How to Get The Most Out of Your Catering Equipment

The best way to save money for your commercial catering business? Ensure your equipment works efficiently, doesn’t break down and lasts for years to come.

Easier said than done though, right?

The truth is that a lot of the legwork needs to happen before you make a purchase. Afterward, the key to getting the most out of your equipment is preventative maintenance and a regular cleaning schedule.

Here, we discuss this in more detail. Use the following advice to maximise the value of your catering equipment.

1. Don’t make blind purchases

It can be tempting to rush through the buying process. You’ve done some research, you have a general idea of the type of equipment you need and you found a company that can supply it for you. Job done?

Not quite. Without expert consultancy before your purchase, you risk buying equipment that doesn’t suit your catering business. This can result in long-term problems that can be tricky to fix.

What you need is an in-depth discussion with the catering equipment company supplying the product prior to your purchase.  

They should ask you questions about your business, such as your average customer intake, your budget, the size of your kitchen and your growth plans. 

This will give the company the bigger picture so that they can do relevant research and provide advice on the best catering equipment for your company. Whether it’s a commercial oven, dishwasher or fridge, making a personalised purchase is key to maximising your equipment’s output.

2. Find a catering equipment company you can trust

Having a strong relationship with your catering equipment company directly impacts the effectiveness and lifespan of your purchases. 

Because you’ve spent time building a strong relationship, the catering equipment company will know your business inside out. This means they can give you a proactive, personalised service, ensuring you get the best possible care and attention.

Signs you found a catering equipment company you can trust include:

  • quick response times
  • reliable engineers
  • a personalised service
  • reliable equipment
  • minimal downtime

You can learn more about this in our blog: 5 Signs You’ve Picked the Right Catering Equipment Company.

3. Get a preventative maintenance plan

You book your car in for a service every year (hopefully) to fix issues before they have the chance to become big and costly problems. 

So why not do the same for your catering equipment? It will save you just as much time, money and stress in the long run.

A preventative maintenance plan is the ticket. It ensures your equipment is taken care of on a regular basis eliminating unnecessary breakdowns or faults in the future.

At NCE Catering, our preventative maintenance plan covers catering equipment, refrigeration equipment and air conditioning units. 

We carry out one visit per year as a necessity to keep your warranty valid and your equipment in top condition. During the visit, we check to see if any consumables need to be replaced to prevent other issues from occurring in the future. 

Check to see if your catering equipment company provides preventive maintenance before making a purchase.

4. Hire specialist technicians

Ovens, fridges, dishwashers and air conditioning units are intricate pieces of equipment. If something goes wrong with your equipment, you don’t want a jack-of-all-trades technician to deal with the problem. 

You need someone with specialist knowledge and experience. The more expertise they have, the faster and more effectively they can work to get your equipment in tip-top shape. 

So, if your equipment needs repairing, make sure you ask the company carrying out the service if they can send a technician with specialist expertise. 

This will ensure your equipment is properly taken care of, solving problems there and then and eliminating the need for unnecessary call-outs.

5. Stick to a cleaning schedule

Most major pieces of catering equipment require daily cleaning to avoid the build-up of grime which can lead to many problems, from equipment degradation to fire hazards. Dirty equipment can also impact the taste of your food and create foul smells in your kitchen. 

Usually, all you need for daily cleaning is some warm water, cleaning detergent and a clean cloth. Your equipment might have specific cleaning instructions in its accompanying manual. For cleaning advice related to commercial ovens, read our guide

On top of daily cleaning, your equipment will also need a monthly deep clean to tackle hard-to-reach areas, such as draft diverters and fan blades. This is key to keeping your equipment in top condition and may also be a requirement for a valid warranty. 

It might be worth investing in professional deep cleaning services. Not only will it save you time but it will ensure the job is completed properly, improving your kitchen’s health and safety. 

Spend more time doing what you love

Use this advice today to get the most out of your catering equipment. In the process, you save time and money, giving you the freedom to focus on your business’ growth. To recap, maximising the value of your equipment requires:

  1. Personalised consultancy before your purchase
  2. Working with a catering equipment supplier you can trust
  3. Signing up to a preventative maintenance plan
  4. Ensuring specialist technicians conduct any repairs
  5. Sticking to a daily cleaning schedule 

Got a question about what we’ve discussed today? Get in touch on our website. Or call us on 0113 833 1234. You can also email us at info@northerncatering.co.uk

 

How to Care For Your Refrigeration Equipment

You probably know that your refrigerator should be kept clean for hygiene purposes. But do you know that cleaning along with regular maintenance can vastly extend the life of your unit?

Regular refrigeration unit checks can save you between 5-10% in energy costs if your unit(s) runs optimally. Failing refrigerators overrun their systems – using more energy. It’s far cheaper using our preventative measures because you reduce the risk of costly problems (like emergency repairs or a new refrigerator). 

This guide will explain how to prolong the life of your refrigeration equipment so you can make the most out of your investment.

6 Refrigerator Care Tips

commercial fridge

Although important, caring for your commercial refrigerator involves more than just an occasional wipe-down with a cloth. Form a regular routine for keeping your refrigerator in shape by taking steps, such as: 

1. Regular food rotation: turn off and empty your unit before starting – a thorough job is a job well done. Every workhorse needs a little downtime – your refrigeration equipment is no exception. Schedules maintain order in your restaurant and prevent important steps from being neglected.

2. Frequent deep cleaning: clean the interior and exterior of your commercial catering equipment thoroughly, including all shelving, seals and surfaces. Locate and clean any drainage holes. Food run-off and debris will quickly spoil, creating bacterial contamination if left untreated.

3. Lower bacteria transmission: imagine how often your unit is touched by different hands during the working day. Bacteria from raw ingredients (e.g. meat and fish) can quickly spread on kitchen surfaces. Clean your refrigerator with soap and water rather than harsh chemicals, which can damage the finish. A vinegar solution will lift grease and fingerprints from reflective surfaces – leaving a streak-free finish. Commercial cleaning detergents may be suitable – check beforehand to avoid unpleasant chemical reactions and a potentially discoloured refrigerator.

