iKitchen by Rational: The system solution for business and industry catering

Shortage of skilled staff, cost pressure and digitalisation, these are the challenges operators within business and industry catering have to face. Added to this are the increased demands of their guests with regard to quality, dietary and special food requirements such as vegetarian, vegan, gluten or lactose-free as well as a varied range of products. In addition to good ideas and clever concepts, the kitchens needs a partner who knows the challenges, supports them technically and enables them to produce large quantities. ceda Platinum Partner, Rational, has created such support with iKitchen.

“Under the name iKitchen, we have combined the iCombi Pro, iVario Pro and ConnectedCooking to form a system solution,” says Simon Lohse, Managing Director, RATIONAL UK, explaining the features. The aim is to make work easier, especially in large kitchens with a volume of 500 meals per day or more, to streamline processes and save space, money, energy and raw materials. If you take a kitchen originally equipped with a boiler, deep fat fryer, pressure cooker, hot-air oven and cooker, you can replace all the appliances except the cooker with an iCombi Pro and iVario Pro while achieving space savings of up to 40%. At the same time, the cooking systems together cover 95% of all conventional cooking applications. For some applications such as cooking pasta or
preparing food using the sous-vide method, they can even take over tasks from each other, thus considerably increasing the flexibility of a commercial kitchen. As a rule, cooking is also healthier. As Lohse says: “With the iCombi Pro, for example, you can deep-fry without fat. This means that the fries are crispy but have considerably less fat. In addition, steaming in the iCombi Pro
preserves the vitamins and nutrients.”

The fact that both cooking systems are made for cooperation is also shown by the identically designed user interfaces, which guide the user through the menus according to the same principle. Both also have intelligent functions that make handling even easier and thus significantly reduce the error rate. Even semi-skilled workers have easy access to various cooking applications. The
fact that iKitchen makes optimum use of all resources is demonstrated, for example, by overnight cooking. The iCombi Pro and iVario Pro both feature this application which will save a great deal of production time and take a lot of pressure off the kitchen operations.

The third component, ConnectedCooking, also serves to increase productivity, as the cloud-based networking solution can be used to centrally manage and transfer cooking programs, HACCP data can be saved and retrieved by both cooking systems, and they can even be controlled remotely. ConnectedCooking reduces the error rate and ensures a constant standard in food production. Only the loading and unloading has to be done manually. Lohse concludes, “With iKitchen, business and industry kitchens can work even more successfully than before and respond flexibly to their challenges.”