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    Foodservice Equipment Trends: Versatile Ice Machine, Self-Service Scale, and More

    A steady stream of impressive equipment innovation is being offered to retailers to bolster their efforts to retain and increase their share of the consumers’ foodservice dollar.

    By Bob Ingram

    A steady stream of impressive equipment innovation is being offered to retailers to bolster their efforts to retain and increase their share of the consumers’ foodservice dollar.

    Among the latest that caught my eye:

    Kold-Draft’s new T-270 GB Series Ice Crusher is made to operate in conjunction with GB Series Classic Cubers in a single unit that makes and stores half-cubes, full cubes, and crushed ice.

    An external knob allows the operator to “order” cubes or crushed ice, which can be separated in the bin with an optional bin divider. The half-and-half crusher/cuber was designed to save floor space while allowing for convenient storage of two kinds of pure Kold-Draft ice: for example, cubes can be used for beverages, and crushed ice for cold-food displays.

    All Kold-Draft ice machine models meet the California Energy Commission’s 2008 Building Energy Efficiency Standards.

    Kold-Draft units use a proprietary “upside-down” horizontal evaporator ice-making system, which produces pure, solid, sparkling ice that cools faster, melts slower, and doesn’t distort the taste of beverages, according to Kold-Draft.

    For more information, call 814-453-6761, or visit www.kold-draft.com.

    * * *

    Designed to simplify and enhance the customer experience in self-help areas, including foodservice, the Hobart HLX self-service scale integrates with Microsoft Windows components for enhanced ease of use, photo-quality graphics, increased productivity, and multiple media options. Hobart engineered the HLX with a Windows XP-embedded operating system in order to provide easy access to a wide range of programs with increased portability.

    “Now customers can quickly identify, weigh, and label a variety of fresh and bulk food items without the aid of a store employee,” said Jim Meyer, product line manager, weigh products for Hobart. “We designed the user interface to emulate self-checkout touch screens, making it easier for the customer to transition from the scale interface one to the self-checkout, speed their time at the front end, and improve their overall shopping experience.”

    The HLX self-service scale has a large display and touch screen that lets customers make on-screen selections with the touch of a finger or the click of a stylus. Products categories and unique products are now easier than ever to locate because searches are enabled by product name, product picture, product category, PLU search, and partial description. Products can also be sorted and displayed by the most popular items chosen. Nutritional information can also be quickly obtained for each product by simply touching a flash-key prompt.

    By designing the HLX for Windows XP-embedded operating systems, it seamlessly integrates Windows XP programs, Internet Explorer, Windows Media Player, Outlook Express, and additional software applications directly into the HLX self-service scale, giving the unit unprecedented connectivity with back-room operations.

    Additional features include:

    • High-resolution printing for clear text descriptions and sharp store graphics
    • E-mail alerts when the scale is out of labels or the cassette is left open
    • Three levels of frequent shopping discounting
    • Four graphic images per PLU for enhanced merchandising
    • Database synchronization with other department scales
    • Fast and easy to change label stock

    For more information, visit www.hobart.com

    * * *

    Alto-Shaam is rolling out yet another hot innovation with its new CombiTouch control for its Combitherm CombiOven, which has already been awarded the Kitchens Innovations (KI) award.

    Alto-Shaam has been perfecting the CombiTouch technology for more than 1-1/2 years, which has many sleek new functions:

    Intuitive Interface – A simple interface that commands all of the Combitherm’s cooking functions. As the name implies, it is fully operable by touch.

    Graphic Controls – The graphic-based control overcomes language barriers while the simple, logical procedures ensure that correct steps are followed every time.

    An excellent memory – Access up to 250 recipes that are unidentified by user’s uploaded pictures. The Combitherm with CombiTouch also comes pre-programmed with nearly 100 recipes and photos, covering the most commonly prepared food items.

    Standard HACCP – The unit includes HACCP functionality standard.

    Six levels of Gold-n-Brown – Six precise and consistent browning levels are available, and the exclusive Gold-n-Brown feature gives the operator the ability to achieve the ideal cooking environment for the ideal finish.

    Superior baking – The new two-speed reversing fan provides excellent baking results. The system includes a motor brake and a coordinated venting system to prevent excessive water and power consumption.

    Multi-shelf Timers – Track cooking time of either seven or 10 (depending on oven size) different food items in the same oven with multiple-shelf timers, tracked in minutes and seconds.

    On-board diagnostics – The CombiTouch system includes on-board diagnostic functionality with results displayed right on the touch screen.

    By Bob Ingram
    • About Bob Ingram

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