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Kitchen Trends from Decades Past that Led to This 2023 Trend

The concept of “Transparent Kitchens” has been sweeping across the country in restaurants, college dining rooms, coffee shops, and so many other foodservice establishments. While we have seen an increase in the open kitchen concept marked as the “Transparent Kitchen Craze”, it is predicted to be amplified in 2023 with even more foodservice operators choosing to embrace this concept as it has many benefits and can even increase revenues. This concept of a transparent kitchen did not just appear out of thin air, it is a combination of previous trends leading to this new kitchen functionality we will be seeing in thousands of kitchens in 2023. Below we will go into detail on where a traditional kitchen began and how it has evolved to what we see today. There are often some subtle differences in kitchen trends between a kitchen in one's home as opposed to a commercial kitchen and dining space, but oftentimes, trends spread across these two kitchen types. While kitchens have been around for centuries, we will start with the 1930s kitchen trends. To start, let’s take a look into the later part of the Golden Age of Cocktails. 

1930s

In spite of the Great Depression taking place during this period of time, kitchens seemed to emulate a different feel opposite of a depression, particularly for those who could afford to stay up with the trends. Kitchens in the 1930s were considered to be bright, glossy and joyful with the combination of the necessity for efficiency. There was now an emphasis on installing standardized cabinetry into one's kitchen, which had not been a common practice in times past. This allowed families to “integrate their new gas ranges and sinks into the cabinets” as opposed to free standing pieces of equipment among the kitchen layout according to a recent article written by Forbes

1930s kitchen

1940s

This period was marked by the focus on sleekness as it was somewhat of a necessity as presented by the economic circumstances of World War II. Walking into a kitchen in the 40s would be a vision of plain, simple, and practical. While this is true, people became creative with ways to add some excitement to their somewhat dull kitchens by using utilitarian items as decor. This ranged from using decorative storage containers or having a bright colored kettle on a stove. These small items were able to add some cheer to a time devastated by war. 

1940s kitchen

1950s

This post-war period was filled with vibrant, happy and candy-land colors in kitchens. Families were starting to move out of the cities and into suburbs and amongst this, there was a housing boom bringing a new focus on what people thought of as a standard kitchen. Women spent much of their time in the kitchen, so why not make it an enjoyable place to be? And that is exactly what the 50s did to the traditional kitchen. This room that was once subject to just cooking now became a place that needed to offer comfortable, style, and functional qualities. 

1950s kitchen

1960s

Sunshine, lollipops, and rainbows was a vision of this time period along with the desire for entertaining people. Whether this was inviting people over for dinner parties, or offering a more inclusive restaurant dining experience, entertainment was the name of the game. Kitchens were designed to easily connect to the dining space to ensure guests, diners, or customers could be served quickly while still ensuring quality. Bright-colored accessories along with wallpaper were seen inside the windows of every restaurant and among many residential kitchens to offer a more personal touch to the space. 

1960s kitchen

1970s

During this period, many people were living in family homes that had been owned by the family for a few generations. People wanted a modern feel weaved in with convenience and new technology while still wanting to maintain some of the sense of home that comes with living in a home you or your parents were raised in. It was common to use warm woods for cabinets to offer a cozy home atmosphere. Bringing in textures and patterns to the design was a craze during the 70s. 

1970s kitchen

1980s

The 80s were marked by big and extravagant kitchens, much like many hairstyles of that time. With more women entering the work-force full-time, kitchens shifted into a place for families to gather together. During this period, the concept of an open floor plan kitchen was ignited. The open concept allowed for continuous flow from the family or living room right into the kitchen. Kitchen islands allowed for the two spaces to be defined while letting conversations flow between the two rooms. 

1980s kitchen

1990s 

A shift from sleek to shabby chic was seen during this time. Homeowners began to take a closer look at professional kitchens when considering what they wanted for their own kitchen. From restaurant to restaurant, customers would take mental notes of their vision and ideas that sparked while dining at their favorite establishment. Cluttered counters were no longer as common and larger refrigerators and gas ranges began to pop into many residential kitchens. This time period marked a shift in the influence commercial kitchens and dining rooms had on residential kitchens. 

1990s kitchen

2000s

With the turn of the century, a new aesthetic came to be. With the rise of TV shows on home renovations and kitchen trends, people were more aware than ever of the trends the best restaurants and icons of the time were having in their kitchens. Stainless steel appliances began to rise in popularity and have really taken off since. 

2000s kitchen

2010s

While many of the trends from the 2000s slipped into the 2010s, there were some new trends that came about. Reclaimed wood floors began the fad. Embracing the bones of a home or building helped to also bring about the vintage charm trend. Subway tiles as backsplash and farmhouse sinks were selling out quickly as people wanted to create a unique style for the kitchen. 

2010s kitchen

Now to the present day, we continue to see the concept of open kitchens be popular among residential homes. What is unique though is this shift to transparent kitchens in commercial kitchens as well. The concept of a transparent kitchen has been boiling up recently as is predicted to skyrocket in 2023. Restaurants and coffee shops are beginning to allow customers to take a peek into their back-of-the-house operations with these transparent kitchens and many operations have reaped numerous benefits from this transition. Consumers are able to feel connected and involved in the preparation of food and this has been shown to improve overall dining satisfaction. Not only this, but consumers can now see the food safety procedures being taken to ensure their food is being prepared with their well-being in mind. 

