A dishwashing area is not just a dishwashing area
Getting the layout right will save you money
Imagine the scene, in any restaurant anywhere on the planet: The battle is over – another long, tough day is finished.
In the back, the last bits of cleaning up are still going on. The head chef and the restaurant manager sit together at the empty bar, debriefing on the day. Were the meals served that day of the right quality? Were there any complaints? Did the internal processes mesh well? Particularly at the interface between kitchen and table service? What needs to be improved?
If you want to improve, you have to question your set-up all the time. Do all movements in the kitchen, the dishwashing area and table service work hand in hand? Why did those meals that were ordered end up cold or late? Did that particular chef dawdle? Was the crockery not ready in time? Or even worse: were the dishes not perfectly clean? The people in charge have to deal with these questions and more and they have to do so self-critically. And they often come to the conclusion: our kitchen or dishwashing area layout is not the perfect fit. And/or the equipment needed to clean glasses, plates and more does not meet our high demands.
Outdated commercial dishwashing equipment is always causing problems in food service. When dishes need to be more than cleaned; they need to be cleaned reliably, quickly and cost efficiently. This is when you should never choose a cheap dishwashing machine – they often cannot meet the standard when a large amount of dishware is to be churned out quickly and sparklingly clean. In particular if that needs to happen constantly over several years.
All too quickly, drain filters are clogged, components build up limescale deposits, pumps fail, etc. So you will always need to call customer service. In the worst-case scenario, this will happen when the restaurant is packed. Then you have to improvise until the commercial dishwashing machine is up and running again. That means washing and polishing plates, cutlery and cups by hand – an economically and hygienically sub-par tactic.
Another reason why pros work with pros.
By that, we mean that professional food-service businesses always choose professional providers of commercial dishwashing equipment. They simply want to avoid the risks of breakdowns and the high costs they entail. In addition, commercial dishwashing machines consume less energy and, when you do need them, the customer service team is available around the clock, even on weekends. The bottom line is that in terms of ROI (return on investment) and TCO (total cost of ownership), this strategy always pays off for the restaurateur.
The crucial time to deal with problems in the dishwashing area is...during the planning phase. We definitely recommend working with an experienced kitchen planner. They will analyse the size of the room, test the efficiency of the processes and compare everything with the volume of washware to be handled. Moreover, they will take into account important work steps such as food-waste disposal and issues including hygiene requirements and ergonomics. All of this is advantageous for company and employees alike.
Your planner will also recommend a suitable dishwashing machine, such as the KA Series, a rack dishwashing machine by the commercial dishwashing specialists at MEIKO. The KA Series is available in a range of lengths, providing maximum cleaning quality in the minimum space. It also does not require additional air vents if room ventilation and exhaust ventilation are already available, as is usual in professional kitchens.
When you are planning your dishwashing area, let's not forget aesthetics: modern food service is embracing live cooking and windows into kitchens. These days, diners want to see their fish fillets and tofu burgers being prepared. And, of course, verify that everything is clean and hygienic back there in the kitchen – as well as watch the employees having fun going about their work. Any restaurateur with a noisy, old, steaming dishwashing machine on display has already lost at that game. A modern, stylish dishwashing machine, on the other hand, conveys an air of first-class quality right from the start and a sense that the food and drink will be of that quality, too. Customer satisfaction increases, complaints and poor ratings drop.
- Find yourself and experienced kitchen planner.
- Check whether your dishwashing machine is reliable and up to date.
- Ask yourself: does this dishwashing machine live up to my requirements aesthetically?
- Bear in mind the value of a machine which will guarantee hygienically clean results and use minimal resources.
- Are the processes optimal for your requirements?
- Are all workspaces in the kitchen and dishwashing area optimised for ergonomics?
- Plan for the worst: can you rely on the customer service if something goes wrong?