Category Archives: Innovation

How to Hold Your Fried Items with Confidence

Whether it’s chicken, fish, shrimp or mozzarella sticks, consumers universally expect the same out of fried items. We fry foods specifically to retain their moist or juicy insides and (most importantly) to add that crunchy, golden delicious outside.

Perfecting the right “crunch” for every item can sometimes take constant experimentation, so it’s understandable that operators might be hesitant to use a holding cabinet if they think it will diminish the quality of their prized fried concoctions. But will it?

Yes, holding fried items can be a bit trickier, but they can be successfully held. In fact, a holding program may be more crucial than some operators realize, especially for fried items. By establishing a proper holding program, operators can eliminate consistency issues and improve flow of service. Once the ideal holding time and humidity levels have been established for a product, it can all but be assured that every customer will receive the same quality item, always.

To help find that holding sweet spot for fried foods, we wanted to offer a few tips to operators that should inspire confidence in maintaining the perfect crunch even after some time in the holding cabinet.

Tip 1: Hold High
We find that too many operators, in fear of drying out their food, err on the side of lower holding temperatures when in fact, the opposite should be practiced. A higher temperature hold creates more available moisture, also known as the juices in meat products. Following the initial cooking of the meat, at rest, those juices will settle out. Worse yet, if the temperature drops too low then the taste and appearance become more of the day-old variety, rather than warm, crisp and juicy.  It won’t be dry, but it will lose palatability.

For those that are holding fried chicken at 145°F, try holding instead somewhere in the range of 165-185°F.

By holding at a higher temperature, operators can increase the overall holding time of that item. For those that are holding fried chicken at 145oF, try holding instead somewhere in the range of 165-185oF.  This will work for a variety of other proteins, such as large roasts of pork and beef, BBQ and roasted poultry like chicken or turkey.

Tip 2: Know Your Hold
Know which items hold easier than others and which can sustain longer holds while maintaining quality. For instance:

-Breaded items hold better than battered items
-Bone-in items produce a better hold than boneless items
-Large items hold easier and better than smaller items
-Softer fried items hold longer than hard, crispy fried items

Tip 3: Think Ahead
Holding shouldn’t come as an after-thought. In fact, operators that utilize holding best, factor it into the overall recipe. The quality and flavor of the item should be considered final only after it has been through its allotted hold. This may mean trying different types of flours to understand what holds and tastes best when it is eventually served. For instance, operators may find that alternatives like rice flour or potato starch, in certain applications, may yield a crispier and tastier product than wheat flour after a designated hold period.

Tip 4: Yes, Equipment Matters
There are several levels of holding cabinet options available to operators, and in most cases, you get what you pay for:

Option 1: The most basic cabinets provide one heat source and will keep your food warm but that’s about it. With no way to increase or decrease the available humidity, these are not a viable option for fried foods.

Option 2: These units are a basic cabinet with the addition of a passive water pan. These will offer a heat and a water source, giving you the ability to create steam. This is definitely a step up, but operators are given little in the way of environmental control.

Option 3: Humidified cabinets come with a dedicated heat source for the cabinet and a water pan with its own dedicated heat source, giving operators the ability to individually fine-tune heat and humidity levels. However, this will rely on constant operator observation and adjustments.

Option 4: Fully automatic cabinets are based on a closed loop system that automatically checks and adjusts moisture and temperature levels to turn out the exact same product time and time again. Once the best hold specifications for each item have been determined, all that’s left to do is set it and forget it.

Holding fried items may feel like a recipe for disaster to some, and done without the right knowledge or tools, it may be. However, if holding is instilled in an operation as a standard procedure, where temperature and humidity levels are always programmed and accurate — made possible by design and technology — the holding cabinet may become the unlikely hero of your frying program.

To learn more about the holding cabinet options that Henny Penny has available, visit our holding line-up or contact your local distributor.

Why the F5? How about speed, efficiency and hard savings?

We changed the frying game back in 2008 with our Evolution Elite. This 30-lb. open fryer focused on producing quality food while improving operations and saving time and money. The overwhelming success of that first 30-lb. platform had us wondering — where do we go from here?