Having a transparent kitchen does put your cooking process on display which means that your equipment will be seen by guests. With this new trend, having equipment that not only is durable, but also aesthetic, is more important than ever. When your equipment is front and center in the consumers vision of the kitchen, it is crucial to invest in the right equipment. Lakeside offers a wide selection of durable pieces of equipment that provide storage and transport for supplies while also offering an aesthetic and clean look. Explore storage and transport solutions today to start your first steps towards a transparent kitchen in 2023! 

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Is Stainless Steel or Aluminum the Right Choice for Your Cart?

stainless steel vs aluminum

Aluminum and stainless steel are two of the most popular materials used to make foodservice equipment for the commercial kitchen today. While they have many similarities, they also have several key differences that may make one better than the other depending on your needs as an operator, chef, or foodservice director. When it comes to foodservice, there are perks to both materials as well as some downfalls to note in the comparison of the two. Let’s look at both aluminum and stainless steel so you can choose which one makes the most sense for your kitchen space and cooking needs.

Stainless Steel:

This material is one of the strongest metals used for everyday foodservice equipment. Not all stainless steel is the same though. There are different grades with each having minor, but notable, differences making them unique from each other. Two of the more commonly used stainless steel grades are the 304 and the 304L. The variation between the two comes down to the amount of carbon in the metal. The grade 304 has a maximum of 0.08% carbon while the 304L grade has a maximum of 0.03%. The rest of the composition of these two grades is nearly identical with iron making up the difference. This may seem insignificant but makes a difference. 

The 304 grade of stainless steel is generally considered to be the stronger of the two. So why would the 304L be chosen then? The lower level of carbon in the 304L helps to minimize carbide precipitation during the welding process. This is particularly relevant for manufacturers. Using the 304L eliminates the need to anneal weld joints prior to final use. This allows time and money to be saved during the manufacturing process which can in-return allow a product to be shipped to you sooner. Stainless steel has proven its value to the foodservice industry for many years. 

stainless steel coils

Aluminum: 

“Aluminum is the third most common element in the Earth’s crust,” according to the World Economic Forum, making it a material that is often used due to its abundance. It has been produced in commercial quantities for industrial applications for just over 100 years and is now being used across many different industries. Aluminum is lighter in weight when compared to other metals while still having a considerable amount of strength. It also has various grades with slight variations in their performance that are suited for different applications. Aluminum alloy 1100 is commonly used in chemical and food processing. Aluminum alloy 2014 on the other hand is a copper-based alloy with very high strength making it commonly used in aerospace structural applications. But there is one grade that is most commonly used and that is 3003. 

3003 aluminum is completely pure but with added manganese that helps to improve the strength of the material to 20% stronger than the 1100. The 3003 also has great workability and corrosion resistance that helps make it one of the most common alloys. Aluminum has many benefits of its own in comparison to stainless steel, but its most notable difference is its lightweight characteristic. 

aluminum coils

Foodservice Application: 

Now that the basics have been covered, we can go into more depth as to which is better for foodservice applications. Both stainless steel and aluminum are used in the industry and the choice between the two comes down to what tasks the piece of equipment will be used for. “While stainless steel and aluminum are both strong materials, steel is typically stronger,” according to Tamp Steel. If the piece of equipment you are looking to purchase will be used to carry various heavy loads a day, stainless steel is usually the better choice. However, it is important to remember that aluminum is lighter than steel and has a higher strength to weight ratio. If a piece of equipment is needed for lighter loads, aluminum may be the better choice. Both stainless steel and aluminum have corrosion resistant properties which is crucial in this industry to ensure operations are sanitary. Making the decision between the two can be difficult, so take a look at the application it will be used for as your starting point. Lakeside manufactures a wide selection of utility carts to help operators transport with ease. Explore our selection here!

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Make Bussing a Breeze with a Queen Mary Cart

bussing with a queen mary cart

“51% of restaurateurs surveyed said their business lacked the staffing to meet on-premise dining levels,” according to a recent article by Restaurant Dive. While this statistic speaks for this particular sector in the foodservice industry, the industry as a whole is experiencing a labor shortage. When your team is half the size of what you ideally need to run, implications quickly become noticeable. Even though this labor shortage is affecting the foodservice industry across the board, diners still want to come and enjoy food cooked outside of their own home kitchen. So how do you combat the labor shortage while still keeping your doors open? 

Finding equipment that allows less staff to complete the same job is a start. Although this does not solve all of the troubles having less staff brings about, it helps to improve operational efficiency which brings back time to your team. Bussing tables is a constant job that never stops over a period of service which ultimately means it takes lots of time. Making bussing a breeze is possible with a Queen Mary Banquet cart. This cart is ideal for a foodservice operation that is serving a large number of guests all at once and has the need to clear and buss tables quickly once everyone is finished. Whether it's bussing tables for a wedding, at a conference center, or at a banquet hall, tables need to be cleared quickly and efficiently. How can a Queen Mary cart help improve your operational efficiency? 

