As technology progresses do we really have less to do and more time on our hands, or in fact because we all seem to live our lives at 100 miles per hour?
Does the invention of labour saving devices actually save time or simply provide more time to cram another million and one things into our already hectic lifestyles?
I suppose that depends on which way you view it? In the catering and bar industry the addition of time and labour saving devices is an absolute godsend, providing staff with extra time to see properly to their customer needs and less time with their hands in the sink.
A perfect example of this would be the addition of glass washers to most pubs and clubs, gone are the days of washing up by hand, making sure you've scrubbed away lipstick marks or greasy fingerprints, gone are the hours spent during the course of a night trying to keep up with the demand for fresh glasses as the punters thirst grows and gone are the days of soggy tea towels, trying to wipe up but making more of a smeary mess than a sparkle.
Nowadays as the empties roll in, it is simply a case of filling the basket and setting the cycle to wash. However there is a thought process which needs to be applied when selecting the right glass washer for your business size and demands, this is determined by basket size, the more glasses which need washing per cycle, per hour, per night the bigger the basket you will require.
Basket sizes are based on the amount of pint glasses which can be held and this normally ranges from 12 to 30, of course you don't always use pint glasses so the amount of glasses which can actually be crammed into each cycle may vary.
If you have a demanding business such as a night club, where every night you will be washing a substantial quantity of glasses to cope with the needs of thirsty clubbers you will definitely require the largest version. Whereas a quiet country pub may only need one of the smaller versions of glass washers to adequately cater for a lunchtime rush.
Aside the glass washer there is the ice maker, some ice makers can churn out a massive 12kg of ice in any 24 hour period, easily accommodating the onslaught of customers requiring something long and chilled at the end of a busy working day. The ice maker saves huge amounts of time simply by making cubes to demand instead of having to fill up cube trays and wait for the freezer to work its magic.
Bar Equipment has been subject to many changes in time saving and revenue earning gadgets, the more gadgets you have the easier the job becomes. It is the same for instance within the kitchens of large catering establishments where dishwashers have replaced the need for excess staff to roll up their sleeves and get scrubbing, (the dishwasher being the inspiration for the glass washer).
These devices are less susceptible to human error, minimising breakages, which means minimising the cost of paying for breakages and lower the cost of staff.
However looking at these labour saving devices from a different angle for example a domestic angle, does having multiple time saving gadgets simply increase our spare time for more chores? We all have hoovers, dishwashers, washing machines and tumble driers, each saves us numerous hours opposed to old fashioned methods and yet I personally as a mum still complain about having so much to do and so little time to do it in. Are we ever going to be happy?
Whichever way you look at it, where would we be these days without the invention of such devices? It does say a lot about how we live our busy lives today and how we depend on these inventions in order to lighten the load, and if you bring in the fact that in a business setting they also save money and allow you to meet more customer needs, it can only make for a win, win situation for all.
Anna Stenning investigates how labour saving gadgets such as glass washers increase customer satisfaction as well as staff efficiency.