The restaurant business is tough. Fighting for ‘share of stomach’ can be cutthroat. Because of the fast pace of trends and consumer demands, restaurants need to constantly evaluate not only customer facing efforts, but also all aspects of their business including back-of-house. Labor, training, efficiency, product quality, lack of space, crowded hood space and menu flexibility are all headline concerns and finding unique ways to identify an opportunity to improve in any single space can be a game changer.
The right equipment can go a long way in transforming a kitchen’s operations and give operators the ability to do more with less. The combi oven is perhaps the greatest example of a piece of equipment that can increase flexibility, provide greater efficiency and optimize space in modern kitchens.
There may not be a piece of equipment that can do more in terms of menu prep in a smaller space. Flexibility is at the heart of every combi, affording operators the opportunity to bake, grill, steam, poach, sear, slow braise or sous vide menu items with incredibly accuracy and consistency. The programmability makes it easy to switch between moist and dry products, empowering operators to organize production schedules by production methods and ensure that recipes are being executed at the highest quality at any point during service.
Faster cook times and greater product yield simply mean better operational efficiency, but the combi is efficient in so many other ways. When it comes to training, not only does the interface and programmability make it a snap to learn for new team members, but with the combi taking the place of three separate pieces of equipment (grill, oven and steamer), operators need only train their staff on one. Having to learn, use and service only a combi will lead to reduced stress for staff and less stress on your operating budget through the added benefit of lower maintenance costs.
At less than 36 inches wide, the combi’s most obvious and major strength is its space efficiency. By utilizing a combi oven, operations can effectively eliminate an oven (36 inches on average) a grill (24 inches) and a steamer (21 inches). Consolidating this equipment means freeing up around 50 inches of cooking space, all of which requires hood coverage. With hood space costing an average of $1,200 per linear foot —plus the additional cost of air conditioning brought on by the larger hood — a combi oven can mean a lifetime of cost savings.
There are numerous reasons why now is the time to invest in the flexibility and efficiency of a combi oven. Those who have begun to experience, or will soon be experiencing, the d space squeeze, will be able to capitalize on the benefits of this piece of equipment. To learn more about the combi oven options that Henny Penny has to offer, visit https://www.hennypenny.com/products/steaming/.