There is no doubt that staging food is a powerful way to attract attention and stimulate impulse sales. When food is presented beautifully and is visually appealing, the desire to consume it increases significantly. Experts say consumers’ purchasing decisions are primarily based on what we see and smell. In other words, when operators make food look good, customers will buy it.
Effective and innovative food merchandising is an art form. People all around the world use food to create art, but art and function must join forces when it comes to displaying food. For example, holding proper food temperature is critical. Also, creative consideration should be given to integrating the display equipment into unique and innovative surroundings for outstanding presentations of food. Although display equipment serves a purpose—to keep food at safe product temperatures—these units can be designed to disappear so that the food is the only thing on stage.
For instance, placing refrigerated displays behind a wall creates a window fresh that’s hard to resist. And blending equipment into counters places food front and center for customer selections. With innovative food staging techniques, the food is sure to sell itself!
Integrating refrigerated equipment into walls, counters and other structures poses challenges if equipment is not designed with that intent in mind. For example, refrigerated equipment with self-contained condensing units on board have to breathe, so ventilation is critical. Yet vents and other means for air intake and discharge are distracting. There are solutions, however, that open the door for creative flexibility when designing the food display environment. Here are a few ideas to consider:
- Refrigerated equipment can be specified with the condensing unit on the top rather than in the base. With this design, the compressor ventilation is in and out the top. With this configuration, the display unit can be placed behind a wall without any requirements for wall vents.
- Equipment with base mount condensing units discharge compressor air at the toe kick without the need for louvers, slots, etc.
- Adjustable/removable shelves, split shelves, display risers and internal lighting help maximize merchandising flexibility and presentation.