Joshua Labrecque, assistant project manager for Colburn & Guyette, Rockland, Mass., discusses the consideration foodservice operators should weigh when purchasing a conveyor toaster.
FE&S: What applications are conveyor toasters best suited for?
JL: Most people think of conveyor toasters when they want to toast numerous items in a short amount of time, such as bulk toast or bagels during breakfast, buns for burgers during lunch service or for customer use during breakfast at a self-serve station. There are many options available to suit many different types of needs for toasting.
FE&S: What should operators consider when choosing a conveyor toaster model?
JL: When selecting a conveyor toaster, it’s important to consider the application and requirements. Is it going to be for public use or be located in the back of the house? Will only one specific type of bread be toasted or multiple varieties, such as sliced bread, bagels, croissants and English muffins? What quantity of product is going to be toasted?
FE&S: Any recent technological advancement with these units?
JL: The more advanced toasters can be adjusted on the fly using pre-programmed settings for specific breads, such as croissants and bagels, by pushing a button. However, these come at a premium, typically costing 50 percent to 100 percent more than standard conveyor toasters.
FE&S: How does volume and capacity come into play?
JL: Conveyor toasters come in various sizes and belt widths, which provide options for the amount of toasting throughput. Typically, a conveyor wide enough for most sliced bread will suffice. If a larger production capacity is needed, bigger units are available.
FE&S: What options should be considered when purchasing a conveyor toaster?
JL: One option that should always be considered is energy-saving automatic shutoff capability. Commercial toasters use an abundance of energy when left running continuously. Even smaller toasters use a great deal of energy when left running for long
periods of time.