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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92 • FOODSERVICE EQUIPMENT & SUPPLIES • JUNE 2018 market spotlight Its dishes, including steak with garlic mashed potatoes, Louisiana gumbo, chicken scalop- pini and cedar-planked salmon, are made fresh on site. The one freezer at the restau- rant exists to store ice cream. Food is cooked to order, delivery services are available and allergy requests are accommodated. Although the menu includes pasta, steak and fresh fish, Tony C's is known best for its burgers. "These half-pound burgers are formed in house and served on a toasted brioche bun," says McDonald. "Gourmet versions with fried egg and crispy pork belly, veggie and turkey burgers are popular." The 16 appetizers include calamari, flat- bread, artichoke dip and parmesan truffle fries. According to Lovi, sports bars' kitchens have become more efficient by incorporating high-tech equipment. "We're seeing sophisticated flat tops, fryers, ovens, charbroilers and refrigerated pizza and sandwich tables," he says. "We're starting to look at combis, which are now more affordable. It's key to look at large capital expenses and see the ROI." For today's sports bars, it has become necessary to add equipment in order to diversify menus, so this has made it worth the investment. "Building out a kitchen involves some of the most expensive purchases, so operators are looking at every bit of product as well as warranties and durability," says Lovi. "For example, I look at refrigeration through preventative main- tenance. If you can get 10 years out of a sandwich or pizza table, that's great. But if it's lasting only two to three years, it becomes expensive." A Changing Ambiance When Lovi opened his first sports bar 20 years ago, the only requirements were a few televisions and 10 beers on draft. "Now you need a lot more with design, decor and offer- ings," he says. "As an example, in the front of house, I'm seeing the ability for guests to control volume and television selection from where they're sitting with a Bluetooth connection." Generally, today's more sophisticated sports bar operators look for customer perceived value when it comes to electronics. "If you're looking at two places and one has a 65-inch LED television and another has older tube televisions behind the bar, people would think their house TVs are better," says Lovi. "Bathrooms also are important, and should include nice tile work and no broken components. The average consumer has no idea about the price of restaurant fixtures, but if these are worn, they will notice. You don't need to invest in $500 bar stools, but comfortable seating will encourage customers to stay and should be worked into the budget." Because the true appeal of a sports bar is the ability to watch games in an immersive environment, multiple televi- sion monitors with a variety of sporting events is now com- monplace. "Today's bar owners are investing in networked- AV, which allows video to be deployed on a flexible Ethernet network, thereby giving bar owners the flexibility to pull content from multiple sources and deploy this across moni- tors throughout the space," says Rebel's DeBoer. In terms of design, sports bars have moved from a mascu- line approach featuring a bunch of televisions and a limited menu to more bright, cheerful and sophisticated interiors with higher-end menus. This includes seasonal beer and Tony C's Fenway Park location features a rooftop deck that's atypical for sports bars. Tony C's has elevated its menu to include upscale fare, including fresh salmon, a best seller.

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