Foodservice Equipment & Supplies

NOV 2018

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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NOVEMBER 2018 • FOODSERVICE EQUIPMENT & SUPPLIES • 61 chicken hot off the grill, Nathan's does not store these meats in the holding unit. Instead, staff make cheesesteaks to order, with the peppers and cheese held in cold wells on a sandwich table im- mediately to the right. While the hot line ends with the cheesesteak sandwich table, the order assembly line starts with the previously mentioned holding unit, which sits above the undercounter freezer that holds sea- food. While the holding unit is the same size as before, to match the speed the drive-thru requires, Nathan's now holds more proteins here, notes Powers. Following the holding unit comes a refrigerated table with cold wells that store ingredients for burgers, sandwiches and salads. An undercounter refrigerator holds backup in- gredients, while overhead shelving holds the buns. This shelf also holds a toaster for sandwich buns. Next comes a small worktable with a built-in shelf that holds another toaster. This second unit becomes neces- sary, says Powers, because hot dog buns toast differently than sandwich buns. Following that worktable comes the hot dog grill, a custom-made four-foot attop. The grill sits at the end of the assembly line, across the aisle from the sandwich table that holds cheesesteak toppings. The refrigeration below that table stores hot dogs prior to cooking. That's a change from Nathan's previous design, where hot dogs were held next to the grill in an undercounter unit. The chain shifted the storage due to space constraints, Powers said. The production kitchen takes up the bulk of Nathan's non-dining room space. The new design does have a small prep area, though, consisting of a worktable with overhead shelving and some smallwares. Most of Nathan's prep is simple, Powers points out. The chain does use a vegetable slicer for some produce, but the remainder of the prep work involves opening cans and bags. Future Focus With the new restaurant prototype operating for a few months now, the chain's drive-thru focus seems to be a success. According to Powers, drive-thru sales at one legacy restaurant near the new prototype can't crack 25 percent. In its ƒrst few weeks, the new prototype store hit the chain's target of 40 percent drive-thru sales. The hope is that the smaller, less expensive building and strong drive-thru sales will push franchisee interest in the brand. Nathan's has a strong presence along the east- ern seaboard; growth targets now include the southern U.S. and international markets. FE&S Top to bottom: The chain uses two fryers, one for seafood and one for other fried items, such as corn dogs and wings. Nathan's reworked its expo station to provide easy access to both dine-in and drive- thru sta members. A new fry-only fry sta- tion, with fry dispenser and dump, allows drive- thru sta to access everything they need in just a few steps.

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