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A Close Look at the Compact Mart Cart

In so many settings, it's not practical or profitable to only sell food and beverages in one stationary spot. With a bit of creativity and the right tools in place, there's no need to limit service to one particular area, though. This blog will focus on one of those tools, the Lakeside Mart Cart, and we'll introduce you to the power of the Mart Cart, whether you're setting up a profitable breakfast cart or taking advantage of outdoor dining trends.

The Benefits of the Lakeside Mart Cart

It comes in two convenient sizes. 

The smaller mart cart size, which is a breeze to zip around, is the Lakeside 660 Compact Mart Cart for Mobile Food Operations. It measures just 28 1/4 x 49 x 72 1/4 inches. For even more bells and whistles, the Lakeside 68040 Compact Mart Cart with Full-Length Stainless Overshelf provides plenty of space at 27 1/2 x 60 x 70 inches. Either way, both compact carts provide plenty of space for food and beverages while efficiently and conveniently using space. The large stainless steel countertop work surface offers plenty of space for completing tasks.

They're designed to maximize portability.

Both sizes of compact mart carts provide next-level portability and are easy to maneuver into and out of spaces large and small including elevators, rooms, hallways, and kitchen areas. Features include easy-to-grab, ergonomic, vertical or horizontal handles on the side. There are also heavy-duty 5″ swivel casters to quickly move the cart from place to place. Better yet, both carts are lightweight yet sturdy. No need to be a racecar driver while steering and guiding either cart. Just move your point-of-sale and enjoy the profitability.

Speaking of profitability, stock the things that sell.

The sky is the limit when it comes to food and beverages that can find their way onto a Lakeside Mart Cart. It makes for an ideal breakfast on-the-go serving station, a snack bar, or beverage cart. Above the upper countertop is a storage area with multiple compartments that can hold a variety of items such as utensils, napkins, food packets, yogurt cups, tea bags, condiments, and more.

Create and customize Compact Mart Carts.

The adjustable height and slide-out stainless steel shelves allow the cart to customize its functionality for all sorts of easy configurations. It's even possible to remove shelves and replace them with optional insulated containers for holding hot and cold items. Soup, hot cocoa, lemonade, and fresh fruit salad have never tasted better or been easier to serve. The optional personalized merchandising front is an incredible way to add a logo, phrase, or design element. There is also plenty of space for accessories like utensils, napkins, plates, cups, ice, food containers, and a cash register.

Clean-up and maintenance are a snap.

Not just practical, both carts are also attractive and durable with a standard laminate exterior finish. For added design interest, custom laminate finishes are available. Both sizes of the Lakeside Mart Cart have a stainless steel interior that is easy to clean and sanitize. An excellent way to attract customers to any location is by offering a variety of food and beverages in an attractive, functional compact mart cart.

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How to Set Up a Profitable Breakfast Cart

Revenue Boosters for K12 Foodservice

As they say, breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but according to data, it's also the most profitable. These days, many restaurants and foodservice stations are discovering America's love affair with breakfast, which is why so many businesses are offering these dishes all day. But who says restaurants have to have all the fun? Breakfast carts enable other entities to serve customers their favorite dishes without a commercial kitchen. But, how is it possible? Let's break it down.

By the Numbers: Breakfast Sales in the United States

Although breakfast has always been popular in the US, it's taken off considerably since 2020. According to a 2021 survey, over half (62 percent) of Americans say that breakfast is their favorite meal of the day. More impressively, the vast majority (79 percent) of individuals say they've eaten breakfast for a different meal (i.e., lunch or dinner) at least a few times in the previous year.

As far as breakfast dishes, eggs take the top spot with 65 percent of the vote, followed closely by coffee at 58 percent and cereal at 56 percent. Overall, this data illustrates that Americans are hungry for breakfast and, more importantly, they love the staples. That said, many restaurants and foodservice establishments are getting creative with breakfast offerings, so now is the best time to invest in this meal.

