Cooking suite manufacturers focus on subtle tweaks to fire up kitchens

Northcote, located in Blackburn. Electrolux photography case study. Picture by Shaun Fellows / Shine Pix

Small, succinct enhancements to existing portfolios will be favoured over wholesale changes in the commercial cooking suite market in 2017, leading manufacturers are predicting.

Vendors have been keeping their cards close to their chest when it comes to potential technological developments in cooking suites this year, but the general consensus is that future gains will be incremental.

Stuart Flint, regional training and demonstration manager at Electrolux Professional, notes that the term ‘cooking suite’ can be quite loose, as anything in horizontal or modular cooking could be built into a cooking suite.

“We brought Thermaline to market back in 2013, so it might seem as if not much has changed, but there is always work going on behind the scenes to refine those products and keep them in line with cooking trends,” he said.

Electrolux has focused its energies on developing different ways that chefs and operators can use its cooking suites. “For example, things like free cooking tops allow people to break from traditional cooking by cooking both directly and indirectly,” explains Flint. “That provides chefs with much more versatility from their appliances that they can bring through in their menus — especially in environments like pub chains where a diverse range of dishes will make them stand out from competitors.”

Grande Cuisine is witnessing more awareness and interest in the full-time life cost of equipment, including energy costs, consumption rates and usage.

“As a result of this shift, we have seen developments such those within Capic where ‘plasma’ technology is being used, for example, to generate the rapid heating of appliances, reducing the need for long heat-up times,” explains director Steve Hobbs. “Features such as variable controllers for heating elements on items such as the salamander grill are also gaining popularity because it means that the unit is totally flexible. It can be operated with one, two or three elements as required, depending upon the cooking style and also on the time of day.”

Lincat, meanwhile, is coming off the back of a very significant year in terms of the development of its cooking suite portfolio, launching its new Opus 800 range of 800mm-deep, heavy-duty prime cooking equipment.

“It is larger, heavier and more powerful than the Opus 700 range it replaced,” explains marketing manager Helen Applewhite. “Opus 800 products offer increased capacity, are safe and easy to use, quick to clean and straightforward to service.”

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