Commercial kitchens and information technology have traditionally had about as much in common as, well, commercial kitchens and information technology. But times are changing and as operators look to run their kitchens as efficiently and leanly as possible, it is inevitable that the relationship between the two will only grow stronger.
The real story lies around what is now available from a kitchen management software perspective. There is a vast number of tools designed to give operators far greater control over their kitchen estate than would have ever seemed possible not so long ago.
From software that measures and analyses energy consumption per appliance to programs that dissect everything from the amount of times a refrigerator door is opened and the way in which food waste is managed, the latest technology can provide a highly valuable bird’s eye view of kitchen behaviour.
This is particularly pertinent where multi-site operators are concerned, simply because of the prospective cost savings on offer. Pub group Greene King recently introduced a smart metre at one of its Essex sites to track kitchen and customer plate waste. By the end of the trial, it had identified ways to reduce waste per cover by 15%. If applied to all of the sites it manages, the bottom line savings at stake are huge.
One well-known name taking an active interest in this sector is Alan Parker, the erstwhile CEO of Whitbread who has just joined the board of Winnow Solutions, the very company that Greene King used to run its food waste trial. Of course, it is not the only player out there.
Names such as Check It, Monika and KitchenCUT are among those offering solutions to deal with matters such as temperature monitoring, HACCP and food waste. There is no longer any excuses for kitchen operators not to have an iron-like grip on the way their kitchens are managed and controlled. The IT revolution is well and truly here.