EDITOR’S VIEW: Relationship between kitchens and technology is only getting tighter

Andrew Seymour grayscale

There’s a very large high street retailer, with a very large food offering, which buys a huge amount of catering equipment and operates an awful lot of kitchens.

It is widely regarded as a progressive, forward-thinking organisation that moves with the times in an arena that is undergoing significant change.

Yet it might surprise you to know that when it comes to managing its kitchens, and more pertinently the processes within them, it has so far shunned technology to record everything manually.

Word has it that the company has a warehouse solely to store paper records, a scenario that one supplier described as “madness” in today’s market. Perhaps we shouldn’t be shocked by this.

If some of the largest companies in the industry haven’t yet embraced the benefits of digital technology, why should we expect smaller players to move away from traditional paper-based management?

The switch to digital is often a gradual one, but it will happen and I am sure it is only a matter of time before a tipping point is observed.

Experts point out that food safety management is a great starting point for any operator that wants their business to become more automated, as it can slash paperwork and requires only minimal investment.

What’s more, there is virtually no adjustment period nor does it command extensive staff training, which up to now have been two of the main reasons that operators have found it easier to refuse change.

Digital food safety management and temperature and task management systems can deliver notable savings in time, labour and cost, and allow companies to take corrective action instantly if needed.

And as cloud-based records require no software or hardware, the need for physical storage space is eliminated.

As more operators realise how prohibitive paperwork is to business, we can only assume the relationship between kitchens and technology will grow tighter.

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