The Advantages (and Challenges) of a Mobile Breakfast Cart

Restaurants have it the easiest when serving breakfast because they have the infrastructure to build a menu and handle orders. Even hospitality businesses have it easy since breakfast in hotels has been a staple for forever. However, other entities like colleges, corporations, and venues can take advantage of breakfast by using a mobile cart. Breakfast carts offer several benefits, such as:

Flexibility

A mobile cart can move to wherever the action is. For example, if there's a busy event, a venue can deploy carts to different areas to cater to guests. Similarly, colleges can post a cart in front of hot-spots so students can grab something on their way to class.

Affordability

Breakfast carts are designed for "grab-and-go" items and meals. So, a single attendant can manage the cart easily with minimal backup. Also, carts don't draw much power for refrigerated items, or businesses can use ice trays to keep products at the right temperature.

Versatility

It's easy to change the offerings on a breakfast cart since it doesn't necessarily have a menu. So, cart owners can swap out low-selling items for those that go like hotcakes, making the cart even more profitable.

Although these benefits are pretty substantial, running a cart has two drawbacks. First, restocking the cart can be challenging, especially if it's deployed in a high-traffic area. On busy mornings, the cart may run out of food quickly, leading to dissatisfied customers. The second downside is that it doesn't offer hot food. As we mentioned, eggs are the number one dish, so customers may not appreciate the limited selection.

How to Optimize a Cart for Profitable Breakfast Service

Since demand is so high, businesses can't afford to neglect the earning potential of a portable breakfast cart from Lakeside. Here are a few ways to make the cart even more accommodating to customers:

Use Fun Signage

Magnetic signs can draw the eye and entice customers to come check out the cart and its offerings.

Provide Plates and Utensils

Although a cart won't have hot food, businesses may offer dishes that require utensils (i.e., cereal). Providing these items on-site makes it easier for customers to eat on the go.

Savory vs. Sweet Breakfast

Some people prefer sweets for breakfast, such as cinnamon rolls, coffee cake, or doughnuts. Others may want savory dishes like breakfast sandwiches or bagels. Carts can either focus on one item or provide both to capture both types of customers.

Make Breakfast Carts More Profitable by Selecting the Right Cart

Lakeside offers a full range of serving cart solutions that are ideal for breakfast service. Check out some of our most popular options today.

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The Power of Language in Long Term Healthcare

Everyone has a style of speaking, and it is easy to overlook the importance of language when communicating with other people. The reality is that words matter. There is a lot of jargon that people pick up no matter what industry they are in, and this is just as true in healthcare as it is in any other field. In particular, there are many people who use terms in long-term healthcare that can have a negative impact on residents, patients, and their families.

During the past few years, there has been an increased focus on how word choice impacts the work environment and the behavior of those around us. For example, many people now call prisons corrections centers, and janitors are now called environmental service professionals. There has also been a shift in how long-term care facilities, or nursing homes, are addressed. It is critical to make these environments feel more like homes instead of care centers, and language is a part of this.

How to Remind Team Members of the Language Shift

So, what can be done to help team members remember that there is a shift in how they are supposed to refer to long-term healthcare facilities? A few key tips to keep in mind include:

  • Do not call these residential communities facilities. Instead, call them homes or communities.
  • It is important to refer to people by name. Do not refer to residents by their diagnosis, and do not refer to employees by their job titles.
  • Do everything possible to avoid using medical terminology when communicating with residents.
  • Do not bark out orders to people. Instead, explain why they are important.

Furthermore, it is critical to use people-first language. This means that people need to be addressed as people before diving into the details. Instead of saying “handicapped person,” say “person who uses a wheelchair,” or whatever the disability might be.

Examples of Terms That Need to Be Changed

It is also helpful to take a look at a few examples of terms that need to be changed. They include:

  • Instead of calling someone a complainer, refer to that individual as a person with concerns.
  • Instead of talking about open beds, talk about the people who live there.
  • Instead of referring to someone as a new admission, refer to this as the move-in process.
  • Instead of allowing someone to do something, encourage them to do something.
  • Instead of saying someone has expired, say that someone passed away.

Even though these might seem like small changes, they can make a significant difference to people who live in these homes and the people who work there. The goal is to make the environment feel more like home instead of a medical facility. Making changes in how people talk in these locations can do exactly that.

