Category Archives: Innovation

SIX FIGURES, ONE STEP: How Effective Oil Management Can Have a Major Impact on Profits

You need to stay profitable. But there doesn’t seem to be an easy way to do so. With rising food and edible oil costs, higher wages, and evolving trends and demands, virtually any move you make can have an unintended consequence.

If you decide to decrease labor, for example, it could have a negative impact on the quality of service you provide to your customers. If you increase prices to stay even with the market, it could scare customers away as discretionary income levels haven’t kept pace with the cost of activities like eating out.

The steps left for operators to take include those that will optimize their facility, equipment, and processes. One particularly easy-to-control cost is frying oil (you can’t control what you pay for it, but you can control how it’s taken care of and used). After food, it’s likely that oil ranks near the top of most operators’ lists of costs surrounding their frying operations.

If you want to take your oil management game to the next level, we’ve got some fantastic oil savings resources available to download for free, including the Ultimate Guide to Extending Oil Life E-book.

Practicing proper oil management is a great start to realizing oil-related savings, but the biggest savings come with reduced oil volume fryers like our Evolution Elite with Smart Touch Filtration™, which uses 40% less oil in the frying vat. Here’s how:

  1. Oil Savings

A drop in 20 lbs. of oil capacity means 40% less oil is needed to cook the same amount of product. Less oil, more frequent filtration, and auto top-off combine to create maximum oil extension. For the average operation, that’s about $5,000 in annual oil costs saved. If your profit margin is 5%, that $5,000 savings has the same profit impact as increasing sales by $100,000, without the extra work! We’ve got a free spreadsheet template you can download to calculate oil savings for your business.

  1. Better and More Consistent Product Quality

With frequent filtration and automatic top-off, the oil’s “sweet spot” will last longer, creating a more ideal environment for frying food and creating a higher quality product, consistently. By maintaining a constant level of oil (which is managed by vat sensors) operators will also achieve a higher quality of fried coverage around the product and a more consistent product coming out of the fryer.

Extended oil life can also have positive health ramifications for customers. Often with a 50-lb. fryer, operators will try to push their oil life beyond its natural expiration time. In extreme cases, if extended too long, oil can even produce carcinogens and increase food’s cholesterol levels. With a 30-lb. fryer, oil savings will drive proactive oil management.  Having a team that watches oil quality and reacts to it will translate into better tasting and safer oil.

  1. Ease of Use

With a 30-lb fryer, gone are the days of manually opening and closing multiple drain valves and turning on/off pump motors just to filter the fryer’s oil. Instead, with the push of a button, oil is filtered automatically in just four minutes. Plus, you can even continue frying in other vats while one is filtering. This eases processes, meaning simpler training for your team and less interruptions for regular cooking operations.

 

Many operators may feel uncomfortable making a capital investment for such equipment, but it’s important to consider the ROI. For many establishments, the Evolution Elite will pay for itself in less than three years, then continue to deliver savings every year for the life of the fryer.

By investing in smart, oil-saving technology like the Evolution Elite low oil volume fryer, operators can realize greater profits for years to come — and it all starts with a few drops of oil.

Low oil volume fryer or not, Henny Penny can help with effective oil management. Click here to access our free download package, including everything you’ll need to become an oil savings expert and analyze your own operation.

 

Distributor Spotlight: Five Point Kitchen Solutions

In this exclusive Q&A series, operators gain behind-the-scenes insight into our unique distributor partnerships.

At Henny Penny, we go to market differently than most equipment manufacturers. Through our network of distributor experts, we’re able to provide hands-on-support before, during, and after purchase and installation. Our distributors are in the field everyday solving customer challenges and demonstrating that cooking precision and consistency lead to both quality food and operational savings.

Five Point Kitchen Solutions was established in 2015 to serve as Henny Penny’s distributor partner for the Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas market. Within a few years, Five Point grew to serve both Texas and Oklahoma. As of 2021, the company has expanded to serve Florida and Virginia, with four total locations (one in each state) under the Five Point brand.

