This past week, the (NAFEM) North American Food Equipment and Manufacturing Show showcased some of the latest advancements in restaurant equipment technology. The NAFEM show happens every two years with the exception of the cancellation of 2021 due to the global pandemic. Attendance surged for the first show back in an arguably post-pandemic world for exhibitors and customers alike.
Here are three tips to find the best kitchen equipment at your next NAFEM show.
Quality products will distinguish themselves.
The reality is that there are infinite solutions and options to your kitchen needs. What we found was that quality products always shine through the haze of endless kitchen equipment. Experienced chefs and purchasers can recognize superior build quality and finishing on products that they truly need. Attendees would glaze over a sea of similar silver-sheened equipment only to come to life when finding a product that truly distinguished itself.
Many attendees stopped by the Power Knot booth due to the unique stainless steel finish on the LFC biodigester. The LFC biodigester is a machine that uses a natural process called aerobic digestion to turn food waste into water. The stainless steel mirror coating is a high grade finish that allows operators to easily clean the exterior and interior of the machine. It is antimicrobial and waterproof.
There is growing demand for integrated kitchen systems.
Integrated systems don’t just carry an aesthetic appeal. They blend seamlessly with your other stainless steel equipment to help optimize kitchen work flow and free up space. Integrated solutions also help create a cohesive kitchen environment and atmosphere.
We saw that attendees were fascinated by families of kitchen equipment that were built to help streamline kitchen operations rather than one off products that did the same thing but lacked uniformity of style, shape, and size of other products.
Power Knot brought our family of waste solutions to the NAFEM show. Our most popular unit, the LFC biodigester, works as a standalone product to manage food waste. Although the SBT bin tipper and WEP effluent system are great standalone products, they also work with the biodigester to solve other kitchen waste issues.
The bin tipper is built to carry large amounts of waste in a garbage can and lifts it into dumpster or biodigesters. The WEP effluent system can be used to pump water to above grade level drains and even filter water discharged from equipment such as the biodigester. These systems work hand in hand to create a cohesive solution that reduces environmental impact with minimal work.
Restaurants are starting to use data to improve operations and increase profit margins.
Data analytics is becoming increasingly important for kitchen chefs and managers with multiple restaurant chains. Many general managers realize that while each chain has its own unique challenges, many similar problems are recurring across each site. Small improvement ideas based on data analytics can really help restaurants.
One commonality across restaurants is waste production and reduction. Data can help restaurants understand how much waste is being created on a site and create a baseline of what is standard versus excessive waste.
The LFC Cloud is a data analytics program. LFC biodigesters automatically weigh the amount of waste that is ingested and report that on the color touch screen and in the LFC Cloud both numerically and graphically. The ability to aggregate the waste of one or more machines into a group, or compare the waste at one location against another, allows operators to identify where waste can possibly be saved.
This enables restaurants to track how much waste is being produced on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. This data can be gleaned from multiple restaurants and is compiled into a single report.
We found that the equipment that stood out were the ones that embodied quality build, the potential for systems integration, and provided measurable data analytics. These features are crucial for restaurants as they search for new ways to reduce costs and increase efficiency.
Whether you are looking to upgrade your kitchen or find new solutions to improve your restaurant’s operations, the NAFEM show provides a great platform to learn about new technologies and make vital connections with dealers and reps. We hope to see you at the NAFEM 2025 show!