Use the SuzyQ Food Serving Cart to De-Institutionalize Senior Care Foodservice

One of the best ways to further encourage people to make changes in how they interact with others in senior living communities is to change the way food is served. The SuzyQ Food Serving Cart can do exactly that. Unfortunately, there are a lot of senior living centers that continue to serve food from a cart that looks like it belongs in the hospital. That is not the best way to make people feel like they are living in a new home. Instead, it is important to use a cart that looks more like what people might find in their own homes. Using a cart such as the SuzyQ Cart can de-institutionalize long-term care foodservice.

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Options for the SuzyQ Meal Delivery Cart

Every senior living home is different. Every home has a slightly different number of residents, each of whom has slightly different needs. Some residents live very independent lives, while others might be partially or fully dependent on someone else for their daily care. Regardless, everyone needs to eat, and this includes those who live in senior living communities. That is exactly where the SuzyQ Foodservice Cart can be helpful. This is a cart that comes with a wide variety of options that can be customized to meet the needs of the residents and the person serving the food. There are several customizable options that everyone should know.

The SuzyQ Cart Serves Hot and Cold Meals

One of the first benefits of the SuzyQ cart is that it can serve hot and cold meals. The wells can be customized to meet the needs of the food, and this creates a lot of options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. For example, it is possible for someone to serve both hot eggs and cold yogurt or fruit during breakfast. The same can be said of lunch and dinner.

The Cart Comes With Multiple Options for Well Depth

The pans can be customized in-depth to meet the needs of the meal as well. One of the most popular options, the 4-inch pans, hold a lot of food, and the food will not turn crusty or stale during the serving process.

On the other hand, 6- or 8-inch pans might be a bit too deep, because the food can turn crusty and get stuck to the bottom, which is not the most appetizing choice. There might even be situations in which a 2-inch pan might be better because the food is even less likely to get stuck or turn crusty.

The only time a deeper pan might be better is if there is a soup or sauce. If it is the middle of winter and a lot of soup is being served, then a deeper pan might be an option. The soup will be moving around in the pan, and it will stay fresh.

There is also the option to use ninth pans, which are smaller, deeper pans. These are better for modified diets and purées. If there is something that needs to be in the pan for only a few servings, a ninth might be a good option.

It is also possible to use a long, thin hotel pan with the SuzyQ Foodservice Delivery Cart. This is great when senior homes want to show off something delicious on the cart. The tray runs the length of the delivery cart, and it looks very pretty. The ability to customize the pans in the SuzyQ Meal Delivery Cart makes it easier for senior living communities to customize the cart to meet their needs.

The Benefits of the SuzyQ Cart

There are a number of significant benefits that come from using this cart. They include:

  • Using them allows senior living communities to reduce food waste because residents have control over what they want to eat.
  • These carts make it easier for staff members to interact with residents, creating a more engaged labor force.
  • The cart has been specifically designed to reduce back-and-forth trips to save time while serving food.
  • Ultimately, the food tastes better, and residents are happier. This leads to increased satisfaction all around, creating a powerful marketing tool.

These are just a few of the many benefits that come from using the SuzyQ Cart. Every senior living community is different, and it is possible to customize this cart to meet the needs of the senior care foodservice community.

How does your senior care measure up in healthcare dining? Take this quiz here to find out!

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The Story of the SuzyQ Food Delivery Cart

Everyone loves a good story, and pretty much every successful business solution is rooted in one. For the SuzyQ food delivery cart, that is certainly true, as well.

What is the SuzyQ?

To quickly recap, the SuzyQ food delivery cart is a solution designed around the notion of self-determined foodservice in senior care communities. When you provide the option for residents to choose rather than having pre-plated servings placed before them, there is a wide range of benefits both for diners and for operators.

First, senior care residents get to choose, and for this demographic, choice is something that is often taken away. Giving choice at mealtimes is a great way to help maintain the all-important element of control.

Second, allowing residents to choose reduces food waste, as they only select the menu options they really desire. This helps the overall bottom line because food is not wasted, and therefore, money is not wasted.

Finally, with self-determined meal service in a SuzyQ, the food delivery cart is actually wheeled through the dining room creating points of interaction between residents and foodservice staff. These relationships are important because they make for happier seniors and more fulfilled staff.

