8 Things You Need to Consider Before Purchasing a Commercial Oven

There’s no competition. Your oven is the most important appliance in your kitchen. It impacts the quality of your food, your staff’s productivity, customer satisfaction and the overall efficiency of your kitchen. 

That’s why searching for the right oven is as critical as headhunting new staff. You need to spend quality time researching your options. You also need to think strategically to make a sound business decision. 

We’re here to help. Below are 8 vital elements you need to consider to aid your search for the right commercial oven. 

 

1. Space

Obviously, you’re going to measure your space to ensure a new oven will fit perfectly in your kitchen. That also means considering maneuverability – think about whether your staff can easily and safely move past the oven without being obstructed. 

Also, consider the long-term plan for your business and what sort of oven will accommodate your growing needs. You might not need a convection or combination oven now. But can a standard oven keep up with your growth? Eliminate the need for a future replacement by purchasing an oven that can serve your business for years to come.

2. Cost

When budgeting, go beyond the question of ‘How much does a commercial oven cost?’ You also need to factor in cleaning, maintenance, training and repair costs. 

The best way to keep costs down is by cleaning your oven daily, scheduling in deep-cleaning sessions and reading the manufacturer’s manual to make sure your staff can clean it properly. Learn more about cleaning commercial ovens in our article. 

3. Make

Shopping for commercial ovens can be quite overwhelming because there are so many different makes and models to choose from. For quality ovens, we recommend Hobart and Maidaid

Hobart, which manufactures its products in Germany, is renowned for efficiency. If you’re looking to speed up cooking times without compromising on food quality, Hobart is a safe bet.

While Maidaid is at the forefront of research and development in the foodservice industry, always looking for innovative ways to improve its products. If you want a high-tech, long-lasting oven, you can’t go wrong with a Maidaid model.

4. Functionality

If you’ve read our article, The Definitive Guide to Commercial Ovens, you’ll know that there are lots of different types of ovens to suit different functions. For example, seafood restaurants would benefit most from a steam oven since steam is the best way to retain flavour and evenly cook fish.

Read the article if you’re unsure which type of oven would be best suited for your catering business. It might even inspire you to pursue different niches in the future, such as a pizzeria or carvery.

5. Ease of use

It can be fun to buy a commercial oven that has all the bells and whistles. But that also equals more training for your staff so they can use it effectively and safely. Sometimes the most sensible option is sticking with an oven that has basic features so it’s easy to operate by all staff members.

Then again, you might want to invest in an oven that uses smart technology to help you drive energy efficiency and save money. If you do buy an oven with complex features, it might be worth writing out instructions and sticking them to the wall (in addition to training your staff) so your team has a constant reminder on how to use it properly.

6. Cleaning

As we discussed in The Definitive Guide to Commercial Ovens, there are lots of different types of ovens with various capabilities. And with each variation comes new cleaning requirements. 

For example, a high speed oven will need to be deep cleaned more regularly than a convection oven since food is much more likely to splatter when cooked at very high temperatures. 

Whereas conveyor ovens have lots of different parts that need cleaning separately, such as crumb trays and draft diverters. As a result, you’ll need to set some time aside to train your staff on proper cleaning protocols. 

Consider if you can keep up with the cleaning demands of your oven before making a purchase, as this will greatly affect its efficiency and lifespan. 

Learn more: How to Clean Commercial Ovens.

7. Frequency of use

Is your kitchen extremely busy at certain periods of the year? Or perhaps your customer intake is steady all year round. Either way, you need to consider how hard your commercial oven needs to work to keep up with the demands of your catering business. Because standard ovens can only do so much. 

 

8. Power

It sounds obvious but so many business owners forget to consider their power supply when purchasing a commercial oven. This isn’t a big problem if you’re purchasing an electric oven – most, if not all, kitchens have an electrical power connection. But not all kitchens have a gas connection.

Purchase a gas oven without one and you’re looking at a very costly and complex installation. Keep this in mind when shopping to avoid major headaches further down the line. 

To recap, you need to consider these 8 factors before finalising a purchase:

  1. Space
  2. Cost
  3. Make
  4. Functionality
  5. Ease of use
  6. Cleaning
  7. Frequency of use
  8. Power

Then you’ll know for certain that your oven will serve your catering business effectively. 

Got another question about commercial ovens? We cover a lot of information in our definitive guide. You can also call us on  0113 833 1234 or email us at info@northerncatering.co.uk – we’re more than happy to answer any questions.