Rational believes it now has the cooking capabilities and technological proficiency to support the most pressing catering challenges operators face and is marketing its collective offer as its ‘iKitchen’ solution.
Shortage of skilled staff, cost pressures, allergens and digitalisation rank as some of the biggest issues facing operators right now, but Rational is confident it can provide support in all those areas following a slew of recent product releases.
“Under the name iKitchen, we have combined the iCombi Pro, iVario Pro and ConnectedCooking to form a system solution,” explained Simon Lohse, managing director at Rational UK.
“The aim is to make work easier, especially in large kitchens with a volume of 500 meals per day or more, to streamline processes and save space, money, energy and raw materials.
“If you take a kitchen originally equipped with a boiler, deep fat fryer, pressure cooker, hot-air oven and cooker, you can replace all the appliances except the cooker with an iCombi Pro and iVario Pro while achieving space savings of up to 40%.
“At the same time, the cooking systems together cover 95% of all conventional cooking applications. For some applications such as cooking pasta or preparing food using the sous-vide method, they can even take over tasks from each other, thus considerably increasing the flexibility of a commercial kitchen.“
The fact that both cooking systems are made for cooperation is also shown by the identically designed user interfaces, which guide the user through the menus according to the same principle, Mr Lohse said.
Both have intelligent functions that make handling even easier and thus significantly reduce the error rate. Even semi-skilled workers have easy access to various cooking applications.
The fact that iKitchen makes optimum use of all resources is demonstrated, for example, by overnight cooking, Mr Lohse said.
The iCombi Pro and iVario Pro both feature this application, which Rational expects will save a great deal of production time and take a lot of pressure off the kitchen operations.
The third component, ConnectedCooking, also serves to increase productivity, as the cloud-based networking solution can be used to centrally manage and transfer cooking programs, HACCP data can be saved and retrieved by both cooking systems, and they can even be controlled remotely.
ConnectedCooking reduces the error rate and ensures a constant standard in food production. Only the loading and unloading has to be done manually.
“With iKitchen, business and industry kitchens can work even more successfully than before and respond flexibly to their challenges,” Mr Lohse added.