Buying Guide Foodservice Equipment
In some catering situations, the amount of covers or the length and type of service can demand that foods or plated meals need to be kept warm ready for serving. Keeping food that has been freshly cooked at the right serving temperature needs careful food safety handling and the right equipment. It is not just about maintaining the heat and correct temperature to help keep the food safe to eat, but about keeping it in fresh condition too.
There are various heated cupboards, display units, hotplates, banqueting cabinets and heated plate dispensers that can assist the caterer in delivering the best results in what can be a difficult catering situation. When choosing this type of equipment, be mindful of the throughput and types of dishes and foods that are served.
For instance, dry heat will keep food warm, but if its food that’s susceptible to drying out, then dry heat will, over a period of time, fail to deliver the food in its best condition. Whereas foods with a high moisture content such as pasta dishes, or a high fat content such as pies and sausage rolls, will keep well in dry hot cupboards. Food such as cooked meats will hold for a short time in a dry heat cabinet, but are better stored in a cabinet that has a humidifier which injects a small amount of moisture in the cabinet to prevent drying out.
For banqueting operations, where service points are often some distance from the kitchen, heated (and chilled) trolley cabinets not only can safely transport food to its final destination but also keep the plated dishes cool or warm under the right conditions whilst waiting to be served.
** Tips for buying Food Service Equipment**
What equipment do you need?
Look at your type of operation, what food is served and where, the numbers and turnaround of customers, the overall length and any peaks in service. Equipment can then be specified to accommodate for particular needs and capacities determined by the length of service and throughput.
Reliability and durability
Look at your type of operation, what food is served and where, the numbers and turnaround of customers, the overall length and any peaks in service. Equipment can then be specified to accommodate particular needs and capacities determined by the length of service and throughput.What operational features should you look for?
Stainless steel manufacture for ease of cleaning (both internally within the holding area and on any serving areas), temperature display, heat up times in relation to energy usage, thermostats, solid castors, optional extras such as gantry and table extension for service, capacity for plated meals, gastronorm compatible.