Besides flavor, why do we add fat to grilled cheese? If you haven’t heard me ask this question before, it isn’t the most common response, “for crunchy texture”. Think about it, what happens to bread when you put it into a toaster… you get that crunchy texture! We put fat (butter, oil, spray, etc) on grilled cheese because we need to delay the sugars in the bread from browning, so we can melt the cheese in time.
The reason you want to use a combi for grilled cheese, and in ours it’s 100% moisture, is the power of steam to help melt that cheese inside the sandwich. That steam has much more energy to transfer than just dry air. In a combi, grilled cheese will come out with very little cheese on the sheet pan, yet a crunchy, browned, and soft bread slices. It’s really very impressive.
Start with a room temperature pan, spray the pan liberally. Preheat your combi oven to 375° and build the sandwiches on the sprayed sheet pan and before putting them into the oven, spray the tops of the sandwiches and cook them at 375° in combi mode, 50%-100% steam for 5-7 minutes. The sandwiches should be nice and brown on the tops as well as the bottom, without turning or flipping them half way through the cook. Enjoy!
Chef Tug Toler
Miller & Associates
At this year’s NAFEM convention, Walsh & Simmons wanted to focus on their entire catalogue and showcasing everything they had to offer, which included their Millwork capabilities. With a lot of options for barista walls, knee walls, community tables with LED lighting and much more, Walsh & Simmons has everything that any foodservice operation could ever need for their seating and counterwork needs. While Walsh & Simmons does mainly focus on chains, they see a lot of future opportunity with the quick-serve and higher end restaurant markets as well as non-food service areas such as offices and conference rooms. Walsh & Simmons is open to any and every operation that wants their amazing Millwork products.
The Miller team stopped by the Walsh & Simmons booth early on the first day of the convention to speak with National Sales Director Rebecca Lueken about NAFEM and what it means to manufacturers like Walsh & Simmons.
“Well, NAFEM is just a great opportunity,” Leuken said. “One: it’s a great opportunity to meet other manufacturers and see what the trends are and what they’re showcasing, what they’ve been doing for the last two years at the NAFEM before that. It’s a great opportunity for us to show off, if you will, you know. Put together a good booth; really be able to talk about what we can do, what we hope to do, how we can be a bigger part, how we can expand our footprint. Make Walsh & Simmons better known across the country.”
Walsh & Simmons is a fantastic manufacturer of anything seating, flooring, lighting, or counterwork. When asked what she would like for their customers to think of when they think of Walsh & Simmons, Lueken said this.
“Anything and everything. That’s really what I want them to think. I want them to think Walsh & Simmons, the whole front of house. I want to be able to manufacture the Millwork. I want the booths and the tables and the chairs, the barstools. We can combine that with our ability to warehouse lighting and flooring. So, I really just want to be the solution for anything front of house, that’s what I’d like for our customers to know.”
Welcome to a new installment in the Miller NAFEM blog series! This time around the factory we’re focusing on is actually five different factories combined into one! The five factories Randell, Groen, Avtec, Power Soak, and A la Carte all work under the Unified Brands umbrella.
One of the big new things that UB had to show at this year’s NAFEM convention was their new line of refrigeration systems, which all models are switching to either a 290 or a 513 model number. All of their refrigeration systems are now snap compliant and are using all-natural refrigerants. They also all feature new electronic controls and new drain systems for easier and more precise use and control as well as better energy efficiency across the board. Another new thing this year is their new blast chillers, which now include touch screen controls. In the age of iPads and smartphones, Unified Brands is moving in the innovative direction of touch screen controls for fast and easy use.
While we were at the UB booth, we took some time to speak with Refrigeration Specialist for Randell Dave Rademacher about the upcoming year’s sales and what they are doing to ensure a successful 2019 for UB.
“We’re getting heavier into the retail side of the business with more focus in the retail market, but as far as solidifying ourselves in the markets we’re already in we’re doing that through being prepared for the new regulations that are being put in place with the refrigeration systems, stuff like that. So, just trying to be ahead of the curve and, you know, be leaders in that side of the market.”
Rademacher went on the describe the NAFEM convention as a great way for people to get a real hands on experience with all of the new and exciting products being introduced as well as existing products that they might not have gotten to get that kind of experience with before. At NAFEM, people have the opportunity to look at more than just a spec sheet or watching a webinar, they are getting to learn and mess around with these products first hand.
When you buy Unified Brands, whether that be Groen, Randell, A la Carte, Power Soak, or Avtec, the teams at Miller and UB would like you think of a quality, dependable product. Something that you will be able to rely on for a long time and a customer service team that will take your needs seriously.
