Sponsored by Alto-Shaam.
With rising costs throughout the industry, restaurant leaders are looking for ways to boost sales and trim expenses. Though many see equipment expenses as the source of some of their budgetary woes, kitchen equipment—particularly ventless equipment—can actually help restaurants reduce expenses and add new sales potential.
Here are three ways restaurants can use ventless equipment to improve their bottom lines.
1. Maximize Space
With rising real estate costs, restaurant operators often have to choose between adding new foodservice equipment to the kitchen or expanding space in the dining room to accommodate more guests.
“It’s all about revenue per square foot,” says Tim Murphy, a product specialist at Alto-Shaam. “Which space is producing the most revenue? You could argue that the kitchen contributes to sales. However, dining room expansions are often prioritized since more tables mean more revenue.”
With less space to introduce new cooking equipment, restaurants are finding it challenging to enhance menu offerings, expand dayparts, and drive sales.
The problem becomes even more challenging if equipment requires large overhead ventilation systems. Hoods take up space, require upkeep and often pose layout issues, depending on where ductwork runs in the building. Ventless equipment eliminates the need for large, expensive hoods and allows operators to streamline their workflow and maximize efficiency.
“Ventless technology means you can now put the equipment where you want,” Murphy says, “This includes placing equipment in the front of house, such as behind the bar.”
2. Maximize Productivity
While expanding menu offerings can attract diners, added items can also increase food costs. Murphy says one smart strategy to reduce the impact of these costs is to offer several dishes that can be prepared using the same cooking equipment. To drive additional savings and productivity, restaurants can invest in equipment that allows staff to cook multiple dishes at once while remaining hoodless to keep real estate costs down.
“Our Vector ovens, for example, have four chambers that allow restaurants to cook four different items simultaneously,” he says. “Our Cook & Hold ovens are very versatile, too, and both are ventless in high-grease applications. I would feel very comfortable opening a restaurant and doing a whole menu with just those two pieces.”
By doing so, restaurants can maximize their dining room spaces and kitchen productivity without having to increase real estate costs.
3. Maximize Savings
Vents are pricey, and not just due to expensive installation fees and ductwork. They also have ongoing charges that add up over time, such as energy, maintenance, and repair costs. Eliminating these costs by installing ventless equipment helps restaurants take control of the budget. Additionally, by investing in ventless equipment that is also energy efficient, such as the Cook & Hold oven, restaurants can continue earning more savings for the life of the equipment.
“Ventless equipment really reduces long-term costs,” Murphy says. “But it also increases throughput and labor efficiency. It’s really a win for restaurants all-around.”
For more information about how ventless equipment can save your restaurant money, visit the Alto-Shaam website.
By Peggy Carouthers