In addition to managing utility and operational expenses, restaurant operators face the added challenges of keeping food fresh and avoiding waste — including cooking oil all while maintaining an efficient operation.
The importance of efficiency means finding equipment that can help you save time and money. This is why Henny Penny fryers are built with Idle mode.
Idle mode is the perfect feature if your restaurant experiences slow periods in between peak times. When you have a break in the action, it costs too much in energy and oil to run your fryer during off hours. Turning off your fryer isn’t practical either since it can take 20 minutes to bring the oil back up to temperature depending on the fryer.
Idle mode keeps the fryer on but allows the temperature of the oil to drop within a range of 250 degrees and 280 degrees Fahrenheit. This range keeps the oil warm while dramatically cutting down on the energy required to heat it. Though you can still fry at 280 degrees Fahrenheit, a drop of just 18 degrees Fahrenheit can cut the chemical reactions that break down oil in half. Heat is one of the five major enemies of oil, and the faster you break down oil, the quicker you spend money on replacing it.
This mode is simple to use and can be set with the push of a button. You can set it to automatically activate for certain times of the day. Allowing oil to be brought back up to cooking temperature within minutes. For 24-hour operations, the savings produced with Idle mode during off hours can add up to thousands of dollars in oil and utility costs.
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/.
—With Chick-fil-A's Mike Walpole, International Supply Chain Director
Retaining talent is vital to the success of just about any business. However, in some industries like foodservice, this is much easier said than done. According to an article by AZ Central, employee turnover rates in the fast food industry are commonly as high as 150 percent. If a business can retain employees at a higher rate than what is typical for the industry, it stands a far greater chance of success in the market.
Case in point: Chick-fil-A (CFA)
The Atlanta-based company has been the number one chain in sales per unit volume for the last several years. There are a number of reasons that contributed to this, but one certainly not to overlook is their 55 percent turnover rate. We spoke with Mike Walpole, CFA’s international supply chain director, to get a better understanding of what principles the QSR chain holds closely to retain talent so well.
According to Walpole, the process begins with recognizing the reasons for retaining talent, which go well beyond the inevitable incurred costs of hiring and training new employees. Atop this list are food safety, producing consistent quality and leadership development.
Upon understanding why talent retention is so important, you can then go about implementing a strategy for minimizing turnover, which will address why team members are leaving. Typically, this is because:
They find the environment of their current situation unsuitable or unsafe.
They find a better opportunity.
They find their current role too stressful.
To overcome these challenges, CFA focuses on four areas of their own business.
Environment: By creating the best environment for people to work, you increase your opportunity for retention. This means creating a clean work place, a place that feels safe to employees, and a place that is friendly and supportive. CFA focuses on treating their team members like valuable contributors and creating an environment where team members feel like they are working with good people.
Empowerment: Every team member wants to succeed. “Success” may look different to everyone — maybe it’s becoming employee of the month; maybe it’s holding a job for six months or maybe it’s moving up the ladder of leadership one rung at a time. Regardless, encouraging your employees and empowering them with the tools and opportunities necessary to reach those goals doesn’t go unnoticed.
If an owner/operator can allow employees to make their own decisions, albeit with guard rails, and expect that they live up to the standards of the environment, more employees will feel they are succeeding and reaching their goals — because they are.
Cater to the Employee: Long gone are the days of training textbooks and VHS tapes. Sit a 17- or 18-year old down in front of a TV to watch a 45-minute on-boarding video and you’ve already begun to lose engagement. It’s important to consider how to make training effective for younger generations and embrace their needs. If they’re attached to their cell phones, then find a way to make training available to them there. Catering to particular learning styles will not only show that new hires are valued, but it will also result in better retention of the information — a win for the business.
Equip your Employee: Old, dysfunctional equipment leads to stressed, angry employees and eventually, employees who are just so fed up with nothing working that they move on. Investing in premium equipment can play a huge role in making the lives of your team members easier. High-quality equipment will allow your team to work more efficiently, which again only benefits the business as a whole. If an employee can recognize the ease of their job against comparable alternative positions, they’ll recognize their current opportunity as the best available.
These are not novel, or all together unique strategies for retaining talent, but when you consider the success that CFA has had relative to their industry peers, its obvious that these tactics work when they are made a priority. We’re honored that CFA recognizes our premium equipment as a contributor to their low turnover. To find out how our equipment can add simplicity to your operation and help you retain your valued talent, visit our complete lineup at https://www.hennypenny.com/products/.