Unlocking the value of automation: Why it's time to redesign your kitchen

Short Description
According to a report by Dineout, 80.8% of people would prefer to Scan a QR code on their phone & order through the restaurant’s digital menu to avoid high-touch elements like a paper menu or restaurant tablet.
  • Nusra Deputy Features Editor
Automation Kitchen

Why are you looking at automation? Is consistency an issue? Are you aiming at quality or a collective data? It’s important that you priortise these problems and benchmark them before you enter into the world of automation. There’s no denying that with more and more restaurants looking at expanding wings, delivery and technology changing the whole behavior of food ordering and kitchen technology, the whole world is looking at automation and kitchen technology as a much faster way to churn their table.

We all know that autonomous technology and data science has completely changed the customer experience by redefining it to altogether a different level. According to the National Restaurant Association’s 2019 State of the Restaurant Industry, a majority of consumers would like to see restaurants add more technology that improves customer service and makes ordering and payment easier. And, we have seen brands like McDonald’s, Starbucks etc including self ordering kiosks etc at their outlets that are especially located at drive-thrus or are available for a curbside pickups.

And, similarly, we saw this trend picking up in India, now that more and more home grown restaurants and technology players are trying to be the McDonald’s and Domino’s of the world, automation and IOT has played a bigger role.

“IOT, automation and robotic is big intimating words sometime but when someone ask you to associate this with kitchen automation, you probably come back and describe and image of super hi-tech convene or a belt and arm preparing your food but it is such a stereotype that automation as a whole has got this notion of being super complex and extremely capital extensive. Automation doesn’t necessarily is always equal to robotics. Robotics might be a sub set of automation but the way we look at automation is anything that can make our life easier,” believed Sagar Mehta of Knox Innovation that is helping India’s largest cloud-kitchen player Rebel Foods in automating its kitchen by making it simpler and easier.

The food industry has really evolved tremendously across the last decade with technology playing an important role in transforming the way the world consumes food. “Restaurants have also gone through a journey of adaptation to stay relevant. Today, if a restaurant needs to be successful from both a top line and bottom-line perspective, it is critical for them to automate a lot of their internal processes to optimise their operations. With the advent of online ordering whose share of revenue has also increased, customer experience is dependent on a lot more aspects that is beyond just the food taste and quality and leveraging technology and automation is a no brainer for restaurants to become more efficient,” shared Renjith Prahladan of UrbanPiper  that help brands like Mainland China, McDonald’s, Eatfit to automate their kitchen and restaurant space.

Commenting on the same, Eshwar K Vikas of Mukunda Foods said, “ So far, Restaurants use to thrive on social gatherings, but pandemics changed how it works. As a result, we can see the shift from dine-in to delivery, and the customers seem to be happy with this change. However, the delivery model also comes with its own set of challenges like aggregators would hardly give you 10-15 mins for meal prep, which puts an additional load on your staff, and you might require hiring skilled staff. Maintaining food consistency also becomes another concern with a high dependency on human intervention.  This is where Mukunda's automation solutions help them address these concerns and smoothen their operations.” The brand has automated 14+ processes that can help restaurants maintain consistency, reduce dependency on skilled labor and gain operational efficiency.

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