A survey result that wouldn’t surprise many in the food services sector across Australia and New Zealand, 89% of patrons cite poor food quality as the main reason they will avoid returning to a restaurant. The study, cited on the Restaurant Association of New Zealand website, was carried out with a sample of New Zealand consumers by a marketing agency specialising in the food and beverage industry.
Other factors such as poor service (61%) figured highly also, but food quality remained at the heart of attracting repeat customers. The fact 95% relied on word of mouth and online reviews reinforces the importance of getting the customer experience right.
While delivering quality food is part-art and part-science, refrigeration is a fundamental to delivering food and beverage that exceeds a consumer’s expectation. The challenge for food service businesses can be having confidence in their refrigeration equipment, a category which is often outside their own expertise.
There are many excellent food service consultants and equipment suppliers that can provide useful advice, as well as online sources of information, about refrigeration options.
Another key way of having confidence in your refrigeration equipment is how they stack up to various compliance standards. As any food service business must meet standards around the quality and safety of their produce, reputable manufacturers of commercial refrigeration equipment have to do the same with their products.
The correct compliance for your refrigeration equipment can give you some confidence it will perform as expected, and that your supplier has invested in its own production process to ensure its products meet the standards.
For commercial refrigeration, there are three areas of compliance that are relevant:
- Safety: Australia and New Zealand have agreed standards on what constitutes mechanically and electrically safe equipment.
- Electromagnetic compliance: any electrical equipment emits electromagnetic energy, which needs to be within proscribed Trans-Tasman standards to avoid interfering or damaging other equipment.
- Energy efficiency: minimum energy efficiency standards exist to ensure your equipment is cost-effective and environmentally acceptable.
Refrigeration compliance may not be the first thing you think about for your food service business, but understanding the basic standards will help you assess whether your current equipment is going to help deliver on food quality day-in and day-out. It’s also a useful check when you are evaluating new equipment purchases.
Compliance may seem complicated, but it is actually relatively quick and easy to check. We’ve put together a simple guide to help you understand the three main compliance standards, and how to determine whether your equipment makes the grade.