Get It Right: 3 Warewasher Types Dependent on Available Space

Though restaurateurs like to focus on the quality and high-tech advantages of their cooking equipment, the unsung hero of every kitchen may well be its warewasher.

After all, every piece of dinnerware, flatware and glassware in your business is likely to pass through that vital machine at some point, and its failure could lead to logistical, regulatory or public relations headaches. A quality machine should be able to produce spotlessly clean and sanitized kitchen gear in time frames that keep up with the flow of your business — at energy costs that won’t rise like so much steam.

Because a warewasher represents a significant investment, you’ll want to choose the right option the first time around. One of the first elements to consider is where your unit will go, as this will have a significant effect on the model you can accommodate. The three main designs: 

Door type: These hand-fed machines typically take up less space than conveyor models because they simply wash dishes and utensils, usually without a separate drying process. Some can clean up to 1,000 dishes or 1,800 glasses an hour, making them ideal for eateries with fewer than 150 seats. Some are ventless and hoodless because they’re designed to recycle generated steam instead of releasing it. Most consume between 70 and 90 gallons of hot water per hour, though low-temperature models average around 110 gallons. A typical wash cycle lasts about 45 seconds; a rinse cycle, 12 seconds. 

Conveyor: These single-, double- or triple-tank models are designed so dishes automatically move through a prewash, wash, rinse and/or blow-drying process on a horizontal conveyor belt system. They’re especially useful in the kitchens of medium- and high-volume operations that serve 200 to 400 meals daily and produce a constant flow of dirty dishes and cookware. Some newer models may handle up to 8,550 dishes per hour. The most effective machines work as an integrated system that controls heat loss and humidity, recycles drying air, and captures and condenses water vapor to improve energy usage. The typical cleaning cycle with conveyor systems lasts one minute and uses about 415 gallons of water per hour.

Undercounter: These single-tank machines are designed to be installed in compact spaces in venues like bars, coffee shops, restaurants and care facilities that serve fewer than 100 meals daily. They often offer some of the same energy-saving features as larger models; for example, most recycle the hot water vapor produced during the wash and rinse cycles. Most models can complete a wash cycle in two and a half minutes and use about 40 gallons of water hourly.

Learn more about the latest features in warewashers by logging on to or calling 508-761-3605.

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