Operators should weigh a variety of considerations when purchasing a meal delivery cart.
The type of foodservice operation, such as a hospital, school, corrections facilities, B&I, or sports and entertainment venue, will play a prominent role in determining the right cart for the application. This equipment is also commonly used for special applications, such as catering, camps, rec centers and with food trucks.
Start by looking at the items currently on the menu that can be transported either hot or cold. This includes determining the portion size, whether food will be pre-packaged for self-selection or bulk for either self-serve or attendant serve, and the time and distance the cart will be traveling to the point of service.
Selecting the proper capacity for the transport cart in order to support the menu and operation is key. Operators need to determine how many shelves or universal pan slides are necessary per compartment to handle the number of portions/servings per pan. Both types of units come insulated and will maintain proper temperature for a period of time. The electric unit requires power at the point of origination and at the final destination in order to maintain proper temperatures for an extended time. Nonelectric carts working in conjunction with hot or cold pellets can maintain temperatures for a limited period of time.
Electric models can maintain a consistent temperature over a longer period of time. In some models with compartments, multiple temperatures can be used for different types of products to be held.
Operators should also consider off duty storage space when purchasing these units.