Get to know Five Point in our Q&A with founder and president Spencer Revenson:

What is your corporate vision and strategy?

Our vision is to be a trusted, mission-critical partner that foodservice customers and suppliers choose to depend on. Our mission is to accelerate the advancement of the foodservice industry. To do that, we are constantly brainstorming and trying new ways to improve the value we offer, both to Henny Penny and our customers. We create new complementary accessories, obsessively fine-tune cook settings, and use every feature available in equipment programming to ensure our offering can best fit the customer’s needs. We strive to have the expertise and responsiveness which creates noticeable results for our customers that can’t be matched by anyone else in the industry.

How many people do you employ?

We have 41 people on staff within the Five Point brand today and will have at least 3 more jobs to fill soon. About 35% are field service technicians, 20% are sales reps, 30% are customer support for sales and service, and 15% are internal support staff.

What is unique about your territory?

Our territory spans three geographically separate areas. Many of our customers also have locations spread throughout the country. A consistently excellent customer experience is very challenging. Demos are a critical part of our sales process, so we are always looking to make our kitchens more accessible and inviting to prospects. We currently have five demonstration kitchen locations and will have at least six by the end of this year.

What foodservice sector are you primarily focused on?

We find the most success in the fast-casual sector of the foodservice market. Traditional retail also contributes a large amount to our business.

What % of your business does Henny Penny represent?

Henny Penny represents 95% of our total business.

What is your favorite Henny Penny product to sell and why?

Combi ovens are my favorite. Our combi oven offering is truly unique in design, size/packaging, reliability, and potential for real-world, useful impact on a huge portion of the foodservice industry. I believe this category has the largest opportunity for growth in the near-term.

Do you carry any other lines or categories aside from Henny Penny?

We are not afraid to experiment by offering other brands of complimentary equipment. However, so far have not found the right fit for something major. We are open to future brands which will compliment Henny Penny and have achievable potential for at least 20% of our revenue.

Who are your key customers and what equipment do they use?

Our larger equipment customers include Buc-ee’s, Braums, Brookshire’s Grocery, Bush’s Chicken, HEB, 7-Eleven, Six Flags, and Pollo Campero. We continue to focus on acquiring new equipment customers that will have repeated needs year after year. Technical service is more diversified. Chick-fil-A stores make up the largest single brand for repair service.

Brookshire’s Grocery has been an equipment customer from day-one. They use OEA, HHC, SCR, and HMR.

Last year, you celebrated 5 years since taking over the Texas market. Tell us about what it’s been like to continue expanding the territory. What do you expect to achieve?

When we started in 2015, we were on a tight timeline with tight resources. We had to choose an office that would be workable as a startup. Now, our Texas headquarters is more than double in size and is better suited for a more extensive investment for our long-term success. Our new space better represents our brand as leaders in the foodservice industry. It is a better fit our culture and gives the team the space they deserve, supporting continued growth of our people and inventory. We look forward to sharing the new space with our customers and partners to continue distancing ourselves from the competition.

Florida ended up having more service demand than our prediction. Scaling up service in Florida and Texas has been a high priority so far this year. We have also been accelerating our transition to a more scalable organization in general, independent of the number of our locations or employees. We knew there would be growing pains, and we quickly discovered the limitations of our existing processes and roles. Planning has been important. But, making data-driven decisions to be responsive to the real world has been more influential than sticking to a rigid plan. One-third of the way through 2021, I’m confident in this being a record year that will prepare us for what comes next.

How have you managed to scale the business across multiple territories?

Managing Five Point as a geographically separate territory forced our software stack to go completely to the cloud and support as much remote work as possible. Many of the traditional “big name” software or hardware options were not scalable, required too much IT overhead, or were simply not relevant to the future. We now use Google’s business suite for our backbone. This is the same stuff that many of us already use in our personal lives, so the learning curve is zero.

