Trends

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

Advertisement

Just about everything at Milwaukee’s Iron Horse Hotel has a story attached to it. The 100-year-old warehouse it inhabits was initially built for a bedding company and then became home to a box company in 1927 and finally was transformed into a cold storage facility from 1955 until 2005.

Although in the convenience store business since the early '60s, family-owned Rutter's Farm Stores started as a retail dairy operation in the 1920s. Now with 56 stores in five south-central Pennsylvania counties, the chain has distinguished its operations with an extensive foodservice offering.

Just five years ago the availability of sustainability and other cost calculators was scarce. These days, though, the scope of calculators has grown exponentially, ranging from calculators for specific equipment types to others designed to determine energy, water and total life cycle cost savings. They’ve also become more accurate.

While at first it may seem daunting from a labor perspective, it is possible to cater to consumers' needs around the clock through careful plan development and equipment selection, as these non-commercial operators have shown.

Even though the Heathman Hotel and Heathman Restaurant and Bar are two different businesses, the operations are symbiotic.

Here is the story about how Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises, a multi unit operator, renovated its iconic French restaurant in Chicago to create a hipper and more updated location with strong ties to its culinary roots.

When it comes to sustainable foodservice equipment, there's been plenty of discussion about energy- and water-saving items. But what happens to foodservice equipment at the beginning and end of its service life and how the manufacturer creates, ships and, in some cases, renews or recycles is just as important in the sustainability discussion. Those points in between — and we don't just mean cooking and operating — count.

Six easy steps to ensure a productive service life for a microwave.

 

iPads and tablets are taking restaurants by storm and improving efficiencies

A former service agent shares a some tips on how to evaluate foodservice equipment in the aftermath of a flood.

These operators continue to leverage small yet efficient footprints to serve multiple dayparts. Most people would associate a menu containing gourmet deli sandwiches, grilled items and from-scratch pizza with a family-style restaurant or quick-service operation.

Even though it has been six years since Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, the region continues to deal with the devastation and is still in the midst of rebuilding efforts. After its 52,000-sq.ft. cook-chill facility was left completely underwater due to the epic storm, Sheriff Marlin Gusman of the Orleans Parish Sheriff's Office took temporary action to keep his operation running.

Competing in the crowded pizza segment is a challenge for any restaurant, let alone a retail convenience store chain. Yet, Casey's General Store, a 1,600-store chain based in Ankeny, Ia., has more than competed — it has thrived.

When foodservice professionals discuss waste management, the conversation generally turns to composting, recycling, and donating excess food — anything that happens after the food has been wasted. But what about preventing the waste from occurring in the first place?

When it comes to energy-efficient griddles, the energy-efficient part really varies by operation and need. "Griddles are heavily cost-driven and it's difficult to justify the strategies that make them more efficient," says David Zabrowski, director of engineering at the Food Service Technology Center (FSTC) in San Ramon, Calif.

Housed in two buildings, the 829-bed Hennepin County Adult Detention Center, operated by the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office, is the largest pretrial facility in Minnesota. Each year, the Sheriff's Office books approximately 40,000 inmates. Commonly referred to as the Hennepin County Jail, the facility is one of only two in the state to utilize cook-chill production. The production kitchen opened in 2001.

Advertisement