1.Reduce Trips 

Bussing tables involves lots of people clearing plates, cups, and silverware while running loads back to the washing area in the kitchen. Using a large bussing cart allows you to load many tables worth of dishes onto one cart which allows you to take less trips back-and-forth from the kitchen. When less trips are needed to clear a line of tables, it takes less time for staff to clear tables. Guests will be able to enjoy the next portion of their conference, wedding, or event quickly while ensuring their meal service was remembered kindly. Time is of the essence, especially when staff are limited, so choosing to invest in equipment that increases efficiency can make a world of difference. A Queen Mary cart can hold between 1000 and 2500 pounds depending on which model is chosen. These carts are built to hold your largest and heaviest loads of dishes while still being able to transport and push the cart with ease. 

2. Quiet Maneuverability

Bussing is a crucial part of a meal service, but it is not always recognized by diners, that is unless something goes wrong. If things go smoothly, diners will not pay much attention to bussing and that is what should be strived for. Being quiet and polite while clearing tables quickly is a key part to a successful busing operation. That factors into the equipment you use as well. Making sure your equipment is quiet and glides smoothly will help ensure guests are not distracted by the clearing of tables. Easily maneuvering around the kitchen and dining space will help improve bussing efficiency all while making the task of bussing less straining on staff. Queen Mary carts offer the ultimate mobility needed in foodservice operations. 

3. Increase Safety 

Relying on a cart to do the heavy lifting is a simple way to help reduce the risks of employee injuries on the job. Instead of having staff take heavy loads to and from the kitchen, a cart can be used to help take some of that load off of staff. Queen Mary bussing carts do the heavy lifting of bringing dishes from tables to the kitchen with the guidance of staff. This line of bussing carts also helps to keep dishes secure and in place during transport to avoid any items falling off and hurting a diner or staff member. The design of these carts is built with the operator in mind so that they can easily maneuver and push the cart without putting a great amount of strain on their body. Relying on equipment to do the heavy work allows bussing operations to be as efficient as possible while keeping your staff safe. 

Bussing is a part of foodservice operations that plays a crucial role in the overall success of a meal service. When guests are happy and being attended to and dishes are quickly cleared, a successful meal service has been completed. Using equipment that allows staff to quickly clear tables while also limiting trips to and from the kitchen, staff are able to master bussing. Have you considered making the swap to Queen Mary bussing carts?

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4 Things You Didn’t Know About Queen Mary Carts for Bussing

queen mary carts

Foodservice operations are complex and intricate from the ingredients that need to be ordered to the tables that need to be bussed and cleared. While there are many aspects that add to a successful operation, bussing plays a large role in customer satisfaction from the moment they are seated to the moment they leave. While the bussing team does a lot for diners, ultimately they want to do their work as quickly and quietly as possible as to not disturb the atmosphere and guest experience. 

In last week’s blog, we discussed the basics of bussing and went over a few tips on how to improve bussing operations, especially with limited staff. Now it is time to talk over the equipment needs  of bussing teams that allow  them to be as efficient as possible. Depending on your operations, the type of equipment you’ll need will vary. If you have a smaller and more intimate setting, using a bussing station set-up just outside the dining area would be ideal. If you have a large hall of guests being served, using bussing carts will be your best bet. 

Lakeside offers a wide variety of bussing equipment solutions, but today we are going to highlight our Queen Mary bussing carts. Being one of our most popular carts, it’s no secret that the ROI of Queen Mary carts is easily noticeable almost immediately. Queen Mary carts are designed to be used to bus a large amount of tables in a short time span. For example, in a German style beer hall, up to thirty tables may need to be bussed before the next guests can be seated. Queen Mary carts are ideal for clearing these tables quickly without having to take a ton of trips back to the kitchen to clear the cart of the dirty dishes. 

With their large footprint, Queen Mary carts have the ability to hold a large weight load while still ensuring the cart is able to be maneuvered easily. Queen Mary carts have so many benefits that allow operations to be optimized so that your staff are able to work smarter and not harder. Below, we will go over some features and benefits of Queen Mary carts that you may not know about yet. 

 

#1: Available in Stainless Steel or Aluminum

Having the option between stainless steel and aluminum offers many benefits as it allows you to choose the material that will best suit your facility's needs for this specific cart. There are benefits to both which is why we offer each. Stainless steel Queen Mary carts make it easier to handle an extra heavy load. They have superior strength and durability while being extremely easy to clean and sanitize due to stainless steel’s chemical properties and natural resistance to bacteria. 

Aluminum also comes with its benefits, with its main feature being how light-weight it is. The aluminum Queen Mary carts transport your heaviest loads with ultimate assurance for banquets, catering, and bussing. These carts are much lighter making them very easy to maneuver. Aluminum carts can lower the chance of staff getting injured when moving heavy and bulky items due to the cart itself being lighter. Both aluminum and stainless steel have their place in certain operations, so taking a look into what functions you want your bussing cart to provide to help narrow down between these two options. 

queen mary bus cart

#2: Weight Capacity Options

Different operations have different weight capacity needs based on various factors including the types of dishes used and how far the bussing cart needs to travel from the dining space back to the kitchen. The Queen Mary carts are offered in two different durability levels to make sure you have the ideal cart for your operations. The first durability level offered in our Queen Mary series is Tough Transport. Carts in the Tough Transport durability level can transport up to 1000 lbs. and are designed to be used for 10-18 hours a day. 

