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.
With more access to funding for franchises versus a larger, publicly-funded model, chains are looking to expand the franchise way.
Though many restaurants have returned to traditional brick and mortar locations, food trucks remain a driving force in the industry and an avenue of opportunity for kitchen design and equipment.
For the last few years, companies have centered efforts on reducing carbon footprints through sourcing locally, reducing energy use and cutting down on waste. Now, some food companies are taking the extra step to reduce water not just in equipment and usage changes, but also in the reduction of meat served.
Regulations surrounding new federal dietary laws and the nutritional lunches schools must now serve kids will impact foodservice kitchen design and equipment selection in the future. At the same time, many high schools are building separate commercial kitchens to satisfy a growing demand for culinary education.
Though California residents voted down Proposition 37, a proposal that would require food makers to list all the genetically engineered foods used in their products, the food industry has vowed to continue their fight against GMOs.
Consumers might not want healthy food, but they want the option on the menu, when possible. Fresher vegetables, good-for-you oils and wholesome, less processed ingredients, combined with more from-scratch cooking for that authentic taste, more nutritious eating has taken hold in all sectors, and especially in schools as a result of new regulations.
The time-old method of vacuum-sealing and water-bathing proteins and other foods for gentle, moisture-laden slow cooking has made a comeback as chefs and operators seek consistency and ease-of-use amidst labor shortages and turnover.
A strong beverage program with culinary-inspired cocktails, often using small batch spirits and seasonal produce, along with properly-tapped craft brews and a thoughtful selection of wines has become just as important as the food.
With food costs rising and profit margins slimming, restaurants — including quick-serve chains — now place greater emphasis on alcohol sales. As a result, restaurants' bar and/or lounge spaces are more central to the operation than ever before.
Flexibility in menu construction and equipment use has become the name of the game for today’s kitchens, and that will undoubtedly ring true for many years to come. But when designing kitchens that can withstand the tests of time, allowing for lean foot prints, sustainable foodservice practices and the needs of a changing consumer demographic will be equally important.