The Salvajor booth at this year’s NAFEM convention was a spectacular display of everything Salvajor has to offer, old and new. Of the new items, the most exciting was by far the water savings package. This new operator sensor gives a demand/control situation for their disposer packages and provides an 80% water savings when the operator steps away from the disposer. When that happens, the unit starts a timed run feature that will automatically shut the disposer, the control panel, and the water supply to the disposer off entirely, leaving it open for the operator to start back up manually whenever they come back. Salvajor has also reduced the need for two solenoids so that now only one is needed which has reduced a unit that used to cost around $900 list to only $498 list. The WSP can be retrofitted to any ARSS or ARSSLD control panel that is 2014 or newer. Salvajor is a very strong brand in the industry. In 2019, they will focus on continuing to be the best at what they do best and capitalize on the markets they already operate in with the new WSP operator sensor.
The Miller team stopped by the Salvajor booth to talk to National Sales Manager Jim Ottmer about NAFEM and the importance a convention like NAFEM holds for the industry and manufacturers.
“NAFEM provides the opportunity for us to really show what we are, who we are, and how we go about doing things,” Ottmer said of the convention. “NAFEM has always been a great advocate for the manufacturing side, and it’s been an important component that brings everyone together in an industry that needs a lot of togetherness. So, you’ve got service agents, you have dealers, you have consultants, you have manufacturers, and end users all in one place to talk about one thing and that’s food service equipment.”
When customers think Salvajor, we hope that they thing quality craftsmanship and a company that still hand-polishes every disposer before it goes into the box. Salvajor does not use robots, they use real people. Think of them more as a craft brewery or distillery and less so like a big corporate conglomeration. They are family owned and operated for three generations and will continue to be for generation to come.
Hello and welcome to another addition to the Miller NAFEM blog series! This time around we will be focusing on a manufacturer that has built their way up to being at the top of the food prep chain in the industry, Nemco.
In a big step forward for Nemco from manual to powered food prep, they partnered with Swedish food prep brand Hallde to make their first line of combi cutter food processors. These new dynamic machines are four-speed adjustable and have a wide array of swiss-army like attachments for cutting many different vegetable and cheese products. The processor works fast and minimizes stress on not only the food, but the blades as well. This ensures optimal food integrity and extended operational life for the product.
We went by the Nemco booth to ask Sales Manager for the Eastern region Chris Fisher about NAFEM and how this convention helps them put the word out about all of their exciting new products.
“Well, you know, a convention like this is really important for us,” Fisher said. “We have a lot of valued partners, such as Miller & Associates, that go out and deal with the end users, the chains, and things like that, but this does allow us some times to get some of that first-hand feedback from those customers while they’re walking through the booth and hear some of the needs and the interests that they have…they wouldn’t normally reach out to somebody and say, ‘hey, I have a need for this particular product,’ but as they’re walking through your booth and they see something similar, it prompts them to say ‘hey, what about this’ or ‘what about that?’ So, you know, we’re able to get some information and some feedback that, normally, we might not otherwise be able to [get.]”
Nemco prides themselves on a seamless customer service experience. When a customer purchases a Nemco product, they want that customer to not worry about potential problems. If one is to arise, they want to deal with the issue quickly and painlessly, so that when that customer needs another product, they won’t hesitate to choose Nemco again. With all the exciting things going and great people working at Nemco, Miller & Associates believes that won’t be a problem anytime soon.
You can check out our other article on Nemco here:
Welcome to yet another installment in the Miller NAFEM blog series! In this addition, we’ll be talking about the coffee and tea equipment manufacturer that knows just what you need to perk up in the morning, Grindmaster-Cecilware.
At this year’s NAFEM convention, GMCW was showcasing a new line of frozen machines called SPM. These machines can dispense up to three different kinds of slushie as well as machines for a variety of ice cream that I got to try personally. Needless to say, I now have a bias towards these machines and GMCW. The new SPM slushie and ice cream machines are energy efficient and double wall constructed. Also new from GMCW, be on the lookout for a new line of coffee equipment with a new, long three-hour hold time.
GMCW will be a force to reckon with this year, and the Miller team stopped by their booth at NAFEM to ask their Director of Sales Reza McDaniel what new markets they see themselves breaking into with their new products.
