Buying Guide Warewashing
One of the most unforgiving and disliked parts of any catering and foodservice business has to be the washing operation. But it is a vital element to get right, not only from an enhanced service and presentation perspective, but from a food safety one too. The right equipment is therefore essential.
Warewashing equipment is the industry’s collective name for dishwashers and glasswashers. Commercial warewashing equipment is made for high performance and long, hard use. Today, there are models available with lots of labour-saving features, water treatment and diagnostic monitoring plus energy saving options too. Manufacturers have also increased the choices in rack dimensions and configurations, on both glass and dish machines.
The range of dishwashers varies from the compact, under counter cabinet style machines, to the more powerful and faster ‘pull-down hood’ options, usually configured with stainless steel tabling either side for efficient loading and unloading, often referred to as ‘pass-through’ dishwashers, ideal for larger throughputs. Glasswashers tend to be smaller, front loading cabinet models, often fitted under a counter or positioned on a worktop. If space and budget allows using separate machines is the best option, but for a smaller establishment where this is inhibitive, there are machines available that can tackle both glass and plate washing.
** Tips for buying Warewashing equipment**
Which is the right equipment for you?
Many small to medium businesses underestimate the capacity of machine they need. Don’t just choose a machine based upon the overall daily throughput, look at the volume of ware to be washed allowing for peak times, integration with existing handling systems, where the machine is to be sited and staffing levels/abilities. Also consider any plans for future expansion. Efficient energy and water consumption are things to look at too – it’s no good buying a cheap machine because budget is tight, if you then have to spend a small fortune on running costs.Reliability and durability
Choose a leading brand with an established reputation for good quality, durability and reliability. Establish clearly the availability of spare parts and after sales service, plus the length of warranty available. To get a consistent good finish, you need to keep your machine well maintained – maintenance is key, rather than repair! Check out the level and cost of ongoing service agreements.What operational features should you look for?
A double-skin casing to help keep noise levels and heat loss at a minimum, a pre-rinse cycle and hot rinse for optimum results and a good water filtration system to help prevent limescale build up. If you are in a hard water area fitting a water softening system will prevent higher maintenance costs. Check cycle durations and power ratings – generally the larger the machine, the more powerful in terms of cleaning. Simple controls with digital temperature displays – it is important that the machine runs at the right temperature – if too hot or too cold, the chemicals won’t do their job properly.