An industry software specialist snapped up by Middleby Corporation earlier this year claims to have built the very thing that tech-savvy operators have been crying out for: a completely open web platform that means they no longer have to log into a different system for every piece of connected kitchen equipment they own.
Powerhouse Dynamics – which became part of the Middleby family in April – can now connect commercial kitchen equipment to the cloud and provide remote access to critical data and performance monitoring irrespective of brand courtesy of its Open Kitchen offering.
Unveiling the solution in Milan at HOST over the weekend, the company said it finally means foodservice operators are afforded a single view across all locations and all equipment, regardless of who manufactured the equipment.
According to research firm Gartner, the connected kitchen will contribute at least 15% savings in the food and beverage industry by 2020 and experts expect that to be even higher in the future as more operators get on board with connectivity.
Speaking to FEJ at Middleby’s stand yesterday, Powerhouse Dynamics president, Martin Flusberg, said that Open Kitchen will enable operators to optimise equipment performance and facility operations, which in turn will lower operating costs, reduce equipment downtime and ensure food safety and product quality.
“With Open Kitchen, we are creating a new standard for IoT-based solutions in the commercial kitchen market,” he stated. “Operators want a single view into all of their locations; they don’t want to log in to a different system for each piece of equipment. Open Kitchen connects equipment from virtually any brand and brings all that critical information together so customers can make swift and data-driven performance decisions. It opens up endless possibilities for optimal efficiency.”
Open Kitchen combines the best of Powerhouse Dynamics’ flagship SiteSage energy management solution and Middleby Connect, and has been designed based on customer feedback.
Key features include a recipe creation hub and remote recipe distribution, improved predictive analytics down to the equipment component level, enhanced data security, and language support for international implementations.
Currently, more than 10,000 pieces of commercial kitchen equipment are digitally connected with Open Kitchen throughout North America and Europe.
Mr Flusberg said the business was seeing increased demand for connected equipment from multi-site operators, with a leading UK pub chain among those already using the technology to monitor hundreds of kitchens across its estate.
Although some notable US chains have been deploying connected kitchen technology for a number of years, he said conversations taking place this side of the Atlantic indicated that Europe would be a major driver of demand. Powerhouse Dynamics plans to support that by investing more resource into the region in the coming months, he added.