Until only relatively recently, the gold standard of tableware cleaning involved a pair of hands, soap, and a source of clean running water. And as far as humans were concerned – or at the very least, those living in the Middle Ages onward – that was the best we could do.
Later on, the invention of plumbing eventually led to the birth of the ever-reliable kitchen sink, which has remained more or less the same to this day.
If you own or otherwise operate any business that involves the constant circulation of food, dinnerware, and kitchen utensils, cleanliness should be (and probably already is) your number one priority not only to comply with sanitation laws and regulations, but also to maintain the quality of your product and ensure the safety of your customers. This applies not just to restaurants and diners, but also to hotels, motels, or resorts that offer food catering in some form. And while dishwashing by hand is pretty effective in general, it will not be able to keep up with the demands of commercial applications. This is where the next best thing comes in: commercial-grade cleaning appliances. In this article we’ll discuss the ins and outs of two such appliances – commercial dishwashers and cutlery polishers – and why you might want to make the upgrade.
Think of the most capable, most skilled human dishwasher that always uses the right amount of water and soap every time without fail. Now take that person and clone him ten or maybe twenty times over. Now ask yourself: is such a feat even possible? With the technology we have right now, probably not, but this is essentially what a dishwashing machine does every day.
Commercial-grade dishwashers are by and large the most effective way to clean your flatware, silverware, and cooking utensils for a plethora of reasons. First off, commercial dishwashing machines can clean large quantities of tableware in a shorter time than your average manual dishwasher person. Depending on the size and wash cycle, most dishwasher units are capable of washing well over 500 plates in an hour, with even heavy wash and rinse cycles usually taking no longer than 3 minutes each. This trait is one of the biggest reasons why you should purchase a commercial dishwasher, as its very fast turnover rate keeps tableware always ready for use. This is especially important for big restaurants or diners, especially during the peak hours where any loss in time from a lack of serving plates can result in lost customers.
But commercial-grade dishwashers are not just quick; they’re also efficient. Dishwashers tend to use anywhere between 1.7 and 2.9 litres per cycle. Newer models are especially good at managing the amount of water they use per cycle, making use of high pressures and high temperatures to clean dishes just as well without using as much water.
It’s likely that you may have never seen or even heard of a cutlery polisher before reading this article. After all, a lot of restaurants simply make do with wiping down whatever comes out of the dishwasher. And in some situations – say, at home – wipe-downs might be acceptable, but the same does not hold true in commercial applications. In the fast-paced environment of a commercial kitchen, the cloths you use to wipe down your silverware won’t have time to dry out in a single workday; and since damp cloth is a fantastic breeding ground for disease-causing bacteria, you might end up spreading germs onto your newly-washed cutlery without you ever knowing.
This is where the cutlery polisher comes in. The cutlery polisher takes your spoons, forks, and knives, and passes them through a conveyor or a drum with constantly churning granules that acts as both a desiccant and a buffing element, removing moisture and scrubbing away unsightly marks left behind by the dishwashing cycle for a very shiny result. Most polishing machines also make use of heat, UV light, or a combination of both to finish off any remaining bacteria.
With all this in mind, an important question arises: “Do you actually need these appliances?” Regardless of the size of your establishment or your average customer volume, you have few good reasons, if any, to forego purchasing a proper dishwasher. Despite their high initial investment cost, the benefits it brings to your business will pay off that cost in only a few years. What’s more, most if not all commercial dishwashers are designed and built with longevity in mind. Typically you would look at a lifespan of 5-7 years, dependent on many external factors. However, it is important to understand that for a typical purchase price of between $4000 – $12000, you will be looking at between $15 and $46 per week, which is a very cost effective solution.
Cutlery polishing machines, though their job description might not seem as essential as a dishwasher’s, do have their benefits and are a similarly great investment for any food establishment. Polishing spoons, forks, and knives by hand is a slow, tedious task to undertake, which means you would either have to allocate more people to finish the job faster or set only one person and take longer to finish the same task. A cutlery polisher would be able to address both of these concerns, getting the job done faster and more effectively while at the same time freeing up valuable staff hands to allocate to more important tasks. This is especially useful for fine dining establishments where presentation and visual appeal is given almost as much, if not just as much importance as the actual quality of the food.
Having said all this, however, making the jump to kitchen cleaning appliances shouldn’t be done on the spot. Commercial dishwashers and cutlery polishers come in all shapes, sizes, and prices. As the owner or manager of your food establishment, you have to take your current operations into consideration before you shell out any money. If you are having trouble, call us at Warewashing Solutions on 1300 217 411 to discuss the available options and best fit for your site. A little bit of research will go a long way to helping you find the perfect fit for your business and we can provide the information you require to make an informed decision.