We all know foodservice can provide a very slim margin of error when it comes to profits. We also know food and labor costs can play a major role in profitability. At The Davenport Grand Hotel in Spokane, Pro-Pacific provided equipment from Alto-Shaam and some culinary support that helped their banqueting service with both.
"Traditional banqueting has a lot of room for error," Corporate Banquet Chef, Allan DeViney, said. "You have to time everything out. Everyone has to be on the clock at all times, and it's all hands on deck."
How did Pro-Pacific help?
Ownership and management of The Davenport Grand analyzed every single aspect of a successful banquet service, reviewing hotels and conference centers across the country. Working with our own Chef Wade Harris and after attending one of our Taste of Alto-Shaam demonstrations, they quickly realized how Alto-Shaam's cook-chill-retherm system was the way to go.
Essentially, banquet service is part science part countdown clock. Five or six days before a service is scheduled, the Davenport team will cook all components of a dish using Alto-Shaam Combitherm combi ovens. Foods are then blast chilled with Alto-Shaam Quickchiller blast chillers, and are held in a walk-in until the day of the event. The last step is to retherm dishes and hold them at ideal serving conditions in a CombiMate heated holding cabinet that employs Halo Heat technology.
"Alto-Shaam has completely revolutionized what we do," Chef Allan said. "We have the timing down to a science. If our go-time is 6 p.m., we start firing all the food at 5:30. We know that plates will only spend about five to eight minutes in the holding cabinets, and as we get to the last plate, we have to more racks going in the oven."
The real testament, though, comes back to the food and labor cost savings we mentioned above. By using Alto-Shaam's cook-chill-retherm system, The Davenport Grand Hotel's convention center was able to reduce food costs by six percent and labor costs by nine percent. This represents a significant saving for the operators.
"It makes everyone's life easier," Chef Allan said. "We see less product shrinkage and the trainability is super easy with built-in, touchscreen recipes. Plus, all we have to do is hit a button and the combi cleans itself at the end of the night."
Of course, labor can also be easier when you have some extra bodies willing to pitch. And when those people are like Chef Wade, you can expect good things! We're always happy to see success from our customers.