If you’ve ever tried installing a piece of software that isn’t compatible with your operating system, or found yourself in all sorts of bother after getting locked out of a program over a password issue, you’ll be familiar with the despair and frustration that even the most basic IT problem can breed.
So I certainly have empathy with kitchen equipment bosses that fear the proliferation of web-enabled appliances in commercial kitchens is a technology headache waiting to happen.
Kitchens resemble interactive control centres these days, with everything from combi ovens to refrigeration cabinets harnessing the latest computing power. 10 years from now, kitchens will be enjoying benefits that 10 years prior would never have even been conceivable.
In the meantime, though, we need to be mindful of the fact that the concept of catering appliances ‘talking’ to each other and giving operators an instant bird’s eye view of their equipment estate raises huge IT management challenges.
This has certainly not gone unnoticed by industry decision-makers, with the European Federation of Catering Equipment Manufacturers (EFCEM) establishing a technical group to examine the feasibility of developing a common standard for the use of connected technology in professional kitchens.
The group is due to publish a report at the end of this year detailing the viability of establishing a uniform standard.
It promises to be fascinating reading for anybody that is currently running multiple kitchen sites and who has already experienced the difficulties that a lack of standardisation can create.
Few want a situation where operators are forced to run dozens of different apps, with each monitoring separate brands of equipment.
A common standard, where one app will cover all equipment, remains the holy grail for kitchens of the future.