Tag Archives: School Foodservice

school foodservice

School Foodservice Equipment for 2015/2016 School Year

School Foodservice: Preparing for the School Year

School foodservices! Can you believe the 2015/2016 school year is almost here? Be sure your cafeteria is prepared with the following pieces of equipment from Central to help you make it a great year!

Find all of the products below and more in the School Homeroom section of our website.

True T-49 Reach-In Refrigerator

The True T-49 reach-in refrigerator is one of the best in the industry, and has a five star rating on our website! It’s spacious 49 cubic foot interior is ideal for storing anything you need for your school’s cafeteria. With a temperature range of 33°F to 38°F, you will get the best possible food preservation and safety.

True T-49

Vulcan VC4 Convection Oven

When working in any kitchen, simplicity is key. This is how Vulcan created their VC4 convection ovens to allow school foodservice operations the ability to cook quickly and efficiently without trying to figure out all the bells and whistles that may not be necessary. Available in gas or electric, this oven uses a unique heat recovery system to recirculate air and save energy. Plus, as an added bonus, if you buy the Vulcan VC4 through Central, you will receive a free rack hanger, oven rack, two heavy duty sheet pans and a thermometer/time dual sensing probe.

Vulcan VC4

 

Metro C539 Holding and Transport Cabinet

Often times in school foodservice operations, food is prepared in advanced and has to be stored for the various lunch periods. The Metro C539 holding and transport cabinet is the perfect solution to hold food. It comes with the choice of Lexan (clear) or solid doors that are insulated to keep in heat. The adjustable digital thermostat is easy to use with recessed controls for safety. It also includes 17 slide pairs and can hold 34 full-size sheet pans.

Metro C539

Nemco Easy Chopper II

There’s no sense in spending hours prepping vegetables when a piece of equipment can provide those labor savings for you. The Nemco Easy Chopper II slices and dices within seconds to your preference of cut thickness. It has a lightweight aluminum construction with stainless steel blades that are easy to clean.

Nemco Easy Chopper

Robot Coupe R2N Food Processor

The Robot Coupe R2N is a well-known and trusted food processor in the foodservice industry and will be the perfect addition to your school foodservice. It’s great for a wide variety of tasks such as mixing, pureeing, blending and kneading. It features a pulse switch for greater user control and can prepare an amazing 850 servings in three hours or less! Also, with any purchase of this food processor through Central, you will also get a free stainless steel bowl, lid and “S” blade.

Robot Coupe R2N

Jackson TEMPSTAR Single Rack Dishwasher

Once the cooking part of the day begins to wind down, you have to clean up! The Jackson TEMPSTAR high temperature single rack dishwasher is just the machine to get the job done. It has a door actuated start for safe and easy operation with a multi-time cycle timer to adjust your needs from normal to heavy duty. It uses 0.89 gallons of water per racks and has a 58 racks per hour capacity. It also has a totally automatic 57 second cycle.

Jackson TEMPSTAR

Need Help?

Central hand-picked all the items in our School Homeroom section of our website! Feel free to contact us at 800-215-9293 with any questions for your school foodservice needs. Working on a grant or bid? We can help with that too! We work with schools to get you the total amount or quote needed so you can finalize your application. Call or live chat with us now for details.

Image at top photo credit: USDAgov / Foter / CC BY

Food Trend Blog

Top Food Trends at NRA 2014

Another NRA Show is in the books. If you attended, we hope you had a great show! The Central team had a chance to settle down from the excitement and share with you some of the top trends we saw coming out of the show.

Gluten-Free Foods

One of the biggest trends at NRA was gluten-free options. Of course, it has been gaining momentum for a couple of years now, but seeing what some companies are doing is really cool. Take for example, Kiki’s Gluten Free Foods. They introduced a gluten-free deep dish pizza, which a few years ago would’ve been unheard of. And Deya Gluten Free is making a gluten free flour where the main ingredient is dried egg whites. These new options should make life for people with Celiac disease or gluten allergies a lot better.

Natural Ingredients

As we start to see a more health-conscious consumer, it’s only natural to see healthier options being introduced. We saw a ton of healthy options, from burgers made with veggies and chia seeds to milk made with quinoa. Another popular trend was brands advertising products made with no genetically modified organisms (GMOs) or corn syrup.