The other durability level option with the Queen Mary series is the Extreme Duty level. This durability level is able to hold up to 2500 lbs. and is built to be used around the clock. Both the Tough Transport and Extreme Duty durability levels are built for smooth transport over uneven tile floors, thresholds, elevators, and carpets. These two weight capacity options allow you to choose a cart that will support your bussing needs. 

queen mary bus cart weight capacity

#3: Provides Smoother and Quieter Operations

The last thing any staff member or guest wants is their experience to be interrupted by dishes crashing onto the ground. This creates a mess for staff to clean up and customer satisfaction to be affected. Having equipment that transports smoothly and quietly is a must with any equipment that leaves the back-of-the-house. Queen Mary carts have extra load No-Mark® cushion tread wheels that absorb impact for quieter and smoother operations to avoid any accidents. With two fixed casters and two swivel casters, the cart is able to be guided easily.

queen mary bus cart

#4: Offers Extra Protection 

A Queen Mary bus cart is designed to offer extra protection not only for the dishes and wash bins on the cart, but it also has a full perimeter bumper. This all around bumper ensures that during transport, when a wall, corner, or doorway is bumped, it won't leave a dark scuff that needs to be wiped off. During transport, bumping into walls is bound to happen, but minimizing the effect of that bump is the driving factor behind this Queen Mary cart feature. 

queen mary bus cart

Queen Mary carts are available with a variety of shelves ranging from carts with just three shelves to carts with six shelves. Some operations need all six shelves to make sorting their dishes easier, while some facilities just need the three shelves. Team Lakeside wants to ensure you find a cart solution that is ideal for your operations, which is why we offer these different selections within a series. There is no such thing as a cookie cutter kitchen in this industry, so having the right equipment for your operations is what makes for even more efficient operations.

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Mastering the Basics of Bussing

importance of bussing tables

What is most important when bussing a table? That is a good question, and the answer is a multitude of aspects within operations. If you run a professional kitchen, you are well aware that a smooth flow of staff can make or break a successful evening of service. While it is such an intricate part of service, it can be an aspect that is overlooked by foodservice managers. When a dining space is filled with guests at every table, the bussing team knows they will need to be efficient and timely when clearing tables. 

While clearing tables is one component to bussing, there is also the prep work that sets the stage for guests to have a great experience at your establishment. Prep work ranges based on the type of service, but the bussing team will be sure to have plates ready for guests, whether at tables or in plate dispensers for self-service. The team will also be sure to have clean silverware, cups, and napkins for guests as well as a supply to replenish when needed. Every person operating in a restaurant contributes to the success of the group, and this includes the busser. They serve a number of important functions that require experience and training. Read on to better understand the critical role of the busser as well as some tips to make bussing operations a breeze. 

Focus on Service:

Happy guests are a must for a successful foodservice operation whether that is at a restaurant, school, casino, or convention center. Bussers are on the frontline or preserving the guest experience. When guests arrive, they should be met with a clean table and quickly provided a glass of water with the cup being replenished when needed. Dirty dishes should not lay on the table untouched for too long as this can cloud the guest experience. These are the obvious ways that bussers contribute to positive guest experiences, but there are less obvious ways they contribute.

While there are plenty of ways to add to the customer experience and satisfaction, there are also simple back-of-the-house operations that can deter a guest's dining experience including leaving tubs of dirty dishes in the line of sight of guests. This is not appetizing and looks unprofessional. Having a dirty washcloth bucket in visibility is another easy thing to make sure is not seen by guests. Little aspects like this can add up and cause guest experiences to be less than ideal. Make sure to focus on not only the obvious ways to improve guest experience, but also the subtle aspects. Regardless of how your establishment employs bussers, there is no doubt that having a skilled and highly trained bussing staff will elevate guests’ dining experience. 

bussing carts

Encourage Back-of-the-House Flow: 

Increasing customer satisfaction all starts with efficient operations on the back end. While keeping guests happy is of vital importance, it is not the only way bussers are important to a restaurant kitchen. Bussers are responsible for delivering an essential item to foodservice: flatware and dinnerware. Foodservice operations need to optimize their budgets, which means they can’t keep a never-ending supply of dishes and flatware in stock. 

Bussers are responsible for getting dirty dishes back to the dishwasher, who then get dishes cleaned and back into circulation to be used for the next group of dinners. If bussers are not appropriately staffed or trained to efficiently move dishes, this could cause a backlog for the entire kitchen. While every operation has a different way of handling bussing, we have compiled some tips to hopefully help improve your bussing, especially with the industry experiencing a current labor shortage. 

bussing carts

Tips for Bussing: 

#1: All Hands-on Deck

Everyone, and we mean everyone, on your team should be trained on how to bus. With limited staff, the bussing team may not be able to get to a table as soon as a server may, or a hostess may have a lull between guests arriving. Ensuring that everyone knows your bussing operations will help make sore smoothie clearing of tables. Having a plan to ensure consistency amongst everyone makes for a cohesive guest experience. No matter your role on the team, everyone should always be keeping an eye on tables. When customers feel attended to, this not only increases their current experience, but also their likelihood of returning or recommending. 

#2: Scale Up the Table

While some guests clearly let you know when they are done with a plate or drink by moving it away from them, other diners are less clear. Being able to gauge whether someone is done with a drink, side, or course takes time to acclimate to. Look for signals of more talking, not touching plates for a few minutes, or approaching the table and seeing if they pick their utensils back up. While there is no secret sauce to this, after practice you are able to perfect this skill. Once you have been able to confirm that guests are done, it is key to clear the table quickly while still ensuring quality work. Making minimal noise is also important to note as to not disturb any conversations amongst guests or alter their experience. 