In reality, there are many more benefits to using a SuzyQ food delivery cart, but this article isn’t about why senior care community foodservice operators should consider using one. It’s about why it was created in the first place. So, let us introduce you to Suzanne Quiring.

The SuzyQ was invented by Suzanne Quiring, a dietician and foodservice manager who worked in residential care. She saw the drawbacks of traditional service where staff cooked meals and had service staff run plated food back and forth from a pick-up window to the residents’ tables. She also knew there was a better way than serving cold food and dealing with food preference lists.

Quiring went on a journey to create a new solution, and the result is the SuzyQ. Based on the idea of a rolling service cart on an airplane where flight attendants ask what beverage you’d like, Quiring asked the question, “Why can’t we do that in the dining room?” Rooted in years of service that resulted in unhappy residents and wasted food, the SuzyQ food delivery cart rolled onto the scene and created a new way of foodservice delivery – the self-determined meal.

The SuzyQ actually began with beverages. Rather than pre-pouring drinks before guests arrive resulting in warm milk, she decided to roll a beverage cart through the dining room offering on-demand beverages. The residents loved it, and a dessert cart was included next. Finally, the idea shifted to full meal delivery, and the SuzyQ was invented, finally allowing senior care residents to hand-select the foods they want, served warm and at ideal serving conditions.

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Lakeside Helps Florida Soup Kitchen

Food insecurity impacts more than one out of every ten U.S. households. When you think about it, that’s an alarming number, and it’s something so many great non-profit organizations around the country are trying to reduce.

One of those organizations is Gracie’s Kitchen, a soup kitchen in Yulee, Florida that feeds seniors, veterans, single parents with families, the homeless, and the working poor. Before the Covid pandemic, they were serving more than 40,000 meals every year to those in need in the Yulee area, with additional branches of their organization helping to feed malnourished dogs and cats, as well as their “Socks for Souls” program that provides socks to those in need.

Their main focus is on foodservice, though, with more than $30,000 raised annually to “Nourish the Hungry and Feed Their Spirit.” Here at Lakeside, we admire their commitment to the community, so we offered to help.

Lakeside Helps to Upgrade Gracie’s Kitchen Serving Carts

A team from Lakeside learned about the Gracie’s Kitchen story and quickly discovered their serving cart situation was a challenge at best. Pictures of their existing carts showed they were being held together, quite literally, by duct tape, and that’s when Lakeside decided to step in. By replacing their old plastic carts with new Lakeside 311 series carts, their ability to serve the community in need was drastically enhanced. The Gracie’s Kitchen team could not have been more thankful.

utility cart service

Foodservice utility carts for kitchens are our specialty here at Lakeside, and we’re happy to help contribute to the great works at Gracie’s Kitchen with our 311 serving carts.

The 311 series is the first stainless steel utility cart created at Lakeside, and it was designed to last. It’s made for both front-of-the-house and back-of-the-house applications, and we hope the great crew at Gracie’s Kitchen find their work just a little bit easier with the 311. Based on the duct-taped plastic carts they had before, we can guarantee it.

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What’s the 311 on Stainless Steel Utility Carts?

You’ve come to the right place for information on utility carts, as we’re going to explore one of the classic models in the Lakeside portfolio. From a company with more than 75 years of interesting history, the advent of the 311 is one of the most important milestones in Lakeside history.

Why?

lakeside 311 stainless steel utility cartThe 311 Utility Cart is the very first stainless steel Lakeside utility cart design, and it’s still very popular today. Made for both back-of-the-house and front-of-the-house service, the 311 Utility Cart is ideal for bussing, service set-up, usage as a tray or soiled dish station, and can even serve as a light-duty transport and storage cart over even floor surfaces.

The 311 Utility Cart from Lakeside has other important benefits, as well. Its durability comes from electronically welded, 20-gauge stainless steel legs along with a reinforced, hemmed front on 22-gauge stainless steel shelves to provide added support where it’s needed.

For reduced sound and vibration, deadening panels are added under the shelving to make 311 Utility Cart usage quieter. With bumpers on the legs and handles, walls and furniture are also protected. Finally, the 311 Utility Cart from Lakeside is easy to use.

