In this post, we are going to have a brief look at how virtual assistants may be a helpful innovation in the kitchen.
Is voice control the future?
To the consumer, the smart home has been something of a novelty for a while. Early adopters were quick to snatch up virtual assistants to see what they can do. In doing so, many have realised that they have had to purchase all of the other appliances that the device supports (horizontal marketing) to use it to the best of its ability and create a smart home. The businesses that support the virtual assistants (horizontal marketers) have taken it as an opportunity to gain business (taxi companies, takeaway restaurants, utility companies and so on). We have now reached a point that you can order a taxi to your house, order your favourite Chinese takeaway and change the lighting, all through a voice command from the comfort of your sofa.
Whilst it has been a novelty and heavily focused on consumer products, it is starting to move into the early majority stage of the customer lifecycle, and people are becoming more familiar with it. Traditionally and stereotypically, Chefs are not the most tech-savvy people as their career has revolved around creating the product that is on your plate. However, as it becomes normal to know an Alexa, Bixby, Siri or Cortana, does this mean that kitchen staff are generally becoming more prepared to adopt the smart kitchen concept?
Automated stock management in the kitchen
What about the implications for a commercial smart kitchen? A strange concept but one that could happen in the coming years. All orders go through a virtual assistant, voice activated or by keypad. The chef no longer has to remember for later or stop what they are doing to write down their shopping list. Instead, they can shout to create an instant product order. A powerful add-on tool to the smart kitchen would be an automated stock management system, so the chef doesn’t need to constantly monitor inventory levels. They could maintain a to-do list, have timers and play Kiss FM whilst they are preparing for service. Suddenly, the chef will have information so readily available that they could potentially adapt to start analysing their purchasing behaviour. It would allow more time to innovate with dishes and focus on the end product on the plate.
Of course, like all change, there would be some teething issues, and there are many factors to consider. Firstly, is the kitchen too loud to accommodate a virtual assistant? Secondly, can the assistant handle the kitchen without getting confused? Thirdly, are the suppliers willing to take on a shortened lead-time to accommodate this? If so, it will do wonders for inventory management. The first step to a technologically harmonious kitchen starts somewhere; so if you are interested in technology that is going to save you time and money, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
At Zupa, we are innovation advocates. We like to think outside of the box and consider all of the potential changes you may want to adopt.