Saber King: Helping C-Stores Prep Food Safely and Efficiently
Q&A with Mark Fastabend, General Manager, Saber King
What trends are you seeing in c-store foodservice today?
Mark Fastabend: The desire of consumers to have more options is certainly growing. Consumer perceptions about food and where they get their food are changing. They want good quality and fresh food, whether it's in a restaurant or a c-store. C-stores are responding by providing more fresh food, healthier options, and in some cases, options that compete with quick-service or even fast-casual restaurants. But their space is limited and the need to minimize employee injuries is important.
With larger menus, equipment safety is a big issue now for c-stores, correct?
MF: Absolutely. As stores do more prep in house, it comes with some inherent risks. These are traditionally not like restaurants, where people are trained on kitchen equipment. So there's a training issue as well as an equipment issue that needs to be addressed. As c-stores look at equipment options, simplicity of use, ease of training and staff safety are obviously of major importance because they're not staffed with full-time kitchen workers, as in a QSR or fast-casual environment.
Is food waste important to c-stores?
MF: Food waste is a drag on profitability. Any time you're doing fresh preparation of food, you're going to deal with foodwaste. Because you're prepping things in advance, you can't always predict with 100 percent accuracy what your demand is going to be. Food waste is really influenced by what you prep in advance and how quickly you can prep. The faster you can prep, the less you have to do in advance and that limits the amount of waste.
How can the Saber King slicer help c-stores produce food more efficiently?
MF: Saber King is a modular slicer that saves labor, improves safety and maximizes space. With our interchangeable blades, c-stores can dice, slice and chop everything — lettuce, tomatoes, onions, peppers and cucumbers — all with just one piece of equipment.
For example, our tomato cartridge allows you to slice up to four tomatoes at one time. Slicing efficiency is improved, which translates to increased speed and response time.
Crew training is easier because you only have to worry about one thing. It's also safer because we have integrated blade guards, which help keep hands away from the sharp blades. Users are doing the same motion every time, so you have a lower risk than you would have with a power slicer or a different manual slicer, where the blades are more exposed.
Can the Saber King slicer also help with expenses and profit?
MF: Because we can prep so efficiently, the chance of food waste goes down and the risk of injury is lower. When you can prep quickly, if you have a lot of people come in, you can catch up to those orders much faster with the Saber King. That allows you to get those dollars through the register. And since you're dedicating less time to prep, it allows you to redeploy those people in the store to other activities.