Insights from the floor at NAFEM 2017 Between conversations with customers and visitors at the Antunes booth, checking out the WHAT’S HOT WHAT’S COOL product gallery and walking up and down the aisles to see other exhibitors, there was a lot to unpack from NAFEM 2017. Unsurprisingly, a lot of what we heard, saw or discussed related back to current foodservice trends and how operations can be more efficient, more effective and do more with less. Here are just a few of the topics that were front and center at this year’s NAFEM show and how the products we presented at the show can provide a solution for today’s chefs: Smaller kitchens Whether it’s with versatile equipment that can accomplish multiple tasks or creative ways to utilize available space, operators are trying to maximize their kitchen and fit their operations into the smallest footprint possible. For example, we showed our VCTM-2 toaster at NAFEM, which was designed to meet a customer’s need to toast additional items for a planned breakfast menu expansion. The VCTM-2 is used to toast buns for the lunch and dinner dayparts, where as our RT-2 is used for breakfast items ― the two fit side-by-side into the available footprint from the chain’s previous toaster. Made-to-order food items The days of frozen beef patties and reheating menu items in microwaves may be behind us. Customers now expect food to be made-to-order and fresh, even from QSRs. Antunes steamers meet the need for made-to-order menu items, such as meats, vegetables and pastas, and offer casual and fast-casual dining chains an ideal way to address LTO and promotional menu offerings with an efficient piece of equipment. Breakfast popularity With more chains expanding the breakfast daypart, operators are looking for ways to offer breakfast items throughout the day without creating complications in the kitchen. Our Egg Stations with dual zones enable operators to easily serve freshly cooked eggs to customers on demand using the two independent cooking zones. These units are perfect for locations with menu items that require cooking of fresh eggs throughout the day and those with the need to cook smaller or single batches of eggs on demand. Additionally, manufacturers are looking increasingly for ways to incorporate technology to reduce operational challenges and add value to both the front- and back-of-the-house. From touchscreens and USB or WIFI connectivity to finding better ways to train employees, demonstrate product capabilities and interact with consumers, technology will continue to be an ever-evolving consideration for the foodservice industry. Whether you were at NAFEM 2017 or not, we’d love to continue the conversation about these insights from the show floor. Send us a message or check out the rest of the Antunes Insights section of our website to see more from our team of experts.