With back-of-house areas shrinking, more operators are bringing the kitchen up front. High-speed ovens must save room when space is tight, and they need to be visually appealing, too. Manitowoc’s Merrychef Eikon E2S oven—which launched in October—cooks, toasts, bakes and reheats in one compact unit (24.4 inches high, 14 inches wide, 23.4 inches deep) and comes in a stainless, red or black finish.
Alto-Shaam’s Combitherm Combi Oven performs the job of a dehydrator, smoker, fryer, steamer, kettle and convection oven in one unit. It’s been useful for Meyer, who, like others who have upped their catering business of late, has turned to banquets as an extra revenue stream. “You can cook your meats to a certain temp, and it’ll hold them at that temp until you need [the food] for service,” Meyer says. “It gives you more time to focus on other things rather than having to check your meat every 15 minutes.”