The winner of the Operator of the Year for Equipment Innovation is Loungers.
The introduction of new equipment to a kitchen — be it in the form of cooking, refrigeration, warewashing, beverage or any other category — can have a profound effect on a foodservice business’ operations.
This award, sponsored by Jestic, recognises the time, investment and sheer hard work that goes into rolling out innovative equipment across multiple sites.
A focus on reducing kitchen complexity and creating an efficient environment for chefs to excel has seen Loungers deploy cutting-edge equipment to achieve its goals.
It has embraced the Logwood kitchen management system to increase kitchen ticket times, brought in hot-holding for select ingredients to improve speed of service in high volume sites and introduced high speed panini grills that have transformed its lunchtime trade.
Subtle tweaks to back-of-house design, such as the addition of station fridges with saladettes for all garnishes and ‘to hand’ food items, as well as a roller toaster to assist with throughput of burger buns and muffins, has reduced the rate of chefs crossing over each other and boosted kitchen flow.
Antony Bennett, head of food, Loungers, (pictured receiving the award from Jestic’s culinary director Michael Eyre), said: “We have invested a lot of time, effort and money to make our chefs’ lives easier. They now don’t have to take as many footsteps and the whole cooking process is a lot smoother and more enjoyable.”
Anthony Zammit, head of back of house at Loungers, added: “The high tech equipment we now have has resulted in better kitchen production and improved the flow of the kitchen.”
- Yo! Sushi