Kitchen Innovations

Photo: Shutterstock/FXQuadro.

Is your bar and kitchen equipment up to date? New equipment can increase your productivity and effectiveness behind the bar. Here’s a roundup of some exciting products from top brands.

Perlick: Tobin Ellis
Signature Cocktail Station

PerlickThis versatile cocktail station is perfect for a wide variety of bars and nightclubs. It was created through a collaboration with Perlick’s engineering team and Tobin Ellis, a six-time national bartending champion and bar designer. Dave Kearns, Product Marketing Manager at Perlick, says, “Tobin provided the kind of insight that can only come from someone who has made their living working behind a bar for many years. Tobin introduced some very novel concepts to the design process, which were directly related to solving specific design flaws he’s observed over the years and had lots of time to think about.”

The result is a station that feels tailor-made for the high-volume bartender. Designed with built-in amenities, the station stores all cocktail ingredients within easy reach—improving your bartender’s speed of service. It’s also designed to be ergonomic. Its ice chest is shallower front-to-back, which allows the bartender to stand closer to the bar, reducing reaching. It has a curved speed rail, creating a comfortable surface for the bartender to lean against. The emphasis on human-friendly design provides comfort for your staff, which in turn is good for business in the long run. “Improved ergonomics reduce muscle strain and repetitive motion injuries,” explains Kearns.

Another special feature is the cocktail station’s unique refrigerated door. “Its primary purpose is to store cocktail garnishes, which include fresh fruit and herbs as well as fresh juices,” says Kearns. “Bars that feature very elaborate Bloody Marys love having a cold place to store all the fixings to keep them fresh.”

The station offers varied purchasing options depending on your exact needs. Kearns says, “We offer pre-configured turnkey TE Signature Cocktail Stations, as well as modular options that are virtually limitless when combined with select custom pieces, such as corner fillers.”

New improvements this year make the station even more powerful. “We’ve added a draft cocktail system to the Tobin Ellis Signature catalog of products,” says Kearns. “Now bartenders can have the best of both worlds: efficient production of one-at-a-time specialty craft cocktails, and the ability to serve a specialty house cocktail or samples in about ten seconds.”

MEIKO: Undercounter Dishwashers

MeikoWith their fast, reliable washing and drying cycles, MEIKO’s undercounter dishwashers are perfect for bars.

For bar owners, Mike Pavlovic, Senior Systems Planner at MEIKO, recommends undercounter models FV 40.2, FV 40.2 G, and M-iClean. MEIKO’s machines are quiet and easy to use, and they leave no chlorine residue. Their sleek, ergonomic design makes for an attractive surface if they are visible to your customers.

Investing in a dishwasher is worthwhile, Pavlovic explains, because “hand-washing ware isn’t just time-consuming, it intensively consumes water, energy, and chemicals; leads to inconsistent results; and can increase breakage.”

Automatic dishwashers and glasswashers solve these problems by offering rapid, consistent, and effective cleaning. High-temperature sanitization gets rid of the chlorine residue that can otherwise affect a beverage’s taste. As a result, you get consistently cleaned glasses for less of an effort, which pleases customers and benefits your bottom line.

MEIKO’s undercounter dishwashers feature innovative, laborsaving technologies that contribute to outstanding performance. “Every MEIKO undercounter dishwasher and glasswasher comes standard with an integral internal booster heater and a pumped final rinse for consistent results and water consumption,” says Pavlovic. “Likewise, MEIKO undercounters use a high-temperature sanitizing rinse for fast drying and no chlorine residue. Water consumption of the MEIKO range is the lowest in the industry, and all units carry the Energy Star mark.”

MEIKO’s undercounter dishwashers have low water consumption, which means less of an impact when it comes to sewer, energy, and chemical usage. Furthermore, Pavlovic says, “MEIKO’s Active Plus dual filtration system reduces soil contamination of the wash water, which further reduces detergent use and its introduction into the drain system. The optional GiO Module for the M-iClean glasswasher further reduces detergent use by 50 percent, and rinse aid use by 90 percent.”

