Pizza prep tables are similar to their sandwich prep table counterparts except the pan rail is raised versus recessed. This raised rail is angled toward the worker and can help decrease cross-contamination while employees top pizzas. Pizza prep tables are also designed to accommodate 1/6-size pans (versus the sandwich prep table 1/3-size pans standard) in order to accommodate a variety of pizza toppings for hungry customers. Pizza prep tables also have a larger cutting board depth to accommodate large pizzas.
Before purchasing a pizza prep table for your restaurant, first consider your space. Pizza prep tables come in a variety of sizes ranging from 27 inches all the way to 93 inches. You can also choose doors, drawers or even a combination of both on your prep table. While drawers are often designed to hold food pans filled with ingredients (making it easy to refill your ingredient rail during service), you may sacrifice some interior refrigerated space. Commercial prep tables with doors, however, have a large refrigerated space that can store a variety of foods. Combination units try to give you the best of both worlds while simultaneously reducing wasted space, however choosing the best pizza prep table ultimately decides on your location—consider your space and the traffic walking back and forth to pick the best option for you.
When choosing a pizza prep table for your restaurant, definitely look for stainless steel options. Though they garner a higher initial cost, stainless steel is the most durable against high acidic foods such as tomatoes, which are often used in pizzas. Some manufacturers might utilizing stainless steel on the front, sides and top, though have galvanized aluminum on the back, bottom and (sometimes) on the interior of the storage compartment. Side-mounted refrigeration systems are most common on pizza prep tables, and can be serviced without having to move the entire unit. At Tundra Restaurant Supply, we carry a variety of pizza prep tables from the industry's leading manufacturer's like Nor-Lake, True, Turbo Air, Beverage Air and much more!
Keeping your pizza prep table clean is the first step to extending the life of your restaurant equipment; this includes daily wiping of the interior, exterior and all of the nooks and crannies present in a pizza prep table. Don’t forget to keep your gaskets clean as well. Gaskets are one of the fastest parts to wear on your equipment (and also one of the easiest to replace). Once a gasket wears and loses its flexibility, your refrigerated seal will weaken, compromising the safety of your product and forcing your equipment to work harder to maintain temperature. Other items that should be cleaned include the condensers, which could increase system pressures and add stress to your compressor (leading to failure).
Also be on the lookout for signs of structural damage like dented pans, and even doors. These daily wear and tear can take a toll on your unit—for example, a dented pan ledge means that your pans will not fit properly in the rail, permitting cold air to escape from the unit’s refrigerated base. And what happens when cold air escapes? Your unit is working harder to maintain the lower temperature.
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