We tend to think of fully automated buildings as science fiction. People can't really live in houses that brew coffee, walk the dog, and warm up the shower for you, right? Actually, in the last 5 years, that's become a lot more possible than most would believe. The smart home and IoT trend, combined with advanced wireless internet technology, has opened up an entire realm of real-world automation. And you can do it for your business as well.
Using technology that is available today, what would a fully automated restaurant look like? Not automated for the customers, though that would be great, but automated for the convenience and enjoyment of the actual staff.
Let's take a look at what the morning routine in a smart-upgraded and fully programmed facility.
4 AM - The Restaurant Wakes Up
A few hours before the restaurant is scheduled to open, the smart system wakes up. It knows what day it is, what's on the menu, and has a list of tasks to take care of long before the first staff member arrives.
It turns on the lights in the kitchen. It double-checks the temperature of the coolers using wifi thermometers. It switches the bread dough cooler to a warm vent so that the dough starts to rise.
The computer doesn't have arms to chop ingredients or lay out oven trays. But it can sort task lists, making them available at the small screens at each kitchen and server workstation. It creates ingredient prep lists referencing the recipes on today's menu. It also prepares notifications for any scheduled deliveries.
5 AM - The Machines Begin
As opening time approaches, the smart system does a series of checks and begins preparing for staff arrival. If there re linens in the dryer, the dryer begins to fluff them.
If there are still dirty dishes in the dishwashers, the smart system gets that started as well. You may even have an automated vacuum/mop (ex: Roomba) that your smart restaurant can release to start the day with a quick sweep of the floors.
The computer also checks the ambient temperature of the building. If it's too hot or too cold, it kicks on the AC or heater so rooms will be comfortable when staff arrives in an hour. If there are large ovens that heat slowly, these are started now as well.
5:50 AM - Preparing for Human Comforts
The first of the staff are about to arrive. The restaurant computer triggers the smart coffee makers to brew up a pot for the early morning shift.
Faster heating ovens are started for the first wave of prep cooking and breakfast customers. The guest WiFi network is booted, checked, and opened for use. The building prepares for staff to start arriving.
6 AM - Cutting-Edge Staff Support
As your first employees of the day begin to arrive, each one scans their badge or enters a code into the smart locks, and the building lets them in.
Lights come on for the first person, and their mobile device connects to the building WiFi to share information with the smart restaurant system. Hot coffee is waiting for the morning chit-chat as everyone stores their bags and finishes their early morning breakfast.
Employees clock in by scanning a card, a finger print, or even giving a voice command. Then each team member is given a list of ingredients to prep or tasks to check off that morning.
They can interact through mobile devices or the screens at each workstation. The warm linens get folded quickly, the dishwasher is unloaded, and everyone knows exactly what they need to grab from the coolers to get started.
Restaurant Automation is Within Your Reach
All these features are completely possible with a collection of modern technology that is already available. Smart coffee pots, door locks, to-do lists and task management apps are -- in fact -- very common in their separate parts.
Which gives your restaurant the freedom to pick and choose the exact smart upgrades that will improve your workflow the most. What can restaurant automation techniques do for you? Contact us to find out more.