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Stay Nimble, Stay Profitable: How Adaptable Foodservice Equipment Can Boost Your Chain’s Foodservice Success

Stay Nimble, Stay Profitable: How Adaptable Foodservice Equipment Can Boost Your Chain’s Foodservice Success


What came first, the chicken or the egg? This classic philosophical question can also be asked of your operation. What came first, the menu or the foodservice equipment? If equipment choices were based solely on an opening day menu, then you may be unable to adapt to trends down the road. If foodservice equipment is static, your scope of offerings may be too narrow. By utilizing system-wide adaptable restaurant equipment, operators can enjoy operational flexibility. Then the question isn’t a matter of if you can adapt, it’s a matter of how quickly you can adapt. It doesn’t matter whether the chicken or the egg came first when the answer is both.

Hot and cold

Hot and cold are diametrically opposed forces in the culinary world. These two elements rarely appear together in dishes because the temperatures compete against one another. That’s why burgers are often presented with lettuce, onion and tomato on the side. Fish fry operations never package the tartar sauce with the fried cod. Lukewarm is not a satisfactory temperature for diners. From a food safety perspective, there’s no middle ground for hot and cold. As any certified food handling professional can tell you, the range of 40 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit is the danger zone.

Merchandising and buffet equipment that can oscillate between hot and cold temperature settings is a game changer. It is possible for an operator to serve warm breakfast wraps in the morning and then cold sandwiches at lunchtime without ever changing out the shelves. The transitions aren’t limited to just meal periods. Hot and cold flexibility can also reflect changes in taste. A few years back, warm grain bowls began to compete with classic cold salads. Some operators were left flat-footed if their salad bar only had cold capabilities. With convertible drop-in wells that can be either hot or cold, menus could change on the fly.


Portability goes hand in hand with being a versatile operator. If a piece of foodservice equipment is fixed in place, you can’t change the footprint of your operation for a given change in function. That’s why it is advisable to consider equipment that can be moved from point A to point B. Plug-and-play capability is key.

The portable warmers of today are a far cry from their predecessors, and can switch from back-of-the-house use to front-of-the-house use in a span of minutes. A cook can use a portable induction warmer to hold foods at temperature as he or she prepares meals. That same piece of equipment could be used in a customer-facing self-service buffet later that same day. Layouts can be adjusted on the fly when equipment is portable. Are there bottlenecks at a particular foodservice station? Are certain areas difficult for staff to tend to? When you have the ability to move foodservice equipment around, you can relieve stress points.


There was a direct correlation between the pandemic and the rise in to-go sales. That to-go trend now appears to be a full-blown cultural shift. Simply put, people eat more take away than ever before. The adaptability of pick-up stations and food lockers has played an integral role in this movement.

The beauty of food lockers and pick-up stations is that they can account for any genre of food as long as the items fit in the locker. Contactless pick-up allows staff to be more flexible with their time, focus on different tasks and be more efficient. Pick-up stations and food lockers are versatile as they can be used to alleviate traffic congestion and positioned strategically for impulse buys. But the sky's the limit. Operators can strategize in real time about the best way to use pick-up stations and food lockers.

Are you ready?

By investing in adaptable foodservice equipment and technology, operators can stay ahead of the curve, adjust quickly to changing circumstances and capitalize on new opportunities as they arise. Hatco is dedicated to helping foodservice professionals keep their operations nimble by offering cutting-edge foodservice equipment that can change with your needs.

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