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Catering equipment in hospitality & leisure: from fridges to coffee machines


 

This week we’re taking a slightly different direction and instead of looking at various health and wellbeing related foods we will take a look at catering equipment that is utilised in holiday parks, resorts, family attractions, stadiums and other leisure & hospitality businesses.

There’s a high enough chance that while you’re reading this article you’re either hungry or simply craving a snack despite obliterating that huge BLT sandwich just a minute ago. That feeling is exactly why most hospitality & leisure businesses have foodservice facilities in them. Imagine spending an entire day at a theme park without grabbing something to eat or watching a game without anything to snack on. Sounds like a nightmare to us and so it does to a lot of other people.

The businesses operating previously mentioned sites need to keep that in mind, because the only way we know to satisfy hungry customers is to feed them. And the food better be good or prepare to face angry reviews online!

To make food that doesn’t immediately result in a one star on trip advisor you need a good cook but also good equipment. The latter is what we will be focusing on today, so let’s jump in and have a look at all the obvious and less obvious machines that can be found in foodservice establishments across the industry.

 

General Kitchen Equipment

Not a surprise here, the majority of attractions, resorts, stadiums and leisure complexes have some sort of cafe, takeaway or restaurant to offer. Those kitchens will always need the typical commercial kitchen equipment from freezers to stoves and ovens to washing machines.

There is also an obvious need for commercial kitchen worktops, sinks, shelving and storage space. Sizes of kitchens in the leisure and tourism industry can vary from very small room in a cáffe on a farm attraction to a large cookery in one of the Center Parcs venues, so there is a lot of variety in terms of what operators in this sector look for in terms of size of their equipment. Often it might be beneficial for smaller kitchens to buy integrated cooking suites to save space as opposed to buying separate pieces of equipment, while larger establishments have more space and resources to personalise.

A fire blazing from a pan of a chef using prime catering equipment

Grills

Barbecues are inseparably associated with summertime and there’s nothing better than well seasoned grilled meat (or veggie). But what happens when you don’t feel like wasting your time on preparing that delicious meal or you simply don’t have the skills? Then you get someone to prepare it for you! 

This is exactly why holiday park restaurants and visitor attractions seek for grilling equipment more and more, to be able to give their guest that great taste of grilled goodness without the hassle. Obviously chargrills are the most sought for (especially those with lava rocks!), but both salamander and contact grills have their uses in leisure and hospitality businesses too.

Smaller establishments will also look for a griddle to be able to serve their customers breakfast and burgers quickly without too much investment or space requirement.

Covered in flames burger being grilled on a solid piece of catering equipment

Fryers

You probably didn’t know that in 2018 astounding 3.3 billion eating-out visits involved a potato product, chips, wedges and fries account for the biggest share of potato occasions out-of-home at 58%. Is it really that surprising then, that fryers have always been in demand among foodservice departments across the industry?

Whether it’s a pop up fast food stand at a theme park, a stadium’s foodservice place or a take away at a holiday park, chips and other fried foods are inseparable from the leisure and hospitality sector. The type of fryers will of course also depend on the business, smaller venues will look for counter top fryers, others will prefer freestanding machines, or even built in systems.

Fries being fried in the frying machine on deep oil

Waffle Makers

Since we’re in unhealthy-but-delicious food territory, let’s have a look at waffle makers, as they’re high in demand in this sector too. The constant growth of the waffle iron market is the testament to how popular this snack has become over the years. But there is not much to talk about here in terms of equipment needs, the shape of the waffle is not as important to the buyer, but rather the ease of use and convenient cleaning is the priority. Nevertheless if a waffle maker has the option to make waffles on a stick that will certainly be tempting for visitor attractions!

There is however one particular machine that stands out cause it has the power to connect two treats in one. It’s a waffle cone making machine - how good is it to have a freshly made cone with tasty ice cream in it? It’s awesome, as attested by anyone who has ever been on holiday.

Waffles being made in waffle maker which is one of the most in-demand catering equipment in leisure and hospitality

Pizza ovens

It might be surprising to some that the UK is much higher up the hierarchy of pizza eaters than Italy, occupying the honorable 4th place after the US, Canada and Spain. One study shows that an average Brit will eat 731 pizzas over the course of their lives. It is almost certain that some of those pizzas will be eaten in a holiday park, hotel, visitor attraction or some other leisure or hospitality place.

Understandably leisure and tourism businesses are always on the lookout for pizza equipment that is better, cheaper or has the biggest output. There are plenty of different types of pizza ovens that can be found in various establishments across the industry, but the trend that seems to be on the all time high is stone bake pizza ovens. Especially nowadays when a stone oven can take surprisingly little space and can be located pretty much anywhere.

However some establishments will require a conveyor with high output, others will want to go for modern infrared ovens or various multi-deck pizza ovens that are available out there. There’s virtually insatiable demand for pizza equipment in the leisure and tourism sector.

A person putting a fresh dough into the pizza oven. Pizza oven is one of the most important commercial kitchen equipment in the hospitality & leisure sector

Heated and Chilled Displays

Admittedly it is not exactly catering equipment per se, but it is needed in every single cafe or restaurant in holiday parks, resorts, or attractions. Whether to display food in an open buffet, keep desserts chilled, or pies hot this type of equipment finds its use in most hospitality venues. The efficiency of it will determine how long the food that is being displayed will be good to eat and how the flavour is affected. 

A chilled display in a holiday park cafe. Together with heated displays it is one of the most looked for catering equipment in the leisure and hospitality industry

Commercial Juicers

With the rise of wellness tourism came the demand for healthier alternatives to soda as well, and fresh juice options are increasingly popular in the leisure and tourism market. The operators of various venues are looking for the most efficient machines that can produce juices from various fruits and vegetables. It turns out that satisfying the needs of wellness-oriented visitors has become very lucrative so it makes sense that the demand is constantly growing.

A juicer surrounded by juice and fruits and vegetables. Juice making machines are of much interest among holiday parks, resorts and visitor attractions

Coffee Machines

In the UK, we now drink approximately 95 million cups of coffee per day. Yes, 95 million every day! To give you some perspective, the UK has a population of around 67 million. For a business, coffee is a big money maker especially that the UK public is well accustomed to drinking coffee away from coffee shops and other establishments.

Unsurprisingly operators of leisure and hospitality sites are investing in both traditional coffee machines as well as coffee vending machines to make them more accessible to the customer. Hospitality industry is especially attractive if you sell coffee machines. Every place where people stay overnight outside of home needs that aromatic coffee waiting for their customers, because they usually can’t make it themselves to a sufficient standard. Even places in the leisure sector such as theme parks look for ways to give customers the chance to quickly find a coffee serving facility in between rollercoaster rides or while waiting for their kids.

Coffee machines are required by every respectable hospitality establishment

This list was built following the feedback we received from our visitors, which revealed increased interest in the above pieces of catering equipment. Do you want to speak to 18,000 decision makers from the leisure, hospitality & tourism sector? If you can offer them the above catering solutions, get in touch with us at patryk.kielsa@prysmgroup.co.uk to find out more about exhibiting at the Leisure Food & Beverage Expo! Get in touch now, the stand availability is limited.