Food Business Education: Automation in Production
A quick note about our Food Business Posts: We will try our best to impart our collective 60+ years in the food business to help new and growing businesses in many aspects including production, sales, distribution, etc.
One of the biggest aspects that sets Hana Kitchens apart from other commercial rental kitchens is our commitment to large scale equipment and automated equipment. We explain it to new producers like this. If your product is highly dependent upon processes done by hand, you will never make money once you scale up. We've been there. We've experienced this in the pastry business.
We believe very firmly that labor costs should be tightly controlled from the very beginning. Otherwise, once you receive those mid to large size purchase orders, there is a very good chance labor will eat all of your profits and then some. And even though you may consider yourself "free labor", you are not. If you want to grow, which everyone does, you have to consider your labor costs from the very beginning. And setting yourself up to produce in large scale and automated equipment does just that.
Most commercial kitchens will provide you with an oven, a range, and other basic equipment. This may be helpful when your orders are small and manageable, but this is not a recipe for long term success. For instance, our kitchens have double rotary rack ovens. This means you load up your double speed rack (in baker's speak, about 700 muffins), set the timer, and voila! No need to rotate trays every 15 minutes.
Another example is our dishwashers. We selected extra high automatic dishwashers in our kitchens so that sheet trays could fit in the automatic dishwashers. No more time wasted scrubbing sheet tray after sheet tray, which can be a full time job if you're using hundreds of sheet trays per day.
The last pieces of equipment at the Hana Kitchens that I would like to highlight are our depositors. These are expensive pieces of equipment that shared kitchens do not usually invest in. Our depositors alone are worth half a million dollars. However, their utilization is something to behold. We have depositors that deposit batters and liquids as well as doughs and cookies. They even fill cookies and other items like dumplings, pierogi, and empanadas. No more scooping cookies! Our Rheon can deposit in predetermined weights and shapes to the tune of 150 per minute. Take a look at some of our equipment in action below. Set yourself up for success - start with automation from the very start!