Industry News | May 22, 2007

Five Products You Shouldn’t Have Missed at the NRA Show

An informal poll of show attendees walking the floor at the 2007 NRA show revealed five products that had people talking.

1. Dixie Foodservice introduced its SmartStock cutlery dispenser for single cutlery dispensing. The company says the new dispenser provides benefits to operators in two ways: hygiene and operations. By reducing touch points, typical in standard cutlery bins, the risk of cross contamination with customers is greatly reduced, the company says. The new dispensers also reduce waste by dispensing a fork, knife, or spoon one at a time at the push of a lever, and workers re-fill the dispenser with 40-piece packs. Spokesperson Michelle Wagner says this process saves time and labor. In test trials, 80 percent of operators said they were “very likely” to use SmartStock, and 80 percent of operators said that the sleek, modular design of SmartStock greatly improved counter appearance.

2. Micros announced the availability of a fully integrated digital menu board feature as part of the Micros RES 4.0 point-of-sale system. Operators with this system can alter prices on the point-of-sale system, and the changes appear on the digital menu board within 15 seconds. According to company officials, the function can save labor, promote menu items, and provide a better overall experience to guests.

Dixie Foodservice introduced its new product, SmartStock, at the NRA Show. According to test trials, 80 percent of operators said they were very likely to try the new product. Photo by Fred Minnick.

3. The Master Controller is a custom-designed part of the Master-Bilt refrigeration system. The controller eliminates the room thermostat, defrost timer, thermostatic expansion valve, defrost termination/fan delay thermostat, defrost heater contractor, and evaporator fan contactor. Master-Bilt says the controller provides up to 26 percent in energy savings and that no power wiring is required between evaporator coils and condensing coils. “The Master Controller digitally controls freezers,” says Dave Entrekin, sales representative with Master-Bilt Products. “There are no moving parts on this—it only has two relays.”

4. Pitco introduced the Solstice Supreme High Efficiency Gas Fryers. The company says the fryer has up to 70 percent thermal efficiency without power blowers, extra igniters, pressure switches, and ceramic burners. The company says the automatic Self Clean Burner keeps the fryer’s heating system optimally tuned to perform at the highest gas savings mode, and the draft protection protects the fryer from changing ventilation systems. It received a Kitchen Innovations award.

5. Element Ozone introduced FS1420, which the company says is the most powerful food-grade antimicrobial agent available. The purifier is effective against E. coli 0157:H7, Salmonella, all known bacteria, viruses, yeast, molds, and mildew, the company says. FDA-approved, Element Ozone says its product kills bacteria 50 times more effectively than chlorine while replacing chemicals and detergents. Ozone extends the life of food products, is inexpensive to produce, and available in unlimited supply, the company says. It is a naturally occurring agent—the same one that cleans the Earth’s atmosphere. —Fred Minnick