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Alto Shaam’s Self-Cleaning Rotisserie Offers Safety, Cost Benefits

Alto Shaam
Rachael Sanford and Chef Andrew Fisher, Alto Shaam.

Alto Shaam highlighted three of its foodservice equipment innovations at the NRA Show.

First up was its self-cleaning rotisserie oven. The AR-7T saves labor for retail operations as it self-cleans at the end of the night, according to the company’s communications specialist, Rachael Sanford, who spoke with The Shelby Report‘s Geoff Welch at the show.

“It saves so much time for operators, not to mention the safety that it helps improve in their operation. It has automatic grease collection, so it will pump the grease out of the oven during the cooking process,” she said.

The company’s Chef Andrew Fisher said the grease removal feature is important.

“You can san save money on labor and on workman’s comp issues,” he said.

When it’s not a self-cleaning rotisserie, “at the end of the day you’re left with this big drip pan of hot grease, and a lot of times it ends up on the associate or on the floor, causing hazards in the kitchen. It’s just not very safe.”

In addition, it generally takes more than an hour for an associate to clean all the parts and accessories on a rotisserie, he added.

“With the self-cleaning rotisserie you can cook later in the day, so you get more sales because you can cook longer. But it also allows your staff to go home right at 9 o’clock or 10 o’clock or whenever, without having all that extra cleanup at the end of the day,” said Fisher, who worked in fine-dining restaurants in Milwaukee for about 15 years.

Fisher said Alto Shaam offers an installation program for both its combi ovens and its rotisseries.

“This really streamlines the process and takes all the worry out of the operator; they know it’s going to be installed properly,” he said.

In general, there is either a one- or two-year warranty on the equipment, and Alto Shaam has a network of authorized service agents (ASAs) across the country to “help them make sure that their equipment is up and running as much as possible,” Fisher noted.

Operators are given an 800 number for Alto Shaam’s tech service department that will “dispatch that ASA as soon as possible. Generally, within 24 hours they’ll have that unit up and running.”

That service is offered around the clock, even on holidays.

“Even late at night, if the unit goes down, they call, there’s an answering service and they’ll get a call back usually within five minutes or less from our service department. Sometimes we can even fix the issue over the phone, but they will receive service within 24 hours. We incentivize them with first-time fix rate. We really want to get those units back up and running the first time they go out,” Fisher said.

Alto Shaam also featured its H series Vector multi-cook oven and its ventless capability, Sanford said. “It’s basically four ovens in one. Each chamber can have its own cook time, fan speed and temperature control, so it really allows for unmatched food production and quality. It doesn’t have any sort of microwave technology…the structured air technology has even cooking. The throughput capabilities are really impressive. And it’s ventless so it allows operators to really maximize their floor plan and not have to worry about expensive hood ventilation systems.”

The oven’s value is based on its “productivity and efficiency in the kitchen,” Fisher said. “With traditional cooking equipment like a convection oven there is a lot of babysitting, rotating of pans, going in and out of the oven. And every time you open a convection oven door, you’re adding time onto the cook. With our Vector oven there is no babysitting because of that structured air technology. We get even cooking from edge to edge on that pan and we get faster cooking because we’re cooking from top and bottom at the same time. So it’s really going to make the kitchen more efficient. It’s also going to cut down on food waste because of the programmability. The chef can program their gold standard into that oven and they are going to get that same consistent result every single time. They’re not depending on the skill of the cook to execute.”

Also on display at the show was Alto Shaam’s waterless food wells with halo heat technology. Halo heat is low-density thermal cables wrapped around the cavity that distribute heat evenly and increases the length of hold time on the product in the well, Sanford said.

“Our waterless wells, using that halo heat technology, gives precise holding temperatures. With a steam well that has water, it’s not holding unless it’s creating that steam. But steam is a cooking method,” Fisher said. “So by using our halo heat, we’re holding at proper holding temperatures, under that 200-degree mark, so we get that extended food life and again, going back to safety and efficiency and ease of use, by removing the water out of that well, there are no more steam burns, no more chance of spilling, and it’s just safer to use.”

About the author

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Lorrie Griffith

An observer of the grocery industry since 1988. Away from her editor job, she's a wife and mother of two grown sons and thinks cooking is (usually) relaxing.

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