Our accounting, inventory management, CRM, and phone systems come from a variety of companies in the US, New Zealand, Australia, UK, and Canada. Most run on Amazon web services and have many integrations between them. It is all software as a service, so there is nothing for us to manage or worry about breaking. This combination means any internet device with a web browser simply works.

Many of our employees bring their own device (phone, computer, tablet or whatever they choose). This choice for our system architecture has removed many constraints on growth, making scale, onboarding, and success of everyone on the team much easier… regardless of what the world throws in our way.

What challenges have you seen hiring new sales and service members?

We focus on values-based management and decision making. Two of our values: “Responsible Decisions Focused on Action” and “Continuous Improvement and Growth through Entrepreneurship” are demonstrated with every hire or discharge. Action and entrepreneurship mean accepting risk. Most times, we can’t know how successful a new addition to the team will be until they have been given the opportunity. All we can do is recruit the best candidate possible and give them the training and resources needed for success. Their performance and decisions are up to them. At the same time, we owe it to everyone on the team to make sure we have the best person for every role. So, we equally have the responsibility to make a spot available for a new candidate if we don’t currently have the right fit. This active choice does wonders for our culture. Accountability and respect replace excuses. Everyone appreciates that they can rely on the rest of their team to do excellent work.

 

 

To learn more about Five Point, visit their website.

 

 

SmartHold Proofing & Holding

High-quality insulated heated holding cabinets—particularly those with appropriate humidity control—offer foodservice operators significant opportunities to improve food value, throughput and productivity. The ability to hold a wide variety of foods for long periods of time is like putting production time in the bank. The reduction in waste, alone, becomes a major justification. The key to achieving these advantages lies in equipment that offers more precise control of the holding environment. The flavors, textures and moisture content of various cooked foods react differently to heat and humidity. The ability to set and maintain ideal holding conditions for popular menu items can mean the difference between twenty minutes and two hours. This translates into smoother production schedules, better equipment utilization throughout the kitchen, and lower labor and operating costs.

Recently, we’ve talked about the science behind holding and how to buy time with holding cabinets. Today, we’re taking a closer look at proofing and holding with Henny Penny SmartHold cabinets.

Since a SmartHold cabinet can create and maintain the perfect holding environment, food is better left uncovered inside. This helps reduce labor and clean-up time.

The following chart shows optimal SmartHold cabinet settings for common menu items. In general, settings for a particular item can be applied to similar menu items not shown here. For specific recommendations, please send inquiries to info@hennypenny.com.

Keep in mind that some foods are more durable than others. When holding a variety of items at the same time, choose temperature and humidity settings closer to those suggested for the more sensitive foods or midway between foods with similar durability.

Food temperatures must remain above the minimum required safe holding temperatures. The USA minimum is 140°F (60°C). If the cabinet door(s) is opened frequently, temperature should be set slightly above the minimum required safe holding temperature.

Based on Henny Penny HHC 900 and SmartHold holding cabinets. Results will vary for other manufacturers.

Want to learn more about our SmartHold solutions? Click here.

The Science Behind Holding

Reliable holding equipment preserves quality, keeps food ready to serve, and allows employees to prepare for peak hours while offering additional benefits (click here to read our blog about how kitchens can “buy” extra operations time with heated holding solutions). Getting the most out of your holding equipment is easier said than done, which is why it is important to understand the science behind it.

One of the first things every aspiring chef learns is that cooking is a function of time, temperature and moisture. This is also true of holding with a few important differences. When food is cooked it undergoes rapid and continuous change as it is subjected to extreme conditions. The finished or “done” state is simply a point to be reached along the path of change. To maintain this state for any length of time requires conditions that are much more subtle in relation to those of the food itself. Ideal holding conditions are those that cause very little in the way of further dynamic changes in the food and prevent changes from taking place naturally. Most simple heated cabinets can do this for short periods. However, different foods react differently to periods of extended holding. Most fried and baked products, for instance, tend to dry out. Other foods become soggy as excess humidity builds up from covered dishes or “wetter” foods and forces the re-absorption of oils, juices or sauces that were released during cooking. The structure and flavor of casseroles, hot sandwiches or other multi-textured foods will begin to breakdown as drying and absorption affect ingredients differently.

