Foodservice Equipment & Supplies

JUN 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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44 FOODSERVICE EQUIPMENT & SUPPLIES JUNE 2019 Q: How do you view the role sustain- ability plays in your job and in the industry as a whole? Schroeder: The topic that seems to be coming up in a lot of our conver- sations these days is decarbonization and zero energy, or close to that. This means we are looking at what kitchens can do to help with the overall goal of reducing carbon footprint. There are many more energy-saving pieces and different options for electric equip- ment that all help work toward those holistic goals. Daniel: We have worked on quite a few LEED projects over the years, but these days, it seems that more of our clients, namely the government projects, want to design in the style of LEED but don't want to actually spend the money to get the project registered. They just want to under- stand how much energy and water their kitchens are producing and any associated savings with managing that. Q: What applications of automation will take hold in our industry? What do you see working right now, and what might actually happen in the future? Schumaker: I think there are a couple of categories with this. You've got one category, which is robotics, that do the job of a human not purely just to replace them but to make us better. Then you've got a second category, which is automating tasks, that we otherwise are struggling to get humans to do. With rising labor costs and shortages, we're starting to see automation being considered more. Maybe you have a partial solution, where you have a robot in the dish room, but it's not actually washing the dishes; it's just scraping plates. I've also seen something as advanced as a robot arm equipped with cameras that can watch me cut a tomato and then perform that task using machine learning. I think that example is further off in the future, and that we're closer right now to automat- ing mundane and repetitive tasks. Schroeder: The only thing I would add is I read that automation is all about the four Ds — that the dull, dirty, dangerous and dear tasks are the tasks that are most likely going to be replaced by robots in the future. Maybe we'll start seeing robots as a concierge at a hotel that can offer personalized suggestions. I have not seen any robotic arms, personally, but I have seen a lot of growth in that area when it comes to vending. Q: More operators seem to be expanding their service to all-day dining outside of traditional day- parts. How do you see this shift impacting design and equipment selection? Schroeder: So with higher ed these days, the all-access dining room allows for extended hours and students to be able to get the food that they want at any time of day and night. This trend or shift doesn't necessarily mean we need to build more facili- ties; it's more about just looking at the facilities in existence to see if there are opportunities to build in more grab- and-go and quick pickup spots or hot boxes. And I would de…nitely say that micromarkets are really popular and prevalent. I know that they have been around for a while, but in the past, there was some hesitation in certain markets to adopt them because of concerns of theft. Many colleges and universities have adopted this format, however, as a way to offer more food options outside of what they tradition- ally offered in the past. Schumaker: We're also seeing this shift to all-day dining in the corporate world as more employees are working later or coming in later. As a result, we're actually seeing a decline in breakfast and operators wanting to expand their lunch and afternoon food offerings. Daniel: We are also seeing this shift with our clients, whether that's in the form of some kind of after-hours grab-and-go or self-checkout process or micromart that may have a small microwave for heating up foods, sort of like a convenience store. A couple of projects we designed had a separate cookline that could be kept open after hours and, in the case of a hotel, that could be used for room service after hours for a lot of quick cooking. We don't go crazy on the equipment for those lines, just a lot of smaller-format speed-cooking equipment. Q: What are some of the more inno- vative pieces of equipment you're seeing these days? Daniel: Well, there are those robots we talked about, but I am also seeing some combis on the market and even tilt skillets and pressure cookers that can be used to cook a lot of dif- ferent foods, and with shortened cook times. I also see more operators using blast chillers in the place of an ice bath or to keep food longer. Schroeder: I think part of it, too, is trying to …nd the pieces of equipment that can really support an expanded menu. In that case, it's more of a process- driven approach. This is another example of how we focus on future-proo…ng and being able to support menus and concepts as they change because they do so frequently these days. FE&S "We're also seeing this shift to all-day dining in the corporate world as more employees are working later or coming in later." — Joe Schumaker, FCSI, foodspace+co Want to hear more? Join these consultants on FE&S' Consultants' Roundtable Webcast, Tues., June 25. Register for free at consultants2019. on sul tan ts' Round table

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