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Why Blast Chill? A No-nonsense Quick Guide for Food Service Entrepreneurs

Blast chilling has the potential to be a massive financial game-changer for businesses large and small, so it's really worth taking a few minutes to understand what it's all about.

What is blast chilling?

Blast chilling protects food from bacterial growth by cooling it extremely quickly (e.g., 90 degrees Celsius to 3 degrees Celsius in under 90 minutes). 

This not only provides market-best food safety but massive time and cost efficiencies for commercial kitchens of all sizes.

The bigger the kitchen the bigger the efficiencies, which is why blast chillers are found in many hotels, patisseries, and a certain tech firm with a higher GDP than Switzerland.

But did you know that blast chilling is actually prescribed for all restaurants within the EU? So blast chilling isn't just for the big boys - it's for any establishment that cares about quality and food safety!

If you don't believe us, listen to these chefs from Chicago - the home of "mom and pop" restaurants where everyone has to have a different flavour.

Vue de Monde
Vue de Monde

Minimize food waste

To run a commercial kitchen is to continuously race against time. You estimate the volume of food you need to produce to meet demand by service time.

This situation is a recipe for food waste as it's safer to over-produce rather than risk not being able to put food on the table.

However, by preserving ingredients and dishes to pristine levels for a long time, food service businesses gain a number of cost-cutting opportunities.

  • Buy more in-season produce
  • Keep food stored freshly for much longer so you can use them in a later service with no drop in freshness
  • Cool ingredients faster so you can respond to changes in demand and not miss opportunities

Maximise food safety

Australia has some of the strictest food safety rules in the world, but for good reason. These rules protect the reputation of the local hospitality industry and contribute to the domestic and international demand for the Australian culinary scene. 

But in this environment food service operators need to create dishes to a tightly consistent level of quality. And consistency is the keyword here.

At their core, blast chillers like the ones from Irinox minimize the size of ice crystals that form in the freezing process. This minimizes potential damage to the food that can be caused by the presence of large ice crystals with safe consistency.

Irinox blast chillers have food safety designed into them in a variety of ways.

  • Extreme temperature accuracy between -40 to +85 degrees Celsius provides the consistency that support a chef’s brand and reputation
  • The built-in Sanigen system compartmentalizes food, blocking flavor exchange and helping to extend shelf life
  • HACCP integration enhances the fight to maintain excellent food hygiene

Optimise staff costs

Producing food in bulk dramatically cuts the cost of labour. But it's only possible to do this with watertight safety by using a blast chiller.

With a blast chiller, food service managers can optimize the production line to produce and store food during slow periods so the food is on-hand during peak periods.

This breaks up the production line, easing pressure and freeing up staff for when you need them most. 

  • While bulk food prep is possible without a blast chiller, the operator can't ensure a consistent level of food quality without one
  • Producing the same quantities in half the time can see restaurants revolutionize their staffing operations
  • For optimal efficiency, restaurants can combine a blast chiller with a combi-oven

Estimating ROI on a blast chiller

Let’s walk through a simple return on investment calculation that can be really powerful.

You typically calculate ROI as a percentage by dividing net income by the cost of the asset.

But with a blast chiller you also have to account for potential operational savings from being able to bulk prep and store food.

So the better calculation is:

Net income + Operational Savings / Cost 

Estimates for net income and operational savings will be very speculative, so try to be conservative by working on a 10% net income increase (from producing more) and a 10% operational saving (by optimising staff).

For example, a restaurant might have $1 million in revenue but $900,000 in expenses, leaving a net income of $100,000. 

$110,000 + $90,000 / $15,000

ROI = 13%

In this scenario, even if you half the gains to 5%, once the operator gets into the rhythm of using the blast chiller the payback period could be a matter of months.

Find out how Brunetti's uses blast chilling

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