Foodservice Equipment & Supplies

MAR 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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60 • FOODSERVICE EQUIPMENT & SUPPLIES • MARCH 2018 functional by design Deli/Sandwich Stations Abundant variations and customization keep sandwiches a mainstay. By Dana Tanyeri E veryone, from seniors to 7-year- olds, loves a well-made sandwich. It remains a popular go-to item for many. In fact, nearly half of all consumers report they ate a sandwich "in the past day," according to the 2017 Sandwiches Keynote Report from research firm Datassential. Many people reported eating sandwiches several times a week. With nearly 70 percent of restaurants across the country offering sandwiches, according to the Datassential report, they are a well-entrenched menu staple. And, despite their conceptual simplicity, sand- wiches offer virtually limitless opportuni- ties for innovation and differentiation from concept to concept and customer to customer. More than two-thirds of all sandwiches purchased at restaurants are either complete- ly custom made or modified from an existing menu item, according to Datassential. In fact, more than a third of consumers say they choose sandwiches over other foods for customization purposes. Sandwich Satisfaction For deli and sandwich concept operators, satisfying demands for interesting, custom- izable sandwiches that are freshly prepared and served quickly requires thoughtful design of prep and assembly areas. Terry Pellegrino, a principal at Minneapolis-based design consultancy Rippe Associates, notes that most deli/ sandwich operations fall into one of two primary types: QSR-style assembly lines, from which customers can pick and choose ingredients to completely customize their sandwiches, and operations set up to produce chef-developed sandwiches that guests can modify somewhat to suit their personal tastes. "In the case of a college campus or healthcare dining facility with multiple venues, I encourage clients to offer both types," Pellegrino says. "Each has its benefits and each style influences how we organize those stations." Both, however, increasingly rely on a mix of both hot and cold sandwich options. Hot sandwiches make delis and sandwich stations more universally popular year-round, while cold sandwiches suit the growing demands for takeout, grab and go, delivery and cater- ing. As such, says Pellegrino, "We have to figure out ways to incorporate hot sandwich equipment and make procedures fit into the flow of these stations." That flow centers on enabling seamless, efficient sandwich assembly from the point of purchase down the line to the point of delivery to the customer. Many traditional sandwich station designs feature a customer-facing as- sembly line, with fresh ingredients on display, supported by a back counter that stages heat- ing equipment such as steamers, toasters and panini grills. Photo courtesy of Rippe Associates. Photo by Lee Thomas Photography

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