Foodservice Issues

Spotlights the challenges and opportunities that impact the application of foodservice equipment and supplies in the real world including green and energy efficiency concerns, foodservice equipment concerns, the impact of technology on foodservice, and the state of the foodservice economy.

Communication, Planning are Key for Mini Kitchen Service

Operators have always tried to limit the size of their kitchens. After all, a smaller kitchen equals more room for seats -- and more revenue -- from the front of the house.

Some operations, along with industry trends like food halls, take the small kitchen ethos to the extreme, resulting in full kitchens that occupy just a few hundred square feet or even less.

While this can maximize revenue, operators must keep service in mind when they set up shop in such a small space.

Functional by Design: Operational Efficiency, Customer Experience Drive Service Line Design

Customers’ experience at service lines contributes greatly to their overall dining satisfaction. For staff members, efficiency takes priority in a service line. Their experience in how well the line runs affects their morale and, in turn, how well they interact with customers. Layout and equipment selection contribute to all of the above.

Room Service and a Kitchen Renovation Set a High Standard

Built in 1971, the original trayline at Atlantic Health System’s Morristown Medical Center was in need of an overhaul. “We had an aging facility and patient meal and delivery system,” says Emma Atanasio, RD, director of Food and Nutrition Services, Morristown Medical Center (MMC) in Morristown, N.J. She arrived at the facility in 2017 and identified patient meal service as one of the most important issues to tackle. “We wanted to improve the patient experience and take service to a new level of excellence. We’re moving into an age in which hospitality and healthcare are merging, and patients expect more than they ever have.”

Norris Center at Northwestern University: Reconfigured and Rebranded Concepts

Reactivating the Norris University Center seemed appropriate when Compass Group joined the Northwestern University campus in Evanston, Ill., in July 2018. “We’re offering an eclectic menu that meets the unique needs of the students, faculty and staff in an engaging and inviting atmosphere that helps connect the Northwestern community at the Norris Center,” says Jennifer Byrdsong, vice president of operations with Chartwells Higher Education, a subsidiary of Compass Group, the foodservice provider at Northwestern.

Functional by Design: Designing for Pickup and Delivery

On-site diners have typically sought two things: a positive dining experience, created by good service and a pleasing environment, and a variety of high-quality menu items to choose from.

Consultants' Roundtable

Foodservice designers share insights on kitchen trends, the impact of off-premise dining and other shifts in the foodservice industry.

Secrets to Optimizing Kitchen Workflow

“Back-of-the-house workflow — receiving, storage, prep, production, service — is ultimately driven by the menu. However, the design of these areas is a well-coordinated dance. The size and plan of one space has an impact on the other,” says James (Jim) Richards Jr., president of PES Design Group, Sarasota, Fla.

Action Stations Sizzle

Theater, transparency, freshness, engagement, customization — foodservice customers today want it all. Action stations occupy the unique position to satisfy those demands, bringing prep, assembly and/or active cooking out from the back of the house and into the front-of-the-house spotlight. Coast to coast, in market segments from corporate and campus dining to K-12 schools and healthcare facilities, serveries now sizzle with stations built around myriad concepts. Action stations give customers diverse choices, the ability to get what they want how they want it, and a bird’s-eye view of their food prepared or assembled just for them.

Right-Sizing the Kitchen

With the movement toward ever-decreasing kitchen sizes, when does small become too small? Is efficiency sometimes sacrificed as a result of reducing the kitchen footprint? Or can equipment completely compensate for the reduction in space? When designing a smaller kitchen, finding the sweet spot requires a combination of efficiency and space saving.

How to Design a Developer-Driven Restaurant

What happens when the architect wants you to design a bar and restaurant, but the chef hasn’t even been chosen? Not knowing the menu can be a foodservice designer’s worst nightmare and it’s becoming a bigger reality these days, especially as more urban developers get into the restaurant game. The fact that menus, chefs and concepts now change faster than ever only adds to the dilemma and requires designs be more flexible to withstand the tests of time.

Tiny Kitchens Force Efficiency

In a perfect world, every restaurant kitchen would have thousands of square feet of working space, contain all of the latest equipment and include an ergonomic design to maximize the flow of both staff and product through the space. But, it’s not a perfect world. Most foodservice kitchens are small — in fact, some
are downright tiny. Yet, even with small kitchens, many operators find ways to thrive.