Trends

Keeping the foodservice equipment marketplace up to date with the latest menu and concept trends.

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With an equipment-wide update to Energy Star qualifications coming down the pipe early next year, the Food Service Technology Center has been actively working on developing specifications for commercial water heaters, a new venture for the industry and for the FSTC.

Thanks to USDA mandates, there is a greater push among K-12 schools to provide fresher, better-for-you meal options. As a result, the equipment packages these foodservice operators now emphasize multi-use items and cold and hot-food holding.

In an effort to reduce the massive amount of energy used to heat water, The Cheesecake Factory enlisted the help of Sun Light & Power, a Berkeley, Calif.-based firm that designs and builds solar panels for companies, to install the light-catching units on its rooftop.

Although there are electric units, the majority of broilers are gas powered.

In an attempt to retain existing members and lure new customers, country clubs continue to enhance their food-focused programming.

Broilers can have a service life as short as five years or as long as 20 years, depending on use and how well the unit is maintained.

What sets country club foodservice operations apart from traditional restaurants is their need to be multifunctional. While fine dining operations are fixtures at most country clubs, many clubs also offer foodservice in the form of snack bars by the pool and golf course, casual restaurants for quick bites and catering capabilities for special events.

Broilers are a key piece of equipment, as these units are responsible for preparing the priciest menu items.

The PGA National Resort and Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., is about as elaborate a country club as one can find. Located on 3,000 acres, the resort includes five championship golf courses, 19 tennis courts, a 33,000-square-foot health and racquet club and a 39,000-square-foot spa. The main resort features 339 guest rooms as well as 40 cottages. Condos and single-family homes on the property house 5,000 residents.

Keeping the amount of grease and food debris build-up to a minimum will help extend a broiler's service life.

Trends come and go. That's why they're called trends. But some stick around for longer periods of time, having greater impact on the foodservice industry. We've identified some of those stronger trends that picked up steam in 2012 and seem to be headed for greater impact in 2013. Take a look.

There are a wide range of broilers offering different sizes and heating capabilities for specific production needs.

The end of the year can be an incredibly busy and lucrative period for foodservice operations. Holiday shopping means more people are out and about, making them more likely to stop at a restaurant for a meal or snack. Family get-togethers also equal more meals out.

Broilers typically operate with gas valves wide open, which compromises energy efficiency.

Some tips on maintenance from CFESA.

The popularity of salad items of all shapes and sizes has some players in this segment wilting. Despite the increased competition, resilient players in this segment are starting to bloom.

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