Restaurant toasters allow toasting items near bread, such as muffins, frozen waffles, or bagels for a delicious breakfast or toasting buns for a juicy burger. Serving bread, bagels, or buns freshly toasted and hot can be challenging for any food service business. Restaurant toasters make the serving process much faster and easier than an oven or a traditional toaster by toasting bulk bread or other bakery items in little time, making it super-efficient, especially for sandwich shops or breakfast buffets.
Types Of Restaurant Toasters
There are three types of restaurant toasters: pop-up toasters, conveyor toasters, and bun-grilling toasters. They are different from traditional toasters with a design that can quickly toast a bulk of bread. The bread type you use, toaster speed, power, and capacity are the main points to consider when determining the right type of restaurant toaster for your business.
1. Pop-Up Toaster
Commercial pop-up toasters are great for small establishments such as coffee shops, small buffets, or any diner with low demand for toasting products or low-volume meals since they use less energy. A pop-up toaster can toast between 60-38 slices in an hour. It is ideal for bread slices and muffins. They also occupy a little space, making them suitable for any size of the kitchen, especially for small ones such as food trucks.
- Commercial pop-up toasters are one of the most commonly used toasters, in addition to being the most affordable.
- It features a browning control dial, and a lever pushed down to toast when needed.
- Commercial pop-up toasters range in size and capacity from light to heavy, so considering how much product you will toast at once will help you choose the right size.
- They take up less space and require less power than other types.
- The heating elements of a commercial pop-up toaster are smaller and not designed to handle heavy use constantly, making them more prone to fail.
- The activating push-down lever can break after repeated use.
- Since they are small in size and slot numbers, you can toast a small amount of bread at a time.
Considerations for Buying a Pop-up Toaster
- Slots: Restaurant pop-up toasters usually come with 2 or 4 slots and specify the slot size, providing ease in finding the size for your most common products. Some models feature two different-sized slots to fit bread in one and larger products in the other such as bagels.
- Heat: Commonly, pop-up toasters don’t have a heat controller, so the temperature can not be adjusted. But there are different models, some with heating elements on one side of the slot, which are ideal for one side toasting, and others have two heating elements on both sides for toasting both sides of bread.
- Time: to achieve the desired browning, controlling the toasting time using a timer is a good idea. While a short toasting time will provide a light and soft product, a longer toasting time is needed for crispier and darker bread.
- Usage: you can opt for a heavy, medium, or light-duty pop-up toaster depending on the volume and demand of your business.
2. Conveyor Toaster
Conveyor toaster is a common type of restaurant toaster among high-volume restaurants and food service businesses thanks to its high output. It is designed to handle large-sized products, unlike a pop-up toaster. The product is put on one side of the toaster, the conveyor belt moves it through the heating elements, and it falls into the collection area when done toasting. It constantly toasts without putting in, controlling, and getting out each product at the adjusted temperature, resulting in consistent products. Depending on the size and model, it can toast between 200 to 2400 slices per hour.
- The high capacity of conveyor toasters makes them a perfect investment for busy restaurants, breakfast shops, and large-volume businesses, where time is essential.
- Some models include specialty features to make the unit more efficient, such as adjustable conveyor belt speed, which controls the toasting time to achieve desired crispiness and browning.
- Some models feature presets that allow saving settings of personalized toasting times for different types of products, and some models come with a warming option that keeps the food warm after toasting until serving.
- Conveyor toasters are great investments due to their durability, long lifespan, and large capacity. But they are more costly than the other types.
- They may be more difficult to operate because of the speed of the conveyor belt, but once mastered, they require little work and provide great convenience.
- Some models require long warming time and consume a significant amount of energy, but with the models featuring power-saving mode, you can prevent it.
Considerations for Purchasing a Conveyor Toaster:
- Opening: All conveyor toasters feature a specific opening size ranging from 1 ½” to 3″, so considering what you will use it for and if the products you will be toasting fit through the opening is essential.
- Heat: some models provide controlling the temperature of the bottom and top heating elements separately and even allow turning one off depending on your choice.
3. Bun Grilling Toaster
Bun grilling toasters, also known as vertical toasters, are ideal restaurant toasters if you have a burger chain, high-volume breakfast, or sandwich shop, with many toasted buns, bread, and bagels constantly needed. It is designed for buns, sub rolls, bread, and bagels. It is also designed to toast dry or buttered items and caramelize them using a griddle plate. It can toast between 500 and 1600 slices in an hour.
- Bun grilling toasters take up a little space depending on the model, as a plus to their high efficiency.
- The heated sheet that caramelizes the surface of the bun prevents it from becoming soggy from sauces, providing the perfect burger and sandwich buns.
- Bun grilling toasters are available in a variety of sizes that it can handle different-sized foods you could toast.
- If your menu items do not require a caramelized surface, such as a breakfast shop using a restaurant toaster only for bagels or bread, the cost and large size of a bun grilling toaster may be redundant.
- Many removable parts in a bun grilling toaster, such as rollers, sheets, and rods, may add to the cost if it breaks in the long run.
- And lastly, it is not so easy to operate since it requires adjusting to the proper height for the product to be sealed finely, manually, or automatically, depending on the model.
Considerations Before Buying a Bun Grilling Toaster
- Dry or wet: a Teflon sheet will prevent sticking if you are dry toasting your product, which comes within the appliance. For wet toasting, using a roller mechanism will spread butter evenly.
- Opening: the opening of the bun grilling toaster has a self-adjusting mechanism that can accommodate the proper thickness of various products.
- Timer: the time of toasting the product inside the toaster is regulated by the gear, and the griddle can be adjusted for different textures.
General Considerations to Make Before Restaurant Toaster Purchase
Before purchasing a restaurant toaster, these three main consideration points will help you get the proper one for your business.
1. What Will You Toast?
Some restaurant toasters are convenient for toasting only bread, while some other types and models can toast buns, bagels, or specialty bread. Knowing what you will use it for will help you choose the best type.
2. How Much Product Will You Toast?
To prevent delays and late or cold food servings, you need to streamline the process, especially in high-volume restaurants or busy hours. Considering the required output will also prevent purchasing an unnecessarily high-output restaurant toaster and extra expenses.
3. How Much Space Does It Require?
Counterspace is an important workplace for each kitchen. Checking your available space and determining the size of the restaurant toaster according to it will be helpful.
To Sum Up
A restaurant toaster is a wise investment for any food service business serving breakfast or with sandwiches, burgers, and bagels on its menu. Pop-up toasters, conveyor toasters, and bun grilling toasters are three types of restaurant toasters available in the market. Pop-up toasters are ideal for small establishments with low demand, while conveyor toasters are suitable for high-volume businesses that require consistent results. Bun grilling toasters are perfect for burger chains and high-volume breakfast or sandwich shops. To make the right choice, consider factors such as slots, heat, time, usage, opening, heat controller, and bread types, which can make a difference in the quality of the toasted products.