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Review of Bugambilia® Fit Perfect™: The Easy Setup Cold Bar Solution for Foodservice

Plenty of foodservice operators know cold bars (aka cold wells) are wonderful tools for accommodating salad, ice cream, frozen yogurt bars, and pretty much any kind of cold food you'd want to mix and match to delight your guests. They're especially popular and useful in very high-volume foodservice at college, university, and corporate dining facilities because guests often serve themselves. 

But what if you want to rearrange your cold bar setup? Historically, this has been cost- and time-prohibitive for operators due to the way a lot of cold bars are set up. 

Enter Bugambilia® Fit Perfect™. This brand new cold well system from G.E.T. allows you to adapt your cold bar however you like, whenever you like with very little effort. It's a big deal because it resolves a point of frustration that so many foodservice folks have lived with for ages. 

There are even more benefits, so let's explore the many ways Bugambilia® Fit Perfect™ can improve operational ease and elevate your presentation for corporate, college, and university dining programs. 

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What is Bugambilia® Fit Perfect™? 

Bugambilia® Fit Perfect™ was developed to be the easy setup cold bar solution for foodservice. It's a patent-pending line of food pans designed to work in tandem with spacer bars to lock into place. The food pans and the bars are made from resin-coated aluminum. They get cold faster and stay cold longer than stainless steel, which is commonly used on cold bars, and they're available in 23 different colors.

In fact, every piece of Bugambilia® Fit Perfect™, in every color offered has been NSF-certified. The rounded shape also helps with this certification since no 90° angles are allowed because food can get stuck in the corners. NSF certification is very important for foodservice operators because it ensures the products they're using have passed a rigorous inspection process including the review of design, construction, and overall safety for foodservice applications. 

Many folks have come to love the coating on the Bugambilia® Classic line, which has a playful, rough finish. Bugambilia® Fit Perfect™, however, introduces a new, smooth finish that offers an elegant and refined look. It's also slightly less heavy than the Classic coating, making it a bit easier to move around busy kitchens and dining rooms. 

Another Fit Perfect™ feature that varies from the Classic line is that the food pans are stackable up to 4 crocks tall. Stacking solves a couple issues for some operators. Generally, we recommend storing clean, empty Bugambilia® crocks in the walk-in so they're cold when they're ready for use. Walk-in space is tight for many operators, so the ability to stack saves a considerable amount of room. 

Additionally, when you're prepping for service, stackable food pans also save space in your prep area and on the carts that are frequently used to move the pans from the kitchen to the front-of-the-house for service. As long as you keep your product below the fill line, which is required in several municipalities for food safety, you can stack them on the cart with no problem. This may also encourage your employees not to overfill crocks. 

Bugambilia® Fit Perfect™ is different from traditional cold well setups in a few ways:

  • Elevate the look of your cold bar with the new, smooth finish
  • Stackable
  • NSF certified
  • More easily adjusted than a tile system, Bugambilia® Fit Perfect™ allows you to change your cold bar configuration whenever you like
  • Locks into place while still being easily rearranged, eliminating the need to manage risers and stands that typically support food pans on cold wells
  • Minimal measuring

The spacer bars (more on those later) can be repositioned to create new layouts any time you want to experiment with something different. If a configuration leaves you with an opening due to the way you want your food pans setup, you can use Bugambilia® Fit Perfect™ gap bars to fill those spaces while still maintaining a smooth, clean look on your cold well.   

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Bugambilia® Fit Perfect™ adds a degree of nimbleness that you can't get from other refrigerated cold well setups. It's like a jail break for your cold bar: You have total freedom to arrange your pans to fit your needs on any given day.

 

Easily Adjust Your Cold Bar Configuration Whenever you Like 

It's not uncommon for an operator to want to bring in seasonal ingredients, highlight lower food-cost items over more expensive ones if (when) commodity prices change, or just try out new setups to see if throughput can be improved. However, plenty of cold bars have a tile system design in which crocks fit into a pre-cut space in a tile that rests on top of the bar. 

Tiles are a great look and design, but the flaw with this kind of setup is that it restricts operators to a single configuration. If there's a desire to change the original configuration - and there will be eventually - operators have to custom order new tiles and maybe even new food pans. Such a project may cost foodservice operators more time and money than they have. 

Bugambilia® Fit Perfect™'s design gives operators unrestricted agency to reconfigure their cold wells. The food pans lock onto spacer bars, which run the length of the cold well. The spacer bars are designed to rest on the ledges of the cold bar. Because they're not fixed in a certain spot, say by having to fit into a notch, operators can move these bars around and use different sized food pans to create the exact setup they want. 

You may be thinking, "But won't the spacer bars slide around during service if they're not fixed in place?" The answer is no. In fact, nothing slips around with Bugambilia® Fit Perfect™, and we'll tell you why. 

 

Bugambilia® Fit Perfect™ Locks into Place on Your Cold Well

One of the things we're really excited about with Bugambilia® Fit Perfect™ is the way the food pans and spacer bars are designed. As the name suggests, the pans and spacer bars fit together perfectly on cold wells.  

