- Published: January 16, 2018
- Written by Amelia Levin, Contributing Editor
Spotlights the challenges and opportunities that impact the application of foodservice equipment and supplies in the real world including green and energy efficiency concerns, foodservice equipment concerns, the impact of technology on foodservice, and the state of the foodservice economy.
An efficient, well-designed storage area prevents back-of-the-house chaos.
High-tech equipment heightens the need for training.
Regulatory drivers, top chefs, consumers and even the Pope, help push topic of food waste to the forefront.
Over the course of two years, FE&S has continually followed the Kitchen of the Future project led by the PG&E Food Service Technology Center (FSTC) in San Ramon, Calif., along with utility partners Southern California Edison and SoCalGas. The project started off by first identifying a diverse group of operators, from smaller, independent restaurants to larger-scale catering, healthcare and other institutions with outdated kitchens that could benefit from an investment in energy- and water-saving equipment.
Learning to live with the uncertainties of Mother Nature represents one substantial and inescapable trial for operators when they join the farm-to-table movement. Finding creative ways to manage any increased food costs associated with these fresh, locally sourced products represents the other key challenge. Food costs can spike not only from higher prices but also from unsatisfactory yield and unnecessary waste.
Roughly four or five years ago, BIM (building information modeling) took the foodservice industry by storm. This product was supposed to revolutionize the way the foodservice industry designed operations. And for good reason. BIM's benefits are many — chief among them is the ability to provide operators with a three-dimensional preview of their kitchens before they are built, clash detection that helps coordinate utilities and structural elements, and the ability for entire project teams to work together in real time.
While equipment may be the backbone of any commercial kitchen, if it’s not ergonomically and thoughtfully placed, it won’t perform to its full potential. The same might be said of staff. Wasted movements and wasted steps cost operators time and money. But effectively designed workstations optimize equipment and labor to create a best-of-both-worlds situation that keeps kitchen workflow moving smoothly.
Pre-consumer composting — the method of composting waste in the kitchen before it reaches the consumer — can be a great first step toward improved waste management. However, post-consumer composting — waste management after consumption — represents the next step toward reducing even more contributions to landfills.