The 2017 Buyer’s Guide—Outside the Box

Restaurants aren’t Vegas! What happens in the box doesn’t need to stay there. Full-service brands can deliver even better on the outside—be it al fresco patios, to-go service, or catered events.

A Cubic Feat

The Cubic Display System adds visual interest to any buffet lineup with a portable, lightweight system that includes bowls, pedestals, beverage dispensers, cutting boards, platters, and more. They are easy to combine in a wide array of options, and can be seamlessly blended into surrounding décor. Vertical height options maximize the serving area, and the easy-to-assemble system lets operators create a veritable serving skyline to showcase food and drink. Priced from $4.70 to $475.

Cool Views

Built for high ambient light or direct-sunlight locations, a specialty 55-inch large-screen monitor from NEC Display sports a robust panel brightness and a 5000:1 contrast ratio, making the display ideal for applications in patios, bars, and dining rooms that transition from bright daylight to soft candles. The monitor, model X554HB, delivers optimum clarity for full readability in semi-outdoor installations, and the display’s self-diagnosing real-temperature sensors link to five thermodynamic cooling fans, which serve to dissipate standing heat that can build up within the display. $5,299


Fire and Ice

Al fresco dining has stepped up a notch: The Alfresco Fire-N-Table is a new product to the U.S. market and brings functional convenience to outdoor entertainment. It’s a pub-height table that can seat eight or accommodate 12 guests standing comfortably—and its core houses either an open-flame heating element or a stainless steel ice bucket. In cool-climate settings it offers a tabletop fire pit; in warmer climates, beverages can be chilled and poured at the table. $2,995


Just Like Home

Served in the HomeStyle Cookware Chafing Dish Collection, food has a “fresh-from-the-kitchen” ambiance often lacking from buffet lines. The collection can be displayed on top of traditional induction systems and heater stands or combined with the company’s Fusion Buffet System. Available in four sizes, in stainless steel as well as cast iron. Priced to order.


Disposable Dinnerware

Deliver your company’s green message on a plate. Bambu’s Veneerware collection is premium disposable dinnerware made from certified organic bamboo. Options include tongs, bowls, tasting and dinner plates, and more. $12 for a sample box.

To-Go Done Right

Designed to increase efficiency and diminish human error by taking online orders and automatically inputting them into a restaurant’s POS system, Chowly’s software streamlines the orders through platforms such as GrubHub and Eat24, pushing them into the kitchen’s normal prep queue. Priced per transaction, with set-up fees that range from $75 to $150.


Rise Up

Raise the cool factor with these Glacier Acrylic Risers, which offer a stunning backdrop for food and—with half-inch-thick walls—are durable enough to stand up to weighty dishes. Available in 5-inch-square, $86, and 7-inch-square, $130, models.


Compact Commercial Pizza Oven

BakerStone International, creator of the original BakerStone Pizza Oven Box, has introduced its first industrial model. Made of stainless steel, the unit is designed to sit above a restaurant’s charbroiler or patio grill, and through the broiler or gas grill, create an impromptu pizza oven. The BakerStone Commercial Pizza Oven opens a restaurant’s menu to a new category of pizza and flatbreads, without sacrificing precious kitchen space. $429