Kitchen 4.0: Completely Digitalized


One of the most modern kitchens in Europe is in Southern Germany: completely networked and digitalized. Its management can monitor each process step of the production, distribution, and serving food without delay. The prerequisite is a connection to high-speed internet.

By Dieter Mailander

In the beginning, there was a vision. A large industrial area in Southern Germany had turned into an industrial wasteland.  Several of the buildings, which were partly under heritage-protection, have deteriorated.  Max Maier, the owner of Rieber GmbH & Co. KG (manufacturer of mobile kitchen components and inventor of gastronorm containers), recognized its potential, purchased the area and had the buildings repaired step by step. He created a modern campus for new forms of work and lifestyle, which he rented to innovative companies, well-established firms and start-ups. Now creative people are developing future-orientated solutions, for example, for digitalization, inter-networking, or e-mobility on this campus.

Communicative Culinary Center

It was clear from the beginning, to make a communicative culinary center available to employees called Urban Harbor, publicly accessible, with different “landing points” for the guests – three front cooking stations (2 “wok” stations for pasta and Asian dishes, 1 station for Pizza from a wood-burning stove), free flow serving areas for six dishes, a patisserie and concession stand as well as taps for beverages. The bistro with its diverse snacks is opened from 8:30 to 17:00 hours.  The guests are able to enjoy warm main courses from 11:30 to 14:00 hours. 80% of the processed foodstuffs come from the region. Small pieces of dough, which are bought, are deep-frozen and pre-baked in part for snacks and sandwiches too. However, the pieces of bread dough rise on-site in the proofing oven, then are baked, covered or filled in line with demand.

The complete version of this article is available in the July-August print issue of Frozen Food Europe.