What Should You Look for in a Commercial Warewasher?

Posted by Patrick Maness +

The warewasher. Typically located by one of the service entrances, this piece of equipment is an essential cog in any foodservice operation. Nearly every piece of dinnerware, flatware and glassware, as well as a number of service items, will pass through the warewasher at some point, and when it goes down your entire business grinds to a halt.

Choosing the right one is a big decision, and that’s why we’re here to help. Whether you’re just starting out or you’re up to your ankles in dirty dishes, here’s what to look for in a warewasher.

  • Find the right size for your business. When sizing a warewasher, the two most important statistics are rack size and cycle time. Rack size indicates how much the warewasher can hold, and cycle time tells how quickly it can clean a given load. To calculate a machine’s total productivity, multiply the rack size by the number of cycles it could do in an hour. Be sure to include time for loading and unloading dish racks, too. Some warewashers can hold two racks, so be sure to figure this into your calculations.
  • Does it resist clogs and clean easily? Your warewasher will be bombarded by food scraps every time you run it, especially during the busiest shifts. Furthermore, a unit that’s always clogged will hinder productivity, requiring that you rewash dishes before you can use them again. When shopping for a warewasher, understand the drainage system and look for strainers that can keep food stuffs away from the inner workings of the machine. Remember, you’re a restaurateur, not a plumber, and you’d like to keep it that way.
  • Determine water and chemical usage. When it comes to water use, not all warewashers are created equal. Look at the models you’re considering and learn how much water each uses to complete a cycle. Do the same for soap. If two machines can deliver the same clean and finished product but one uses significantly less water, that machine will save you money throughout its lifespan.
  • Identify what your business needs. Warewashers needn’t be one-size-fits-all, so make sure you look for a model that fits your business. If your business mainly serves drinks, an under-the-counter glass washer will work best. If you’re doing a lot of catering, on the other hand, you may want a larger-capacity machine to handle all of the preparation pans and dishes you go through.
  • Start with the right manufacturer. When looking for a new warewasher, start with the trusted names in the industry. Hobart has been serving the foodservice industry for over 100 years and their warewasher line includes options for any business. Shop by door type, flight type, conveyor or under-the-counter glass washer — whatever you’re looking for, you’ll find it with Hobart.

And if you need more assistance, let us know. We're always happy to help!

Read other articles in this series:

Identifying the Top Manufacturers in Foodservice Equipment
What Do You Need to Look for When Shopping for Cooking Equipment?
What to Look for in Commercial Prep Equipment
What to Look for When Purchasing Commercial Refrigeration Equipment

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