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A New Kind of Stove: Technology and Teamwork in Food Preparation

new stove design

For another group project, we were asked to observe teams using technology to help prepare food at a restaurant or café on campus.

For this project, we chose to observe the kitchen staff at Trillium, a food court at Kennedy Hall. We each visited the breakfast station of the dining hall during its morning hours on different days so that we could observe the staff working across multiple situations. This way, we could easily determine what issues they faced consistently as opposed to all of us just observing one particular morning. We chose to visit during the breakfast hours as Trillium is one of the few places on campus that opens early with hot breakfast food and as a result is frequently crowded in the morning. After making our observations individually, we then pooled them together and analyzed what problems were persistent for the kitchen staff and how they could be improved upon through the use of technology.

The main issue we found was that bottlenecks were formed during peak breakfast times because different foods were ordered by different customers and because cooking was delayed due to cleaning the stove. To increase efficiency and reduce bottlenecks, we designed a new kind and shape of stove with many cooking surfaces with individual settings, a long and thin shape (to increase open floor space) and an array of automatic cleaning mechanisms.

You can use this link to view the full report.

This is a concept for the design of the automatic cleaning brush system. The steel wool and brush picks up and loosens food bits while the back of the box scrapes the grill behind it.

cleaner mechanism