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


Channel Manufacturing, Hatco and Winholt are among the manufacturers making updates to their networks of independent manufacturers’ reps.

Three-dimensional modeling applications continue to build momentum in commercial kitchen design. Because 3-D modeling adds width, height, depth and spatial relationships, commercial kitchen designers increasingly turn to this emerging technology instead of older-generation two-dimensional plans and manual formats that were the mainstay for years.

With a greater emphasis on off-premise dining, more operators offer grab-and-go items like sandwiches, salads, desserts and bottled drinks. Many use glass door merchandisers to display and store these menu items. Here are a few tips to maintain these units and keep ringing up those quick sales.

With so many restaurants and menu items making Instagram appearances it’s no wonder design represents a fast growing component of a restaurant’s success.

Ask foodservice operators what they fear could go wrong in their kitchen and fire will make the list ten times out of ten. Fortunately, operators can take several steps to limit the chance of a kitchen fire and its devastating effects.

As foodservice concepts go, delis may not seem particularly trendy, but they’re actually very much on trend. First introduced to the U.S. in the late 1800s by German immigrants in New York, delis’ enduring popularity has everything to do with what and how modern consumers like to eat. Freshness, transparency, customization, quality, variety, convenience, mobility — all of that and more becomes standard fare at delis and deli-inspired sandwich concepts. And while classic Jewish delis have changed little over the years (they’re classic for a reason), modern delis are well suited to maintaining core brand promises while incorporating current culinary trends.

A slew of new-wave French bistros and brasseries continue to crop up around the country. Expect the number of restaurants that celebrate “classic French fare with a modern twist,” to grow this year, says consultancy Andrew Freeman & Co.

Design of the kitchen, as well as the front of the house, results from execution of the concept. The more attention paid to both in the design process, the greater the chance of success.

Kosher-certified kitchens, which must follow super strict ingredient and preparation guidelines, can appeal to anyone with an interest in where their food comes from, how it’s prepared and by whom. University-level dining program administrators also understand how kosher adds to campus inclusivity in the form of food.

High-volume kitchen operators drive efficiency through specific equipment, central kitchens and outsourcing prep.

You hear it all the time from service agencies: Don’t just hire a guy off the street, or even a plumber or HVAC company, to handle equipment installation and service. This may sound a little self-serving when a service agency makes this argument but there’s plenty of reason to believe the agencies are looking out for operators, not just themselves.

As Middle Eastern flavors keep trending, American consumers continue to learn about Persian (Iranian) and Turkish cuisines, which share similarities in ingredients and dish styles.

The burgeoning growth of functional and healthful beverages has the potential to flow into the foodservice industry.

Brew pub operators’ creativity has not only kept the segment thriving but brought it to the forefront on the culinary scene. Case in point is Chicago’s Band of Bohemia, a Michelin-starred brew pub that infuses culinary flavors into its beer in an effort to create the perfect pairing with its food-focused menu.

The ultimate marriage of retail and foodservice, grab-and-go also represents the ultimate way to give modern consumers what they seem to want most — fast, convenient, anywhere, anytime meals and snacks. In almost every industry segment, from healthcare, corporate and campus dining to K-12, QSRs and even full-service restaurants, grab-and-go continues to grab attention and sales.

Wood-fired cooking goes back to early man. You might say that the smoky, delicious flavor from a wood-burning grill is in everyone’s DNA. Wood-fired cooking remains alive and well today. Chefs can — and do — cook almost anything over a flame, from steaks on the grill to paella in a skillet. Restaurateurs continue to cash in on diners’ love affair with the taste and theater of the open-fire process.