Spotlights the challenges and opportunities that impact the application of foodservice equipment and supplies in the real world including green and energy efficiency concerns, foodservice equipment concerns, the impact of technology on foodservice, and the state of the foodservice economy.
With food costs rising and profit margins slimming, restaurants — including quick-serve chains — now place greater emphasis on alcohol sales. As a result, restaurants' bar and/or lounge spaces are more central to the operation than ever before.
Flexibility in menu construction and equipment use has become the name of the game for today’s kitchens, and that will undoubtedly ring true for many years to come. But when designing kitchens that can withstand the tests of time, allowing for lean foot prints, sustainable foodservice practices and the needs of a changing consumer demographic will be equally important.
Non-commercial foodservice projects can take a lot of forms. Here we explore the impetus behind the design of a pair of Chicago-based installations and how their uses shaped equipment selection.
Four years ago, the University of Texas (UT) at Austin embarked on a complete renovation project of its dining facilities and kitchens. The fourth and final phase, completed last year at Jester Second Floor Dining Room, helped seal the deal on the university's plans to create a more sustainable dining and meal preparation environment for students, faculty and staff.
With the real estate costs remaining a concern, many foodservice operators continue to explore smaller, more compact kitchen designs that leverage the energy-efficient nature of induction, rapid cook ovens and other ventless technologies.
"Fast Fine" bumps up the fast-casual dining sector one more notch with better quality food at slightly higher ticket items, more modern décor and trendier brand identities.
What made foodservice design consultants successful yesterday does not necessarily guarantee them a place at the table today or tomorrow. No other members of the foodservice supply chain have had to evolve their business practices more in order to remain relevant. From forming partnerships to expanding their knowledge base to occasionally walking away from business, foodservice design consultants continue to roll with the changes.
With an equipment-wide update to Energy Star qualifications coming down the pipe early next year, the Food Service Technology Center has been actively working on developing specifications for commercial water heaters, a new venture for the industry and for the FSTC.
Although many food items now come precut, and the use of processing machines that quickly cut and slice vegetables, cheese and other ingredients is more commonplace, one would be hard-pressed to find a commercial kitchen that does not contain some form of cutlery.