5 Tips for Evaluating Food Prep Equipment

July 10, 2020 by Hobart

Food Prep, K12

By Sheena Madden, Territory Sales Manager, Hobart Food Equipment Group

When it comes to evaluating food prep equipment for K-12 kitchens, food service directors are faced with many choices. Making the decision, however, shouldn't be a matter of just buying the same model or brand as always.

FEG20001B_SNF_Grant_Winner_1200x1200

When it comes to evaluating food prep equipment to purchase for K-12 kitchens, food service directors are faced with many choices. Making the decision, however, shouldn’t be a matter of just buying the same model or brand as always — there are often other viable options with upgraded features designed to fit your budget. The key is to ask questions and follow a few essential tips.

1. Do the research. For many food service directors, the best start to evaluating food prep equipment is to gather input from your staff as to their needs. Ask them: What will make your jobs easier? From there, your research can include online searches to determine if your current equipment providers are offering technology-forward options. These could help enable menu expansion and increase cross-utilization needs. Reaching out to other service providers or the local School Nutrition Association for recommendations can be helpful, too.

2. Test drive the equipment. Many manufacturers have access to test kitchens where you can see food prep equipment in action. Try before you buy — and talk to your manufacturing reps about taking the food prep equipment out for a spin! Visiting a test kitchen or requesting a demo unit will allow you to compare one competitor to another to inform your purchasing decision.

3. Look for key features. Ease of use and operator assurance are two important factors to consider when evaluating food prep equipment. Time is at a premium in K-12 kitchens, so the equipment needs to be easy to operate, breakdown and clean — while also providing your staff with the confidence to do so. Simple controls also make for a user-friendly experience.

4. Consider the return on investment. Factoring capabilities of a piece of food prep equipment — for example, the rated production capacity of a food processor — compare the yield of ingredients it offers and the fresher on-demand quality to that of buying pre-packaged product. This can help determine the size of equipment you select to make the purchase most cost effective and provide the best yield for your dollar in the long term, even when factoring in labor.

5. Don’t let price determine the purchase. While it may be tempting to purchase the least expensive piece of food prep equipment, it could likely cost more over its lifespan. Less robust equipment typically requires more frequent repairs and may not last as long as a more expensive machine upfront. Also, consider the amount and availability of parts and service; if either are difficult to obtain, then the equipment will sit idle.

Ultimately, not-in-use food prep equipment costs you more than if it was producing product. The bottom line? Every K-12 kitchen is different, but carefully assessing your food prep equipment choices and selecting the best option is important. The right equipment empowers your staff to work with certainty and provide students with the best meals possible.

Learn More About Hobart Genuine OEM Parts <https://www.hobartservice.com/parts>

Tags: Food Prep, K12

SUBSCRIBE TO THE BLOG!

Latest Posts


When To Buy Equipment for Restaurants

June 01, 2022 by Hobart

Independent restaurants rely on the best kitchen equipment to maintain production and create great food. That includes food prep equipment like commercial mixers, slicers and food processors.

Read More

HS Series Portion Scale Slicers Improve Grab-and-Go Production

June 01, 2022 by Hobart

With grab-and-go meals on the rise, consumers continue to look for both consistent food quality and a good value. Retailers, of course, seek to offer just that, while also introducing efficiencies into the production of their food.

Read More

Do More with Hobart Legacy+ Mixers

March 08, 2022 by Hobart

Time is at a premium in most kitchens, so it’s important to have food prep equipment that helps you do more in less time. Depending on the application, Hobart Legacy+ mixers allow you to mix as much as 30% more ingredients in the same size bowl — all due to the exclusive PLUS System: a combination of three industry-leading technologies.

Read More

Get Mixing Power and Quality at an Affordable Price

December 14, 2021 by Hobart

When it comes to mixing doughs, sauces and other ingredients, not every independent restaurant has the same needs — and budgets are often limited. But that doesn’t mean owners and chefs have to sacrifice quality or performance. You need mixing power you can rely on to get the job done. For kitchens with fewer hours of mixing time each day and multiple applications, the Centerline™ by Hobart HMM20 Standard Heavy-Duty Mixer provides just the right amount, along with a host of other benefits.

Read More

How To Get Food Prep Equipment Ready for the K-12 School Year

August 06, 2021 by Hobart

From food prep equipment maintenance to general equipment cleaning and sanitization, it’s important to start the school year off right with some best practices. They can help ensure your K-12 kitchen is ready to provide students with the fresh, creative foods they’re looking for — whether it’s fruits and vegetables for a salad bar or healthy, grab-and-go sandwiches.

During the summer months when equipment sits idle, it’s easy for mixers, food processors and commercial slicers to collect dust or other debris that could adversely affect their performance. Ideally, all equipment would have been cleaned thoroughly and covered prior to storage at the end of the previous school year, which makes prepping it for the next year that much easier.

Make a visual inspection

Read More