Cafe operators should consider the toaster’s output capacity, footprint and the types of products that will be toasted before deciding on a model. For space savings, pop-up toasters have smaller footprints than conveyor models but typically handle smaller volumes. Compact models should be considered by operators facing space limitations.
Toasters specifically geared toward bagels and thicker bread items are available. Browning controls are an often-useful option. So are controls that monitor heat to assure toasting consistency. When selecting a conveyor toaster, it’s important to consider the application and requirements. Cafe operators should determine if it will be for public or back-of-house use and the type of bread or products that will be prepared as well as the quantity.
Cafes only making toast with sliced bread will want a toaster with heat on both the top and bottom, while those toasting bagels and English muffins will require a unit that only toasts on top. For added flexibility, a toaster with the ability to turn on or off the top or bottom heat can be utilized.
Conveyor toasters come in various sizes and belt widths, which provide options for the amount of toasting throughput. For most applications, a conveyor wide enough for most sliced bread will suffice. If a larger production capacity is needed, bigger units are available.
One option that should always be considered is energy-saving automatic shut-off 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.