In order to serve large groups of diners, the noncommercial segment requires extensive operational flexibility — from both a menu and layout perspective.
For that reason, modular serving lines are a natural solution. “We specify a lot of modular serving equipment, especially for the K-12 market,” says one Midwest-area foodservice design consultant. “It’s very versatile for design, menu, service style and volume flexibility.”
But as the industry emerges from the Covid-19 pandemic, the need for operational flexibility is going to be elevated to new heights. Having the ability to create multiple points of distribution, using flexible modular serving lines will be essential in the noncommercial segment.
The truth is we’re going to encounter diners with varying risk tolerance. Some will be ready to return to normal immediately, while others will remain apprehensive. To wit, a report by Chicago-based Datassential revealed that 86% of consumers plan to continue to maintain distance from others in order to minimize risk while dining out.
Fluctuating operational needs
Known for their ease of reconfiguration, modular serving options will now be regarded by operators for their ability to create separate serving areas throughout a space in order to ensure people are moving through lines at a safe, manageable and comfortable distance.
One such option is INFINITI FIT, Atlas Metal’s newest and most premium modular line. INFINITI FIT provides the utmost maneuverability, which noncommercial operators will find helpful when addressing fluctuating operational needs, such as shifting traffic flow and menu updates.
Beyond maintaining safe distances, diners are concerned more than ever with cleanliness. Almost half of Datassential survey respondents said ‘clean and sanitary’ were factors in choosing a restaurant. Having built-in casters on units like INFINITI FIT “creates a big advantage over built-in equipment” says the consultant. Casters make it easy to move INFINITI FIT units, allowing for 360-degree cleaning and ultimately affording a more hygienic environment.
Additionally, 57% said that more food covers/sneeze guards/ enclosed cold cases would make them feel safer. INFINITI FIT comes with several food guard options featuring all-welded stainless-steel tubing and a choice of clear tempered glass panels, safety glass or plexiglass that meet or exceed ANSI Z97.1 standards. “Flexibility in sneeze guards is critical, but especially now in our new normal,” says the foodservice consultant.
As time passes and we regain a sense of normalcy, another benefit of modular systems that operators will appreciate is their ability to be realigned and create one seamless serving line when desired. With INFINITI FIT’s proprietary spring-activated “locking horns” technology and hidden-frame construction, that means clean lines for front of house visual appeal. Additionally, 16-gauge stainless steel tops and stainless-steel frames ensure long-lasting performance.
At Atlas Metal, their hands-on approach isn’t just seen in the quality of their equipment. It’s reflected in their genuine customer service. The company prides itself on finding solutions that perfectly fit a business’ needs, no matter how challenging the environment.
Whether you would like to learn more about INFINITI FIT or explore other equipment options, Atlas Metal is ready to help you navigate your new and evolving needs.
For more information visit atlasfoodserv.com
Datassential COVID-19 Report 15: Ready or Not, April 23, 2020
Datassential COVID-19 Report 7: Pent-Up Demand, April 1, 2020