It’s easy for consumers, and members of the foodservice industry for that matter, to be awestruck by equipment with the greatest sex appeal. Wood-fired grills add drama to an open kitchen while pizza ovens often lend an aura of authenticity.

For those pieces of equipment to shine, however, commercial kitchens also require a strong battery of supporting players. For example, ranges remain workhorses for operators spanning all segments (page 20). That’s due to ranges’ versatility. Operators can use range tops for cooking, stir frying, grilling, sautéing, searing and boiling. Fryers (page 16) represent another key component of many commercial kitchens. Operators can prepare everything from chicken and fries in these units to doughnuts. And consumers will need a beverage to wash down all these menu items. That’s where beverage systems (page 45), in their many forms, come into play.

Behind the scenes, ventilation systems (page 34) help control grease and odors while making facilities more comfortable for the staff and guests alike. For their part, walk-in refrigerators and freezers (page 24) give operators the opportunity to hold larger quantities of menu items or ingredients at food-safe temperatures.

And there will always be a place for tried-and-true foodservice technologies like warewashers (page 40), which help operators maintain
sanitary environments.

While celebrating new technologies and wondering about the impact automation will have on the industry represents a natural line of thought, today’s foodservice professionals also need to keep their knowledge base current about some of these essential pieces of equipment.

Not coincidentally, we cover all these equipment categories in this issue of The Quarterly. Each section provides a foundational overview of the products covered. Indeed, developing and maintaining your product knowledge base does not happen by accident. Hopefully this supplement helps keep your product knowledge current so you can make informed specifications or decisions when the need arises.