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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JUNE 2019 FOODSERVICE EQUIPMENT & SUPPLIES 49 "Back-of-the-house workow — receiving, storage, prep, production, service — is ultimately driven by the menu. However, the design of these areas is a well-coordinated dance. The size and plan of one space has an impact on the other," says James (Jim) Richards Jr., president of PES Design Group, Sarasota, Fla. This well-coordinated dance is choreographed to respond ef†ciently to outside inuences and trends that can affect the quality and safety of the food served, not to mention pro†tabil- ity. Foodservice operators and their kitchen designers continue to respond to trends that affect workow. A prominent one is the locavore and fresh food movement, which has grown steadily over the past several years. Also known as farm-to-table, the trend responds to consumer demand for a return to "real" food, meaning both fresh and local. Rather than buy- ing prepared, prepackaged produce and proteins, chefs now favor food that has been grown and/or harvested locally. This means ingredients arrive at the back door in bulk, as if the food items were purchased in a farmers market. It also means more cooler space and more extensive prep. Another trend impacting kitchen workow is the growth of off-premise dining; that's having a signi†cant effect on the kitchens of concepts that embrace this exploding trend. The preparation of food for off-premise consumption, including delivery, means †nding space for a segregated produc- tion and packaging area, particularly if off-premise becomes a signi†cant por- tion of the operation's sales volume. Bob Goldin, co-founder and partner of Pentallect, a food industry consulting †rm in Chicago, says packaging adds another complexity to off-premise ser- vice. When an eat-in order is produced, it is prepared and plated and served. Putting an off-premise order into the proper packaging increases the work- ow, adding time and extra steps. Every minute becomes more important since the passage of time can affect quality, especially temperature. As more operators look to shrink their back-of-the-house footprint, optimizing workow becomes of greater importance. Several factors continue to lead operators to shrink the back of the house, including rising rents and staff shortages. The challenge is to maximize the space to still get the job done. The other growing inuence, which can actually be a solution to some of the other trends, is the increasing sophistication of technol- ogy. Multiuse equipment represents a direct response to the need for ef†ciency and space concerns. Complications of Fresh and Local The menu represents the ultimate deci- sion point and serves as the primary focus of kitchen design, says Richards. All the bells and whistles of new technology are no good unless they support the produc- tion of items on the menu. Conducting an in-depth analysis of each menu item to determine ingredient storage, prep and production marks the †rst step in all kitchen design, he believes. If the opera- tor can streamline the menu to reduce ingredient duplication, all the better. That's especially true as chefs continue to answer consumers' calls for the use of local and fresh foods, increasing the principles of transpar- ency. This trend has continued to grow over the past few years. The use of fresh vs. prepared products, from produce to proteins, will drive some workow design decisions. "The workow design for receiv- ing and storage, for instance, is determined by available space and by the type of products being pur- chased," Richards says. "Local, fresh or farm-to-table products may require more frequent deliveries each week, requiring less storage. In the balance between cooler and freezer space, fresh products will require larger Countertop equipment at Marquette University in Milwaukee saves space and provides flexibility. For example, sta can easily move the panini grill. Photo courtesy of Ricca Design Studios "Local, fresh or farm-to-table products may require more frequent deliveries each week, requiring less storage." — James Richards Jr., PES Design Group

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