Operators are continually finding new and greener ways to incorporate uniqueness and innovate their business. Here are five trends that will help drive equipment-purchasing decisions this year. On-demand ventilation, ware washers with built-in heat-recovery systems, ventless appliances, green-energy alternatives, and biodegradable packaging will play a part in pushing the sustainability envelope.



Sustainability continues to grow as a priority for innovative business operators from all sectors. From energy and recycling to biodegradable packaging and food-waste disposal, modern businesses are continually looking for ways to conserve resources and clean up their business practices for today's socially conscious customers.

The effects of single-use plastics on the environment is a trending topic that concerns almost all businesses that serve and package food. Today there are many alternative products to traditional packaging that can limit the amount of plastic used in enterprises and purchased to distribute to customers. It is no longer enough to implement a simple recycling program or removing plastic straws from your business. Sustainability leaders dig deep into their business practices to reduce their carbon footprint through methods such as water conservation, alternative green energy, and food waste.

Some good examples of companies that push the envelope of sustainability are World Centric and Leafware – available from PDL! 

World Centric® produces high-quality and compostable foodservice products such as plates, cups, and utensils. Leafware® is an example of an eco-friendly company that produces elegant dinnerware from naturally shed leaves.  The leaves are collected, washed, scrubbed, sun-dried, compressed, and then sterilized to create utensils that naturally decompose with zero waste! Leafware products are produced sustainably and provide a living for many families in small communities in South Asia.  

To read more about sustainability with PDL...


Click here 



As rent prices are increasing, we're seeing kitchen spaces getting smaller or smaller. To adapt, many operators are opting for smaller or multifunctional kitchen equipment to optimize space. Smaller kitchens mean more seating, which results in greater profits. Restaurant owners embrace new and innovative ways to bring their restaurants into the future - particularly, moving away from traditional spaces.  

Ghost kitchens run by off-site cooking facilities and delivery services that create food solely for online ordering. This contactless model for dining is quickly becoming the norm. Ghost kitchens allow for minimized kitchen space and fewer locations, saving restaurants operating and fixed costs while booming their business.  

Overall, more and more operators are opting for multifunctional kitchen equipment. Appliances must combine multiple functions into one footprint, and manufacturers must develop innovative designs to accommodate this demand.  





Kitchen spaces are shrinking and, in some cases, becoming mobile or non-existent. Ventless solutions help operators do more with less and add more flexibility in terms of the kitchen. A ventless hood is used to control the fumes from cooking, such as grease, steam, and smoke, without a vent.

Ventless hoods can help maximize space, productivity, and savings for your business. They work by filtering air and recirculating it without outside venting, making them especially useful for non-traditional kitchen locations or unique spaces that may not access ductwork systems. Ventless hoods come in many different sizes and shapes to accommodate various equipment.  

To read more on ventless technology. 


Click here



AI, Robots, and automation in kitchens? It's not the future; it is today. Technology is finding its way into foodservice in various creative ways. Automated solutions are becoming increasingly popular in foodservice operations. Point-of-sale automation, including self-serve kiosks and digital menus, to Amazons “Just walk out technology” where products are detected as they are taken and charged to your online wallet as you walk out the store.  






We have talked about sustainability and the growing use of smart technology in commercial kitchens, well green growing kitchen cabinets are a perfect blend of both the innovative and sustainable. Currently, kitchens in restaurants, schools, and any facilities can produce their very own fresh and organic micro-greens without the need for a garden space.

Green growing cabinets hold growing trays that regulate lighting, water, and humidity to grow fresh organic greens and herbs. Kitchens now have the option to raise an unending supply of local greens – in their very own kitchen!



Are you looking for assistance or insights into the design and mapping of your next commercial kitchen? Contact PDL for a professional consultation on equipment and technique.