Commercial Hood Systems - Central Restaurant Products

Restaurant Hood System: Why it Matters and Everything Your Kitchen Needs

The Importance of a Restaurant Hood System

restaurant hood system is an essential piece of equipment for a safe commercial kitchen. These ventilation systems are the first line of defense to preventing fires in the kitchen. Restaurant Hood Systems are designed to remove heat, smoke and grease laden vapors that are generated while cooking to keep your commercial kitchen running safely and efficiently. With proper airflow established, these systems also reduce odors, improve air quality, and lower energy consumption in your commercial kitchen. In addition to all of these crucial benefits, kitchen ventilation systems are required by fire and health inspectors as well as insurance providers.

Components of a Hood System

Vent Hood

Placed over cooking equipment. Designed to remove excess steam, water vapor, heat, grease, smoke, odor and flue gas from the kitchen environment. Available in two types – type I or type II

Hoods require hood filters. Filters are available in stainless steel, galvanized, or aluminum; Welded or riveted in construction.

Baffle Filter

Series of vertical baffles that live within the hood. The filter captures grease and drains it away into a container. Designed for easy removal for cleaning.

Exhaust Fan

Gets the air moving within the system – taking the “poor” air out of the kitchen. Installed on the outside of the building.

  • Belt Drive Fans
    • Driven by belt and motor pulley
    • Friction caused by belt can decrease efficiencies and cause more repairs
  • Direct Drive Fans
    • Blade fan wheel directly attached to axle
    • More efficient system with less moving parts and maintenance

Make-Up Air Unit

Brings in clean air to circulate through the kitchen to “make up” for the grease laden air being suction out by the fan. Installed on the outside of the building.

Variety of Hoods

Hood systems are made in a variety of types, styles, sizes, and shapes to best fit restaurant kitchens around the world. There are two primary types of hoods, as well as 6 styles.

TYPES

Type I          
  • Used for the collection and removal of grease and smoke
  • Always include listed grease filters or baffles for removal of grease
  • Required over restaurant equipment that produces smoke or grease-laden vapors. This includes: fryers, ranges, griddles, broilers, ovens, tilt skillets, etc.
Type II           
  • Considered general hoods for the collection and removal of steam, vapor, head and odors, where grease is NOT present
  • May or may not have grease filters or baffles
  • Typically used over dishwashers, steam tables, and the like
  • Can sometimes be used over ovens, steamers, or kettles if determined that they do not produce smoke or grease laden vapors

STYLES

Wall-Mounted Canopy Mounted flush with a wall and used for all types of cooking equipment located against a wall
Single Island Canopy Ceiling mounted over a single line cooking island and used for all types of cooking equipment
Double Island Canopy Ceiling mounted over a back to back cooking island and used for all types of cooking equipment
Backshelf Hood Used for counter height equipment. Normally located against a wall, but are also used as freestanding units
Eyebrow Hood Used for direct mounting to ovens, as well as some dishwashers
Pass-Over Style Hood Used over counter-height equipment when a plate pass-over configuration is required

When Are Hood Systems Required?

Hood systems are required in commercial kitchens where heating elements are used. Over stoves, fryers, grills, tilt skillets, etc. The size and type of system required depends on the type of equipment being used and the number of cooking units. Note that manufacturers now offer some ventless hood options where the units are self-contained with powerful fans. These units open up opportunities for kitchen design and use of the unit.

The size and style of restaurant hood system needed for a kitchen varies greatly depending on the equipment used and local codes. It is best to work through your specific kitchen layout with an industry expert for assistance purchasing the correct system. Our team of knowledge and friendly product consultants is always ready to help at 800.215.9293

What Hood Filter Does My Kitchen Need?

Two things to consider when selecting the right hood filter for your commercial kitchen are the volume of product being cooked and the visibility of the kitchen to customers. A high volume kitchen requires a heavy-duty filter to withstand the abuse it will be receiving, so a stainless steel or galvanized filter would best. Additionally, if the kitchen is visible to customers, a shiny filter such as stainless steel would be most attractive. Of these two considerations, the durability of the filter should be the primary concern.

