March 19 2019 – Robert Fiumara
Are You Missing Out On The Newest Culinary Technology?
Technology changes the way we do just about everything, and the culinary industry is no exception. New technological advancements are making things easier on staff, improving customer service and helping the bottom line. Here are a few of the hottest trends in culinary technology:
- Bluetooth temperature sensors - Many restaurants are using Bluetooth temperature monitoring systems to make sure their food temperature meets food safety requirements. Some are handheld probes while others are fixed sensors, both can determine the temperature of a food item in four seconds. Managers can set alerts for when a food strays outside defined limits for its temperature. Not only does this technology prevent product loss, but it also ensures the safety of diners as well.
- Scheduling software - With scheduling software, managers can generate a weekly schedule in seconds, whereas it may have taken them an hour or longer with more traditional methods. The software takes everything into account, from employee availability to forecast sales levels to avoid under- or over-staffing. Restaurants that use scheduling software have seen a 2% reduction in their labor costs on average.
- Virtual reality onboarding - Virtual reality offers an ideal way to train new staff. By avoiding the risks of exposing them to the environment too soon, new hires can safely study the process with a headset and special software. This lessens the pressure of committing mistakes and allows them to get used to their new jobs without having to touch anything.
- Digital inventory tracking - With a mobile device, managers can submit and view inventory counts. The software can let them know when they need to purchase more, and can even tell them how much they should have on hand. If projected inventory does not match what they have on hand, the manager can address the issue immediately, whether it be waste, theft or portions being made too large.
- Automated purchasing - Just as managers can track inventory digitally, they can also use software that automatically makes purchases according to programmed parameters. The software considers forecasted sales, product lead times and par levels set by the manager.
- Tabletop tablets - Kiosks and tabletop tablets for point of sale orders are proliferating in many restaurants. Customers can use them to browse the menu and make their orders and even make their payment. The software can also make suggestions based on what the customer has ordered to increase sales.
- Reservation managers - Reservation manager software can increase table turnovers in a restaurant by optimizing table assignments based on time and party size. The software can give accurate wait times and send texts when a table is ready.
- Nitrogen-infused beverages - Nitrogen is used to prevent spoilage in packaging, but now it is used to make beverages more appetizing. Principally used in coffee, nitrogen infusions make the beverage creamier, smoother, and more appetizing to customers.
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