Amount of kitchen-related workers’
linked to cooking oil
TRENDS TO WATCH
He also points out that there is a direct link between energy efficiency and system performance.
To deal with this, he says, smart algorithms are on the
way that use internet of things infrastructures, new sensors, cloud computing and “ever-expanding” databases of
system information to analyze patterns in refrigeration performance to provide retailers with “access to actionable information to help them improve energy efficiency, increase
system reliability and manage their retail enterprises.”
Lovely Lighting and Color
Lighting can have major effects on environment and a
store’s footprint. That is why Tom Henken, VP and di-
rector of design for Tampa, Fla.-based design firm api(+),
recommends grocers looking to revamp a store start with
lighting, because a “well-designed high-color rendering
(CRI) lighting package enhances the perception of the en-
vironment and the quality of products on display,” while
LED lighting makes “ a sizable difference in operating costs
including energy consumption, heat gain and long-term
To complement these lighting upgrades, Henken sug-
gests retailers place a strategic color scheme throughout
the store, which he says can “completely refresh a store
with little cost.”
The Nuts and Bolts of ESLs
Electronic shelf labels (ESLs) are creeping into the mainstream, and Andrew Dark, CEO of Atlanta-based ESL provider Displaydata, says one of the most important things
for a retailer to consider when investing in this equipment
is the balance of the total cost of ownership over the lifetime of the solution with its overall quality, which includes
considering the number of images a solution can support.
“Retailers must ensure that the solution they choose has
the capability to automatically deliver updates to each ESL
[and detect the correct update for each display based on its
location] in the store estate,” he says. Without this capability, image quality will decline until a costly return to the
factory is required, he says.
“Grocers shouldn’t sacrifice customer experience when
it comes to determining which ESL to install throughout
stores,” he says, warning that cheap displays that do not
show crisp, differentiated colors “will increasingly frustrate
customers as [the displays] age and degrade.”
Keeping Up With Kiosks
One of the most important considerations when reviewing
and selecting a new kiosk or self-serve automaton equipment is reliability, says Kimberly Carroll, VP of global for
Mason, Ohio-based Apex Supply Chain Technologies.
To ensure a product’s reliability to drive repeat purchas-
es and customer satisfaction, Carroll suggests retailers in-
quire about the solution’s uptime percentages and evaluate
how many hours of downtime will occur on a daily, weekly
and monthly basis. “Look for solutions that have a mini-
mum of four nines uptime: 99.99%. Anything less and you
could be risking a positive customer experience,” she says.
Goodbye to Grease-Related Safety Hazards
Hot grease is one of the biggest safety concerns, not to
mention disposal headaches, of many retailers. However,
new solutions are coming to light to help retailers mitigate
the significant risk of hot grease.
Jim English, director of national accounts for Mendota Heights, Minn.-based kitchen automation company
Restaurant Technologies, points out that while many
safety risks exist in foodservice, “cooking oil overwhelmingly stands apart as a costly and frequent hazard,” with
more than 60% of kitchen-related workers’ compensation
claims linked to cooking oil.
While this may seem like a problem that is more prevalent in restaurant kitchens, English says it is actually quite
the opposite, with grocery kitchens holding a greater risk.
“[They] often have a much larger footprint and utilize
more than one fryer, creating the need to transport used
cooking oil to rendering tanks across the grocery floor and
exposing customers to an unsightly and unsafe environment,” he says.
This may sound scary, and it is, but manufacturers are
rolling out solutions that automate the grease-manage-ment process to keep employees out of more steps of the
process, such as transporting the oil to storage tanks manually.
New solutions are available to automate grease management, decreasing the risk of
accidents and injuries.