From the pages of Restaurant Franchising
Targeting Challenges and Presenting Solutions

When a well-known chain quick-service restaurant wanted to cut its kitchen footprints in half and double its output without changing its menu, the chain turned to Manitowoc Foodservice. “We have a service function called the High Performance Kitchens group,” says Dean Landeche, senior vice president of marketing for Manitowoc Foodservice. “We use kitchen design concepts with the latest technology and innovations. Our High Performance Kitchen group used ACT (advanced cooking technology), custom fabrication, and design to create the final product. We designed a kitchen that was almost half the original footprint and let them almost double production.”

That custom kitchen meant the client could get into new markets, opening the doors to facility and outlet expansion.

A key component of the high performance kitchen is Manitowoc’s ACT ovens, used in the Merrychef and Convotherm lines, which cook at speeds up to 15 times faster than traditional methods.

“Merrychef is primarily an accelerated cooking oven using impingement heat, convected air, and microwave cooking that can be used in tight spaces with no hood required. It’s plug and play and works well for quick-serve restaurants in nontraditional locations,” Landeche says.

Convotherm’s Combi-Ovens “combine traditional cooking techniques with convected and steam heat, blending those to get the high-quality results operators want for their brands.

“In the Combi-steamer ovens, advanced controls allow the ovens to steam something, enveloping and penetrating the food with moist heat, then the ovens draw the moisture back out, and convected air finishes the product crispy,” Landeche says.

Training time on the ACT ovens is next to nothing for operators, an appealing feature in a segment where server turnover is high. The EasyToUCH control pads are icon driven screens—just press the picture for the desired product, and the oven does the rest.

The owner/operator controls the touchpads, loading and changing instructions via the USB port or Internet connections; staff cannot override the instructions. New menus and preprogrammed cooking instructions for the oven can be rolled out with one simple upload.

When a well-known quick-service chain wanted to cut its kitchen footprints in half and double its output without changing its menu, it turned to Manitowoc Foodservice.

Manitowoc Foodservice turned its innovative mind to ice machines recently, thinking “inside the (ice)box” to improve the performance of its ice machines. Manitowoc’s Indigo Ice Machine, a 2011 NRA Kitchen Innovation Award winner, can be programmed to do things like make ice at night when energy costs are lower.

Indigo offers LuminIce, an innovative sanitizing system on the ice machine that uses ultraviolet light to sanitize the ice making process. “It limits the growth of yeast and bacteria, resulting in cleaner machines and better-tasting ice,” Landeche says. Because the machines stay cleaner, operators do not have to shut them down for a full-on cleaning as often.

Manitowoc Foodservice is proud of its sustainability efforts. “The biggest impact on the planet is the energy consumed and wasted during the lifetime of these machines. We work closely with our innovative engineering lab to bring improvements in those areas to all the equipment,” Landeche says.

Manitowoc Foodservice went beyond ENERGY STAR standards, because a lot of machines are not part of that program. “We have the EnerLogic program, which identifies Manitowoc Foodservice products that meet independent third party standards for energy savings and sustainability. We have more than 1,800 pieces of equipment that deliver energy savings,” Landeche says.

Manitowoc Foodservice publishes an annual sustainability report, “a 360 degree look at the products, how we use fewer raw materials and more sustainable processes to manufacture goods that require less energy,” Landeche says.

“We listen to customers, what they like and what they want to see improved. We interpret what they want; we go back and say ‘here are 10 things we can do, which one matters most?’ We can generate thousands of ideas, but selecting the right ones and bringing those ideas to the customer brings the biggest value.”

For more information about Manitowoc Foodservice, visit