“I think with the new coffee equipment, that’ll be groundbreaking with the technology we have,” McDaniel said. “Nobody has the technology we’re introducing. With the incapsulated air, the hold time on the coffee will be three hours plus. It’s been tested and proven that it’ll last that long without…deteriorating the flavor profile. With our new SPM line on the frozen and the ice cream that’ll be a nice segment to segue into for small coffee shops and restaurants with the ice cream. I think with the c-stores, the new coffee equipment and we have a new lineup also of cappuccino machine, semi-automatic cappuccino machines, with the Uniq line. That’s going to help us out with the c-store segment and coffee shop segment.”
NAFEM is a great venue to show these new and innovative products to not only the rep community, but to the consultant, dealer, and end user communities as well. GMCW is dedicated to quality products and will continue to innovate. We at Miller & Associates look forward to all the wonderful new things GMCW has in store.
You can check out our other article on GMCW here:
It’s time for another Miller NAFEM blog! In this installment we will talk about the cool new things going on with the best merchandiser manufacturer in the industry: Federal.
Federal had a lot of new equipment to showcase at this year’s NAFEM. First off was the brand-new addition to the RSSM series, the RSSM3078. A 30” wide by 78” tall completely refrigerated merchandiser with four shelves. A companion to that is the new TSSM tabletop model. This new model gives the customer the affordability of a smaller space if their space is limited as well as the ability to sell refrigerated impulse products. Also new is an exciting line meant for merchandising growlers. Federal Sales Manager Randy Naffin took a moment to talk to us about this new product.
“We’re also marketing our Elements series cases for growlers,” Naffin said. “The craft brewing industry has been a catalyst for years and the idea here is to show a new marketplace that the availability for people to get pre-packaged growler beer out of one of our Federal merchandisers.”
obably the most exciting new development from Federal at this year’s show was the new heated merchandiser. This new HSSM series of open-air heated merchandisers sees Federal foraying into new territory and adding a companion line to go with their refrigerated curved glass RSSM line. Naffin noted that the new line is a great potential seller for Federal, with many K-12 districts showing interest in getting an HSSM to go with their already purchased RSSMs for a cohesive look side by side.
Federal’s booth at the NAFEM show was definitely one of the busiest on the floor, with Federal representatives constantly jumping from one person to the next, answering questions and showcasing everything that they have to offer. Naffin, between speaking to people, spoke with us about why NAFEM is such a needed show in the industry.
“Well, number one is it’s a great educational forum for us to see all of our reps together and be able to talk to them about our new launches,” Naffin said. “So we can introduce you to the new series of products that [are] coming out. Number two, for us, I think it’s a great catalyst, as well, for customers to see the product live. [The] spec sheet says a lot. However, being able to see, touch, and feel that product here at a show really gives them the understanding of what they can see and how they can see this in their operation.”
With all of these wonderful new innovations from Federal as well as their new website that launched on April 1, Federal has proven that they are and will continue to be devoted to craftsmanship, quality, and reliability.
You can check out Federal’s new website here:
It’s time for another Miller NAFEM 2019 blog! This time around, we’ll be focusing on a small product that packs a lot of punch, E-Control.
E-Control Systems is a manufacturer that makes sensors and monitoring equipment. Meaning their equipment is responsible for letting end users know how their product is doing, whether that be monitoring temp, gas levels, or anything in between. So, from the time the product is packed on the truck, to the time it is delivered, stored, cooked, and served. E-Control is making sure your product is healthy and lasts as long as it possibly can, and letting you know when something tries to interrupt that process.
We stopped by the E-Control booth at NAFEM and asked Vice President of Sales Terry Fischer what the convention means to a factory like theirs.
“Well, being a relatively small, relatively, privately held company it’s important for us to get to as many people as we can,” Fischer said. “There are only so many resources that are available to any organization, and when you can come to a NAFEM show, and you know it’s a big show because it’s every two years and it brings people from all across the country and all across the globe and provides us with an opportunity to introduce new technology. We are a technology-based company. For us, being the industry leader and on the cutting edge of new and improved technology is extremely important and for us to get that message out there, NAFEM is a great tool.”
E-Control has been in business for 21 years, and for a tech-based company 21 years of business means a lot of growth, change, and adaptation to current trends and technology. E-Control has done a great job of doing just that and continues to grow not only in their tech, but in their markets as well, with more and more chains and K-12 districts hopping on the E-Control wagon. Customer satisfaction is very important to E-Control Systems as a company and they strive to not only deliver a product that works, but service that product even after the sale. They are a company that delivers what they promise and stand by their product.
Welcome to a new addition to the Miller NAFEM 2019 blog series! In this installment, we’ll be discussing one of Miller’s newest lines and one of the most exciting, Crown Verity.
