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Evergreen Country Club Chef Randy Brown is finding that the Ovention oven helps him meet the challenge of producing high-volume food quickly. With its unique cooking capabilities, he can satisfy his customers’ desire for top-quality cuisine.

America's lodging landscape has undergone a revolution. Big chains are diversifying with different brands or concepts to capture a wider demographic, and with this, amenities like foodservice have garnered more of the spotlight in today's hotels.

When it comes down to ordering parts for foodservice equipment, there is no disputing the benefit of manufacturer-trained customer service staff. This minimizes downtime, saving money in the long run and time and aggravation in doing the job right.

If there were such a thing as a "C-store Foodservice Endangered Species" list, you might see the roller dog and the slushie right up there at the top. It wasn't so long ago that those two items pretty much defined the state of foodservice in convenience stores. But recently, there has been a radical shift. Many c-stores now provide more than just a gasoline fill-up; they've now become a destination for fresh, creative food and drink.

In the foodservice industry, beverages have become big business. From signature offerings, upscale java, healthful juices and smoothies, and creative alcoholic concoctions created by renowned mixologists, drinks are now a draw for many establishments.

KitchenAid mixers have been a favorite with home cooks and professional chefs for many years. In fact, 2019 will mark 100 years in business for the venerable brand.

Nothing makes a good first impression at a foodservice operation like sparkling clean glassware, dishware and silverware. But that doesn't happen by magic. It takes good procedures and the right equipment to have a "best-in-class" dishroom that works for both customers and staff. 

Brian Bambauer, marketing specialist for Hobart, points to two trends to watch in the baked goods category in 2018. One is the continuing popularity of artisan breads, which are now found everywhere from fine dining establishments all the way down to the neighborhood sandwich shop. The other trend he sees on the horizon is Neapolitan pizzas. “The Neapolitan pizza craze is hitting home in a whole lot of places, with little pizza shops and breweries popping up,” he says.

To know what's going on in the restaurant industry, you need to ask operators.  And that's exactly what Foodservice Equipment & Supplies did for its 2018 Operator Forecast. Overall, restaurant operators thought 2017 was a pretty good year for business. When asked to explain why, 46 percent of survey respondents who felt that 2017 was a better year than they expected said it was because they added new items to their menu. Almost as many (43%) say their year was better because of increased on-premise traffic.

No matter what the latest food trend may be, there’s always going to be a market for traditional, delicious comfort food and the Tom + Chee chain has capitalized on that. With almost 30 locations in 14 states, the chain serves up a selection of grilled cheese and other types of sandwiches, soups (including tomato, of course) and for something sweet, grilled cheese donuts.

Vector Multi-Cook Ovens from Alto-Shaam provide operators with unrivaled benefits for their business, including improved food quality, increased production, reduced labor cost, and the revolutionary ability to cook different foods in the same oven at the same time.

Q&A with Ross Buel, Vice President of Sales and Business Development

What is AQ Analytics and why was it created?

Ross Buel: It was created as a built-in sales reporting feature to meet one of our objectives — to provide products that will continue to improve efficiencies in the sales process for the FES industry. It’s a sales tool that provides visual reporting through charts, tables and data in real time. It allows industry decision-makers to make informed decisions based on the quoting activity done by reps, the dealer salesforce, or by manufacturers’ in-house salespeople.

In order to get the most out of your equipment, it’s important to be knowledgeable about all the parts available to you. Learn how OEM parts can save you, the operator, money, time and labor.

David Magill, principal of Magill & Associates in San Francisco, has been a school foodservice consultant for more than 30 years. We asked him for a brief overview on the state of K-12 foodservice.

Talk about how foodservice equipment needs to accommodate the smaller footprints in today’s commercial kitchens.

Faith Osborn: There is a lot of change in menus now and the way things are going in the restaurant industry. Basically, operators are looking for additional refrigeration and freezer storage options. Many restaurant kitchens have small footprints that can’t accommodate full-size equipment, especially in big cities. The industry needs to be aware that units are available that can adapt to these changes.

Running a restaurant is a tough business. It’s even tougher when you have a small kitchen space to work with. But that’s the challenge that’s faced every day by Peter Shuey, Managing Partner of the Hoppy Gnome in Ft. Wayne, Ind.

There are many things restaurant operators have some control over, such as the menu and staffing. But there are also things they have no control over, like the weather. Few operators know that as well as Patrick King.

As Assistant Professor in the School of Culinary Arts at Chicago’s Kendall College, Chef Wook Kang is in a unique position. As a chef of 16 years, he has extensive experience with equipment. But as an instructor, he gets to see how tomorrow’s chefs interact with equipment.

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