Determining Equipment Needs When Expanding into New Dayparts

From QSRs to fast casuals, restaurants are preparing for 2020 with daypart expansions and the new menus that come with them.

Restaurants may decide to expand their dayparts for several reasons, including:

⁠— Addressing new growth opportunities beyond their current daypart business

⁠— Keeping up with the competition

⁠— Leveraging LTOs and new menu items to encourage new visitors

Those planning to expand into a new daypart have a lot to think about — including their equipment needs.

Conversations with equipment manufacturers begin early in the process. Operations and culinary teams are trying to understand if they can execute the daypart within the limited kitchen space and make the menu items quickly and efficiently. These insights lead to equipment evaluation and trials.

Testing is a critical part of the equipment review process to help decision makers understand if moving forward makes sense. Off-the-shelf equipment may not meet the chain’s specific needs, so an equipment manufacturer that can modify equipment gives the test — and ultimately the daypart introduction — a better chance of being successful.

Current equipment may play a role in the new menu as well. Restaurant leadership wants to understand if the current equipment has the right capacity and will fit appropriately on the line. Additionally, current equipment needs to be able to keep up with demands at peak times.

Once equipment is selected and tested, restaurant operators and staff need to be trained on the equipment to help ensure rollout success. Some restaurants choose to start with a regional rollout, to make the process easier and determine if any adjustments need to be made prior to the full expansion.

This equipment evaluation process is evident in how Antunes works with customers to handle daypart expansions. The customer in the following example not only needed equipment to facilitate their expansion into all-day breakfast, they also were looking to provide guests with a consistent product.

As they prepared to launch an all-day breakfast program, a North American quick service restaurant chain was looking for greater consistency in the eggs used for their breakfast sandwiches.

Some of the chain’s restaurants were already using the Antunes Egg Station, an alternative to grill cooking that offers a reliable way to quickly cook eggs to order using steam and heat. Antunes had modified the Egg Station’s standard egg ring size to 3.75 inches in diameter to meet the chain’s specific needs.

The chain’s leadership saw an opportunity to expand the use of this piece of equipment to increase efficiencies throughout their restaurants. Cooking the eggs the same way in the same amount of time gives them menu consistency from store-to-store, which contributes to a reliable guest experience.

The chain partnered with Antunes on a comprehensive roll-out of its Egg Stations to approximately 550 restaurant locations. The Egg Stations are now used to cook fresh eggs for all the chain’s breakfast sandwiches.

With Antunes, customers will not only get the dedication and willingness to assist with this daypart expansion, but they will get a life-long partner to help with other current and future pain points. See more real-world instances of Antunes partnering with customers on kitchen solutions in the case study archive.