In a matter of weeks, the economy and our industry completely upended in response to COVID-19 and the preventative measures put in place. Thousands of operators across the country and world were forced to strategically shift their businesses to continue feeding essential workers, everyday heroes and the community.
Through it all, consultants continue to also adapt and support operators with these shifting needs across all segments.
Designing a Takeout and Delivery Program
In the full- and limited-service landscape, delivery and takeout were already growing in the market; however, COVID-19 accelerated that growth. Many aimed to implement new off-premise programs quickly overnight, but not without challenges. Food quality and safety continues to be a primary concern for operators, as they aim to guarantee hot and ready food that keeps customers returning.
Crucial to a successful takeout or delivery program, quality heated holding equipment ensures that food is kept warm without drying out or degrading in food quality. Holding cabinets are ideal for traditional takeout programs. Food can be held hot in containers in the holding cabinet, ensuring it is ready to go and arrives home warm and flavorful, as intended. Alto-Shaam offers a wide range of holding solutions featuring gentle, radiant Halo Heat® technology. Heated holding cabinets are energy efficient and easy to install with no water required—saving money, time and energy, while satisfying customers and reducing food waste.
For optimal layout, cabinets and carts are available with casters for easily mobility. Cabinets can be placed anywhere, such as under the counter or stacked with a Heated Shelf Merchandiser or other equipment to further maximize space. Some restaurant operators are also offering prepare-at-home meal kits. Alto-Shaam’s Quickchiller™ blast chillers can be used to rapidly and safely chill down pre-prepared food for these kits, ensuring safe temperatures and the highest product quality.
What is a Ghost Kitchen Concept?
COVID-19 has also compounded the growth of ghost kitchens who need equipment solutions that can cook a wide variety of different cuisines to order. From cooking to heated holding to chilling, Alto-Shaam offers a complete system of ventless equipment to support ghost kitchens without a traditional hood or with limited hood space. Exclusive Vector® H Series Multi-Cook Ovens feature up to four ovens in one, allowing operators to cook a variety of food items simultaneously and simplify steps in food production. H Series ovens offer a compact, 21” footprint and are certified ventless. Featuring Structured Air Technology®, these ovens cook food at the highest quality, two times faster than conventional technology to keep up during peak demand.
Additionally, Alto-Shaam just launched its new Ventech™ Type 1 hoods with condensation technology for Combitherm® Ovens. Ventech hoods eliminate the need for a traditional kitchen hood and are available on single or stacked models. No separate power supply for the hood is required, as the power for the condensation hood is sourced directly from the oven.
Cafeteria Foodservice Solutions
Possible long term changes also extend to cafeteria-style foodservice programs in the business and industry, K-12 and college and university segments. With self-serve programs and large gatherings restricted for an indefinite period of time, hot food bars and salad bars are disappearing in the cafeteria space. To maintain service, operators have shifted to hot food merchandising, with all foods wrapped, packaged and served by employees utilizing PPE. Stackable, energy efficient merchandisers that provide extended holding times will be essential to keep food and operating costs down and product quality high.
The landscape of the entire industry continues to change day to day. Alto-Shaam is a partner you can trust for ongoing support and a full system of solutions that meet the needs of your customers.
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