If you run a restaurant that could benefit from having cooktops you can stow away, or if you have a business that caters, you need to buy a portable cooktop. Several different options are available to you, so you may need help choosing the one that is right for your business. We will break down the different kinds of portable cookware here to help you decide how to buy the version which will work best for your foodservice establishment.

Induction Cookers

An induction cooker uses a low level of heat and needs an electrical outlet in order to run. You will need pots and pans that are specifically designed for induction use, but the plus here is that the heat is instantaneous. Induction works through using magnetism, so the surface never heats up and is safe to touch.

Pots and pans that are safe to use with induction equipment include cast iron, stainless steel that is the magnetic grade, enameled iron, cookware with iron flakes and any items specifically labeled to be induction-ready.

Some models will have specific features that you may want to choose, such as tempered glass, removable drip pans, power switches, or indicators and temperature settings. Although some of these features may raise the price, the efficiency provided is well worth the extra cost. Make sure to keep the fan blades clean of dust and dirt while giving the unit room to breathe, and it will last for an incredibly long time.

Induction cookers can be used to saute, fry, boil, sear and simmer foods, but are also effective as buffet warmers. They are not recommended for all-day, heavy-duty use, so keep this in mind if you are considering them for your brick-and-mortar establishment.

Since induction doesn’t heat up your cooking station or require a flame, it is much safer than the other available options. It also saves energy and gets your pans up to cooking temperature much more quickly. They take up less space than hot plates, which can be a drawback if you have a lot of dishes to prepare. You will have to weigh the options based on what you specifically need.

Hot Plates

These items aren’t just meant for college students and science classrooms. Hot plates come in both gas and electric versions, and they are perfect for caterers who will be cooking for short periods of time.

You can have up to eight burners, thus affording you more space than an induction cooker, but the drawback is that these plates can get incredibly hot. They are more of a fire hazard than the other options available as a result. You will either be using a plug to an electrical outlet or butane cartridges and a burner.

Warming plates are similar to electric hot plates, but they are meant to set up quickly and efficiently. However, just like hot plates, it may take a little while for the heat to regulate itself. Some of the best warming plates have temperature control and do not need to stay plugged in while in use. They can stay heated for about an hour after being charged. Many plates also have nonstick surfaces for easier cleaning.

Seek Assistance

When you are ready to pick out the portable cookware that works for your business, contact Texas Restaurant Supply. Whether you have decided to choose a hot plate, warming plate or induction cooker, you will have access to the best options to suit you and the choice to sell cookware you no longer need. We will be happy to help you pick out items that have the features you need at a worthwhile price.

When you are starting a new buffet restaurant or setting up a buffet section in your existing business, you face exciting possibilities and challenges ahead. However, you should also do a little research before purchasing the equipment you will need. Here are a few questions you need to ask before you go to buy buffet equipment for your business.

How Much Will It Cost?

Before you begin grabbing the things you need, you should know your overall budget. The equipment can be pricey, and it is easy to underestimate the full cost of some items. The cost of the item itself is not the only thing you should consider, because the product will still need to be transported and assembled in your restaurant.

You should also know the kind of equipment you want. Are you looking for materials that are heavy-duty, or do you value efficiency? Do you want equipment that will give you the best economic value? All of these items have different price points, so you must decide how much you are willing to spend to attain the quality you desire.

You may also need to pay for an inspection or certification, depending on the item you are buying. Know what to expect before you install it. Make sure that the brands you select have been properly certified and provide a strong warranty, especially if you are buying new.

If you are buying used equipment, you should inspect it to make sure that its previous owners cared for it properly and left it in good condition for you. You also need to know if your equipment is still under warranty, or if it has any current issues.

The specific equipment you need may depend on the style of buffet you are opening and the kind of recipes you plan to make. Know what kind of business model you plan to have before you start researching your machinery and appliances.

What Will the Upkeep Be Like?

Like any piece of technology or mechanical equipment, you will need to maintain your buffet cookware and appliances. You should research how much yearly upkeep will cost and look into how much repairs are for common errors or malfunctions in each device.

