Display cooking and baking stations are magnets for guests and customers. The operators have to abide by the hygienic standards according to the HACCP. However, in addition to the offer and hygiene, further requirements are to be complied with in order to be accepted by guests and customers. Innovative technical solutions help here. By Dieter Mailänder, mailänder marketing
Baking stations have been an integral part of the food retail trade for a long time. In the meantime, display cooking stations have also established themselves in quite a few operations, partly even to satisfy the demand for take-away in the food retail trade. In shopping centers, gastronomical and gastro-like offers presented at special spaces by means of display cooking are extremely important too, as well as at central market places or relaxation oases. In ECE’s 200 shopping centers, for instance, they occupy an average of 5% of the spaces throughout Europe: in some malls even up to 20% as the CEO of ECE Marketplaces, Johanna Fisher, has explained in an interview with the trade journal foodservice 11/2021.
Without a doubt, the success of a display cooking or baking station depends to a high degree on the quality of the dishes and baked goods. It is an indispensible prerequisite but alone, it is not enough. In order for guests and customers to accept the offer, the operators have to insure some more key factors:
As a general rule: short waiting times motivate guests and customers to buy something. One is allowed to take more time if the communicative display cooker and baker provide variety, for instance, by engaging the ones waiting in a conversation. That’s how you shorten the “perceived” waiting time.
Guests and customers like to be noticed. A facing body posture, an active, subtle eye contact as well as a situation-appropriate speech are particularly important for this. Then the ones waiting perceive “I’m going to be served shortly – that’s great”. Employees have to have pleasure in communication with customers and guests – and some talent. For these tasks, it makes sense to only schedule persons who complete the task enthusiastically.
The aroma of fresh baked goods stimulates customers, but odors at the display cooking station repel them. Operators who invest in high-performance exhaust systems will do considerably better business than those who emit their station odors into their surroundings.
To read the entire article, please access your complimentary e-copy of Frozen Food Europe November-December, 2021 issue here.