4. Keep your unit dry: leaving your refrigeration equipment to air dry after cleaning isn’t an option. Standing water is never good, and can cause discolouration. Rotting, rust, contamination and over-freezing are other potential risks. Wipe your commercial catering equipment dry after cleaning to avoid a breakdown – for both you and your unit.

5. Don’t forget behind the (g)ears: the back of the refrigerator, inside the door handles, the shelving and door seal channels are all magnets for accumulated dirt. It’s a short road from food spoilage to sick customers; make sure to clean every nook and cranny.

8 Tips For Maintaining Refrigeration Equipment

refrigeration equipment

Commit to yearly servicing and regular cleaning by your staff. Qualified refrigeration service companies will keep your refrigerator running smoothly by completing checks. You can also extend the life of your unit by:

1. Clean evaporator and condenser coils regularly: when refrigeration coils are dirty they can’t release heat efficiently, leaving the system likely to overheat when the condenser attempts to pull in more air (while guzzling energy) to compensate. Evaporator coils absorb heat through the refrigerator system to keep commercial refrigerators cool and efficient. Clean the evaporator coil every 1-3 months with a stiff brush and check the condenser coil regularly.

2. Check air filters: the filters allow fresh air to enter and neutralise odors. Grease and dust will quickly clog refrigeration air filters. Loosen dirt with regular vacuuming and thorough degreasing.

3. Clean fan blades and inspect the fan motors: clean fan blades mean clean refrigerator air. Both the condenser and evaporator fans circulate air and regulate the refrigerator temperature – faults cause warmer air and food spoilage. 

4. Check gaskets and seals: the door seals on commercial refrigerators are critical for maintaining refrigerator temperatures. Dirty or damaged seals stop doors closing properly. Wear and tear needs manufacturer-approved replacement. Even if undamaged, they should be cleaned and maintained.

5. Lubricate door hinges and handles: avoid annoying squeaking doors – ensure all unit doors, hinges and handles can easily open and close with a suitable lubricant to keep things moving smoothly.

6. Check for loose electrical connections: loose wiring is a dangerous workplace hazard and needs sorting as soon as possible. Consult the manual and contact an approved electrician for repair guidance.

7. Clear drain lines and pans: miscellaneous sludge and ooze are inevitable with refrigerators. It’s not only unsightly (and smelly) but can cause system “freeze-ups” and blockages, leading to leaks and slip hazards for your staff. Check and clean your lines and pans monthly. 

8. Check temperatures, defrost settings, and calibrate thermometers: daily temperature and thermometer check-ins can catch faults with your unit and are important for food safety protocol.

3 Main Types of Commercial Kitchen: Cleaning Tips

1.  Fast food

  • Fast food kitchens typically cook greasier food and involve heavy use of assembly lines, upright refrigerators and deep-fat fryers. For health and safety (to accidents), it’s recommended that owners focus on de-greasing – both on equipment and floors.
  • The ventilation systems and cooker hoods should be cleaned monthly (every 3 months if a deep-fat fryer isn’t used).
  • As refrigerator systems also rely on ventilation, remember that fast-food refrigerators will need cleaning more often due to airborne grease.
  • Preparation tables in assembly lines also require specific maintenance as their doors may get out of level over time, straining the gaskets. Maintain the hinges on bowing doors to avoid this.
  • As a worktop, cutting board surfaces on prep tables will quickly become dirty throughout the day. Keep bacteria at bay – frequently clean the cutting board and dry it completely.
  • Prep tables aren’t suitable for overnight food storage – before the end of the day make sure food is transferred to appropriate cold storage.
  • As mentioned in our Ultimate Guide to Commercial Refrigeration, top-mounted compressors will draw in hot oily air in fast food restaurants – so should be kept as far from the hot prep area as possible. Your refrigerator (upright refrigerators especially) – will need extra TLC to stay hygienic and functional. 

2. Restaurants

  • Walk-in refrigerators and under-counter refrigerators are often used in restaurants.
  • Keep your walk-in refrigerator door shut when not in use. No propping it open with boxes (no matter how full your hands are!).
  • Don’t use the unit top for storage – you might damage the ceiling panels.

3. Cafeterias

  • Display refrigerators are common in cafeterias. As they include a lot of glass, your refrigerator care should take this into consideration. Nothing showcases fingerprints, grease and other food spills better than a glass case. An appropriate vinegar-based cleaner will keep your refrigerator looking brand new.

Looking cool! What’s next?

After following this guide, your refrigeration equipment will be immaculate! Why not check out our blog for more tips on running a successful commercial catering business?

The Ultimate Guide to Commercial Refrigeration

Bulk food refrigeration ensures the longevity of your produce. And the safety of your most important asset of all: your customers.

Carefully considered, commercial refrigerators are a cost-effective storage solution. But with such a large variety – choosing the right product can be a tricky decision. This guide will talk you through one of the biggest choices you’ll make for your restaurant. 

5 Main Types of Commercial Refrigerator Models

commercial refrigeration

1. Upright refrigerator “Reach-In”

The classic cabinet style – this is what most imagine when picturing refrigerators. Ingredients are moved between upright and walk-in commercial refrigerators to streamline preparation in busy restaurants.

  • Quick access to high-demand ingredients.
  • Best kept from oven/heated prep areas.
  • Adjustable shelves and segmented areas allow modification for different sizes of produce.

Capacity: large – depending on the number of doors.

Best for: smaller restaurants (single-door models), larger restaurants (double/triple door models), cafeterias, casual and fine dining establishments.

2. Walk-in Refrigerator

Walk-in refrigerators allow the user to enter and select their ingredients. They vary from small pantries to large rooms in size. 

  • Easier stock rotation with bulkier stock e.g. produce crates.
  • An energy-efficient option for large inventories – closing the door while in use means fewer temperature changes. 
  • More economical than multiple refrigerators – space permitting.

Capacity: very large – depending on size.

Best for: restaurants with bulky inventories and unloading areas, hotels/hospitality. 

3. Under counter/Bar refrigerator

The smaller sibling of the upright refrigerator, these mini beasts offer discreet cold storage. 