You may also want to know how much energy each appliance will use per month. If they will be in constant use, you want to know that they will not be a drain on your resources compared to other high-efficiency options.

How Much Space Do I Have?

Nothing is worse than paying for all your equipment and moving it in, only to realize that you have to play Tetris in order to fit everything in your restaurant. Once your items are picked out, get the measurements for each piece and consult your floor plan.

If you do not have enough room for all the appliances you want, including a little bit of space around each piece of equipment for the necessary hookups, you may need to go back to the drawing board. There are multiple brands and styles for each kind of equipment, and you will be able to find a different option that suits your kitchen’s requirements.

Keep in mind all the kinds of cooking equipment you will need to run a buffet: refrigerators and freezers, food warmers, stoves and ovens, frying stations and blenders. You will also need appliances to help you properly clean and sanitize, like dishwashers, and front-facing equipment like beverage dispensers and soft-serve machines. Factor these into your floor plan.

Seek Professional Assistance

If you need guidance in buying the right buffet equipment for your space or selling cookware that is no longer useful, contact us at Texas Restaurant Supply. We will help you choose the proper cookware, heating equipment and other devices needed to make your buffet the best it can be.

This year has been strange and confusing for many people, as the pandemic has changed the way we view life. However, restaurants are still in business, serving people through a mix of in-person dining, pickup and delivery.

Since the pandemic is still ongoing, you need to make sure that your equipment remains properly sanitized and cared for. Here are a few tips to keep your restaurant well-managed during the pandemic.

Clean Properly

Some places have completely removed their self-service stations. Depending on the laws set forth in your area, you may have to take away items in high-touch areas. For example, you may need to replace plastic or three-fold menus with disposable paper versions.

Other high-touch items that should be removed or replaced with disposable versions include napkins, condiments, tablecloths and seat covers. If you keep them, make sure they are properly sanitized and replaced after each customer leaves.

Because this virus is airborne, you need to make sure that you have proper, clean ventilation and that your air ducts are mold-free. You should purchase HEPA filters if possible. If you have the ability to seat customers outside, you should set up tables and chairs in an open area with some good shade.

Your restaurant should have a disinfecting schedule, and you need to train your employees to know how to properly clean surfaces and equipment. You should post signs requesting customers wear masks upon entering the premises and providing further information on stopping the spread of COVID-19.

Although you may not have allowed customers to see your employees cleaning previously, it may make them feel better to see the process occur in this current climate. You can also get them certified in cleaning and food safety through programs like ServSafe.

Make sure your employees know basic safety procedures for cleaning. For example, they need to protect their skin and eyes from harsh chemicals and should not mix chemicals to avoid toxic fumes. Door knobs, any handles and countertops should be wiped down on a regular basis. All utensils and dishes must be cleaned, rinsed and fully sanitized after each use.

If they dilute chemicals, they need to use room temperature water and label the solutions. Employees with asthma should not be using harsh chemicals at all and should not be in the room when the disinfection is taking place.

Socially Distance

People should be six feet apart as much as possible. In order to make social distancing easier, you should place tape or stickers on the floor. Put signs on tables and chairs that you are removing from use to make sure patrons socially distance from other groups. Make sure that those surfaces are still cleaned along with the ones that are actually used by customers in order to ensure that all areas of the restaurant remain fully sanitized.

Customers will probably expect your employees to wear gloves and provide hand sanitizer, and this is a good idea regardless. Make sure that your employees wash their hands once they remove their gloves, and limit their exposure to each other in places like kitchens and break rooms.

Self-service stations need to be halted, for the most part. Areas like salad bars, drink service and buffets should be closed up to prevent the spread of germs. Customers should not be using the same utensils between groups for any reason.

Contact Us

If you need to purchase new equipment to update your restaurant or sell some that is old or outdated, we are here to help. Contact us at Texas Restaurant Supply to speak with experts in commercial restaurant equipment today.