#3: Don’t Push Your Limits

Adding that one extra plate on top of your stack in the moment may seem like a good idea but carrying more than you can handle never ends well. When plates go crashing on the ground because a busser took too many plates at once sends all diners eyes to immediately shift towards the scene. Dining atmospheres are handcrafted by owners, and while accidents happen, avoiding them by taking smaller loads can make a huge difference. Making sure you look professional even if it means taking smaller loads is worth it in the end and impresses guests with your establishment's seamless night of service. 

Bussing tables plays a crucial role in various aspects of a diner's experience from their initial impressions to when they are about to leave. Having all hands-on deck when it comes to bussing can help the labor starved foodservice industry keep guests flowing in and out while ensuring quality is not compromised. Lakeside offers a wide selection of bussing solutions to help ensure customer satisfaction. Talk with a Lakeside cart expert today to see how we can help improve your bussing operational efficiency.

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Rack Up Insights on our Top 3 Industrial Drying Racks

Rack up insights on our top 3 industrial drying racks

After being in business for over 75 years, Lakeside has been able to rack up industry insights on which products foodservice directors have found the most valuable, and which pieces of equipment have made the greatest difference in foodservice operations across the country. While Lakeside has a wide variety within the pool of our most popular products, three of our industrial drying racks have consistently been making a difference in back-of-the-house operations for many years. So how do these carts really make a difference and help gear up for more efficient operations? 

 

Drying racks provide so many benefits from avoiding wet-nesting dishes to helping reduce the time it takes staff to get through all the dirty dishes after a busy night of service. Whether you are working in foodservice at a hospital, school, casino, or resort, dishes always need to be washed and dried. In last week’s blog, we highlighted the main things to look for when purchasing a drying rack, but this week we will dive deeper into the top 3 most popular Lakeside drying racks and why they fly off the shelves. There are so many benefits to Lakeside drying racks with their ability to not only serve as a drying rack, but also as a storage unit. 

 

No matter which model you decide will works best for your operations, you’ll be sure to find these features in your drying rack. All Lakeside industrial drying racks have a stainless steel frame and “L” supports to increase the stability of the rack while also preventing accidents and spills. The all welded stainless steel bases on Lakeside drying racks ensure superior strength and balance. So rest assured, these drying racks will offer a durable, secure, and stable home for your pans, trays, and domes. Below we will take a deeper look at the top 3 industrial drying racks. 

The 848 Sheet Pan and Tray Rack: 

So many kitchens find themselves running through loads on sheet pans from the start of prep all the way through service. Sheet pans are a vital piece of equipment that allow food to be cooked for diners in an efficient manner, but drying them can be a pain point as they are large and bulky. Sheet pan drying racks are specifically designed to hold these bulky sheet pans and ensure they are able to dry quickly so that they can be used for another round of prep within hours. The 848 not only accommodates for the drying of sheet pans, but also for the drying of trays. Behind plates, bowls, cups, and silverware, sheets and trays are probably the next highest volume dish type to go through a dishwasher in a kitchen. Here are some main benefits of the 848 industrial drying rack. 

  • All-welded frame of stainless steel square tubing 
  • Accommodates a variety of pan and tray sizes 
  • Stainless steel channel slides with spacing in between to speed up drying time
  • Pan-stop ledge prevents pans and trays from sliding off of the back side
  • Easily maneuverable with all-swivel casters 
  • Three shelves that hold a total of 120 pans or trays 

With this drying rack offering drying and storage for both sheet pans and trays, it’s fairly obvious why this is one of our best-selling trying racks. When versatility meets durability, equipment is sure to provide solutions for a kitchen for many years. 

industrial drying rack

The 898 Dome Drying Rack: 

The use of domes in  foodservice is very common as they help keep food warm not only for the enjoyment of the diner, but also for maintaining the food at a safe-to-eat temperature. Domes can be clunky and hard to store, but drying racks designed for dome storage help solve this problem. The 898 is a Lakeside top seller as it has provided drying and storage for hospitals, long-term care facilities, restaurants, and many other foodservice businesses. Here are some quick bullet points of the main features of this industrial drying rack. 

  • Dome cradles conveniently remove for easy cleaning and sanitizing
  • Holds most standard sized domes
  • Each cradle holds 10 domes 
  • Five shelves that hold a total of 100 domes 
  • Maneuvers easily around the kitchen and storage spaces

Domes play a crucial role in foodservice as they ensure all of the hours or prep work for a meal are not lost at the last minute to a cold meal that is not able to be served. Having a drying rack and storage space for these domes helps to improve kitchen efficiency. 

Industrial drying rack

The 867 Tray Drying Rack: 

This rack is designed specifically for tray drying and storage. Trays are an item that kitchens can never have too many of. Trays serve a variety of purposes in kitchens ranging from being used to deliver food to tables, to being used by guests to grab food from self-serve counters. With trays being used so often, it is important to have a method set up to be able to dry them in a timely manner so they can be restocked and used again. The 867 is Lakeside’s popular tray drying rack, and here’s why. 

