If you’ve been to any restaurant or café, you’ve probably seen hot food displays. These devices are used to keep items warm whilst showcasing them to the customer. They’re mainly used for cooked products – especially those that need to be kept at a specific temperature. Some designs can also be used for bread and pastries.
The simplest kind of warmer is called a bain-marie. These are made with two layers. The first is a tray, which holds the product itself. This is laid directly on top of the second tray, which holds hot water. Underneath these trays are a heating mechanism, which constantly boils the water inside the second tray. These are mounted on a stand, for presentation purposes.
Bain-maries are best for direct serving. They’re the best choice for buffets, or if you’re serving pre-prepared meals. They keep food at a safe temperature and ensures they don’t go cold. Even if the items have been sitting out for a few hours, you can be sure that they’re hot enough to prevent the growth of bacteria and germs.
Bain-maries can be operated one of two ways. Traditionally, a combustible material is used underneath the trays. These are best for catering and instances where electricity isn’t available. However, for restaurants and facilities, it’s best to invest in a device that runs on electricity. Ultimately, it will cost you less in the long run.
Cafes and Restaurants
Apart from keeping an item’s temperature high, this type of equipment also serves an aesthetic and hygienic purpose. Displaying your items is one of the best ways to improve your sales. Even if you have a menu, the customer is more likely to purchase a product if they can see what it looks like, first hand.
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However, this comes with some hygienic restrictions. Edible items are more likely to get dirt, dust and other contaminants when left out in the open. Therefore, most restaurateurs invest in glass cases with built-in warmers. This displays the items whilst protecting them from the elements.
Author: Carrie Sze