Restaurant kitchens have undergone a major change in the last few years. For many years, they were hidden behind swinging doors. But now they are out in the open, where diners can see everything that’s going on. That transparency has made for a more enjoyable experience for diners but more challenging for a foodservice operator. The equipment in the kitchen often needs to reflect the aesthetics of the spirit of the front of the house design.
Whether it’s stainless steel sinks or custom-fit cubic wine tanks, hand-made sinks or dry cases, SML USA is answering this call. With its skill and passion for creating solutions in the kitchen design build community, the 50-year-old second-generation Canadian company provides some of the finest custom fabrication and functionality in the industry.
“The manufacturer, which has 185 employees, serves North America as well as the international market and now it’s bringing its know-how and excellence to the Metro New York area,” according to Marilys Sauriol, SML USA Director of Sales. “We serve market segments such as food service, restaurant, workplace dining, corporate dining, hotel resorts, country club, food halls, bakeries, and quick-service restaurants,” explained Sauriol
In new restaurant design, Sauriol noted, the kitchen is becoming a focal point, which embraces the company’s core competency – building superior equipment with outstanding finish. “The diner’s first look at the kitchen is crucial and SML USA offers durable equipment required to fulfill the client’s need for transparency.”
Sauriol pointed out that the trend is to bring more processes – including dry-aging programs – in-house. Dry aging is a process where beef: primal cuts, and/or sub-primal cuts are stored – without protective packaging – at refrigeration temperatures for one to five weeks to allow the natural enzymatic and biochemical processes that result in improved tenderness to develop.
“Allowing them to see this is a great way to ensure that the clients know the quality of what they are eating,” Sauriol said. “And as a manufacturer, we work to maximize the capacity and functionality of our displays cases.”
The firm’s millwork expertise enables SML USA to work hand-in-hand with dealers, consultant and end-users. “In addition to custom fabrication, we also offer millwork in-house. We can include refrigeration, lighting, prewiring, prepiping and one point connection in our counters. We like to say that we are a one-stop-shop for the dealers,” Sauriol added.
The company can work in any kind of space and follows the goals of chefs. “Adapting to challenges is part and parcel of the SML USA experience,” Sauriol continued. “Production is fabricated accordingly, with a system contractor who will easily be able to put together the equipment on-site.”
SML USA continues to build on its portfolio of success in Metro New York and the US. Recently, SML USA completed a key component of the intricate design for Chef Henry Meer’s new wine shop at Occulus at the World Trade Center in Manhattan.
“We had to bring the unit into the unfinished Freedom Tower at the World Trade Center but we did it,” she stated. “That’s part of our daily life, to make it happen for our customers.”
The custom manufacturer also offers a complete line of off-the-shelf solutions. The selection includes deli cases, open-air screen grab and go cases, refrigerated display, and a dry aging meat case.
SML has made a major commitment to design a manufacturing facility that can meet the customer’s needs with state-of-the-art equipment, and its comprehensive team of design engineers. “We always work to meet your expectation and budget. Our goal is to provide flexibility so that we can provide value added design elements that cross over budget, while maintaining the brand integrity and the overall customer experience. We also know that it’s often difficult to balance design intent and the customer experience. So we regularly work with customers to optimize their space, ensure that the workflow is efficient, while integrating our fabrication to have a seamless look. We also understand that food safety is a priority so we design with an eye towards maximizing ease of cleaning and sanitation,” Sauriol continued.
SML USA is building its reputation with its ability to read and respond to the latest design trends. “It could be creating a modular concept for a food hall ,or creating an open grab and go with rear doors. That’s the kind of challenges that are driving us,” she said.
Attention to detail is essential to the SML USA mission. “All of our items are conceived to have no sharp edges and we hand polish everything that we make. We pay particular attention to ensure that handles, for example, are perfectly smooth and perfectly rounded so their touch is perfect,” she added.
Sauriol brings a unique perspective to her role. She began her career working her way through school in restaurant positions. That perspective enables her to listen to the needs of the Metro New York foodservice consultant and dealer community and respond to the needs of their end-user client base. “We ultimately want to prove that we are a great partner and can simplify life for the dealers and consultants.”
To learn more about SML USA, visit their website.