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The 3 Types of Mobile Plate Dispensers

When it comes to buffet and self-serve foodservice, it all begins with the plate. Whether it’s corporate dining or an all-you-can-eat restaurant, most self-serve consumers will be influenced by the size and storage temperature of dinnerware, and that’s why it’s important for operators to consider the different types of plate dispensers and the benefits that come with each.

In many types of operations, it’s also important to be able to move foodservice from one area of a property to another. As a result, considering a mobile plate dispenser could be the right option, so let’s dig into the different types of units and why one might work better over another.

Regular, Express-Heat or Convection: Which Plate Dispenser Is Right for You?

Understanding a few basic factors before selecting a plate dispenser is critical to choosing the right one. As we mentioned, it’s important to know where plates will be dispensed, as this could factor into whether a mobile dispenser is needed. Operators should also consider things like plate size and whether or not plates will be heated.


Regular plate dispensers from Lakeside deliver heated or non-heated plate options with economical flexibility. Each unit can be modified to accommodate different dispensing levels without the use of any complicated tools, and a smart, durable design makes Lakeside’s regular plate dispensers suited for day-to-day use in a wide range of operations including hospitality, healthcare, corporate dining, and more. With Lake-Glide casters, units move across surfaces quietly and without sticking on surfaces.


Lakeside’s award-winning Express Heat plate dispensers use forced air to decrease the amount of time it takes to heat up a collection of plates while continuing to offer the classic Lakeside component of mobility for easy transport and plate distribution. With these units, plates are heated to 150ºF in about 90 minutes while still accommodating different dispensing levels with spring tension. Express Heat units are ideal for banquets and on-demand meals where less time is provided for set-up and the heating of plates.


For operations that require high-volume dispensing applications, the Convection Plate Dispenser is the ideal solution. Designed to evenly transfer heat to all plates within the cabinet, convection dispensers ensure faster, consistent, and efficient plate heating with a single control that operates two or three dispensers in a single cabinet. Self-leveling dispensers are self-lubricating for smooth, accident-free operation. With Lakeside’s convection options, it’s also possible to take advantage of Duo-Therm™ options to heat both plates and pellets within the same unit providing the ultimate in flexibility.

Looking for more information on plate dispensers to meet your unique challenges? Talk with an expert at Lakeside.