Connecting the Kitchen of Things: 5 Reasons to Embrace IoT in Your QSR Kitchen

What Does IoT Mean For Your QSR Kitchens?

Modern day Internet-goers may see computers as a source for email and the occasional online video, but the computer was originally built to solve a national crisis involving the U.S. Census1. The Census, previously done by hand, had become so extensive due to a growing population that Census Office clerks were no longer able to count the results themselves.

To solve this crisis, a former Census Office employee, Herman Hollerith, invented a counting machine that could utilize punched cards to represent census data2. The punched cards, after being fed into the machine, would allow metal pins to complete an electric current, which would count the results.

This solution was the first version of the computer—a machine that could process and complete tasks on its own.

Today, there are new challenges afoot, and new solutions to help solve them. One such solution is the Internet of Things (IoT), a technology that transforms everyday objects like vehicles, buildings, software, and appliances into powerful sources of intelligence. It was recently projected that there will be more than 31 billion connected devices globally in 2018, further supporting IoT’s growing pervasiveness3.

The possibilities for IoT are nearly limitless—from changing how people complete everyday tasks, to transforming how today’s goods are made, and improving the safety and productivity of society at large. The possible impact of IoT similarly extends into the restaurant environment, where increasing demands for engagement, speed, and quality require restaurants to be more efficient and effective than ever.

Specifically, in the restaurant kitchen, IoT can be powerfully leveraged to connect kitchen equipment in a way that optimizes every day processes and practices.

Let’s take a closer look at 5 reasons your kitchen is a great place to start unleashing IoT transformation.

1. The Kitchen is the Key to Speed

Speed is fundamental to restaurant service—and yet, it is often one of the areas that leaves customers wanting more. The secret to speedy delivery does not merely lie at the front counter, but also in the kitchen, where suboptimal order preparation and prioritization can lead to lengthy back-ups.

With IoT-enabled kitchen management, however, crew members are better able to anticipate rushes regardless of the channel orders are placed on, and prioritize kitchen processes accordingly so that guests are never left waiting.

2. Food Costs Are Your Second Largest Expense

Next to labor, food cost is the restaurant’s second largest expense. Kitchens empowered by IoT-driven technologies utilize predictive analytics to anticipate how much food they will require based on historical sales, seasonality, and a host of other variables. Empowered with this knowledge, restaurant crews can tailor preparation and cooking practices to demand patterns, minimizing costs by eliminating waste.

Even more, when it comes time to order inventory, restaurant managers with IoT kitchens can place more accurate orders, mitigating costly excess inventory.

3. Fresh Food is the Best Food

With 9 out of every 10 customers reporting that food quality is an important factor they consider4 when selecting a dining establishment, it’s no wonder that today’s restaurants are on a quest to improve food freshness and quality.

In an IoT-powered kitchen, freshness is made a top priority by monitoring each ingredient and item across a myriad of kitchen equipment, providing kitchen crews full clarity into the freshness of each ingredient and prompting them to use and replace items before they are past their prime.

4. Waste is Costly and Well…Wasteful

In the restaurant, nearly 10 percent of food is thrown out5 before reaching guests. In addition to negatively impacting your bottom line, food waste also negatively impacts the environment and our global community.

With the help of IoT-connected kitchen technology, crew members can predict and monitor item quantity in the kitchen to minimize waste—improving each restaurant’s environmental footprint while simultaneously saving money.

5. Your Kitchen is At the Heart of It All

The kitchen, as the epicenter of food preparation, intersects with your front of house, middle of house, and back of house functions. Because of its central role, its need for optimization, and its interconnectivity with virtually every other part of the restaurant, the kitchen is an ideal starting point for IoT transformation in quick service, fast casual, and food service establishments.

Powering the Kitchen of Things with Chef™ Kitchen Management

SICOM Chef™ Kitchen Management makes it possible for quick service, fast casual, and food service establishments to unleash IoT in their kitchen environments. Through predictive analytics and rich, real-time intelligence from connected kitchen equipment, SICOM Chef helps kitchen crews achieve their goals for speed of service, cost control, food quality, and sustainability.

Kitchen Management Quick Guide

Bring IoT to Your Kitchens.

Download Guide

kitchen management quick guide

Lee Pearson
July 3, 2018

Lee works on the front-lines to empower quick service, fast casual, and food service communities to strategically apply and harness technology innovation in a way that achieves their strategic goals and objectives.

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