Many food service operations are concerned with the flow in the kitchen and the seating space in the dining area. While those areas are extremely important, the dishroom is just as important and can provide a means of efficiency for your operation, or provide a bottle neck. Don’t let your dishroom be an afterthought!
A dishroom consists of three main areas:
• The soiled dish area
• The clean dish area
• The warewashing area
It is very important for all three of these areas to work in conjunction with each other, as well as to provide the appropriate space to accommodate the size of your operation. Here are some helpful tips and suggestions to make your operation more profitable and more efficient.
The Soiled Dish Area:
• Make sure you create plenty of space for your workers in the scrapping station. This area should include a landing area for bus tubs and trays, an area to separate and rack glassware and flatware, and an area to scrap dishes and separate trash from recyclable and compostable materials.
• Your local health codes might require a 3-compartment sink or 4-compartment sink. A power wash sink is also a great recommendation for larger facilities.
• Angle racks on shelving over the soiled dish table provide good storage and conserve space.
• Always design your soiled area for accumulating at your peak volume quantities of plates and glasses.
• Flatware often needs an extra soak, so consider a soak sink with perforated inserts for drainage.
• Design in a pre-rinse spray arm on your soiled dish table to wash flatware and glassware prior to going into the warewasher, which can wash about 800 dishes per hour.
• If your operation feeds many patrons, consider a tray conveyor for more efficiency.
• Disposers are good at disposing food at the soiled dish table, but some local codes do not allow disposers (check with your health department in your area). Many disposers can’t handle everything found on a plate, like bones and plastic straws.
• If you have a large operation, consider using a scrap collector or pulper to handle your food wastes. Pulpers can handle both food waste and trash, and pulpers grind up bones and plastic.
• Pulpers can reduce your waste volume by up to 85% in most cases.
The Clean Dish Area:
• Always allow enough space in the clean dish area for employees to move around and operate.
• Consider how many clean racks of glassware and flatware will be coming out of the dishwasher at peak hours and allow space to store those racks to dry. Consider a drying rack placed above the clean dish table and San Jamar racks that allow stacking of the racks.
• Placing San Jamar matts on the floor to prevent slipping is a smart preventative measure.
• It is always smart to install a limit switch at the end of the clean dish table that turns off the dishwasher when too many racks come out unattended.
Dishwasher / Warewasher:
• An efficient dishwasher uses less water and energy with each wash. Consult your sales associate at Thompson & Little, Inc. to determine the most efficient unit for your operation. Many warewashers are now Energy Star rated.
• There are many different types of dishwashers to consider for your application:
• Undercounter dishwasher (tight on space; small operation)
• Door-type dishwasher (space saver; small to medium operation)
• Conveyor dishwasher (for larger operations needing numerous racks washed at once)
• Flight-type dishwasher (for very large operations needing many racks washed)
Manufacturers: Bi-Line, Champion, Insinkerator, Hobart, CMA, Jackson, Salvajor, Eagle, Advance Tabco, John Boos, Caddy, Piper, T&S, Fisher, Aerowerks