Restaurant group Inamo slashes kitchen paperwork with latest tech system

Inamo kitchen

Pan-Asian restaurant group Inamo has rolled out the latest cloud-based food safety management technology from Checkit across its three London restaurants.

With interactive tables and fingertip ordering, Inamo has always been a fan of using technology in its restaurants.

The Checkit food safety management system means that the company is now using innovative mobile handsets that prompt, record and report food safety tasks, eliminating the need for paper food safety records for the dozens of critical daily checks that need to be carried out.

The technology has provided an additional assurance of high quality standards and complete compliance with food safety regulations and has meant that kitchen staff spend less time filling in forms and managers receive real-time insight into the essential routine tasks that have been carried out.

Lee Skinner, chief executive of Inamo, said: “Bringing Checkit’s cloud-based technology into the business was all about making food safety easier and giving the management teams more visibility and control over the routine activities that are happening on a daily basis. This improves confidence at all levels and ensures that we can maintain the reputation we’ve worked hard to build as a restaurant group.”

Inamo opened its first restaurant in Soho in 2008 and within two years it was named Time Out Restaurant of the Year. The founders, Noel Hunwick and Danny Potter, had been frustrated by slow service and lack of attention at restaurants and set about designing an interactive method of ordering.

In doing so, they created the world’s first interactive dining table, using a unique projector system. This has since evolved and, as well as offering access to menus and the ability to order food and drinks instantly, diners can choose from a selection of virtual tablecloths, display their own photos, play games and even view a kitchen webcam.

Following its success, a further two restaurants have opened in Covent Garden and Camden. In total, the three restaurants can seat up to 250 diners at any one time and frequently serve over 1000 covers each day making it essential to ensure consistently high standards.

“Having come from a role where I was responsible for 200 sites across the country, compliance and consistency are in my DNA,” continued Skinner, “However, with Asian cuisine that involves sushi, there’s a particular need to ensure best practice in food hygiene and safety. Of course, our food safety procedures have always been fully documented but that was time-consuming, and there was the constant danger that paperwork could be lost or spoiled. What’s more, we had to use an external storage company to archive all of this paperwork, which was not only costly but inconvenient when we needed to retrieve information.”

The Checkit system enables data to be recorded digitally via the handset and automatically uploaded to the Cloud, where it is stored securely. The data is converted into reports that are available to managers via an intuitive dashboard screen that’s accessible on PCs or mobile devices.

“At Inamo, we can now see whether each of our restaurants has carried out the required number of checks,” said Skinner. “We also receive real-time notifications when a task has been missed, which enables us to respond immediately and find out why it was not carried out.”

Each Inamo restaurant has two Checkit handsets, one for the kitchen and one for front-of-house, which includes customised tasks such as cleaning and maintenance of the bar and toilets.

Checkit automated monitoring sensors were also recently installed in the kitchen to provide continuous temperature monitoring of fridges and freezers and increased efficiency.

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