Smart Kitchen Technologies in C&U Foodservice Can Solve Two Critical Problems

If there are two common problems that college and university foodservice directors face, it’s a shortage in labor and an increase in energy costs. Smart kitchen technologies can help solve both.

What is a connected kitchen? Essentially, a smart kitchen or connected kitchen is a system that links different aspects of a commercial kitchen, from refrigeration to HVAC to fryers. Different components are connected under one cloud-based system as part of the Internet of Things, or IoT, allowing college and university foodservice directors and operators to know exactly what goes on at all times.

This level of transparency and visibility, coupled with the ability to control operations and make changes based on real-time data, can help C&U directors solve two critical problems.

Labor Shortages on College Campuses

First and foremost, we’re experiencing critical labor shortages across the foodservice industry. Even on college campuses where there has traditionally been a reliable source of labor – college students who need money – staffing is a challenge. Enrollment levels are down due to Covid, and for students who are on campus, many are opting out of foodservice work. Smart kitchens can reduce labor challenges.

Increasing Energy Costs is Impacting Foodservice Overhead

Commercial kitchens are some of the highest consumers of energy on college campuses. With ranges, refrigeration, HVAC, and other foodservice equipment being top users of electricity and natural gas, any reduction in consumption levels can help lower overhead costs and enhance the bottom lines.

Open Kitchen: How Smart Kitchen Technology and Energy Management Software Can Help C&U Foodservice Operations

Technology and automation are becoming more and more prevalent across the foodservice industry, and this includes foodservice operations on college and university campuses.

Smart kitchen technology like Open Kitchen from Powerhouse Dynamics allows operators to closely monitor all areas of an operation, giving precise, real-time data that can help drive staffing decisions. The more an operator knows when and why a particular piece of equipment is being used during service, the easier it is to adapt staffing to maximize its potential.

Open Kitchen also allows C&U foodservice operators to implement an energy management system that will help lower utility bills. It works by monitoring and reporting real-time data on energy usage that allows for instant modifications. For example, if there’s consistently a lull in service between the hours of three and four, operators will know this and be able to make modifications to equipment on/off schedules. There’s no need to run equipment when it’s not being used.

More About Open Kitchen from Powerhouse Dynamics

Curious how Open Kitchen can help in your operation? Consider the benefits it provided one of the nation’s largest QSR chains.


See the Arby's Case Study


Topics: Automation, Colleges & Universities, IoT, Labor Savings