A century ago, machines that held and dispensed crushed ice were considered innovative. Then, electrics altered how restaurants cook. Now, as technology continues to advance, equipment options have to check many boxes: ease of use, eco-friendly, cost-effective, food safety-forward and more. As such, operations’ capabilities have expanded.
While soda on the menu is a given in modern restaurants, carbonators were a big step forward for soda shops of the 1920s. Jumping forward a few decades, a small-space electric slicer promoted as a tool to help save time in restaurant kitchens eliminated the need for employees to cut some foods and ingredients by hand.
Vendors have been finding solutions to foodservice needs for the past century, with the evolution of equipment such as freezers and dispensers that allow operators to play to the latest trends, such as nitro coffee and customization through sauces and flavors.
While consumer-facing technology gets a lot of attention, back-of-house innovations are also affecting foodservice. Equipment has become wireless, with cloud-based data storage, to make kitchens more connected—and more intuitive—than ever before.