The Evolution of the Utility Cart

With more than 75 years of experience comes the recognition that one single stainless steel utility cart design will not satisfy every type of need. While we love the 311 design, we realize it’s not the perfect cart for everyone. That said, our first stainless steel utility cart has helped inspire the designs of so many other carts in the Lakeside portfolio.

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What Utility Cart Is Best for Your Facility?

When trying to determine which utility cart is best for your facility, there are a few simple guidelines that can help make the decision easier. In schools or hotels or even in warehouses, it's important to determine the W's that will lead you to the right choice, so let's walk through those basics now before we provide you with a great tool to help you select the best utility cart.

WHAT WILL YOU TRANSPORT?

This is the most basic and most obvious question you'll need to answer. What are you moving from point A to point B, and how much do those items weigh? The reality is this will impact your utility cart choice in two important ways. First, the more weight you'll move the heavier duty a cart will need to be. Carts come in different levels of durability. Moving 500 pounds on a cart designed to transport 250 pounds can be a major safety hazard, and your cart will not last. Second, the shape of the items you're planning to move will impact the shelving requirements on the cart.

WHERE WILL YOU TRANSPORT IT?

Casters will play a key role in a utility cart's capabilities. We've dug into the basics of casters in a previous post, but as it stands in terms of utility cart selection, the main question to ask is over what types of surfaces will my utility cart travel. If the answer is smooth inside surfaces, the caster requirements will be different than uneven pavers out on the pool deck.

WHEN WILL THE CART BE USED?

This is a question operators and facilities managers might not think about. The fact is when utility carts are designed and manufactured here at Lakeside, we create carts designed for varying levels of usage. Incurring the expense of a cart designed for use 20 hours per day isn't cost-effective for an operation that only needs to use the cart during a single, eight-hour shift. Likewise, a cart designed for minimal usage won't cut it for higher-demand operations. How long you plan to use the cart plays a big role.

So which cart is right for you?

Answering that question correctly includes cross-referencing the items above to hit an option that fits your best overall needs and challenges. Lakeside has a full range of utility cart offerings, but the reality is most of those carts will either be too much cart or too little. To help you find the cart that's just right, we put together a comprehensive cart selector that walks you through the WHAT's, WHERE's, and WHEN's. Click the button below to use our new utility cart selector.

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The Importance of Ergonomically-Engineered Utility Carts

A utility cart is a valuable tool for any commercial establishment that needs to move goods from point A to point B. While there are different types of utility carts with different levels of durability, they should all be easy to use in an ideal world. In a world of foodservice staff shortages, they need to be easy to use, and that's why ergonomics play an important role.

Why should foodservice operations consider ergonomically-engineered utility carts? For starters, they can reduce the risk of injuries by as much as 35 percent. They can also help employees avoid longer-term health issues like carpal syndrome and back pain. Think about it. When someone is pushing hundreds of pounds across a hotel courtyard for a buffet dinner service on the other side of the property, moving those materials on a cart designed to move easier will most certainly be the safer option.

While injuries caused by poorly designed utility carts might not be common, what is normal in today's workplace environment is the lack of staff. An operation that can make the workplace safer and the tasks easier to perform will ultimately have greater retention rates, and ergonomically-designed utility carts can help achieve those goals.

Make Existing Utility Carts More Ergonomic

Some simple changes to your carts could make them more ergonomic. For instance, replacing handles with knobs for ergonomics in foodservice is a quick way to make your workplace more comfortable for employees and customers alike. Other changes include installing adjustable shelves in carts and having employees carry the cart instead of pushing it when it's not in use. The best thing about using ergonomically engineered utility carts is the fact that they can reduce accidents by as much as 80 percent.

Buy Utility Carts That Are Ergonomically-Designed

When buying ergonomic carts for your business, it is crucial to consider the following four factors for maximum efficiency.

1. SAFETY: Try to buy carts with features that will protect your employees from injury. Consider buying a cart with a retractable handle or a locking mechanism for the wheels.

