Assess the menu, anticipated production needs and volume when purchasing a range.
To get a better idea of how the operation will use the unit and determine the proper configuration, start by listing specific menu items designated for the burners and oven, hot plate, griddle, charboiler and/or salamander.
This will help determine whether a heavy-, medium- or light-duty model best suits the operation and the necessary number of burners. This will also reveal if an oven base or refrigerated drawers best meet the operation’s needs.
If using an oven in conjunction with the range, decide if a convection or standard unit best meets the need. The menu may warrant use of a high heat oven, which can reach 600 degrees F.
In addition to choosing heating type, such as gas, electric or induction, gas burner Btus should be taken into consideration. These are essential so the kitchen tasks can be accomplished in an efficient manner without wasting labor and utilities. There are a number of surface configurations, from open flames to griddles, although the industry standard is six burners with an oven underneath.
Because the grate design controls the direction of the heat, figure out what type, whether hot tops, French tops, planchas or 1-inch griddle plates, will work most efficiently with the specific cooking applications.
Budget factors into the range’s construction, yet operators should keep return on investment in mind. Maintenance is another factor as ranges need to be thoroughly cleaned on a daily basis.
If the range is in front of the customer, optional features like belly bars, copper and brass adornments, and powder coating add to the unit’s aesthetics. With ranges, operators can choose from fixed legs, casters or a curb base.
Energy consumption is another key aspect to consider when choosing a range. Induction ranges, which are pricier yet more energy efficient, also don’t require ventilation like traditional ranges. The exception is ventless models that have built-in systems.
Always compare benefits and features to make sure the model that meets the necessary requirements of the operation is selected.