Equipment Essentials – How to Know When it’s Time to Buy a New Food Slicer
If you operate a deli or a restaurant that slices its own cheese or sandwich meat, then you’re probably very intimately acquainted with how a slicer works! In fact, your employees probably have a love and/or hate relationship with the model that you’re currently using!
I’ve spent quite a bit of time working in a deli—and I can tell you right now that there is no piece of equipment that’s quite as important (or quite as often overlooked) as the meat/cheese slicer. This piece of equipment will literally dictate how much can be accomplished in a day’s time—and is extremely important to keep up-to-date.
So how will you know when it’s time to buy a new one? Here are some tips that should help.
Does it ever break down?
Slicers break down sometimes. Thankfully, they can be easy and inexpensive to fix—but keep in mind that breakdowns don’t always happen by themselves! If your slicer is a few years old, there’s a good chance that one breakdown will be closely followed by more. A good rule of thumb is that the first breakdown or problem might be a fluke—but the second usually spells the beginning of the end.
Your current slicer might continue to work for several years after the first few breakdowns—but its level of dependability may dramatically decrease. For this reason, it might be a good idea to start shopping for a new slicer after it stops working the first couple of times.
Do you end up with long lines of projects that are waiting on your slicer?
If you end up getting pretty backed up with meat and cheese orders at several key points throughout the day, then it might be time to purchase an additional slicer that someone else can use at the same time. Another benefit to having two slicers is that you’ll always have a backup if one goes down.
Long lines aren’t that big a problem if they only happen once in a while—but if you end up with super-long lines or wait times for orders once or more on a daily basis, then it might be time to invest in a second slicer for your deli or kitchen—as this will help to increase customer satisfaction and cut down on needless wait times.
Are your employees getting frustrated with your current model?
Sometimes, the best way to figure out if your slicer needs to be replaced is to ask your employees. If they feel frustrated with the current model, you might want to figure out why and think about fixing the problem.
If you only have a manual slicer, for example, then upgrading to an automatic model might save time and ease pressure in the kitchen. In fact, if you don’t yet have an automatic slicer, but process a fair number of meat/cheese orders on a daily basis, then I would definitely recommend that you upgrade sooner rather than later.
Automatic slicers are a life-saver for busy delis, and I honestly can’t imagine a small to medium-sized deli functioning at peak efficiency without one.
Meat slicers are an essential part of any deli—and paying attention to how well yours is performing is a crucial part of the management of your business that deserves some time and effort. Of course, you may need to weigh your need for a new model against your available capital—but keep in mind that leasing can be an awesome way to fill the gaps without breaking your budget or emptying your cash reserve.