Hygiene and labour saving are the two driving factors, says Winterhalter
Winterhalter says there’s an increase in demand for its range of utensil washers, as a result of the pandemic. The company understands the interest is down to two key factors: hygiene and labour saving.
“In the past, many foodservice operators would wash utensils, pots and pans by hand,” says Glenn Roberts, national sales manager at Winterhalter UK. “We’re now getting comments from customers like, ‘It’s time we got a machine to do the job properly.’ There’s no doubt that a quality utensil washer will deliver a more hygienic result than hand washing. At the same time, with staff shortages, a utensil washer will reduce labour requirements and do the job quickly as well as hygienically, so it’s a win-win.”
One issue is, of course, is there room for another appliance? Traditional utensil washers were cumbersome machines taking up valuable kitchen space. However, many modern machines are relatively compact. For example, the smallest model in Winterhalter’s latest UF Series of utensil washers, the UF-M, is just 775mm wide by 870mm deep. Even so, depending on the level of soiling, it can wash up to 64 large (612mm x 672mm) racks per hour.
Labour saving is critical in the current market and the UK Series not only takes away the job of washing stubborn grime off utensils, it also makes it easier to collect and transport them to the machine. This is thanks to Winterhalter’s clever, ergonomic rack dolly system. The empty rack is placed on the highly manoeuvrable dolly, which is wheeled around the kitchen and loaded with dirties. Once back at the UF machine, the rack is simply pushed off the dolly and into the warewasher.
Another aspect of the pandemic has been the economic impact on operators. Utensil washers can, of course, be leased to spread out the costs. Winterhalter also offers UF machines under its rental scheme and has an instalments payment option.
“Utensil washers were once thought of as a bit of a luxury,” says Roberts. “Not any more. We expect to see demand increase as the foodservice market returns to full operation.”