Understanding Commercial Dishwasher Options

Keeping your equipment clean and sanitized is central to ensuring the ongoing operation of every food service organization. Selecting the right commercial dishwasher for your restaurant, deli, cafeteria, bakery or bar depends on understanding the available options and choosing the right style for your business.

Making the right choice of commercial dishwasher starts by estimating the volume of dishes you will need to clean on a daily basis as well as estimating what your need will be at peak times. To begin your calculations, keep in mind that 20 dishes per rack (or load) is the typical number of items that a commercial dishwasher will be able to wash in a single cycle.

High-volume establishments, such as university cafeterias and hospitals should consider investing in a conveyor dishwasher. These machines are able to run 350-1000 racks per day and provide a highly automated process, with dirty dishes entering at one end of the conveyor and clean dishes emerging from the other end.

Door type dish machines are found in many more restaurants and food service businesses than conveyor machines. These compact workhorses do require that dishes be rinsed before being washed, but have rapid cycles that typically last between 1-2 minutes.

Door type dishwashers are available in both high-temperature and low-temperature models. Low temperature models sanitize dishes through the addition of chemical sanitizing agents. These present an ongoing expense, but these machines are typically less expensive than their high temperature counterparts. High temperature models sanitize dishes with a 180 degree Fahrenheit rinse cycle, but generate a significant amount of steam and therefore generally require the installation of a hood to manage the vapor. High temp units also have higher power requirements, making them more expensive to operate, but when the wash cycle is complete, the dishes are generally dry and ready to be put away, which is not always the case with low temp units.

Another option is an undercounter commercial dishwasher. These units are designed to be placed in bar areas or compact kitchens. While they may resemble residential dishwashers from the outside, they are designed to work with commercial dish racks and run at the same high speeds as the door type dishwashers found in larger commercial kitchens. Undercounter commercial dishwashers are also available in high and low temperature models.

High-quality commercial dishwashers from recognized brands can provide years of reliable service. Recommended brands include American Dish Service, Bar Maid, Champion, CMA, Hobart, Jackson, Jet Tech, Noble Warewashing.

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