The toaster is an asset in the kitchen, improving the quality and taste of sandwiches, burgers and other menu items. Because of its important role, it is critical that this equipment can meet your ongoing operational needs.
How do you know when it’s time to replace this kitchen staple? Here are six reasons you may need a new toaster:
1. The quality of the toast is not up to par. There are several electrical and mechanical components that affect toast quality. When some or all these parts begin to wear, toast quality will steadily decline. During this stage of the equipment life, a thorough analysis should be completed to determine if it is more cost-effective to repair or replace the unit with a newer model.
2. There is a more efficient model available. Energy costs continue to increase, and technology is constantly evolving. This combination has created opportunities for Antunes to design equipment that uses less energy and while producing the same toast quality. If your model is several years old, it may be worth revisiting what options are now available.
3. The toaster is no longer keeping up with demand. Toasters are rated for a certain maximum capacity of product they can toast per hour. As a business grows, it’s not uncommon for a piece of equipment to no longer keep up with the needs of the operation. This is a good problem to have; however, it may require purchasing a new toaster that has the capacity capability to exceed customer demands.
4. Maintenance costs are too high. It is critical to follow a manufacturer’s preventative maintenance schedule for equipment in order to optimize performance and minimize downtime. There are several pieces of equipment in a standard commercial kitchen — most of which require daily, monthly and quarterly maintenance. This upkeep can take several hours a per day and deter employees from completing maintenance tasks on equipment. Additionally, most toasters have “consumable” items that require replacement monthly, quarterly and yearly. Both labor and consumable replacements increase a customer’s cost of ownership. Antunes recognizes these challenges when designing equipment and offers toaster solutions that require minimal maintenance, allowing customers to spend more time on their business and not on maintaining the equipment.
5. You are looking to add a daypart or new menu item(s). Menu evolution and expansion are standard ways to grow a restaurant business. When a new menu item is offered, a new piece equipment may be required. For example, a restaurant that has primarily a lunch menu uses a contact toaster for their hamburger buns but decides they would like to add breakfast sandwiches served on bagels, toast or muffins. A contact toaster could toast these bread products, but the quality will be poor. A new toaster is recommended. The technology for optimal toast quality on bagels, muffins and toast is infrared/radiant heat.
6. You are experiencing frequent failures. Failures can be the result of poor-quality equipment or operating equipment that is past the end of its life. Manufacturers typically specify the life expectancy of the equipment, and it is normal for operators to continue using equipment after it has reached its end of life, especially if it’s still operational. This practice, however, eventually results in high dollar repair costs and increased downtime.
Once you’ve determined you do need a new toaster, there are a number of factors that go into selecting the right one, such as the type of product to toast, capacity needed and the size of the available counterspace. Working closely with your manufacturer can help you best determine the ideal toaster for your operation.
For more insights into toaster selection, check out this article comparing contact and radiant toasting.