Material:

  • Stainless Steel
    • Most durable and easiest to clean
    • Best for high-volume operations
    • Attractive, shiny finish
    • Most expensive material option
  • Galvanized
    • Strong and long lasting
    • High performance at an affordable price
    • Stands up to degreasers and cleaning chemicals
    • Metal may become discolored after using cleaning chemicals
  • Aluminum
    • Light weight and affordable
    • Prone to corrosion and damage
    • Attractive, shiny finish
    • Cannot use harsh degreasers and cleaning chemicals

Construction:

  • Welded
    • Baffles are made from the same single piece of metal as the frame
    • Back and front are welded together
    • Rigid and durable design – won’t easily bend
    • Heavy duty and long lasting
  • Riveted
    • Made of multiple pieces held together by rivets
    • Series of individual baffles inside filter
    • Somewhat flexible allowing rivets to loosen over time
    • Less expensive, but less durable option

When Should Hood Filters Be Replaced?

There is no standard time frame of when hood filters should be replaced. While the filter could last a couple of years in some kitchens, it could last only 6 to 8 months in another. Factors to consider:

  • Type of filter
  • Type of operation
  • Level of maintenance

It is important to inspect hood filters on a regular basis for wear or damage. When a filter is damaged, it cannot effectively do its job and becomes a fire hazard. If a filter is worn, clogged, damaged, or has excessive grease build up, it should be replaced right away.

When purchasing a new hood filter, it is important to know that the actual size of the filter is about half an inch less than the size listed.There is no standard sizing for hood filters. Keep baffles vertical to measure your filter and know that the vertical dimension is followed by the horizontal dimension.

Example:

  • Actual size: 9-5/8″ x 15-3/4″ x 1-3/4″
  • Filter size: 10″x16″

Hood Filter Cleaning

Regular upkeep of your hood filter keeps your kitchen safe. If the filters are ignored, grease can build up and cause a number of problems including poor air quality, excess heat, increased utility costs, and fire hazard. A regular cleaning schedule will prolong the life of your filter and overall system, but keeping a safe and clean kitchen.

  • Dishwasher
    • Run commercial dishwasher on highest temperature
    • Avoid harsh cleaners
    • Inspect that all reside was removed before drying
  • Soak Tank
    • Investment that saves time and labor
    • Fill soak tank with water and add safe cleaner
    • Soak filter overnight and rinse in the morning before reinstalling
  • Hand Wash
    • Use hot, soapy water and non-abrasive sponge
    • Avoid using harsh chemicals
    • Dry immediately after washing

Time to Shop!

Have more questions? Or ready to design your restaurant hood system? Call us at 800.215.9293 for one on one assistance! You can also browse online at our full line of hood systems and components!

Determining the Right Mixer for your Pizza Operation

Picture your perfect pizza. Maybe you have a sense of adventure and load your pie with pineapple, bacon and jalapeno. Perhaps you enjoy the classics like pepperoni or sausage. If you love all types of this dish, then you’re the perfect candidate for opening a pizza restaurant.  A quality dough mixer is the heart of any pizzeria and will be vital to creating fresh dough.  As such, you will need to apply critical thinking and strategy when making your purchase decision.

Spiral or Planetary

Two types of mixers used to make dough are spiral and planetary.   Either type will make dough; however, each has their advantages.

Spiral mixers are typically designed for dough applications only.  Because they consist of a spiral-shaped agitator that remains stationary while the bowl revolves around it, they mix, or knead, only a portion of the dough at one time, gently developing the gluten structure without overworking the dough.  Because less friction is created, the temperature of the dough remains lower versus a planetary mixer where the dough hook is constantly in contact with the dough.  If you are purchasing high-quality flour, you may want to consider a spiral mixer over a planetary mixer.

Planetary mixers are more versatile and allow you to mix other products, while a spiral mixer is designed for dough only.   Planetary mixers feature an agitator that turns on an offset shaft while the mixing bowl remains stationary.  Multiple mixing attachments, including flat beaters, wire whips, and dough hooks, also make the mixer versatile.  Will you be mixing your own pizza sauce, salad dressing or other recipes?   What about vegetable processing?  A planetary mixer typically has an attachment hub which accommodates vegetable slicing, cheese grating and meat grinding.

