Cutting edge technology has invaded the commercial kitchen – and this is very good news indeed! With the latest innovations, the commercial kitchen can become a safer, more energy-efficient and more productive place.
Aside from tablet ordering systems, here are some of the high-tech commercial kitchenware you can think about:
– Commercial induction equipment. Although induction cookers have been in the market for years and have gained popularity, these have mainly remained as household kitchen items. Recent innovations indicate that induction technology is moving into restaurant kitchens. Induction cookers offer the advantage of faster heating and cooking times, precision control of heat, safety (since no fires are involved) and minimal ventilation requirements. The latest cooktops provide additional functions such as sous vide cooking, as well as mobile connectivity, so that you can control and monitor the cooking via a smartphone or tablet.
– Touch screens. Interestingly, the user interface for these cookers resembles that of a smartphone or tablet. There are even moves towards incorporating a tablet-like screen in a cooktop so that staff can access recipes or job orders. The move towards touch screens also goes for other major restaurant equipment. Aside from cookers, manufacturers are also starting to integrate touch screen control systems to refrigerators, ice machines, deep fryers and other equipment.
– Apps and restaurant operations. As they say, “There’s an app for that.” From making business plans and financial reports, managing staff and shifts, marketing, managing inventory to taking in reservations, mobile apps have made things accessible to your computer or mobile device. There are even apps that enable you to scan barcodes as you reorder your wholesale restaurant supplies. You can also use an app to implement your loyalty rewards program. However, remember that you need to manage and use apps wisely so that their very use will not take up too much of your time.
– Connectivity. Some manufacturers have already designed specific mobile apps for their specific kitchen equipment so that you can view performance and diagnostics indicators, even when you’re away from the kitchen.
– Smart thermometer. This connects to a mobile device and comes with its own app. Not only do you get to monitor the temperature and cooking progress via your mobile device, you can set reminders with regards to the cooking process (i.e. flip after 5 minutes).
– 3-D Food printer. This exciting innovation can add to a chef’s ability to incorporate breathtaking details to the food they present. Right now, 3D printers can churn out edible sugar and chocolate creations such as wedding cake toppers (you can even print intricate lace details or an exact replica of the married couple), garnishing for entrees, cocktails and desserts and personalized edible favors.
– Monitoring by webcam. Managers don’t have to be in the kitchen area (or in the storage area or the delivery area) all the time – you can monitor your staff though high-tech cameras. These cameras come with complex algorithms that can detect if kitchen staff members comply with your operational procedures, as well as local health and safety codes. This includes monitoring whether staff are wearing sanitation devices such as hair nets and gloves or are washing their hands with soap or sanitizer. If you are a restaurant owner with several restaurants in separate areas, this monitoring system can ensure that you have “eyes” on all your restaurant branches.
– Food wastage tracker. Currently in development is a waste auditing system where staff use a touch screen display to categorize the food that’s being thrown – whether the stuff that’s about to go in the bin contain meat, produce, diary or breads. The cause of the food waste can also be identified, whether it is comprised of trimmings, spoilage, plate waste or food that was prepared but not served. This way, restaurants can track just how much food and raw ingredients are thrown away and can implement measures to minimize unnecessary wastage.