According to a study published in FoodService Director, food service software has enabled many kitchens to perform more efficiently. The magazine pointed out that while there were learning curves to overcome, the benefits outweighed training difficulties.
Understand the benefits
For hospital kitchens, nutrition software can be an essential tool when cooking for patients who have dietary restrictions. Patti Klos, the director of dining and business services at Tufts University, pointed out the benefits of food service software when working with limited ingredients.
“We’re a foodservice provider; we’re still going to prepare a piece of chicken in a conventional manner, but communication about that piece of chicken, the ordering process, and the nutrient information and allergen information is easy for various members of the organization to access [through technology],” Klos stated in the FSD article.
Additionally, some software allows food service directors to monitor allergens, track trays and keep inventory. These can be essential tools for directors who deal with an enormous amount of information on a daily basis. Allowing kitchen staff members access to this critical data helps take some responsibility from directors, who previously may have been the only resource.
Know the curve
The magazine recognized that it may be difficult for certain staff members to grasp and use the technology. The study showed that 60 percent of individuals over the age of 60 who were interviewed reported that keeping up with emerging technology was hard. Food service directors considering taking advantage of the many benefits of food service software have to be prepared for potential problems that older employees may face when asked to use the new technology.
Klos employed a buddy system, which paired tech-savvy workers with those who were less comfortable with the technology. This could be a great method for food service directors to use, since the buddy system will allow them from having to be the sole instructor and will likely increase teamwork mentality within the kitchen.
The survey also revealed that 85 percent of participants stated that technology had a positive impact on their department, and that 81 percent reported that technology had made their jobs easier. As such, food service directors who have yet to use food service software may want to look into investing in this great technology. These programs can ease the lives of directors, cooks and other kitchen staff, allowing the department to produce meals efficiently and increase patient satisfaction.