The ever changing internet and chefs

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by nicko, Apr 27, 2001.

  1. nicko

    nicko Founder of Cheftalk.com Staff Member

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    It seems that in recent months the internet has moved out of the spotlight due to the many companies that have shown little profit. I feel that this is just a down swing cycle, and eventually business will figure out a more profitable solution to incorporating the internet into day to day business.

    What I am wondering is as the internet starts to mature what types of changes would you as a chef like to see? All of your purveyors online, reservations done online, finding cooks online, etc? All of these things are currently on the internet, but they are not everyday tools yet for many chefs. I am interested in getting some discussion going about what direction we would like to see the internet grow.

    One thing I could see happening is smart appliances becoming more mainstream in kitchens. What if your POS system and your appliances were linked? So your database system averages how many customers you do on a Saturday night and then checks how many porterhouse steaks you have left in your grill gooks reach in. It is Friday night, and he/she only has twelve steaks left and your system knows that you average about 27 steak sales on Saturday. After the security code is punched into to close down the restaurant your system shoots and order to your meet purveyor for the needed steaks.

    Pretty cool stuff and especially since a lot of the technology has been developed it just hasn't reached a practical implementation level.
     
  2. kokopuffs

    kokopuffs

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    Nicko, the next to last paragraph in your post refers to inventory management. Automated tracking, ordering, and cost analysis has been done for some time in the technical fields/industries.
     
  3. nicko

    nicko Founder of Cheftalk.com Staff Member

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    Yes but it all involves human interaction. What I am talking about is a smart appliance such as a reach in cooler which knows how many steaks it has and the system knows how much to order all by itself. You would not have to spend as much time ordering. What I am talking has not been implemented yet, only talked about and researched.
     
  4. kokopuffs

    kokopuffs

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    Not having worked in the restaurant field, I thank you for enlightening me.
     
  5. nicko

    nicko Founder of Cheftalk.com Staff Member

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    No problem, I was probably not very clear. I find it really interesting to consider this technology and how it will impact our industry.
     
  6. lynne

    lynne

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    I think the biggest problem with an automated re-order by a "smart appliance" is that there is still a reliance on user input. The system may know that 5 steaks were ordered in the last hour and we need to order 5 more, but did they account for the 7 the owner took home to feed his family and friends?

    I would like to see the world of food service professionals become even more friendly to the world of computers. Except for corporate food service entities, it is very difficult to begin a long distance career change or search. If you go check out monster.com, it has very few positions and resumes available for our industries v. a great many others.

    I love the capability of doing my Sysco order online, knowing immediately what's in stock and what's not (if the picker and packers get it on the right truck is a different story...). In DC I had both a produce and seafood company I could also order from online. Loved it -- and it worked as long as they kept their info up to date -- thus the vicious cycle begins! For it to be worth their time we have to use it, to be worth our time, it has to be correct and valid info...

    I love the way that a computer allows for a wide variety of opinions and an exchange of ideas, fresh taste buds so to speak.

    I've been working with a friend of mine to bring her up to the computer age, it's been interesting to see her eyes light up over the possibilities.

    Regarding your questions about reservations, etc: There are pluses and minuses. Yes, having your menu on a website is a good thing -- if it is kept current and up-to-date! (I think I've gone off on this subject elsewhere). If you are entering the realm of online reservations, you HAVE to make a major commitment again to keeping your web availability current and up-to-date. This means not only uploading your han-taken reservations to the system, but also downloading the ones available. There are programs out there that do take care of these. The alternative is to take e-mail requests and make you you respond promptly! Too many places do not follow through!

    I have 2 places that I work with that take online reservations. One, I select my time, etc., and get back an immediate response and "confirmation number. The other, I e-mail a request and I may get a response 2 or 3 days later! By then, I've called in and made the reservation! I prefer making reservations for my guest in a format where I have a piece of paper with all pertinant info on it than saying I thinkk you have a reservation, I did request it...