Size and cut makes a big difference in how long meats, poultry and fish can be held. Large whole or half joints, which are typically cooked in a slower process, usually hold well. The combination of crust and high ratio of volume to surface area make it easier to preserve flavor and texture in a heated holding environment. For this reason, also, thick fish steaks can be held longer than thin fillets, which do not hold well at all. With proper humidity control, longer holding times improve the flavor and consistency of certain meats, such as ribs. What is essentially a low-temperature, slow-cooking environment continues to breakdown proteins in a gentle way, making the meat more tender. The absorption of seasonings and sauces into the product in this case, enhances the desired flavor and texture. With the number of variables in play, the goal of holding—to suspend the results of cooking at their peak indefinitely—remains elusive. But the benefits of being able to hold a wide range of foods for hours rather than minutes would be significant.

The below chart shows popular menu items grouped by common holding temperature ranges.* Items in the same temperature range can generally be held together. Holding times will vary depending on the durability of the item and humidity in the cabinet. The Humidity column shows ideal relative humidity. With a controlled humidity holding cabinet, much longer holding times can be achieved.

*Based on Henny Penny HHC 900 and SmartHold holding cabinets. Results will vary for other manufacturers.

At Henny Penny, we provide holding equipment and support to some of the world’s largest restaurant chains — and we’re proud to manufacture everything in-house, right down to the control panel. Click here to learn more about the line of holding equipment that gives operators the options they need and the quality they expect.

WIN at Takeout with a Henny Penny EPC

Grocery shopping and grabbing meals on-the-go aren’t as simple in a world changed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Now more than ever, people are looking for ways to make their lives easier. As a result, takeout has become increasingly popular and fast-food or dine-in restaurants aren’t the only places that can capitalize on this rise in demand. Imagine the relief of a grocery shopper who needs to pick up dinner on the way home when they come across a display containing rows of fresh chicken and sides while approaching checkout. At a counter service restaurant with frequent carryout orders, guests will be thrilled to see hot and ready-to-purchase dishes when they walk in to place an order. With a Henny Penny Express Profit Center (EPC), various business concepts with diverse menus can maximize takeout sales.

Conventional self-serve heated merchandisers can’t avoid letting hot air out and cool air in. With Henny Penny, the FreshLock™ air curtain creates a thin wall of moving air that separates cool air in your store from hot food items in the unit. The result? Evenly heated products throughout the cabinet that keep their freshness and appeal for up to four hours! *

We never take a one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to our customers. Different sizes, different widths, different shelf configurations… all the options that help you take advantage of impulse purchases throughout the store. Place EPC units as aisle end caps, along walls, or freestanding near checkout lanes.

Sustainable solid-state LED lighting offers brilliant product presentation with bright warm-white light, no flicker or buzz. Highly energy efficient, durable, safe to dispose but almost never need replacing. Other features include:

– Heated shelves and deck with independent temperature controls

– Black matte finish and stainless steel, with clear side panels for visibility

– Easy mobility with available casters, 120 V compact plug-and-play unit

EPCs are a perfect example of how various operations can win at takeout – it’s all about convenience and delicious food. Join the thousands of satisfied restaurant owners who trust Henny Penny quality and 24/7 global customer support.

 

 

*Safe holding times may vary depending on product

 

The NAFEM Challenge: Give Us Your Feedback

Every two years we look forward to NAFEM. Not only is this show a great opportunity to show off our innovative products to industry peers, partners and customers, but it’s an even better opportunity to meet with those stakeholders and learn what is on their minds. If we can understand their challenges and what they need to make their operations more efficient and profitable, we can then make products that better suit those needs.