  • Convenient, discreet storage for front of house – allowing for speedy customer service. 
  • Fits under counters – no extra floor space necessary. Ideal for confined spaces. 
  • Keeps chilled foods close to the prep line without compromising food safety. 
  • Ideal for cutting prep time and foot traffic. 

Capacity: Small – suited to pre-packaged items e.g. bottles and snacks.

Best for: smaller restaurants, cafes, bars, delis and concession stands

4. Refrigerated prep table

Centre-stage in any fast-paced kitchen. Considering cubic feet and floor space, a prep table is a larger refrigerator – but it also doubles as a cooking workspace.

  • Very precise temperatures – useful for speciality ingredients.
  • Unprocessed and larger ingredients can be kept close to hand. 
  • Various widths to suit the size of your prep area.
  • Extra storage available underneath – can be customised to meet the demands of your restaurant.

Two main types: 

  • Pizza table – large chopping board for pizza bases.
  • Sandwich table – refrigerated storage wells for sandwich fillings and condiments.

Capacity: large.

Best for: fast food restaurants, delis and cafeterias.

5. Display refrigerator

Show off your goodies! Display commercial refrigerators use glass doors to present their freshly made foods and attract customers. 

  • Useful in grab-and-go settings for identifying when low in stock.
  • Allows more creativity when displaying food.
  • Due to size and glass – easier to clean than other models. 

Capacity: small – food cannot be stored in bulk.

Best for: bakeries, cafes, delis, take-aways.

Commercial Refrigeration: 5 Points To Consider

1. Temperature 

commercial refrigeration

Most commercial refrigerators operate between 36F (2°C) – 45F (7°C). But don’t assume any old refrigerator is cold enough for your food. Some food is more sensitive to colder temperatures – so as well as the type of food being stored, think about which type of commercial refrigeration may be better suited to your restaurant.

2. Space 

As you now know, commercial refrigeration covers a variety of sizes. Commercial refrigerator capacity is measured in litres. The bigger the unit – the more demanding (and costly) the upkeep. But underestimating your needs risks overworking the unit – bringing your restaurant to a standstill. Be mindful of your layout and space. While a key player, your chosen refrigerator should be, well, part of the furniture!

Helpfully, some models come with casters – allowing easy movement when needed.

Standard Upright Refrigerator Sizes

Number of Doors Cubic Feet (ft3) Width in inches (in.)
One 20-30 20-30
Two 30-50 40-60
Three 50-70 70+

3. Budget and price

Unsurprisingly, the larger refrigerators are more expensive than their smaller counterparts. And when budgeting for a refrigerator, bills are an additional cost. Efficiency should be balanced against the cost of keeping the unit (or room) running.

4. Warranty

All good things come to an end – don’t get bitten if this happens a little sooner than expected. It can be costly to replace or repair a refrigerator, especially at short notice. You should check the warranty for your length of cover and what faults or damages you are covered against.

5. Compressor types

The heart of your machine, the compressor is key. It pulls in air from the environment to maintain the refrigerator’s internal temperature. Along with where to place your commercial refrigerator, also consider which compressor is more practical. 

Two main compressor options:

  • Top-mounted: Warm air rises. A top-mounted compressor takes in warmer air to maintain a cooler environment. No valuable storage space used – but more difficult to reach for maintenance.
  • Bottom-mounted: Better for hotter environments – they pull in cool air close to the floor – avoiding the greasy hot air over cookers. Needs more maintenance than top-mounted compressors as it’s more likely to pull in dirt. They do occupy some storage space, but also create a bottom shelf for useful storage.

Maintaining your commercial refrigerator

Like most things, commercial refrigerators need maintenance. Make sure your refrigerator is serviced regularly and consider:

  • Cleaning: your restaurant may be fast-paced and demanding, but factor in some refrigerator down-time for regular cleaning. This not only extends the life of your refrigerator, but also prevents cross-contamination risks.
  • Space: the refrigerator needs enough space to ventilate efficiently. Overheating and food storage don’t mix. Also consider this when stocking your refrigerator – overfilling prevents the cool air circulating effectively.

Ready, set…

You’ve finished this guide which means you’re one step closer to choosing the best refrigerator for your business – good luck!

But refrigeration is only one aspect of your restaurant. Don’t miss anything crucial! Check out our blog for more guides on commercial equipment for your catering business.

5 Signs You’ve Picked the Right Catering Equipment Company 

A good catering equipment company will save you time, money and stress. Like a quality oven, they are an essential part of your success. 

You’ll know when you’ve chosen the wrong company. Because you’ll encounter a myriad of problems – from poor communication to unreliable services – that will cause major headaches for your commercial catering business. 

But how can you tell in advance which companies are likely to let you down? 

There are five clear signs that the company has your best interests at heart. Often you can spot them by looking carefully at the services on offer. And crucially, how they address your biggest pain points on their website or during your first call. 

Keep reading to learn these signs so you can pick the best catering equipment company for your business.

1. They’re not just “box shifters”

It’s the basic requirement – getting the right equipment for your catering business. But how many times have you ordered a product to discover that, when it arrives, it’s not suitable? 

Usually, this happens because the catering equipment supplier hasn’t asked you the right questions prior to your purchase. They’re simply “box shifters” that get the product from A to B.

Look out for a company that offers consultancy with every major purchase. They’ll spend time understanding your unique needs to make sure you’re getting the right equipment for your catering business. That way, you can maximise the benefit you get from your equipment, increasing its efficiency and longevity. 

2. They will try to save you money

Preventative maintenance is the number one way to cut down costs on your catering equipment. It stops problems in their tracks, diminishing the need for expensive repairs and replacements. 

A catering equipment company that cares about helping you reduce costs will offer a preventative maintenance plan. Such a plan ensures your equipment is taken care of on a regular basis, eliminating unnecessary breakdowns or faults in the future.

They’ll also be happy to fix small problems over the phone free of charge. If you are charged for such instances, that’s a clear sign the company cares more about its bottom line than your business.

