Restaurant Applications on Display at NRA
Contractors Find Expertise Needed Beyond Ice Machines, Freezers, Coolers
Regarding food service, refrigeration contractors are most concerned and familiar with ice machines, freezers, and coolers. And, in fact, the latest and greatest in that regard will be featured in the upcoming July 8 issue of The NEWS, based on the most recent National Restaurant Association (NRA) Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show.
Outside of the restaurant industry, HVACR contractors can be found spending a great deal of attention on the preservation of wine, which requires refrigeration, spot-cooling air conditioning, frozen food treat dispensers, and alternative ways of using CO2.
Restaurant managers are paying a lot of attention to wines — increasing selections and stressing pairings with certain foods. So, properly cooled wine storage is needed for unopened bottles. Then, once a bottle is opened for per-glass servings, there is a need to recork and store the opened bottles. In both instances, refrigeration often plays a part.
At the NRA Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show, Le Verre de Vin’s/Pod Bar’s wine preservation system was promoted as “helping you implement a spectacular wine-by-the-glass service.” The refrigeration angle included pod bar display cabinets and a wine and champagne preservation system.
WineEmotion’s dispensing and preservation systems offer both room temperature and refrigeration options.
Enofrigo showcased its Wine Line equipment. The company’s innovative ventilated refrigeration system maintains the correct temperature without using an evaporator.
Vinotemp Intl. had a refrigerated wine dispenser that readies up to four open bottles of wine for dispensing through the push of a button. The technology is designed to maintain the integrity of the wine left in an open bottle over a period of time.
Nitro Draught is a mechanical technology from Fizz Dispense Optimization Group LLC that uses nitrogen for wine preservation. The process is designed to prevent oxidation after a bottle is open.
WhisperKool’s InCellar mechanical unit exhausts warm air away from a wine cellar through the top of the unit, allowing it to manage airflow more efficiently. The unit has a liquid temperature probe and dual-speed fans.
From trying to create comfort in outdoor dining areas in dry climates, to providing temporary cooling in overly hot areas of a kitchen, spot cooling is growing in demand. Manufacturers of such equipment flaunted their goods at the NRA show.
Flair bartending was on display at the booth of Port-A-Cool LLC. The routine of two performers juggling drink glasses, cocktail jiggers, and liquor bottles (as in the Tom Cruise movie “Cocktail”) was designed to draw attention to the Islander, a commercial-grade portable evaporative cooler that the company said lowers outdoor temperatures by as much as 30˚F.
Cool-A-Zone exhibited a variety of three-speed units to lower ambient temperature. One unit allows the connection of a water hose for continuous fill.
Joape showed residential, commercial, and industrial lines of spot coolers that can also “clean, purify, and hydrate” the air as well as provide a fragrance.
Big Ass Fans was also in attendance at the event, showcasing its cooling products to the restaurant industry.
Soft serve ice cream and yogurt machines are also gaining in popularity, evident not only in restaurants but in small stores/parlors where customers can dispense their own frozen product and toppings.
Electro Freeze showed the Genesis Series soft serve freezers featuring its new Virtual Quality Management System (VQM). “VQM offers operators an intuitive-touch interface to manage their soft serve frozen dessert businesses from both in-store and remote locations,” said Tom Hotard, president, Electro Freeze. “VQM allows management to make quality adjustments, track product volume dispensed, and clean cycle indications, as well as set alerts and security settings.”
Metalfrio Solutions Inc. had Ice Cream Season dipping cabinets, which it said was an “economical idea for locations that are looking for a low cost way to promote scooped ice cream.” Units come standard with internal LED lights, curved glass canopy, and tubholder/skirt kits that hold 3-gallon ice cream tubs.
Donper America has a soft serve machine that has a refrigeration system designed to maintain product temperatures below 41˚. The air-cooled condenser was said to be capable of producing 56 liters per hour of product.
Icetro had yogurt and soft serve ice cream machines that include, along with the basic refrigeration system, an air pump to make the consumable products smoother and softer, an agitator for quick cooling, and a pasteurization system that involves heating the dairy products for a period of time to kill bacteria.
Xylem Inc. launched two products at NRA: the BevJet is a compact beverage dispensing system for tight spaces and the V-jet Series has rotary vane-pump heads for specialty carbonation or hot beverage service.
CO2 is gaining a lot of attention as a refrigerant, but it has been a part of the carbonation aspect of restaurants for a long time.
NuCO2 showed a beverage carbonation system which includes installation and filling of an outside cylinder with carbonation pumped to various locations in the business.
Airgas Inc. offered a single-source supplier with both MicroBulk and gas cylinder carbonation systems including procurement, installation, and service needs.
An interesting twist at the NRA show was an announcement from Taylor Co., which has been providing commercial ice cream freezers to the industry since 1926. At the show the company said it was “highlighting its latest innovation in commercial cooking,” showcasing its L810 two-sided grill comprised of three 21-inch platens.
Publication date: 7/1/2013