How commercial kitchen technology was a gamechanger for The Pantry

The Pantry in Melbourne started 30 years ago in a little milk bar on Church street in Brighton. Since then, it has slowly bought each shop on the block to now be five times the size, sitting 250 people.

There’s a bit of a running joke around here that we’re taking over church street,” says Dan Vaughan, owner of The Pantry.

Today they’re embracing commercial kitchen technology and have opened a restaurant in Sydney. But three decades ago, it was a very different story. They started with second hand appliances and only seated 17 customers.

That’s all we could afford. And through time, as everyone does, we’ve realised that technology and equipment allow us to be more efficient and offer a more consistent product.”



Frymaster cooks the perfect chip

The Pantry installed the Frymaster Filtration unit, which is now one of their most used pieces of equipment. Many of their meals come with a side of chips.

“A chip needs to be cooked for the perfect amount of time with the perfect amount of salt. Comcater can’t give you the perfect amount of salt. But they can give you the perfect amount of time and the beauty of the machine.”

The Frymaster also cooks calamari and other deep-fried items from breakfast through to dinner.

The self-filtration system improves OH&S in their busy kitchen. Oil is changed in the unit. So, isn’t carried around by a staff member. This reduces burns and slip injuries.

“The other bonus is mid-service we can change the oil. So, in a very busy environment, it gives us the opportunity to not stop during service to dump the oil.”

The Frymaster senses the impurities in the oil. Dirty oil is either filtered or discarded. There’s no risk of throwing away perfectly good oil.

They save money on oil and there’s no downtime.


The best burgers thanks to Garland

“We’re still the best burger in Melbourne after 8 years and I put it down to the equipment.”

Cooking hamburger patties on a grill can give inconsistent results. Usually, a person needs to stand by the grill and flip the patty over when they think it’s cooked through.

“The Garland clamshell express grill has been revolutionary to our business.”

The Garland Xpress Grill XPE24 is a double-sided griddle. Both sides of the patty can be cooked simultaneously, halving the cooking time.

The temperature can be preprogramed for different menu items. You can even add multiple stages, such as melting cheese.

The grill can cool between peak periods without any downtime spent heating it back up again. This saves you energy and lowers the temperature in the kitchen for your staff.

“The speed, efficiency, the human operating it doesn’t need to be a chef and we still get the same result.”


Technomac makes takeaway food easy

The Pantry has a takeaway menu for people to purchase pre-cooked food, which they heat at home. Braised lamb shoulders, meatballs and fish are just some of the menu items they blast chill, vacuum seal and then sell to the public.

We get an unbelievable result due to the fact we’ve cooked and cooled quickly. We get a greater shelf life which is great for the customer and great for us.

The customer simply places the vacuum-sealed bag in water to cook the contents and then plates it up for the family. The taste, texture and colour of the food argggge preserved.

“The Technomac Blast Chiller is an unbelievable piece of equipment.”

The Technomac chills the core product temperature to 3°C in only 90 minutes, minimising bacterial growth.

The blast chiller can also be used for shock freezing, thawing, low temperature cooking and has a retarder prover cycle. The Pantry use the Technomac for their 16 flavours of ice cream.

“I don’t know how kitchens can operate without a blast chiller.”


Commercial kitchen technology can improve your efficiency, save money and labour.

To find out how the latest appliances can improve your kitchen results, call Comcater 1300 309 262

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