2. DURABILITY: The lifespan of a cart is highly dependent on how durable it is. Choose carts that are made with high-quality materials and components so they can withstand regular weather changes, bumps, and drops without breaking down too quickly.

3. COMFORT: Your ideal ergonomic carts should be designed in a way that makes them comfortable to use without causing discomfort to the user's back and shoulders over time. Consider features like ergonomically-designed handles or easy-grip handles on the sides of the cart to help make pushing them easier for your employees. If you are buying foodservice utility carts, you should ensure that their comfort is top-notch so as to improve efficiency in your establishment.

4. COST: Ergonomically engineered utility carts come at different prices. Ensure that you shop around before buying one, so you can find the best fit for your needs at the right price point. This ensures you're getting what you're paying for and not buying a utility cart that won't meet your needs or will provide more capabilities than required.

4 Ways to Make Sure Your Employees Are Protected from The Risks of Ergonomics

1. Ensure that your cart is properly aligned whenever you are using it. Whether you're pushing, pulling, or carrying it, make sure the wheels are aligned correctly and that the handles are well positioned to allow maximum comfort and effectiveness.

2. Check that your handlebars are securely fastened at all times and that they cannot slide around while in use. When maneuvering this equipment, arms should not be extended out to their full length as this increases strain on wrists and shoulders.

3. Ensure that your carts have mesh pockets or compartments for trash bags and other items to help prevent littering within the cart itself as well as on surrounding ground surfaces.

4. Keep these carts at least one foot away from walls when being used to avoid any potential collisions with wall-mounted shelving units or racks.

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The Multifunctionality of Foodservice Utility Carts: What To Know

 

If you work in the foodservice industry, heavy-duty utility carts are a great way to transport a wide variety of items, protect valuable inventory, and is a safe storage space. Regardless of whether you're moving boxes, retrieving supplies, or getting ready for an upcoming event, you can make life easier by relying on multifunctional utility carts, but what does multifunctional really mean? Why is it important? And what are should operators look for when considering foodservice utility carts?

Transport Supplies Seamlessly From Place to Place

Of course, one of the first ways you can use multifunctional utility carts is to transport supplies easily from place to place. For example, you might have food and beverages that you need to move to a specific room for an upcoming event. Maybe you need to move cups, plates, and napkins. Perhaps you have fragile items that deserve added protection. Heavy-duty utility carts are versatile pieces of equipment that can accommodate all of your transportation requirements.

Keep Your Supplies Organized

If you don't keep your supplies organized, you might have a hard time efficiently carrying out your daily operations. Utility carts come with a bunch of helpful compartments that allow you to organize inventory, hardware, and other tools. That way, you make life easier for your employees and workers. They can hang their tools on the side, divide items by compartment, and make sure all fragile items have proper protection. You can also save space on storage, as you can keep some items on your utility carts if you use them regularly.

Take Advantage of Customizable Options

Different niches and industries have different needs, so you might want to customize your utility cart depending on your specific line of work. For example, you might want to choose vertical panels that provide added protection or privacy. You might want to hang pegboards on the side of your utility carts for hanging tools. You can also use shelves that have cantilevered type adjustments that create more space or make your cart easier to transport. If you want to increase the efficiency of your operations, take advantage of a personalized, customized heavy-duty utility card.

Handle Heavy Loads

Utility carts have been specifically designed to be strong and durable. If you have heavy loads that you need to transport from place to place, you can use a foodservice utility cart to help you. You do not have to worry about purchasing heavy equipment or asking your employees to manually transport heavy loads from place to place. This can significantly reduce the chances of your employees getting hurt, and you can provide your industrial equipment with the protection it requires. If you need to transport heavy loads from place to place quickly and safely, multifunctional utility carts are the way to go.

Take Advantage of Foodservice Utility Carts from Lakeside

If you work in the foodservice, catering, hospitality, or restaurant industry, you understand the importance of having heavy-duty utility carts you can use regularly. Because your utility carts can serve more than one purpose, you can reduce the equipment required by using this valuable piece of equipment to fulfill multiple roles. Furthermore, you can take advantage of added storage space while making life easier for your staff. If you want to get the most out of your utility carts, count on the foodservice professionals from Lakeside to help you.