Combi Ovens Versus Conventional Cooking: What Are The Benefits For Operators?


Saving on labor, food and overhead costs has always been a priority for restaurant operators, but in recent years—with tighter competition and other challenges—it’s never been more important. When considering ways to trim costs, one area operators may not immediately gravitate toward is upgrading equipment. Existing equipment, such as ovens and stoves, work alright for many businesses. But what if upgrading equipment could offer big benefits—cost savings in virtually every area of the business and much faster production times? Combi ovens can do just that—here’s how.

Labor costs

In restaurants, prep work and high-volume production not only takes time, but training. Ensuring staff knows what to do for every dish can be time-consuming, especially if every dish must be made to order or has components that take various amounts of time to prepare.

By switching to a combi oven, workers can use presets to ensure each component is cooked perfectly every time, never having to carefully watch different pots, pans, or roasters. Additionally, since the cooking process is automated, there’s far less training needed—staff only need to know which buttons to press, not how long to cook, when to flip, etc.

In the long term, saving time on training and preparation can save on labor costs—as well as boost employee morale. By using less labor to craft every dish, operators can schedule fewer people for every shift without sacrificing output or food quality. And because employees have a lighter workload with automated processes from the combi oven, they may be less stressed out, which can lead to higher retention rates.

Food costs

When using conventional cooking equipment, there’s a certain amount of food waste that’s brought on by human error. For instance, if a dish is over- or undercooked and needs to be remade, that’s money—and product—that the restaurant loses and can’t get back. By eliminating the margin of error using intelligent cooking equipment, restaurants stand to reduce waste and thus save on food costs. With combi ovens, such as the iCombi Pro from RATIONAL, workers can use pre-programmed cooking paths to prepare food with consistent results, ensuring a great outcome every time. Foods are cooked to perfection, and dishes rarely, if ever, need to be remade. Additionally, because of the way that combi ovens prepare food, operators can reduce their use of fats and oils by up to 95%, which amounts to big cost savings on raw ingredients.

Operational costs

According to a study from the Zurich University of Applied Sciences, combi ovens can save operators up to 70% on energy costs and 53% on water. Additionally, because of their compact size, combi ovens save more than 30% on kitchen space, allowing for operators to choose smaller establishments if needed. And because they don’t generate as much radiant heat as convection ovens, combi ovens also significantly contribute to a better work environment. Kitchens stay cooler, which means lowered HVAC costs for restaurants and a more comfortable staff—which can in turn be a boon to retention rates, further mitigating labor costs.

Combi ovens from RATIONAL are designed to help restaurants produce consistently delicious food with less labor and energy, and they can also help reduce food waste. For operators, it’s a win-win situation: Reliable equipment churning out delicious results every time, and cost savings across the board. To learn more about the iCombi Pro from RATIONAL, click here.

This post is sponsored by RATIONAL


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