Service Agent Q&A with George Loredo, service manager, PROTEX Restaurant Services Inc., Corpus Christi, Texas
FE&S: What are the cleaning requirements for countertop dispensers?
GL: Because these units are handled by many people throughout the day, a daily wipe down to remove food particles and fingerprints on the exterior is required.
FE&S: Are there sanitation needs with these units?
GL: Some operations use food-grade sanitizer for cleaning, but anything containing bleach or heavy detergents can impact the integrity of plastic or metal and negatively affect the mechanisms.
FE&S: What are the maintenance requirements with these dispensers?
GL: There is minimal labor required to maintain these units as no lubrication is needed. Dispensers are typically replaced if there are problems because there are no serviceable parts. Everything is self-contained for the most part, and the cost to fix a dispenser would typically outweigh the price of replacement.
FE&S: What can operators expect in terms of the service life?
GL: The service life of a dispenser varies and depends on use and abuse. We’ve seen some in operation for many years, but typically after a year, these start to break down and show wear and tear.
FE&S: When should foodservice operators replace a countertop dispenser?
GL: Operators should consider replacing a unit when it appears worn or damaged or when the unit no longer dispenses reliably. Items may begin getting stuck, or components will not be moving, sliding or swiveling properly.
FE&S: Are there any other issues operators should be aware of with these units?
GL: Countertop dispensers can be a safety issue if not inspected on occasion. These can pinch users’ fingers or destroy product if proper dispensing is compromised. For this reason, operators need to keep tabs on the condition of this equipment.