Unox has applauded the incredible level of menu diversification that has taken place among foodservice businesses during the pandemic after becoming the sponsor of the Operator of the Year for Menu Development category at the 2021 FEJ Awards.
“Without a shadow of a doubt, many operators have been forced to innovate their menus or they simply wouldn’t have survived the challenges of the last 18 months,” said Scott Duncan, managing director of Unox UK.
“The key has been flexibility – where operators might have had a set menu before, they’ve had to think outside of the box and be more flexible. In many cases this meant changing what they were doing on the menu, enabled by Unox innovations such as the Bakerlux Speed.Pro and Evereo hot fridge, which preserves food at service temperature for days.”
Mr Duncan said it had been fascinating to see businesses diversify their menus in order to tackle the challenges posed by the crisis.
“The most prominent trend has been add-ons to existing businesses, for example bringing new products onto existing menus that satisfy changing customer demands for takeaway and click & collect in particular. We’ve seen this first-hand through the success of the Unox Bakerlux Speed.Pro, which is designed to save kitchen space by combining the performance benefits of both convection and high-speed ovens.
“Our products are designed to help caterers overcome the challenges they face every day in developing and delivering their menus. Our focus is on innovation and we have an-house global R&D team of 42 engineers working on pioneering solutions, but it’s really important that we help our customers to innovate too.
“We’ve invested in a team of active marketing chefs and a business development chef, working with operators to support their menu development, which is why it’s very important for us to see the menu development opportunities coming around.”
The FEJ Awards takes place on Thursday 23 September at the Hilton Canary Wharf on what will be the first evening of the Commercial Kitchen show. Nominations are now open and can be submitted here.
Mr Duncan said it was great to be involved with physical events again and the night will provide a chance to honour the outstanding performers of the industry.
“We’ve obviously not had the opportunity to get together with friends and colleagues in the industry over the last year and I’m really looking forward to seeing so many people back together again. Award ceremonies are a fantastic morale boost for those involved – particularly now that we can do it in person again – and we’re delighted to be supporting the FEJ Awards.”