Purveyors of hot food in a local market, restaurant or cafeteria are no doubt aware of the draw customers feel when pausing at the hot case displaying delicious offerings such as barbecue pork, sirloin tips in gravy, fried or rotisserie chicken and other hot and ready-to-eat dishes. In a best-case scenario, delicious aromas emanate from the food, tempting the senses and prompting a purchase. Why is a hot food display an important part of food marketing and what features need to be considered?
Accurate Temperature Range
Hot food cases are called that for a reason – they keep food hot – not lukewarm or at cooking temperatures, but at temperatures consistent with Food Safe regulations preserving the freshness and saleability of your products. This helps minimize waste and bacterial growth and keeps foods at their optimum temperature for preserving flavor and appearance.
Flexibility of Appearance and Footprint
When a hot case holds a maximum amount of food in a minimum of space, it allows more floor space for other products to be displayed nearby. It may be possible to have a hot case custom designed to fit a specific space so no corner is wasted. In retail, every inch of floor space not used to sell a product is space that could potentially be better used.
A Variety of Applications and Uses
A hot food display may be arranged to hold large metal catering pans over a steam bath to prevent food from drying out and to keep it hot such as at a deli counter or restaurant. On the other hand, one may be configured to keep popcorn chicken dry and crisp inside of paper bags, or to keep large quantities of fried chicken looking fresh and tempting as shoppers pass by. Clean and attractive hot cases can add a lot to the appearance and desirability of food products.
Relied on in Many Applications
Hot cases may be seen in many locations throughout a typical day. A convenience store where someone may grab a morning donut or coffee on their way to work may have a case where the warm aroma of fresh cinnamon rolls and pastries tempt customers to indulge. A deli section at a grocer is likely to have offerings such as pizza slices or rotating hot dogs at the ready at midday. A buffet-style restaurant may have a steam table where many hot dishes are displayed for people to serve themselves.
The importance of hot food display cases should not be overlooked in the food industry. Ready to eat foods have become a staple of the modern diet and these units go far in preserving the quality and nutrition of foods.