In the latter part of this series of blog posts on unusual ways to use the barcode, we were presenting a company that uses barcode technology to track children. Unexpected to say the least, but not a bad idea. This time we bring you back to the food industry. Restaurant owners might be appealed by this one.

Coding Culinary Success

Continuing with the trend to bring barcodes into the kitchen, the Hobart company, manufacturers of cooking and refrigeration equipment used predominantly in commercial settings, has debuted a line of ovens that offer three methods of heating food – convection, steam, or a combination of both methods. They then took the idea a giant step further by incorporating barcode technology.

The idea behind the Hobart’s “Combi Ovens & Barcode Scanners” is to help provide cooks consistent results every time they prepare a meal. Most of us have had the experience of leaving something in the oven too long, or taking a roasting pan or sheet of cookies out of the oven when the timer goes off only to find it’s undercooked. With barcode technology, this problem can be eliminated. Instead of relying on a person to read a recipe and, for example, correctly set their oven for 350° for 40 minutes, they can simply scan a barcode provided with the recipe so that the oven is automatically set to operate properly through the cooking cycle.

Designed for restaurants and other commercial food service use, the new Hobart Combi Ovens and Barcode Scanners offer the key feature of being programmable… they can generate barcodes as well as read them. This allows a chef to generate and print barcodes for key recipes of his or her own creation. Obviously, this can be very useful in food service operations where a chef can’t always be there to ensure kitchen staff are following instructions exactly, every time. A restaurant’s reputation, and business success, can hinge on the consistency of its food, so we feel this is a particularly creative use of barcode technology.

What do you think of the grill meeting the barcode? Is it just a nice-to-have or do you think it is revolutionary? Tell us about it!

Stay tuned! More blog post on unusual barcode uses to come.