3. They provide online access to your service records

You might use a catering equipment company for reactive maintenance, equipment fittings and repairs. In order words, you sign up for a service agreement to ensure all your catering business’ needs are met in one place.

But with so much going on, it can be difficult to keep track of past, ongoing and upcoming work. The last thing you need is to be on the phone 24/7, chasing project updates and maintenance schedules.

What you need is online access to your service records where you can view everything from your asset register to money spent. 

A catering equipment company with your needs front of mind should offer this as part of your SA. Without it, you could waste a lot of time chasing technicians for project updates and other related enquiries.

4. Engineers arrive with the right equipment

There’s little more frustrating than having an engineer disappear during a job to pick up a part. Especially if it’s a critical piece of equipment that needs repairs, every minute lost is money down the drain. 

A good catering equipment company will do everything in their power to ensure this doesn’t happen. And the solution is simple: equip each van with stock unique to the client’s business and the engineer it is assigned to. This makes small jobs much faster to complete. 

The company should also stipulate that major part replacements (when they need to be ordered in advance) are usually completed in 24 hours, with a maximum wait of 48 hours. If you called in the morning, the job should be completed on the same day. 

When shopping around, check the company’s website or give them a call to find out if they can provide these fast turnaround times. 

5. They always send the correct technician

You’ll know you’ve found a great catering equipment company when they always send out the right technician for the job. 

That’s because they have multi-skilled technicians under their wing. Whether you need assistance with electric ovens, gas appliances, commercial refrigeration, air conditioning, ventilation or plumbing, you can rely on your service provider to send a technician with specialist expertise in that area.

Whereas some catering equipment companies will send out random technicians who aren’t equipped to handle the work. This inevitably leads to more downtime as you’re forced to wait longer for the work to be carried out. 

Before signing up for a service agreement, make sure to ask the company in question if they have in-house multi-skilled technicians. 

Enable success for your commercial catering business 

When you pick the right catering equipment company, it can transform your business. Productivity, profitability, team morale, customer satisfaction … it’s all positively impacted because your equipment is being properly taken care of.  

To recap, here are 5 signs you’ve picked the right catering equipment company:

  • They’re not just “box shifters”

They offer consultancy prior to a purchase to ensure you get the right equipment for your business.

  • They will try to save you money

They put an emphasis on preventative maintenance to eliminate unnecessary faults and failures. 

  • They provide online access to your service records

To save you time, you’ll be given direct access to your project information, assets, money spent and maintenance schedules. 

  • They arrive with the right equipment 

Different vans carry stock unique to the business, ensuring your technician arrives with the right parts for small jobs. 

  • They always sent the correct technician

Because the company has multi-skilled technicians, you’ll always be sent to the right person for the job.

Use this as your checklist when shopping for a new catering equipment company, and you’ll never go wrong. 

If you have any questions about this article, or want to enquire about our services at NCE Catering, call us on 0113 833 1234 or email us at info@northerncatering.co.uk.  

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. 

 

How to Clean Your Commercial Oven

Your oven is a workhorse, operating around the clock to put perfectly cooked food on customers’ plates. 

With all that works comes grease, grime and other debris that – if left unchecked – can cause major headaches including:

  • Flavour changes
  • Smoke
  • Unpleasant odours
  • Fire hazards
  • Badly cooked food
  • Downtime 

To avoid these problems, you need to clean your commercial oven properly. We teach you how.

The following tips can be applied to most commercial ovens. However, keep reading to learn individual cleaning requirements for different types of ovens.

1. Create a daily cleaning schedule

We get it, cleaning your oven at the end of a busy day is the last thing you or your staff will probably want to do. But see it like this – daily cleaning will save you a lot of time and anguish down the road. And it doesn’t have to be a huge undertaking.

Concentrate on cleaning the hob and interior – these are the areas that cause the most problems if dirt and grime is left to build up. And clean in the evening so you can leave the oven doors open to dry overnight. 

2. Disconnect electrical power

Before you clean your commercial oven, remember to switch it off at the power source! Especially if you’re using water. And if you decide to clean early, make sure the oven and its hob has cooled off before you get to work. 

3. Curb crumbs

Just think about how quickly crumbs accumulate after a few midnight snacks in bed! Your oven is continuously being fed food that will no doubt leave crumbs, especially if you’re cooking things like pies, pastries and breaded produce. 

If you forget to clear away crumbs, they could cause a fire or smoke hazard the next day. Particularly if you’ve left crumbs to amass over a few days. Clear away food debris from the interior of your commercial oven after every shift. 

4. Remove racks

Your oven might not have racks but if it does … food will accumulate there. No worries! Just remove the racks so you can clean them separately. The best way to clean them is to dunk them in hot soapy water and wipe them down with a clean cloth. For stubborn stains, you could try using a stainless steel scouring pad, but be gentle to avoid leaving marks. 

5. Clean the walls and doors

Grease and grime will stick to your oven’s walls and doors over time. Left unchecked and it can cause a major fire hazard. To keep your commercial kitchen safe and hygienic, take the oven racks out (if you have them) and use warm water and a damp towel to clean your oven’s walls and doors. 

You might need to use an industrial-grade cleaner for tough stains. If you do, use it at night so the smell is gone by the morning. Also, pay careful attention to the areas with fans that promote airflow to boost your oven’s efficiency.

6. Create a monthly deep cleaning schedule

Daily cleaning will ensure your oven has its basic needs met. But over time, there will be areas of your oven that need some extra TLC. For this, you’ll need to create a monthly deep cleaning schedule. 

Hiring a professional cleaning service to deep clean your oven is smart. Especially when you’re busy, it can be difficult for your staff to maintain the level of deep cleaning needed.

A professional cleaning service will be able to tackle hard-to-clean places, such as the grease trap and exhaust fan. This will help to keep your oven in optimal condition, ensuring it’s 100% efficient while increasing its longevity. 

Cleaning tips for specific ovens 

Not all ovens are the same, as we talked about recently in our article: The Definitive Guide to Commercial Ovens

Below are some cleaning tips for a variety of ovens which should cover your needs. However, always refer to the manufacturer’s manual for cleaning and maintenance best practices. For example, the manual might tell you which soaps are okay to use.

