There have been a number of great challenges for restaurant and foodservice operators over the past two years. As many looked to survive in the early stages of the pandemic, they found that the solution they sought was, in many cases, already in place: a rotisserie!
As restaurateurs and grocers were forced to shut down almost all forms of hot food and salad bars, local municipalities allowed them to continue their rotisserie and pizza oven operations. Over the past two years as life has evolved to a New Normal with the return of dining patrons, the increased volume of restaurant takeout and delivery that drove rotisserie sales has in many cases remained in place.
For the nation’s leading manufacturer of high-quality rotisseries 1515 Design & Manufacturing, these unprecedented times have brought a unique perspective on the industry. For the past 30 years, the California based company has offered premium rotisserie equipment. President and CEO Francis Delpech, with a background in kitchen design, has witnessed the growth of rotisserie through his work importing European equipment beginning in the 1990s.
Delpech began his rotisserie career with a portfolio of supermarket installations. “Early on, grocers led by Whole Foods and big box stores including Costco saw rotisserie as a solution to what was being called home meal replacement,” Delpech explained. “A number of restaurants saw the success and added rotisseries to their operations.”
1515 Design’s solutions are backboned by the Doregrill Rotisserie line, the European leader in rotisserie manufacturing. “We have also seen a jump in the number of calls that we got from our existing customers looking for more accessories, asking for new machines,” Delpech said. “Those add-ons come as a result of the expansion of rotisserie menus to include fish and duck and a variety of vegetables.”
“It’s interesting how supermarkets were copying what restaurants were doing, but now it’s the opposite. Supermarkets have the money to invest in research and merchandising. They have everything in their hand to develop a new concept where a restaurant often remains consistent with what they do, but flexibility is key,” stated Delpech.
Not only is 1515 Design able to provide the equipment for flexibility within the food industry, but they also answer the demand for sanitation. “There is a big emphasis on maintenance, cleaning, and sanitation, and we immediately jumped on the bandwagon ourselves with our maintenance department that takes care of rotisseries on-site. Our maintenance crew will come and take care and clean the rotisseries,” explained Delpech.
Their biannual maintenance goes hand-in-hand with their sale of equipment. “Our rotisseries are constructed in such a way that minimal every day cleaning will be sufficient if we come every six months to do a deep cleaning and maintenance. Our maintenance services provide our clients the support they need as many experience the difficulties of the current staffing shortage, and allows the equipment to last longer,” stated Delpech.
Customers have the option between gas and electric units according to their sizing needs and cooking preferences. “Spit-roast rotisseries are usually gas units and are adequate for clients seeking a higher volume of product with low-energy consumption. Electric machines tend to be used for smaller operations. In our line, any machine that we manufacture in gas, we also offer an electric version. Gas typically allows for better heat control than electric, but with our technology, the quality of the gas is matched with the electric,” advised Delpech.
1515’s restaurant customers have found that the quality of the Doregrill rotisserie enables product once cooked, to be eaten up to two hours later. “There’s not a lot of food that offers this and maintains its quality,” emphasized Delpech. 1515 Design offers a line of special cases adapted to hold the cooked products and keep them warm. “This concept is very popular because we can match the design and material we use for the machine in the display case.”
The quality and aesthetic of the rotisserie machines are of critical importance to Delpech at 1515 Design. “We use a porcelain enamel finish which is much more durable than stainless steel and allows us to introduce colors, finishes, and style. Porcelain enamel has largely disappeared because it is an expensive process, but we kept it because we want to keep the authenticity of the machine as well as the quality.” The durability of porcelain enamel also poses an advantage for those interested in pursuing the increasingly popular outdoor, market-style cooking and dining concept.
Delpech’s experience has also enabled him to be a keen observer of dining trends. “At a marketplace in Europe, you can find your pizza, your pasta, your chicken, and you can eat right there or grab a table. Again, it’s the idea of flexibility, the possibilities of today. I think bringing variety, simple products that are easy to cook but excellent in terms of quality, taste, and health benefits is very effective in the food industry.” Rotisserie offers numerous restaurant concept possibilities including the simplicity and flexibility of a marketplace.
Delpech and his 1515 team are available via phone and email to assist restaurant and supermarket professionals in building a rotisserie strategy. From a simple packaging question to an ROI overview, 1515 is on call to respond to the needs of the foodservice community. “I witnessed the different introduction of rotisserie in restaurants, the satisfaction of the excellent results, the popularity. No matter what the economic situation is, it always adapts and works. Based on my experience, the rotisserie is here to stay,” concluded Delpech.
To learn more about 1515 Design’s commercial rotisseries for restaurants, visit their website.