In order to achieve an optimal performance and quality service within a catering establishment, various tools are required to achieve it.
According to experts in commercial catering equipment in London, all such establishments have furniture and appliances for the use of the company’s personnel, as well as for the clients’ use, which are indispensable since they provide comfort and accessibility of service to people.
Everything such as equipment and furniture must be chosen or adapted to the needs of each establishment. For food service, both the utensils and the rest of the equipment should be adequate to provide an excellent quality service, a good look, and comfort to customers.
The transportation, storage, and processing of food are the most important activities within a food services company; therefore, providing utensils, furniture and work equipment to perform these actions must be done in the best way possible. There are several aspects which must be taken into account when choosing these elements.
Criteria for selection of equipment and furniture
The provision of equipment and furniture refers to the acquisition of furniture, appliances and other objects required to meet the needs of the establishment. The following important aspects must be taken into account.
The furniture must be appropriate in relation to the establishment, the service it offers, the design and the decoration.
The design of furniture and/or furnishings must be as comfortable as possible for the client, as well as being easy for the workers to use.
The furniture materials must be resistant, lightweight, and easy to handle in order to allow daily cleaning, mobility, and conservation.
The choice should be based on standardised models and sizes, to facilitate the replacement of these in case of breakages.
The classification of the basic equipment of a food service business is focused on the kitchen area, and can be defined based on the following classification:
- Cold generators: elements whose function is the conservation of perishable foods; they include, refrigerators, freezers, refrigerator cabinets, ice cube makers and air conditioning, among others.
- Heat generators: elements that are used to cook and also to keep foods hot; these include, stoves, ovens, fryers, irons, grills, bain-marie, stoves, etc.
- Auxiliary machinery: these appliances/devices serve to carry out common tasks in a modern kitchen, including mixers, cutters, scales, peelers, and lamps, among others.
- Basic cleaning equipment: facilities for washing of earthenware, glassware, and cutlery; they include dishwashers, washing of utensils, and polishing machines, etc.
- Furniture: commonly used for storage, such as cupboards, shelves, cabinets, tables, chairs, etc.
- Cooking tools: elements that have the function of cooking food such as pots, pans, among others, while tools and utensils refer to the handling of food such as knives, brushes, shovels, juicers, squeegees, spoons, spatulas, etc.
As far as furniture is concerned, there are several types, which can be divided or classified into:
- Basic furniture: it includes essential elements to provide the necessary services to the client.
- Complementary furniture: extra elements that provide service improvements but are not essential.
Another way to classify furniture is according to whether it is for use by clients or for use by the service personnel.
- Furniture for customers: tables and chairs; according to design, style and specific services provided by the establishment. Also included are other elements such as sofas, racks, stools, and
- Furniture intended for service personnel: sideboards, side tables, cars, buffet tables, cupboards, and elements of machinery for the processing of food production.
The management of materials such as equipment and furniture in any establishment, whether commercial or not, is very important because they provide ease of work and comfort for both clients and staff.
It is significant to take into account the selection criteria of the equipment and furniture because the poor selection of such items can create unnecessary expenses for the company. On the contrary, if the selection is appropriate, the staff will feel more comfortable and be more productive in their work, and the clientele will experience enhanced service.