Retigo USA Resets Standard, Keeping Combi Cooking Simple

For many USA restaurant operators, there have been a number of significant, never before seen or experienced challenges in 2021 and 2022.

At the top of that list has been the necessity to reconfigure kitchen operations to support the significant growth in takeout and delivery resulting from the pandemic and at the same time the demands of the ‘i-restaurant’ dining patron. Flexibility is the key. The Retigo combi-oven becomes the perfect solution to create that flexibility for any owner/operator.  

The addition of new technologies has enabled restaurant and foodservice operators to meet that challenge with the least upheaval to their operations. Highlighting those new tech drive tech solutions that can positively impact a kitchen’s productivity is the combi-oven. Therefore, with that in mind, Retigo, one of the most sought-after, employed combi-ovens in European kitchens and around the world in over 77 countries, established a beach head in the USA recently – with regional sales representation with culinary support, service agencies, stocked ovens and parts. 

Behind this all is an evolution of a combi-oven that combines every imaginable feature that could be needed, but with the simplicity of a piece of cooking equipment that most kitchens dream of. That is the RETIGO “Vision™” A combi oven set apart from the competition. Simplicity – like an intuitive, like-no-other, user-friendly control panel that in only 30 minutes brand new to the oven, you are cooking. Along with their Retigo robotic, automated manufacturing, with the newest of technologies including lasers, and new world-class manufacturing hall, producing top quality, using 304/316 stainless steel exclusively, and many other features attaining Energy Star rating. 

“Our first Vision combi oven has very humble beginnings. It was a combi manufactured from scratch in the garage of one of the company’s five owners,” noted Retigo, USA President Michael Bartek. “In May of 1993 when this first combi-oven was brought to the largest trade show in the Czech Republic, it was then sold at the trade show to a special school for young chefs, and the proceeds were used to buy parts to create more “Vision™” combi ovens.” 

“Fast forward 30 years later and you now have the modernized “Vision™” combi oven. The whole concept behind a combi-oven is that it can perform multiple applications,” explained Retigo managing partner Norbert Pelc. “It uses hot air to not only steam and boil food, but you can switch to extremely hot air which can also fry food without the use of added fats. This allows for healthier cooking, minimum shrinkage of proteins, and minimum drying out of proteins compared to any traditional convection oven due to the combi’s combination of hot air and moisture.” 

Headlines throughout 2022 have focused on the challenges of recruiting and training a restaurant’s staff. Or any kitchen for that matter such as schools, healthcare, institutions. The labor shortage is Foodservice industry wide. The Retigo“Vision™”  To help with this, another added value is that the Retigo combi oven’s multifunctional capabilities allow the food service facility to downsize the amount of traditional cooking equipment in the kitchen, such as convection steamers, ranges, and convection ovens, utilizing a kitchen production space more efficiently. “In a post Covid world where there is a shortage of kitchen staff in every kitchen, the Vision combi oven would be a great addition with its wide range of capabilities being able to operate with smaller staff and more cross-training to account more labor turnover and the like. With the ability to start a cooking program with the push of a single button, and achieving very high-quality results, the Retigo Vision combi-oven opens up all kinds of new possibilities,” Bartek continued. 

Retigo USA Vision Blue Combi OvenThe decision by Retigo to come to North America is just the next step in the continued growth of the company. Retigo is the fastest growing comb-oven in the world today. As the company grew, they established branches throughout Europe in Britain, France, and Germany. They then established a branch in Taiwan to handle the Asian market. “We know that America is a huge potential market that can really appreciate the quality of our equipment. We have grown the company to a size where we feel strong enough to invest money into this market to develop it”, added Pelc. 

“We’ve found as we have come into the US, that there are ovens that are 20 plus years old that are still being used, as well as a number of operators that haven’t yet discovered the efficiency of combi cooking. There is no attitude involved in owning or using a combi-oven, There should be no employee intimidation. You should not have to be a chef to operate it. There should be Simplicity. The cook should find a new relationship with the combi-oven that makes their cooking more efficient, better quality, and actually a joy. Retigo wants a cook to embrace the combi-oven. With the Retigo Vision Series of combi-oven this is achieved,” Bartek noted.

The Retigo US team has seized the opportunity to build an experienced and industry knowledgeable team to support its entry into this untapped marketplace. This has included the creation of a second-to-none outside sales rep force with culinary support, warehousing stock of ovens locally, complete demonstrations and training on every combi-oven sold, and a close integration with Retigo service agencies for installation, parts, and service if needed. 

“We have also built a team of seasoned reps including Eaton Markee, Food Tec Distribution, DMM Reps, Joe Wilson Marketing, and others to support the needs of end-users, foodservice consultants, and foodservice dealers. We also understand that when something goes wrong, what makes the difference is the level of technical support you can provide,” Pelc said.

The breadth of Retigo’s offerings includes a a wide range of sizes to fit any food service facility. From microwave size combi ovens that can cook single portions to large volume ovens that can cook 600-800 meals at once for large facilities such as hospitals, stadiums, or schools. 

To accommodate the diverse needs of the wide and diverse foodservice community, The Retigo combi-oven has an amazing selection of features – Convection cooking, steaming, combi cooking, poaching, hot or cold smoking, cook & hold, low temperature cooking, regeneration, dehydration, Delta T protein cooking, sous-vide, banquet plating, and much more. The keys are to create the best product possible in the safest manner, minimize loss & waste, reduce food cost, and make the preparation of hot foods the simplest and most consistent as possible for the customer.

The control panel can be preprogrammed with cooking recipes for accuracy every time. Any cook or food manager can even adapt the home screen with their own personal recipes, including their own food photos, which can be adjusted if need be. This allows any kitchen cooking professional to use their creativity when creating recipes. 

“Our Retigo ownership understands that if we make the needed investment for the USA market, the most challenging in the world, that it will come back to us in the long term and people, our customers, will appreciate the quality of our product. Our goal is to make Retigo the choice of every USA kitchen,” Pelc concluded. 

The Retigo US line can be previewed at their website. With the quality and value proposition that Retigo offers, it is certain to become a staple of kitchens across America in 2023. Please contact RETIGO, USA directly at 610-883-9722 to speak with a Retigo, USA customer service representative who can help you.

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