Keeping Food Service Equipment in
Top Shape at Leisure Entertainment Facilities

Investing in food service equipment is a smart move for owners and operators of leisure entertainment facilities; after all, food service has the potential to significantly bolster the bottom line. However, getting the most from any food service equipment acquisition is contingent on keeping that equipment in top shape.

Proper food service equipment maintenance starts with adhering to a set cleaning schedule. Neglecting to clean equipment at regular intervals leads to the buildup of food products and grease. When such residue falls into crevices, accumulates between working/moving parts, or the like, it eventually wears down the equipment, said Paul Artt, president of Quik n’ Crispy Greaseless Fryers.

Most, if not all manufacturers provide recommended cleaning schedules for each piece of equipment in their line, and these should be followed to the letter for best results. At Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, Calif., food service managers are tasked with ensuring that this happens, and written schedules posted in prominent areas near the equipment serve as strong reminders, noted Spokesperson Sue Carpenter.

In many cases, some components of a given piece of food service equipment require more—or less—cleaning than other components of the same unit. For example, Artt stated, the cooking baskets and drip trays on Quik n’ Crispy fryers must be thoroughly cleaned every day, but the interiors need only a weekly cleaning. The vendor’s pizza ovens require a nightly scrubbing to eliminate cheese and other debris from their bottom.

Similarly, the recommended cleaning schedule for broilers from Nieco includes cleaning wire belt feed bases every four hours per shift and discharge pan inserts after each shift. Daily cleaning is the rule for feed housing and discharge ends; weekly cleaning, for side panels and flame sensors. Some machines, among them frozen dessert machines from Stoelting, have indicators that let owners know when it is time to clean them.

One rule of thumb to remember, no matter how often food service equipment is cleaned: Always follow manufacturers’ instructions pertaining to actual cleaning procedures and the solutions or materials used to complete them. The reason: Even a seemingly minor deviation from vendors’ recommendations might, over time, damage the equipment or, at the very least, mar its appearance.

Kevin Pedersen, marketing manager of Perfect Fry Company, noted that for fryers, drawer housings, oil vats and heater modules should be sprayed with oven cleaner and enclosed with plastic bags for at least one hour or overnight if possible. They should then be washed in soap and hot water and rinsed well in a solution of two parts hot water to one part white vinegar to neutralize soap residue. Grease filters and grease filter trays should be washed separately with hot water and soap, while exteriors should be cleaned with a special stainless steel cleaner rather than with abrasive cleansers and scrubbers.

Owners and operators of leisure entertainment facilities would also do well to take steps aimed at preserving the condition and extending the life of their food service equipment. For example, sources said, fryers last longer and work better when oil is filtered daily; test kits can be used to determine when the oil should be changed. Fryers can be “boiled out” to prevent acidic or caustic oils from building up on the metal, and care should be taken to avoid temperature shock from tossing frozen product into fully heated oil because it scorches the frying medium and puts pressure on heating elements.

Toward a related end, according to a spokesperson for Stoelting, operators must never run water through frozen dessert machines to clean them. It is a recipe for rapid breakdown.

Finally, whenever applicable, owners and operators of leisure facilities should exercise care when it comes to the ingredients and components used with or in food service equipment. For example, Broaster advocates utilizing its proprietary filtering papers and filtering supplies, as well as rice bran or canola oils, in its pressure fryers. This not only extends the useable life of the oil and improves product taste; it reduces wear and tear on the equipment and decreases the degree of required maintenance, according to Mark Markwardt, director of marketing.

Industry News

Gold Medal Named to 2011 Deloitte Cincinnati USA 2011

Gold Medal is proud to be named as a member of the 2011 Deloitte Cincinnati USA 100 for 2011. For the past 27 years, privately owned businesses in the Cincinnati Area who exemplify outstanding achievements have been awarded this honor. This will mark the 17th year Gold Medal has been so honored. 
Gold Medal was chosen because of its continued, sustained growth since its inception more than 80 years ago. The 100 companies who reprise the list in 2011 have a combined total of more than $25 billion in revenue and employ over 80,000 people in the area. 
Deloitte LLP, The Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber and The Cincinnati Enquirer all sponsor this event. 
Need a Good Reason to Attend the 2011 IAAPA Attractions Expo?  Sega Can Give You 15
Sega’s Booth 1615 at the 2011 IAAPA Attractions Expo will be the place to see the hottest coin-op games. The company will be exhibiting 15 titles, including nine that have never been shown at IAAPA before.  
Check out the company’s number one prize merchandiser, the no-glasses-required 3D experience, Monkey Madness, the Cotton Candy making machine, G.H.O.S.T.’s, another Ace, Fun 4, this Little Piggy went to Space and more.

Industry News

Bay Tek Games Announces New Games Plus New President

Continuing to pursue their vision of being the best in the world at developing and manufacturing coin-operated games, Bay Tek Games will present four new products at November’s 2011 IAAPA Attractions Expo. The products are: Chameleon Paradize, Crank It Revolution, a Jackpot sign for Big Bass Wheel and Big Bass Wheel Pro and Connect Four.

Chameleon Paradize has been a very successful two-player kiddie game and is now available in a slimmed down single-player cabinet for a much better ROI on your floor space. Players simply press the button on the chameleon’s back to initiate his slurping tongue to try and knock down as many rotating bugs as they can in the allotted time to win tickets. Additional features include an extra bug on wheel, a larger tongue tip and updated wheel speed software.

Crank It Revolution allows players and operators to double the fun and earnings, respectively. Players simply pull the handle up and give it a big push down to spin the drum. Players are rewarded with tickets dependant on where the drum stops. Spin it just right to land on the bonus targets to win a Free Spin, if players land on another bonus target they win the Bonus Jackpot.

