Foodservice Equipment & Supplies

JUN 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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50 • FOODSERVICE EQUIPMENT & SUPPLIES • JUNE 2018 as these facilities increasingly move toward more of a food hall setup, where customers can pay separately at each station. "It seems people like three different ways of ordering — in person, on a kiosk and online or via an app," says Schroeder. Sometimes clients won't know exactly which programs they want to go with, or they know they'll be going with online ordering in the near future but haven't done so yet. Having enough data drops spread throughout the facility, therefore, is a must." She prefers to start the conversation about infrastruc- ture early in the process and notes that even while operators often prefer Wi-Fi setups, it's expensive to build in internet hardwire connections after a project is complete. "Technol- ogy is becoming a more complex issue so it's important to have those conversations with the IT department early in the design process," she says. In some cases, Schroeder opts for more counter space in designs to make room for separate pickup areas to service online and kiosk ordering platforms. K-12 SCHOOLS School foodservice has changed dramatically in recent years, especially as more operators take a scratch-cooking approach to meet changing Department of Agriculture guidelines and other mandates. "Maybe 10 or 15 year ago, schools were given these shoebox kitchens without much prep space, but now they are serving more fresh fruit and vegetables, so we have to design for a lot of flexibility in prep spaces," says Eric Norman, IN FOODSERVICE THE PURSUIT OF The indoor Boston Public Market features more than 20 unique food and beverage vendors. Higher edu- cation and healthcare settings are tapping into this food hall approach to dining, which significantly changes equipment specifications. FIREHOUSE SUBS AND AIRPORT DESIGN Flexible design became top of mind for Richard Elkins, direc- tor of construction services for Firehouse Subs, when working to fit an operation into the Jacksonville International Airport. Given that the smaller, more compact airport store would offer breakfast in addi- tion to lunch, Elkins got cre- ative. He switched up the tra- ditional linear cookline design for a double-sided, U-shaped module where different cook- ing and assembly processes could happen simultaneously and be brought together for final service. "The sandwich-making process starts in the back of the space and works its way forward instead of working from left to right," Elkins says. In the airport setting, the toaster sits on an island in the middle of the space where the bread is dropped, while staff heat the meat and cheese in the steamer nearby. Everything then moves up the line to the front where staff assemble items at the refrigerated sandwich prep table. A small, countertop warming unit was added to hold rethermed eggs during the morning rush. Staff can take that piece down and remove it to make room for lunch service. Menu boards were also an important feature for flexibility in the airport setting, Elkins says. "We can quickly flip the menu when breakfast is over and lunch begins, as well as advertise LTOs [limited time offers] and other specials and deals," he says. Lately, for Firehouse's traditional restaurant locations, Elkins has been working on building in more space for separate online order pickups by customers and third-party delivery drivers from GrubHub and Uber Eats. "We call it 'Rapid Rescue,' and we have installed some shelving at the end of the line where we can put the to-go bags with the names on the receipts, so the drivers don't even have to interact with the staff," he says. Though Elkins started with a cubby, he went with a standing metal rack with multiple levels to allow room for more items. At the moment, staff can move these units in and out, but Elkins is considering making them a more permanent, built-in fixture at new-build stores. "With the Jacksonville airport project and now this 'Rapid Rescue' program, we are confident that we can make just about any design work in any type of smaller, more flex- ible space," says Elkin. Richard Elkins, Firehouse Subs

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