Storage & Handling Equipment
Browse our articles on storage and handling equipment and find primers on a wide variety of specific product categories, including articles on how to specify, when to replace products and much more.
While operators typically use undercounter refrigerators, also known as lowboys, in a kitchen’s prep area, the underbar type is most often used in the front-of-the-house bar area. Undercounter models have greater depths for accommodating full-size sheet pans, while underbar coolers are designed for bottled beverages.
Because it’s typically high-volume operations utilizing these units, any downtime can cause big service disruptions and should be avoided whenever possible.
Consultant Q&A with Juan Martinez, principal and founder of Profitality, Miami
A rethermalizer works to heat up pre-packed foods from a chilled or frozen state of less than 40 degrees F to a temperature of more than 165 degrees F safely and quickly. This equipment, which encompasses water baths, combi ovens and cook-and-hold ovens, can heat a variety of food items, including soup, gravy, sauces, pasta, meats and vegetables.
Reach-in refrigerators or uprights, which keep food temperatures between 36 degrees F and 38 degrees F, can store a variety of perishable food. Glass door models can help foodservice operators merchandise packaged sandwiches, beverages and impulse food purchases, while custom models can store temperature-sensitive items such as wine and chocolate.
Service agent Christopher B. Warren, director of operations, Joe Warren & Sons, Norwood, Mass., offers a few tips on keeping underbar equipment in top operating condition.
Steve Waltz, senior associate/project manager at Cini-Little International, Inc., based in Washington, D.C., discusses the important factors to consider when choosing underbar equipment.
Underbar equipment needs vary depending on the operation. In general, key pieces form a lineup to create a complete workstation. This typically consists of a countertop or work surface with a backsplash. Cabinet-style underbar equipment has a floor and an open front or hinged front access doors that allow storage below the work surface.
To avoid milk stone buildup, a combination cleaner and sanitizer is recommended for cleaning soft-serve machines’ stationary components. After assembly, this chemical acts as a sanitizer and has the added benefit of working on milk stone film. These chemicals are intended to be used in food zones.
Consultant Arlene Spiegel, president of New York City-based Arlene Spiegel & Associates, discusses the hard, cold facts foodservice operators will need to know when purchasing a soft-serve machine.
Regular cleaning and sanitizing is critical with soft-serve machines. Operators should follow the manufacturer’s recommendations, using the appropriate tools and chemicals, to ensure a long service life.