The resin-coated aluminum food pans are equipped with a lip around the rim that fits over a slightly raised edge on the spacer bar, locking the food pan into place. Another useful feature of the food pans is that the lip around the rim stops at each corner. This allows for easy lifting out of a cold bar.

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Some designs, like a lot of stainless steel pans on the market, don't have this feature, and staff occasionally have to use a spatula or a spoon to get the pans out of wells. So Bugambilia® Fit Perfect™ locks into place on the spacer bars, but are also easy to take out when it's time to close shop or rotate your pans. 

The way the food pans are designed to lock onto the spacer bars means that if a pan is taken off the cold well during service, the rest of your bar stays in place. Other setups that rely on risers to support their food pans often fall into the cold well when pans are moved around.

This can be frustrating if you only need to replace one pan, but in doing so, you either have to enlist the help of a few staff members to hold other pans in place or reset all the pans because they've shifted. This does not happen with Bugambilia® Fit Perfect™ because everything is locked on to spacer bars. You also don't need to manage risers anymore because they're not necessary with this design.


Is Fit Perfect Right for You? 

Another neat feature of this line is gap bars, which come into play for a few reasons. First, let's say that you've set up your cold bar in such a way that you end up with a little gap on the end. Just use a gap bar to fill that space. Doing so closes the top layer of your cold well, keeping the refrigerated air inside. If you had the same configuration and didn't use a gap bar, cold air would escape, potentially raising your food temps to unsafe levels.

Gap bars will be kept in stock in white, the most popular color. If you need a gap bar in a different color, we can absolutely accommodate that, it will just take a couple weeks to get a custom order to you. They're available in 5 sizes, from 1"-3" with half-inch intervals in between.

By closing off any open spaces, the gap bars lock the rest of the cold bar setup into place, which is why the spacer bars won't slide around during service. There's just no where for them to go when your complete surface area is filled in. Functionality aside, closing off any spaces in your cold well setup creates a seamless look that your guests will enjoy. 

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Elevate the Look of Your Cold Well with Bugambilia® Fit Perfect™

Because Fit Perfect™ is part of the Bugambilia® line, it's available in the 23 colors that so many foodservice operators have embraced. You can color code vegetarian or allergen-free items. You can mix and match colors to support a theme, like using green, white, and red for a Mexican-themed brand. Or you can use a single color that fits with your branded profile for a bold visual link to your brand identity.

Color options that come with Bugambilia® Fit Perfect™ create the perfect opportunity to upgrade the look of your cold bar. Stainless steel systems only come in one color: stainless steel. Additionally, stainless food pans have more of a back-of-the-house look that's easily remedied if you decide to upgrade to the colored resin-coated aluminum featured on Bugambilia® Fit Perfect™. 

The sleek overall design of Bugambilia® Fit Perfect™ allows you to create a flush fit across the top of your cold well for a smooth, modern look. Think of it as the infinity pool of cold bar setups: inviting, luxurious, even envious. 

The resin-coated aluminum features a new, smoother finish that operators say adds a touch of sophistication to the style. Better yet, it's extremely durable and won't scratch like stainless steel food pans when you stack them. And unlike stainless steel food pans, when Bugambilia® Fit Perfect™ pans are stacked, they don't stick together like stainless can.

Every operator out there who's ever worked with stainless pans knows what we're talking about - banging them at an angle on a counter top to get them to separate, using a knife, you name it. It's not fun, and Bugambilia® Fit Perfect™ solves that issue. 


Minimal Measuring is Required with Bugambilia® Fit Perfect™

Most up-to-date cold wells are made in standard sizes that work alongside standard stainless steel inserts. Bugambilia® Fit Perfect™ pans (edge to edge), and spacer and gap bars, are made in the same standard sizes as stainless. You could literally remove any stainless pan on your cold bar and replace it with the same size Bugambilia® Fit Perfect™ pan and it would slide right in. 

This means that for most cold wells, the only measurements we'd need would be length and width. This is much easier than with other systems where measurement is required for several different areas of a cold well. 

Exceptions to this rule do exist, however. If you have an older cold well that's not made with current standard sizes or one that's irregularly shaped, you may need to do some extra measuring. We're happy to help you with that.

Additionally, some municipalities require that food be recessed below the surface to be closer to the cooling source, therefore keeping food at safe temperatures. We're all for keeping food in the temperature safety zone. But the depth at which some food must be recessed in order to pass inspection varies from county to county - there is no set standard. If recessed pans are the case in your district, we can absolutely get you what you need, we'll just need a little more information to accommodate you. 


We hope you're as excited about the launch of Bugambilia® Fit Perfect™ as we are. It truly solves some of the most frustrating issues foodservice folks face with operating a cold well. If you'd like to speak with a G.E.T. expert about elevating your cold well service with Bugambilia® Fit Perfect™ for your college, university, or corporate dining facility - or any kind of operation for that matter - you can reach us at (800) 727-4500, at [email protected], or via our Contact Us page. 

If you enjoyed this and would like to learn more about the differences between aluminum and stainless steel, we recommend "Stainless Steel and Aluminum Uses in Foodservice Operations." 

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