The answer?  The F5.

More than just a fryer with a touch screen, the F5 is a thoughtful and finely tuned frying platform that will provide game-changing value for frying operators who want to challenge the status quo. The F5 is an intuitive, easy-to-use, easy to train on fryer that helps operators successfully produce quality products, expedite operations and save money.

Let’s start with the latter — savings. The oil management technology that accompanies the F5’s 30-lb. vat, translates to a 40 percent savings on oil costs at fill compared the costs of a traditional 50-lb. vat — all while maintaining throughput. The F5 is also effective in extending oil life. In high volume applications oil has lasted up to 21 days, meaning your seasoned oil will spend more time in the optimum “sweet spot”. Having that extended sweet spot means you’ll be able to turn out exceptionally tasty food more consistently over extended periods of time.

The fast and simple filtering process leads to even more savings opportunities, by producing clean oil that is up to temperature in three minutes — a filter speed 25 percent faster than any other fryer available today. Less time filtering means more time frying and making money.

With F5’s low oil volume platform, operators can expect to see annual oil savings of between $3,000 and $5,000. This is even before incorporating the savings that can be derived from the simplicity of operation and maintenance:

In addition to saving money, there is the aspect of saving time and expediting operations. To cut down on the attention our equipment requires from operators, we made the F5 simple — really simple. Easy to operate, easy to train on and easy to maintain, our newest innovation is the definition of simplicity. Controls that are icon and picture-based help guide users through regular cooking operations, maintenance procedures, how-to guides and training programs. The F5 is easy for anyone to operate. Tasks are completed quicker than ever, and time spent on training is greatly reduced.

For more information on how the fast and efficient F5 can help operators save on oil, labor and time, download the complete ROI guide, or visit www.hpf5.com.

How a Henny Penny Team Effort Provides a Unique Customer Experience

In an industry like equipment manufacturing, most manufacturers are focused on getting a piece of their equipment into your back-of-house as quickly as possible. Their equipment might fill a need of yours, such as adding frying capabilities or replacing a broken holding cabinet, but is it necessarily the right solution for your business as a whole? Is it even the right product? And if it is, what does your relationship with that manufacturer or distributor look like following the purchase?

At Henny Penny, we pride ourselves on a different approach—one that businesses new to Henny Penny experience long before any actual transaction takes place. Once engaged with a prospective customer, it becomes our goal to provide them with potential solutions for some of their greatest challenges. Typically this means creating improvements in food quality, operational efficiency ― or both. At the same time, our potential partners are looking for a manufacturer/distributor that can also provide a great purchasing and support experience.

As part of our efforts to help our potential partners find the right equipment, we’ll assess all sides of their business — from sales, marketing and product management to operational throughput and culinary style. This approach gives us a better understanding of how any decisions made in one area of their business will affect others.

After gaining a better understanding of your business’ needs, we then invite you to participate in an on-site visit and operational review. This phase allows your company to fully understand what Henny Penny brings to the table from a partnership perspective, while our team is able to gain further insight that will help us find the best ways to help you.

Following your commitment, Henny Penny is at your disposal. This means field testing with complimentary equipment, access to our training facilities, culinary expertise, tech support and a complete team to help make the best recommendations for your business as a whole. This is all available at the onset of our relationship, even when no equipment has even been purchased yet.

It’s the ongoing communication between our customers and us and our mutual commitment to each other that truly makes the relationship a partnership — not a seller and buyer exchange. At the end of the day, we believe our partners would agree that this is what sets Henny Penny apart.

For more information on what it’s like to partner with Henny Penny, check out additional detail here.

Chick-fil-A Executive, Mike Walpole Weighs in on Workflow

205 cars in an hour. That’s the peak lunch hour pace of one particular undisclosed Chick-fil-A location according to Mike Walpole, the QSR’s International Supply Chain Director. You’d be right to be shocked by that count. That’s nearly 3.5 per minute, a rate that begs several questions, the first being, “How is that even possible?”

The answer? By optimizing efficiency, prioritizing safety, adapting technology and managing inventory — with equipment that supports the entire operation.

