Next-gen appliances: The features to look for

Apr 9, 2019

Recent innovations have made hospitality appliances more effective, greener and less expensive to operate. Here are the features to look for.

As the hospitality sector becomes ever-more competitive, operators across Australia are looking for ways to boost efficiency and, ideally, increase profits. At the same time, consumers are demanding that hospitality businesses become more eco-friendly and socially responsible. It’s a lot to juggle, but the sector’s manufacturers are here to help, introducing next-gen appliances and technological and design features that can help your hospitality business run smarter and greener than ever before.

Whether you need to replace old equipment or are simply looking to future-proof your business through an investment in the latest products, here are the factors to consider.

Size up energy-saving credentials

It’s no longer necessarily true that higher-capacity machines are more expensive to run than smaller ones. In fact, paying slightly more for an energy-efficient appliance can save you a small fortune in the long run.

SKOPE’s ActiveCore2 fridge range is a prime example. “The ActiveCore has the lowest energy usage of any fridge in its class and size – meaning significantly lower energy bills for users,” says Keri Thomas, SKOPE’s general manager of sales and marketing.

SKOPE estimates its users can slash their refrigeration bills by up to a third. “It costs under $400 a year to run a two-door, 1000-litre ActiveCore fridge,” Thomas says. “Some of our competitors’ fridges cost over $1,100 for the same period.”

Another energy saver is Winterhalter’s new UC-M Excellence-i dishwasher range, which can be found in many of Australia’s top kitchens, including Ben Shewry’s Attica and Shane Delia’s Maha, both in Melbourne, and various Merivale venues in Sydney. The dishwasher’s optimised wash field reduces water consumption by up to 25 per cent compared with Winterhalter’s previous model, while minimising overall operating costs thanks to energy efficiency and reduced need for chemicals.

Look for eco-friendly materials

Australians are paying more attention to the environment than ever, and many of them want to know what the business community is doing to help. That means savvy hospitality owners can gain an advantage by making their kitchens more eco-friendly and sharing that information with customers. (It’ll make you feel virtuous, too.)

One area where the industry has made strides is refrigeration. The ActiveCore 2 fridge, for example, is driven by a refrigerant gas called R290 that has virtually no negative effects on the environment. “The gas has a global warming potential score of 3, whereas most fridges have a GWP of 1430,” Thomas says. Other new products, such as Scotsman’s MVH 460 Ice Machine (a previous finalist in the Fine Food Australia Best New Product Awards), also use R290.

Take advantage of smart controllers and diagnostics

A growing number of appliance makers are beefing up their on-board computer systems to make customising and optimising appliances easier and more beneficial than ever before.

SKOPE’s refrigerators utilise a secure Bluetooth connection to help save hospitality businesses money, reduce food waste and monitor food safety – all from a mobile device. Food-service managers can set temperatures, turn lights on and off and compare up to five months of data, such as product popularity, on the basis of door openings. Managers can also set alerts should the fridge stray outside pre-set temperatures. Energy usage can also be monitored.

Winterhalter’s UC-M Excellence-i polish-free dishwashers’ Connected Wash online portal offers real-time updates about machine status and usage. It also enables multi-machine venues to compare machines against each other and optimise their longevity. In addition, the smart technology means technicians can dial in to diagnose any problems. “If the end-user grants a Winterhalter technician access rights, our service team is able to change settings and identify faults online – without costly service calls,” says Winterhalter Australia managing director Andrew Brett.

Pay attention to filtration

Appliances across the spectrum are using filtration principles to improve performance and efficiency. The UC-M Excellence-i dishwasher uses award-winning reverse-osmosis (water-filtration) technology, designed to offer the ultimate cleaning performance, regardless of water type, by removing up to 98 per cent of particles in the water. “The results are polish-free cutlery and glasses that are crystal clear,” Brett says.

For businesses that fry food, oil filter machines are gaining popularity and becoming more sophisticated. Cookon Commercial’s Kay Bee Battery Operating Oil Filter Machine, for example, uses the company’s filter design but eliminates the need for dangerous cables trailing on the floor. Aside from extending the lifespan of oil for businesses, a filter can produce cleaner-tasting and healthier food for consumers.

Look for portability and space-saving features

As rents rise and kitchens become more crowded, manufacturers are creating machines that take up less space. With an eye to efficient use of commercial kitchen space, the UC-M Excellence-i dishwasher is both more powerful and more compact, fitting into smaller kitchens and surprising nooks. Washing up to 30 racks an hour, one undercounter Excellence-i can comfortably serve a busy small-to-medium-size business.

Batteries and removable components are also making appliances easier to move around and to service. Stoddart’s Mobile Fryer provides an all-in-one portable frying solution when paired with a Kay Bee Battery Operating Oil Filter Machine. And the SKOPE ActiveCore 2 fridge’s modular removable refrigeration cartridge means the refrigeration engine can simply be slid out for servicing, meaning no downtime for your operation. SKOPE is so confident of the reliability and durability of the ActiveCore 2 range that it comes with an unrivaled five-year warranty.

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