www.groceryheadquarters.com D E S I G N | 2017 EQUIPMENT, DESIGN AND OPERATIONS HANDBOOK 23
use what they share with us to thoughtfully develop prod-
ucts to meet the needs of that changing retail kitchen.”
Here’s a look at a varied assortment of equipment
deployed throughout the grocery store, and how they are
meeting the needs of today’s demanding shoppers:
Grocery stores are seeing growth in the grab-and-go foodservice category and are investing in equipment that meets
those demands in order to boost profits. Equipment suppliers agree that shoppers want quick, easy meals—but convenient dinners are not the only driving factor.
“Customers want food that tastes great at restaurant-level
quality,” notes Tami Olson, who handles national account
sales-retail for Alto-Shaam, based in Menomonee Falls,
Wis. She says equipment like rotisserie ovens and combi-ovens are designed specifically to meet consumer demands
for fast, quality food.
Alto-Shaam’s newest equipment includes a self-cleaning
rotisserie oven and new line of heated shelf merchandis-
ers. The equipment is designed to work together to increase
grab-and-go and deli sales while maximizing resources.
The new rotisserie oven aims to reduce labor for deli and
other foodservice operators while decreasing cooking times.
It features hands-free cleaning, automatic grease collection
and an intuitive touchscreen with seven browning levels.
Olson touts pairing the rotisserie oven with the new
heated shelf merchandisers, which offer individual shelf
controls to hold food at precise temperatures and customizable illuminated branding to increase impulse sales. “One
of our grocery store customers experienced an 8-10 percent
rotisserie chicken sales increase by adding the attractive
heated shelf merchandisers,” she says.
Flexible and multi-functional cooking equipment can
help retailers keep up with demand. “Shopper behavior is
demanding diversity in the prepared food options they are
looking for,” says William Buck, national corporate chef for
Chicago-based Rational USA. “Gone are the days of using
traditional equipment such as ovens, steamers, grills, fryers
Buck says that the company’s SelfCookingCenter is the
most flexible appliance in the industry. “With one piece of
equipment, you can grill, bake, steam, fry, proof, poach,
smoke, dehydrate, cook sous vide and much more with a
push of a button. The SelfCookingCenter also maintains
itself daily when the operator runs its Efficient CareControl
feature, which automatically cleans the cooking chamber
and descales its steam generator,” he says.
In addition, a ConnectedCooking app enables customers
to stay in touch with their equipment and receive push noti-
fications if any error codes are received. The app can also
set up the service provider to receive the same information
automatically. “This greatly benefits operators in main-
taining their equipment and gives the service provider the
information they need in order to have any issues resolved
on the first visit,” Buck adds.
SCALES AND WRAPPERS
The perimeter of the store is quickly becoming the fulcrum
point for maximum retail differentiation, say observers.
Retailers are using it to customize their food offerings based
on individual stores and their customer base. This creates
an intense loyalty by customers to their favorite fresh prepared store.
To address this changing and challenging landscape
faced by grocers, Mettler Toledo promotes its Fusion
scale application software, which features made-to-order
“Retailers need to be able to offer a diverse selection of
fresh prepared meals without inviting a blizzard of book-
keeping complication,” says Stoll.
Enabling the made-to-order option is designed to offer
fresh-meal sales associates a user-friendly interface to customize orders, transforming the service-counter into a
quick-service restaurant. With the capability to select or de-select condiments, substitute side dishes and offer upgrade