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.
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.
Non-commercial foodservice projects can take a lot of forms. Here we explore the impetus behind the design of a pair of Chicago-based installations and how their uses shaped equipment selection.
Four years ago, the University of Texas (UT) at Austin embarked on a complete renovation project of its dining facilities and kitchens. The fourth and final phase, completed last year at Jester Second Floor Dining Room, helped seal the deal on the university's plans to create a more sustainable dining and meal preparation environment for students, faculty and staff.
With the real estate costs remaining a concern, many foodservice operators continue to explore smaller, more compact kitchen designs that leverage the energy-efficient nature of induction, rapid cook ovens and other ventless technologies.
"Fast Fine" bumps up the fast-casual dining sector one more notch with better quality food at slightly higher ticket items, more modern décor and trendier brand identities.