Adding a touch of sparkle

The hospitality industry spends millions of pounds each year on creating the perfect atmosphere for customers. From styling to lighting every little detail is perfected to create the ultimate experience from the minute you walk in to any bar, restaurant or venue. So, it makes sense to take the same care over the utensils used to eat and serve the venue’s food and drinks. Little things like marks on cutlery and smudges on glasses can shatter first impressions and tarnish even the largest of business investments.

Adam Cattermole is the managing director of Midlands based catering equipment firm Cattermole Group, which services and maintains dishwashers across the country. Here he looks at how to get the best out of your warewashing equipment to make sure it is efficient as it can be.

Warewashers are a vital part of any business with some cleaning up to 1000 racks of dirty pots every day. From bowls, glasses, plates and cutlery they make sure items are washed and ready in record time to keep busy kitchens moving.

“Yet these kitchen power houses are sometimes the most forgotten piece of equipment,” says kitchen equipment expert Adam. “If they aren’t maintained and serviced properly, they can become inefficient and costly to run, with unnecessary breakdowns and poor performance.

“Limescale build up is the major cause of most call outs as it gets into the system and blocks pipes causing equipment to clog up and break down. However, with simple measures it doesn’t need to be difficult to keep at bay.”

There are a few simple tricks to keep things running smoothly and make sure that your warewasher is working efficiently.

  • Water softening systems

Water softening systems reduce minerals in the water and provide a better clean, reduce the need to rewash items, prevent limescale build up and allow the machine to work more effectively.

“They really are a must,” says Adam. “They can be internal or external and vary in cost. However, it is important to remember that despite manual softeners seeming an easier option it can be costly in the long-run as it takes 40 minutes each month to replenish the softener. Whereas an automatic softener will carry this out during downtime at night.”

“A good softener will not only prevent limescale build up which can clog a machine making it less effective but also reduce the amount of detergent and rinse aid needed to get that sparkly, clean look – making it more cost-effective too.”

  • Quality detergent and rinse aid

Skimping on rinse aid and detergent can be a costly error as it increases the need for multiple washing and reduces the performance of the appliance. Look for products which are specific to your industry. A specialist chemical company will be able to advise on the products which are most suited. For example, a protein remover is essential in a bar environment as it breaks down the beer residue to create added shine on glassware but a tanning remover may be more important for a coffee shop as it is better at tackling those tough coffee stains.

  • Water filtration systems

Reverse Osmosis (RO) systems are a water treatment system that filter out contaminants in the water. They can reduce the need for cleaning chemicals by 70% making them an efficient way to create sparkling glass ware – a sought after element of any popular hospitality venue.

Dirty glasses not only give a bad impression for customers but are one of the main culprits of cross contaminations in pubs and can affect the taste and appearance of your drink. With lower wash and rinse temperatures they are also a bonus for busy kitchens as they don’t heat up the glasses as much so a great investment for venues needing a high turn a round of glassware.

  • Plate scraping

Simple measures such as implementing a plate scraping procedure with staff in the pot wash can make a big difference. Excess food particles get thrown around the cycle and can clog filters as well as getting left on items at the end of the program. Make sure that staff remove excess food and where possible give heavily soiled items a quick rinse to make sure that plates and glasses come out sparkly and fresh.

  • Regular maintenance checks

The most effective way to avoid costly call outs is a simple pattern of regular checks and maintenance.

“Every day empty the machine and clean the filters and jets to reduce build up and make sure the water can get through. Regularly clean out the filters to remove clogged food. Finally, set a regular date to regenerate the external softener and descale once a month to allow the jets and pipes to be flushed through.”

Although it may seem time consuming simple steps can make a real difference and actually reduce maintenance times in the long run.

If limescale is allowed to build up it makes the machine work harder, you won’t get that clean shine and it will actually cost you more to run.

So, if you are finding your dishwasher isn’t delivering the results you are looking for then these simple measures will help to get things back on track.

Adam Cattermole is the managing director at Midlands-based catering equipment specialists Cattermole Group. A family firm with over 70 years of experience which specialises in supporting the hospitality industry

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