1. Convection ovens

Give special attention to cleaning the intake fan as food particles can get stuck there. This should be removed and cleaned every week. Also, check for loose hinges and low oil levels regularly.

2. Conveyor ovens

Remove different parts of your conveyor oven, such as crumb trays, draft diverters and the conveyor belt for individual cleaning. 

3. High speed ovens

Since food tends to splatter more in high speed ovens, you’ll need to clean messes as soon as they occur to avoid grime build-up. Make sure the oven has cooled down before cleaning! 

4. Combinations ovens

Remove the fan and clean it daily. And like standard ovens, take care of spills and food debris as soon as possible. You’ll also need to empty the steamer and delime it every week. 

5. Cook and hold ovens

Clean the fan blades daily as well as the heat transfer shelves to allow for maximum efficiency. You can use a scouring pad for harsh stains but never use steel wool. If you use a cleaning agent, remove all traces afterward with warm water. 

6. Steam oven 

Clean as you would a standard oven. But you’ll also need to clean the water drawer with a descaling agent. Your manual will show you how. Your steam oven might also have a water drawer cleaning function on the menu to help. 

Get the best out of your commercial oven 

Use these cleaning tips and enjoy the benefits of a fully operational and highly efficient commercial oven. Your catering business will thank you for it! Looking for more information on kitchen appliances? We’re more than happy to help. Call us on 0113 833 1234 or email us at info@northerncatering.co.uk.

 

The Definitive Guide to Commercial Ovens

A good commercial oven is the difference between a satisfied customer and an unhappy one. Because your business relies on feeding lots of people efficiently and effectively. This can only be achieved with an oven that:

  • Cooks the food you serve at the right temperature
  • Fits into your space without obstructing staff 
  • Is easy to use even when you’re rushed off your feet
  • Suits your budget and growing needs

Pick the wrong oven and your reputation could take a hit. But with so many options to choose from, it’s easy to make a mistake.

That’s why we’ve created this guide. Understand all the different types of commercial ovens and how they can serve your business. Also, learn what features to consider when making your purchase.

What are the main types of commercial ovens?

Below we list the main types of commercial ovens, what they’re used for and how your kitchen can benefit from them. 

  1. Standard oven

The simplest type of oven, standard models contain a heating element at the bottom. Because of this, heat isn’t distributed evenly throughout the baking chamber, which can result in food cooking at different speeds. 

Despite this, standard ovens are popular due to their affordability and ease of use. A safe option for new catering businesses, but if you’re well established, it’s worth paying extra for a more advanced oven.

  1. Convection oven

Convection ovens are equipped with fans that circulate hot air into the baking chamber, reducing cooking times for higher yields. They also prevent meat shrinkage. While a consistent temperature cooks food evenly, no matter which shelf is used. That’s why convection ovens are preferred by bakers – they brown baked goods better than standard ovens. 

  1. Combination oven

Also known as combi oven. It uses steam, hot air or a combination of both to cook food. And you can adjust moisture levels using a climate control feature, enabling quicker cooking times while also minimising the chance or dry or burnt food. 

Combination ovens are around 30% more efficient at cooking than standard ovens, which makes them more expensive but a better choice for busy kitchens. Note: as they generate lots of steam, most models require a mains water supply connection. 

  1. Conveyor oven

Conveyor ovens, known also as pizza ovens, use a set of rollers to steadily pull food past powerful heating elements. Thanks to a consistent speed, food is cooked the same every time. This makes them great for cooking pizzas, burritos, pies and the like. Which is why conveyor ovens are often used in takeaways and food halls. 

  1. High speed oven

High speed ovens are, you guessed it, fast at cooking food. Make that ultra-fast – nothing compares for speed. They are 20 times faster than traditional ovens! That’s because high speed ovens combine multiple heating methods to cook much faster. They can also cook any type of food, making them a great all-rounder upgrade if you’re looking to reduce waiting times for your customers. 

  1. Cook and hold oven

Caterers have been using cook and hold ovens since the 1970s! Because they’re great at cooking large portions of food at low temperatures over many hours. Plus, by holding food at the ideal serving temperature, you eliminate the need to check on your food so it doesn’t overcook, saving on time and labour while maintaining quality. 

Cook and hold ovens are ideal for carveries, canteens and buffer restaurants that rely on serving tender meat to keep customers happy. 

  1. Steam oven

Any good chef will rely on their steam oven to cook succulent fish, vegetables and rice. Cooking via water vapour ensures you retain nutrients while reducing food shrinkage. It also eliminates flavour transfer. However, you can’t brown or crisp food with a steam oven, so you might need another appliance to finish off your dishes. 

  1. Potato oven

Everybody loves a potato. Especially one cooked to perfection: crispy on the outside, soft on the inside. You can rely on a potato oven to achieve this every time. Not only that but they can cook large batches quickly and efficiently. 

As a portable oven, these models are great for mobile catering businesses when jackets are on the menu! They also make for mouth-watering displays to attract hungry customers. 

What features of commercial ovens should you consider? 

You should have a better idea now of the type of oven (or ovens!) your kitchen needs. But there are still a few more things to consider before making a purchase.

1. Size

Save yourself from the agony of buying an oven that’s too big for your kitchen by measuring your space first! Also, make sure staff can easily and safely navigate around the appliance. 

Do you have plans to grow in the future? Save money in the long term by buying a larger oven so you don’t have to replace it in the future. 

Also consider how many dishes you’ll need to cook at once to keep up with customer demand, as that will affect the size you’ll need. 

2. Power 

Ovens either use gas or electricity for power. Whether you should buy a gas or electric oven depends on your kitchen’s needs, your budget and your current power connection. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of both power supplies to help.

Gas

Benefits:

  • Cheaper running costs
  • Heats up faster than electric
  • Also cools quicker 
  • Gives you better heat control

Drawbacks:

  • Difficult and expensive to install a new connection
  • Requires more safety precautions 
  • Higher risk of uneven cooking if not monitored properly

Electricity 

Benefits:

  • Cheaper to buy upfront
  • Easier to install
  • Cooks food more evenly
  • Easier to clean 

Drawbacks:

  • Takes longer to heat up
  • Requires lots of electricity
  • Not as good heat control  

Keep these facts in mind when shopping for your commercial oven and you won’t go wrong.