The Big Bass Wheel and Big Bass Wheel Pro Jackpot work the same way as the Crank It Revolution Bonus Jackpot, simply hit a bonus and receive those tickets and a free spin, land on any one of four bonuses again and win the large 5000 ticket bonus.  The Jackpot can be mounted on two to six units in a row creating an impressive attraction. Allow one of the greatest ticket redemption games of all time to keep maximizing your profits.

These three games will be ready to ship later this month, so get orders in now.  Connect Four will debut at IAAPA with a production later this year.

In other news, Bay Tek Games is proud to announce that Director of Product Development Gaetan Philippon was recently named Bay Tek Games’ President.  While in his position of presidency, Gaetan will still maintain his role as the Director of Product Development.  Gaetan has been at Bay Tek for just over 2 years. “Gaetan has been a great addition to the Bay Tek family and has brought both experience and education, I look forward to his contributions in his new presidency role,” says CEO Larry Treankler.

Before coming to Bay Tek Games, Gaetan was the Director of Business Development at Dowco, Inc. where his primary responsibilities were in developing new products, identifying new market opportunities and vendor management. Bay Tek Games will present four new products at November’s 2011 IAAPA Attractions Expo.

Industry News

Wilderness at the Smokies Resort Announces Multi-Million Dollar Expansion Project to Beginning Immediately
Adventure Forest “Indoor Dry Park” Will Double the Size of Indoor Park Offerings

Following a spring and summer tourism season that resulted in record-breaking attendance numbers at Wilderness at the Smokies resort, the Southeast’s largest indoor and outdoor waterpark announced that it is about to get bigger – considerably bigger.

Wilderness at the Smokies resort recently began construction of its new “Adventure Forest” indoor park, literally doubling the amount of indoor space the resort provides for its guests.  Currently, the Wild WaterDome indoor waterpark provides seven acres of indoor water attractions for visitors, and the addition of the new Adventure Forest family entertainment center will bring the total amount of “under-roof” year-round fun at Wilderness at the Smokies to 14 acres.

“Unlike our other attractions at Wilderness at the Smokies, the new Adventure Forest will be a ‘dry’ park,” said Steve Cruz, general manager of Wilderness at the Smokies.  “It will feature a three-story ropes course, a multi-level enclosed laser tag arena, bowling, black-light mini-golf, a 7,000-square-foot arcade, a ‘Laser Maze,’ a 25-foot tall spring ride, special birthday party rooms, another restaurant and lounge, plus other attractions and activities that do not involve water – all of it indoors and open year-round.

“There is absolutely nothing like Adventure Forest anywhere in this region.  If it were a stand-alone attraction, it would be an amazing addition to the local tourism market – but when combined with the already outrageous offerings of Wilderness at the Smokies resort, it is going to be a premier Smoky Mountain destination.”

Unlike the other attractions at Wilderness at the Smokies, Cruz said the new Adventure Forest would be open to the general public periodically for special events.  Currently, all of the amenities at Wilderness at the Smokies are only open to resort guests.
Since opening in 2008, the $100 million Wilderness at the Smokies resort has consistently added attractions, rooms and other amenities for its guests.  Just six months after opening the Wild WaterDome waterpark, the resort added the $1.5 million, five-story Runaway Canyon waterslide.

In 2009, the resort opened its second multi-million dollar outdoor waterpark, Lake Wilderness – featuring the Cataloochee Creek Adventure River, the Wilderness Rapids Wave Pool, an 18-hole miniature golf course, a poolside restaurant and plush cabanas.  In spite of its long list of major expansions and additions, the new Adventure Forest indoor park is by far the most significant investment the resort has made in the Sevierville area since its grand opening. With its latest addition, the only other area attraction that has invested as heavily as Wilderness at the Smokies in the local tourism market is Dollywood.

Wilderness at the Smokies resort also sells one-and-two-bedroom condominiums ranging from 850 to 1,200 square feet priced from the mid-$300,000s to the mid-$500,000s. When condominiums went on sale at Wilderness at the Smokies resort in 2007, buyers snatched up $41 million worth of the units in just one day – in only six hours, to be exact.

In the past, the City of Sevierville has estimated in press releases that Wilderness at the Smokies generates about $3 million in sales taxes and more than $500,000 in bedroom taxes every year for the local economy.

Wilderness at the Smokies employs approximately 350 year-round employees and adds around 200 additional workers during the busy summer tourism season.  The addition of the new Adventure Forest indoor park is expected to initially increase overall employment numbers at the resort by about 10 percent (approximately 50 new jobs).

Cruz said, “Wilderness at the Smokies resort is the only local attraction where you get everything a family is looking for in one place. If you consider that when you book your room at Wilderness at the Smokies, you get access to all of our water attractions and offerings, we are by far the best value out there for families watching their vacation budgets.”

In June 2011, Southern Living Magazine listed Wilderness at number two on its list of the nation’s “Ten Best Pools” and just two months later, Wilderness at the Smokies resort was named one of the “Top Three Waterparks” in the nation by Aquatics International Magazine.

Wilderness at the Smokies, situated in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, is one of the area’s only year-round vacation destinations.  With a 36-hole championship golf course, two outdoor waterparks, a seven-acre indoor waterpark with a wave pool and the Southeast’s only Surf Rider, hot tubs, and countless waterslides and attractions, Wilderness at the Smokies has something for all age groups.  It is adjacent to a 200,000-square-foot conference, convention and event center known for hosting the area’s largest conferences, athletic events and trade shows.

The resort is owned by Patrick Helland, Pete Helland, Jr., Tim Lucke and Tom Lucke, who also own Wilderness at the Dells Waterpark resort in Wisconsin.  Steve Cruz is the general manager of Wilderness at the Smokies and Rick Laney is spokesperson for the resort.

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