Future Food Service Trends

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

Short-Order_Kitchen-ChefsLike everything else in the world of business, food service is constantly evolving. Exactly what the future will bring is naturally a matter of educated guessing more than certain understanding. Here are some of the trends we believe restaurant kitchens should prepare for in 2015 and beyond:

Energy Issues

Barring a radical innovation, electricity costs are likely to rise as time goes on, which means that cutting energy costs will continue to be a big part of food service in the future. Look for restaurants to switch to LED lighting, energy-efficient appliances, smart refrigeration, smart holding trays, and other energy-saving methods to lower overhead and promote sustainability.

Multi-Purposed Restaurant Equipment

As customers become more demanding and discerning and their requirements become more specific, restaurants are going to need equipment that is multifunctional and can be assigned to a variety of different purposes as seasons change, new menus roll out, and customers approach with unique requests. (more…)

Food Trend Forecast for 2014: Technomic vs. NRA Predictions

Monday, December 9th, 2013

Food Trend Forecast for 2014: Technomic vs. NRA PredictionsHere at ShortOrder, we like to keep an eye on what’s ahead in the food industry. From new restaurant equipment technology to fast casual trends to the best ways to promote your restaurant, we’re interested in keeping you informed and supplying you with the best restaurant equipment for success.

This week we’re looking at the top trends on the horizon for the upcoming year as brought to you by two major players in informing the food industry. Technomic, a leading food industry consulting and research firm, has put out a list of the top developments expected in 2014 based on data gathered from site visits across the U.S., interviews and surveys of operators, chefs, and consumers, qualitative data from its Digital Resource Library, and quantitative data from its MenuMonitor database. The National Restaurant Association (NRA), a leading business association for the restaurant industry, has also created a list of predictions for 2014. This one was culled from a survey of more than 1,200 members of the American Culinary Federation. The results of these two lists are mixed, with some overlapping trends and some disparities.

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What’s Next for Commercial Restaurant Tech

Friday, November 22nd, 2013

What’s Next for Commercial Restaurant TechAt ShortOrder we’re pretty proud of our high-tech commercial restaurant equipment. Appliances and ice machines like the Manitowoc NEO Undercounter Ice Maker are designed to make life in the kitchen easier and more efficient thanks to technology that caters specifically to a busy work environment that requires high quality service. Manufacturers of ice machines like Manitowoc and Scotsman are consistently improving ice machines’ technology for better ice production more efficient operation. These ice machines’ features include advance notice of service needs, intuitive settings and design, and lowered energy consumption for a better use of your resources, plus environmentally-friendly ice machines.

So in addition to smart ice machines, what’s next for the world of commercial restaurant technology?

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Fast Casual Pizza: What’s Next for Commercial Restaurant Equipment

Friday, August 30th, 2013

The fast casual restaurant is on the rise, cooking up a frenzied variety of foods on eateries’ commercial restaurant equipment to great financial success. According to the NPD Group, the number of fast casual chain restaurant units increased by 7% from last year’s spring census, and visits to those units increased by 9% during the same time frame, even as traffic in the rest of the restaurant industry was flat.

“Fast casual” is defined as somewhere between a fast food restaurant and casual dining restaurant. The idea is that fast casual restaurants offer higher-quality food than a fast food establishment, without the full table service that comes with a casual dining restaurant. Included in the fast casual category are restaurants like Chipotle Mexican Grill, Panera Bread, Noodles & Co., Smashburger, and Fazoli’s.

Fast casual has been around for decades, but there is a newer trend that has been surfing the fast casual wave that has consumers excited. The “fast casual pizza” trend is one that has been growing for some time now, but seems to have spiked in the last year or so. The concept of fast casual pizza has been referred to as “the Chipotle Mexican Grill of pizza,” meaning that customers proceed through an assembly line of ingredients to build their own single-serve pie. The kind of commercial restaurant equipment and ovens used to craft these personal pizzas vary from conveyor ovens to deck ovens. Consumers appreciate the fast casual pizza concept thanks to its ability to create an American favorite in a healthier, more personalized way, while still serving it quickly using powerful commercial restaurant equipment. Current contenders in the world of fast casual pizza eateries include Blaze Fast Fire’d Pizza, The Pizza Studio, PizzaRev, MOD Pizza and Pie Five Pizza, but there are also places in the market like Zpizza, a fast casual pizza chain that has been baking made-to-order pies for 27 years.

