‘Overly-flexible kit’ risks compromising kitchen quality and consistency, warns Tortilla food boss

Operators who get too carried away with installing multi-functional kitchen equipment at the cost of kit that does fewer tasks risk compromising on the quality of the end product.

That’s according to the head of food at Tortilla, Martyn Clover, who is in charge of ensuring kitchens produce consistent food across almost 40 sites run by the brand.

He noted at the Commercial Kitchen that, while a catering equipment supplier may boast of a product ‘that has 10 different functions, it may perform them 10% worse’.    

The warning came as a panel discussion on how operators can be innovative in small kitchen spaces pointed out that there is a growing trend for equipment that can be more flexible and provide more functions.

Stephen Ryan, project consultant at ABDA Creative Design & Build, said that businesses using small kitchens must consider the knock-on effects of installing appliances that are limited in what they can do.

“Having a bratt pan that is only a bratt pan takes up a bratt pan amount of room,” he said.

Ryan noted that there are a lot of good flexible products on the market but said more needs to be done to make combi ovens more flexible as well as warewashing and refrigeration.

He added: “We did a recent demo for a client who said the [flexible product] has got to be able to do everything to the same standard or better. You have to make sure that everything is the same or better or there’s no point doing it because you’ll lose customers and that’s the start of the downfall.

“The casual dining sector seems to have gone into that area of trying to please everybody and there’s a lot closing as we know. They should be doing what they do well rather than trying to please everybody.”

CLICK HERE to read FEJ’s interview with Tortilla’s head of food Martyn Clover.

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