Whenever we think about the ways technology has impacted our lives, the obvious ones like the workplace, entertainment, information sharing, etc. comes to mind. We miss on some spaces like the kitchen space; which with technology has undergone the greatest change. Starting from our homes where the cooking stoves have now become sleeker and better to the F&B outlets; technology has helped major brands in driving revenues. The experimentation with concepts, ideas, and cuisines with the help of technology is helping this vertical move into a completely new territory. It is interesting to explore on how new technologies are helping the hospitality sector in saving heat, light, power and above all sweat!
For the hospitality industry, investing in tools to deliver exceptional guest experiences makes infinite sense. Hotels are all out to embed technology right from their kitchens to table service. While the traditional methods of presenting the menu in a printed format have been taken over by iPads, F&B sector is seeing technology being utilized for internal purposes as well as customer interface point of view. Technology has eased F&B operations in a restaurant. In fact, the use of technology for food processing and food preparation has enhanced hotels performance and productivity.
Food & Beverage is serious business for a hotel and thus no efforts should be spared to make it profitable. Kitchens have undergone a major makeover in hotels. The suppliers are also familiar with a hotel’s requirements and gladly comply with those demands. Cooking has evolved into a form of art so also has kitchen equipment. From typical cooking ranges, boiling pans and convection ovens to current state-of-art equipment incorporating aesthetic looks, digital controls, energy efficient, modular and streamlined, multiple application and usage from a single equipment. Equipments are being designed to improve time and labour usage and meet the operational demands of the modern catering operations. With specifically built-in features, they provide consistency and maintain quality of end-product in the cooking process.
Use of equipments like blast chillers, freezers, etc. is encouraged as they make the chef’s work easier. It turns out to be more profitable and energy efficient as it optimizes the workflow in the kitchen. The shelf life of food is increased and waste is reduced. Hoteliers have shared that they now use automated and precise temperature controlled ovens, perfected ice-cube machines at the bar, efficient blenders and slush machines as it ensures a high level of services. Brands like Hamilton, Hoshizaki, Alto sham, Hobart, MKN, Koldtech, Wood Stone Oven, Blue Star, Electrolux, Fosters, etc are emerging as the most preferred by the big brands.
The kitchen needs the best environment. Experts have shared that with the help of technology, there has been a lot of cost saving and increase in the production standards. In fact, both in the energy as well as the manpower front, technology has brought with us some major changes. A simple example being of refrigeration. With so many new techniques and equipments going high-tech, a hotel can save up to 1/4th of power of the total power consumption. The industry has been looking for a technology that can improve the kitchen environment and thus cut down their total cost. Ventilation is another major component that is of concern to the hoteliers. While they share that how much of fresh air is one thing, but its service time matters. The time when the ventilation should be on and off matters and this is something that the big brands are focusing on.
Technology in hospitality is being looked for that can support the kitchen staff and help them in upgrading. While the one side of it is that how much money the hospitality business can make or save with the use of technology. The other side is how much it engages their staff. Big brands spend a fair amount of money on technology. They have shared the concern of drawing a line on whether technology is giving you a greater satisfaction or is it cutting down the expenses? While in most of the hotels, 50% revenue comes from F&B. Salaries, wages, manpower, food cost, etc. are the factors that cannot be controlled, but technology is something that can be controlled. Starting from conceptualization to design, technology experts have shared that technology should be involved to make the operations efficient. Remember, the competition is immense and technology is a big tool that can help you in making a difference!
In conclusion, if we look at early 1800’s, equipment’s and technology have been used since then and they are coming back. Hospitality has a revolving door philosophy. People come, get trained and then they move out, but, technology and equipment stay with you lifelong. Today, all you need is a unique and a consistent flavor in your food. Though nothing can replace the human touch that gives the flavor and taste top your food, but technology supports in making the operations become efficient and consistent.