A (central production unit) CPU is also known as a central kitchen is a kitchen space used to produce some of ingredients or all of the meals served at individual sites of a restaurant chain or the different locations where catering companies operate. Some or all of the elements are prepared in advance at this central location and transported to the different location before being finished, or plated up and served to customers.
There are lots of reasons why a multi-site restaurant group or catering business may operate a central kitchen. One important advantage is that it ensures brand standards and quality are maintained across all sites and that customers will receive the same meal whichever location they choose to visit. Another advantage comes with the economies of scale with central food purchasing management systems and the cost reductions achieved when certain menu items are prepared centrally in bulk. Read more about how Easilys f&b can help you reduce food costs
The objective of running a central production unit is to gain efficiency in your operations and optimise costs. Central kitchen management software for chefs goes hand-in-hand with this as it optimises, automates and tracks many lines of operation, communications and data. So, it makes perfect sense to make your central kitchen as efficient as possible and reduce costs and manage food waste by using software to optimise your production processes.
This kind of software is highly beneficial to catering companies who cater for numerous external locations such as schools, hospitals, workplaces, large events and venues, clinics, etc. The specific needs of end consumers in these locations and public sector policy means that food served on their premises must often meet a strict set of criteria. It’s therefore vital to use technology to ensure these criteria are met.
In addition, more and more large restaurant chains with multiple sites are now adopting central kitchen systems to support their operations. Producing some or all of the ingredients centrally saves on labour costs, which on average account for around 30% of total costs in a restaurant business, but also helps ensure food standards and quality are kept high everywhere the brand operates. A central kitchen frees up site-based employees from the more mundane kitchen tasks and gives them more time to dedicate to serving customers. This has a positive effect on guest satisfaction and customer loyalty, as consistently high stands of food and service will lead to more repeat business and a positive online reputation.