The Value of Versatility: Getting the Most Out of Your Equipment Equipment is a true workhorse in the kitchen, enabling chefs to execute their culinary creations. Today’s kitchens have limited space for this equipment, so the selected pieces need to be versatile in order to maximize the available footprint. Versatile equipment offers a number of benefits to operators: Versatile equipment gives the capability of changing up menu items for different offerings, even experimenting to find a more profitable menu mix — without ordering purchasing additional equipment. Versatile equipment combines several pieces of equipment, freeing up space while providing a more effective workflow in the kitchen. From a budgetary perspective, versatile equipment ultimately saves the owner/operator money — some operators do not have the capital to buy several pieces of equipment; they need a multi-use machine. Versatile equipment may offer better functionality for dealing with accommodating both high-volume and made-to-order dayparts. Versatile equipment can save owner/operators time and labor costs because less training is required on fewer pieces of equipment. Versatile equipment can also take your restaurant from breakfast to lunch to dinner in the same small space. Manufacturers know that in order for their equipment to be selected, it needs to carry its weight and offer adaptability to the operator. Here are some examples of versatility in key countertop equipment categories: Steamers Steamers are optimal for all foods that need even cooking or rethermalizing — with consistencies varying from pastas and rice to soups, veggies, eggs, proteins and seafood. By utilizing a steamer, the chef cuts down on cook time while keeping the nutritional integrity and appetizing look of the steamed product. These benefits enable the steamer to replace microwaves and stovetops in the back of house. Even with just these three categories, you can have a functional kitchen with equipment that meets a host of needs — demonstrating the value in versatile equipment. Egg Stations Chefs can cook different sizes and shapes of eggs by switching out the rack/ring assembly (omelets, scrambled eggs, etc.) – offering several options over a single heated surface. Additionally, the Egg Station with dual zone allows operators to cook foods like eggs and bacon simultaneously while freeing up grill space. The Egg Station is not limited to just the breakfast daypart. It can also be used to sear veggies, seafood and proteins for lunch and dinner or create specialty menu items that benefit from combined contact heat and steam, such as bacon-wrapped appetizers. Toasters Versatile toasters have the ability to serve sandwich concepts across dayparts with the same equipment. For example, a restaurant could toast croissants for breakfast sandwiches and sandwich buns for cheeseburgers on a single toaster. The ability to accessorize with a butter wheel, landing zones, bun feeders or other modular additions creates even more options for the operation. Equipment plays a role in menu expansion as well. Explore this concept further in this article.