  • Removable tray racks for easy cleaning and sanitizing
  • Tray racks have slant in the center and perforated bottom for quick and efficient drainage
  • Shelves also have drain holes for fast draining
  • Holds a variety of tray sizes for convenience and versatility 
  • Easily maneuvers around kitchen and storage areas
  • Four shelves that hold a total of 80 trays 

Having efficient draining in a drying rack is the number one feature to look for in drying racks. Without efficient draining, dishes will not dry as fast and there is a risk of mold and bacteria growth. The 867 has excellent drainage systems in various aspects of the cart to ensure dishes dry quickly and efficiently. 

Industrial drying rack

 

Drying racks play a key role in back-of-the-house operations as they provide a place for damp dishes to dry once they have gone through the dishwasher, but they also provide storage for your dishes when they are not being used. Lakeside drying racks have made a significant impact on kitchen efficiency for years. Chat with a Lakeside expert today to learn more about drying rack solutions.

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The Ultimate Checklist for Buying an Industrial Drying Rack

Ultimate checklist for buying industrial drying rack

Having functional storage within foodservice operations is crucial for ensuring everything runs smoothly before, during, and after service. Having multifunctional equipment is the cherry on top of functional storage. Being able to use one piece of equipment for two or more uses not only helps increase your ROI, but it also frees up space in the back of the house to allow for staff to shuffle around easily and place priority on dinners. At Lakeside, multifunctional equipment is the name of our game. When durability meets multifunction, you will see increased efficiency in foodservice operations. 

A piece of equipment that is known to take up lots of space are storage shelves. While they are necessary, sometimes it would be ideal to have that space open. When you combine two functions into one, your piece of equipment is using the space of one item while serving two purposes. Another item that is notorious for crowding a kitchen are drying racks. Both of these pieces of equipment are vital to the functionality of foodservice operations, but what if they were combined into one piece of equipment? 

That is exactly the functionality that our industrial drying racks offer. Having a place to dry dishes and not needing them to be transferred onto the storage shelves saves time. Instead, simply roll the drying rack into a storage space to continue drying while already being stored. Labor savings is beneficial to nearly any facility, whether that is in foodservice or not. Using multifunctional equipment saves the time it takes staff to perform the same tasks. So what should you be looking for in a multifunctional drying rack? Let’s take a look at the checklist below.

1. Stainless Steel Construction

For a piece of equipment that will see many splashes of water throughout its lifespan, making sure it is durable, while also being rust resistant, is crucial. While plastic drying racks can get the job done, they usually are not able to withstand the same amount of weight that stainless steel can. The higher weight capacity stainless steel is able to hold allows for more items to be dried and stored on a single rack. Pairing its ability to hold the weight of many dishes with its resistance to rust will be sure to offer you the ideal drying rack. 

industrial drying racks

2. Stability of Structure

While plastic trays may not weigh down on a rack much, metal sheet pans can add a large amount of weight onto a drying rack which is why stability is so important. Making sure your drying rack will remain stable while not in motion and also during transport is crucial to the safety of everyone. Not only does a stable drying rack ensure staff safety, it also helps avoid accidents and spills. Lakeside uses “L” supports and an all welded stainless steel base to ensure superior strength and balance while in motion and parked. 

drying racks

3. Mobility

Being able to move an industrial drying rack is a must. When loading a rack, it needs to be next the the dish washing area. When the rack is full, it needs to be moved out of the working area and into storage. In order to be able to do this, a drying rack must have wheels. While stationary drying racks still offer the drying space you need, they take up valuable space in the kitchen. Having mobile industrial drying racks allows your drying rack to also serve as storage and be moved out of the way. 

4. Easy Cleaning

These drying racks will be used heavily since foodservice operations are constantly using, washing, and drying dishes. With this, drying racks need to be cleaned to ensure clean dishes remain clean. Having a drying rack that has removable cradles or removable rack slants makes the cleaning process easier while ensuring every aspect of the rack is able to be cleaned efficiency and thoroughly. 

drying racks

5. Drainage System

Water will come into contact with the rack and there will be remaining water on dishes after they come out of the dishwasher. While rinse aids help decrease the amount of time it takes for dishes to dry, water still remains on the dishes for a period of time after they have went through their dishwasher cycle and taken out. Having a drainage system on drying racks helps to direct this water during the drying process. Drying racks that have perorated bottoms where the dishes sit or perforated drain holes on shelves help reduce drying time will also ensuring there is no water build-up. 

6. Versatility in Storage Abilities

Having a drying rack that can hold various sized items is an important factor to consider when purchasing an industrial drying rack. Unless you are planning to use the rack for only one tray model that you only have one size of, it most likely will be beneficial for you to have a drying rack that can hold various types of items. One meal your service might require a plethora of domes to be used to keep food warm, while the next meal might rely heavily on the use of lots of sheet pans to cook the meal. Drying racks that can hold items of varying size work best. 

7. Bumpers 

When transporting drying racks, you are bound to bump a corner or two. Having bumpers on the legs, bottom corners and perimeter help to reduce the impact the bumps have on furnishings. Bumpers offer an excellent safeguard for doors, walls, and furnishings. 

