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Commercial Servery & Display Machine Buying Guide

12 Jul 2023, 5:06 PM

Commercial Servery &
Display Machine Buying Guide

Commercial servery and display machines are essential equipment for businesses in the food service industry. These machines are designed to keep food items at safe temperatures while also providing an attractive display for customers. Whether you run a restaurant, catering service, or cafeteria, investing in the right servery and display machine can make a significant impact on the success of your business.

Types Of Machines:

Food Warmer Display & Gantry

Electric food warmers, heated gantries, salad bars, popcorn makers, hot dog machines and ice cream machines fall under this category. These machines are an important investment for businesses that want to showcase their food items in an attractive and hygienic manner while keeping them at a safe temperature for customers to enjoy.

Electric Food Warmers

Electric food warmers are widely used in commercial settings such as restaurants, catering businesses, and cafeterias to maintain the temperature of cooked food for extended periods of time. These devices ensure that the food remains safe to consume while preserving its quality. Heat lamps are a popular type of food warmer. They utilise infrared radiation to keep food warm. These lamps typically have a heating element and a reflector that directs the heat onto the food. Heat lamps are often used in buffet setups or to keep already plated, or displayed food, warm. Countertop food warmers come in various forms, such as heated shelves, cabinets, and drawers. These warmers are typically made of stainless steel and feature adjustable temperature controls. They are versatile and can be used to keep a wide range of food items warm, including baked goods, sauces, and soups. Food holding cabinets are larger-scale warmers designed to hold a significant amount of food at a consistent temperature. They often have multiple compartments and shelves, allowing for organisation and storage of different food items.Warming trays are flat, electrically heated surfaces designed to keep food warm on a serving table or buffet line. They are particularly useful for warming appetisers, small dishes, or even plated meals. Different types of food warmers are selected based on the specific needs of a commercial establishment, the type of food being served, and the volume of food that needs to be kept warm. Each type of food warmer offers unique features and benefits that cater to different requirements in the food service industry.

We supply a variety of food warmers from brands such as Buffalo, Victor, Moffat and Carter Hoffmann.

Hot Dog Machines

A commercial hot dog machine, or warmer, is a specialised piece of equipment used for cooking and warming hot dogs. It is commonly found in various food establishments such as concession stands, sports arenas, amusement parks, and fast-food outlets. These machines are designed to efficiently cook and maintain the temperature of hot dogs while ensuring food safety and quick service.

The hot dog machine typically consists of a stainless steel enclosure with heating elements, rotating rollers, and a drip tray. The heating elements provide the necessary heat to cook and keep the hot dogs warm. The rotating rollers allow the hot dogs to be evenly cooked and browned while preventing them from sticking.

Browse our Roller Grill Hot Dog Rollers.

Salad Bars

These allow customers to create their own salads using a variety of fresh ingredients. They have several features to ensure optimal performance and convenience.

The average temperature typically falls between 36F (2C) and 41F (5C) to keep the ingredients fresh and safe. Electronic thermostats are used to monitor and regulate the temperature accurately.

Their refrigeration system circulates cool air evenly to keep all the ingredients properly chilled. Display shelves and pans are designed to accommodate various sizes of salad containers, making it easy to arrange and replenish the ingredients.

Built-in lighting enhances the visibility and presentation of the ingredients. Electronic controls provide convenient temperature management, and lockable castors offer mobility and stability for easy cleaning. They also feature drainage systems to collect and drain away any excess moisture or water, preventing moisture buildup and ensuring sanitation.

Browse our Salad Bars from brands such as Buffalo and Roller.

Ice Cream Dispensers

Ice cream dispensers are commonly used in restaurants, ice cream parlours, and dessert shops to hold and dispense a large quantity of ice cream or frozen dessert. They typically consist of a refrigeration system, a mixing mechanism, and a dispensing mechanism. The refrigeration system keeps the ice cream at the desired temperature, ensuring it remains frozen and creamy.