This year, we’d like to do more of exactly that — hear from you. We have three new products that we will be introducing at NAFEM, as well as our latest frying innovation, and we’re interested in your feedback.

Combination combi ovens offer optimum flexibility, utility and operation (2 separate controls) in an integrated format.  We are introducing two new products in this platform.

Our FlexFusion Team Combi takes efficiency to a whole new level. With two separate cooking chambers, operators now can cook completely different items simultaneously, despite specific humidity, temperature and cook time requirements in each unit — without risking any flavor transfer.

The Space$aver Plus Team Combi, another option with two separate cooking chambers offers the same separate cavity design allowing similar flexibility in a compact footprint with integrated hood.  Perfect for kitchens where space is a premium, this model’s integrated hood system has a 4 stage filtration system the serves both chambers.

The FlexFusion Smoker combi helps further expand your combi oven’s versatility. Sitting outside/on top of the cooking chamber, the smoker maximizes floor space and gives operators a combi that can now be used to cook in more ways than ever before. From meats to fish to vegetables, the FlexFusion Smoker is a game-changer for any operation looking to mix up their flavor profiles .

Last year we introduced our F5 open fryer to the market, and now it makes its first NAFEM appearance. With an incredibly simple design, complete with built-in help guides and icon and picture-based touch screen controls, the F5 makes frying easier than ever. Its kitchenproof design is constructed around an ultra-efficient internal system that features 3-minute filtration and sets new standards for a low oil volume fryer.

If you’re interested in these products but aren’t sure what makes them different, when you visit our booth feel free ask questions. Some that might help you understand these products better are:

  • What is a combi “team” and what can it do better or differently than a regular combi?
  • I’d love to include smoked meats to my menu, but I’m not sure what items to add. Is there anyone that can help me with this process?
  • How can I reduce the amount of oil I use in a week?
  • I’ve heard about your touch-screen fryer and have never used one. Can I try it out?

So, if you are in Orlando and visiting the NAFEM Show, we challenge you to swing by booth #1804. Come experience these three new pieces of equipment, give us your honest feedback and ask questions. We look forward to seeing you here in Orlando.

Three Tips for Better Combi Cleaning

A clean kitchen is as important as it gets in the restaurant industry. With the number of utensils, surfaces and equipment that need cleaned, it is a time consuming, tedious and ongoing job. That is why when you find equipment that can help reduce cleaning time and energy, you need to investigate. One piece of equipment that offers incredibly flexibility in the kitchen and can offer easy cleaning options, is the combi oven — many are even offered with a self-cleaning feature.

Why is a self-cleaning feature important? By properly cleaning your combi oven you can extend the life of your equipment by about 10 years. Not only will neglecting cleaning practices result in the buildup of harmful calcium and lime, dramatically decreasing the life of your equipment. Furthermore, it can lead to unnecessary maintenance or replacement costs.

Henny Penny ovens are built with easy cleaning in mind. In three steps or less, you can initiate the automatic 2-in-1 WaveCleanTM cartridge system, which ensures your oven’s tank, hoses and entire steam production system are perfectly maintained, and rid of mineral buildup.  The ability to set-it-and-forget-it means no hand cleaning, which helps keep your equipment in excellent working order for its life.

The cleaning process in our combi ovens is simple. But we know your quest for equipment longevity and cleaning process simplicity goes further than that. Here are some additional tips for better combi cleaning:

Cleaning for the chicken obsessed

The cleaning power built into your unit is enough for your daily or weekly cleaning schedule. However, if you are cooking a lot of chicken, pay extra attention to the door gaskets — the fats in this protein, when cooked off, tend to build up here. Wiping down the gaskets with warm soapy water and sanitizing this part of the machine weekly, will keep you from needing to replace gaskets prematurely.

