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Smart kitchens will lead the way : Vikram Goel, Managing Director, RATIONAL India

Thursday, February 11, 2021, 16:30 Hrs  [IST]
HBI Staff | Hyderabad

By Vikram Goel, Managing Director, RATIONAL India 

As we tread into the new year, the food and beverage industry is chugging ahead with quite a few new normals. The most prominent among them being the rising trend of online food ordering and simultaneous dip in sit-in dining. According to a recent report, restaurant check-ins have gone down abysmally low even after reopening post lockdown. As is seen after any big rejig, new and unprecedented changes gain ground paving the way for new beginnings. The whole pandemic episode too has changed the ethos of the F&B industry. With people still wary of visiting restaurants and plethora of safety restrictions in place, takeaway food and home deliveries have become the new normal. As the trend shows, the concept of cloud kitchens serving only home delivery orders is here to stay for a long long time. Sad but also true, the joy of going out for a family dinner with children and elders in tow will take some time to come back.

Industry in for major changes

According to a RedSeer Management Consulting report, the cloud kitchen industry is poised to become a $2 billion industry in India by 2024. With such robust growth projections, cloud kitchens need to structure themselves well and look at their operations with greater maturity. It is encouraging to see many already restructuring to fill in the huge possibilities in this space. This is also the time for cloud kitchens to upgrade and automate themselves to meet the rising demand and also match all food safety guidelines. Till recently, state-of-the-art kitchen equipment was a luxury of few big hotel chains. However, this has changed in recent times. Smaller commercial kitchens and many cloud kitchens have adapted to smart appliances which make running the business more plausible. A smart investment that has helped them stand in good stead. These smart cooking systems are automated hence takes care of all food safety guidelines. Concerns such as adhering to food safety norms, maintaining social distancing in the kitchen are taken good care of. Efficiently programmed, quick to learn, easy to maintain and running on Artificial Intelligence, these modern-age smart appliances fit the bill in these fast-changing scenarios. 

Improvisation & innovation is the way ahead

Technology is ever changing and smart kitchen manufacturers too are always looking at ways to meet the new challenges. In today’s time when the challenge is to serve a multi-cuisine menu with equal efficiency and minimum turnaround time, smart appliances are the only answer. The cloud kitchen is serving multiple brands at the same time. So, the kitchen might be cooking for a South Indian brand and at the same time also preparing an Italian pasta menu and serving a Mughlai brand too. As they say nothing is impossible with technology, this has become a refreshing reality with smart and intelligent cooking systems. RATIONAL, a market leader in the field of hot food preparation for professional kitchens has always tried to move with changing times and bring in the latest innovation. With every new challenge there is a smarter and intelligent innovation; and this time too, the brand has some super tech solution up its sleeves. With innovation and upgradation at product level, rejig in operation models and a smooth delivery chain in place, the home delivery gourmet experience is only going to get better. Players in the field should be abreast with the latest in technology and perhaps to forge ahead upgradation is a smart investment that they should be ready to do.  

Experiences & beyond

Food is forever. Whatever the challenges, people will slowly but gradually return to experiencing their favourite food. If they can’t go to their favourite restaurants they will order in the food of their choice. It is good to see big hotel chains accepting this need of the hour and we have 5 Star hotel restaurants doing home deliveries, a never thought before concept. The consumer is getting the same gourmet experience sitting at the safety of his home. And most importantly this will give the industry the much-needed push to set the ball rolling. This is also making F&B more dynamic, both in terms of business and also in terms of giving gourmet experiences in changed settings. Agility to adapt to change will surely go a long way, perhaps each stakeholder and consumer is being part of the whole new food ecosystem.

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