EVEN as healthy eating continues to gain ground with the British public, fried food remains a favourite with restaurant and pub-goers.
Purchasing a new fryer or griddle can be a significant outlay for an operator, however, and buyers are advised to carefully consider their requirements before reaching for their wallets.
“When looking for commercial griddles and fryers, pub operators need to consider space, maintenance, energy saving benefits, productivity and proven reliability,” said Simon Lilley at Electrolux Professional.
“If the equipment meets these needs then it will ultimately reduce overheads and improve the bottom line for pub operators.”
Lilley’s advice was echoed by Mick Shaddock, of the Catering Equipment Suppliers Association, who said operators should do their homework before purchasing any equipment.
“Fryers are big consumers of oil and energy,” said Shaddock.
“Before you buy, compare the manufacturers’ running cost figures.
“A more expensive machine that costs less to run may pay for itself in a very short time. Also, check there is a ready supply of spare parts – a cheap fryer that can’t be repaired will quickly turn into an expensive option.
Other factors to consider, Shaddock said, include choosing between a gas or electric-powered fryer, and deciding whether or not multiple fryers are needed for use at different times of the week. And with current technology it is possible to produce fried food that even appeals to the health-conscious crowd, according to equipment specialist Rational.
A more expensive machine that costs less to run may pay for itself in a short time.
“Low-fat diets are all the rage at the moment and even those who are not actually dieting are often looking for healthy options,” a spokesman said.
“On the back of this chips and other deep fried foods have come in for a bit of a panning, but there are alternative ways to cook these types of foods without using so much fat.”
The spokesman said commercially available fryers can now fry frozen chips that are already par-fried and require no additional fat or oil. These chips contain significantly less fat than chips prepared conventionally.