This year at NAFEM was an exciting one for Crown Verity, with their brand new outdoor mobile pizza oven even being featured in the NAFEM What’s Hot? What’s Cool? Pavilion on the show floor. Aside from the amazing new outdoor pizza oven, Crown Verity was also showcasing a new line in their sinks that feature hands free faucets and soap dispensers as well as a new built-in line with modulized components to match the grill frame. Also new and exciting was their new dual-valve LP and natural gas unit. With a simple adjustment of the valve and regulator that does not require tools, the unit can be switched from natural gas to LP. The Miller team was also told that Crown Verity will be launching a new line of modular outdoor kitchens in the fourth quarter, so keep an eye out for those, as well.
With their outdoor pizza oven being one of the most hot-button items at the convention, we wanted to know what Crown Verity was thinking about their new product and how it could affect the marketplaces they operate in. Executive Director of Foodservice Sales Jack McDonald spoke with us briefly about this topic.
“Our company is the commercial outdoor kitchen company. So that is our marketplace,” McDonald said. “In terms of penetrating that marketplace, we’re expanding into pizza ovens. It’s a new category. It’s going to be new to all of our customers. It’s a revenue generating category. So, our pizza oven is going to be able to bring our customers revenue opportunities for their food and beverage operations. So, it’s creating a new market within the outdoor restaurant equipment market.”
McDonald also stressed the importance of NAFEM to the foodservice industry, citing how it brings together not only the four major players of industry sales (factories, dealers, end user operators, and consultants), but also the rep groups as well and provides training opportunities on a large scale that these groups may not have got under any other circumstance. He also pointed out that NAFEM is trying to unite all the different trade associations together, with NAFEM, MAFSI, FCSI, and CFESA all having representation on the show floor this year. Between those points and providing a major opportunity for factories like Crown Verity to showcase their new and exciting products, NAFEM is a great show for the foodservice industry.
Ultimately, Crown Verity is a manufacturer of outdoor foodservice equipment, and in 2019 they hope to solidify their position as one of the strongest in the industry. When asked about what he’d like Crown Verity customers to think of when they see their products, McDonald had only this to say.
“You see, the outdoor cooking experience is a little bit different: it’s unique, it’s exciting, but we want to create that environment of the outdoor experience because it’s not just a kitchen, not just a restaurant and chairs, it’s a unique dining experience. So, when they think of Crown Verity, we want them to think of the outdoor experience. Our company’s slogan is ‘Brilliant Anywhere,’ and that’s who we are as a company. We make very high quality, very dependable, very high-performance restaurant equipment that’s specifically designed to go in the outdoors.”
In this addition of the Miller NAFEM blog series, we will focus on Chowbotics, the manufacturer responsible for one of the hottest new items on the market right now, Sally the Salad Robot.
This was year was an exciting one for the Chowbotics team because this was the company’s first time at NAFEM, and what was described as a “coming out party” of sorts for Sally. For those reading who may not have heard of this groundbreaking invention yet, Sally the Salad Robot is the world’s first automated vending machine that dispenses fresh food, namely salads and other fresh food bowls of the like. Sally contains 22 individual containers and gives customers the ability to make and customize their own acai bowls, grain bowls, salads, or even yogurt parfaits. Right now, the people at Chowbotics are really seeing a lot of success in the healthcare, hospitality, and B&I markets. While these markets are considered Sally’s “sweet spot,” Chowbotics is also continuing to see interest from many college campuses, due to the allure that Sally’s new technology brings to the table.
At this year’s NAFEM show, Chowbotics did not have a very large booth, but they certainly saw the foot traffic that many of the bigger booths were seeing. With constant demonstrations and networking happening, the booth stayed constantly occupied and busy. The Miller team spoke with Chowbotics’ Southeast Regional Manager Dennis Lock about NAFEM and how it has helped people see what they’d already heard so much about.
“We get to be seen by a lot of people,” Lock said. “What we’re finding today, in particular, is that there are a number of customers coming over to see Sally for the first time. So far, no one’s come over that hadn’t heard of Sally. So, we’re not getting a lot of walk-by traffic that is ‘oh, what’s that?’ We’re getting people that are seeking her out. So, for this, this really gives our customers an opportunity to see, touch, feel, and really get the full Sally experience…It’s not the easiest thing to take Sally to someone. So, to have them come to see us and seek us out and go through the full demo, it’s fantastic.”
The people at Chowbotics wanted people to walk away from their booth at NAFEM this year thinking that Sally was better than they had heard. From the turnout they got, it’s safe to say they got what they wanted.
You can watch the companion video to this blog on our YouTube channel at the link below!
You can also check out a more in-depth look at Sally from a previous blog post on our website: