These are difficult times for care homes. Demand for places has never been higher, but so is the pressure on costs as both private individuals and local authorities strive to meet shrinking budgets. In spite of this, many care home kitchens continue to deliver excellent and nutritious food and still maintain precise cost control.
How’s it done? Mostly by good management and the skill of the kitchen staff. But, increasingly, sophisticated cooking systems like the Rational SelfCooking Centers® are making a big contribution to cost saving and food quality.
Quality and consistency
While a care home kitchen may not have the same glamour as the galley in a Michelin star restaurant, Rational ovens are used widely in both for exactly the same reasons; food quality and consistency. The oven’s unique control systems enable food to be cooked 15% faster than in conventional combi-ovens – resulting in less shrinkage and better retention of vitamins and flavour.
Once programmed, a Rational oven can cook multiple portions of a whole meal in one session with less waste too as every single portion will be cooked consistently and precisely, just as the chef specified.
While consistency and quality are vitally important to maintaining cost control, especially on a tight budget, so too are the running costs. And this is another area where Rational ovens score highly.
A Rational SelfCooking Center® will use 60% less energy than a traditional oven and significantly less than conventional combi-ovens making a big contribution to overall savings. And there are savings on staff time because the cooking process in a Rational oven is automatic, there is no need for any manual intervention like basting or turning. SelfCooking Centers® can even be programmed and monitored remotely and will produce full HACCP reports – especially important for care home catering.
The recent introduction of CareControl® in Rational’s ovens has had a major impact on running costs by making daily cleaning as simple as pressing a button. The oven itself “decides” how much cleaning is needed by monitoring the level of soiling, and then requests just the right amount of detergent and descaler tablets to be added to restore the inside of the oven to showroom condition. All the staff have to do is press a button and the oven cleans itself overnight.
Precise cost control is essential in care home catering and Rational ovens are stepping up to the mark.