How Can Operators Ease Stress Troubling the Foodservice Industry?

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Adding the right equipment can help you sidestep challenges from ingredient and labor shortages, long lead times and more

To call it a challenging time for foodservice is an understatement.

How do you get around ingredient shortages, reduce food waste and save on labor costs without cutting back on menu options or reducing portion sizes?

It’s a difficult season for operators, and so far there has been very little sign of relief on the horizon. On the bright side, finding equipment that helps you do more with less can maximize what you currently have to work with.

With ingredients being harder to come by and many restaurants feeling the strain of being short-staffed, flexibility is the key to avoiding unnecessary headaches in the kitchen. And that’s just what something like a braising pan offers.

Let your staff focus on more important things

Also known as a tilt skillet, braising pans can cook large batches of food without constant checking or tending, freeing up staff to tackle other tasks or duties. Cooking with a braising pan can realize a 50% or greater labor savings over conventional stovetop or stock pot methods.

And braising pans can make things easier for employees during clean-up too.

For example, the Groen Braising Pan from Unified Brands is designed with 3-inch radius coved corners. That means at the end of a busy, stressful shift, your short-handed staff don’t need to worry about food being stuck in hard-to-clean corners. A quick routine cleaning, and you’re good to go.

Be on the lookout for lengthy lead times

When exploring cooking equipment for your kitchen, make sure to ask about lead times.

On top of ingredient shortages, operations across the country are dealing with long lead times and frustrating delays to equipment deliveries from a worldwide raw materials shortage that’s impacting everything from foodservice to aerospace manufacturing.

Many products that rely on materials from different parts of the globe are being severely delayed as a result. However, some manufacturers have been able to dodge some of the supply chain issues and continue to deliver equipment in a timely manner.

The Groen Braising Pan mentioned earlier is one example. There has been little disruption in promised lead times with Groen Braising Pans, meaning that your kitchen likely won’t have to bear the burdens of a global supply shortage to obtain a new unit.

Make the most of ingredients you can get your hands on

We’ve all seen signs posted outside foodservice operations sharing the hardship they are having with shortages of seemingly everything.

If you’re finding yourself in a similar position, a braising pan can offer your kitchen and your customers some relief. Braising pans can cook a wide variety of different dishes – from simple steak and eggs to sweet cream custard.

With so many options available, you’ll be able to sidestep some of the stress that comes with not having enough of the right ingredients. Missing what you need for a specific menu item?  The braising pan provides you with the flexibility you need to cook just about any dish with whatever ingredients you can get your hands on. There’s not a piece of equipment in the kitchen that offers more versatility to operators.

Get consistent results with dependable equipment

Considering the uphill battle many foodservice operations are facing, the last thing you want is a dissatisfied customer because a dish they knew they liked tasted different than before. If you have the ingredients to make your specialty menu item, you want it to come out perfectly every time.

That’s where consistent cooking comes in and another place braising pans shine. Programmable presets and timers like those in Groen’s Cook2Temp controls help your dishes stay consistent from chef to chef and shift to shift.

While it is an uncertain time for foodservice operations, there are options out there that can help alleviate some of the stress. For more information on how a braising pan can increase your kitchen’s flexibility, be sure to consult with a trusted equipment expert or manufacturer.

For more information on the Groen Braising Pan from Unified Brands, click here

Walter Trapp is the Product Manager for Groen cooking equipment. He can be reached at or (601)-951-9265.