Can Simple Foodservice Equipment Controls Increase Efficiency?

Let’s start with a statistic. At the beginning of 2023, the restaurant industry was down nearly half a million workers since the beginning of the pandemic. This 3.6 percent decline represents the largest employment deficit of any industry in the country.

The good news is there are ways to help mitigate these labor challenges. First, operators can strategically target employees with creative hiring practices. Creating comfortable working conditions with effective training is also a great strategy for employee retention. Finally, innovations in cooking equipment can make work easier and thus more attractive to potential hires.

Ultimately, the simpler the learning curve, the better, and some of today’s innovative foodservice equipment solutions can make work easier than ever before. To increase efficiency and convenience, operators should consider technological innovations like simple foodservice equipment controls such as OneTouch operations

Let’s break down the type of equipment that can come with these controls and why they matter.

The Importance of User-Friendly Controls

Restaurants and foodservice operators of all types can benefit from equipment designed with staff in mind. User-friendly ovens that offer programmable recipes, for example, can provide a range of advantages to help streamline operations and create efficiencies.

Consistency in Operations:

Restaurants and foodservice operations are notorious for having high turnover rates, meaning operators and managers are often required to train new employees on processes and equipment operation. This is time-consuming and costly. Smart controls can simplify these processes, creating consistency amongst staff and, ultimately, kitchen output. With ovens like Blodgett Combi offering programmable recipes, staff can operate units with the push of a button rather than changing temperatures and steam levels through the cooking process.

Time Savings: Time is critical in a commercial or institutional kitchen. Complex processes and controls can make it harder for workers to move through rushes, leading to delays. When time is short and staff is stretched, errors and delays can occur that impact quality, timeliness, and even safety. OneTouch controls can help give time back to staff, ensuring the highest probability of smooth operation and minimal downtimes. For example, Pitco’s automated oil filtration capabilities can eliminate much of the stress and burden on staff, automating one of the messiest maintenance tasks in the entire operation.

Streamlining Operations with OneTouch Controls

OneTouch is a standardized control system that creates consistency and ease-of-use across Middleby’s commercial foodservice equipment. By creating a singular control system across various equipment types, operators and staff enjoy one user experience that works across all Middleby products, whether it’s a Pitco Fryer, a TurboChef rapid cook oven, a Middleby Marshall conveyor oven or even a Taylor soft serve machine. OneTouch controls also offer seamless connectivity, making it very easy for customers to add an Open Kitchen subscription at any time.

When OneTouch controls are paired with Open Kitchen, operators have a straightforward and hassle-free way to connect and onboard their equipment, while also providing a future-proof IoT platform for any new Middleby equipment. Because OneTouch controls operate with the Open Kitchen platform, downloading recipes and even complete menus is seamless.

Maintenance and Troubleshooting Is Easier

When utilizing Open Kitchen, operators have a 360-degree view of the health of their equipment. Rather than reacting when equipment goes down, costing operators critical revenue, Open Kitchen allows for the planning of preventative maintenance. With color-driven, graphical touchscreen displays, operators, managers, and technicians will all have an easier time collecting needed information because the display menus are consistent across all OneTouch-enabled equipment.

Beginning with a holistic view of equipment, schedules can be developed to ensure maximum operational efficiency, where, in the past, maintaining and servicing foodservice equipment relied on monitoring processes that were manual and time-consuming. Typically, an operator would have to call a technician to come out and diagnose the issue, even if it was a simple fix. Advanced technology allows operators to identify problems and correct them much faster. In some cases, employees can handle the solution in-house, meaning fewer tech visits and repair bills. Ultimately, a comprehensive snapshot of real-time equipment operations can save countless hours and expenses.

Become More Energy Efficient

With inflation and rising labor costs, it’s no surprise operators are looking for other areas to cut operational spending. Open Kitchen can create energy efficiency in commercial kitchens because units can shut down automatically and adjust energy usage according to operational needs. With OneTouch, it’s much easier to collect data with Open Kitchen and make necessary changes resulting in immediate cost savings on energy bills.

Try out the controls for yourself to see how easy they are. Schedule a test drive in your local Middleby test kitchen.

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National Restaurant Association


Topics: Automation, Featured Innovation, IoT