CHRISTMAS is naturally one of the busiest times of year for commercial kitchens, and as the season creeps closer it is becoming ever more important that premises are prepared.
Equipment suppliers say it is vital that licensees consider their kitchen setup well ahead of the Christmas rush.
In the run up to and during the festive season “significant demands are placed on kitchens”, according to Shaune Hall of Falcon Foodservice Equipment, who said that this results in a need for catering equipment “that can cope with the changes in menu and increased usage”.
Nick Pendlebury of Pantheon Catering Equipment took a similar stance, adding that “a pre-Christmas check and service is a sensible idea” which, upon completion, gives caterers “complete peace of mind over the crazy festive period which usually sees a surge in customer numbers”.
Ensuring refrigeration units and hot counters are given a thorough service before Christmas is vital, reckons John Wannan of Moffat Catering Equipment.
“Regular servicing is extremely important in order to protect the investment and prolong the life of the catering equipment,” said Wannan.
Paul Crowley, marketing development manager of Winterhalter UK, also stressed the importance of regular maintenance, pointing out that failure to do so will “ultimately contribute to the long-term failure of a machine”.
“If it is well looked after, serviced regularly, cleaned properly, the manufacturer’s guidelines followed and thorough training provided for staff, the life cycle of a product should be very long indeed, and it will work at optimum efficiency,” said Crowley.
But for those who perform pre-festive holiday checks, and find that equipment is in need of replacement, operators should “look for equipment that is easy to use, such as pre-programmable combis that enable even less experienced staff to produce consistent results”, according to Hall of Falcon Foodservice Equipment, who emphasised that
“no one wants equipment that is incapable of withstanding the pressures placed upon it” in a commercial kitchen.
Hall also recommended looking for equipment which is easy to clean, citing that certain models have specifically-designed features that make them easy to clean and to keep clean.
Above all, it’s vital licensees opt for equipment that conforms to the required standards, said Kris Brearley of RH Hall.
“When purchasing, I would recommend operators go for a well-known brand – guaranteed quality doesn’t cost you more,” said Brearley.