3. Plumbing and water

You’ll likely need a mains water connection near your oven if you plan to purchase a steam, convection or combination model. Also, consider fitting a water filter as part of the installation to protect your oven against limescale and validate its warranty.

4. Extraction 

Purchasing a canopy (also known as a chimney or cooker hood) with your oven will keep your kitchen safe and comfortable to work in. That’s because it channels and filters smoke, grease and heat out of the kitchen. Canopies also help to keep unpleasant cooking odours out of your kitchen. 

Nobody knows ovens like you do

Not now that you’ve read this guide! Of course, there’s always more to learn. So go on and read our next article: How to Care for Your Commercial Oven. 

Need more advice around choosing and installing the perfect oven? Call us on 0113 833 1234 or email us at info@northerncatering.co.uk.

Which Commercial Dishwasher is Best?

Discover the best undercounter and pass through dishwashers for your catering business. We reveal a range of high-quality dishwashers to suit your various needs so you can buy with confidence. 

The 4 Best Commercial Undercounter Dishwashers

Undercounter dishwashers are perfect for catering businesses that are small and moderately busy, such as independent restaurants, cafes, bars and takeaway outlets.

They are designed to fit under the counter to take up as little space as possible. 

Despite their small size, they are much more efficient than domestic dishwashers, washing up to 500 plates per hour.

Below are our four favourite undercounter dishwashers to suit various budgets. 

1. Classeq Commercial D500

The Classeq Commercial D500 has an impressive capacity for its price tag, able to clean up to 18 full-size dinner plates per three-minute load. Great for caterers that need a rapid turnaround of fresh dishware to keep their service running optimally. 

It’s made from stainless steel (learn how to clean stainless steel properly) and weighs around 44kgs. 

The D500 has a double-skinned door to reduce heat loss and noise. It also has energy-saving modes and the same three wash programs with a temperature range of 55°C to 82°C. 

Score: 7/10

Cost: £1,500 – £2,500

2. Hobart Ecomax F503

If we can rely on any manufacturer for highly-efficient catering equipment, it’s Hobart. Its Ecomax Plus F503 dishwasher is super-fast, with 80 to 180-second cycles that can clean up to 40 500×500 racks per hour.

The Ecomax F503 is designed to help you save money with a low volume 10.8 litre wash and 2.5 litre rinse, providing exceptionally low running costs. While an automatic drain down and self-flushing cycle ensures excellent hygiene standards. 

Score: 8/10

Cost: £2,600 – £3,500

3. Hobart Profi FX 

Got a bit more cash to splash? A Hobart Profi FX dishwasher will serve you well. 

Enjoy Visiotronic-touch control (a single touch button operation) and a WiFi module that allows you to connect to the WashSmart app. 

Through WashSmart, you can see information about your dishwasher: the machine’s status, a hygiene report, utilised capacity and an operating costs calculator.

Included with the dishwasher is a 1 x plate rack, 1 x open rack and a 1 x 4 cutlery basket. It can wash up to 40 racks per hour. 

Score: 9/10

Cost: £4,000 – £5,000

4. Winterhalter UC 

The Winterhalter Undercounter Dishwasher comes in various sizes, from small to extra large, so you can pick the right dishwasher for your catering business’ growing needs. 

It harnesses cutting-edge technology to deliver spotless, cost-efficient washes. For example, each UC is fitted with a clouding sensor that monitors the tank water and ensures fast regeneration if it’s too dirty. 

Add that to a quadruple filtration system, automatic variable water pressure regulation and WiFi connectivity for the ultimate smart wash. 

Score: 9/10

Cost: £3,300 – £5,000

The 4 Best Pass Through Commercial Dishwashers

Pass through dishwashers are larger than undercounter dishwashers. They’re usually purchased with two dish tables: one for dirty dishes and one for clean dishes. This helps the user pre-rinse and load dishware easily. 

They are also highly-efficient washers, cleaning up to 1200 plates per hour

If you own a medium-sized catering business or are looking for a dishwasher to accommodate future growth, pass through dishwashers are a great option. 

Here are four quality pass through dishwashers, each with their unique benefits. 

1. Sammic X100C Passthrough Dishwasher

An excellent entry-level pass through dishwasher, the Sammic X100C model washes up to 60 500 x 500mm baskets per hour and has three cycle options: 120, 180 or 210 seconds.  

It’s hood operated with an auto-cycle start and comes with a booster pump and constant rinse temperature system. 

Also included is a WRAS Approved Break Tank, rinse aid dosing equipment and a thermal cycle delay option, guaranteeing a minimum final rinse temperature of 85°C.

Score: 8/10

Price: £2,500 – £3,000

2. Classeq Pass Through Dishwasher P500A-16

Classeq’s P500A-16 model is a powerful and reliable machine, cleaning up to 720 plates per hour. 

With a 28 litre wash tank, water consumption is reduced helping to minimise running costs.

Easy cleaning is ensured via its continuous hood clean and removable front panel.

Note that this model is designed to be used with an external detergent pump. It does not include a built-in pump. 

Score: 8/10

Cost: £3,300 – £3,500

3. Hobart Ecomax Pass Through Dishwasher H603

Ideal for busy, growing kitchens, the Hobart Ecomax Plus H603 model washes 60 500 x 500mm racks per hour through 60 or 90-second wash cycles. 

Downtime is minimised through intelligent built-in features such as auto rinse down and pump intake protection. While running costs are minimised with a low volume 21 litre wash tank and an efficient 2.5 litre rinse.

Choose the H603S model for an integrated water softener and digital temperature display.

Score: 8/10

Price: £4,000 – £5,000

4. Winterhalter Pass Through Dishwasher 

The Winterhalter Pass Through models are expensive but it’s worth it if you can afford it. You’re paying for a high-quality machine that will last you a lifetime if you take care of it properly. 

