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


With the heat of summer on the horizon, now is a great time for operators to make sure their refrigeration and HVAC equipment is working as it should. In short, it’s tuneup time.

Restaurant industry sales forecast, consumer confidence stats, off-premise dining stats and more — a recap of the latest data from the National Restaurant Association’s 2019 State of the Industry Report and its webcast on the state of current affairs.

With the movement toward ever-decreasing kitchen sizes, when does small become too small? Is efficiency sometimes sacrificed as a result of reducing the kitchen footprint? Or can equipment completely compensate for the reduction in space? When designing a smaller kitchen, finding the sweet spot requires a combination of efficiency and space saving.

When Starbucks launched its Starbucks Reserve Roastery concept, many in the foodservice industry took notice, not the least of which were those already operating hybrid coffee-to-cocktail concepts. Starbucks’ notable presence in the space brings attention to the segment.

What happens when the architect wants you to design a bar and restaurant, but the chef hasn’t even been chosen? Not knowing the menu can be a foodservice designer’s worst nightmare and it’s becoming a bigger reality these days, especially as more urban developers get into the restaurant game. The fact that menus, chefs and concepts now change faster than ever only adds to the dilemma and requires designs be more flexible to withstand the tests of time.

Countertop griddles can be small enough to work in a food truck or large enough to be the workhorses of major brick-and-mortar operations. Here are a few tips for maintaining these pieces of equipment.

In a perfect world, every restaurant kitchen would have thousands of square feet of working space, contain all of the latest equipment and include an ergonomic design to maximize the flow of both staff and product through the space. But, it’s not a perfect world. Most foodservice kitchens are small — in fact, some
are downright tiny. Yet, even with small kitchens, many operators find ways to thrive.

From water filtration to ground faults, foodservice operators should plan for systems and components that impact equipment performance.

If the kitchen is the heart of a foodservice operation, dish rooms are the lungs of the facility — dirty serviceware in, clean ware out. Despite their importance, however, dish rooms are often the last design element considered when building or renovating a restaurant or noncommercial dining space.

Ryan Rongo, LEED AP, project manager at S20 Consultants Inc., provided a debrief on  the latest regulation-related changes he’s facing as he works on large-scale university, B&I and sporting/stadium projects. He’s found ongoing legal and financial requirements are having a direct impact on equipment specification.

When Amy’s Ice Creams set up shop in Austin, Texas, 35 years ago, its premium scoops were an anomaly among the frozen yogurt shops that were in their heyday at that time.

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

The American consumer never seems to grow tired of that irresistible combination of bread, cheese and sauce. These days, pizza styles reflect specific regions, places or traditions, with a greater emphasis on dough.

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.

As consumers continue to eat cleaner and more healthful foods, operators are taking notice. And action.

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.