The Future Report: Cooking Suites 2018

What have been the biggest changes you have noticed this year when it comes to what restaurant operators want from new cooking suites?

There is much greater consideration being given to operating and running costs, including energy consumption and servicing needs.

Where do you see cooking suite trends going in 2018? What factors will shape the choices that operators make in 2018?

Trends are very much going to be dictated by other issues, particularly those relating to the effective use of space. With this in mind we are seeing more engagement between chefs and manufacturers as they seek a solution that delivers the best combination of space saving, energy efficiency and ergonomics. Undertaking the installation of a new suite, either as part of a new build or redesign, is the perfect time to review how the kitchen actually operates and with it an opportunity for the chef to change working practices in order to make personnel more efficient, maximise the available space and produce a more comfortable working environment. Are staff spending more time going backwards and forwards to ancillary items than actually cooking? And, if so, can these ancillary items be better located next to or even into the suite/cook line. And, of course, there will undoubtedly be even greater emphasis placed upon energy optimisation. This will include power management systems that automatically drop power consumption when a unit is not in operation.

Looking ahead to 2018, what is the next Holy Grail for cooking suites? Is there anything on the horizon that will bring new functionality or features to cooking suites?

We are seeing more and more “smart” suites being designed so that they can become part of the whole building management system for energy consumption. An excellent example of this is the new Mareno IChef range which is already configured to run with building management systems and won the Smart label award at HOST last month. IChef appliances, which are designed to be suited, come with an exclusive system specially created by Mareno to control all its multiple functions: the Control Cooking System. The touchscreen’s bright display panel is always clearly legible, under all lighting conditions, so anyone working in the kitchen, from any position, can maintain complete control of all operative settings. Gone are the old profiles with traditional knobs and in their place are ergonomic designs that facilitate cooking, and cleaning, in the kitchen.

We are also seeing more and more chefs looking at whether they are making best use of their appliances and this could potentially impact on the future design of suites. Could they, for example, benefit from replacing two or more pieces of equipment with one that is multi-functional? And what about considering pieces of equipment that can perform different jobs at different times during the day? CAPIC already produces such a product which can be used for making braised stocks or used for direct cooking. I.e. it is designed for one job in the morning during mise-en-place and a different job during service.