As with other industries, the foodservice sector is facing many unique challenges. In 2022, restaurants and other cold storage establishments must deal with many issues, making it harder to maintain one's bottom line, especially as utility bills continue to increase. Thankfully, technology can help foodservice operations mitigate these problems and make their locations more efficient.
When aiming to launch a successful restaurant, the owner should be looking at a few key aspects: business strategy, food design, staff hiring, and restaurant equipment. Technology has become especially relevant in all aspects of today's foodservice industry, with restaurant owners upgrading their workplaces with the latest digital menus and self-ordering kiosks. But we've found three innovations restaurants should incorporate to help their business succeed.
Refrigeration has been one of the better innovations of our era, bringing about a great deal of convenience for businesses and everyday households. Before this technology was introduced, people were left with limited methods of preserving their food and cooling down their homes during the hot months of summer. The success of modern refrigeration is largely due to refrigerants, the chemicals used to cool the air.
Having a great walk-in cooler or freezer is important in every restaurant and bar. But walk-ins aren't only for the foodservice industry. In fact, having customized walk-in coolers and freezer for a variety of businesses is a trend that has been going upward. Here are some places where having walk-ins helps improve business and sales.
The world around us continues to launch new technologies that transform and enhance our day-to-day lives, and developments in refrigeration technologies are no different. Innovations have resulted in the implementation of advanced compressors and controls that improve performance, allow for real-time monitoring, improve energy efficiency, and safeguard important product with system redundancy. These improvements have an impact on the system architecture, and the correlated written specifications.
If you're a foodservice consultant and you haven’t looked at your refrigeration specifications lately, maybe you should. Consider these questions as you review your specs and ask yourself:
Does my specification reference up-to-date compressor applications, evaporator controls and clear directives for piping and wiring practices?
Does the equipment in my specification utilize energy-efficient solutions for the compressor and evaporator systems?
Does the equipment in my specifications comply with all regulatory guidelines?
There are numerous types of refrigeration systems available in the industry today. Individual pre-assembled remote systems, large and small rack systems, digital systems, water-cooled, and air-cooled systems to name a few. These systems can be built with semi-hermetic compressors, hermetic compressors, scroll compressors, or digital scroll compressors. The enclosures can be made of stainless steel, galvanized steel, or powder-coated steel. Do you know which system best fits your application?
Are the evaporator coils specified to be pre-wired and pre-plumbed at the factory? Do they include the latest energy-efficient controllers and EEVs? And what about redundancy and monitoring?
Whether a classic keg of suds or something more progressive like kegs of cold brew coffee or kombucha, kegged beverages can turn bad or create safety risks if not stored properly. Even though some operations will try to store kegs in a food cooler, it's ideal to create a separate walk-in for storing kegs.
People around the world enjoy ingredients from other parts of the world, but it doesn't just show up on the plate. The reality is foods are passed from one step of the import/export process to another, and in many cases, frozen refrigeration or freezing capabilities are needed. Whether it's imported cheeses, meats, or other global delicacies, shipping food that needs to be kept cold can be challenging, so let's explore the process of cold storage and shipping.
It might not seem immediately obvious, but commercial refrigeration systems are everywhere. We all know that grocery stores, convenience stores, schools, and restaurants require refrigeration systems to keep food safe for consumption. It is important in healthcare, not just as it relates to foodservice, but for things like blood and vaccine storage. The bottom line is commercial refrigeration matters in a wide range of applications, and it can impact the people who work in those organizations.
When people think of gas stations and convenience stores, the typical thought process is that most of the money is made at the pump. In reality, that is far from the truth.