The mixing mechanism in the machine blends air into the ice cream mixture, resulting in a smooth and light texture. This process is crucial for achieving the signature soft-serve consistency. Some machines may also have multiple hoppers, allowing operators to offer different flavours or combinations.

Dispensing mechanisms in ice cream machines are designed for easy serving. They often have a lever or button that controls the flow of ice cream. Some machines offer portion control features, allowing operators to dispense consistent servings each time.

Many have built-in cleaning features to simplify the cleaning process too. These features may include automatic cleaning cycles, detachable components for easy cleaning, and self-sanitising systems.

Browse our ice cream machines / dispensers from high quality brands such as Carpigiani, Icetro and Electrolux.

Bain Maries

Bain Maries are a type of commercial kitchen equipment used to keep food items warm and at a safe temperature for extended periods. They consist of a container filled with hot water, which is heated using an electric element or another heat source. The water heats the surrounding area, maintaining a constant and even temperature to keep the food items warm and fresh.

Bain Maries are particularly useful in a range of food service settings, including restaurants, catering services, and buffets. They can be used to keep a variety of food items warm, such as soups, sauces, stews, curries, and gravies. Additionally, they can be used to keep food items chilled by using cold water in the container and placing a compatible container with ice or another refrigeration source inside it.

Browse our Falcon, Lincat and Parry bain maries, which are guaranteed to be of excellent quality.

Chip Scuttles

A commercial chip scuttle is a specialised piece of equipment used for keeping fried or cooked chips warm and crisp. It is commonly found in restaurants, fast-food establishments, pubs, and other food service venues where chips are served as a popular side dish. Chip scuttles are designed to maintain the temperature and texture of chips while ensuring they remain appetising and ready for serving.

Typically, a chip scuttle consists of a stainless steel housing with a heating element or lamp positioned above a perforated tray or rack. The heating element or lamp provides heat from above, keeping the chips warm and preventing them from becoming soggy. The perforated tray allows any excess oil or moisture to drain away, maintaining the crispness of the chips.

Commercial chip scuttles often feature a removable tray or drawer for easy loading and serving of the chips. This allows for efficient replenishment and ensures a steady supply of freshly warmed chips to meet customer demand. Some chip scuttles come with adjustable temperature controls, allowing operators to set the desired heat level. Additionally, chip scuttles may have features like a hinged or lift-up lid to protect the chips while keeping them warm. The lid also helps to retain heat within the scuttle, maintaining the optimal temperature for an extended period.

Browse our chip scuttles from reliable brands like Falcon and Lincat.

Hot Cupboards

A commercial hot cupboard, also known as a hot holding cabinet or hot food cabinet, is a specialised piece of equipment commonly used in the food service industry to keep prepared food warm and at a safe temperature until it is ready to be served.

Hot cupboards typically consist of a well-insulated cabinet made of stainless steel. The cabinet is equipped with heating elements and temperature controls to maintain a steady and precise temperature range for the stored food. The temperature range of hot cupboards is typically between 140F (60C) and 185F (85C).

These cabinets often have multiple shelves or racks to accommodate a large quantity of food. The shelves can be adjustable or removable, allowing for flexibility in storage space. Some models may have separate compartments or shelves, allowing for the organisation and storage of different types of dishes.

One of the key features of a commercial hot cupboard is its insulation. The insulation helps to retain heat effectively, reducing energy consumption and maintaining the desired temperature even when the unit is not actively heating. This insulation also ensures that the external surfaces of the cupboard remain cool to the touch for user safety.

Browse our Hot Cupboards.

Plate Warmers

Plate warmers, as the name suggests, heats and warms plates before serving food. The warm plates help to maintain the temperature of the food being served, enhancing the dining experience for customers.

They typically consist of a stainless steel cabinet with internal heating elements. The heating elements generate heat to warm the plates evenly. The cabinet is well-insulated to retain the heat and prevent excessive energy consumption.

They come in various sizes and capacities to accommodate different quantities of plates. They may have multiple shelves or compartments, allowing for organised storage and easy access to the warmed plates.

