It is well known that SLA is an established digitization partner in the world of food production. At the latest since the digitization of the Hofbräuhaus in Munich, the gastronomy industry has also been paying increasing attention: The “smart” large kitchen is the area on which SLA and RATIONAL AG are currently setting new accents.
"The situation in gastronomy is very similar to that of food production", says SLA Managing Director Jörg Brezl, explaining the need for innovative IT solutions in the gastronomy sector. “Price pressure and profitability on the one hand, increasing consumer expectations on the other hand, plus demands for sustainability, traceability, transparency - this area of tension also occupies restaurateurs around the world. In addition, they have to deal with cost drivers such as the disposition of staff and raw materials, resource planning that is difficult to calculate and high space requirements. All of this makes the call for digitized processes and automation louder.” Using the example of the Hofbräuhaus in Munich and its external production facility in nearby Brunnthal, SLA was able to vividly demonstrate how modern gastronomy can be made highly efficient, profitable and hospitable at the same time with individual IT solutions.
In close cooperation with RATIONAL AG, the global market and technology leader for intelligent kitchen systems, SLA is currently developing new concepts for making professional kitchens for the gastronomy and hotel industry "smart". "RATIONAL is an ideal partner for this", says Jörg Brezl. “The devices have long been standard in professional kitchens around the world. And we have jointly created approaches to make them intelligent.” For example, a RATIONAL combi steamer can not only recognize the current dish in the cooking chamber via RFID and set the corresponding cooking program fully automatically. "Thanks to our SLA Connector, we are now also able to integrate the devices into a networked system of kitchen technology, the ordering process, ERP, staff planning, logistics and forward-looking resource planning", says Jörg Brezl. The attention in the world of kitchens proves him right. In the webinar "Digital Disruption and Connectivity" for gastronomy entrepreneurs and kitchen planners in Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand, he and Michael Fuchs, Detlef Rank and Riyas Katayan from RATIONAL AG demonstrated how such networking works, what the advantages are and why the digitization of the kitchen landscape can no longer be stopped. "Those who jump on the train now have an advantage, because the train is already running and will pick up speed significantly. I think that was also clear to the webinar participants", he says.
The keyword “connectivity” gives gastronomy businesses the opportunity to achieve cost savings of over 40 percent for kitchen technology. At the same time, it creates the conditions to produce the same high quality over and over again and to deploy the staff to the respective posts as required. In addition, there is a space saving of over 50 percent, because smart kitchens require less devices, less staff, less back office and less storage space. “The bottom line is that there is more space for guests, and that in turn leads to more sales potential”, summarizes Jörg Brezl.
Overall, the digitization of the gastronomy is ideally complemented by another trend in the industry, the so-called ghost kitchen. These are large kitchens without their own dispensing and service, which produce and deliver the meals on behalf of one or more restaurants. Jörg Brezl: "As we have seen with the example of the Hofbräuhaus production facility, solutions such as IT-supported fresh food logistics or web-based kitchen and dispensing control really add speed to this concept."