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From the Floor at Host Milano 2019

Automation, communication, small-space equipment and more were among the trends that we spotted at this year's Host Milano international foodservice equipment show.

Back Bar Coolers

While bartenders dazzle guests with colorful cocktails and showy preparations, behind the bar are often overlooked workhorses quietly contributing to the operation’s success. As their compressors purr night and day, these back bar coolers efficiently keep wine, beer and other items chilled at their optimum temperatures, while providing enough storage for service to run smoothly. And they often have to look good doing it, as some models also function as a way to merchandise bar product, adding to a bar’s overall ambiance.

Read: The Lowdown On Back Bar Coolers

Immersion Circulators

Foodservice operators from many segments have turned to sous vide to produce foods with superlative flavor, tenderness and consistency while solving a number of their operational problems.

Read: Why Choose Sous Vide Cooking Systems?

Mobile Hot Holding Cabinets

At one time or another, most foodservice operations need to move quantities of food from point A to point B. Whether you have a restaurant catering an off-site event, a commissary servicing satellite dining rooms or a production kitchen regularly moving food short distances, a hot holding cabinet on wheels makes the task easy.

Read: Hot Transport: Mobile Hot Holding Cabinets

Hearth Ovens

It used to be you’d find hearth ovens only in pizzerias. These days, operators—from full- to limited-service—use them in a range of applications to roast and sear chicken wings, steaks and burgers as well as bake pretzels, bagels and flatbreads, in addition to plenty of pizza. Hearth cooking is an age-old technique, but a new crop of hearth ovens is making the old-world method more efficient and user-friendly.

Read: What to Consider When Choosing a Hearth Oven for Your Operation

Pizza Prep Tables

The typically raised, angled refrigerated rail holding ingredient pans on pizza prep tables makes them ideal for assembling pizzas. Dispersing toppings onto pizza crusts is easy, and a deep prep area of 14 inches to 19 inches, with cutting board, provides enough room to prep extra large pies. (Sandwich prep tables, on the other hand, have a flat top surface and shallower prep/cutting board area of 8 inches or 9 inches. So while pizza prep tables also work well for burrito, salad or deli prep, the reverse is not true.)

Read: The Ultimate Guide to Buying a Pizza Prep Table

Countertop, Self-Serve Merchandisers

Countertop, self-service hot holding merchandisers are simple enough, but they're also one of the hottest equipment categories in foodservice right now. The reason: These cabinets align with a number of megatrends—including increased snacking, the rise of grab-and-go formats for speedy customer throughput, and more recently, the boom in takeaway and delivery. Operators are placing these merchandisers front and center in school cafeterias and college dining halls, micromarts, convenience stores and other on-site foodservice locations to boost impulse sales of everything from hot sandwiches to burritos to personal pizzas.

Read: Drive Impulse Purchases With Heated Merchandisers