Restaurant technology is growing up and fast. And just like every other industry, Restaurant Industry too, is automating all the functions and operations of restaurants. The Modern PoS system has made the entire restaurant management simple and fast. The PoS keeps track of all restaurant sales, customer records and inventory and provides the owner and manager with real-time detailed reports. While PoS helps automate the front-of-the-house operations, kitchen automation is often left unattended. The kitchen is the most essential aspect of any restaurant. Restaurants can run without dine-in customers, but cannot run without a kitchen. Read our blog on Cloud kitchens to know about such restaurants which do not have dine-in customers.
4 Ways Of Kitchen Automation
Kitchen automation is all about simplifying cooking, improving the quality of food delivered and serving more customers in lesser time. Thanks to overall automation in the F&B industry, kitchen automation has seen a rise and more and more restaurants are adopting new tech to help their kitchen staff. And if you don’t know about the technology used for kitchen automation, then keep reading!
1. KDS System And Device
KDS is an abbreviation of Kitchen Display System. KDS is a system integrated with the restaurant’s billing system. Every single order is punched in the billing software by the biller or the captain. After the order is punched, a kitchen order ticket (KOT) is automatically generated. Traditionally these KOTs are printed and handed to the chefs. But these tickets often got lost or were interchanged with other customers’ orders. And so, KOTs were automated with KDS. The KOT is used by the kitchen staff to know the customer order, any requests or add-ons. KDS device is a screen mounted in the kitchen where all the KOT are displayed for every single chef and cook to know and work accordingly.
2. Inventory Management And Reports
If the restaurant kitchen needs to be managed smoothly then all the inventory must be properly recorded and monitored. If the kitchen staff does not get the needed inventory at the correct time, then there is a delay in the service. The kitchen head or the head chef must have access to the PoS inventory management and the needed stock reports so that he/she can do regular inventory checks and inform the owner if anything is out of stock or expired. Along with the inventory management, kitchen staff should also be assisted in managing and monitoring kitchen waste.
3. Essential Cooking And Cleaning Equipment
Cutting equipment is the weapon of the kitchen staff. There needs to be the availability of all essential kitchen equipment. This list is subjective to the type of cuisine the restaurant is serving and the technique adopted to cook. There have been great technological advancements in the tools and equipment used in cooking. Take the example of Mukunda and On2Cook who have been great players in this area. The aim has been to improve the quality of food served, automate the human process and reduce the time taken in serving food to the customer.
Another reason for this automation is the globalisation of restaurant menus. More and more restaurants adopting the authentic taste of east Asian and western culture. To adapt to the standard taste and quality of food and serve it to the customers, there has been a demand for advanced cooking and preserving machinery and tools. While such various types of equipment are being used, it is the duty of the owner and/or the manager to train the staff to use it to avoid any hazardous accidents.
This equipment also includes essentials for restaurant storage and management. The raw material or the semi-cooked food needs to be kept in a hygienic environment where its self-life is not discounted. Also, there is much equipment in the kitchen, they should all have a particular place where they should be stored or placed so that it does not create clutter, get misplaced or harm any personnel.
4. Kitchen Robotics And Machinery
Kitchen automation has crossed a great milestone with the invention of kitchen robots. These robots take over the comparatively hazardous tasks which involve working with inflammable ingredients, severe heat or cold and complete them faster compared to humans. The robots are equipped not just to manage side kitchen roles, but prepare a large shares of meals in lesser time. Although this technology is intriguing, due to its complexity, pricing and high-end maintenance, it has not been able to expand widely in India yet.
Solar cookers are another such conventional approach to cooking. These cookers harness the heat of the sun and cook food. But due to the time taken in the process of cooking itself, this technology too hasn’t been able to become a new trend. However, given the lack of easily available sources, customers’ curiosity to try something new, and the high employee turnover ratio in the Indian restaurant industry, the adoption of this comparatively cost-efficient way of cooking is not that far into the future.
Restaurants big or small, are now leaning towards new technologies and are seeing kitchen automation not as an expense but as an investment in expanding their business.
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