Latest Trends in Professional Catering Equipment

Latest Trends in Professional Catering Equipment

After a tough couple of years in the food service industry in New Zealand, market analysts Ibis World is predicting strong growth in 2022. The market size is currently $887.7 million and is expected to increase 15.2% this year.

Customers’ tastes are constantly changing, and as life returns to normality, demand is going to keep on rising. To keep your catering game strong, it’s important to keep abreast of the latest trends in professional catering equipment. 

Let’s explore 5 key trends that are emerging in equipment used in catering so you can plan your next kitchen purchase.

Trend 1: Catering Equipment Rental

Let’s face it, after two years of travel restrictions, much of the food service industry in New Zealand is in a state of recovery. Many restaurants were closed, and Kiwis were forced to confront their own kitchens and cook at home like never before. Some businesses are taking a very cautious approach to investing in catering equipment.

Used catering equipment is one option. Although the initial outlay may be much less, it may be hard to say how the equipment was used and maintained before you bought it. You could end up paying out more in repairs and new parts than it would have cost to buy new and still be left with equipment that’s past its best.

A better solution is catering equipment rental. The Rent-Try-Buy scheme allows you to get brand new equipment for catering for a weekly finance repayment. At the end of the term, you’ve got the option of purchasing the equipment or returning it.

You can also upgrade at this point. If you find that the equipment no longer offers you the capacity you need, you can upgrade to a larger appliance.

Of course, you’ll need to factor in the cost of the interest. But it may be a great way to get the catering equipment you need without committing huge amounts of money out of pocket.

Trend 2: Internet of Things

Running a commercial kitchen involves monitoring lots of pieces of equipment. The Internet of things refers to equipment fitted with sensors that can communicate with you wirelessly. Typically, this means they tell an app on your mobile phone what’s going on. 

For example, you need to check that your commercial fridges and freezers are all running at the correct temperature. That ensures the safety of your food stocks. You also need to monitor cooking oil and make sure that it’s changed regularly. 

The Internet of things is now expanding into commercial kitchens to meet these needs.

This includes fridges, freezers, and deep fryers that can communicate with your smartphone. They’ll let you know if the temperature rises or drops beyond a set range. The deep fryer can alert you when it’s time for an oil change.

This trend is emerging and has yet to fully catch on. Within a few years, chances are everything in your kitchen will be communicating with you.

For safety monitoring, it’ll make life easier. But expect a few false alarms and glitches along the way. 

Trend 3: Programmable Combi Ovens

When you’ve got a large crew all working on top of each other in a commercial kitchen, it’s good to keep things as foolproof as possible. Programmable combi ovens don’t just allow you to choose from a bunch of preset cooking functions. They also let you record the different cooking methods and setting you use regularly.

This takes a lot of the guesswork and skill out of the process. That’s perfect when you’re working with new recruits who have limited kitchen experience.

Just tell them which program to choose and they can’t go wrong. This is ideal when you’re taking on a lot of new, seasonal staff and need to streamline processes as much as possible. 

Trend 4: Hands-Off Service

Social distancing and self-isolation mean some people don’t like the idea of someone serving them food any longer. Even worse, a buffet where utensils are shared between multiple people. The solution is to have more grab-and-go food items available and limit serving by staff members wherever possible.

To facilitate this you might consider investing in more display fridges. They allow people to grab a pre-packed container of whatever they want, take it to the cashier and go. Self-service payment options allow you to completely remove human interaction from the process.

Hot food display cabinets and food warmers are also crucial to this picture. Hygiene has always been crucial but now you need to make it obvious that it’s your priority. Food warmers reassure the public that hot food stays hot right up until the moment they take it away.

Trend 5: Smaller Catering Equipment Footprint

The cost of rent may make you consider looking for smaller premises for your catering business. If that’s the case, you’ll need catering equipment and supplies that make the very best use of every square inch. 

Some solutions have been around for a long time. These include workbench fridges and freezers that make the best use of space that could otherwise be redundant. Also, don’t forget vertical space. Choosing tall, slimline appliances can be a great way to maximise your space. 

It’s a good idea to periodically audit equipment used in your catering operation. Do you find that some pieces of equipment are just taking up space and offering little value to your business? Getting rid of them or replacing them with more useful equipment could be the way to go.

Also, with food inflation at its highest rate in 30 years, it’s good to look at areas where you can cut costs. One way may be in buying or renting more energy-efficient catering equipment, to save money on your electric and gas bills.

Keep On Top of Catering Equipment Trends

Most of the latest catering equipment trends focus on keeping costs under control. Great new schemes like Rent-Try-Buy make it possible for businesses to keep scary costs to a minimum when starting out. New innovations promise to make maintaining equipment and food safety standards even easier in the future.

Federal Hospitality Equipment is your one-stop shop. From the latest innovations to catering staples, we’ve got it all. We’ve been supplying commercial kitchens with quality catering equipment they can rely on for over 50 years.

Browse our extensive range of catering equipment today!

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