Posted by Patrick Maness
Back in the 1950s, America was fascinated by the home of the future. Publications like Look and Life magazines would regularly profile the yet-to-be designed and built kitchens of the 1990s and 2000s. Fully automated kitchens had push-button controls and appliances that made cooking and baking so easy you could set it, forget it and go off and enjoy yourself. Some of these kitchens even had equipment that could cook a meal in a matter of minutes.
Most of these designs look like they’re from the set of the old "Star Trek" show. But for all the gadgets, gimmicks and seemingly impossible features of the future, by today's standards the wonders of tomorrow are rather outdated.
Well into the second decade of the 21st century, people no longer spend much time wondering what the future household or kitchen will be like. It's not because we aren't as imaginative as we were in the past, it’s because the future is all around us. It’s happening today, tomorrow and the next day.
Innovation is moving that fast.
Today’s futuristic kitchens
Over the past decade, incremental change has steadily reshaped our homes and kitchens to the point where most of us take for granted the amazing appliances and technology we use every day.
And if you’ve walked through any kitchen supply store recently, you’ve probably noticed there’s no slowdown in innovation. Driven by a combination of consumer demand and dynamic companies, new technologies continue to make products possible that nobody knew they needed and then can't imagine living without.
And just like the home kitchen has been transformed by new innovations in automation, digital sensors and countless game-changing appliances, a similar sea change has happened in commercial kitchens as well.
In this blog series, we’ll look at what the future might have in store for commercial kitchens. We aren’t going to look as far into the future as they did in the 1950s, rather, we’ll focus on the next five to 10 years. This might not seem like a long enough period for things to change, but one look at the topics for these blogs, and you’ll see that things are about to change more quickly than you imagine.
Automated dishwashing stations
Automated, conveyor belt dishwashers are already in use in many facilities. We’ll look at some of the ways advances in dishwashing technology are saving time and labor costs. In addition, we’ll consider some of the innovative ways companies have engineered dishwashers to make them far more water and energy efficient.
Ovens of the future
Heating meals and ingredients is one of the most fundamental processes in any kitchen and this technology is evolving in amazing ways. We’ll look at a combitherm oven that combines a convection oven, kettle, steamer, fryer, smoker and dehydrator in one. We'll also consider ways digital technology is being integrated with modern ovens so chefs only need to scan food in order to cook it to perfection.
3D printed food
Although this might initially sound like a sort of frankenfood apparatus, think of it as farm-to-table 2.0. Food printing could allow restaurants and others in the food industry to “print” food with customized nutritional content and flavor to the customer’s exact specifications. This could truly be a game changer.
IoT and your kitchen
The Internet of Things (IoT) is taking over commercial kitchens around the country by adding sensors to appliances that can save time and increase efficiency. A lot of what the IoT can do for your kitchen is simply astonishing.
Reading these blogs will give you a good sense of the direction many commercial kitchens are headed as well as insight into how you can renovate your kitchen to make it a more efficient, cost-effective operation.