It’s almost tempting for attendees at The NAFEM Show in Orlando, Florida’s convention center to don sunglasses as they walk down the vast aisles lined with restaurant kitchen equipment. At this biannual expo, held this year from February 5 to 7, one is surrounded by stainless steel as far as the eye can see—huge warewashers, mammouth walk-ins and gleaming ovens and ice machines, as well as thousands of smaller items, such as blenders, coffee machines, cookware, warmers and frozen yogurt dispensers. While stainless steel still reigns supreme, a number of manufacturers are jazzing up their equipment with bright bursts of color.
|Alto-Shaam’s compact Combitherm ovens dotted their large exhibit space with an array of colors, including green, red and purple|
|At the Vollrath booth, retro soup kettles are available in multiple colors and the Induction Rethermalizer—the only one on the foodservice market—comes in a pretty shade of red|
|Red was also the color of choice for TurboChef’s new rapid-cook countertop oven|
|Server Products uses color to help identify products for food-sensitive customers. The bright orange container paired with this pump holds hypo-allergenic ingredients|
|The Vitamix booth boasted a rainbow of colors in their display of blenders, drink machines and juicers. The electric blue, hot pink and neon green appliances really caught the eye; yellow and red are other options|
|Stainless steel dominates in this heated banquet cart from Carter Hoffman, but the bands of red liven things up. Their mobile refrigeration units sport blue bands|
|Arctic Industries colors an entire walk-in in bright red—quite a switch from the usual stainless|
Color was not the only news making the NAFEM floor buzz with excitement. After several years of reduced spending and pent-up demand, it seemed like operators are ready to buy. Several manufacturers anecdotally reported lots of activity and interest, and traffic was noticeably higher than the 2009 and 2011 shows.