Kitchen Automation: The “Future of Restaurants”
July 5, 2021
Article Overview10min read
The restaurant industry has always focused on innovation and readily accepted new ideas. And one area that has greatly benefited from this drive towards the future is the kitchens. A glance into this space can reveal the use of hi-tech appliances and equipment, helping the staff cut down on cooking time and increasing production.
Although the human factor has always been present, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed this and forced the industry to adapt to more significant kitchen automation. According to new survey data, the overwhelming majority of restaurants in the United States have invested or are in the process of investing in new automation technology. Restaurant consultants in Dubai believe it is a matter of time before food establishments in the U.A.E. follow suit.
The new reality of our lives during and post the pandemic has led much of the restaurant industry to re-imagine how they can conduct business. Dine-in has significantly reduced, while the trend for takeaways and deliveries, which was already rising due to the widespread use of delivery applications, has increased exponentially. Therefore, the establishments need to have a high level of production that could meet the rising demand.
What is kitchen automation?
It refers to automatic mechanical devices or robots being used for cooking and preparing food. They can cook precisely according to a chef’s requirements and are highly sanitary. Their speed is also significantly better than a human’s, making them more efficient and productive in the kitchen. Some restaurant consultants project that in the future, the entire kitchen can be automated. However, at present, in most places, you will see automation being used in specific ways, such as flipping burgers, assembling pizzas or nachos. While this does not remove the need for employees, it does reduce labour costs, cleanliness, and human error.
Why incorporate automation in your kitchen?
It saves time
An automated robot is designed to cater to speed and precision. They are highly efficient and work quickly, significantly reducing prep and cooking time. Therefore, you can cater to customers’ needs without delay.
Your staff can focus on customer service.
In most restaurants, it can be a hectic environment within the kitchen and dining space. On a busy day, your staff may have to help in the kitchen while interacting with customers, which can be stressful and make your patrons feel isolated. However, as the automation will handle some of the tasks, your employees can focus on the diners and ensure they have a pleasant experience.
The automated kitchen is highly consistent.
As the automated robots are programmed to operate in a specific manner, their performance will be consistent. There will be no delays or changes to the way they prepare meals. They will accurately measure ingredients and monitor the cooking process to ensure that the meal is perfect at all times. Therefore, you can maintain the quality of the food and build a loyal customer base.
As we progress into the future, food establishments will embrace automation globally and incorporate it into their restaurant kitchen design. The extent of it will depend on the way they market themselves to the public. Michelin-star restaurants will still opt for less automation as a chef’s individuality and skills are essential for the meals they promote. However, fast food establishments will be more willing to automate their entire process to serve food consistently and quickly to attract more customers.