Trends

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

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A few months ago, supply chain woes were all over the news. People had money to spend, but a lot of things— lumber, cars, cream cheese — were hard to get. Events have pushed supply chains out of the headlines, but that doesn’t mean supply chain woes are completely healed. Indeed, the commercial kitchen equipment industry continues to struggle with parts shortages.

Based on a strong response from customers, Steve Williamson knew it was time for his 30-year old company, Ruby Reds BBQ, to expand.

We all know the scene. It’s a busy Friday or Saturday night and a customer bellies up to the bar at a restaurant or hotel but sees no open seats or spots from which to get the bartender’s attention. Then, alas, they spy the little area at the bar with a stainless-steel top with holes in it where the bartender places a bunch of ready-to-go drinks and tickets. Surely, they think, it’s OK to stand and order there.

Many issues continue to linger for healthcare foodservice. For example, in some hospitals the infectious disease department still determines protocols, which dictate what foodservice can and cannot do. In response, foodservice continues to navigate uncertain times and choppy waters.

Speed and volume play a greater role in foodservice equipment selection for the convenience store segment than other food sectors.

“Grilled” is the top prep method called out on menus, according to Chicago-based Datassential’s “2021 MenuTrends” report. Grilled food not only appears on 78.5% of menus, but grilling also represents the most common prep method for limited-time offers at major chains.

Keeping takeout and delivery customers happy is even more important than it once was.

From the constantly changing dietary needs and wants of diners to the sanitation scares courtesy of the pandemic, it’s not easy being a salad station these days.

While labor is always an issue for restaurant operators, it has become one of the industry’s biggest challenges in the post-pandemic era. In response, many operators now are taking a hard look at time- and labor-saving kitchen equipment. When it comes to these units, there’s more to consider than the price tag and the full-time employee costs they could save.

“I’m from Virginia. We define barbecue as pork.”

During the height of the pandemic, some major foodservice features got curtailed, often in the name of food safety.

Some may view a table in a restaurant simply as a place to enjoy a meal with clients, family and friends, with knives, forks and plates just serving a basic purpose.

Cooklines are the heart of an a la carte kitchen and typically take up around 25% of the space, so they’re a critical element to get right. Unfortunately, cooklines often get built without a full understanding of the menu they’re supposed to support.

Some states and municipalities around the country have announced that they are in the process of implementing or considering implementing bans on the use of natural gas in new building projects now and into the future. This will likely have a direct impact on kitchen design and equipment selection.

Whether for health, sustainability or ethical reasons, the numbers reveal more Americans are shifting to a meatless diet.

Flexible design, a rethinking of service flow and multiuse equipment are all making headway in school foodservice programs.