The name "Dark Kitchen" might sound, at first, not very reassuring, but behind this label actually hides an absolutely innovative cuisine concept, resulting in the new ways in which consumers use catering services in everyday life.
In a world where it is becoming increasingly more common to choose to order food to consume at home, instead of going out to a restaurant, there are now many professionals who are concentrating on devising new ways to offer their dishes to the public. Meeting the demands of customers and food preparation is made possible thanks to the potential guaranteed by big data and the use of technologically advanced kitchen equipment, which meets the requirements of Industry 4.0.
What are dark kitchens
A dark kitchen is different from a traditional restaurant kitchen for a very simple reason: inside there are no waiters ready to run and collect the dishes to be delivered to customers in the dining room, but only cooks and collaborators committed to making dishes that will be delivered via food delivery services, and which will therefore be consumed by customers directly at home or at the office.
A dark kitchen, in short, is such because it is “closed.” It is not in communication with the dining room, but is only used for the preparation of dishes that will then be consumed elsewhere. It is a kitchen whose activity is not functional to that of a dining room. This relatively new scenario in the Italian restaurant scene opens up to horizons that still haven’t been explored much today but which we can begin to imagine.
Dark Kitchens: the advantages for restaurateurs
When thinking of a kitchen organized in this way, the first point to take into consideration is that a dark kitchen can be managed collectively by welcoming the kitchen staff of different restaurants. The different teams, each committed to making the dishes on their menu, can operate simultaneously in the same environment, sharing the equipment as needed and thus limiting the downtime of the different tools, with a view to optimizing resources and reducing of expenses.
What is new with this concept, however, does not stop only there. A kitchen managed in this way allows, you to collect an enormous amount of data over time relating to customers who order take-away food. By analyzing this data as a whole, it is possible to have a clear idea of the most widespread consumption trends and the products and services that best meet the needs of users. This allows you to optimally organize your work. Just to give you an example, big data allows us to know not only which foods are most in vogue at a given moment, but also which dishes are ordered more frequently on holidays, or in the winter months, or even on rainy days compared to sunny days. Understanding and interpreting this data allows us to be ready to respond effectively to the public demand by offering even better service. At the same time, the analysis and processing of data also makes it possible to offer individual consumers personalized proposals, based on their consumption habits and personal preferences. In short, technology helps restaurateurs to retain their customers and to evolve their product and service offers, with an aim to increase the attention of their final consumers.
Furthermore, we must not forget that it is possible to manage a dark kitchen and a traditional catering business at the same time. This opportunity allows restaurants to put a dedicated team in a dark kitchen that is responsible exclusively for the preparation of take-away dishes. This takes advantage of lower costs and gives you the possibility of optimizing work, compared to what would happen if you chose to manage the preparation of eat-in and take away dishes all inside your own internal kitchen. This option also allows restaurants to make themselves more well know and also to retain customers who, after using the delivery service, may feel more motivated to book a table at the restaurant for a special occasion.
The equipment of a dark kitchen
Using a dark kitchen allows restaurateurs to take advantage of state-of-the-art equipment. The cost of new equipment is amortized because it reduces the number of people needed in the preparation and service of dishes and gives you the ability to share spaces and tools with colleagues from other restaurants.
In order to manage the economy of a dark kitchen better, it is essential to be able to count on kitchen equipment capable of supporting such an innovative way of working. It is necessary to be able to coordinate and manage the usage time of each tool in the best way possible in order to organize the activities that can be carried out in the absence of personnel. In every sense, you need to be able to optimize the activity of the kitchen so that you can maximize its efficiency. For this to be possible, it is essential that you can rely on interconnected tools capable of communicating with each other and managing the various needs in a thoughtful way. The Lainox product range, with its products designed for a 4.0 kitchen, responds precisely to this need.
To find out more about what Lainox offers and the advantages associated with the using equipment that meets the requirements of industry 4.0