Determining the Size of the Mixer

As with other pieces of equipment in the kitchen, determining the capacity of the mixer is important.  What is the biggest batch you need to make?  Will you be doing small batches daily or larger batches less frequently?  Fresh and frozen storage capacity – how much storage – will also play a big factor in determining the size of mixer needed, along with labor scheduling.  For example, pizza dough can be mixed in large batches weekly and stored versus making fresh daily.

The biggest factors in determining the size of mixer needed is the type of dough (thin crust, hand tossed, deep dish) and the batch size.  The type of crust depends on the moisture content of the dough.  What is the moisture content (also known as the absorption ratio) of the dough?  Absorption ratio percentage is determined by taking the recipe’s water weight divided by the flour weight. The easiest example is a 50 lb. bag of flour mixed with 3 gallons of water.  Water weighs 8.33 lbs. per gallon so the water weight of this recipe is 24.99 lbs.   Rounding up to 25 lbs. makes the math simpler. 25 divided by 50 equals .50, so the dough has a 50% absorption ratio and the total batch size is 75 lbs. (25 lbs. of water + 50 lbs. of dough).

Looking at the capacity chart published by the manufacturer, an operator can quickly determine the correct size of the mixer for a recipe based on the absorption ratio and the total batch size.

For the example above, Globe’s recommended mixer is the SP62P.  Typically, the lower the AR, the less amount of dough (batch size) can be made for each batch of the recipe.

Purchasing a Planetary – What to consider with regards to features and options.

If you are purchasing a planetary mixer, there are several other things to consider with regards to features and options.  Let’s start at the top.

What type of controls and timer are being used and where are they?  There are mixers with digital timers or mechanical timers, and mixers with no timers.  There are mixers with the timer and controls on the front of the mixer and others who have them on the side.  One advantage to having the timer and controls on the front of the mixer is the ability to see how much time is left on a batch from across the kitchen versus those with the timer on the side.  Digital timers are more accurate than mechanical timers, providing consistent batch results of the same recipe.

What type of transmission does the mixer have?  Gears, belts or electronic speed control (variable speed motor)?  All three have pros and cons.  Generally, gears are preferred when mixing dough to provide torque under a heavy dough load.

Does the mixer have an attachment hub that will increase its versatility?  Attachments like adjustable slicing plates for vegetable prep, or shredder and grater plates for cheeses, lettuce and cabbage or a meat grinder for burgers, sausage, meatballs or meatloaf.

What type of bowl guard is on the mixer?  Is it removable?  Does it have a built-in chute to add ingredients, like oil or seasoning, during the batch without stopping the mixer?

Does the mixer have bowl clamps to secure the bowl to the yoke?  Are they spring tensioned to securely hold the bowl in place or does it just sit on a pin allowing the bowl to rattle during operation?

Does the bowl swing out, requiring a bigger footprint? This is an important consideration when kitchen floor space is crucial.

Does the mixer have a manual or a power bowl lift? There are pros and cons to both.  A power lift allows the bowl to be raised or lowered easily; however, they add cost as a secondary motor is required.

Do you need a bowl truck? Bowl trucks allow the operator to maneuver the bowl around the kitchen on a dolly.  Does the bowl dolly have ergonomic handles that assist in steering the dolly and the bowl without the operator bending over?  Does the bowl truck comes standard with the mixer or is it an additional accessory that adds to the cost?

The Life-Cycle Cost – What you need to know about the Design of the Mixer, Warranty, and Parts

With either type of mixer, life cycle cost is an important consideration.  Finding out the purchase price of the mixer is easy.  What is more important is the life-cycle cost.   How long is the warranty?  One-year or two years?  If something does go wrong after the warranty is over, how much will it cost to repair the mixer?  Looking at replacement parts pricing before purchasing a mixer can save you a lot of money after you purchase it.   If the controller goes bad, how much will it cost to replace it?  Where can you purchase those parts?  Who will service the mixer under warranty?  Can you use your own servicer or does the manufacturer dictate who will service it?

The picture of your perfect pizza, the one with bacon, pineapple and jalapenos can be made much better with the right mixer for your operation.   From a 5 qt. countertop planetary mixer to a 175 lb. spiral dough mixer, Globe has a mixer for your application.  Click here for more information on Globe floor mixers, and here for countertop

Vendor Spotlight: Tablecraft

Tablecraft makes it all. They’re an essential brand in tableware, offering a comprehensive selection of tabletop and serving supplies tailored to their creed of “conscience-driven foodservice innovations.”

