Food Service Carts Buying Guide: Choosing For Your Kitchen or Business

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food service cart

Food Service Carts: Where to Begin?

Food service carts are one of the most used pieces of equipment in the foodservice industry as they transport items from one destination to the next. When it comes to purchasing a cart, many different factors need to be considered. How much room between shelves? What type of floor surface will the cart be used on? How much will it be used?

These questions and more should all be answered before placing your final order with Central.

Types

There are a variety of types of food service carts that have specific capacity maximums as well as ideal work situations, floor surface types and usage (hours-per-day).

Keep in mind a food service cart’s weight capacity is when the weight is evenly distributed among all of the shelves, not just one. For instance, if you purchase a cart with a 300 lb. capacity, try to avoid putting anything over 100 lbs. on each shelf or you can upgrade to a cart with a higher capacity.

food service cartStandard Duty           

  • Capacity: Up to 300 lbs.
  • Ideal for: Dining bussing, tray stations, soiled dish stations
  • Floor surfaces: Smooth tile, vinyl tile, indoor concrete
  • Usage: Up to three hours per day

Medium Duty

  • Capacity: Up to 500 lbs.
  • Ideal for: Dining bussing, tray stations, soiled dish stations
  • Floor surfaces: Smooth tile, ceramic tile, indoor concrete
  • Usage: Up to nine hours per day

Heavy Duty

  • Capacity: Up to 700 lbs.
  • Ideal for: Receiving goods and products, ware washing load transport
  • Floor surfaces: Vinyl, ceramic tile, carpet, indoor concrete
  • Usage: Up to 12 hours per day

food service cartRugged Duty

  • Capacity: Up to 1000 lbs.
  • Ideal for: Receiving dock and storage rooms, transport of dishes and flatware
  • Floor surfaces: Uneven tile, carpet, outdoor concrete, thresholds, elevators
  • Usage: Up to 18 hours per day

Extreme Duty

  • Capacity: Up to 1500 lbs.
  • Ideal for: Receiving docks and warehouse or storage facilities
  • Floor surfaces: Uneven tile, carpet, outdoor concrete, thresholds, elevators
  • Usage: Up to 24 hours per day

Shelf Needs

Once a food service cart type has been determined, next the shelf needs must be assessed. Different manufacturers provide options to best fit an establishment’s needs.

  • Lips and ledges: Keep product from falling off shelves and catch spills. Deep-depth models provide added security during transport.
  • Shelf spacing: Accommodate the height of various loads (for instance a load full of two-liter bottles would need more space in between shelves than a bus tub).
  • Enclosed ends: Conceal items in transport (ideal for service, catering, etc.).
  • Bumpers and rounded corners: Protect wall, equipment and anything that can come in contact with the cart during transport.

food service cartAccessories and Extras

Many food service carts have additional accessories to maximize efficiency.

  • Refuse bins: Attach to select carts for trash
  • Silverware bins: Attach to select carts to separate silverware from dishes
  • Microban® protection: Inhibits the growth of bacteria, mold and mildew that cause odors, stains and product deterioration

Shipping and Assembly

Each food service cart manufacturers ship their carts in various ways to make easier for you. While browsing, here are the types you may come across:

  • Ships unassembled: Provides added freight savings
  • Ships assembled: No extra time needed to put together
  • UPSable: Carts can be shipped via UPS which is a more cost effective shipping method

Ready to Buy?

Visit Central’s cart selection on our website. You can also contact a product consultant with questions at 800-215-9293.

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