Safer cleaning

You can choose units that employ a variety of different cleaning solutions. From powder cleaning agents, to cartridges, liquids, or cakes there is an option that fits your operation. If you don’t want to worry about putting on gloves and goggles when working with your cleaning solution, consider a unit that uses cartridges. These require minimum safety precautions, are fast, simple, create less mess and are safe for the kitchen environment.

Baking and steaming mean less cleaning

If you have purchased a combi oven primarily for steaming vegetables or baking breads and cookies, know that your cleaning schedule can be different than if you are cooking proteins routinely. Vegetables and breads produce less calcium and lime buildup, which, as we mentioned, are the main enemies of your oven. This means you may be able to limit your cleaning schedule to once a week. Cutting back on cleaning means less money spent on cleaning agents.

Be sure to check out previous Our Take blogs for more information on combi ovens, including why the time is now to invest in a combi. To learn more about the many features and benefits of Henny Penny made combi ovens, take a look at our complete line-up.

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.

Thriving on the Unexpected: How Holding Cabinets Can Prepare Operators for Increased Traffic

Its 12:30 p.m., you’re in the middle of rush hour, and sure enough, here it comes — a bus full of hungry customers. This should be an awesome sight, right? More business is always welcome, however, it can cause some heartburn if your team isn’t able to easily shift gears and scale quality production.  What the savvy operation needs is the right tools and a little bit of preparation.

There’s no such thing as being over prepared

It’s tough to prepare for the truly unexpected, but you may be surprised to find that what you already know may be all you need to excel.

Throughout a day, week or year there are peaks and valleys in a restaurant’s business. This historical data you’ve collected over the years only serves to strengthen your forecasting. Understanding standard business volumes brought on by factors such as weather or local events, gives operators an even closer prediction of what the business volume should look like for any given day and time. With this information at hand, you’ll stand a far greater chance of exceeding your customer’s expectations when you may have been surprised with a volume opportunity.

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.

Hold and hold well

Eventually, the unexpected rush does come, pushing your throughput to its limits. While delays are often unavoidable in these situations, food consistency should never be compromised. Fortunately, there is a piece of equipment that allows operators to maintain a production cycle that can absorb a certain percentage of traffic increase and mitigate delays on most products, while helping maintain a consistent product: the holding cabinet.

For a quality hold, humidity control is vital. Equipment that can create an appropriately humid or arid environment, day-in and day-out, will allow operators to serve the same high-quality foods on a consistent basis, accommodating spikes in traffic. This humidity-controlled environment — unlike a cabinet that provides dry heat only — provides for longer holding times without sacrificing food quality.

No matter what food it is, roasted meats, bone-in fried chicken or the starches and vegetables that accompany them, a quality hold can be designed specifically for each. At peak performance, an item can be held for hours, which makes the turn around on that particular item much less of a problem in the crowded bus scenario. In short, a quality hold gives operators a better chance to get out ahead of any impending increase in traffic without losing quality that is often associated with unexpected increases in business.

Looking to increase your hold times and prepare your operation for that next unexpected rush? Check out our SmartHold Holding Cabinets, as well as this video which illustrates some of the many features that make them an ideal option in any kitchen.

Choosing your own Adventure on the Fryer Purchasing Journey

Adding a fryer to your restaurant seems like a simple task — find an acceptable piece of equipment that fits your estimated budget. It’s not until after purchasing a basic model fryer that restaurants realize they’re now on a “choose your own adventure” journey that probably could have been avoided.

The road map to a successful equipment investment has two paths. One is short and direct; the other is long, arduous and costly with many detours along the way. Spencer Revenson of Five Point Kitchen Solutions in Arlington, Texas, has seen the frying purchase journey first-hand and has mapped it out for customers to see where they are headed.

The goal is to help get restaurateurs on the path for a long term investment that produces great, quality food with as little down time and additional investment as possible.  So, which path would you take?

Path #1 (Warning:  this is the long, arduous and potentially costly version)

Open for Business!

You’ve just taken the leap to start your own business and open your first restaurant.

