We need to talk about skills shortages in the kitchen

Clever design and advanced cooking systems can deliver a solution, says Rational

The shortage of skilled staff is challenging the hospitality industry. At the same time, consumer expectations are ever higher: now they’re allowed out again, they want something special from restaurants. How to meet the challenges?  Rational says rethinking kitchen design and using advanced cooking systems provides a solution.

“Kitchen equipment can create better working conditions and thus help with staff recruitment and retention,” says Ian Leadbetter, national corporate chef of Rational UK. “A kitchen equipped with modern cooking systems is attractive – whereas older appliances can be difficult to work with. At the same time, digital technology and automation are popular with trainee chefs coming up through the ranks. Then there’s the fact that modern cooking systems, such as the Rational iVario Pro, can take over many cooking processes, freeing up staff for other jobs, allowing them to time for other tasks, for example costings and menu planning.”

Increased productivity

As cooking systems like the iVario Pro take over the time-consuming monitoring of the cooking process, all staff have to do is turn, pour or remove food from the pan when the cooking system signals. Plus, the iVario is up to four times faster, yet requires up to 40% less energy, compared to conventional kitchen appliances. This speed can really increase productivity, even with fewer chefs in the kitchen.

Features such as the AutoLift, which automatically lifts the food out of the oil or water once the cooking time has elapsed, also aid productivity. Pasta al dente, crispy chips – all without monitoring. Leadbetter says, “The results are top class, every time, thanks to the programming of the cooking paths. It couldn’t be more reliable or simple.”

Cleaning the cooking system can be carried out in under five minutes, allowing for a quick turnaround of cooking processes.

Rational’s ConnectedCooking platform aids productivity, too. Once users are connected to their iVario, via a smartphone, tablet or PC, cooking programs and recipes can be transferred, while ConnectedCooking automatically updates software and saves HACCP data.

For more information, visit or visit www.rational-online.com

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