Combi Ovens Featured Large for School Kitchens at SNAI Conference
By Brian L Millard – Business Development Representative
Earlier in the year, I attended the School Nutrition Association Iowa (SNAI) conference where one of the key concerns we heard from visitors to our booth was how to service and maintain their combi-ovens.
So why combi-ovens? An important part of school nutrition guidelines provided by the USDA, local government, and School Districts is to provide nutritionally balanced meals to children. These meals are required to meet certain limits for calories, sodium, saturated fat, trans-fat, and more. This along with many schools having the goal of enhancing both the flavor and appearance of their menu items has led to the adoption of new menus and cooking technologies. Combi-ovens are one of these technologies, they have become an essential part in meeting those product goals because of their ability to cook quickly without additional fats while helping to maintain the nutritional value of the product.
A secondary benefit of combi-ovens is that they work by mixing several cooking technologies into one cooking process. This can reduce the need for multiple types of equipment including proofers, steamers, grills, re-thermalizers, ranges, and convection ovens. Combi-ovens are a significant cost, but they provide so much in both product quality and operational efficiency.
At the conference, many Food Service Directors and Managers spoke to the difficulties they experience finding a food equipment service provider capable of repairing their combi-ovens. They shared that when service is needed, their equipment servicer often required multiple trips to discover the root cause of their combi-oven’s issue, and then they had to wait for parts to arrive and be installed.
General Parts Group knows that being manufacturer authorized through factory training, ongoing education and the stocking on OEM parts is critical to the ability to maintain all types of foodservice equipment efficiency. This is especially true for both electric and gas combi-ovens, with integral boilers or boiler-less, in all sizes and configurations. Because of this many school districts have found that General Parts Group is a good service partner for their combi-oven’s parts, service, and planned maintenance needs.
General Parts works with over 400 foodservice manufactures, partnering with each one of them for technical training, OEM parts stocking and becoming factory authorized for warranty and discretionary service of each manufacture’s equipment lines.