South American chain Las Iguanas prepares much of its menu from scratch and it uses a microwave as part of that process.
Head of food development, Glenn Evans, says: “Our kitchens are still very much chef-led. We prepare many of the proteins and sauces from scratch, in bulk, then re-heat using a microwave as it’s one of the best ways to achieve core temperature quickly and efficiently.
“Some of the large volume lines include enchiladas, nachos, half chickens, chicken tinga, chipotle beef, albondigas, ribs and burritos. We then finish most of these dishes on the chargrill or in a pan afterwards to add colour and texture. We’re always looking at ways to reduce complexity in the kitchen and achieve more consistency, but never at the cost of the quality of the food, and reducing our carbon footprint is always on the agenda.”
One of Las Iguanas’ newest sites is Bracknell, where it uses a bank of six PanasonicNE-1878 microwaves after spotting an opportunity to achieve more uniformity in heating thanks to the inverter technology.
“Aside from the inverter technology giving us the ability to cook and re-heat less aggressively, and the improved energy efficiency — the NE-1878 has proven to be 10% more energy efficient compared to the standard model we used to buy — the all-metal door has been a real bonus.
“When it comes to cleaning, it is much lighter, so easier for chefs to clean under and around and the door itself is easier to clean inside and out with not having any grooves or film. And the NE-1878 also doesn’t look like a microwave so there is less of a chance of a negative consumer perception.”