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 89 efciency and exibility. "Are we put- ting in a separate area where they can do breadsticks and warm marinara sauce and things that complement that? Can we do pastas and/or individual hearth-baked casseroles? The equip- ment in this case may not be exible, but we encourage operators to think outside the box and design the station in ways that let them do as much as possible from it," notes Pellegrino. It's all about visualizing contingen- cies, adds Goldberg, who also advocates a plug-and-play approach to action station design. "If a menu or concept changes in the future or a piece of equipment needs to be changed out, the power, exhaust and re-suppression systems are already congured with that sort of exibility in mind," he says. "Doing that up front saves operators the time and expense of having to ret- rot later when things change." To enhance exibility, NGA's Bohbot suggests smart equipment. "Depending on the programming of the space, pieces such as griddles and French tops are extremely versatile," he says. "Almost every culture uses hot, at metal to cook on. From simple items like tacos and omelets to more complex things like fried rice, they t the bill. They can even be used as hot holding areas." Goldberg and Bohbot say demand remains strong for more and better modular and ventless cooking equip- ment suited to use in front-of-the- house action stations. And they point out that because of the high visibility of this equipment, nishes need to be "next level" and very easy to keep clean. Given the pace of change in food- service environments today, exibility in action stations also impacts aesthetics and materials selection. Browne urges opera- tors to anticipate the need to change and outt action stations accordingly. "Concepts today tend to be more temporary," Browne says. "You might have an Asian station that runs its course in a couple of years and the operator wants to switch it to a pasta station. That will require not only dif- ferent equipment, but also a new front counter layout and nishes. As a result, we're seeing much less demand for high-end, bulletproof designs that stand the test of time and growing demand for more exible, economical design solutions across the board." FE&S Keeping action station aesthetics slightly generic and not overly themed helps enable faster, more aordable changes once a par- ticular concept has run its course. Photo courtesy of Rippe Associates Inc.

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