Specialty Equipment Booms: Transforming Food and Beverage Service from Kitchens to Coffee Roasts

Feb 26, 2024 12:38:56 PM | 8 minute read

Jessica Cooper (1)by Jessica Cooper

Jessica Cooper is a highly experienced professional who has been working with Vixxo for almost 7 years, providing top-notch service to clients. Over the years, she has developed extensive knowledge and expertise in developing facility solutions for organizations, with a particular focus on the restaurant industry. Jessica has helped numerous companies overcome challenges related to unexpected costs and inefficiencies, and she is known for her ability to deliver results that exceed client expectations.  

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Specialty equipment requires the proper service and maintenance.

Gone are the days of generic fryers and basic blenders. The food service industry is experiencing a revolution fueled by innovative specialty equipment that pushes the boundaries of flavor, efficiency, and sustainability. This trend isn't just limited to high-end restaurants; it's impacting kitchens of all sizes, from bustling cafes to neighborhood pizzerias. Specialty equipment is advancing rapidly. This reminds me of the time I visited the Starbucks Chicago Roastery, and I got to see first-hand the advancing specialty equipment they use to provide customers with excellence. 

A World of Possibilities: Specialty Equipment in Action 

Take the Chicago Roastery as a testament to this revolution. Here, a 56-foot bronze cask isn't just a centerpiece; it's a meticulously engineered machine dispensing freshly roasted beans, ensuring exceptional freshness and quality control. Multiple coffee bars showcase diverse brewing methods: 

  • Siphon brewers utilize vacuum pressure for clean, flavorful cups. 
  • Nitro cold brew towers offer a sensory delight with their smooth, cascading brew. 
  • Modbar systems empower baristas with precision and control, tailoring each cup to individual preferences. 

But the Roastery is just one example. Specialty equipment is transforming kitchens everywhere: 

  • Combi ovens combine the functionalities of ovens, steamers, and grills, saving space and energy. 
  • High-pressure fryers cook food faster with less oil, resulting in healthier and crispier results. 
  • Smart refrigerators monitor inventory and temperature remotely, reducing waste and optimizing operations. 

Challenges and Opportunities: Navigating the Specialty Equipment Landscape 

While the potential of specialty equipment is undeniable, it presents challenges: 

  • Installation: Innovative equipment can require multiple partners to roll it out to stores, particularly with limited space. It may require coordinating with general contractors, designers, and installation partners. 
  • Maintenance: Complex equipment requires skilled technicians, creating a demand for trained professionals. 
  • Cost: Investing in high-tech equipment can be expensive, requiring careful planning and ROI analysis. 
  • Space constraints: Smaller kitchens necessitate compact, multifunctional equipment that maximizes space utilization. 

However, these challenges are opportunities in disguise. Manufacturers are innovating, creating compact, multipurpose, and faster equipment ideal for smaller spaces. Additionally, the $6.2 billion commercial cooking equipment industry, with ovens dominating 27%, is constantly evolving to meet these demands. 

The Future is Now: Embracing the Change 

From speeding up preparation times to reducing delivery wait times, specialty equipment is revolutionizing the food service experience for both businesses and customers. As the industry embraces this change, the need for skilled technicians who can service and maintain these complex machines will only grow. Are you ready to be part of this exciting journey? Whether you're a restaurant owner, a chef, or simply an enthusiast, the future of food service is powered by innovation, and specialty equipment is at the forefront. 

If you’re interested in learning more about innovative approaches to facilities management, I invite you to join us at the RFMA (Restaurant Facility Management Association) conference in 2024. We’ll be hosting two panel sessions featuring experts from across the industry. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn from the best and stay ahead of the curve in facilities management.  

JOIN US: RFMA 2024 at National Harbor, Maryland, with two insightful panel sessions led by our industry experts!  

Panel Session 1: Next Generation FM: The Role of AI in Facilities Management – Led by Chief Operating Officer Jim McCarthy. Monday, 3/18, 3:45 pm - 4:30 pm EST  

Panel Session 2: Data-Led Decisions: Optimizing Facilities – Led by VP of Industry Insights Nate Brier. Monday, 3/18, 2:30 pm - 3:15 pm EST  

Also, we will be at Restaurant Point West in San Diego, California, on March 24 – 27, 2024. 

We look forward to meeting you there and discussing how we can help optimize your facility solutions.