8. Braking Casters

For when your drying rack is serving its function of being used for storage, ensuring it will remain in place is very important. One of the reasons being the security of the dishes and the second being the safety of those who walk near the drying rack. An accidental bump to the rack could cause it to shift, but braking casters allow you to lock the drying rack in place while it is in the storage room. The same can be said while it is near the wash area. When staff are shuffling around taking dishes off the dishwasher racks and placing them on drying racks it is important that the rack remains in place. 

 

Drying racks are a great multifunctional investment that offers a place for dishes to dry while also offering a storage solution for those dishes. Having multifunctional equipment is key to successful foodservice operations today. When looking to purchase an industrial drying rack, be sure to look for these features to make sure you are investing in the right equipment. Lakeside offers a selection of drying racks to help improve your back-of-the-house operations. Learn more about Lakeside drying racks here!

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5 Benefits of Industrial Drying Racks

Benefits of Industrial Drying Racks

It’s peak hour at a restaurant, they are hauling out plate after plate of delicious appetizers, entrees, and desserts. You walk into the bustling restaurant with smiling faces and chatter coming from every table. The servers are delivering drinks and food while checking in with customers. The hostess brings your group to a table, you all take a look at your menu and decide on your main dishes. Your server swiftly shifts from the neighboring table to yours to take everyone’s orders. With drinks in hand, time passes quickly and you suddenly see your food nearing the table. It’s time to eat. Let’s pause now. This is what the front-of-the-house looks like, happy customers and attentive staff, but let’s venture back into the kitchen at this same moment. 

 

The kitchen consists of laughter and chatter. Chefs are plating dishes and servers are coming in and out to deliver plates. As tables are finished, the bussing team is sure to clear tables quickly and efficiently to allow the next group to have a seat. All of the dirty plates, bowls, flatware, and glasses are being dumped into the back of the kitchen near the washing sink. These dishes are piling up as service continues to speed up and the bussing team does not have the capacity to clean and dry all of the dishes while still tending to tables. Some dishes have been washed but are in piles waiting to be dried while the one side of the sink has a heaping stack of dirty dishes. How can this problem be solved? Industrial drying racks can be the ideal solution.

Purpose of Industrial Drying Racks:

These drying racks are built for efficient and convenient drying that also provide storage all in one. Having to dry each item by hand takes lots of labor and time. Drying racks allow you to reduce the time your team puts into washing and drying dishes. Once a dish has been washed, it can simply be put on the drying rack to air dry on its own. Not only do these industrial drying racks serve as a place to allow airflow around dishes, but it also serves as a storage. Your trays, pans, and dome lids can remain situated on their drying rack until the next day’s service begins. The convenience these carts offer benefits the entire back-of-the-house staff and can save valuable time, especially in the current labor crunch the foodservice industry is experiencing. Below we will outline the main features and benefits drying racks offer. 

Efficiency:

Eliminating the need for human labor in one portion of the washing process saves a lot of time for staff. When you only need to run your dishes through the commercial dishwasher and no longer need to dry each item, the time it takes to get through post-meal dishes can be reduced tremendously. After dishes come out of the dishwasher, they can quickly be placed onto drying racks and let time do the drying for you. 

 

Not only does this help eliminate the time it takes to wash dishes, it also provides mobile storage that can be easily moved out of the way when a drying rack is full. Drying racks help ease the strain on your staff. In AHF’s recent study, the top three concerns for their members were

  • Staffing
  • Training, development and employee engagement 
  • Budget financials 

 

While a drying rack can not solve all of the main concerns in the foodservice industry, it can help  staff as they are able to remove one of the manual steps in their back-of-the-house operations. Industrial drying racks are also budget friendly as they offer a drying solution as well as a mobile storage solution.

Mobility: 

Being able to move your storage around can make a world of difference in the foodservice industry. Dishes, trays or pans that are not needed at the moment can be pushed out of the way to offer up more space creating better flow within your kitchen. In one instance you may need the drying rack right next to the sink or dishwasher to quickly load clean items onto the rack, but as soon as that rack is full it can easily be transferred to a storage space. 

Lakeside drying racks come with No-Mark polyurethane casters that help offer a smooth ride to keep items in place during transit. Easy maneuverability within all aspects of kitchen operations allow you to keep up with your fast paced back-of-the-house operations.

Convenience:

As we have discussed above, Lakeside drying racks are multifunctional by offering your dishes not only a place to dry, but also a place to house them while they are not in use. GlobeNewsWire predicts that foodservice operators are “shifting toward smaller-sized kitchen equipment to optimize their space and perform multiple functions at the same time.” Multifunctional equipment is going to be the new name of the game in the years to come as it offers the same functions which means less pieces of equipment are needed to serve the same functions. Lakeside drying racks are not only a multifunctional investment, but also an investment that will last for many years to come. 

Durability:

With Lakeside drying racks being constructed from stainless steel, the lifespan of these racks spreads far and wide as they are able to serve a foodservice operation for generations. Investing in equipment that will only last 5-10 years may be a quick solution, but not a long term solution. Thinking down the line is crucial in the foodservice industry and investing in the right equipment will set your operations up for success for years to come. 

Lakeside racks are made from a 14-gauge stainless steel frame and an “L” support to increase the stability of the cart and prevent accidents. The stainless steel base ensures superior strength and balance so your rack is sure to hold up to the task. The stainless steel construction also provides for easy cleaning and sanitizing which helps extend its lifespan.