Designed to cope under pressure, the PT series can wash up to 55 large 500x600mm baskets per hour. 

VarioPower technology allows you to change the strength of the wash, giving you more control and flexibility. While economical washes are ensured through intelligent energy-use functions. 

Score: 10/10

Price: £7,000 – £10,000

Make the right choice for your kitchen 

With all of these quality commercial dishwashers to choose from, you should feel more empowered to make the best purchasing decision for your business. 

Got a burning question we haven’t covered? Call us on 0113 833 1234 or email us at info@northerncatering.co.uk for a speedy answer!

The Ultimate Guide to Buying a Commercial Dishwasher

It’s painful to imagine running a kitchen without a commercial dishwasher. Far surpassing domestic models, they are designed to get your dishware sparkly clean at record speeds, saving you precious time and money. 

But which commercial dishwasher is best for your business? 

Use this guide to make the best possible purchase and keep your dishwasher running optimally through quality care. We cover:

  1. Three main types of commercial dishwashers
  2. Other commercial dishwashers 
  3. Four dishwasher features to consider 
  4. Installing your dishwasher 
  5. How to care for your dishwasher 

Keep reading to learn more.

Three main types of commercial dishwashers

1. Undercounter dishwasher 

Undercounter dishwashers are designed to fit (you guessed it) under your counter. This ensures they take up as little space as possible, making them a popular choice for small caterers. 

Much more efficient than domestic dishwashers, they can wash up to 500 plates per hour. Each cycle usually takes around three minutes.

With front-loading capability, they are easy to access which is especially useful for cleaning. 

Suitability: good for small, moderately busy kitchens such as independent restaurants, cafes, bars and take away outlets

Cost: £1000 -£6000

2. Pass-through dishwashers

Pass-through dishwashers are large units that often come with two dish tables: one for dirty dishes and one for clean dishes so you can pre-rinse your plates easily.

They are highly efficient dishwashers, cleaning up to 1200 plates per hour

Quick loading capabilities also make for a super-fast dishwashing process. 

Unlike undercounter dishwashers, pass-throughs require the user to pull down on the hood. This makes them somewhat ergonomic since the user doesn’t need to bend over. 

Suitability: good for high-volume medium-sized kitchens, such as large restaurants, residential home canteens and hotel kitchens 

Cost: £2500 – £13500

3. Rack dishwashers

Rack dishwashers are the Ferraris of commercial dishwashers. Using an automated conveyor system, they can wash between 1700 and 2300 plates per hour. 

Bigger than pass-through and undercounter dishwashers, they require a lot of space with room for two dishwasher tables on either side. 

Some premium rack dishwashers also come with a drying chamber to speed up the cleaning process. 

Suitability: good for large kitchens such as school and hospital canteens 

Cost: £12,000 – £20,000

Other dishwashers

1. Glasswashers

Glasswashers are usually quite small and can fit under a counter. They have been specifically designed to clean glassware quickly without risk of damage. They can cost anywhere from £700 to £5000.

2. Utensil washers

Utensil washers can clean very dirty pans and pots in ways standard commercial dishwashers can’t. This makes them useful for caterers who don’t use much cutlery and rely on larger utensils. They can cost anywhere from £5000 to £30,000.

Four dishwasher features to consider

Now you should have a better idea of the type of dishwasher your kitchen needs. The next step is understanding the different features of commercial dishwashers so you can make a more informed investment. 

1. Size and capacity 

When thinking about the desired size of your commercial dishwasher, consider:

  • The size and height of your kitchen
  • How many dishes you need to clean per load

If you’re looking to buy a pass-through or rack dishwasher, remember that you might also need to buy two dishwasher tables to go on either side, increasing the space you’ll need.

Do you have plans to expand your kitchen in the future? If you want to save money by avoiding getting a replacement (and currently have the space for it), it may be worth purchasing a dishwasher that can handle the extra work. 

2. Temperature

Commercial dishwashers typically operate at high temperatures and low temperatures.  

High temperatures sanitize dishware using heat at around 150 to 160 degrees. While low temperatures use chemical sanitising agents instead. Both methods of cleaning have their pros and cons.

For example, you’ll save energy using a low temp dishwasher but the chemicals used might tarnish your dishware. While a high temp dishwasher uses a lot more energy but is gentle when it comes to cleaning. 

3. Cost

If your dishwasher uses hot water for cleaning, you might be spending more on energy than a low temp dishwasher. Saying that, you’ll have to continuously buy sanitizing chemicals when cleaning your dishes with cool water.  

It’s worth sitting down and calculating these predicted costs when considering different dishwashers. That way you can pick the option that saves you the most money. 

You can also save money by buying a good-quality dishwasher. Go cheap and it’s you’ll likely have to pay more money on part replacements and repairs.

Learn how to care for your catering equipment to reduce maintenance costs. 

4. Energy efficiency

The two main resources used by commercial dishwashers are energy and water.

If you’re looking to make your kitchen more environmentally friendly, consider a model that has optional low energy settings.

A government-run agency called Energy Star rates commercial dishwashers for their energy efficiency. Look out for the official certification – it means that the machine uses 40% less water and is 40% more energy efficient.

Installing your dishwasher 

Before you purchase a dishwasher, carefully assess the space it will use. Consider if it will cause any obstructions. For example, will using the door during loading and unloading block the path for staff?  

Most dishwashers require a direct mains water and power connection as they consume large amounts of water and power.  

For large appliances like dishwashers, it is usually worth investing in professional installation to ensure your appliance is set up safely. Site surveys before installation may be required for pass-through and rack dishwashers that require a lot of space.

How to care for your dishwasher 

The manufacturer’s guidelines will stipulate how to properly care and maintain your dishwasher. 

Following these guidelines will save you time and energy – effective care for your dishwasher will prevent mechanical issues and grime build-up which can become costly problems. It will also drive cleaning efficiency, helping you get the most out of your dishwasher.

