Small, targeted commercial equipment investments make a big difference

What’s stopping you from investing in better, smarter cooking or baking equipment for your commercial kitchen? Is it money? Is it space? Or is it plain old why-mess-with-a-good-thing inertia?

We’re not about to stop store managers who feel inclined to remodel their kitchens top to bottom. Still, business owners and decision-makers must know a large-scale, costly upgrade is no guarantee of success or even turnaround from past failings. A targeted approach, one that focuses on unique struggles and goals, has a greater potential to return in spades what a team puts into it. What are examples of such a method, and why do they work as well as they do? [Read more…]

Optimize your baking operations for cookies Grandma would envy [w/ Infographic]

What is it about the drop in temperature that makes the smell of fresh-baked cookies all the more enticing?

Pumpkin spice shortbread, cinnamon snickerdoodles, iced sugar cookies in fun holiday shapes or even the classic chocolate chip — foodies can’t get enough of these delicious treats this time of year. But even though supermarkets with bakery sections are happy to serve up happiness by the dozen, their traditional commercial baking equipment might stand in the way of perfect cookie execution. [Read more…]

Snack food frenzy: What it takes to bring pizza and soft pretzels to your prepared foods department

Some days, you just have to treat yourself.

Snack foods get everyone’s attention — the sight and smell of a piping-hot pizza pie or a freshly baked soft pretzel makes everybody’s mouths water, which means they can both be real commercial successes for foodservice business owners considering selling these treats in their stores.

That said, supermarkets or grocery stores looking for a slice of the action shouldn’t let the fun times associated with these snacks cloud their judgment. Pizza and soft pretzels both require careful equipment considerations every investor should be aware of. [Read more…]

Bite-sized bakeries: Why switch to smaller baked goods?

Itty-bitty baked goods are the next big thing in commercial baking. Businesses that adjust their processes to include the production of smaller items like cupcakes, pastries and bars stand to benefit greatly in valuable ways, and not just at point of sale, either. Let’s take a look at a few advantages bite-sized baked goods offer the typical commercial baking outfit: [Read more…]

Breaking bread: 10 ways automated bread slicers change baking

Are you familiar with the expression “the greatest thing since sliced bread”? How could you talk about bread slicers without bringing that little gem up?

But the truth is, while sliced bread might be worthy of the title “greatest thing,” the act of slicing is far from it, especially in commercial baking operations. It’s time-intensive, difficult to standardize and even potentially dangerous if done by hand. [Read more…]

Burnt out: How to tell if your convection oven needs maintenance

Convection ovens are the heart and soul of many commercial cooking operations, delivering piping-hot ready-to-go meals for individual customers or large trays of food for a commissary or buffet bar. Few other devices in a prepared food or specialty department in a supermarket see more traffic. [Read more…]

Making dough: Bakery department as a differentiator in retail business

Supermarkets have been baking up a storm in recent years, and customers have been flocking to their favorite retail locations in droves to snag something crispy, warm and delicious, according to Packaged Facts. The latest research shows Americans spent $20 billion on sweet baked goods like cookies and cakes, and a significant percentage of these purchases happen at the in-store bakery counter. [Read more…]

Gluten-free movement: It’s not just a passing fad

You’re not alone – gluten confuses a lot of people. An NSF International survey found that while 90 percent of Americans have heard of gluten, more than half can’t accurately define it.

Apparently, though, people don’t have to know much about gluten to know they don’t want it. National Public Radio revealed that apart from the 1 percent of the U.S. population with celiac disease – an immune disorder causing gluten intolerance – nearly 30 percent avoid gluten-laden foods for other personal reasons. [Read more…]

Sustainable business: Energy saving tips when investing in food equipment

With innovative foodservice equipment, the supermarket and grocery store industry can do more for themselves and their customers. But the benefits don’t end at what’s on the menu – purchasing new equipment for the prepared food, meat and bakery departments can also lead to astounding energy savings.

[Read more…]

3 millennial spending habits and what they mean for retail food

All retailers aim to move where the money is, and these days, that means following millennial spending trends. This enormous generation, comprised of consumers born between 1980 and 2000, made up around one-third of the U.S. population in 2013 according to the White House Council of Economic Advisers. Retailers marketing to this generation can’t rely on past successes – they must tailor operations to meet Generation Y’s needs both at the prepared foods section and at the cash register. What factors should retailers watch out for, and how can they impact equipment investment decisions in the coming year?
[Read more…]