By Sean Moon
Dishwashing equipment, the true workhorse of any restaurant kitchen, can also be an unsung hero for foodservice operators in terms of cost-savings and energy efficiency. While the basic functions and purpose of dish and warewashing equipment have remained fairly constant over the years, manufacturers are adding new, money-saving features every year.
Canadian Restaurant & Foodservice News recently asked two leading dishwashing equipment suppliers about some of the new features and what restaurant owners should keep in mind when selecting new equipment. Here is what they had to say:
What are some of the most exciting developments when it comes to warewashing equipment for commercial foodservice in Canada?
Megan Dyer, Product Line Manager, Hobart Food Equipment Group Canada: Hobart offers dish machines, including the LXGe Glasswasher or the FT1000 flight-type, with features such as energy recovery, automatic de-lime and automatic soil removal to provide operating cost reductions, assist in life-cycle management and improve cleaning performance.
Lina Muasher, Marketing Manager, Igloo Food Equipment: Some of the newest developments would include the electronic functions that appear on Jet-Tech 727E, 737E and 757E units, distributed at Igloo Food Equipment. The two key features on these machines are the automatic shutdown and draining feature and the various cycle time options (2,3, or 4 min) which allows the flexibility to adjust according to load size.
What are the biggest benefits of the above features for restaurant operators?
MD: With energy, food and labour costs on the rise, it is important that manufacturers provide efficient, reliable dish machines that keep up with the changing needs of foodservice operators. Features such as automatic soil removal can reduce tank refills per day and chemical consumption by up to 25 per cent. And energy-savings features such as energy recovery and ventless technology reduce operating costs by recycling waste air to reuse it for energy. Other features such as automatic clean and automatic de-lime reduce operator cleaning time and improve the life cycle of machines.
LM: The automatic shutdown and draining will allow the operator to simply apply this button and leave for the night. They won’t have to manually stay there while the unit drains and it also avoids any accidental situations where you forget to turn off the unit after draining. The various cycle times will save the establishment money on an annual basis as they can adjust the amount of rinse water/wash water per load.
What are the major factors for restaurant owners to keep in mind when deciding to purchase warewashing equipment?
MD: Key considerations for operators should include features that improve performance, address labour and life-cycle management and provide operating cost reductions. These features might include potable water rinse, snap-in rinse arms, automatic de-lime, dual rinse, capless wash arms, cabinet-style doors or ventless technology.
LM: The main factors would certainly be water and electrical consumption, along with booster capabilities. The owners would save operating expenses when selecting a unit that draws less amperage and less water than its competitors. The booster in a high-temperature machine should also be capable of rising 70 degrees F and not just 40 degrees.
What are some practices that restaurant owners can follow to get the most from their new warewashing equipment?
MD: When purchasing new equipment, it is important to find an efficient dish machine that reduces energy, such as units that are Energy Star® rated. When operating the dish machine, it is important to pre-scrape thoroughly to remove food soil for the best cleaning performance. In the event that food soil enters the machine, features such as a clogged wash arm alert or automatic soil removal can aid in machine performance. Regular cleaning and maintenance are critical for dish machine performance. To assist operators with these tasks, many dish machines contain automatic cleaning and de-liming cycles that reduce cleaning time and automatically de-lime the booster heater.
LM: Always drain the unit at the end of the day or night. Make sure debris and larger particles are removed before entering the washer. And always pre-rinse.
About the author
Sean Moon is the managing editor of Canadian Restaurant & Foodservice News.