Dishwasher Buying Guide

Equipment Essentials

Discussing dishwashers—part 1 of 2

Dishwashers are definitely an important part of any kitchen. Whether you run a small café, a large restaurant on a busy boulevard, or a university kitchen where you need to feed thousands of students on a daily basis—you’re going to need a time saving and affordable way to get your dishes clean.

Dish StackThere simply isn’t enough time or money, in most cases, for businesses to pay someone to do all of those dishes by hand—which is why dishwashers are considered such a necessary piece of equipment in the food service industry.  But how do you go about choosing the right product for your business or establishment? How do you avoid buying something that won’t work for you?

These are great questions—and to answer them, we’re going to spend some time really discussing dishwashers and the process of buying them on an in-depth level.  To get things started, let’s talk about the basics.

Which type of dishwasher should you buy?

This is probably the first question that you’re going to ask—and for good reason. Figuring out exactly which dishwasher would serve you the best is half of the struggle—so we’re going to spend a bit of time talking about the different types that you have to choose from.

A Door Dishwasher

This type of dishwasher uses what many call a ‘dump and fill’ system. This means that the washer itself is filled with clean water, which is then ‘dumped’ down a drain after the cycle is complete. These types of dishwashers can be used in commercial applications where you need to wash somewhere between 60 and 130 racks of dishes per hour. It’s also important, for this type of a dishwasher, that all food particles are removed before you load the dishes—as having food particles swishing around isn’t necessarily sanitary.

Glass DishwasherGlasswashers

These types of dishwashers are very popular in bars. They’re generally mounted under the counter, and most are capable of washing up to 2,000 glasses per hour. They’re a fantastic way to keep things moving in the front without having to spend a ton of money on a larger dishwashing system—though they don’t really work with plates, bowls, pans, etc.

An Undercounter Dishmachine

Contrary to popular belief, undercounter dishmachines don’t actually ‘wash’ the dishes. They merely sanitize them—meaning that you’ll have quite a bit of prep-work to do before the dishes make their way into the machine.

This piece of equipment can be useful for many different situations. A juice bar or a small café are just two examples of businesses that might be able to use it to great effect. If your business is simply too small for a door dishwasher, then this smaller piece of equipment can be a great way to fill the gap.

A Conveyor Dishwasher

This type of dishwasher would tend to be more popular with commercial kitchens that serve more than 1,000 meals during each meal rush. Hotels, large kitchens, and university cafeterias may all be likely candidates for a piece of equipment like this.

Flight Dishwashers

This is a term used to describe the largest commercial dishwashers. They’re usually designed like a conveyor machine, and contain a moving belt that you place dishes onto. They can wash as many as 14,000 dishes per hour—so this type of system is usually reserved for the largest and most demanding of applications.

Brand ConfusionDeciding what to buy

Figuring out which one of these types will work the best for you probably depends mostly on the size of your business. Do you own a small coffee shop? Do you run a large kitchen in a hospital? Do you own a thriving bar downtown?

You’d probably do well to figure out how many racks of dishes you wash per hour, and then buy something that can handle a little more than that—just to make sure that you’re covered for things like holiday rushes, promotions, and unusually-busy days or nights.


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