How QSRs And Cloud Kitchens Are ManagING Taste in Their Quest of Expansion?
In the race of faster expansion and lowering costs, food brands are eager to experiment and adopt novel ways. Until a few years ago, launching a new food brand with more than one outlet was considered ambitious. Come 2020, and we are launching with multiple outlets from the get-go.
Evolved business models like cloud kitchens and QSRs, technology disruption on demand as well as supply side, increased investor interest, improved consumer consumption and habits have all led to this changing landscape. This growth is further fuelled by the technological solutions available today. From kitchen automation to transparent supply chain, sophisticated CRMs to consumption prediction, digital POS (Point of Sales) to food delivery apps — innovation is changing the game for better.
But how do food brands maintain their growth trajectory without faulting on taste? How do we ensure that food quality, standard and preparation is consistent across the board? There is one solution – technology. Technology in the kitchen, in cooking, in customer service, in delivery and more. Let’s take a step closer and look at one of the most crucial but underrated solutions, Kitchen Automation.
Can Automation Do Justice to The Cloud Kitchen’s Menu?
The big debate has always been whether kitchen automation kills the Tender-Love-Care factor of dishes. They say that food prepared with love is unparalleled. Maybe it is not about replicating the human touch with automation; maybe it is about technology working in tandem with the real human effort to create magic. Win-win!
There are innumerable culinary scientists who support that there’s a good chance robot food might actually be as good as food made by a chef. Commercial kitchens conducted intensive R&D inferred how high-precision intelligent machines could potentially create food that’s just as tasty. Robots could do things like a mix-up sauce patterns on a bun to create more variety, to tune out more homogenous sensory experiences for customers with each successive bite.
Of course, this take will have its share of similar arguments used earlier — whether or not phone and internet have funneled out the personal touch of real conversations. Some can hail technology for making it easier to talk to the loved ones, others can hinge to its lack of human touch. Automation is not the enemy – it is the real friend as it can help chefs prepare those elaborative menus that require higher precision and are time and labor-intensive.
Consistency, after all, is paramount. Imagine dreaming about that bowl of dal from your favorite place, after a dreary day just to find that something is off. Oh, the horror! Chefs, with help from automation, can worry less about consistency and have more time to invest in creativity. In reality, if you choose to look at it objectively, there’s much more to food tech than just convenience and cost-effectiveness.
Do QSRs and Cloud Kitchens Face the Trade-Off Between Taste and Convenience?
To assume that the latest kitchen technologies come with a trade-off between taste and convenience is to say food prepared using advanced technology doesn’t taste as good. It isn’t true. With new-age appliances and automated equipment available with us, achieving indomitable efficiency in every detail of preparing foods is easier than ever. So, the restaurant owners who deploy new-age tech in their kitchen not only enjoy higher convenience but also deliver dishes that are just as tasty. It is one of those things you’ve to implement to disband the naysayers.
In short, this idea that the convenience of kitchen automation pushes back the taste of the food is uncalled for. Items prepared by robots, if done efficiently, can intact the same tang and sophistication if not more.
Is TLC Really an Ingredient in A Great Dish?
They say that the main ingredient in the food is love. Even though meals prepared by a doting mother remains indisputable, this is another key question that’s debatable. Are foods prepared by humans- who are emotionally involved in the process- any difference in taste? Do tender, love, and care (TLC) really make a difference in the dish or is it just another fabricated notion that people figuratively hold just because it has been glorified by folklore? Again, humans and bots do not necessarily have to be on different teams. They can complement each other beautifully. Food is a celebration – we cannot and are not negating the warmth of a smiling barista – but can you imagine how less forced that smile would be if she/he had a bot to, say, help her with latte art?
Could Kitchen Automation Solve for Taste While Scaling-Up?
There are seamless kitchen automation benefits. Contrary to arguments of the skeptics of food tech, good taste is one of those benefits. If it wasn’t, we wouldn’t have some of the world’s leading restaurant and hotel owners investing big in smart kitchens that stash advanced equipment and robotic systems. We’ve all been admittedly mesmerized by how alluring and minimally invasive automated restaurants are. Was the taste of foods really compromised, those brands in food service industry that intensively focus on quality wouldn’t be big in next-gen kitchen technology? Of course, this isn’t to say that kitchen automation is a golden goose with no improvements. But the taste is nowhere near to that list.
Taste and Convenience Can Go Hand-In-Hand for QSRs and Cloud Kitchens
Kitchen automation packs pros in abundance. It’s much more than just about convenience. Sure, it makes life easier for the chefs and staff, adding much speed and efficiency to the process, there are plenty of other benefits that have enabled it with takers in the food service industry. Consistent taste is one among them. So, if you run a food business, do away from the traditional notion of foods and their requirement for TLC. It’s a conjectural idea that doesn’t hold its ground in the face of objective understanding and proceeding trends. Invest in food-tech. As per your needs, turn your kitchen smart; get more of cutting-edge appliances and equipment. For improved and quantity preparation of food and kitchen workflow, hand over more of your tasks to automated technology. Understand that kitchen automation isn’t just for the sake of it. In reality, it’s a part of the evolution with unparalleled inevitability owing to its countless benefits.
Robotics can do some amazing things if we don’t get ahead of ourselves and get carried away and forget that food is a very rudimentary, what-if medium to work with. As long as we remember that we can let the geniuses, chefs and robotic technology, help us explore new dimensions in food step by step.