Better-For-You School Options

There are several companies trying to develop healthier options for school systems. According to Food Business News, exhibitors such as Skeeter Nut Free were introducing snacks that meet the USDA’s Smart Snacks in School nutrition standards that go into effect July 1st. In Skeeter Nut Free’s case, they introduced single-serve bags of graham crackers that are 100% nut free. Other exhibitors, such as Hormel, are offering options such as the Fuse Burger, which combines ground turkey with spinach, brown rice, roasted onions and dried cherries, to deliver a burger with a favorable nutrition profile.

Which trends did you see at NRA 2014 that stood out to you? Let us know in the comments section below.

10 Products to Update Your School Foodservice This Fall

School is back in session, and the 2012-2013 academic school year definitely began differently than any other year before it.  For many schools, this particular year presented new changes and challenges as foodservices had to adapt their menus to meet the new USDA meal guidelines.

The changes went into affect on July 1, and was the first of seven phases per the USDA’s implementation timeline.  The last phase set to be complete for the 2022-2023 school year.

The new guidelines specify amounts for fruits, vegetables, grains, meat and meat alternatives and milk and included dietary specifications to be met each week.

Because of these guidelines, portion sizes are as important as ever for schools.  This is where the right utensil can make the new guidelines much easier to adapt to.  Many of the manufacturers on Central’s website have portioners, spoodles, dishers, etc., color-coded by the ounce to make scooping the appropriate serving size quick and easy.

Looking beyond the new USDA guidelines, there are several pieces of equipment and supplies that make a school foodservice run smoothly.  Using a piece of old equipment can be less energy efficient or could make a task more difficult than it needs to be.  Upgrading old equipment and supplies can definitely provide long term savings.

10 Products and Categories to Update the School Cafeteria

Don’t hesitate to contact a Central Product Consultant at 800-215-9293 with any questions about school foodservice equipment.

Cold Food Pans and Hot Food Pans

Compartment Trays

Cooking Equipment

Dishwashing and Sanitation

Food Portioners, Dishers and Spoodles

Food Preparation

Measuring Cups and Spoons

Milk Coolers

Refrigeration

Shelving

 

School’s in Session! Get Your Cafeteria Through This School Year with Central

Here at Central, we specialize in every part of the foodservice industry–especially school foodservices.  Now that school is in session, we want you to know we’re here for you and have everything you need for the 2012-2013 school year.

Online

We have an entire section of our website strictly dedicated to school products.  From there, you can browse through refrigeration, dishwashing and  cooking equipment, concession products, food prep and dining room supplies, shelving and furniture.

We’ve even compiled a small list of questions for you to answer prior to calling a Product Consultant that will help expedite the buying process on our page, Expert Solutions in School Nutrition Equipment.

Expert Help

One of the great things about Central is we always have someone on-hand to help you. Whether you’re working with a Product Consultant you’ve never worked with before, or have someone you go to every time, they are always there and ready to help.

It can be stressful trying to decide what to order because there are so many options and it can require some research.  But when you’re talking to one of Central’s Product Consultants, they’ve already done their homework so you don’t have to. They’ll know what questions to ask, which accessories you need, etc.  Just call 800-215-9293.  Phone lines are open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday (EST).

Blog

Each month on the Central Blog, we include information that specifically pertains to school foodservices.  We are sure to cover major events, but also include other news stories and equipment ideas too.  (Find all of our school blogs by going to the bottom of our blog under our “From the Past” section and choose “Schools” from the “Select Category” drop-down”.  You don’t even have to select a month unless you would like to).

Most recently, when the new USDA guidelines began on July 1, we went through and compiled all the updates for the 2012-2013 school year and created the Complete Guide on New Standards for School Meals: July 1 Changes.  In addition to the USDA changes, we also included product suggestions based on those new guidelines.

We hope everyone has a great 2012-2013 school year! We look forward to working with you.

 

Hot Topics and Products in the School Foodservice Industry

Over the past few months, there has been a lot of news on how school cafeterias are improving and becoming healthier environments for students.  So what’s the latest?  From going local to the top foodservice products, here are five hot topics in the school foodservice industry.

