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1950-51 Theatre Catalog, 9th Edition, Page 251 (231)

1950-51 Theatre Catalog, 9th Edition
1950-51 Theatre Catalog
1950-51 Theatre Catalog, 9th Edition, Page 251
Page 251

1950-51 Theatre Catalog, 9th Edition, Page 251

or split, is limited in the number of items that any one human being can echiently collect, serve, and handle, but a cafeteria system has no such limitations.


A cafeteria system requires larger capacity preparation, special display, and self-service equipment. It is important to emphasize here that no system which lacks the proper type of equipment can hope to operate in such a way as to produce a satisfactory profit volume. A review of the various kinds of equipment needed for the preparation and sale of the most popular merchandise is, therefore, in order.

Hot Food Service Section

This section is generally used for the service of hot sandwiches, popcorn, peanuts, french fries, fried chicken, clams, onion rings, shrimp, pizza, tamales, and similar foods. The problem, of course, is to provide means of displaying the foods in a sanitary manner within easy reach of all customers and proper heating facilities so that the food is kept hot and delightfully fresh.

There are two general ways to accomplish the above goal. First of all, a battery of thermostatically controlled hot food servers may be used to take care of the various products. All foods should be kept on racks away from the bottom and sides of the deep pan to prevent over-heating and drying out; One big advantage of this method lies in the fact that each individual section can be kept at the proper storage temperature for various types of foods. Units built into a serving counter side by side offer an excellent arrangement.

The second means lies in the use of special heating elements installed just above the serving area. Fixtures of proper length are available for any service area. Stainless steel trays of the proper size are placed on the counter under the elements, and enough heat will be furnished from these to do an excellent hot storage job under all conditions.

Foods may also be displayed and heated effectively by the use of special custom-built warming equipment which circulates hot air through perforated trays and stainless steel wire baskets in which the sandwiches or other foods are kept. This method has been used quite successfully, but for most general installations the cost is higher, and there is the problem of obtaining the correct amount of heat for various types

of foods.

Ice Cream Cabinets

There are quite a number of selfservice display refrigeration units on the market. Most of these can be incorporated into a serving counter to handle frozen ice cream products.

The main problem is the selection of equipment that will maintain the proper low temperatures, but yet possess excellent self-service merchandising features. The model selected should feature open display of the merchandise at the top of the cabinet, so that the customer encounters no difficulty in picking out just the products that he wants. A unit should be selected that will provide


storage facilities under the display racks for reserve stock and have covers so that the unit can be closed up during ffoff" hours. This type of unit will reduce operating costs as well as give protection to the stock. Standard ice cream chests can be easily and inexpensively converted to achieve the above


Hot Drink Service

Dispensing equipment only, not preparation equipment, should be used in the service counter. This should be placed adjacent to the cold drink dispensing units, so that one operator can dispense both hot and cold drinks. ,

The prime purpose is to establish a simple method for dispensing the hot drinks and replenishing the supply as needed. One method is the use of a stainless steel urn-type, insulated, portable container with one or two spigots. This unit can be set up at the point of service and, when empty, be easily removed and replaced by a second full container.

A second method lies in the use of glass coffee containers kept on either an electric or gas hot plate. The disadvantages of this arrangement are possible glass breakage, slower handling, and limitation on serving capacity.

In serving a hot drink such as coffee, the sugar and cream present a serious question as to whether they should be served at the coffee station or the condiment counter. In this connection, there also arises the problem of whether coffee should be served with the cream already mixed. Each drive-in operator can, of course, find the answer by trial and error methods, but, on the whole, most outdoor theatre patrons appear to prefer coffee with cream.

Cold Drink Service

The handling of cold drinks can become quite a problem if the variety of drinks offered is too broad or if the dispensing set-up is not properly arranged. The serving of drinks in bottles is not suitable for fast, efficient service. The problems of icing, serving, and collecting bottles can be eliminated entirely by the use of proper dispensing equipment.

Most operators have found that it is best to limit their variety of cold carbonated and nonvcarbonated drinks to not more than three, and theSe may be most simply dispensed from a syrup-type dispenser with three compartments or spigots for the different kinds. By serving the drinks in paper cups at one station, one attendant can easily handle a large number of people with no delay.

There are several manufacturers specializing in this particular type of dispensing equipment. There have been arguments pro and can as far as the advantages of one over another are concerned, but, in general, the compact, carbonated-type unit with three spigots is most desirable.

For thoso operators who wish to serve fresh fruit drinks, there are various types of juice pumps available that can be incorporated into the serving counter. Again, it should be emphasized, however, that most operators have found it more profitable to restrict the number of different types of drinks that they handle.

COFFEE URNS must be both serviceable and attractive to the eye. Stainless steel is to be desired because of its cleaning facilities.


It is of extreme importance to place condiment stations so that they will not interfere with the flow of traffic through the cafeteria lanes. A sufficient number of stations should be set up so that no bottleneck is created. Such stations may consist of fairly narrow counters placed outside of the lane area, but inside of the refreshment stand. Into these counters should be built stainless steel or glass containers. There are various types of containers on the market that are satisfactory, but it is particularly recommended that they be built-in to prevent spillage from knocking over.

Thought should be given in the construction of condiment stations to the cleanliness aspect, for, as a general rule, they are somewhat difficult to keep clean

and tidy.

Production and Kitchen Area

The equipment needed in this section will depend entirely on the products that the drive-in operator plans to handle. There are a few basic requirements, but the theatre owner should know definitely what products he is going to handle before attempting to lay out or buy equipment for this area.

Good refrigeration facilities are, of course, one basic need. It is not advisable to attempt to recommend or suggest any particular type of refrigeration equipment, for each operator should select the type that fits into his set-up best. It should be stressed, however, that ample refrigeration storage space must be provided.

Other prime necessities are hot water heaters and a sink, for these will be needed for cleaning purposes, if nothing else. They usually can be located in a back room or storage area, so that they will not be visible to the public.

Hot Dog Preparation

As stated previously, there are two general methods of preparing hot dogse grilling and steaming with different types of equipment required for each
1950-51 Theatre Catalog, 9th Edition, Page 251