The ability to handle a crowded drive-thru is just one of many workflow issues that QSRs deal with on a daily basis. While workflow efficiency might seem the most important, especially in a QSR where the whole idea is to feed customers quickly, there are quite a few areas that if not solved and managed to perfection, can throw the whole operation off.

Operational Throughput

The key here is very obviously efficiency, but again it’s the equipment in the kitchen that makes this happen. According to Walpole, roughly 60 percent of his restaurant’s business goes through the drive-thru window. To have that volume (or 205 orders per hour) going through the counter, there would be a line out the door and around the building. To serve this demand, kitchens need not only drive-thru dedicated staff and equipment, but they need equipment that can physically handle that volume at a speed that keeps the line moving.

The industry isn’t only dealing with crowded drive-thrus, the technology in a kitchen now needs to be able to keep up with the technology of its customers.  Abilities such as mobile ordering have raised the customer’s expectations of the kitchen equipment’s performance. If a business has given the customer an opportunity to receive their order fast, customers will expect the business to follow through on that promise. And as we look to the future, the only way to handle the volume of customers and their expectations of increased speed may be to rely on automated equipment that can not only produce quality products at four times the volume, but have half the footprint in the kitchen.

Which brings us to our next workflow issue.

Inventory

A kitchen has a finite amount of space with which to hold product, equipment, employees and operational space (room for the employees to move around and operate effectively). Increased customer volume is great and it’s the goal of any business, but it also requires stocking more product, more equipment and more employees. All of these are a necessity to keeping up with demand, yet they all cut into the limited operational space of a QSR kitchen.

A perfect example of this is coffee stirrers. This is an item that most QSRs need to have on site, however they provide no operational benefit. Order too many and your kitchen will have boxes of coffee stirrers stacked in corner that could otherwise be room for another fryer — operational equipment that contributes to revenue gain, unlike stir sticks. Order too few and you risk running out and are forced to spend more on shipping to constantly restock the item.

The point is that space in a QSR kitchen comes at a tremendous premium. For this reason, equipment needs to have the smallest footprint possible yet still be able to keep up with demand and it needs to do so in a fashion that is conducive to efficient kitchen operations.  This includes those maintenance and cleaning practices that are associated with it which go to support one very key workflow issue.

Safety

By safety we mean both food safety and operational safety.  Unbeknownst to customers, this is ultimately the most important workflow issue to solve for any restaurant. As patrons regularly expect a safe dining experience, this doesn’t generally fall into their consideration set when deciding on a dining venue. To a customer, every restaurant is safe…until it isn’t. When health-related incidents occur, they make headlines and can irreparably damage a brand. And while the business’s brand may be damaged, the larger concern will always be the wellbeing of the customer. However, with the proper precautions —starting with equipment that is simple to operate and clean — you can be sure your kitchen will be reaching higher and more adequate levels of safety.

By incorporating equipment that is easy to clean, kitchens can take tremendous amount of stress off its minimum wage employees, a group that shouldn’t be required to undertake extensive and elaborate disassembly procedures to perform routine maintenance. A piece of equipment that is intuitive and easy to operate— and can be disassembled and reassembled for the purpose of cleaning with relative ease — greatly increases the chances that that equipment will be cleaned regularly and properly. A simple kitchen is a safe kitchen.

The original QSR model, which was established by three major brands, was based around counter sales and simpler menus. This meant more room in the kitchen for equipment and product inventory. Today, that model no longer works for this category of restaurants, due to the increased number of customers that kitchens are expected to support, or the shrinking square footage of today’s kitchens.

The model is changing and only through the ability of manufacturers to produce equipment that requires less space but has greater output capacity, are today’s QSRs able to evolve to meet the consumer needs. Adding to the difficulties of manufacturing such equipment, engineers must consider the equipment’s design to enable more efficient maintenance and cleaning practices.

It all seems next to impossible, but then again, just a minute ago you thought 205 cars pulling through a Chick-fil-A drive-thru in an hour was impossible, too.

Looking for equipment that can help your business solve some of these workflow issues? Check out our line-up of efficiency boosting fryers, holding cabinets and combi-ovens.