The M-iClean model has an illuminated handle that allows staff to see the operating status of the machine (green for operation, blue for idle, or red for an important message). “A glass touchscreen, plain text graphical display provides intuitive operation and servicing,” says Pavlovic. “Items that should be removed daily for cleaning are accented in blue for fast and simple staff recognition and training. M-iClean also includes progressive energy savings modes if the machine is left idle. The longer the machine is idle, the more heating energy is reduced, providing the ideal mix between quick recovery and energy savings.”

The MEIKO M-iClean glasswasher’s optional GiO Module is a fully self-contained reverse osmosis system that removes fine particulates from the incoming water. Pavlovic says, “This significantly reduces labor, eliminates the loss and hazards of broken wares during hand-polishing, and also eliminates possible re-contamination of sanitized ware that can occur with manual wiping.”

Atlantic Coast Services: BarMax

BarMax is a modular undercounter bar system with several distinctive features. It’s one of the many products offered by Atlantic Coast Services, a company headed by President Don Pittsley. “The story is we like to invent things,” says Raul Pineiro, who works in design and development for Atlantic Coast. Pineiro makes an effort to design bar systems based not on tradition, but on solving the challenges bartenders regularly face.

For instance, BarMax’s countertops are higher than industry standard so that bartenders don’t have to bend down to make drinks. This makes it easier and more comfortable for the bartender to work. The stations also feature short legs to provide as much under counter storage space as possible. As Pineiro says, “In a bar, the most important real estate is space.”

BarMax further capitalizes on space with its uniquely sized modules, which are designed based on the metric system (the catalog includes measurements in both millimeters and inches). The modules come in widths ranging from 400 to 1000 millimeters. As a result, Pineiro explains, “We can fit more modules into a space.”

For example, the BarMax ice bin is 800 millimeters—approximately 32 inches. A typical ice bin is 36 inches. Over the length of the entire bar counter, those extra inches add up, allowing you to include more modules that serve different purposes in your setup.

BarMax’s 22 different modules—which include workstations, ice bins, cabinets, glass racks, a blender station, and more—can be purchased separately, allowing bar owners great flexibility to suit the needs of an individual space. The units are easy to install and can be rearranged later if necessary. “The idea is to create a simple and flexible footprint, where bases and tops are interchangeable,” says Pineiro.

Interchangeable bases and tops allow BarMax to offer a unique “bridge” system—an inexpensive solution for bar owners who might not have the funds to purchase several modules at once. Instead of purchasing three full modules, customers can purchase two modules and a standalone countertop that bridges between them, creating an uninterrupted countertop at lower cost. Bar owners can also request any other desired customizations to their BarMax modules.

Other unique design features include a corner sink module, which provides a convenient solution for space that can otherwise be difficult to use. BarMax modules are constructed from 304 stainless steel so they can withstand outdoor exposure at the beach, as well.

Blendtec: Stealth 895
Nitro Blending System

Blendtec’s Stealth 895 Nitro Blending System (NBS) is a small, quiet blender that blends just one cup’s worth of ingredients. This jarless blender system saves time and prevents food waste. It features a small blade designed to fit inside the mouth of a standard 16, 20, or 24-ounce disposable plastic cup. The bartender simply loads the cup, locks the blade attachment on top of the cup, flips it upside down, and lowers the sound enclosure lid over the cup to secure it in place on the blender base. “For safety reasons, the base only runs when the sound enclosure lid is closed,” says Chris Karanopoulos, Regional Sales Manager at Blendtec, who explains this safety feature prevents accidents.

The Stealth 895 NBS allows for more flexibility and customization in making individual drinks. “It’s really beneficial for bars and beach locations,” explains Karanopoulos.

The blender comes with a starter pack of cups, lids, and straws. Once you run out of those, it’s easy to buy new cups online or at any retail store.

This blender is a timesaver. Because the plastic cup has far less volume than a typical blender jar, it forces ingredients to rotate over the blade more quickly, resulting in a quicker blend. “We can blend something in ten to twenty seconds, when it might take a little bit longer in a blender jar,” says Karanopoulos.

It also saves on travel time, since
the bartender can stand in one spot
and continue to make different drinks in individual plastic cups, rather than traveling back and forth to the sink.
The plastic cup system also avoids the cleanup required by a blender jar.

As an added benefit, the Stealth 895 NBS prevents food waste. In a large blender jar, it’s easy to over-portion ingredients. The smaller plastic cup makes it simple to get measurements
for an individual portion right.