In the foodservice world of the past, quality and speed typically had an inverse relationship ― as one goes up, the other goes down. The expectation was that quick-serve restaurants had a monopoly on speed, but that consumers may not have had the same expectations for quality from these types of restaurants.
Now, we see that the two must be well-balanced to meet consumer needs.
In a report from QSR magazine, Arby’s vice president of brand and operations integration said that while guests are willing to wait a few more seconds for high-quality food, they’re still expecting Arby’s to make the food consistently and with “a sense of urgency.”
This trend only continues to evolve and permeate other segments of the restaurant industry. For example, market research company Mintel recently wrote about the rise of “fast fine” dining, which combines the convenience of fast casual with food of a fine dining restaurant.
In addition to considerations for quality food ― such as choosing fresh over frozen, offering healthier alternatives and eliminating ingredients, such as artificial flavors and preservatives ― operations need equipment that enables them to keep the kitchen moving efficiently.
Several products developed by Antunes address these needs, with thoughtfully designed features found in toasters, egg stations and steamers.
- The Gold Standard Toaster (GST)’s continuously moving dual belts allow for the immediate feeding of buns without sticking, slipping or marking ― resulting in a high-quality toast each time. Additionally, the GST has up to five different toasting lanes so that operations can serve menu items on properly toasted buns without sacrificing ticket times.
- The Egg Station with Dual Zone’s unique split cover divides the grill surface into two independent cooking zones, allowing operations to quickly prepare eggs on demand. Instead of cooking 12 eggs at once and then holding product — and pitching after the holding time has expired — they can now cook as little as one egg at a time and have the option of starting a second batch without having to wait for the first to finish.
- For operations looking to eliminate long waits for preparing hot food items, Antunes steamers are a viable option for menu items ranging from a full, portion-controlled meal to heating pre-cooked pasta to melting cheese on a fresh sandwich. Steamers cook food quickly and easily, eliminating the need for time-consuming methods that require constant attention.
By selecting equipment that maintains the integrity of the food, while keeping wait times down, QSR operators can balance quality and speed and keep customers coming back for an superior quick service experience.
Read more about consumers’ demand for healthier, less-processed fare from QSRs in this article on The ‘Clean Label’ Trend and the Impact on Commercial Kitchen Equipment.