US fuel retailer and convenience store food chain GetGo Cafe+Market, is a popular pit-stop for those on the road and in need of a bite. With its focus on food made to order by a team of talented chefs, it has fast built an enviable reputation for its signature subs, big juicy burgers with an array of customizable meals and snacks available around the clock.
With the quality of food the chain’s priority, it’s only right they have the kind of refrigeration that can be relied upon to deliver. We caught up with product development chef for the chain, Thomas W. Seaman, and learned why Adande was the only choice for them.
Hi Thomas, can you tell us a little bit about GetGo?
Hi, so, GetGo Cafe+Market is owned by Giant Eagle, and is a quick service restaurant that also sells fuel. We operate some 265 stores, 140 of which have kitchen facilities and a full menu offer. The majority of GetGo Café+Market sites are in Western Pennsylvannia and Indianapolis, with other outlets in Maryland, West Virginia, and Columbus Ohio. We have an eclectic menu, ranging from subs, burgers, hot dogs, pizzas, paninis, fried chicken, salad bowls, fries, soft drinks and much more. It’s a classic food-to-go, with an emphasis on quality and freshness, using only the best ingredients. All the orders are freshly prepared and bespoke to meets guests’ preferences and tastes.
Why has the GetGo Café+Market been so successful?
All our foodservice activities are quality led and we use only the best ingredients for our snacks and meals. Food innovation and creating a new experience for our diners are key factors in our success. Consistency of product quality, presentation and service are fundamental to our business, so we are always assessing our operation to identify areas for potential improvement.
How did you discover Adande?
I was complaining to one of my foodservice equipment consultants about the short comings of many conventional refrigerators; their size, capacity and the need to locate them away from the food preparation workstations. He provided me with a demonstration of the Adande two drawer unit, showing me its many features and benefits. I was immediately sold on the concept and we specified an Adande for a trial in one of our store kitchens.
We now have the units in about 15 of our kitchens and our aim is to include them in all new outlets and replace existing refrigerators with Adande units in future store remodels. I have been pleased with their performance and reliability. It is a great product and I would not hesitate to recommend the brand to other chefs and foodservice operators.
How have Adande products helped in the day-to-day running of your business?
The most expensive aspect of our business is space. New stores are often built on small plots. This means that kitchens can be small and optimum use of floorspace becomes critical. The compact nature of the Adande unit and the fact they can be located beneath food preparation counters means they are an ideal space saving solution.
The large capacity, relative to footprint, means that less refrigeration equipment is required in the kitchen. By using Adande fridges, we save four linear feet of space in each kitchen. Theability to position the unit close to the workstations means that there is quick and easy access for food preparation and cooking, eliminating the need for operators to fetch product from remote refrigerators. This increases kitchen efficiency and speeds up service, especially during busy trading periods.
How do you use the Adande fridges and what ingredients do you store in them?
The independent control of the temperature of each drawer, through a range of -8°F to 59°F, is a key feature of the Adande, providing the capacity for chilled and frozen storage in the same unit. We use six, 1/3 GN pans in each drawer of the unit to store the most used ingredients, such as burgers, fries and frozen product, which gives us ample cold storage capacity at the point of preparation, even for the busiest services.
The drawers are laid out to a predetermined planogram, which makes ingredients visible and easily accessible, simplifying order picking for the kitchen staff. Typically, in our busier outlets we use both drawers of the Adande unit in frozen mode, but in stores with less throughput we use one drawer as a freezer and the other as a chiller. The flexibility of the dual temperature capability means that we can change this to meet seasonal variations in menu, as required.
How do you find the performance of the Adande?
The unique horizontal container design and humidity system deliver accurate and stable temperatures which have positive implications for food quality and longevity. One of the problems associated with conventional freezers is temperature fluctuation when the door is opened frequently or left open accidentally. This leads to partial defrosting and can lead to ‘freezer burn’ when the product is refrozen. Temperature fluctuations are not good news in terms of food quality and longevity. We do not experience these problems with the Adande and ingredients stay fresher for longer.
“It is a great product and I would not hesitate to recommend the brand to other chefs and foodservice operators.“
As an environmentally responsible company, committed to reducing our carbon footprint, we have been impressed with the low energy consumption characteristics of the Adande units. We understand that they use over 40% less energy than comparable fridges. We have also been impressed by the product robustness and reliability in our busy and demanding kitchen environments
Cleaning of course is so important, how are Adande to clean?
Hygiene and food safety are critical issues in our business, even more so in this COVID era, when we are cleaning equipment every hour. The fact that the drawers are fully removable means that cleaning regimes are quick and simple. The stainless-steel exterior is also easy to wipe down as part of our regular housekeeping disciplines.