The most important objective of restaurant operators and convenience stores is to consistently prepare and serve fresh and high-quality products to customers, while ensuring food safety and improving equipment performance, maintenance and compliance monitoring.
To help them meet this promise, many food service professionals are introducing internet of things (IoT) technologies to connect the commercial kitchen equipment used in the preparation of their menu items. This concept is usually defined as connected kitchen.
Connected kitchens are the future of professional cooking: transforming single food service appliances into smart devices that can communicate with each other, they streamline daily operations, optimize workflows , provide a valid support for the kitchen staff, and contribute to deliver better results. This is why commercial kitchens should be in the forefront of connectivity.
How does connected equipment work?
In a connected kitchen, data coming from the food service equipment are easily transferred in real time to the cloud – or any other repository – for remote access. The information exchanged are valuable insights to improve operations, resulting both in enhanced guest satisfaction and increased profitability.
Let’s discover four major areas where connected kitchen appliances can respond to the key challenges of the food service industry, and become an added value.
- They help save time: they interact with each other without the operators having to intervene, causing stress and waste of time, and allowing them to focus less on training and more on performance and product quality.
- They create a leaner workflow: procedures are streamlined, resulting in increased effectiveness and efficiency across the entire cooking process.
- They contribute to reduced human errors: employees don’t need to step in for specific operations, thus affecting productivity and raising the risk of injuries.
- They grant cost savings ensuring complete visibility and control over the daily kitchen operations, and therefore food waste and energy consumption -which is one of the biggest costs when running a commercial kitchen.
Are all connected kitchens the same? Do they all provide significant benefits? Of course no. When choosing connectivity for their commercial kitchens, restaurant operators should rely on a basic guidance:
- Connected appliances should share the same DNA, therefore communicating solutions designed and produced by the same equipment manufacturer are recommended.
- Any possible interaction between the connected appliances and the human workforce must be easy and intuitive.
- Better select the best possible state-of-the-art connectivity technology.
Last but not least, when food service professionals decide to connect their commercial kitchen equipment, they should be aware that turning the big amount of available data into useful and actionable information is key for a successful IoT integration.
This can happen only if connectivity is implemented according to the business priorities, the existing information technology structure, and the different stakeholders’ requirements. For example: store managers and service technicians need quick access to the equipment, automatic monitoring and reporting, alerts to plan maintenance or deal with unexpected breakdowns. For restaurant operators or chain operations managers the priority is to have a centralized control over the store network, collect insights to improve productivity, possibly track trending consumer behaviours to meet the highest quality standards or better target their marketing activities.
OnE Connected is Electrolux Professional’s digital platform for all your connected equipment – not only in the Kitchen, but also in the Laundry and Beverage areas. Whether you are an owner, manager, operator, or technician, the possibility to connect different food service – ranging from Cook&Chill to High Speed and High Productivity Cooking devices, and from Dishwashing to Refrigeration – with no need for multiple applications, helps you get top performance from your appliances, maximize your revenue and accelerate your return on investment.