‘The last thing we would do is reduce the cost of a new kitchen by making cuts in the dishwashing area because this will most likely lead to service headaches on a Saturday night!’

Quality brands are a must: A dishwasher is not just a ‘plug and play’ box – it is a ‘system’ and the hardest working bit of kit in the kitchen. This is one area where it is definitely worthwhile to optimise your spend and buy the best equipment you can afford. The increased wash quality and reliability will pay you dividends.

Questions to think about: -

What size machine do you recommend and why?

What is the quality of the aftersales service?

What is the build quality and sound insulation like?

What is the true speed of operation?

What size water softener do I need?

Will the new machine fit in the space I have for it? (Make sure the new machine will fit through doorways etc., and does not require extra labour to get it upstairs, for example).

Will I need to move or alter the services?

How easy is it to clean the machine you are recommending me? (A dishwasher that is hard to clean will not be well maintained by staff – a cleaner machine not only looks better, it will last longer).

Can you give me some reference sites to look at so I can see what a good dishwash area looks like?

Design essentials: Staff should be able to easily dump dirty dishes without interfering with the cooking process.

Allow sufficient space for inlet and outlet tabling. Many caterers find it hard to give up this space but it is essential to make the dishwash area work efficiently.

Ask yourself the question: ‘How does the dirty plate get from the table to the kitchen’? Where is it scraped and stacked prior to dishwashing and afterwards? You can buy the greatest dishwasher in the world, but if the dishwash is not designed properly, it all falls down. Do not think just about the metal box.

Composting: The issue of how food waste is disposed of is becoming of increasing interest. Dewatering systems will cut the weight of rubbish sacks and the collection costs. Composting is also more popular, even in city centre locations.

Handwashing: Restaurant staff should have access to a convenient handwash sink adjacent to the crockery dump section.

Things to tell Court Catering Equipment: ‘Covers and timeframe’.

The most important piece of information is the maximum number of covers the machine will cope with, the average table setting and how quickly you need that ware turned around.

Water treatment: The majority of caterers in the UK need water treatment, typically water softening, on their dish and glasswashers. Water hardness varies across the UK and Court Catering Equipment can advise on conditions locally.

Water treatment options include centralised water softening systems covering a number of items of equipment. For the very best washing results – sparkling clean glassware and cutlery with no hand polishing required – reverse osmosis is the answer. Softeners must be located where staff can easily top them up with salt otherwise, it is a case of ‘out of sight, out of mind’.

Which manufacturer? Court Catering Equipment works with all catering equipment manufacturers. We know good equipment from bad and what works best, whether it is light, medium or heavy-duty. You have a choice of manufacturer and you can make the most of that choice by using Court Catering Equipment for your purchases.

Beware buying off the internet – buying a ‘box’ over the web could end up costing you money and inconvenience. Court Catering Equipment buys equipment on a daily basis; we know how to get you the best value for money ‘package’ including the new item, disposal of your old equipment plus issues such as warranty, spare parts and ensuring ventilation and services are adequate.

Some internet traders sell as ‘optional extras’ (for example, the wheels required for a new fryer) items that come as standard from Court Catering Equipment. In addition, if you need help to choose the right equipment, they probably do not have the experience to help.

Customer service? Court Catering Equipment operates to an agreed Code of Good Practice and adheres to the CEDA Customer Charter, which ensures you will receive the best customer service in the catering market. More info at: www.ceda.co.uk

Internet: Caterers who buy off the internet commonly find their new machine does not arrive with essential items such as a drain pump or wheels, which may well be charged as ‘extras’. Court Catering Equipment will help you choose the right size machine for your business and provide an inclusive quote including installation/commissioning and disposal of the old machine.

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