Hot holding has never been so important.
With the latest government announcement on curfews in the restaurant, takeaway and pub sectors looking like they will last for 6 months and over the Christmas period, operators need to look at different revenue streams to help them over this time.
Looking over the pond to the USA, many restaurants there have already been looking at the type of service they offered pre-covid, and realising they needed to make changes have pivoted their offer.Ideas include curb side food delivery, drive up eating where the customer eats in the car park, and family dishes. Obviously, the US is blessed with wide open spaces; strip malls; and ample areas for parking so the first couple of options work for them but may not be possible in the UK market. The Family dish offer however maybe more suitable, and it can be extremely profitable.
Customers pick from a limited choice menu, with the idea that they would be able to feed a whole family, this could be as simple as a tray of Lasagne, a Shepherd’s Pie with steamed vegetables, or as complex as a Sunday roast with all the trimmings.
Consumers are developing a dramatically heightened sense of what they view as safe food handling and hot holding and will question whether they are being held at the correct temperatures. Your hot holding solutions here will have to be multi-functional as well as reliable. Look for units that you can control the humidity as an example steamed veg requires a higher moisture level to prevent it drying out than say roast potatoes where you would want a dry heat to prevent them from going “soggy”.
One such unit that gives you both heat and precise humidity control is the PHTT Clymate IQ range from FWE. Available in six sizes with capacities from six 1/1 GN pans up to thirty 1/1 GN size in a twin cavity unit, so all kitchen sizes and available space is catered for.
These units are easy to operate. Plug them into a 13 amp supply, dial in the required temperature on the digital display (from 32°C to 93°C) then set your relative humidity (from 10% to 90%) why not choose the optional glass door unit which makes it easy to see what you have on hold without opening the door and affecting the heat in the cavity.
Looking at other products within the FWE portfolio that could assist we find the Low Temperature Cook and Hold ovens (LCH for short). In these units you can cook the product and then automatically switch it to the hold cycle. Try roasting meat joints overnight, reducing shrinkage and improving yield and therefore profits all with natural browning. The ovens can be used without extraction and you can easily program them with oven temperature, cook duration or to a core probe temperature and hold temperature ensuring you keep your product at its peak quality.
These units come in sizes ranging from a counter top/built in model with a four 1/1 GN capacity up to the double stacked unit with a twenty-four 1/1 GN capacity, all simply plug into a 13 amp plug socket.
FWE also offer the ever popular HLC range of radiant hot holding cabinets these units can be used for plated meals as well as gastronorm trays of food and with the HLC 2127-9/9 model you can even hold food in separate cavities at different temperatures and holding conditions. Heavy duty casters; bumpers; and handles make these units ideal for moving food around establishments to deliver food made in a central kitchen to alternate locations.
If it’s open storage self serve hot holding you need, ideal for hot holding packaged products ready to be collected by customers or delivery drivers then the FWE heated shelf unit gives a uniform heat across the entire shelf. Each shelf can be set to a different temperature and as they are individually switched you can save energy costs during quiet periods or even be used to serve ambient products if needed.