For the foodservice operator the challenge of keeping a kitchen open comes in two distinct scenarios. In many cases, fires or hurricane have brought a foodservice operation to a halt. For the foodservice director at a hospital, that simply is not an option. In other cases, a restaurant, college pre-plans or corporate dining facility has pre-planned a new kitchen but simply can’t keep its existing unit open.
In each of the cases, the challenges are: how do you continue to feed your patients, your staff and your guests without interruption?
A Long Island company has focused on a solution for that need for both the Metro New York and North American foodservice operator. Stewart’s Mobile Concepts has built and created one of the nation’s most comprehensive inventories of temporary cooking facilities.
The Huntington Station, NY based company specializes in providing mobile kitchen solutions to restaurants, colleges, nursing homes, hospitals, and the military stations for three decades.
A third-generation company, the business has rented off-premises kitchens for over 30 years, according to Keith Futerman, son of the founder, Stewart Futerman, whose own father started the company in 1932 as a kosher deli.
“After Super Storm Sandy in 2012, we saw the opportunity to be able to use a mobile kitchen as a tool to put out a great product and service at a remote location,” Futerman noted. “A fire, a natural disaster, even just a renovation, you name it. We’ve been there. We help people bring things back to normal very quickly.”
The company uses specialty equipment in its trailers, which range in size from 24 feet up to 48-foot semis. “Our trailers offer walk-in coolers and freezers, combi ovens, convection ovens, anything you might have in your foodservice operation. Not only do we rent each of the cooking, cold storage and dish washing elements of a commercial kitchen, we also offer a dining facility and restroom replacement.”
Stewart’s Mobile Kitchens have worked very closely with both foodservice and operational personnel to maintain the operations seamlessly. “Foodservice directors, chef and culinary teams know that with our background in actually running our own restaurants that we understand their challenges,” noted Futerman. On the planning side, construction project manager and facilities managers know that with our ability to meet the most demanding of military specs, that we understand what it takes to keep their foodservice units operational so that they can focus in what in many cases is a much bigger picture.”
“When Hurricane Ike took out a Coast Guard station in the Gulf in 2008, everything needed to be rebuilt,” Futerman explained. “Systems and services were temporary for a year. We supplied them with a mobile kitchen, a temporary galley and dining room. They’re on the Coast so they have to be there, whether in temporary situations or not,” Futerman pointed out.
In many cases Stewart’s Mobile has been able to bridge gaps that were in fact unforeseen by restaurant, foodservice and hospitality operators. Temporary power generation, water distribution, and waste water removal are also offered by Stewart’s.
Futerman and the Stewart’s Mobile team are on call 24/7 to assist the foodservice operator with both their emergency planning and long term needs. “We look forward to working with the NYC design build community in building a pro-active plan to ensure their operations can either plan for a new build or respond to the most dire of emergencies,” Futerman concluded.
“Do your homework,” he said. “It’s all pre-planning.”