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Addressing the Labor Saving Issue

Although there are many challenges facing foodservice operators today, the issues related to labor continue to rank as the most trying. Manufacturers that design labor-saving features and benefits in their products are addressing this issue directly by assisting the operator in controlling the costs connected with training, maintenance and time. Smallwares and light equipment can also incorporate qualities that are able to reduce costs in these areas.
Color-coded knives, tongs, dishers and a host of other utensils can positively affect many areas of concern in an operation which include cross-contamination, portion control and cleaning and care as well as the problems with employee turnover. Products that have temperature coded safety zones, as well as those that feature charts to identify proper portion sizes and other food safety requirements, can significantly reduce the time necessary for training and turnover is still one of this industry's number one challenges.
When looking to save on labor and energy costs, the operator should not ignore product maintenance. For example, today's complement of highly-polished stainless buffet service offers an elegant look, and in most cases, needs only a few simple strokes with a soft cloth to restore the finish. Dish and glass racks that provide enough space for superior cleaning, rinsing and drying not only eliminate embarrassing situations in the front of the house, but also save on chemicals, energy and labor. And, when choosing countertop warmers, ones that can take a refrigerated product to a piping hot state and then thermostatically control the safe serving temperature should be considered. Energy costs can be cut if the unit focuses the heat inside the unit on the food product. Cleaning and care can be minimal if the inside surface has a smooth or non-stick property since deposits can merely be wiped away.
At most foodservice conferences, operators from both the commercial and non-commercial segments plead for manufacturers to develop equipment that is simple to operate and helps keep costs in control over time. When choosing smallwares and light equipment, subtle differences in everything from pots/pans to serving lines can offer positive results. Products that can take some abuse, are easy to operate and easy to clean and maintain will begin saving money immediately. They will provide the long-term value operators need and have asked for.