Foodservice Equipment & Supplies

FEB 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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82 • FOODSERVICE EQUIPMENT & SUPPLIES • FEBRUARY 2019 functional by design drop-down grab-and-go case in front of the POS that almost looks like part of the cabinetry. Customers just look down, grab a cup of yogurt, a packaged salad, a piece of fruit, bever- age or snack item — whatever it might be — and add it to their order before paying. We're doing more of those types of designs than ever." Waddell says his company sees a big uptick in demand for such units, too. The variety of sizes and types of equipment being designed for grab-and-go today make it easy for opera- tors to build programs suited to whatever their menu mix and available space may be. "You can mix and match because there are so many op- tions available," Waddell says. "You might have a refrigerated unit on bottom combined with a hot unit on top. Or cold beverages, sandwiches and snacks in a cold reach-in case on the bottom with a staff-served pastry case right above it, like Starbucks does. We do a lot of that type of configuration now. It's very successful because you can put so many products right within reach of where the customer pays. They don't have to walk over to the other side of the room to get a bottle of soda or sparkling water to add to their order; all of the basics are right there for them." In operations with more space and more ambitious grab-and-go programs, Seabury says various sizes and styles of so-called multideck grab-and-go display units fit the bill. Offering multiple shelving levels and evoking a more traditional retail-style environment, they can be positioned against a wall and can combine to meet higher-volume needs. They can be used as a single unit or in a combination of refrigerated and dry units to accommodate a wide array of product offerings. These, too, are now typically open-front units, Seabury notes. "In Europe, there's growing demand for and consumer acceptance of grab-and-go merchandising units that have doors or curtains because of the energy savings. But in the U.S., it's well proven that if customers have to slide a door open or reach through a curtain wall to get what they want, grab-and-go sales are about 30 percent less simply because of that barrier to ac- cess," he says. "It's an inefficient refrigeration system if it's open because the unit has to work that much harder to maintain temperature, but there's just not much interest in closed cases here because of the negative impact on sales." On maintaining temperatures, Seabury adds that opera- tors adding grab-and-go units need to understand that those merchandising cases are essentially holding units; they're not designed to bring products up or down to desired tem- peratures quickly. As such, products placed into them should already be at desired temperatures to ensure best quality and safety. That means back-of-the-house storage can also be a con- sideration. "If you're planning a fairly high-volume refriger- ated grab-and-go program, for instance, you need to think about available refrigerated storage space," Seabury says. "Where are the cold items, including beverages as well as foods, going to be coming from for stocking the case?" As for placement of separate grab-and-go units, Seabury suggests carefully considering security along with access. While easy access is important for success, access that's too easy can negate that. "The grab-and-go experience has to be in a place where customers know there is visual exposure at all times or where they physically have to walk past the pay station. It makes sense in terms of front-of- house flow, but they also need to know that there are eyes on them or you open yourself to serious shrinkage," he says. "The reality is that if you put it in the wrong place, people really will just grab-and-go — with no financial transaction involved." FE&S The growing popularity of supermarket meal solutions and meal kit delivery pro- grams inspired Newk's Eatery to expand its offering to include larger portions that provide a complete, at-home family meal solution.

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