Foodservice Equipment & Supplies

AUG 2017

Foodservice Equipment & Supplies magazines is an industry resource connecting foodservice operators, equipment and supplies manufacturers and dealers, and facility design consultants.

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52 • FOODSERVICE EQUIPMENT & SUPPLIES • AUGUST 2017 made by hydraulically chopping and crushing produce such as spinach, kale and ginger without using heat. In fact, Project Juice offers a line of pre-juiced, bottled juices and soups for short-term cleanses meant for health-fo- cused and active individuals, which in turn impacts equipment and supplies selection. Smoothie E&S As smoothie ingredients and recipes change, smoothie and juice bars have had to introduce specific equipment to meet their expanding meal-in-a- beverage needs. "We are mostly looking for a high-powered, standard-sized blender capable of finely shredding super cold product," says Jon Schiff, founder of Real Good Juice Co., Chicago. "The most important thing for our blenders, though, is durability, since we put them through a lot and need them to stand up to whatever we throw in them." The chain sets up shop in Whole Foods as well as in smaller, stand-alone retail spaces throughout Chicago. Real Good Juice receives nine deliveries a week to maintain a con- stant circulation of fresh product. Prep occurs in smaller kitchens at the back, with items stored in walk-in coolers as well as in undercounter refrigeration out front by the serving counter. When making its juice, the chain uses cold- press, centrifugal style juicers to main- tain more of the ingredients' nutrients and create "a cleaner taste," says Schiff. Juice It Up!, an 80-plus unit chain undergoing fast expansion as of late, also relies on high-quality commercial juicers and blenders to get better yields as well as top-of-the-line refrigeration to maintain freshness, according to Carol Skinner, vice president of mar- keting for the chain. "At our smaller locations, it can be tight at times, so we provide extensive training and resources to ensure our operators order the right amount of produce for each delivery to ensure they aren't under- or over-utilizing their pre- cious cold storage space," says Skinner. Many smoothie bars, like Real Good Juice and Juice it Up!, also use refrigerated prep tables and under- counter drawers loaded with protein powder, dry superfoods and other ingredients for easy scooping. While durable blenders handle whole fruits and vegetables, operators also look for quieter ones that can work hard without all the noise. A pull-over lid allows staff to blend and forget. Rinsers, like at coffee shops, help staff quickly rinse out blender containers in between blends, while sanitizing them in bigger batches in undercounter dish- washers or three-compartment sinks. Smoothie Bar Design Smoothie and juice bar owners tend to go for both aesthetics and function in designing their spaces. Many look to dis- play or showcase fresh ingredients as well as the blenders, while keeping lines and menu boards simple and bright to create a feeling of cleanliness and health. "Our store design is clean, crisp and white with hints of California vibes, exposed brick and succulents," says Schiff of Real Good Juice Co. "Our mantra is written on the wall across from our colorful menu board, and a list of the local farmers we buy our organic, fresh produce from is above the cooler. We want our guests to know that we can name where every ingredient they are putting into their body came from." The mantra Schiff refers to reads as follows: Good is good. But real good is gooder than good. Cause good is just good. Which is good, just not real good. Qwench Juice Bar and DRNK coffee + tea in Los Angeles takes a similar fresh approach, displaying fresh fruits and veggies in a 20-foot-wide, clear bin raised up behind the serving counter with a misting system to keep the produce fresh and crisp. Many smoothie and juice bars also integrate technology into its spaces, not only to cater to a younger crowd comfortable with using touchscreens, but also to maximize labor. At Real Juice's Whole Foods out- posts, customers can order and pay for their smoothies using a tablet kiosk, which sends the order to another kiosk near the smoothie maker. Customers can then move down the line to pick up their customized smoothie once ready. The system also includes a loyalty program, noting frequency of visits to offer discounts after a certain number of smoothies and juices are purchased. Smoothie Bowls Modeled after the acai bowls first made popular in Hawaii and Los Angeles, smoothie bowls have become the next evolution at many smoothie and juice bars nationwide. As the breakfast-all-day rage presses on, these bowls offer a dairy-free alternative to yogurt or cereal in the morning while offering a more chew- able snack in the afternoon. Many will start with a green smoothie or acai and other fruit smoothie base made thicker by bananas and almond butter. Grano- la, nuts, coconut flakes, honey drizzles, fresh fruit and other ingredients are added on top, like a new twist on build- your-own frozen yogurt bowls that can be eaten with a spoon. With a nearly 3 percent increase in popularity since just a few years ago, according to IBISWorld, smoothies are poised for continued growth in an increasingly health-conscious food community. FE&S 2017 BEVERAGE SERIES Photo courtesy of Project Juice

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