Five Factors To Consider When Investing In A Stainless Steel Prep Table For A Commercial Kitchen

Proper food preparation and hygiene are among the most important aspects of the restaurant industry. According to CDC estimates, at least 128,000 people are hospitalized every year from food-borne illnesses. Poor food handling and preparation can cause contamination and disease. Therefore, it's crucial to invest in the appropriate food prep equipment to lower the risk of contamination. A stainless steel prep table can be a great addition to your commercial kitchen. 

Stainless steel doesn't have pores, which makes it impossible for bacteria, dirt, and fungi to penetrate. The material does not react with acids or alkalies, meaning all food prepared on the surface will retain its color and taste. Before investing in a stainless prep table for your eatery, consider these crucial factors.

Table Size and Available Space

Stainless steel prep tables come in various sizes to suit the needs of different commercial kitchens. When sizing your table, consider its usability and the available space in your kitchen. The last thing you require is a table that occupies too much space, leaving less room for your workers to prepare dishes. Choose a stainless steel table that is properly sized for your food prep needs while still fitting perfectly in your kitchen. If you cannot find a standard size on the market, opt for a custom-made prep table.

Thickness of the Material

The gauge of stainless steel refers to its thickness. The higher the gauge, the lighter the metal is. When buying a stainless steel prep table, opt for a thick material with a low gauge. Thicker metal is higher quality, longer-lasting, and more likely to withstand scratches and corrosion better than thinner materials. 

Low-gauge or thick stainless steel is ideal for heavy use, including food prep activities that require aggressive pounding and chopping. The only downside is that high-quality stainless steel prep tables are costlier than their lighter counterparts. If you want a prep table for light food prep tasks such as peeling vegetables, light chopping, and prepping salads, you can opt for the more affordable high-gauge stainless steel.

Open vs. Shelved Table Base

Food prep tables can be as versatile as you'd like them to be. Some come with an open base that you can use to place a trashcan for quick waste disposal. However, if you need a more functional table, you can choose one with shelves and drawers. Shelving provides storage solutions for your food prep bowls and equipment. You can even place knives, spoons, and forks in the drawers for easy access. A prep table that has storage can be a great space-saving solution for a small commercial kitchen.

Weld-In Table Sink

A food prep table should be as functional as possible to minimize the time wasted moving between different stations in the kitchen. If you want to prepare foods that require cleaning, opt for a stainless steel table with a weld-in sink. A stainless steel table with a sink can be connected to the kitchen plumbing, allowing you to clean food without moving to the main kitchen sink. An isolated sink away from the rest of the kitchen can also lower the risk of cross-contamination in raw meals such as salads.

Wheeled vs. Stationary Table

Prep tables used for light prep work don't need to be stationary. This is true in small commercial kitchens where space is minimal. You can invest in a rolling table with casters. A wheeled table is easy to move from one place to another, meaning you can store it away and roll it into the kitchen when needed. A movable table makes it easy to switch up workstations in busy kitchen environments, optimizing productivity and lowering food prep time. 

A stainless steel prep table is a practical addition to a commercial kitchen. The equipment's material promotes food safety and hygiene, ensuring your customers access clean and disease-free food. Consider the above factors when purchasing a stainless steel prep table for your eatery.