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What to Consider When Buying a Commercial Dishwasher or Glasswasher
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An efficient dishwasher or glasswasher keeps your service running smoothly and helps you to maintain high hygiene standards too. Reliability is key, because let’s face it: no-one would wish to receive complaints from customers about dirty plates or cutlery.

Here at Lockhart Catering Equipment, we stock high quality glasswashers and dishwashers from specialist brands including Classeq and Winterhalter. Our range incorporates the latest technology and features designed to make your business run more efficiently.

So, whether you’re setting up and need glass or dishwashing equipment to help you get off to a great start, or you’re upgrading your appliances to meet the demands of your business, what should you be looking for in your warewashers? Read on for our glasswasher and dishwasher buying guide for restaurants and bars.

Let’s start with the three S’s…

1. Size – How much capacity do you need?

To stay on top of mounting piles or crockery, cutlery or glasses, you’ll need to have a rough idea of how many you use in a typically busy shift. In restaurants, you can calculate this based on your capacity and average numbers of covers to give a minimum volume to work with.

It’s also worth considering whether you might benefit from having a smaller load capacity washer for use during quieter times, and a larger model to support busy service times, in order to help your business to become more energy-efficient. If you always seem to have endless dishes to tackle, conveyor rack or pass-through dishwashers can clean hundreds of plates per hour, so whatever your restaurant capacity, there’s a commercial warewashing appliance to give you the support you need.

2. Space – Where will your warewasher go?

Where your washer will sit is a key consideration. In a bar your glasswasher is up there with your icemaker in terms of importance, so it will need to be located where it is most convenient. And while a dishwasher is undoubtedly just as important for the kitchen, you’ll want to ensure that it does not get in the way.

Undercounter glasswashers and dishwashers take up less space, however, they don’t suit every kitchen or bar area. To decide where you’ll set your washer up and which type to choose, let these questions guide you. Think about:

• Your bar/kitchen layout and areas of traffic

• Where your appliance will need to be plumbed and plugged in

• Where waste food/drink will be disposed of

• Where the pots/cutlery/glasses being washed will be used

• Whether there’s enough space for staff to safely fill/empty your washer

Considering these points will help you decide what type of opening and stacking is best suited to your space. It will also highlight if you may need extras such as a drain pump or dishwasher stand to bring your washer above your drainage pipe and allow easier and safer access for your staff.

3. Special Features and Functionality – Which extras do you need?

Whilst squeaky-clean crockery and cutlery, and sparkling and streak-free glasses are your main requirement from your dishwasher or glasswasher, it’s worth considering whether there are any other features or functions that may benefit your business.

For example, appliances with automatic closing offer additional safety and convenience, and top of the range touch-screen displays improve ease of use and take advantage of different cycles for the best possible finish.

Our glasswashers feature multiple wash settings so that you can select a cycle to match the fragility of the glass, so you can say goodbye to untimely breakages, whilst many of our multi-purpose dishwashers also feature self-adapting programmes that adjust according to the level of soiling for maximum efficiency.

Speaking of efficiency, there are special features that are great for harnessing the power of internal heat energy. Look out for washers that make use of the steam energy generated by the wash to heat the cold inlet function, and double skins for both efficiency and sound insulation. If you’d like to improve the efficiency of your appliance even further for savings on your energy bills, some models can be fitted with waste water heat exchangers or heat pumps.

Types of commercial warewashers to choose from

You’ve hopefully got a fairly good idea of where your washer will live in your restaurant or bar, and the features you’d like it to have. So the next step is to use that information to select the type of warewasher that best suits your business.

• Undercounter front-loading - Where space is at a premium, an undercounter front-loading dish or glasswasher is a practical choice. These are available in a range of sizes and with racks and baskets to help you organise your loads.

Pass-through - With a pass-through dishwasher there’s no need for bending or heavy lifting, so they’re fast to use and great for higher volumes of washing. Place your appliance between tables, and the appliance passes the dirty crockery through to the other side. This type of dishwasher is also sometimes called a hood dishwasher.

• Conveyor/ rack - For very high volumes, a conveyor or rack dishwasher is the obvious choice. These washers feature a conveyor belt that moves dishes through a side-opening door. And for extra convenience, the newly cleaned crockery is taken through a drying tunnel.

Other commercial cleaning appliances and accessories to consider

Alongside washers you can now put to use a range of other catering appliances to keep your presentation at a premium.

For example, cutlery polishers add that final gleaming touch to knives, forks and spoons before they hit the tables, whilst waste disposals and wall mounted drain dosing systems help ensure your sinks remain blockage-free.

And with racks, baskets and compartments to fit your different washers, it’s easy to customise your appliances to work with your chosen wash methods. Want to keep your washer free of limescale? Take your pick of water softeners that prep your water before they enter the machine.

If you’ve found our warewashing buying guide useful, take a read of our other commercial catering equipment buying guides, including our guide to choosing a water boiler, pizza oven, or ice machine.

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