A service agent offers a few tips on what operators should consider when replacing a piece of foodservice equipment.
Over the course of two years, FE&S has continually followed the Kitchen of the Future project led by the PG&E Food Service Technology Center (FSTC) in San Ramon, Calif., along with utility partners Southern California Edison and SoCalGas. The project started off by first identifying a diverse group of operators, from smaller, independent restaurants to larger-scale catering, healthcare and other institutions with outdated kitchens that could benefit from an investment in energy- and water-saving equipment.
An efficient, well-designed storage area prevents back-of-the-house chaos.
Learning to live with the uncertainties of Mother Nature represents one substantial and inescapable trial for operators when they join the farm-to-table movement. Finding creative ways to manage any increased food costs associated with these fresh, locally sourced products represents the other key challenge. Food costs can spike not only from higher prices but also from unsatisfactory yield and unnecessary waste.
Regulatory drivers, top chefs, consumers and even the Pope, help push topic of food waste to the forefront.
Following a natural disaster most foodservice operators want to return to work as quickly as possible. By following a few simple steps and exercising some patience, though, operators can get their businesses up and running safely and efficiently in relatively short order.
Charbroilers call back to probably the first form of cooking: placing food over an open flame. Today’s units are more complicated than that, of course, and require regular care and maintenance to operate properly. Here are a few tips to keeping your charbroiler running smoothly.
- Clean the unit daily. This includes wiping down the exterior and emptying the grease traps.
- Charred food particles can easily get stuck to grates. Turn them over and burn them off on a regular basis, following the manufacturer's instructions. Deflector trays and crumb trays should be cleaned regularly as well.
- Cooking food on char broilers produces a lot of grease-laden smoke. Make sure to have a charbroiler’s hood cleaned regularly.
- It’s easy for a charbroiler’s vents and pilot to get blocked by food particles. Keep them clear of debris to ensure proper operation.
Roughly four or five years ago, BIM (building information modeling) took the foodservice industry by storm. This product was supposed to revolutionize the way the foodservice industry designed operations. And for good reason. BIM's benefits are many — chief among them is the ability to provide operators with a three-dimensional preview of their kitchens before they are built, clash detection that helps coordinate utilities and structural elements, and the ability for entire project teams to work together in real time.
While equipment may be the backbone of any commercial kitchen, if it’s not ergonomically and thoughtfully placed, it won’t perform to its full potential. The same might be said of staff. Wasted movements and wasted steps cost operators time and money. But effectively designed workstations optimize equipment and labor to create a best-of-both-worlds situation that keeps kitchen workflow moving smoothly.