Technology is crucial in every stage of managing a restaurant, but more so in the commercial kitchen, where the core of your operations happens. Beyond the basic kitchen equipment and tools that every restaurant needs, there are apps, tools, and devices that will turn your commercial kitchen—no matter how small it is—into the envy of many. Why? The reason is simple: these technologies will improve the overall workflow of the kitchen.
Food Management System
This software will help manage everything in your kitchen—from the expiration of the food items in your freezer to the temperature of your fridge to the maintenance of the kitchen equipment. It literally replaces the old pen-and-paper and Excel worksheet. The system is a one-stop shop for everything you need to know about your kitchen. This helps your restaurant keep up with government regulations and local compliance regulations. The fact is that this system can also protect your business from a lawsuit arising from unhygienic kitchen operations.
Smart Kitchen Equipment
Smart appliances are connected to your smartphone or laptop. The restaurant manager can see and control everything with a few touches of buttons. In fact, they can even turn on these devices even when they are not in the restaurant as long as the devices are connected to the internet. Just how smart are these devices? A smart refrigerator, for example, can track and reorder ingredients on your behalf, while a smart oven will turn off automatically when the dish is done.
But what every restaurant owner should focus on is getting an efficient commercial dishwasher that can soap, rinse, and sanitize the plates, pans, and utensils in the kitchen. A good dishwasher can detect even the smallest bit of dirt on the plates and utensils. It will also help your kitchen staff do their tasks faster and more efficiently.
Smart technology, of course, tends to be more expensive. The question in your mind might be why you have to invest in such a thing. One, it lowers labor costs because it usually automates repetitive tasks such as tracking inventory and monitoring appliances. Two, it reduces human error in the kitchen, thereby providing better service and consistency to your customers.
The third and the last reason is the most important. It involves the owner’s and manager’s sanity. Wherever you may be—whether in the kitchen or in another country, a smart kitchen will generate reports that will keep you up to date. You’ll be able to keep track of your restaurant all the time.
Kitchen Order System
The old-school ordering system involves writing down the orders on a piece of paper and handing over that paper to the kitchen staff. Today, the wait staff takes the orders from the customers, input them into a system, and those orders will immediately appear on a monitor or tablet located in the kitchen. There’s less interaction between the wait staff and the kitchen staff. Everything happens through the computer, so that makes it easy to manage the orders.
Most of these systems will keep track of how long an order will take. This allows the wait staff to inform customers if a particular dish takes too long to cook. It improves customer service since the customers can change their orders or agree to wait for the dishes they originally want. Most kitchen systems also provide a consolidated view of color-coded open tickets, which will make it easy for the kitchen manager to determine which tickets should be prioritized already. These decisions are critical to a customer’s loyalty.
Health and sanitation agencies will regularly visit food establishments to make sure they follow the sanitation protocols. Diners can check out the letter grading usually posted on a restaurant’s front door. A or a 90-to-100-point score is the highest a restaurant can achieve. Most states and cities will require the establishments to display their most recent grade in a place the customers can see it.
Thanks to high-tech cleaning devices, restaurant owners and kitchen managers have an easier time keeping their kitchens sanitized and organized. With a touch of a button, an air purifier can remove allergens and toxins from the air. Some devices can also completely sanitize a room in under an hour.
Using technology in the commercial kitchen isn’t just about making the job easier for your employees. It’s about delivering better services to your customers, as well as following government and state regulations and processes. In a restaurant business, how the kitchen can spell the difference between success and failure.