When the morning rush is on, the last thing any restaurant owner needs is an interruption in service. A normal backup caused by increased business is stressful. When a halt comes from something that could be easily avoided, like broken restaurant equipment, it seems so much worse. Care and maintenance of your commercial kitchen equipment and supplies goes a long way towards ensuring satisfied customers. Here are six things you should know about your conveyor toaster to keep it up and running.
Why use a conveyor toaster?
A staple for all meals, but especially breakfast, is crisp, warm toast. While there are many ways to create this delicious side, most of them are either tedious or carry significant risk of burning. The conveyor toaster, however, is a machine that is designed to be hassle-free and produce consistent results. When your toaster does not meet these expectations, it is usually because a few simple but critical daily maintenance tasks were overlooked.
Setting up your conveyor toaster
When your conveyor toaster arrives, the most urgent part of set-up is to read the user manual. This is the most important step, and perhaps most ignored, because it will set the stage for the operation of this equipment. The manual will advise you on many topics, from proper usage to recommended cleaners. You will also learn about what each part does, how to troubleshoot potential issues, and the best way to service the toaster. The instructions may seem more like “common sense” than anything groundbreaking, but reading them can save you a lot of trouble and expense down the road.
Using the toaster properly
One thing your manual should tell you is what types of food items are safe to toast on the conveyor and which are not. Conveyor toasters are designed for primarily bread products. Trying to slip in something else can result in anything from under-cooked food to damaged equipment.
The instructions will also tell you how to clean the equipment each day. Common duties include emptying the crumb-catcher and clearing the conveyor tracks. Weekly or monthly tasks may include partial disassembly to de-gunk the inner pieces of your conveyor toaster.
Cleaning and maintenance of your conveyor toaster
When you go to clean your conveyor toaster, check for crumbs in the gears and shafts. This issue can cause the conveyor chain to misalign or come off the track. Remember that “elbow grease” isn’t always the best cleaning tool, especially on parts that are fragile. Properly training all employees in charge of restaurant equipment is your best bet for getting the most out of your machines.
Always allow the conveyor to cool down completely before every cleaning. Not only is heat a hazard to the employee, but hot elements can break, warp, or shatter during the cleaning process. You may need to unplug the unit to ensure complete safety. Metal heating elements may be cleaned with a simple wire brush, while glass or quartz elements usually require more careful handling. If the manufacturer recommends having a trained technician perform certain maintenance duties, hire a professional to keep your restaurant equipment in top working condition.
One of the more common cleaning issues owners of conveyor toasters face are sticky remains from sweet breads. Not only can the high-moisture pieces leave unsightly chunks on the chain, but sometimes the bits interfere with conveyor operation by gumming up the gears. In some cases, the bread might not come out, staying firmly in place for another trip or two past the heating element. This results in burnt bread and an unpleasant smell. An easy way to reduce this occurrence is to dry out the bread a little before putting it on the belt. Your toaster may have a loading rack, or you might create a staging area for your workspace for this purpose.
Use the correct cleaners
You should check the manual for what cleansers are safe for your conveyor toaster. The cleaning products you use can have a major impact on the performance of this equipment. Only use the products recommended by the manufacturer, and make sure that you don’t pick up a non-food-grade cleaner by accident. The outside of the machine will probably need only a quick wipe-down at the end of each day. If you want to use a stainless-steel cleaner, be sure to get one for use on high-heat machines.
Hire professional maintenance technicians
At some point, you may need to call in outside help for your conveyor toaster. Even the best daily care doesn’t always prevent issues. A trained and qualified maintenance technician will get your restaurant equipment back up and running according to the manufacturer’s specifications.
There are many makes and models of conveyor toasters available, so choosing the right one for your restaurant is important. Whether you know exactly which one you want or need help choosing, the experts at Golden Light Equipment Company have the knowledge to help you. Call us at 806-373-4277 or Contact Us to learn more about our Products and Services. You can also visit us in person at 1010 SW 6th Ave. in Amarillo, Texas.