The initial costs can be overwhelming to some, making it all too common for restaurateurs to look for corners to cut to save on initial costs; which makes sense. A fryer without the frills at a $1,000 price seems like a great starting point.

“How hard could frying be?” you ask yourself. “I can save some money with a basic fryer.”

Purchasing a lower end, lower featured fryer can expose your operations and quality to risks and challenges you had not anticipated:

  • Lower end fryers have difficult oil disposal operations. They are unable to determine pulse rates for heat, load compensation or any other techniques to improve quality and save oil life.
  • Many manufacturers do not provide a lot of pro-active support at the lower end of their line. Some may even view a fryer like this as disposable.
  • Your low-quality fryer is turning out poor quality and bland food.
  • Customers are giving out ho-hum reviews.
  • Ultimately, your attempt to save money on equipment is impacting profits.

You Can Fix This! 

So, maybe you didn’t make the best decision by trying to save some money on your equipment. But you can make this right, right? Here’s where the secondary purchases begin. An external oil filter can help recoup some of those inefficient oil expenses. Wall timers will help get you on a better filtering schedule. Employee policies for equipment usage are instituted and taught. With the right attitude and a bit more money you can fix your original purchasing mistake.

But again, the results are less than ideal:

  • Your attempt to institute employee and equipment policies was well intentioned but has resulted in communication difficulties. Your staff is confused and there is chaos in the kitchen.
  • Figuring out your new accessories, which were meant to assist your original equipment, is creating inconsistent food quality and flavor.
  • Your customers’ reviews are mixed. You get it right some of the time, but it’s just as likely to be a disaster.
  • Your profits are stagnant.

Spend Your Way Out Of It

You’ve had enough of the inconsistencies and failures; it’s time to bite the bullet and replace your equipment. The only problem is you spent so much in the beginning and you no longer have the budget for a premium fryer. You do, however, spend a bit more than your original purchase to upgrade to an EnergyStar model, which only saves on electricity, not oil. You attempt to create better flavors by switching to a more “premium” oil. You purchase oil additives in an attempt to increase efficiency. Your results show improvement, but your budget is shot. After all the money you’ve spent, what have you really accomplished:

  • Increased confusion and complexity for your operating staff. New equipment again means more training and having to accept inconsistencies until you’ve perfected the new process.
  • Food quality and flavor has improved, but at what cost?
  • Reviews are generally good, but you’ve lost a lot of your original customers.
  • Between new equipment and overspending on oil — often to the tune of $15,000 at this point for many restaurants — you’ve reached new heights in terms of total operational costs.

Path #2

A True Solution

We understand —it can be difficult to see the value of premium equipment when you’re opening your first restaurant. Initial costs can literally be 50 times greater to purchase a quality, brand-name fryer over a very basic, model. What’s tough for restaurateurs to see the first time around is that when investing in premium brand, like Henny Penny, you’re provided with far more than a fryer:

  • Through your distributor you now have access to sales support, installation support and tech support through the life of your machine.
  • The ease of use for premium equipment enables in-house management simplicity. Training is simple. Programming is simple. Use is simple.
  • Simple and consistent equipment means perfect food quality, every time. This consistency leads to great reviews from your customers.
  • Starting out with the right equipment means immediate increase in profit — and not months or years of spending before finally seeing gains.
  • A product that pays for itself in one to three years and has an incredibly long life cycle is far less expensive than maintaining budget fryer after budget fryer.

It’s not just equipment but rather a partnership, which will provide added benefits that payoff in the long run.

Spencer has seen all too often restaurants skimp when first opening, only to pay for it down the road. While there might be more initial costs, the rewards can be overwhelming in the long run when paying upfront for an equipment partner that can provide technology and a proven record. Spencer and Five Point Kitchen Solutions is all too sure that your wallet will eventually thank you.

To find a Henny Penny distributor in your area that can help steer you toward the right fryer purchasing journey, use our Distributor/Service Locator.