GHQ EQUIPMENT, DESIGN & OPERATIONS
executive vice president at RATIONAL North
America, based in Rolling Meadows, Ill.
The trend toward snacking is equally important
and potentially just as influential, and Gen Y and Gen
Z have adopted a lifestyle of snacking and nontraditional meal times. Jordan Robinson, marketing specialist at Milwaukee, Wis.-based Ovention, says if the
grocery segment can further capitalize on the convenience, quality and variety of their foodservice offerings there is plenty of market share to win.
CONTROLLING COSTS, INCREASING
Observers say labor, food costs and increasing competition are some of
the biggest challenges operators currently face. Zornes says combi ovens
with smoking capabilities, automatic cleaning and grease collection can
expand a deli’s selections while helping to ease labor challenges. He adds
that cook and hold ovens can be used to roast meats—or to even introduce
a grab-and-go sandwich program. “With system solutions, retailers can
use the right combination of equipment to increase profits,” says Zornes.
Though controlling costs is paramount, having equipment that can
best help retailers offer more value-added offerings, while being simple to
operate is necessary.
“Combi ovens fit that need,” says Leingang.
“They continue to challenge and change the way
food is produced in supermarkets. Their incred-
ible capability to produce volume and variety with
speed is an important lever that can be pulled to
help retailers explore and drive new and varied
prepared food offerings for their stores.”
Not only can low temperature cooking be eas-
ily accomplished in a combi oven, according to
Leingang, this option offers affordable energy
usage and the opportunity to prepare food overnight with limited or no staff. “Creative and interesting prepared offerings, in smart and efficient processes makes a lot
of good business sense for supermarkets,” he says.
To remain competitive, retailers will need to focus on building kitchens of the future, says Glueck, noting that technology is available to
help retailers manage their kitchens efficiently, while being energy
conscious and having culinary innovation in mind.
Technology that enables cooking intelligence, which is multifunc-tional, he adds, is making it possible for retailers to prepare a wide variety of freshly made meals in the smallest spaces possible. To keep up
with consumer demand and stay current with the trends, observers
predict retailers will step up their fresh, prepared meal programs even
further in 2017. “From baking to breakfast, lunch and dinner to catering, production or a la carte, retailers can do it all with the right equipment,” says Glueck.
Observers say combis would not have gotten to where they are now
without being easy to use and operate. They say the interactive touch-
screen, which many of today’s ovens utilize, make the operation of what
sounds like a complicated piece of equipment easy and intuitive to use.
“Interactive touchscreens simplify the operation and help ensure there
is a repeatable, efficient flow of product in and out of the combi,” says
Leingang. “Consistent, quality product coming out of your kitchen
without chaos is the name of the game.”
Advancements in technology have also played a critical roll in mak-
ing equipment more functional. “Without the use of multi-function
controllers we could never achieve the results we have,” says Pumphret.
As mobile ordering and loyalty programs continue to grow in popularity, observers say utilizing technology to add convenience to foodservice will be necessary. From a staffing perspective, with the growing presence of Gen Z in the workforce, intuitive digital interfaces for
equipment will facilitate training and operation, as well as maintain
quality and consistency of prepared food. “Retailers should be focused
on taking foodservice market share away from QSR, fast casual and
c-stores,” says Robinson. “This is an area of growth across the board,
and now is the time to establish a strong presence and good reputation.”
Clearly there are new opportunities in front of retailers for 2017, but
Dual Knife Blade Rollers
Standard Duty or Heavey Duty
Optional Strip Cutting