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Hamilton Beach Commercial Blog


Mobile Ordering, Robot Delivery, and More 2024 College Dining Trends

Overworked staff. Competing commitments to sustainability and convenience. Complex dietary needs and restrictions. And very long lines of hungry students.

These are just a few of the challenges faced by college foodservice directors… and here are the campus dining trends that are arising in response.


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Topics: Education, college food trends

How to Increase Drive-Thru Speed of Service

Drive-thrus have become more and more popular, as customers seek convenience and speed.

But the increasing popularity of drive-thru service, paired with persistent labor shortages, has caused wait times to increase.

Call it the eternal paradox of the drive-thru: The more successful it is, the harder it becomes to be successful. Let’s look at how some top quick-service brands are increasing their speed of service and keeping guests satisfied.

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Topics: drive-thru speed of service, drive-thru service, drive-thru speed

2023 Food Trends: Mood Food, Conscious Consumption and More

At the close of every year, we look forward to food trend predictions for the future. It’s fascinating to see the experts’ forecasts for what consumers will be eating (and avoiding) in the year to come.

One big question many restaurant operators ask: Do food trends matter? We think they do. No one’s saying that operators should dramatically revamp their menus every year to incorporate the latest craze: Mushrooms! Ube! Baked Alaska! But awareness of global dining patterns helps keep offerings fresh and interesting. 

Here’s a look at some predicted 2023 food trends.

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Topics: 2023 food trends, mood food

Say No to Plastic: Should You Switch to Eco-Friendly Takeout Containers?

The stacks of plastic and foam containers. The piles of plastic forks and knives. The wads of plastic bags.

The environmental cost of food packaging has become abundantly clear worldwide, as people rely more on takeout and delivery meals. As a result, sustainability is once again a high priority for restaurant consumers… but what does that look like when people still want their food to go?

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Topics: biodegradable takeout containers, eco-friendly takeout containers, compostable containers, biodegradable to-go container, say no to plastic

What Operators Can Learn from New Restaurant Prototypes

We’ll admit it: We get excited when chain restaurants unveil prototypes for restaurant designs. It’s not just about the new colors, fresh décor, and lighting; it’s a chance to glimpse companies’ predictions for how restaurant operations will evolve.

Here’s a look at the trends we’re seeing in the latest quick-service restaurant designs.

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Topics: restaurant prototypes, restaurant redesign

The Unexpected Evolution of Casual Dining

Shuttered casual dining restaurants have become a common sight in American suburbs, a casualty of pandemic cutbacks, overinvestment in the 2010s, and competition from the fast-casual segment. But this doesn’t signify the end. The opposite is true: Casual dining is making a comeback.

Casual dining brands are becoming more polished, more creative and more experience-focused. FSR Magazine calls it “NextGen Casual,” a movement discussed in a recent webinar with three segment leaders. Black Bear Diner CEO Anita Adams sums up casual dining trends perfectly: “Now’s the time to protect what you stand for and what you’re known for,” she says. Here’s how.

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Topics: Featured, casual dining, casual dining trends

Feeling the Squeeze: How Restaurants Can Handle Supply Chain Issues and Price Inflation

Out of the sauté pan and into the deep fryer: That’s how many restaurant operators feel right now. 

Just when operators were regaining their stride after surviving the COVID-19 pandemic, new tripwires stretched across their path: supply shortages and food price inflation, both compounded by labor shortages. In the United States, year-over-year inflation hit a 40-year high in November 2021.

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Topics: restaurant equipment, menu price inflation, food price inflation

Five Pandemic Dining Trends That Are Here to Stay

At the Thai street food restaurant Soothr, in New York City’s East Village, all the weirdness of dining in the age of COVID-19 is on display. Guests have to show proof of vaccination to a host at the window. They’re notified when they walk in that there’s a strict 90-minute time limit per table, which begins from the time of reservation. The limit is enforced a little too enthusiastically, Jiayang Fan writes in her review: “On a recent evening, a waiter tried to remove a half-finished cocktail from a table no fewer than three times in five minutes.”   

Diners and restaurant operators want to know: Is this the new normal? In one year — or five — which COVID-19 dining conventions will still be in place? We’ll share our predictions.

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Topics: Featured, Pandemic dining, COVID-19 restaurant trends

Year-End Recap: Top 5 Posts for 2021 from the HBC Food Blog

Continuing with our recap series, here are the top blog posts from the Food blog for 2021. These posts got the most views, regardless of when they were published. You can read more by visiting the HBC Food blog

Read on...and if you see content you like, be sure to join the HBC Community for regular updates, whether it's Beverage, Food, Hospitality or Recipes.

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Topics: Food, commercial immersion blender, foodservice equipment, ghost kitchens

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

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