You know what they say: time is money — and kitchen prep can take a lot of time. With labor being a challenge in today’s restaurants but with business booming, the key to success is finding equipment that can speed up prep time. Here are five types of equipment that can make your life easier.
1. Continuous-Feed Food Processors
Hand-cutting produce takes time, but pre-cut produce is expensive and doesn’t last as long as whole vegetables. Food processors are the solution for efficiency and cost savings. Chefs aim to please their customers, which is why having consistent cuts is important. Food processors can provide that consistency while also being extremely versatile. Continuous-feed food processors work with a variety of cutting tools, allowing them to slice, dice, julienne, crimp, grate, shred—and everything in between. They can also control the thickness of the slice.
A continuous-feed food processor can speed up production, too. Operators can process several pounds of vegetables each minute. This makes the equipment a great option for kitchens prepping produce in bulk. Smaller continuous-feed food processors can process around 11 pounds a minute, while large models can process up to 132 pounds a minute. Cutting prep time so drastically increases efficiencies for restaurants, especially when trying to save on labor or when short on staff in the kitchen.
2. Potato Peelers
Potatoes are a staple in many kitchens. This starchy superstar is the main event in side dishes like French fries, au gratin, tater tots and mashed potatoes. While potatoes are versatile and cost-effective, they can be aheadache to prep. Washing and peeling bag after bag of potatoes is time-consuming, but automatic potato peelers can help. They are available in the marketplace in multiple sizes to support the needs of a variety of kitchens. These peelers use an abrasive material, like sandpaper, and water to peel potatoes in bulk, saving prep time and reducing waste.
3. Food Cutters
Food cutters, commonly known as buffalo choppers, are a chef’s solution for creating less waste. Chefs can easily turn leftovers into something new with this machine, which is why it is the perfect addition to any kitchen. Common applications include making pulled pork or chicken salad and dips and spreads like pimento cheese, cheese balls, buffalo chicken dip or guacamole. The food cutter can also break up bread for breadcrumbs and shred cheese.
The food cutter features a horizontally rotating bowl and a vertically rotating stainless-steel knife. The knife, bowl and bowl cover are all removable for easy cleaning.
4. Bowl Style Food Processors
Dips, spreads and sauces add a nice touch to any menu, but they are often challenging to perfect. A bowl style food processor delivers consistent results every time, whether the operator is whipping up hummus or pesto, chopping nuts or herbs, or emulsifying liquid ingredients. This food processor’s stainless steel turning knives force the product into stainless steel, serrated cutting knives for faster processing and to minimize temperature increases.
5. Salad Dryers
Cleaning leafy greens for a first-course salad or sandwich topping is necessary for food safety, but they can become water-logged. Salad dryers can help achieve crisp, leafy lettuce that is tasty and visually appealing without the hassle of using a hand salad spinner. Drying lettuce can also help reduce salad dressing usage by up to 15 percent since the lettuce is not watered down. This piece of equipment saves both time and money while keeping customers happy.
Salad spinners are available with a polyethylene tub or a stainless steel tub, and some can hold up to 30 heads of lettuce.
With limited prep time and labor available in today’s kitchens, finding equipment solutions to increase efficiency can go a long way toward having consistently great food and happy customers.