Heated Display Merchandisers

Heated display merchandisers keep food accessible and hot prior to serving.

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A Guide to Purchasing Heated Merchandisers

Purchasing Considerations for Heated Merchandisers

Application represents the first consideration when purchasing a heated display merchandiser. Self-serve units allow customers to select food themselves. Operators will need to regularly replenish product to maintain a full appearance. Packaging also plays a part in determining whether the food looks appealing.

With full-service merchandisers, staff members are able to interact with customers and regularly tend to food. This type of unit, though, may require additional labor to maintain a fresh and full appearance in the case.

When choosing a heated merchandiser, identify menu items that can properly display wrapped, in a container, boxed or uncovered for self-service. In addition, operators can choose to display food products either pre-portioned or in bulk for self-service. Determine the number of servings to be displayed at one time, which will determine the unit’s size.

Selecting the proper capacity for the heated merchandiser plays a key role in supporting the menu and operation. Operators need to figure out how many shelves or pans are necessary per compartment to handle the number of portions or servings per shelf or pan.

The required holding time will help determine the appropriate type of heating system. Units with heated bottoms may utilize decorative heat lamps that hang from the ceiling. Other heating options include heated shelves, infrared lights or forced hot air circulated through the cavity.

Despite the fact that operators can place heated merchandisers almost anywhere on a serving counter, table or stand, they should verify the location prior to purchasing. If visible to customers, consider a model with graphics and/or slanted shelves for marketing.

Some units require electrical connections and/or additional counter space and may need a backup display or storage, depending on the operation’s volume.

Place floor models in a serving area to create a new point of service station or supplement an existing station; however, this will require an electrical connection and may appear cumbersome if the proper size is not selected.

A common mistake operators make is specifying merchandisers that are too large. To find the right size, establish the floor and/or counter space necessary to accommodate food items.

he unit cannot maintain temperatures between 140 degrees F and 160 degrees F, food safety becomes an issue. If the unit cannot keep food hot, consider a new unit.

Burns or scorch marks on heated holding surfaces may indicate the Calrod is either out of calibration or failing. Depending on the severity of the problem, a new unit may be necessary.

Front-of-house aesthetics may be compromised when the merchandiser has broken glass, deteriorating knobs or damaged lights. Consider retiring older units that appear damaged or show age and heavy use.

Cabinets with evidence of pitting and/or erosion, which may come about from heavy use or cleaning with harsh chemicals, may become a food safety hazard and need replacing.

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