Ramco Foodservices has predicted a significant growth in the availability of surplus catering equipment as operators adjust to a radically different out of home market.
The catering reseller says it is already seeing operators remodelling kitchens to focus on takeaway services or reducing capacity to reflect market conditions, leading to a surge in enquiries for ways to manage unwanted kit.
In the past two weeks Ramco has completed two large decommissioning projects: one from the closure of a contract caterer's central production unit, the other a London NHS hospital kitchen transitioning to cook-freeze catering.
Paul Fieldhouse, who leads Ramco Foodservices business development, said: "Looking ahead, fast-food and takeaway chains are piloting re-openings, but not without a significant change to the way that food is prepared and served. We expect to see the introduction of conveyor belt service, artificial intelligence waiters and a reduction in restaurant capacity, which will create an abundance of surplus catering equipment following reopening."
He added: "Coronavirus has accelerated demand for the disposal of redundant equipment. The desire to purchase second-hand appliances has been increasing exponentially over the last few years. This is largely the result of a changing dynamic, with foodservice operators under more pressure to take responsibility for their environmental contribution, reduce their overheads and attract more customers."