Foodservice Equipment & Supplies

JAN 2019

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

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 42 of 128

seated quickly and efficiently," he says. Nicky Kruse, strategist with The Culinary Edge, a San Francisco-based restaurant consultancy and operator, shares similar views when it comes to the balance between automa- tion and hospitality. "While automated kitchens and robots allow for wins on so many levels in terms of consistency, labor and speed, the challenge for restaurants is how do they not lose that value of human touch?" asks Kruse. "Instead of switching everything to automation, we advise our clients to do so where it makes sense. Too much automation can make a restaurant feel too austere." Some fully automated operations function without a restaurant space at all. Take Zume Pizza, for example, which only offers delivery via its virtual restaurant in Mountain View, Calif. Co-created by restaurant developer Julia Collins and serial entrepreneur Alex Garden, former Shake Shack and Microsoft Xbox alums, Zume Pizza was one of the first to use robots in its stores to cook pizza using mechanical arms. When custom- ers place an order, a team of proprietary pizza-making robots and culinary experts work collaboratively to prepare each pie at the company's central kitchen. There, pizzas bake in an 800-degree F oven before moving to the food delivery vehicle where it continues to bake in a custom-designed oven for three and a half minutes before arriving at the customer's door. The technology, Zume Pizza execs say, also prevents the need to add preservatives or other chemicals to prolong the quality of the food after cooking and during transport. Starr offers another example of automation. While McDonald's added self-ordering kiosks, Chick-fil-A decided to go another route, giving tablets to drive-thru assistants to "line-bust." That meant taking orders directly from the customer and at the same time using a tool that could send orders directly to the kitchen. This allows the chain to maintain its focus on customer service while also enhancing operations. FUTURE FACTOR: EFFICIENCY Increasing efficiencies will always be part of the future. "The move to a smaller footprint, maximizing wall space and using technology and equipment to fill every nook and cranny in your four walls has been one of the biggest changes for us," says Marc Jacobs, partner at Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises (LEYE), Chicago. He points to LEYE's Beatrix restaurants in particular as becoming "smarter" in terms of design and equipment. In the back of the house that means combi ovens for more flexibility as well as a blast chiller to conduct more batch cooking safely. Efficiency can also come in large sizes, such as industrial-scale cooking equipment like tilt skillets that prepare everything from braised meats to stir-fries and big batches of stock, soup and sauces. At Beatrix's larger, almost-open location in Oak Brook, Ill., additional hand sinks cut down on the steps staff will need to take. Also, as the brand shifts from third-party providers to THE FUTURE THE RESTAURANT OF Many believe the future rests on the tried-and- true industry cornerstone of providing true hospitality.

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Foodservice Equipment & Supplies - JAN 2019