The constant pull to do more with less is unrelenting. Supermarkets, restaurants and other foodservice operations must be nimble and ready to pivot at a moment’s notice to survive — and thrive — in this new economy. For this reason, choosing the right cooking equipment is all the more important and can be the difference between success and failure.
In this post, we will outline how to determine the best oven technology for your needs so you can create highly customizable menus that keep you ahead of the competition.
1. Seek a small footprint
Ovens don’t have to be large to be powerful. Consolidating precious kitchen square footage is a competitive advantage — especially as rent increases and the pandemic affects the labor market. These days, operators who seek small but mighty kitchen ovens are thrilled with the perks, such as easy installation and easy cleanup. This creates efficiency for your staff as they prepare a variety of fresh and speed-scratch dishes.
Not to mention, many space-savings ovens are also ventless. Ventless oven technology saves operators thousands. They also enable you to install your oven anywhere in the kitchen and produce cleaner emissions. The time saved cleaning can be invested in crafting your menu and food prep.
2. Look for pre-programmed recipe storage
Consistency is key to success in the foodservice industry. You maintain customer loyalty by executing their favorite dish the same way every time. Ovens that offer pre-programmed recipe storage can help you achieve this consistency as you navigate menu changes. They also help ensure uniform results, no matter who is working in the kitchen.
Look for an oven that can hold unique cook settings, whether pre-programmed or loadable via USB drive. Some ovens can hold up to 1,000 settings that are controlled via touchscreen. This means you can switch your menu with the touch of a button and without burdening your kitchen staff.
3. Find an oven with speed
Executing your customized menu with consistency is good, but doing so with consistency and speed is great. If your supermarket or restaurant kitchen is understaffed due to the pandemic, or if you’re having trouble keeping up with online demand and to-go orders, find an oven that can help your kitchen move faster with less effort.
Precision heat through impingement technology provides a solution. In an impingement oven, an impingement nozzle blasts hot air at food, cooking it four times faster than a conventional oven. Concentrated air on the food results in faster cook speed, without sacrificing flavor and quality.
Other features that increase cook speed are auto load and unload — compared to a manual load oven. As your pizza is unloaded, your french fries are loaded, which increases your throughput capacity. This allows your operators to multitask without having to run to the oven for every dish.
4. Prioritize ovens that multitask
When you craft your menu, you choose items that will appeal to your customer, use up seasonal inventory and offer your kitchen the best bang for your buck. If your menu multitasks, your oven should, too. Combination oven technology is revolutionizing kitchens for its ability to offer dry heat (convection) and steam heat. That means it can bake bread, cook meat, steam or poach fish and veggies. Many can also rethermalize, oven fry and execute sous vide.
Chefs love combination ovens because they can be bought in place of an individual steamer or convection oven. This saves you money and precious kitchen square footage.
When your menu changes, your oven should keep up. Another multitasking oven is the Ovention Shuttle®, which operates as both a conveyor and closed-cavity oven. That means it can operate as a traditional conveyor and then switch to closed-cavity, which uses independent top and bottom blower speeds for each item.
Your kitchen is working hard to stay ahead of these changing times. Consider these four tips when choosing an oven to execute your diverse menu needs.
Our goal is to partner with you to help you build your business. We will set up a demonstration that suits your needs, whether you want us to cook your current product, show you a range of new products, or do a side-by-side comparison with another oven we are ready to show you what Ovention can do.
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Experience an Ovention oven in action. We have test kitchens all across the country and representatives waiting to demonstrate our award-winning technology and ease of use. Contact us today to learn how one of our ovens can elevate your culinary versatility and build your business.
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