In a restaurant that allows patrons to serve themselves from a buffet, a valuable piece of equipment is a stainless steel steam table. This type of table has a number of bins that you can use to hold hot food. The design of the table, which passes hot steam beneath the bins, will keep the food hot for an extended period of time. Steam tables are sold in several different sizes, so you can buy one large table or multiple small tables, depending on your needs and the layout of your buffet area. Here are some characteristics that you'll appreciate when you buy one of these tables.
Some stainless steel steam tables have a cutting board that runs along the edge of the table. This is a valuable feature because it provides a surface on which you can place serving utensils. Without this device, you might need to have a separate table for the utensils, which would likely be a hassle for your patrons. You can position the cutting board to the side of the table on which the patrons will approach. Or, if you'll have a server standing behind the table to serve food to patrons, you can turn the table so that the cutting board faces them.
Individual Temperature Controls
There's a good chance that you'll want to keep each of the dishes in your stainless steel steam table at different temperatures, so you'll want to buy a table that allows you to individually control the temperature of each of the bins. If you were to use a table with one universal temperature control, it's possible that some foods may be too hot, while others may not be hot enough. This could result in the food not being as appetizing to your patrons as you'd like.
You should always make a point of assessing the depth of the food bins in any steam table that you're thinking about buying. Deep bins will obviously hold a higher volume of food than shallow bins, which means that your kitchen staff won't have to refill the bins quite as often. For a patron, it can be frustrating to approach the buffet and see that a bin in the steam table is missing because someone is refilling it. With deeper bins, such instances will not occur regularly.
For more information, contact a company like Hy-Point Restaurant Equipment & Supplies Inc.