The Hotel Almhof is a thriving example of what it means to adapt to the times. The beautiful property first opened its doors 30 years ago and has undergone renovations through the decades - in the kitchen and elsewhere - to cater to the evolving palates of hotel guests.
A major shift in the way guests dine has been a focus on gourmet menus. Chefs need to offer photographable food that tastes even better than it looks. A challenge that arises is the need for chefs and their kitchen team to balance the demands of high-quality cuisine with the intense labour and productivity needed to produce it.
Staff in the kitchen are always searching for ways to simplify the necessary drudgery of their work to focus on the artistry demanded of contemporary cuisine.
Part of freeing up time to embellish the finer things is the adoption of technology. Kitchens are faced with a choice: lag behind or move with the times.
If you look at the beautiful scenery surrounding the Hotel Almhof - cradled by the majestic mountains shared by Austria, Italy and Switzerland, 1,400m above sea level - you'd be forgiven for thinking you'd stumbled into a place time forgot. Simplicity and tranquillity remain life's aspirations - for the guests at least.
Behind the scenes, however, staff embrace technology, and the modern imperatives of speed and quality. One of the ways they're increasing workflow is through the new Electrolux Professional green&clean rack-type dishwasher.
The previous dishwasher - an Electrolux Professional that had been in service for 25 years - dutifully delivered dish after sparkling dish, but it had begun to slow down. Time for another technological upgrade, chef de cuisine Markus Ritzzi had the task of sourcing the best solution for the hotel's dishwashing needs. The kitchen team decided on the new green&clean rack-type dishwasher.
"Where Almhof used to be a traditional, seasonal hotel, we are now fully booked more or less all year long," Ritzzi says. "We serve roughly 600 meals throughout the day, which can place a real strain on the equipment. This is especially true during dinner, when there are around 1,200 dishes to wash - not to mention glasses and cutlery."
So what makes Electrolux Professional's green&clean rack-type the equipment of choice? The clue is in the name: it gets dishes clean and saves the environment while doing it.
The latest range of high-productivity dishwashing equipment is efficient, using the equivalent of a single glass of water to wash a rack of dishes. It also boasts the lowest running costs in the industry, producing quality washing results every time. It is safe, provides guaranteed sanitation and requires minimal maintenance. In addition, the NON-STOP automatic backup mode keeps the machine washing even if something goes wrong.
The kitchen staff also need the dishwasher to run for as many as eight hours a day. So it needs to be robust and reliable in addition to being quiet and pleasing to look at.
"As well as a machine that delivers brilliant results, we also wanted to create a comfortable working environment for kitchen staff," Ritzzi explains. "We knew that only a powerful machine can do this type of workload in the short time needed. Our previous dishwasher had worked so well over the years that investing in another Electrolux dishwasher needed no discussion."
So was Ritzzi happy with his choice? It's a resounding 'yes'. There hasn't been a single down day. "We can always work with peace of mind, knowing that the machine will do its job continuously and hygienically," he remarks.
It's the hotel staff's job to move hurriedly, focusing on the important ways to make guests more comfortable. There's already so much work for kitchen teams to do. If a smart piece of equipment can simplify their tasks, then now's the time for an upgrade.