Foodservice Equipment & Supplies

JAN 2018

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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JANUARY 2018 • FOODSERVICE EQUIPMENT & SUPPLIES • 67 Behind the unlocked third door, customers can access such grab-and-go items as yogurt parfaits and bottled juices. Shelving in the grab-and-go unit has a plastic cover (also branded Coolgreens) that prevents guests from reaching into the walk-in shelving through the back and side. The number of reach-in doors isn't limited to three, Lee notes. Larger restau- rants may have four doors, any of which can be made acces- sible to guests. "We can lock all the doors or any combination based on the location and how prevalent to- go items are," he says. After the walk-in, guests next see the restaurant's kitchen/ production area. Here, they can order signature items such as the Southwest Salad (mixed greens and arugula, black beans, poblano peppers, avocado, corn, tortilla chips, Monterey Jack cheese, southwest vinaigrette) or the Barbecue Flatbread (house-made barbecue sauce, chicken, mushrooms, red bell peppers, green onion, artisan cheese blend). Alternatively, guests can follow fast casual's tried-and-true method of walk- ing down a line and choosing among displayed ingredients. The exact makeup of the chain's kitchen equipment package could change as Coolgreens continues looking for operational efficiencies and gets more time with this design under its belt, says Lee. For the time being, the kitchen will follow this basic flow. Station Ordering At the first station on the ordering line, guests can select hot items, such as sandwiches and flatbreads and quinoa bowls. Facing the customer, team members working this station have a refrigerated table that holds such ingredients as chees- es, proteins and veggies in about a dozen cold wells on the top of the unit. The refrigerated space below holds backup ingredients as well as flatbread and bread for sandwiches. When a staff member needs to toast a menu item, the person turns around to face the back wall, which houses an electric conveyor oven. All menu items produced with this oven have been designed to cook at the same exact time and temperature, making its use practically foolproof. According to Lee, placing the hot station at the start of the line represents a change for Coolgreens. Previously, the hot station came after the salad stations. If a guest was planning to order a hot item, by the time he or she got to that station "the ordering process had already been started for salad. So we naturally missed 45 seconds to a minute and a half. If you're with a group of people going down the line, your hot food item could have already been started. Moving the hot station is a prompt to start that item before you get too far into the ordering process." A series of salad tables follows the hot station. Each of these four tables feature cold wells on top and hold backup items below. The first table holds various lettuce mixes. The second and third tables store different toppings, while the fourth displays salad dressings and premium items, such as avocado, bacon, and nuts. An additional salad table sits along the back wall, near most of the equipment. Staff use this station to make high- demand menu items as well as to-go orders, the production of which could otherwise potentially alienate customers wait- ing in line, says Lee. "We make it out of the way of everyone so we're not interrupting the customer flow to make an item for somebody that's not present," says Lee. While this production unit sits on the back wall, the rest of the equipment along that wall is for the prep work relocated from the back of the house. These stations include a series of work tables, tables with undercounter refrigeration, sinks and smallwares, with the exact set of tools at each table correspond- ing to items in the production station. The table handling let- tuce prep, for instance has a salad spinner — manual or electric, depending on store volume — while the table for cutting tomatoes and onions has knives specific to those tasks. Notably, Coolgreens' staff does not use a food processor or other tabletop equipment to execute the cutting and chop- ping that takes place on this line. Instead, the team does all this by hand, for several reasons, says Lee. One is financial: Powered prep equipment, such as a food processor, has a much bigger price tag than knives and cutting boards. These units also require maintenance, and the chain will eventually need to replace these items, giving the equipment a higher lifecycle cost than the manual counterparts. In addition, training staffers to work this equipment increases the operation's complexity, while Coolgreens wants to keep its processes simple. Quality also plays a critical role. Machines "allow more product to get run through, but that doesn't necessarily keep ● Key Players: Robert Lee, CEO; Clay Carson, vice president of franchise development; Angelo Cipollone, director of training ● Interior Design/Kitchen Design Consultant: Carl Lingle, Lingle Design Group, Lena, Ill. COOLGREENS AT A GLANCE

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