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.

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42 • FOODSERVICE EQUIPMENT & SUPPLIES • JANUARY 2019 building its own delivery service, separate zones were created in the kitchen to designate space for packaging food specifically for delivery and takeout. That might mean more counter space, shelving and undercounter refrigeration for holding dressings, condiments and other add-ons, as well as zones for allergen-friendly cooking. "Another big change we're focused on is getting more meal periods out of one space," Jacobs says. "We're not just interested in lunch, we also want to grab the breakfast, brunch and dinner daypart crowds because it's a greater win for the restaurant overall." At Beatrix, ample charging outlets, Wi-Fi, brighter lights and flexible seating in the form of high-top tables, shared tables, traditional tables and couches help make the space work friendly during the morning hours. At lunch the lights go down just a touch, and in the evening they get even dim- mer while the music slightly increases in volume. "We have guests that might come for coffee and a meet- ing in the morning, come back for lunch and even stop by for a to-go dinner, all in one day," Jacobs says. Kruse also sees this concept of day-to-night dining growing. "We try to create spaces for customers so they're welcome at any hour of the day," she says. "The design has to be flexible to allow things like a bar that serves craft coffee in the morning, tonics and kombucha on tap in the afternoon and cocktails at night. Even menus need to be more fluid, as diners seem to prefer more savory flavors earlier during the day and want more options at lunch and dinner." These concepts tend to reflect more open, airy spaces that mimic the fluid nature of the menu as well as a broader use of mixed materials. "We recommend woods, soft neutrals and metals that can transition from day to night," Kruse says. In the back of the house, there might be a need for more cold storage space to hold more food throughout the day. "It's all about restaurants trying to get the most dollars out of their spaces," Kruse says. RESTAURANT ODYSSEY Restaurant designers, specifiers and operators who think at least a few steps ahead of their time and stay open to new ideas and business models have a far greater chance of future success. The year 2020 may prove a watershed moment for restaurants, much like the invention of the drive-thru in the '70s, convenience food in the '80s, big brands in the '90s and the recession that came in the early 2000s. Ghost or virtual kitchen spaces are one component com- ing more into focus as a part of restaurant operations in the near future. Modeled after the many bicycle-based delivery- only restaurants in Thailand and China, these commissary kitchens theoretically could — and are beginning to — house multiple delivery-only restaurants via a centralized vehicle hub and delivery service. Joseph Schumaker, FCSI, a kitchen designer, consultant and founder of foodspace+co in San Jose, Calif., paints this picture of the ghost kitchens: "You could take a commissary or shared kitchen space, put four or five restaurants in them, create a van hub, add a third-party delivery service, and now you have a ghost kitchen." He's essentially describing what Uber Eats and other third-party delivery companies have already done investing in the concept of virtual restaurants that enable custom- ers to order a meal from a restaurant that has no front of the house. The Uber Eats platform specifically allows a sandwich shop, for instance, to offer other types of dishes like soups and salads without a hint of change to its current operations. In addition, Uber Eats has invested heavily in artificial intelligence and heightened algorithms to learn patterns and make restaurant and dish recommendations to users based on their ordering history and personal tastes. In 2017, Grubhub invested $1 million in New York startup Green Summit Group that has since launched nine virtual restaurants from one kitchen. Consumers order dishes Increasing efficiencies will always be part of the future. THE FUTURE THE RESTAURANT OF

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