Digitalization has come to stay, especially in those historically traditional sectors such as the restaurant industry. The sanitary crisis has undeniably worsened the need of structural changes, in this article we will see how the RTE products, and their digitalization offer huge scale economics and reduce the need of qualified workforce in order to face the needs of the restaurant of the future.
Trends that will shape the restaurant industry
Before getting into the RTE products and how these can become a powerful tool in the restaurant industry, we must understand the trends that are already shaping the traditional business models. The following are trends we saw at the webinar ¨New business opportunities for the restaurant industry¨ organized by Loop new Business Models.
Regarding the sector, we saw that this is going through an increasing professionalization and concentration.
Moreover, the menu sophistication implies a rise in costs, leading to the search of efficient solutions.
On the other hand, we talked about the implication of the processes, where it is more and more difficult to find qualified people and the risk of depending on them. The search of processes that reduce food waste to a 0%. And the increasing regulatory pressure towards food safety.
Finally, we analyzed the trend in relation to the rise of equipment and devices in the kitchen that are not necessarily focused on the kitchen intelligence, which leads us to the search of solutions that enable the generation of quantifiable and measurable value.
At JANBY we believe that the combination of RTE products and our technology becomes a powerful tool to succeed in the new landscape.
What are RTE or Ready To Eat products?
RTE products are those foods that have been previously elaborated, cooked and vacuum sealed, ready to eat with just a final touch of retherming.
The RTE foods are based in the traditional cooking method, combined with processes such as pasteurization and sterilization to preserve flavor, nutrients, and organoleptic properties with no need of additives or preservatives.
What are the benefits of RTE products in he restaurant industry?
The main benefit is a consequence of the elaboration process and resides in the quality of the food and its simple retherming process, making these types of foods a very powerful tool in a sector that is more and more affected by the structural costs and raw material that are lost.
The RTE products enable the kitchen assembly process. This means that the products that the restaurant offers come from a central kitchen or from a RTE food producer ready to just retherm and serve. This process contributes to several benefits such as:
- The reduction of qualified workforce.
- A standardized offer.
- The reduction of cleaning times.
All of which is achieved preserving the quality and being able to use those resources to improve client service.
The kitchen assembly process is very interesting for those places that are affected by a high seasonality or where the rotation of the workforce is very big. This process significantly reduces the dependency of the chef at the service moment, but it doesn’t take it away. There is a big previous job that the Chef must carry out by investigating and analyzing the different food providers to see which one best meets the needs of his restaurant. Does this mean that all restaurants will have the same offer? Not really.
For instance, the machine manufacturers don’t make each single piece of the machines in-house. Is their engineers’ team who designs the specifications that are required for their final machine and outsource it to specialized companies. Does this mean all manufacturers produce the same machines? Not quite, as each manufacturer produces their machines according to their quality and pricing strategies. RTE products enable to adopt an industrial process in the kitchen with the resulting time and cost savings.
So, a Chef could even design its own recipes and outsource their production to a food manufacturer and receive the individual portions to work on demand with the lowest food waste possible.
What problems do RTE producers face?
RTE food producers are facing an ever-growing competition to offer the best possible product at the best price; however, they lack control on how their final client is retherming the product. This is a big problem as an incorrectly carried out retherming process could ruin the output of a whole elaboration, and consequently trigger the change of food provider.
How does JANBY help tackle this problem?
At JANBY we have developed the JANBY Track, a complete solution for the digitalization and automation of retherming that stores all the information related to a product in a QR label and auto-configures the Sous-vide equipment for the right retherming.
It also records the history of the elaboration of each portion and enables to discard batches with just a click. Automate the retherming process, as the operator only has tos can the label and the JANBY Track takes care of configuring the equipment and of keeping track of the different times.
All the information is registered in the JANBY Cloud, even the live events, which makes it possible to manage several kitchens remotely and simultaneously.