Local

Many schools across the country are choosing to buy local and/or grow their own food.  This helps students learn the importance of eating healthy and teaches them a thing or two on what it can do for a community.  Based on a Feb. 2 press release, Chartwells School Dining Services said in 2011, they purchased $3.17 million in local food and worked with schools and farms all across the country.  Another benefit is the chance to introduce students to new items.  Schools in Snohomish County in Washington told HeraldNet they’ve served students “snap peas, mandarin oranges, jicima sticks, plutos and roasted Brussel sprouts.”

Healthier Vending Machines

Many schools have been providing healthier foods outside of the cafeteria in areas such as vending machines and are filling them with fruit, yogurt, vegetables, etc.  But we may soon see legislation to put healthier items in vending machines and less junk food—perhaps even putting a ban on certain items.  According to a recent New York Times article, no details have been released.

Salad Bars in Schools

One of the branches of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! Campaign is Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools.  The goal of this campaign is to increase the number of salad bars in schools and help students make healthier choices.  To date, according to the Let’s Move! Salad Bars to Schools website, they’ve raised just over $3 million and have granted over 1,154 salad bars—with a goal to raise $15 million.

Meatless Monday

Earlier this week, we covered how restaurants were providing meatless options on Fridays for Lent.  Friday’s aren’t the only days some people go meatless.  There’s another campaign that’s been around for a long time that schools have jumped on board with called “Meatless Mondays.”  Wondering how to get your school involved? Check out one of their lesson plans.

Most Popular Purchased Items

Schools are one of Central’s primary customers.  So what are some of the most purchased items from schools lately? Here’s a list provided by Product Consultant, Andrew Kemp:

What are some of the hot topics your school has been following this year?

Chipotle Is Donating $100,000 For Your Junk Mail

QSR magazine recently reported on Chipotle’s “No Junk” campaign.

Chipotle Mexican Grill announced that it would double its donation to The Lunch Box if its new goal of 1 million junk e-mails is reached by August.

Chipotle Mexican Grill’s “No Junk” campaign encouraged Americans to forward their junk e-mails to nojunk@chipotlejunk.com.  The campaign’s original donation was $50,000, because of the campaign’s success Chipotle has increased the possible donation to $100,000 if its new goal was reached by August.

The “No Junk” campaign was set up so that each forwarded piece of junk e-mail will help provide nutritious cafeteria meals for school children around the country through the partnership with The Lunch Box.  For every 100,000 junk e-mails Chipotle receives, the company donates $10,000 to The Lunch Box.  This will help provide approximately 32 million school children at 100,000 schools nationwide access to 100 school-tested, junk-free recipes created by Chef Ann Cooper, The Renegade Lunch Lady.

This campaign was launched on June 25 and its goal of 1,000,000 junk emails has been reached, which raised its maximum contribution to The Lunch Box of $100,000.

Congratulations to Chipotle and The Lunch Box on reaching your goal and donating healthy meals to children across the country.

We’re Back From the School Nutrition Association Conference: Great Reviews!

This year Central Restaurant Products took some exclusive products to show at the School Nutrition Association Annual National Conference and we received some great feedback! 

Customers loved our Central Exclusive trays, especially the Blue!

Not only did customers love the trays but they also complimented Central’s service levels, quick shipping and competitive pricing.

As far as attendance, there seemed to be less people at the conference this year but it was still fairly crowded.

The vendors had very few new products for this conference but most of them said they would be releasing new items during NAFEM. We will keep you posted on this.

Thanks to all who came out to visit the booth and support the School Nutrition Association.

Central Now Has Exclusive Products! See Samples at the ANC

With the launch of the newest catalog, Central Restaurant Products has introduced a new feature. Central Exclusives offer exceptional value on products only found at Central!

All Central Exclusive products feature:

  • Equal or better quality than the leading national brand
  • Value engineered by Central’s team of Product Experts
  • Offered only to Central customers!

Some of the exclusive products offered by Central are:

  • Pebbled plastic bowls–The bowl’s pebbled exterior design helps hide scratches and come in 4 different colors and sizes.

Central is offering more the 50 products exclusive to our customers. Visit the Central Booth at the upcoming conference to see the trays and get a free copy of the School Nutrition Guide or stop by our showroom to get a hands-on view of thousands of products.