5 Profit-Boosting E&S Upgrades

Summary

  • Find out what consumers will pay more for when it comes to their dining experiences.
  • Explore ways to help your operation stand out, from the look of your space to the flavors you serve.
  • See how smart equipment adjustments can make a world of difference in your kitchen and for your customers.

For most foodservice operators, the thought of raising menu prices isn’t entirely appealing. However, if there’s one thing consumers have proven consistently, it’s that they are willing to pay for quality, convenience and unique experiences – even if they cost more. While it’s natural to think twice before investing a significant portion of your budget on new equipment, upgrades and high-dollar purchases can significantly improve your food quality, boost your overall efficiency and help you carve out a unique niche in the marketplace. And that is an investment worth passing on to your customers through your menu prices.

1. Refresh your aesthetic

Never underestimate the value of great atmosphere. Instagram spurred an entire category of foodservice concepts based solely around creating photogenic food. So, while you’re contemplating tasty beauties like rainbow bagels and charcoal-black soft serve, consider Instagrammable décor as well – from curb appeal that grabs patrons’ attention and lighting that draws them in, to servingware that encourages them to snap and post photos, and a patio they want to return to again and again.

2. Assess your equipment

When your equipment starts to deteriorate, it can impact your business in more ways than one. In addition to repairs being a financial drain, malfunctioning equipment can bring down food quality and reduce your overall efficiency. This is especially true for ranges, ovens and large refrigeration units like walk-ins. A new walk-in protects the freshness and quality of your food and can provide better organizational opportunities that boost your efficiency. A new range or oven can help eliminate downtime in your operation – while also speeding up production and giving you a competitive edge that all businesses need.

3. Raise the bar

From fountain drinks and juices to full bar service, beverages are high profit-margin menu items for any foodservice operation. Making them unique to your location gives you the opportunity to boost those margins even higher. Want to craft artisan sodas and juice blends with a cult following? You’ll need cold-press juicers, an enhanced water filtration system and high-end taps. And for a traditional bar worth coming back to, consider unique, specialty glassware to help create a stand-out experience.

4. Ramp up the flavor

Sometimes, the creation of signature flavors just can’t be achieved with everyday commercial kitchen equipment. Sous vide machines deliver flavor infusion and cooking perfection that’s hard to beat. Rotisserie ovens provide even cooking and easy basting and can be accessorized to cook other meats and vegetables as well. Smokers and wood-burning grills or ovens are two more good examples – allowing you to burn your own blend of wood and chips to impart a flavor all your own.

5. Speed things up

Good food delivered fast is the quickest way to a loyal customer’s heart and wallet. So, any equipment that can speed up production in your kitchen is worth it. A high-speed oven, for example, can add a toasty crunch to your gourmet sandwiches in 20 percent of the time it takes a traditional oven, and a clamshell grill can get your lunchtime burger crowd in and out the door with speedy satisfaction. You also can explore automated equipment to help maintain consistency, increase efficiency and lower staffing costs.

Whether you’re looking for new equipment and supplies or want to tap into more profit-boosting insights from industry experts, you’ll find your WOW at The NAFEM Show, Feb. 26-28, 2025, in Atlanta, Ga. Register today!

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