4 Foodservice Equipment Units That Can Help with Labor Challenges

The foodservice industry continues its rollercoaster ride from full shutdowns at the beginning of the pandemic to the incredible staffing shortages this summer. These challenges are likely to continue into the foreseeable future as we deal with variants, the potential for new shutdowns, and then the subsequent reopenings.

Earlier in the summer, statistics showed the restaurant industry was short about 1.5 million jobs equating to a shortage of around 12 percent. While some segments like quick serve restaurants are having easier adjustments, it's clear the challenges of labor and staffing shortages can be found all across the foodservice landscape.

How can we mitigate foodservice labor challenges?

There are certainly experts in the field of finding, hiring, training, and retaining great staff, and our team at Total Source is definitely not part of those solutions. What we do know, though, is foodservice equipment. Over the years, we've recognized the potential of staffing challenges in foodservice, and we've assembled a set of solutions to help mitigate those challenges. 

Here are four foodservice equipment units that can help restaurants and foodservice operators with staffing:


By their nature, combi ovens can provide more versatility than just about any other type of back-of-house foodservice equipment. Operators can bake, roast, steam, and use a combination of them all. The result is faster cook times, and with innovative controls and functionality, Vulcan Combi Ovens can also deliver results without excessive oversight.


Cook and hold convection ovens do exactly what it sounds like they do -- they take ingredients, process them to the ideal serving temperatures, and then hold them in those conditions without compromising the quality of the food. They can bake a range of products such as cookies and bread using convection settings, and then roast and hold meats and proteins overnight. Slow roasting in this fashion increases yield, produces meats that are more tender as connective tissue is broken down slowly, and these units allow operators to complete the bulk of the cooking overnight without the need for supervision. Even better, in most cases, no hood is required with Cres Cor Cook & Hold Ovens.


Blast chillers move hot, cooked food products to a safe storage temperature below 41 degrees so products can be used quicker, reducing a process that can take hours to under 90 minutes. Shock freezers reduce the freezing process from 12 to 24 hours to under four allowing operators to save time and increase production while maintaining the integrity of the product. Why is this important and how does it help with labor? First, foods retain their desired qualities because blast chillers and shock freezers maintain the cellular integrity of ingredients. This means products can be moved to storage temperatures in an American Panel blast chiller or shock freezer, held in a walk-in, and foods will still have high-quality flavors without all the food waste. This makes the planning and processing of foods easier for staff and operators.


Not all labor-saving foodservice equipment has to be in the back-of-the-house. Perlick's innovative cocktail station is essentially a bartender's cockpit, designed by a bartender for bartenders. The Tobin Ellis Signature Cocktail Station promotes a mise en place style of zero-step bartending, ensuring that everything a bartender needs is at arms-length, contained within an ergonomically designed underbar system that will reduce the time it takes to make cocktails and increase the profitability of the operation.

Learn more about labor-saving foodservice equipment.

The above examples are just four in our vast collection of labor-saving foodservice equipment and supplies. To discover how you can help mitigate some of the staffing challenges you're experiencing by considering new equipment, schedule a free foodservice assessment with us today.


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