Keeping Up While Gearing Up


Looking at the most recent crop of new products, one thing seems clear: Equipment companies are listening more closely to the needs of operators. It’s no longer just about adding bells and whistles. Today, if a new piece of equipment isn’t greener, cleaner or smaller, it’s not going to make the cut.


It’s easy being green

Almost by definition, products that save energy fall into the green category. Manitowoc, for example, already has a line of EnergyMizer products that reduce energy costs.  But now the company has also switched from a chemical insulating foam to a water-based foam inside its ice machines and storage bins.  Eliminating the chemicals—such as propellant gasses—used in refrigeration machines anticipates future regulation, notes Manitowoc engineer Jim Baumann. “We are seeing more and more legislation on the horizon restricting the use of greenhouse gases in this category,” he says.


The Protector Fryer from Frymaster features new technology that extends oil life up to four weeks.  Since the unit exceeds Energy Star standards, it’s doubly green in that it can reduce energy consumption as well as cut down on the amount of oil that eventually has to be discarded.  Vulcan’s new 900RX line of gas griddles goes green in a different way, replacing the mercury used in the unit’s flame switches with a thermocouple that supervises the pilot contact.


Antimicrobials to the front

Antimicrobial agents have primarily been used in cleaning products or on cutting surfaces.  Now they’re showing up in the front of the house, too.  Stanley’s TouchSafe coffee carafes and cream pitchers incorporate Agion silver-based antimicrobial protection in all their polypropylene “touchable” surfaces, such as handles, levers and spouts.  Lynda Yost, VP for Stanley manufacturer Pacific Market International, says the idea to add the antimicrobial came from “listening to operators.  We hear their concern about E. coli scares.  This helps them feel safer.”


For younger diners, Rubbermaid Commercial Products has developed the Sturdy Chair Youth Seat, the first high chair to use Microban antimicrobial protection.  The protection is built into the product during the manufacturing process, resulting in a chair that should stay cleaner and look newer for a longer period of time.


No Space? No Problem!

Manufacturers are creating a lot of products these days with smaller footprints or designing products that help operators maximize the limited space they have. One example is Cleveland’s Convotherm Mini-Combi Oven Steamer.  It delivers the same cooking abilities as the company’s larger units—such as convection steaming, slow cooking and combination cooking—in a unit that measures just 20 inches wide by 27 inches high and 27 inches deep.  Amana’s AXP High-Speed Combination Oven offers radiant, microwave and convection functions.  Although its footprint is smaller than similar ovens in its category, its usable cavity space of 1.07 cubic feet is equals to or larger than comparable ovens.


Even wire storage shelves can do double duty as locked units, for storing alcohol or other items that need to be secured.  Eagle Group’s Security Modules add end panels, a rear panel and either a hinged or flip-up door to standard wire shelving to convert it to a lockable unit.

More From FoodService Director

Industry News & Opinion

The new unpaid-balance policy at Canon-McMillan School District in Pittsburgh is making waves after a former cafeteria worker sounded off about the practice on social media.

Stacy Koltiska said she quit her job with the district after being forced to take hot meals away from students who owed lunch money, CBS News reports .

Under a new policy that was implemented at Canon-McMillan this year, students whose lunch debt exceeds $25 are not allowed to receive a hot lunch. Children in grades K-6 are given a sandwich in its place, and older students receive no lunch. A recent...

Industry News & Opinion

Due to low participation in its lunch program, Talawanda School District in Oxford, Ohio, is raising the price of school meals this year, Patch.com reports .

The cost of school lunches will see a 30-cent increase, half of which is being enacted to cover the district’s budget. The other half is being required by the government to cover the cost of free and reduced-price lunches provided to low-income families. Prior to this year, the district had not raised prices since 2009.

The district’s cafeterias have experienced a decline in student participation since implementing the...

Industry News & Opinion

Six Philadelphia hospitals were honored by the city’s department of public health for healthy food initiatives introduced as part of the local Good Food, Healthy Hospitals program, bizjournals.com reports .

The hospitals each debuted healthy measures to their dining services, such as lowering the cost of water bottles and seltzers, and offering dishes that incorporate local produce. One hospital was also honored for operating its own organic farm.

The facilities that were honored were:

Einstein Medical Center Philadelphia Cancer Treatment Centers of America’s Eastern...
Sponsored Content
chili flakes and peppers spicy hot

From Catallia.

When planning your menus, take note: college and university students think spicy is hot.

Fifty-seven percent of consumers age 18-34 find spicy flavors, “extremely appealing,” according to Technomic. And almost 50% of college students surveyed said they would like their schools to offer more ethnic foods and beverages, states a recent Technomic College & University Consumer Trend Report. Translation: they like their food kicked up a notch!

More Options than Ever

“Students of today are all about flavor,” says Steve Mangan, director of dining for...

FSD Resources