These warmers often have adjustable temperature controls, enabling operators to set the desired temperature range based on the type of food and the specific requirements of the establishment. This flexibility ensures that the plates can be warmed to the optimal temperature for serving different dishes.

Browse our plate warmers.

Food Merchandisers

Food merchandisers are used to display and showcase food items in a visually appealing manner, attracting customers and stimulating their appetite. These merchandisers are commonly used in various food establishments, including bakeries, cafes, convenience stores, delis, and supermarkets.

They are designed to showcase a wide range of food products, such as baked goods, sandwiches, salads and desserts. They are particularly useful for items that benefit from being prominently displayed and tempt customers with their visual appeal. The merchandisers often feature a glass or transparent front panel to provide a clear view of the food items while keeping them protected from contaminants. Some models may have multiple levels or shelves to accommodate different food varieties and optimise display space.

They utilise different methods to maintain the freshness and temperature of the displayed food. Some models feature refrigeration systems, allowing perishable items to be stored and showcased at the ideal temperature. Other merchandisers rely on ambient air or temperature controls to keep non-perishable items fresh. Additional features of food merchandisers may include interior lighting to enhance the visual presentation of the food, adjustable shelving for flexibility in arrangement, and easy-to-use controls for temperature adjustments and display settings.

Browse our variety of food merchandisers, from cake display units, to heated countertop displays.

Hot Plates

Hot plates are ideal for food establishments that need to prepare or heat food at different locations or during off-site events such as outdoor catering or pop-up kitchens.

Hot plates can be used to cook or warm various types of foods, including sauces, soups, stews, stir-fries, grilled items, and more. They are particularly useful for keeping food warm during buffet service or for cooking smaller quantities of food in a controlled manner.

The features of commercial hot plates may vary depending on the model and manufacturer. They typically include one or multiple heating elements with individual temperature controls, allowing for precise heat adjustments for different cooking needs. Some hot plates may have indicators or display screens to monitor temperature settings and ensure accurate cooking.

Hot plates often feature durable and easy-to-clean materials such as stainless steel. Portability is a key feature of commercial hot plates. They are designed to be lightweight and compact, allowing for easy transport and setup in various locations.

Browse our hot plates from brands like Caterlite and Victor.

Soup Kettles / Hot Pots

A soup kettle, also known as a soup warmer or hot pot, is designed to cook, heat, and serve soups, stews, chilli, and other liquid-based foods.

They are typically made of stainless steel and feature a large, deep pot with a tight-fitting lid. They have a heating element built into the base, allowing for efficient and even heating of the contents. The heating element is controlled by adjustable temperature settings, enabling operators to maintain the desired temperature for holding or cooking the food.

Soup kettles commonly have a large capacity, allowing for the preparation and serving of large quantities of soup. They may also come with ladle holders, making it convenient to serve the soup directly from the kettle.

A key feature of soup kettles is their insulation, which helps to retain heat and keep the soup warm for extended periods. This insulation minimizes heat loss and ensures that the soup remains at a safe serving temperature.

Browse our soup kettles, which are also ideal from a merchandising point of view.

Hot Sauce Dispensers

Hot sauce dispensers provide a convenient and hygienic way to offer a variety of hot sauces to customers.

These dispensers are designed to accommodate different types of hot sauces, including popular options such as nacho cheese, caramel or fudge sauce or gravy.

Hot sauce dispensers typically consist of a container or reservoir for holding the sauce and a dispensing mechanism. The containers are often made of durable and food-grade materials, such as plastic or stainless steel, ensuring safe and easy cleaning.

The dispensing mechanism in hot sauce dispensers is usually a pump or lever system. It allows customers or staff to dispense the desired amount of sauce onto their food without the need for direct contact, promoting hygiene and reducing waste.

Some hot sauce dispensers feature adjustable portion control settings, allowing operators to regulate the amount of sauce dispensed.

Browse our range of hot sauce dispensers from reliable brand JM Posner.

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