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The NAFEM Oscars

The North American Association of Foodservice Equipment Manufacturers, NAFEM for short, sponsors a foodservice equipment and supplies trade show every two years to showcase the latest and greatest in the industry. This year, nine associates from Cini•Little attended the show to immerse ourselves in the world of foodservice equipment. I was one of them.

A Walk Down the Red Carpet

We experienced equipment in all shapes and sizes, those that touted the latest innovations, the best technology, the most streamlined production. And there were a great many pieces of equipment to see, try and handle.

But let’s face it, while every manufacturer thinks their products are the best, it is our job as independent foodservice consultants to evaluate pieces of equipment for their value in a variety of different settings… their versatility, their performance, their ability to get the job done.

Our clients look to us as experts in our field and in that vein, it is our responsibility to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to the equipment we specify for each job. We need to continually educate ourselves and share our knowledge, not only with our clients, but with our colleagues.

I asked our team to share types of equipment that caught their eye… Star Performers if you will, in that they bring something new or different to the industry.

The Envelope Please….

  • A warming case that uses convected warm air in addition to the heated shelf to keep products warm keeping the products being displayed at peak freshness for extended periods of time
  • A food shield that can be easily adjusted by a single person providing a lot of flexibility and future menu and service modifications
  • Hot and cold display units that utilize a type of thermo-pane effect, thereby eliminating condensation on the glass
  • Glass door refrigerator that features translucent computer screens on it, potentially displaying products, pricing or suggestive impulse sales opportunities
  • A winch system, operated by a single person, that lifts kegs of all sizes so the person doesn’t have to, solving a potential issue with back injuries and savings on Workman’s Comp claims
  • A completely self-contained kitchen exhaust hood that allows a cooking center to be placed anywhere and installed in a 10’ clear ceiling height
  • Space-saving Combi oven featuring four independent oven decks in one oven cavity
  • Combi oven with a remote iCloud so the user can operate it remotely
  • Metal-All Induction cooktop that can use non-ferrous pans (stainless steel, aluminum or copper)
  • Ware wash grid track conveyor belt that eliminates most jamming and is easy to clean
  • Undercounter high temperature glasswasher with a self-contained reverse osmosis water treatment system enabling spot free glassware without a chemical additive

And the Oscar Goes to….

The answer is simple…the client. Why? Because each one of us will design facilities using the best piece of equipment for the job. That is why Cini•Little is totally independent of any equipment or service provider. We believe this approach best serves the client’s needs.

By:  Dick Eisenbarth, FCSI

President & COO | Jacksonville


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