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Hamilton Beach Commercial Blog

Food

The Guide to Specialty Equipment for Food Trucks

Equipping a food truck is like playing a tough game of Tetris.

Most food trucks have certain pieces of equipment in common: a griddle or grill, range, fryer, worktop or undercounter refrigerator, and a three-compartment sink. Once these large pieces are in place, the operator typically has only a few feet of counter space for food prep.  

Which appliances are the best fit for that space? That depends on your menu, but they’ve got to be versatile, durable, compact and affordable. Equipping and operating a food truck almost always costs more than you expect. However, it’s not a good idea to cut corners by purchasing low-quality kitchen equipment. Pieces designed for home use can’t stand up to the demands of a busy food truck — but Hamilton Beach Commercial foodservice equipment can. Here’s what we recommend.

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Topics: food truck equipment, equipment for food trucks, how to equip a food truck

How Restaurants Can Adjust to Daypart Shifts

Dining dayparts, once crisply defined, have gotten fuzzy. Breakfast spots that saw a reliable pre-9 a.m. rush now have traffic trickle in all morning. Cafés have remote workers lingering at tables, lunching as they work on their laptops. The dinner rush has expanded into the afternoon, as customer pick up meals while they’re out and about.

“The key to the industry’s recovery will be the strength of each daypart,” The NPD Group reports. Each daypart, from breakfast to evening snack, will be shaped by “new rhythms of home, school, and work-life.”

As consumers’ new work-from-home/hybrid schedules alter when — and how — they eat, how can restaurants adapt? Let’s take a closer look at each daypart.

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Topics: Featured, High Performance Blenders, commercial juicer, Daypart shifts

Menu Trends: Should Operators Shrink or Expand Offerings?

Streamlining menus was an absolute necessity in 2020. The abrupt shift to off-premises dining and app-based ordering required operators to edit menus so they could easily be perused on a phone screen. Add staffing shortages and rising ingredient prices, and shorter menus naturally followed. A Nestle survey found that 58% of operators decided to limit their offerings. 

What now? Is the pendulum swinging back toward more menu selection? Or should restaurants stick to the basics and keep options limited? We’ll look at both sides of the debate.

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Topics: Restaurant menu trends, Streamlined menus

How Kitchen Equipment Upgrades Can Ease the Restaurant Hiring Shortage

Just when American restaurant operators were thinking about expanding, they’re getting squeezed by a hiring crisis.

All across the country, operators are finding it difficult to hire enough seasoned servers, hosts, bartenders, cooks and dishwashers. “Some analysts blamed an economic recovery that isn’t as strong as it seems, but others have blamed powerful forces such as ongoing health fears and robust unemployment insurance for keeping people from seeking jobs in the service sector,” the Washington Post reports.

Caterer Olive Chase, owner of The Casual Gourmet, told NPR she’s had to turn down weddings because she doesn’t have enough staff. "Right at the moment when things could get really good,” she said, “you have something else that's going to hold you back."

If staffing is holding you back, your equipment can help you move forward. How can Hamilton Beach Commercial help?

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Topics: restaurant efficiency, restaurant staffing shortage

The U.S. Restaurant Revitalization Fund: Your Questions Answered

On May 3, 2021, American restaurants’ long wait ended. The U.S government’s Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) began accepting applications for relief related to pandemic losses.

A lot of money is at stake: $26.8 billion, in total. And restaurants are eager to get their share. In the first two days that applications were open, more than 186,000 applications poured in.

If you’re wondering about eligibility guidelines, relief amounts and how to apply, here’s what you need to know.

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Topics: Restaurant relief, Restaurant COVID relief, Restaurant Revitalization Fund

The Pros and Cons Of Ghost Kitchen Operations

In a year’s time, ghost kitchens went from novelty to industry mainstay. Experts now believe they’re a permanent part of the foodservice industry.

Ghost or virtual kitchens, in which a commercial kitchen produces food exclusively for delivery, can take a few different forms. Some ghost kitchens operate in shared or commissary kitchens. Others exist in the back of an existing restaurant, which could offer Italian specialties for the dine-in crowd and sub sandwiches for delivery.    

Market research firm Euromonitor predicts ghost kitchens will grow into a $1 trillion industry by 2030, as delivery grabs market share from takeout, drive-thru and other segments. But does it make sense to adopt this model when everyone else is jumping on board? We’ll take a close look at the pros and cons.

 

 

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Topics: ghost food halls, ghost kitchens, virtual kitchens

8 Tips for Optimizing Space in a Restaurant Kitchen

“I have way too much space!” — said no professional chef, ever.

There’s a reason for that: In a commercial kitchen, every bit of space needs to earn its keep. So whether you’re starting with 75 square feet or 750, you don’t want an inch to be wasted. You can’t afford for equipment to sit idle, but you also need to make sure you have the right tools for every job.

What’s the solution? We have some strategies to making the most of your equipment and space to maximize efficiency in any kitchen, no matter the size.

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Topics: commercial kitchen design, commercial kitchen equipment

Life in the Fast Lane: 2021 Drive-Thru Trends

The must-have restaurant accessory? A drive-thru lane.

Convenience, speed, safety perceptions and barriers to in-person dining all have drawn consumers to the drive-thru window. KFC , Del Taco and Dunkin’ are just a few of the quick-service brands that are planning drive-thru-only restaurant models, without in-person dining. And other restaurants are just now entering this space: “We’re seeing brands that would never in a million years embrace the drive-thru, embracing the drive-thru,” Adam Chandler, author of Drive-Thru Dreams, told The Counter.

 

What should restaurant operators know about the evolution of drive-thru dining? Here are a few key takeaways.

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Topics: drive-thru trends, quickservice trends

Three Wellness Food Trends in 2021

When the pandemic storm has passed, will we all be more health-conscious eaters?

Restaurant industry trendwatchers think so. Consumers are becoming more mindful, says the Mintel 2021 Global Food and Drink Trends report, and seeking foods that nourish their physical and emotional health. 

Immunity, to no one’s surprise, is a hot topic. At the end of 2020, Tastewise reported a:

  • 23% increase, month over month, in consumer interest in immune-boosting food and beverages
  • 7% increase in interest in vitamin and prebiotic-rich foods and drinks
  • 5 % increase in interest in gut health (with a significant 40 percent boost in the last year)

Here’s a look at three ways this intensifying interest in health may be reflected in food menus in the year to come.

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Topics: Healthy eating, 2021 food trends

Power Up: The BigRig™ Family of Commercial Immersion Blenders

Do you love — we mean really love — your immersion blender?

An immersion blender is the rare piece of kitchen equipment that’s lightweight, versatile and supremely easy to put into action.

If you don’t have a heavy-duty immersion blender in your restaurant kitchen, then it’s time to consider it. Hamilton Beach Commercial recently introduced the BigRig family of commercial immersion blenders, the ultimate utility player for your foodservice business.

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Topics: commercial immersion blender, heavy duty immersion blender, immersion mixer, commercial stick blender

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