How is Catering Technology Creating Digital Kitchens?
Introducing a Digital Revolution for Chefs – Neil Bradley Interview
Neil Bradley’s ‘Food Safe System’ cuts through the legwork involved in activities like fridge temperature monitoring with the aim of giving chefs more time to concentrate on creating meals.
The Northern Ireland-based entrepreneur outlined his background as a “recovering chef and restaurant owner”.
“I spent the first 25 years of my career in kitchens and restaurants.
“I started out as a chef in Belfast and Newry then opened my own restaurants for a few years. That eventually led to the Food Safe System, our digital food safety compliance tool.
“It’s a hard hard business, it’s very physical and everything is very personal so I was l looking for solutions that would help me to run my business a bit better.
“I couldn’t find anything, so the Food Safety System was born.”
Neil explained how his app helps busy chefs with their day-to-day work.
“No chef is hired to do paperwork, it isn’t their strength.
“But legislation means there has to be lots of food safety checks and they have to be documented.
“We replace that paperwork with an easy-to-use app plus we automate parts of it using wireless temperature sensors and IoT stuff and Bluetooth probes. It’s managed through a Cloud server so it’s quicker and automatic for the chefs to use.
“It saves time for chefs so they can focus on what they’re good at. We want our chefs cooking food, not filling in paperwork.”
How has Cloud technology helped users to access their data?
“Everything is Cloud-based, so no matter where you log in from it’s always there. It’s always available and ready to go.
“The chefs have their interface, which is the app interface and is very intuitive to use, then it all goes up into a Cloud server so the managers, owners and food safety consultants can log in and see that everything is good or, conversely, identity an issue before it becomes a problem.
“It just makes everyone’s life a bit easier.”
He added that the Food Safe System can help catering professionals at a particularly difficult time for the industry, not least due to Brexit uncertainty.
“There are a lot of challenges within the restaurant industry, it’s traditionally a very low margin business. Getting staff is becoming a massive, massive issue and that’s before we even mention the ‘B’ word.
“The guys are under huge pressure so there needs to be a better solution.
“Digital is very much coming into the restaurant and has done for a few years, starting with the PoS systems, and they are increasingly becoming tablet-based too.
“But there was very little making it past the kitchen doors, and that’s what we’re focused on. How do we introduce usable and effective systems within kitchens?
“Food Safety System is our first product and we have lined up a few other things for the future.”
The need for the app is based on the legislative demands placed on restaurant owners.
“European legislation requires all food businesses to have a documented food safety policy.
“It means documenting the food journey: who and where you buy it from, how it gets to you, how it’s stored and cooked and who does it, then right through to the customer.
“Chefs spend hours doing this instead of what you think you’re paying them for. But it needs to be done, we have to have checks and it boils down to that little sticker on the door, that one to five ‘Scores on the Doors‘ sticker.”
The IoT technology has an additional benefit by way of immediate flagging of any food storage problems.
“We have sensors that will monitor the fridges 24/7 so that automates that whole part of it.
“If something goes off, someone has left it open or if it breaks down or turns off Food Safe System sends the guys a text message or email or whatever.
“So not only does it save time but prevents food loss as well.”
To discover more catering technology insights explore our full Neil Bradley interview.
Food Safe System – www.foodsafesystem.com