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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82 FOODSERVICE EQUIPMENT & SUPPLIES JUNE 2019 MARKET SPOTLIGHT rather than frozen, product storage. "[School foodservice] used to have bigger freezers than coolers, and now that's reversed, with less frozen food in the mix," says Reitano. "We're even seeing air-curtain merchandisers in elementary school serveries as well as speed ovens for cooking pizza in front of students." Today's school foodservice students are far more likely to receive the same kind of dining experience they would at a fast-casual establishment, which may include serving lines designed for greater ef ciency and open kitchens. Mixed into all of that, school food- service operators also must consider how to function under government mandates. "We can accommodate the National School Lunch program with a grab-and-go program," says Reitano. "With serving lines, it's more about pushing for as much ƒexibility as we can so these are suitable for hot and cold products in the same location." In terms of the equipment, tra- ditional school cafeterias were built around the heat-and-serve capabilities of convection ovens, but that approach no longer makes the grade in today's opera- tions. "Now, we're looking for combi ovens, tilt skillets, kettles and steamers," says Saccaro. "And the amount of refrig- erated and prep space is completely different [and more extensive]." Historically, funding new equip- ment was dif cult in the school budget environment, where money was gener- ally tight. "Fortunately, we've seen a substantial change in the last 5 to 10 years with K-12 schools investing in foodservice spaces," says Saccaro. For those with more limited budgets, the focus remains on updat- ing food merchandising and gradually changing equipment to accommodate a made-to-order menu. "The demand for more grab-and-go options is skyrocketing and has in the last ve to seven years," says Saccaro. "This necessitates adequate cold storage and air-stream merchandising." At Greenville Schools, the back of the house consists of convection and/or combi ovens, steamers, steam jacketed kettles, tilting kettles, fryers, mixers, proo ng cabinets, hot and cold holding cabinets, and hot and cold serving lines. "Temperature-monitoring equipment on walk-in coolers and freezers are tremen- dously important to us," says Urban. "It is nice having reassurance that our food temperatures are within proper ranges when our staff is not around and even nicer having that technology send me alerts to my phone when I need to dis- patch a technician to x the equipment." Pendleton Heights High's food- service area de nitely takes a more commercial food- service approach to its equip- ment package. For example, staff use a conveyor oven to bake pizza to order for its Little Italy station and induction woks for the Asian made-to-order line. Additional equipment added during the servery overhaul included a second walk-in cooler to accommodate more fresh produce and a rack dishwasher. The new dishwasher replaces a ƒight- type dishwasher, which became a neces- sity when dish room space was reduced in favor of expanding the dining area. In addition, 50 percent of the serving items in the school district are now reusable, Stevenson High of- fers students a sushi station once a week, complete with a chef. School Meal Prices School meal prices vary widely across the country. Prices are set by local school districts, usually with school board oversight. The following table lists average prices for paid meals during the 2016-17 school year. The data was collected in the School Nutrition Association'sState of School Nutrition 2018survey, which included responses from 1,550 SNA member school districts nationwide. Lunch Breakfast Elementary . . . . . . . . . $2.48 . . . . . . . . . . . . $1.46 Middle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $2.68. . . . . . . . . . . . $1.53 High . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $2.74 . . . . . . . . . . . . $1.55

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