Hotel and restaurant operator Whitbread is aiming to beef up kitchen performance by tapping new technology that allows its chef teams to work in a more structured way.
The company has rolled out ConnectSmart Kitchen (CSK) software to 200 sites in a move that it expects to dramatically improve kitchen management.
The solution, provided by QSR Automations, is designed to assist Whitbread with its twin goals of increasing speed of service and table turns, and reducing food wastage.
Three Whitbread concepts – Beefeater, Bar + Block, and Cookhouse & Pub – will reap the benefits of CSK technology, which has the intelligence to work hand-in-hand with restaurant kitchen teams to reduce order wait time and improve food quality by displaying orders and automatically allocating each section of an order to the correct chef.
The technology confirms that each meal is hot, freshly prepared and completed at the same time. It then ensures orders leave the kitchen quicker, decreasing the customer’s total meal time while increasing table turns.
CSK has also provided Whitbread with the added benefit of enhanced kitchen efficiency and productivity through the system’s ability to adapt and support different labour levels and trading periods.
And as the software can be integrated with Whitbread’s existing business intelligence, the data it collects can provide detailed kitchen operational insights to Whitbread’s operations team.
Karen Higgins, head of hotels and food & beverage IT solutions for Whitbread, said: “We are committed to developing our food offerings throughout the estate to safeguard and ensure memorable dining experiences for our customers.
“ConnectSmart kitchen is an integral and intelligent part of our strategy, which will enable us to deliver dishes to a consistently high standard, whilst also having the means to expand future menus.”
The system eradicates any confusion between kitchen stations, with specification cards and images of restaurant dishes uploaded into the CSK system, with further instructions on how dishes should be prepared and presented.
Greater control is also given to the kitchen manager, who can instantly see if stations are under pressure, eradicating any problems before a potential issue arises.
Ashley Sheppard, UK VP of sales at QSR Automations, said: “Whitbread has such iconic brands within hospitality; and we are delighted to work with them to drive consistency and brand standards across all food offerings, whilst at the same time improving the experience for customers, with increased speed of service and reduced waste.”
Whitbread employs more than 35,000 people in 1,200 Premier Inn hotels and restaurants across the UK. It serves five million customers every month.