About the Client

The UpNorth Group consists of several market leading companies covering a diverse range of Industry Sectors. The Group companies provide pioneering solutions to both national and international markets. Industry sectors covered range from Data Centres, M&E Building Services to Foodservice Equipment & Engineering Solutions.

Client Needs

UpNorth Group required a large-scale comprehensive solution to monitor and control dark kitchens on a national scale. The application was required to be built for mobile, tablet and web views that kitchen operators could use. The tablet view would be stationed at each dark kitchen unit.

Each kitchen would monitor 50 data points including: 

  • Temperature Values
  • Electricity Usage
  • Water Usage
  • Equipment Faults
  • Ventilation Status
  • Air Quality
  • Gas Valves

Mobile and Web application

Before any development started, OpenKit and UpNorth Group discussed the requirements for Kioti in full detail. We discussed the different technology stacks that could be used, the advantages of each and how these technologies would scale with their needs.

The user interface and experience requirements for Kioti were described as a sleek dashboard, with a dark theme to ensure better battery performance. With our design expertise, several UI variations were created and iterated on until UpNorth was satisfied.

The final application was built using Flutter, AWS, Google Firebase, Serverless Architecture, MQTT and EasyIO. The following features were built:

  • Authentication for kitchen operators
    • Different levels of access including manager and employee
  • Real time monitoring and control of data points
  • Setting temperature limits on sensors 
  • Produce alerts when 
    • Equipment and System faults occur 
    • Temperature values fall outside of thresholds for a set period of time
  • Allow alerts to be dismissed by the operator
  • Produce weekly and monthly usage PDF reports including faults and their dismissals

Project review


Throughtout development, two test kitchens were set up which included all of the required data points for thorough testing and feedback. An initial prototype of Kioti was provided with the required functionality early on during development. The system was stress tested by both parties and, based on the results, design alterations were made to the application. Our agile methodology allowed for making such modifications without hindering on development timeline.

Product launch and ongoing support

After a series of prototypes and iterations were developed. The system was determined to be both highly performant and scalable and ready for industry use. OpenKit are currently providing post launch maintenance and support for any issues that may arise.


Highly Scalable by Design

Kioti needed to be scalable for hundreds of Dark Kitchens across the UK, and each of these kitchens would have thousands of data points being monitored every hour. OpenKit built the Kioti backend system from the ground up to take advantage of modern serverless technologies, ensuring the long term maintenance cost of the system was minimal. 

Highly Reliant and Fault Tolerant

The safety critical nature of Kioti meant that the system needed to be always available. Built with fault tolerance in mind, systems have automatic backups in place and will alert the Kioti admin of system anomalies.

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