EXCERPT: …software applications continue to make their way to the back of the house to further enhance management functions and address labor issues.

“Technology and equipment are going to continue to take a greater role in operating restaurants,” says Mark Moeller, a former chef and owner of Recipe of Success, a restaurant consultancy.

“There’s a lot of unskilled labor now coming into the industry, so there’s an opportunity to use robotics and programmable pieces to ensure consistency.”

Moeller points to the growth of programmable, multiuse combi ovens as well as clamshell griddles that can cook food in minutes without a lot of oversight. Once reserved mainly for the noncommercial sector, blast chillers are having a heyday in the restaurant scene. “My last five clients all have blast chillers, and I keep getting requests,” he says. “Many smaller restaurants don’t have the facility or space to properly cool food to safe temperatures.”