A Mid-Year Snapshot: The 2017 Foodservice Industry

And just like that we are halfway through 2017. And foodservice numbers are still strong. This year’s news headlines coupled with some of the overarching industry statistics have given us a good picture of where the industry is headed in 2017. To help us take a look back at a few of the things learned in these first six months, we have broken down some of the major challenges and opportunities of 2017 into three categories: By the Numbers, Technology and Consumer trends.

This week, we’ll tackle some of the industry’s trending data and give a basic understanding of the industry’s current economic state. Next week we will dive into both the technological and consumer trends of 2017 thus far.

By the Numbers

2017’s gradual economic improvement has helped the restaurant industry and will continue that trend through year end. The National Restaurant Association currently projects industry sales to reach $798.7 billion in 2017, which would represent a 1.7 percent gain over 2016. Table service restaurants remain the industry’s largest segment of growth and are projected to reach $263 billion in 2017, with quick service and fast casual sales following with a projected combined total of $233.7 billion. If these projections are to hold true, 2017 would represent the eighth consecutive year of sales gains for the industry as a whole.

Drilling down a little, mainstream fast casual chicken continues to drive the greatest percentage of growth, albeit with a projection for 2017 (16.5%) that is slightly less than its sales growth of 2016 (16.7%). In a recent report on the Top 10 fastest-growing chains by Nation’s Restaurant News, four of the Top 10 are chicken chains. These four chicken chains eclipsed brands in the Top 10 from other segments, including pizza, casual dining, limited service/sandwich, beverage-snack and limited service/specialty. In 2017, chicken is still king. The chart below compares the major fast casual segments between last year and the projections for this year.

An outstanding trend (as reported by Technomic’s Top 500 Report) that has continued into 2017 has been the growth of sales in the “specialty” segment, where sales have grown 9.6 percent in the past 12 months. The top specialties from this segment include “health focused,” barbecue and Mediterranean concepts. With most specialty brands showing solid growth, we have seen a new group of brands from this segment jump into Technomic’s Top 500 for 2017 including Mission BBQ, Snap Kitchen, Urban Plates, Modern Market and Salata. These up and comers are addressing variety and authenticity demands driven by adventurous millennials with unique palates and experiential demands.

Another theme that has been identified for 2017: foodservice lines continue to blur. Primary drivers continue to be supermarkets and with a definite uptick gained from their evolving approach, the C-store segment. Convenience store menu items are on the rise in both sheer number, but also in variety. They aren’t just hot dogs and doughnuts anymore. In-store experience is much more geared to providing ‘healthier’ and more complete options. With over 154,000 locations in the U.S. alone at the beginning of 2017 (FoodDIVE, Feb. 6, 2017) they simply cannot be ignored as a legitimate food outlet.

Supermarkets continue to fight for share of the stomach as well. Given their core audience is in the market for food anyways, the idea they can be a destination to order, sit down and enjoy a meal before/after/while shopping is gaining a lot of momentum. By moving past prepared and takeaway options, we see that many regional and few national chains of supermarkets are hitting their stride with this truer dining format. An example of an established ‘grocerant’ is Whole Foods Market. In certain locations, they offer a hot and cold food bar filled with fresh, unique, healthy options that you can choose to take home or eat-in store. According to USA Today, the ‘grocerant’ segment generated 2.4 billion visits and $10 billion in sales in 2016 by promoting restaurant-quality freshly prepared foods.

While it is easy to point out how the industry is changing, it becomes a little more difficult to answer the question of WHY it is changing the way it is. Millennials are unquestionably shaping the state of today’s foodservice industry. These statistics from Convenience Store Decision’s article on Five Food Trends Driven by Millennials explain very simply some of the trends that we will explore more deeply in part two of this mid-year report:

  • 48% of millennials say they prefer eating meals on-the-go
  • 44% say convenience is more important than cuisine
  • 68% prefer locally sourced ingredients
  • 66% are willing to pay more for food that comes from local producers
  • 67% say they love ordering healthy options at a restaurant
  • 63% say they love restaurants that offer “over-the-top” menu items

If you are experiencing these trends first hand in your day-to-day dining, look no further than the millennial demographic. In April 2016 a population estimate released by the U.S. Census Bureau confirmed that Millennials had overtaken baby-boomers as the U.S.’s largest generation. The number of Millennials being 75.4 million and Baby Boomers being 74.9 million.

Beyond assessing the restaurant industry based on sales and demographic demand, we can also evaluate growth based on the industry’s workforce. In 2017, restaurants will remain the nation’s second largest private sector employer, providing jobs for about one in every 10 working Americans. The total number of jobs across the industry is projected to rise to 14.7 million over the course of this year.

Based on the numbers, the foodservice industry continues to show promise and coupled with an improving economy its hopeful that we should see these numbers continue to rise into the next decade. However, without getting too far ahead of ourselves its best to focus on today and on how we here at Henny Penny can continue to manufacture quality products that can contribute to a flourishing industry.

Next week we will continue with our look at 2017 thus far with a rundown of the year’s stand out trends in technology and consumer behavior. Be sure not to miss it by subscribing to Our Take and receive an email alert when we post Part 2 of our mid-year review.

Constantly Changing Menu Items? Consider a Combi Oven.

In Part 1 of an interview with Henny Penny Product Manager Dann Woellert, we discussed the basics of combi oven ownership and why they’re growing in popularity. We’re continuing the conversation and dive deeper into how combi ovens can support kitchen operators who are challenged with delivering a strong customer experience amongst ever changing menus. By utilizing a number of cooking methods, several of which can be used while cooking a variety of foods at the same time, combi ovens are increasing kitchen efficiency, customer experience and cost savings.

Is there a particular type of menu item that cooks best in a combi?
One of the biggest benefits of a combi is the wide variety of products that it can cook effectively. It allows proteins to cook faster and with more moisture, allowing the food to maintain its moistness. It lets operators cook baked goods in a moist environment. It also can also cook different foods in the same chamber, at the same time, without flavor transfer between items.  It is a product truly rooted in versatility, waste reduction and quality all in one footprint.

What are restaurants most often using combis for?
The flexibility of the combi makes it beneficial for the cooking of a variety of menu items at a variety of different types of restaurants. Fine dining to QSR can benefit from combi effectiveness. QSR restaurants for example, see the value in using combis to cook large amounts of one protein like bacon, which has large product variability, but requires consistent quality in a fast paced environment.

Are restaurants adjusting their menus to accommodate the benefits of a combi?
A key benefit of the combi is that it can help a restaurant expand their menu. A large number and variety of recipes can be stored and utilized in a combi. An operator can store seasonal recipes that are only used for a limited time, and then retrieve them again when needed.

In what areas does a combi lead to cost savings?

  • Reduced food waste as a result of more consistently cooked product
  • Higher yield on proteins due to less shrinkage
  • Shorter cook times, resulting in energy savings
  • Higher productivity
  • More energy efficient than convection ovens
  • Ease of use/labor re-distribution

Is there a lot of training associated with combis?
It doesn’t require a great deal of training to learn how to use a combi. An operator only needs to know the basics of what products lend themselves to each of the three cooking modes —steaming, convection and combi cooking. Most of the training on the actual equipment is centered on developing and programming recipes into the combi. Once these recipes are established, it is easy as selecting a product photo and hitting ‘go’.

Combi ovens have been a staple in the foodservice industry globally for decades. In the U.S., adoption has primarily been by commercial outlets (hotels, hospitals, catering) and retail. However, changes in available sizes (i.e. Henny Penny’s SpaceSaver model) and hood technology (units with integrated hoods) have removed some of the objections that are expressed in regards to adopting a combi. With combi use on the rise, it’s certainly the right time to learn more about this technology and how you can integrate it into your back-of-house operations and reap the benefits of this proven technology.

For more information on combi ovens and to see Henny Penny’s complete combi line up, visit www.hennypenny.com/products/roasting/combi-ovens or watch Chef Ben’s Top 3 Reason’s to Own a Combi.

What to expect from Henny Penny at the 2017 NRA Show

NRA 2017 marks a special milestone for Henny Penny, as we celebrate our 60th anniversary.  Our success is rooted in innovation and customer experience, and if you attend the show this year, you’ll find we continue offering innovative solutions to provide users quality performance while lowering operating costs.

Visitors to our booth will see our ongoing focus on oil management.  Here’s a peek of what visitors will experience at Booth #4241 (for more information on the products listed below, click on the provided links):

Oil Quality Measuring System: An integrated oil management device that doesn’t rely on sight, smell and smoke to identify declining oil quality. Our new OQMS is a built-in fryer feature that eliminates the need for any manual or subjective oil quality testing. OQMS allows you to know the exact quality of your oil every time you filter, without additional work or time for your staff.

Prime Filter Powder: Henny Penny Prime Filter Powder helps operators double the life of their oil. This powder can either be added to the vat or to the filter media and removes unwanted particulates during the filtering process, keeping your oil cleaner, effectively increasing the life of your oil.

Evolution Elite: Our flagship open fryer requires 40% less oil, automatic top off and 4-minute filtering to save costs, increase efficiency, and drive consistency.

During our 60th anniversary, we’re celebrating the story of the Henny Penny brand, a success based on our long-term trusted partnerships and the experiences we provide our customers.

Interested in learning how Henny Penny excels at long term, trusted partnerships? Be sure to swing by Booth #4241,South Hall.

We’re looking forward to seeing you there!

Is your equipment manufacturer committing to YOUR business’ success?

Your business’ success is so reliant on the choices you make as you begin setting up your restaurant.  The right personnel.  The right food supplier.  The right marketing plan.  The right equipment.  And many of the equipment purchases you make need consideration beyond the product itself.  Asking your potential partners about things like warranty, service network, customer service, training, install and beyond is incredibly important.  Not understanding some of these keys value adds can be the beginning of trouble if you don’t understand what to expect.

To convey some of the differences our customers experience when working with Henny Penny we’ve engaged with our Vice President of Strategic Sales, Ryan Kutter and our Director of Technical Service, Todd Hennigan to talk about some of the frequently asked questions they get and how in these situations the Henny Penny difference can be a game changer.

Technical Support
Todd Hennigan

If something happens to my equipment, am I going to be easily able to get in touch with my manufacturer?  What happens if I experience any problems once the sale is complete?

We are truly passionate about customer service.  We have worked hard over the years to separate ourselves from the pack here. We offer a free 800 service number (domestic only) that can get you to a real person to talk to, 24/7. That’s unique.  We prioritize our calls to service current customers first.  The average hold time is less than two minutes, and even better, we have a 35 percent solve rate over the phone allowing you to avoid a service call.

If we do need to send a service technician out to you, the technician will be there within 24 hours and more than 85 percent of the time your equipment will be fixed on the first visit. Customers can also expect a follow-up call to make sure everything is still running smoothly.

 What pro-active things can be done to maintain my investment?

Annual planned maintenance will not only reduce the overall total cost of ownership of your purchase but also minimize the cost impact of unplanned equipment breakdowns. Henny Penny can work with you to develop an annual inspection plan that can include service checklist to inspect all electrical cords and O-rings (when applicable), as well as clean certain areas of the machinery.

Is the manufacturer willing to train my in house staff on equipment maintenance and repairs?  How does my team become proficient at using your equipment?

Henny Penny will not only provide a two-hour startup and operational employee training session with your equipment, but also offers training classes, free of charge,  throughout the year so your business can send  in-house equipment service employees to learn everything they can about your Henny Penny equipment.  This is invaluable as you build internal expertise which can further eliminate costs after the new equipment warranty period has ended.

If being onsite doesn’t work, Henny Penny offers a robust series of training videos that are available to our partners online, which is a great tool for people who want to learn, find manuals or watch detailed (but short) videos on their products.

Talk to us about parts….

As with any manufacturer’s equipment it’s always a best practice to use OEM parts.   Our distributor and service network supports our global customers by ensuring appropriate stock is on-site, in fact our network can resolve an issue the first time over 85 percent of the time, that means they have the know how and the needed parts!

Account services support
Ryan Kutter

I’m a small business; can I expect any attention after my purchase?

Absolutely.  We truly value every partner.  Whether you are big or small, we work hard to make sure you have what you need to be successful using our equipment.   Our mantra throughout the organization is, “do the right thing.” Our distributor network, many of whom have been with us since the beginning of our company, subscribe to this philosophy too. Our goal is to make sure that no matter what you buy from us, when you are ready to invest in more equipment, you don’t consider looking anywhere else for the value you received.

Why does the price of the competition seem too good to be true? 

There is no doubt you can find cheaper equipment on the market.  After years of working with customers who have chosen that route and come to us to solve problems that either weren’t solved or exacerbated by the “cheaper” choice, there is most likely a reason it is less expensive.  You have to look at the whole package, including durability, reliability, quality of the materials, and post-purchase support.

Does Henny Penny stay in touch with me after the sale?

Henny Penny keeps in touch with its national clients with a phone call immediately after the startup of the product and periodically throughout the relationship. Smaller, general market customers can expect the same of our distributors.  We like to make sure you are happy with the product, training, and make sure you are comfortable with your new equipment.  At some point in the life of a Henny Penny product our customers will have questions or require service.  We pride ourselves on being there.  For 60 years Henny Penny has been building strong relationships, many have lasted for more than 40 years.  We work hard to innovate and engineer products that last and to deliver on a promise to help our customers deliver on their brand promise.  We focus on that every day.

Still have more questions about your Henny Penny post-purchase benefits? Visit our distributor/service locator tool to find and contact your local distributor.

Frying 101; Open vs. Pressure

Opening a restaurant is hard.  There are very few guarantees except,  you will be called to make difficult decisions with long term consequences in order to bring you closer to the future for your restaurant you envision.

Some of the earliest questions that will need answers include, ‘What type of restaurant are you opening?’ ‘What’s on the menu?’ ‘How are we preparing the food?’ And probably most important — ‘What equipment do we need to be using to produce consistent, quality product that will make our restaurant first choice when our customers go out?’

Investing in equipment for your new kitchen can be overwhelming.  It can be GREAT (so many choices!) and HARD (so many choices!).  You will need equipment to help you provide variety in your menu and ‘future-proof’ your kitchen as your menu flexes or expands.  Yes, there is a lot to consider.  A critical piece of equipment where this debate can often happen is with the fryer, which begs the ensuing question:

Open fryer or pressure fryer?

A Henny Penny Velocity Series Pressure Fryer holds all the answers when it comes to delicious, efficient frying.

First off, frying revolves around water.  The typical frying process, without pressure, can only cook at the boiling point of water, 212 degrees. The water we’re referring to here is the moisture inside of the hypothetical piece of chicken we are cooking. Pressure frying enables that moisture to boil at an even higher temperature, nearer to 240 degrees. The high temperatures in turn speed up cook times, and because the boiling point of the chicken’s moisture, or juices, has risen, less of that moisture is lost in the cooking process. This process leaves you with a piece of protein that is cooked more quickly and has lost less moisture or flavor, leaving you with a juicier and tastier yield.

While we may come off as partial to the pressure fryer, it should be noted that the open fryer is every bit as useful, even more so for cooking non proteins. You’ll find open fryers in any kitchen that are used to cook fries, mozzarella sticks or onion rings — and for good reason. They’re efficient, versatile and turn out a tasty product. But when it comes to frying proteins, be it bone-in chicken breasts, filet mignon, or even salmon, there’s no substitute to the pressure fryer.

Not only does the pressure fryer turn out a superior product in terms of flavor, tenderness and moisture, but it will yield a healthier product as well. In sealing in those natural flavors and juices, you’ve also sealed out and absorbed less oil.

While both the open and pressure fryers are comparable in operating costs, the pressure fryer will result in better oil life.  Shorter cook times at lower temperatures as well as the lack of protein moisture mixing into the cooking oil means your oil will stay cleaner longer. Both products are also about equal in maintenance costs and labor time. Like any piece of machinery, if you want it to last, it should be taken care off. Aside from wanting to update equipment to keep up with current technology, there’s no reason one machine can’t last 10 or 15 years with proper care and maintenance. Diligently maintaining the gasket on the lid and cleaning your deadweight daily in your pressure fryer will add tremendous life to your equipment.

To learn more about Henny Penny’s fryer options visit https://www.hennypenny.com/products/frying .

Improve your guest experience with consistent food quality

The dining experience that creates a loyal customer, one that chooses your restaurant when discretionary dollars are being spent, is based largely on the ability to ensure that they are not disappointed by the consistency of the food quality.

While it’s important that you perform all the basic ‘blocking and tackling’ that create a great overall dining experience like great tasting food with excellent service, it is every bit as important that your game plan is executed consistently.  What is delicious on Tuesday night should be just as delicious on Saturday night. Furthermore, consistency doesn’t just go a long way with your guests,

but your crew will appreciate it and your wallet will thank you for it.

As a business, falling short of providing that consistent experience can be easy to do, even despite having a seasoned and well-versed chef. Weekends provide larger crowds, which produce stress on labor and preparation. Stress can lead to mistakes or cut corners, which can lead to inconsistency in flavor, texture, even timing.

Since the number of guests is not under your control, the first step to improvement is to lessen the stress on your staff. In any trade, the right tools can be used not to replace a laborer, but to assist them. The kitchen is no different. Having the right equipment can allow your staff to put their focus where it needs to be.

A Henny Penny FlexFusion combi oven for example, allows you to cook foods at low-temperatures over many hours, even days, and still maintain the utmost levels of moisture and tenderness. Whether you are roasting overnight or doing light sous vide production, your staff should be focusing on items that need to be prepared in the moment, not on items that could have been started yesterday. Not only are today’s combi ovens a time saver for your staff, but they cook with greater accuracy and consistency than traditional ovens. Ovens today have the ability to save and store programs as well as deliver messages in the moment. These processes go to the heart of consistency, creating the right environment for an item that can be duplicated every time.

Open fryers such as Henny Penny’s Evolution Elite series are no different. The programmability in these machines makes operation simple, efficient and consistent. Once you add in the built-in filtration, you have oil that lasts twice as long. And with oil quality being one of the main factors of consistency when it comes to a fryer, you’ll want to be sure you’re producing the same product with the same color and flavor every time. Perfecting your oil filtration and usage will also mean long term cost savings.

Henny Penny's SmartHold holding cabinets allow restaurants to cook in larger batches and maintain temperatures and moisture levels for extended periods of time before serving.

Henny Penny’s SmartHold holding cabinets allow restaurants to cook in larger batches while maintaining perfect temperatures and moisture levels for extended periods of time before serving.

Pairing your fryer with the versatility of a SmartHold holding cabinet, you’re now able to offer dishes that take longer to cook, such as fried chicken, and serve them quicker. The holding cabinet allows you to cook in batches and hold food at perfect temperatures and moisture levels, again allowing staff to place their focus elsewhere.  Proper utilization of a holding cabinet means not having to worry about that food until the moment it’s needed, increasing service speed and customer satisfaction.

With just these three pieces of equipment, you’ve made it easy to prepare food, freed up your staff and delighted you return customers with a consistent meal that has been cooked identically to their previous visit. Of course purchasing new equipment won’t be the source of success by itself. Execution trumps implementation, and in order to properly execute, a chef or restaurateur must first have a plan in place to properly manage around peak hours and slow hours, to eliminate food overages and shortages and to properly motivate and get the most out of their staff. Manufacture consistency in these areas and the rest will follow suit.

You pleased your guests the first time, that’s why they’ve come back. Make sure you’re doing what it takes to validate their faith in your restaurant, your process, and your food.

To hear more on this topic, be sure to take advantage of our archived webinar, Quality to Table: Creating Repeat Customers, with guest speaker and Corporate Executive Chef, Benjamin Leingang. To register and view the webinar for free click HERE. For more ways to improve your guests’ experience, be sure to subscribe to Henny Penny’s Our Take blog HERE. More information on the products mentioned in this article can be found at www.hennypenny.com/products.