Sanitation:

Ensuring your dishes remain mold free is crucial as food-safety is the number one priority when serving food to customers, patients, guests, students, or staff. Drying racks allow items to be spread out which reduces the risk of mold and bacteria growth. Wet nesting your trays or pans can lead to an unwanted surprise of mold the next time you use them. Lakeside drying racks help reduce the potential for mold with dividers on the rack as well as completely open construction. Some of our models have drain holes to help ensure faster draining while also reducing the possibility for mold build-up. 

Investing in an industrial drying rack may seem daunting at first, but the benefits they offer can help improve back-of-the-house efficiency in various ways. Lakeside drying racks are built to last and offer a durable solution that will stand up to your heaviest load of dishes. Are you ready to explore what drying rack will work best for your operations?

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Serving Trays and Flatware in the Same Unit Just Got Easier

Tray Dispenser Multi-Function

Pretend you’re a student in a college dining hall or a doctor in a hospital cafeteria for a second. You’re hungry. You’re probably short on time. And you’re probably not quite sure, at this point, what you will select for lunch. You grab a tray from the tray dispenser, and then you grab a fork and knife.

Let’s repeat that. You grab a tray from the tray dispenser, and then you grab a fork and knife.

The reality is trays and flatware go hand in hand. There are practically zero scenarios in which a diner will grab a tray without grabbing silverware, so for the operators serving those customers, it seems quite simple to consider foodservice equipment that will conveniently provide dining trays and flatware in the same location.

That’s exactly what Lakeside provides with their line of mobile tray dispensers that are also designed to serve as silverware carts.  By combining silverware and tray storage, operators can create a centralized location where guests can begin their dining experiences, and there are several different options to choose from.

Two-Sided Enclosed Frame

The Lakeside 403 two-sided enclosed frame can hold 10 flatware cylinders above a storage area for trays. Trays can be loaded or removed from either side, and the stainless steel design provides both clean aesthetics and durability that will stand up to the rigors of moving trays and silverware from the back of the house to the cafeteria serving line.

Mobile Tray and Silverware Dispenser

The Lakeside 986 mobile tray dispenser with silverware dispenser is similar to the 403 model, but it has a slightly smaller footprint. Slots are included for eight silverware cylinders, and trays are loaded and unloaded from the sides rather than the front and back. Like the 403, though, units can easily roll from the warewashing room to the serving line and back, making these units compact and convenient.

Tubular Flatware Frame

The Lakeside 213 tubular flatware frame has a 10-cylinder capacity above. Below the silverware storage area, the tray dispensing section of the unit allows for access from all four directions, making it a bit different than the other options listed above. Built for continuous use, the 213 has a load capacity of 400 pounds holding trays of various sizes.

Learn more about the convenience of combining tray and silverware storage and dispensing in the same unit. Check out our line of tray dispensers today.

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Handling Food Serving Trays in Two Ways with One Unit

Tray Dispenser Multi-functional

 

There are two main times to consider the importance of a serving tray dispenser in foodservice operations. The first is when customers take trays to start their dining experiences, and the second time is when those trays are no longer being used by the customers and are set for removal from the dining area. The good news is both processes can be served by the same unit.

With the right foodservice tray dispenser, operators can make sure customers have the trays they need when they need them, while at the same time making it easy to remove used trays to prepare them for cleaning and storage. Doing this in the most efficient way is important, and that often involves transporting trays across far distances, from a serving area on one side of a property to a kitchen or warewashing station on the other. The ultimate goal of a tray dispenser is to make service convenient for customers and make work easier for staff.

A 2-In-1 Unit Provides Convenience

A 2-in-1 tray unit can provide the ability to dispense serving trays and handle the used trays, all at the same time. These units have a cantilevered dispensing area that's open on three sides, so customers can quickly and easily grab the trays they need for their dining experience, but the base has a handy platform where used trays can be stored until they're taken to the kitchen for sanitizing. This keeps them separate from clean trays, and also eliminates the need for workers to carry stacks of heavy trays back and forth.

Using tray dispensers with an area for used trays, foodservice workers can provide both dispensing and bussing abilities in the same cart. This convenience helps staff be more efficient and can actually reduce stress during these labor-challenged times. Most important, customers will easily be able to get a clean tray when needed, and used trays can be quickly stowed away so they don't get mixed up with clean options.

A Serving Tray Dispenser For Multiple Locations

Whether it's in the dining hall of a college, a hospital cafeteria, or another event such as a corporate luncheon, mobility is the name of the game when it comes to a versatile serving tray dispenser. With classic features and benefits from Lakeside, serving tray dispensers are both reliable and multi-functional -- on-the-go. Both single and double-platform dispensers are made from stainless steel for durability, and operate on large casters for stability. They're easy to maneuver through doorways and hallways.

Walls are protected by corner bumpers to reduce the chances of scuffs and marks, and the design keeps the dispenser stable as workers steer it from the kitchen to the dining area. Whether that's in the next room, down the hall, or even in another building, the right serving tray dispenser is very important when it comes to handling both clean and used trays with ease.

With several models to choose from, businesses can select the serving tray dispenser that fits the size of trays they use and provides the biggest benefits for their operations. By adjusting the dispensing height as trays are used, it is easy for customers to continue grabbing trays even when the stack of clean trays is smaller. This also allows for more space underneath, where used trays can be stored. It's a winning combination for economical and convenient foodservice.