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Bringing kitchen equipment into line with your frying range can help increase the efficiency and profitability of your business

As frying range technology has evolved, we’ve witnessed substantial advancements – from expanding pan sizes to fine-tuning filtration and enhancing burner efficiency. While these improvements have undoubtedly elevated performance, the core objective remains the same: delivering large quantities of consistently fried food.

Yet, as the pace of businesses quickens and consumer preferences diversify, the conventional role of a frying range is being redefined. It is no longer confined to frying; it now holds the potential to transform into a versatile cooking station. By seamlessly integrating additional equipment like griddles, snack pans, gluten free pans, and even microwaves into a single line with the frying range, operators can benefit from efficiencies, an expanded menu, and ultimately, increased profits.

Nik Williams, sales manager at KFE which supplies Kiremko frying ranges, explains more: “If you’ve got your microwave out the back, or your bain maries behind you, you are going to need an extra member of staff just to do those things. Even if it’s just a runner, that’s an additional wage. If you’ve got everything inline correctly, your running costs in terms of labour will be lower.” 

The right place

It’s not just about having equipment in one place, but having it in the right place. This will help the natural flow of the kitchen, avoiding staff crossover and, in busier times, speed up service. 

Nik adds: “The busier times are when you make your money so you need to be efficient, streamlined and quick. By having your key equipment to hand, you are speeding that process up, you’re serving the queue faster, and taking more money. If equipment is out the back or in the corner and staff are having to work around each other, you’re slowing your queue down and customers may leave that queue. If they go and try your competition, they may well not come back again.”

As a result, friers are being encouraged to spend more time assessing their businesses and working out how their frying range can best meet their demands. Jack Price, sales manager at Henry Nuttall, comments: “Whereas a few years ago a three pan counter range would have been standard, customers are really mapping out their day-to-day operations and now I would say frying ranges are a lot more niche to each customer.”

Extend your menu

Another major benefit of integrating key pieces of equipment into your frying range is that you can more easily extend your menu while staying in control of your frying.

Henry Nuttall’s Jack comments: “A lot of the bigger shops will operate with more staff and have a kitchen out the back, but there are a lot of shops for whom a frying range would be the sole cooking equipment. So adding in things like a griddle gives a much more varied menu and everything is at your disposal.”

Griddles and grills are the number one addition that Ferhat Akkaya, MD at Leeds based range manufacturer Hopkins, is seeing customers ask for when buying a range. “As well as burgers, the addition of a griddle means operators can do things like egg and bacon, grilled fish, fillet chicken burgers, 100% chicken breast and they can do it all while frying fish and chips,” he says.

Another option available to operators is building in the capacity for multi-medium frying to cater for a wider range of dietary requirements. It’s something Rob Furey, MD at range manufacturer Florigo, is getting more requests for. “Multi-medium frying is the increased need and desire for consumers to require gluten free, vegan and halal products,” he explains. “Veganism is on the rise, and restaurant owners are being forced to accommodate that market which will mean they will need separate pans and cooking facilities to stop any cross-contamination.”

Efficient use of space

As well as maximising the cooking capacity, friers can also make efficient use of space around their frying range. Incorporating shelves, for example, creates convenient storage for fry baskets, blanched chips, or even a microwave – while again keeping everything at arm’s reach. Similarly, bain maries can be seamlessly integrated into the lip of an island range, the work surface of a counter/wall range, or the counter itself. This strategic placement brings popular items like mushy peas and curry sauce in line with overall operations, reducing cross-over in serving areas.

Range manufacturers can help you make the most of your workspace by offering innovative space savings solutions. KFE, for example, suggests shops short on space may benefit from having a shelf cut into the sneeze guard for the till screen to sit on, leaving the counter space totally free for wrapping. The till drawer can be placed on a shelf underneath the counter to, again, create space. Another option is reinforced work surfaces which can be built into a range to incorporate any number of products from chicken displays, rotisserie ovens and milkshake machines.

This is a trend noticed by Hopkins’ Ferhat Akkaya, who says investing in additional equipment placed at the point of purchase can pay dividends. “Customers are asking for ice cream fridges amalgamated into the counter, or a salad bar, especially if they have an island range as this gives them a massive serving counter,” he says. “Customers, if they see a nice fresh salad, think I’ll have fish and chips and a salad and if that salad is £2.50 that’s an extra sale, so it’s a chance to upsell your business.”

Aligning all your equipment with the frying range offers an additional advantage: the need for just one extraction system. KFE’s Nik Williams explains: “When it comes to planning, you might only get permission for one extract going through a building so if you require a canopy and a range you might not get approval for both. Building cooking equipment into a frying range negates that issue.”

When it comes to upgrading your frying range, engage with your range supplier to explore the options available, many of which you might not even be aware of. Instead of opting for a like-for-like replacement of your old range, see it as an opportunity to reevaluate your business. Your menu may have evolved, staffing levels could have fluctuated – factors that should influence the specifications of your new frying range. 

Florigo 01527 592 000 www.florigo.co.uk

Henry Nuttall 01909 560808 www.henrynuttall.co.uk

Hopkins 0113 257 7934 www.hopkins.biz

KFE 01778 380 448 www.kfeltd.co.uk

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