The Digital Kitchen - Food and Tech

June 17, 2023
David Sunnyside

Digital kitchens are a great way to complete traditional procedures quickly. This helps restaurants and food delivery companies take in more orders and earn more profits.

Technology makes a lot of things easier, from converting hard-copy recipes to digital formats to surfing the web for new dinner ideas. However, it’s not a substitute for the traditional cook.

Artificial Intelligence

AI is making headlines for its ability to help with food insecurity and distribution. It can help optimize distribution and reduce shipping costs by tracking inventory to predict consumer demand. It can also detect food safety risks and notify managers if a food item is contaminated or not up to standards.

AI can also improve sorting and grading operations in food processing businesses. It can start with a baseline “sort recipe” for what the product should look like, then detect deviations. It can also determine the source of an issue, such as a batch of spoiled apples.

At home, AI assistants like Amazon Alexa can recommend recipes based on the ingredients in your fridge, helping you minimize forgotten or wasted food. Meanwhile, robot chefs are in development to make cooking at home more efficient.

Robot Chefs

Many of the kitchen robots we see in movies and at fast food restaurants are engineered to do only one task, like cutting or flipping a burger. But a new robot chef, called Moley, is designed to help with multiple tasks in the restaurant kitchen.

It learns by watching cooking demonstration videos. It can identify ingredients, select the right heat settings on a stove top and add them to a pot, for example.

But it also keeps track of customer feedback, so if people say that a pizza is too salty or their pad thai was too spicy, Moley will take note and adjust its recipes accordingly. The scientists who developed the robot hope to improve its sensing capabilities so that it can detect a variety of extrinsic cues, including how a dish tastes and smells.

Delivery-Only Restaurants

A no-dine-in restaurant, also known as a virtual brand, is a growing trend in the food industry. It’s a delivery-based restaurant that prepares food in a commercial kitchen for a third-party food delivery service. This model allows restaurants to expand their reach and serve more customers while keeping operational costs low.

Ghost kitchens and virtual brands are popular during the coronavirus pandemic because they allowed restaurants to continue serving customers as usual even when government restrictions led to lockdowns. This type of restaurant is a smart way to tap into the demand for delivery services while maintaining a safe environment for staff and customers.

When starting a delivery-only restaurant, it’s important to focus on branding and building a clientele. This means putting time and effort into creating a unique experience for your customers. Maybe it’s a handwritten note or a fun collectible item — anything to set your restaurant apart.

Smart Appliances

In the kitchen, smart appliances can improve a cook's efficiency. From a voice-activated refrigerator to a Thermomix that can cut, mix, and grind in half the time of a human chef, these jack-of-all-trades devices are helping to streamline meal preparation.

Restaurants that don't embrace new technology risk losing customer loyalty and revenue, especially in an age where consumers demand consistency. With the help of digital kitchen appliances, restaurants can keep up with today's fast-paced pace while staying true to their brand.

Many of the smart appliances you can buy today connect to an app on your phone or tablet, allowing you to control them remotely. For example, you can start your oven preheating on the way home from work, or even make your coffee before you're up.


One of the main benefits of a digital kitchen is that it allows chefs to organize recipes, culling them into cookbooks or even organizing them by type of event—such as dinner parties. This can help them save time by eliminating the need to search multiple different websites or books.

The system can also help with calculations like figuring out cost per serving, something that’s especially useful for chefs who often cook for large groups. Mullikin, for example, uses it to tinker with recipes—such as his yakitori trio with bacon, yuzu kosho and miso-dijon sauces—to ensure the right balance of flavors.

OOMI Digital Kitchen plans to take the grub delivery industry by storm by launching a set of house brands featuring on-trend food and beverage items, smart partnerships, strict SOPs for operators and a robust menu for both delivery and in-restaurant dining.

David Sunnyside
Co-founder of Urban Splatter • Digital Marketer • Engineer • Meditator
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