Delight Gen Zers with healthy, fast food
Generation Z, those born between 1993 and 1998, are coming into their own as opinionated consumers. And their preferences look different than those of their parents and grandparents.
They’re a multi-cultural generation that’s known nothing but a high-tech world. And they’re used to on-demand items as well as customization.
So, cooking for Gen Z consumers presents unique challenges.
Fortunately for those in the foodservice space, there are tools to help cater to the specific needs of Gen Zers.
One of those tools is Ovention ovens, which are able to deliver both speed and customization.
At Rollins College in Winter Park, Fla., the dining hall is able to provide 23% more orders thanks to its two double-sided Ovention ovens, according to Gustavo Vasconez, the school’s general manager of dining services.
The private college installed its first Ovention oven nearly two years ago, and a second one six months after that.
They’ve found that the high-speed, customizable ovens are the answer to the demands of their population of young diners.
Rollins College bought the first oven to cook pizzas, because it did not require a venting hood. But then they found so many other uses for the Ovention oven that directly appealed to their Gen Z consumer base.
“We do everything there,” Vasconez says. “Fish, steaks, appetizers. Even dim sum.”
The Ovention ovens have reduced lines in the dining halls, leading to more satisfied customers who don’t have to wait for their cooked-to-order meals, he says.
The high-temperature ovens cook without added fats, appealing to Gen Z consumers looking for healthier options. Entrees can then be served with a range of sauces—from low-fat, vegetable-based ones to cream-based sauces—to suit a range of tastes and dietary preferences.
“It leads you to serve more healthy food,” he says.
Plus, for populations with many international diners, the ovens represent a solution to fully customizable dishes.
“You can program the oven any way you want,” he says. “Different orders can be cooked on each side of the oven.”
At Rollins College, chefs cook steamed dim sum dishes in the Ovention ovens with a bit of water, preparing up to six orders of dim sum at the same time, Vasconez says.
Plus, they can cook a wide variety of proteins—from lamb chops to seared tuna to calamari to Korean barbecue—with speed and accuracy.
“This type of equipment helps us customize every order with the same speed of cooking,” he says.
Operators looking to save on labor costs will appreciate the ease of the Ovention oven. It offers a touch screen that is easily programmable for frequently prepared dishes.