake. Ghost kitchens can exist alone, or in combination with a traditional kitchen.
Kitchen automation software means each order can be identified at a glance and can also be delivered to different areas of your kitchen automatically. This means a restaurant business can use an existing kitchen and then add capacity for ‘ghost kitchen’ without a costly kitchen remodel
ConnectSmart® was built with the modern restaurant in mind. If you’re interested in finding out how it can benefit your front or back-of-house, off-premise dining, and delivery, business analytics, or anything else, get in touch with Theravada today.