What’s Under the Hood?

Commercial foodservice equipment runs the gamut from storage equipment, preparation equipment, serving line equipment, dishwashing equipment to cooking equipment.

Storage equipment can be dry storage equipment like metal cabinets or wire shelving in the kitchen or a dry storage room. Wire shelving is available in various widths and lengths, heights, and the number of tiers or shelves per unit. The most common widths are 18″, 21″, and 24″, but 12″ width and 30″ width wire shelving is sometimes called for in special circumstances. The most common lengths are 36″, 42″, 48″, and 60″, but 30″ lengths and 72″ lengths are also available. The most common heights are 64″, 72″ and 86″. Typically, the greater the height, the more tiers the shelving unit has. For instance, a 64″ high unit would most likely have 3 shelves, while a 86″ high unit would probably have 5 shelves per unit. As with many commercial foodservice equipments, the shelving units can be stationary on adjustable feet or mobile with swivel casters.

Storage equipment can also be refrigerated. Reach-in refrigerators and freezers are usually conveniently located at the point of need for quick and easy access. Walk-in refrigerators and freezers are located in the back of the kitchen and are used for bulk storage on wire shelving or mobile pan racks.

Preparation equipment can either be refrigerated or non-refrigerated. This equipment can be found in the kitchen or the serving area. Anywhere food is being prepared is a likely candidate for preparation equipment. The most common examples are sandwich prep units, pizza prep units, under-counter or low profile refrigerators, and low profile freezers.

Serving line equipment can either be designed for service or self-service. With service equipment, the establishment’s employees serve the food to the customer coming down the line. With self-service equipment, the customers select the food they want and serve themselves.

Dishwashing equipment is most likely located in the part of the kitchen on the other side of a common wall with the dining area. There is usually an opening in the wall to help the customers facilitate passing the soiled dishes and silverware directly into the dishwashing area.

Cooking equipment must be in most cases located underneath an exhaust hood, especially if the equipment is fueled by gas. Gas cooking equipment releases heat, smoke, and grease that must be exhausted out of the building. The exhaust heed also would be provided with a fire suppression system in case the equipment caused a fire.

There are other types of foodservice equipment involved in a commercial foodservice equipment facility, but these categories of equipment are basic to almost any commercial or institutional dining facility.

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