With the Covid pandemic in 2020 and even in 2021, the restaurant industry found itself having to adopt new ideas and look deep into the future.
The new reality of life during and post Covid has led many restaurants to re-imagine how the do business. With this comes a focus on innovation and new technologies.
The newly imagined restaurant of today might find itself looking to automated kitchens. In this article, we look at what you need to know about this new trend.
What is an Automated Kitchen?
In the restaurant kitchen, you’ll find many types of automation. Up until now it generally referred to gadgets.
In today’s world, it refers to restaurants using robots to cook and prepare the food. These robots are precision instruments that are set to cook according to a chef’s plan. They are ultra-sanitary and often quicker than a human. (tweet this)
Oftentimes, the trend in automated cooking may refer to a robotic arm in the kitchen that flips burgers or assembles a pizza.
Basically, the automated kitchen takes some, if not all, of the human component out of the restaurant kitchen.
The automated kitchen can save on labor costs, human error, and cleanliness.
Now let’s look at why you might want to incorporate this trend into your restaurant business.
Automated Kitchens Save Time
Having an automated robot or two in your restaurant kitchen saves on prep time and cooking time.
The robot is highly efficient and programmed to work quickly and accurately.
The automated robot can free up your staff to meet the customer service needs of your restaurant. Someone can oversee the robot in the kitchen to ensure all is working efficiently, while other staff provide excellent customer facing service.
Automated Kitchens are More Consistent
How many times have you heard a customer say the meal they ordered last week was better than the one they ordered on another day?
Consistency in your restaurant is vital to building a loyal customer base. Imagine that your specialty dish is what brings customers back time and again. Yet, occasionally it doesn’t taste as good as it usually does.
This hurts your brand and keeps you from building a loyal customer base.
With the automated kitchen, the robot is a machine that measures ingredients exactly and cooks the same way every time.
Each of your meals is also prepared the same way and tastes exactly the same each time it is made.
In addition, robots will always measure ingredients the same for each dish. They will never over or underestimate.
With the robotic algorithm, you are ensured consistency in your dishes.
Automated Kitchens are Often Safer
Restaurant workers are injured in kitchen accidents every day in the United States.
Whether it’s a burn, a knife cut, or a fall, accidents are a common occurrence in most restaurant kitchens.
When you use an automated robot in your kitchen, you might even end up with zero kitchen-related accidents.
The robot can work in any environment and not get hurt. They can even work in environments where human workers can’t.
If you’re looking to enhance safety and avoid hazardous working conditions, the automated kitchen may be the answer.
Automated Kitchens are Cleaner
The robot in the automated kitchen doesn’t need a hair net, apron, or even long sleeves. The robot doesn’t get sick or carry germs.
You can also sanitize the automated kitchen in ways you could never sanitize the human worker.
You can implement the most hygienic procedures in your restaurant’s newly automated kitchen that wouldn’t be possible normally.
Automated Kitchens are Trustworthy
You don’t have to worry about the robot stealing food to take home.
There is also little chance they will mess something up or be disloyal to you. The only issue you might face is a malfunction, and that’s easily fixable.
With the automated kitchen, you get rid of human emotions and temptations.
Automated Kitchens are Fast
While some restaurants are fast food or quick service, others provide fine dining. In any of these scenarios, the robotic automated process is quicker.
Robots can prepare your menu items very quickly. They have one sole purpose, and that’s to prepare your food. With humans, there is always some lag time. Someone has to use the restroom, others are messing around, and others may simply be slow.
What’s more, while people get tired, robots and robotic arms do not.
Automated Kitchens May Be Less Expensive
While it may seem like robots in the kitchen would be more expensive, they ultimately may not be for some restaurants.
Why? The automated kitchen is cheaper because you only incur the cost once when you purchase the robot.
It is cheaper to employee robots than it is to employ humans. The robot doesn’t cost to operate it, and you don’t have a weekly salary to pay.
In addition, since they are virtually mistake-free, you are saving on overages and costly human error.
Do be aware, though, of the high implementation cost and be sure you can earn back your investment.
So, is the new trend of automated kitchens growing quickly?
While it is a trend, and automation in the restaurant industry is here for the future, it’s hard to say whether your favorite local restaurant will incorporate automation in their own kitchen. (tweet this)
There are pros and cons to the automated kitchen. We’ve mostly discussed the pros of the kitchen robot.
The downside of this trend is losing the human aspect and taking jobs away from well-deserving Americans.
The question of today is whether the rise of automation in the kitchen will actually do away with the human workforce, and currently there is no strong answer.
Right now, automation is the helping hand in kitchens across the United States handling easy tasks like measuring drinks and flipping burgers.
Bottomline: robots will never have the personal touch.
Our guess for the immediate future is they will continue to expand and complement existing kitchens, but the majority of restaurants will continue to have a strong human presence.