Here are some handy cleaning tips to keep your dishwasher in great condition:

  • Remove food residue from dishes before washing
  • Use the recommended detergent
  • Wash the inside of the dishwasher
  • Drain the dishwasher after cleaning
  • Empty the filter to clear it of debris
  • Clean the rinse arms and jets
  • Rinse aid compartments
  • Air out the dishwasher to prevent bacteria buildup

For a complete guide on caring for your catering equipment, read our article.

Is there something else about commercial dishwashers you’d like to know? We’re happy to help. Send your questions to info@northerncatering.co.uk or call us on 0113 833 1234.

 

6 Essential Maintenance Tips for Commercial Catering Equipment

Your catering equipment is a member of your team like any other. It needs time and attention to do its job properly. Give it the bare minimum of care and you will find yourself losing time, money and staff morale.

We get it, though. Managing a kitchen isn’t easy; you’re always short on time.

That’s why we’ve created 6 simple tips to make caring for your catering equipment painless. Put them into practice and benefit from:

  • Huge cost savings
  • Faster operations 
  • Better food quality
  • Health and safety compliance
  • Improved staff morale

1. Learn how to treat stainless steel 

dishwasher catering equipment

Most catering equipment is made of stainless steel because it’s resistant to corrosion and oxidation – it produces its own oxide film that coats the metal, helping it repair itself. 

But as you probably already know, that doesn’t make it invincible. 

The film breaks down over time, resulting in pitting and corrosion. To slow degradation, you need to clean your stainless steel appliances properly. 

To clean stainless steel effectively, you’ll need:

  • A soft cloth
  • An alkaline washing detergent (pH over 8)
  • Warm, clean water

Daily cleaning is essential to really make an impact. Already got stains? Removing rust, grease, coffee stains or salt marks requires a cleaning paste like Cif Cream. Spread the cleaner with a soft cloth then let it sit for 15 minutes. Afterward, rinse with warm water and wipe dry. 

To remove lime stains, a 25% vinegar solution should do the trick.

Pro tip: avoid using soaps containing citric acid with a pH under 6. And try not to leave wet cast iron pans or other metallic utensils on stainless steel appliances for long periods as this will encourage rust.  

2. Create a cleaning schedule

Cleaning should be habitual when it comes to your commercial catering equipment. Regular cleaning keeps your equipment in good health but also your staff and customers too as you maintain a safe and hospitable working environment.

Creating a cleaning schedule makes this task much more manageable while ensuring those responsible stay accountable. High Speed Training offers a cleaning schedule template here

Equipment that should be on your cleaning checklist includes:

  • Combi Ovens
  • Hobs and ovens
  • Coffee machines
  • Boiling Kettles
  • Microwaves
  • Refrigerators 
  • Freezers
  • Hoods, vents, and exhausts
  • Floors
  • Sinks, taps and draining boards
  • Drains
  • Waste disposal units
  • Grease traps
  • Dishwashers, and cutlery and glassware cleaners
  • Hand washing stations 

A few items on that list may require special attention. Learn more in our next tip.

3. Invest in deep cleaning services

Sometimes deep grime and dirt get into places you can’t reach, such as extractor systems and grills. Left unchecked and this can lead to safety hazards. 

It’s instances like these where hiring professional cleaners is a must. 

But you don’t want just any old cleaning service. Hire a cleaner for commercial kitchens with experience working in catering environments. That way you can ensure the job will be done efficiently and your money is well invested. 

A deep cleaning checklist can include:

  • Structural deep cleaning (ceilings, walls, floors)
  • Equipment deep cleaning (cookers, fryers, grills, griddles, refrigerators, freezers and more)
  • Worktop and storage deep cleaning (worktops, trolleys, shelving)
  • Extraction cleaning (canopies, filters, ducting, extractor fans)

Pro tip: when it comes to hiring cleaners for extraction systems, look out for members of the National Association of Duct Cleaners (NAAS) that adhere to TR19 standards. ISO 9001 quality assurance certification is a bonus too. 

4. Know the manufacturer’s guidelines 

There are two types of people – those who file their manuals in dedicated draws and those who toss them in the trash faster than you can say “Adios”. 

If you belong to the latter type, you’re going to have to fight that urge the next time you purchase new equipment. Because contained within that boring manual is information critical to preventative maintenance, including:

  • Cleaning and maintenance schedules
  • Instructions on use
  • Warranties to activate
  • Service records
  • How to claim in the event of issues

These essential details help you maintain and use your equipment properly, ensuring you can get the most out of your investment. 

Pro tip: following the manufacturer’s guidelines is key to keeping warranties valid. 

Missing a manual? You should be able to find a digital copy online by searching for the manufacturer and item code. 

5. Schedule routine inspections

Just as you need to maintain regular cleaning for all your catering equipment, you need ongoing maintenance inspections. So you can address small problems before they turn into expensive headaches.

Generally, equipment that needs routine inspections include:

  • Deep fat fryers
  • Automatic extinguishing systems 
  • Gas appliances
  • Pressure cookers 
  • Ventilation systems
  • Electrical plugs, cables and appliances
  • Gas appliance controls

Some inspections you can do yourself with a manual, such as calibrating your cooking equipment. Anything that feels too technical, bring in the professionals. For example, you should hire a Gas Safety engineer for gas equipment.

6. Train your staff on proper care

catering staff

Staff training on cleaning and maintaining equipment should be an essential part of your onboarding process. Otherwise, your kitchen might suffer from longer preparation times, ineffective cleaning, a drop in hygiene standards and rising energy costs. 

Training in these areas is also key to getting the most out of your equipment and ensuring valid warranties. 

It’s up to you to decide how you train your staff. You can do it yourself, use instructional videos online provided by the manufacturer or send staff on a private course. 

Pro tip: avoid training staff on the job. Otherwise, they might be too stressed to learn effectively. 

It’s all about the prep 

Proper cleaning and maintenance of your commercial catering equipment can feel like an overwhelming task. But not if you prepare properly.

Use these tips to plan your maintenance and cleaning schedules. And study your manuals in advance to make staff training and regular inspections hassle-free.

Got a question about caring for your equipment? We’re here to help. Call us on 0113 833 1234 or send us an email at info@northerncatering.co.uk.