Not all foodservice equipment is created equal — or with an eye on the needs of an ever-evolving restaurant industry. As the calendar moves closer to the new year, it’s a great time to check out the sort of equipment that’s up to the challenges and opportunities of 2020 and beyond.
New year, new challenges and opportunities. What will drive equipment technology choices in the coming year? Taking a quick look back at the National Restaurant Association’s 2019 State of the Restaurant Industry Report, here are some of the trends and paradigm shifts that jumped to the top of our list.
- Pressure … pushing down on you. Rising labor costs. Finding and keeping good workers. While always a challenge, labor-related issues will continue to put restaurants under increasing strain in the new year. That, in turn, will make equipment that helps alleviate that stress even more valuable and in demand.
- Thinking eco-thoughts. No one wants equipment that wastes energy. But the new year will bring increased scrutiny from all sides on just how eco-friendly (and utility-bill-lowering) a restaurant’s equipment really is.
- Giving customers what they want now. From the continued rise of off-premise dining to easier ordering and delivery options, customers will view convenience as even more of a “must have” than they did last decade.
- Filling menus with savored flavors. Menus stopped being “set in stone” years ago. But the new year will find customers hungry for even more global flavors and healthier options. And operators will be wanting equipment that isn’t shying away from the menu expansion challenge.
Equipment that’s 2020-ready. Now that we’ve looked at some macro issues on the horizon, let’s explore how the right equipment can address these specific challenges and opportunities.
- User-friendly equipment. Programmability features that automate tasks make using equipment easier and more intuitive for any employee. They also make training more straightforward. For example, nearly all Hatco Rapide Cuisine® Countertop and Drop-In Induction Ranges have programmable, worker-friendly cook settings.
- Eco-friendly equipment. Looking for a painless way to address the need to “think eco-thoughts” in the new year? Equipment with LED lighting uses less energy than incandescent and halogen options. In this article, you’ll find other simple tips and product suggestions for anyone looking for an eco-friendly kitchen design.
- Real world-friendly equipment. Versatility has always helped restaurants turn real-world challenges into opportunities. In the coming year, using equipment that can make multiple menu items from a single footprint — café equipment like Hatco’s Suntec Snack System and Salamander grill — will prove more valuable than ever.
- Menu-friendly equipment. The right equipment can make it easier to expand menus with choices customers will love, including more global flavor options. You can count on the Suntec Snack System for flavorful, Asian-inspired food options and the Hatco/Krampouz Crêpe Maker is ideal for French-inspired snacks.
The restaurant industry has always been an exciting, challenging world in which to work and live. And 2020 will be no exception. Finding commercial specialty cooking equipment that’s ready for what’s next will make it that much easier to set operations up for continued, sustainable success in the new year and beyond.