Electrification gains momentum 

Electric kitchens offer sustainability and many operational benefits, including portability, flexibility and cost savings

Recently, FCSI hosted a Kitchen Electrification Panel at the NAFEM Show with leaders from various disciplines, backgrounds and skill sets. While their backgrounds and experiences were diverse, these experts were all in agreement that demand will continue to accelerate for the electrification of commercial kitchens.

With electric vehicles on the road and state and county electric mandates in the news, decarbonization is top of mind for consumers. Commercial foodservice operators are learning more about the impact in this area and seeking avenues to make their establishments more environmentally friendly, while improving efficiency and promoting cost savings.

Electrification is now the centerpiece of conversations about the future commercial kitchen. Whether a new build or updating an existing equipment layout, foodservice establishments are motivated to use equipment that is both electric and ventless. Not only does it make an operation more sustainable, which customers and employees appreciate, but it also provides versatility and efficiency in back of the house operations. An added bonus is the cost savings that are realized from decreased labor and energy needs while food quality and consistency is at its best.


The flexibility of an electric kitchen allows operators and their establishments to gain the most efficiency in their kitchen equipment footprint. When dedicated gas lines are in use, the commercial kitchen needs to be configured around the gas equipment, which is not always optimal for workflow and is difficult to change. Consider small restaurant spaces, such as those in large cities or airports, where every inch of space must be used effectively. With an electric equipment kitchen, operators have more options to pick up square footage in the workspace.  


A kitchen that is ventless means it does not need a traditional overhead ventilation system. Electric, ventless equipment can be set up in non-traditional locations including ghost kitchens, which generally do not have a conventional storefront. Ventless equipment can cook a full menu and includes grills, fryers, convection ovens and more. Movable ventilation units to place over equipment are available in the marketplace and can be reconfigured as the foodservice needs evolve. This allows operators to place the unit in a position that works best, instead of having the overhead vent placement dictate and constrain equipment layouts.


The quality and the power of cooking with electric is comparable to gas, but for chefs it may take some time to build familiarity with the equipment.  “Chefs believe to get the necessary BTUs they need to use gas. However, outstanding electric powered innovation is in the marketplace, we just have to get the word out,” said Scott Heim, President of Middleby Ventless Solutions. While many chefs trained on and have always used gas equipment, they are open to learning about electric technology and becoming more comfortable with it.

Portability and Cost Savings

Electric kitchens are also portable, cleaner and require less maintenance. If equipment needs to be moved around the kitchen or around the country, electric makes it plug and go. Cost saving are a result of this portability as well as reduced labor and even decreased water usage when using electric innovation in the commercial kitchen.

Decarbonization is more than a trend, it is a way of operating that is here to stay.

For more information about Middleby Ventless Solutions, click here

To watch the recording of industry experts discussing electrification at the NAFEM Show, click here

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