Commercial Restaurant Equipment and News from ShortOrder

What’s your opinion of the fast casual pizza trend? What commercial restaurant equipment have you used in your fast casual restaurant? Look up ShortOrder on Twitter and Facebook and let us know!

 

Fire Up Your Restaurant Equipment for the Food Truck Buzz

Friday, August 2nd, 2013

In recent years, the humble food truck has moved beyond the street vendor stereotype into the realm of specialty foods, serving up everything from Asian fusion to gourmet doughnuts. That’s why food trucks employ all kinds of restaurant equipment to serve up their unique mobile cuisine to fans and followers. It seems that there is now a fleet of food trucks in every major city, and the types of food they serve are just as numerous as the trucks themselves. Some cities even have designated places where food trucks can congregate during the day, allowing patrons to travel to them.

If you are considering catching the food truck wave, read on. You can use these tips to make your way to portable culinary success.

Choosing a Concept

A food truck doesn’t have to rely on a gimmick or a complicated concept to be successful. While competition for quality is indeed high amongst food trucks, the important thing is to consistently serve quality food in a clean, friendly atmosphere. So whether a food truck’s menu is rooted in Brazilian street food or French desserts, great food and great service should always be top priority.

Buying Restaurant Equipment for a Food Truck

There is no major difference between the actual restaurant equipment for a full-sized kitchen and restaurant equipment for a food truck. However, you should consider the size factor when buying restaurant equipment for a food truck. You will have less room to maneuver than in a normal kitchen, so space-efficient equipment is best.

Setting up a Food Truck

The arrangement of your food truck’s kitchen will help determine its efficiency and success. You’ll need to choose restaurant equipment that allows you to move freely, especially during peak business hours, but you’ll also need your layout to be flexible so you can change out restaurant equipment if your menu alters.

Powering a Food Truck

Different components inside a food truck’s kitchen will have different power requirements. Keep in mind that everything in your mobile kitchen should be 120V. Additionally, griddles and ovens have a higher power requirement than other pieces of restaurant equipment like refrigeration units, so they will most likely need a tow-able generator.

Connect with ShortOrder

What restaurant equipment do you use in your food truck? Have you had success in the food truck business? Reach out to ShortOrder on Twitter and Facebook and tell us about your experiences!

Restaurants Redefine the Salad

Thursday, October 23rd, 2008

Restaurants around the country are redifining the salad in order to give customers what they want. And they don’t just want a plate of iceberg lettuce — customers want a salad that’s filling, healthy and on par with an entree.

Not too long ago, salads were merely ordered as a side, or when someone didn’t see anything on a restaurant menu that they liked. A last resort, a way to appear healthy, ordering a salad is now neither of those things because consumers really, truly are paying attention to eating healthier meals.

A recent article in QSR Magazine talks about this new, growing trend in restaurants. The article noted that Technomic Information Services’ “Salad Category Report” showed 55 percent of consumers said they ordered a salad most of the time or every time when they dine away from home. This report also showed that if a salad is unique, new and sounds appealing, 43 percent of consumers are likely to purchase it.

Hobart food cutterFast food restaurants are even working to meet the demands of consumers by offering affordable salads. It’s a good move for fast food restaurants, since the National Restaurant Association’s 2008 Restaurant Industry Forecast found that entree salads are growing in popularity, according to 59 percent of quick-service operators. What’s more is that they found 76 percent of consumers are trying to eat more healthfully now than they did two years ago.

Restaurant Equipment to Make Salads

Restaurant equipment to make salads is a necessity — just having fresh, delicious ingredients isn’t enough to get the job done. If you’re serving up tasty salads at your restaurant, you’ll need a way to keep the carrots, lettuce, cucumbers, sprouts, dressings and anything else you’ll have on hand at a safe temperature. Kolpak walk-in refrigerators can get that job done. And to give chefs and restaurant staff members a place to chop and dice ingredients, you’ll want a quality commercial work table. Hobart food cutters are also worth considering, as they could help get food prep work done more quickly and efficiently. Get the lowest prices on restaurant equipment at ShortOrder.

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