Tablecraft was founded by Adolf Davis in 1946 as an import distribution company specifically catering to the foodservice industry. Since then, they’ve grown to offer more than 3,000 products spanning several product lines including buffet service and serveware like serving bowls and platters, to contemporary tabletop necessities like shakers and squeeze bottles. They also offer a complete line of bar service supplies including syrup dispensers and liquor pourers, glass rimmers, beer buckets, shakers, sealers and more.

Serving Baskets

Among the diversity of assortment Tablecraft offers, some of their most popular items are serving baskets, available in a variety of colors, shapes and styles. Central offers their best-selling 1076 Large Serving Basket at an economical price point. This basket is perfect for sandwiches and side orders, featuring a durable polypropylene construction that is both dishwasher and microwave safe. They are also stackable for convenient storage. This basket is a standard for quick eats, available in black, brown, green, red, and yellow.

Tablecraft Serving Basket

Central Model #682-020

Tabletop Displays

Tablecraft as a brand always manages to keep their products affordable while staying on trend, putting themselves in the shoes of the restaurant owner. Their array of displays and risers add a certain elegance to products. Like their collection of baskets, their displays also come in a variety of styles to add a flare to any catered event or buffet.

Tablecraf CR3 3 Piece Riser Set

Central Model #682-29D

Tablecraft CW40309B Half Stand

Central Model #682-R41

Tablecraft BKT3 3 Tiered Basket

Central Model #682-18U

Presentation matters. Tablecraft is determined to continue to produce innovative solutions to assist, inventing new ways to showcase your products in ways your guests will adore. See all Tablecraft products here.

Cooking with Cody – Amana RMS10TS Microwave

Our content specialist Cody has his own cooking show! Check it out below, featuring the Amana RMS10TS light duty microwave! Amana is a trusted manufacturer of commercial microwaves. They have a large variety of microwaves to fit your needs, from high speed models to light duty units. Visit CentralRestaurant.com for all your restaurant equipment needs.

Vendor Spotlight: Arctic Air

Since 1995, Arctic Air has been producing quality, affordable refrigeration products to the commercial equipment market in the United States and Canada. Arctic Air is a division of Broich Enterprises, Inc. and was created as a quality, lower cost alternative to the standard commercial refrigeration products offered at the time. Since that time, Arctic Air products have come to be known as very reliable alternatives for many common commercial applications.

Reach-In Refrigerators and Freezers

Arctic Air’s most popular model is the AR series of reach-in refrigerators and freezers. These solid door reach-in refrigerators and freezers are designed to bring you commercial performance at a great price. Their reach-ins are designed in a smooth stainless steel exterior which provide a quality, professional look. Features include electronic thermostat, bottom mounted compressor, which allows you to use the top of the unit for storage. The model’s front accessible condensing unit slides out for easy cleaning and maintenance.

Food Prep Units

Arctic Air’s food prep units are tested to NSF Standard 7 requirements for open food storage, meaning your food will remain safe for customers throughout the day. Their sandwich and pizza prep tables include a full-length, heavy duty cutting board to do all of your prep work. Self-closing doors remain open at 90 degrees, making it easy to replace ingredients. Plastic pans come standard with each prep unit, which means your model is ready to go to work as soon as it arrives!

See Arctic Air’s complete line of products here.

 

 

Hamilton Beach Commercial Appliances

Vendor Spotlight: Hamilton Beach

Hamilton Beach appliances are a fixture in households across the country. Hamilton Beach Commercial, the company’s global commercial brand, is highly regarded for their continuous innovations in food and bar blenders, juicers, warmers and cookers, and other product lines. Their durable products can be seen in hotels, restaurants and bars worldwide. Founded in the early 1900s by Louis H. Hamilton and Chester Beach, Hamilton Beach is now celebrating more than a century of leading the way in commercial appliance technology.

Beach’s creation of a universal electric motor that operated on both alternating and direct currents was a game changer. At the time, this new technology was used to power sewing machines and other attachments, thereby ending the era of treadle sewing machines and other muscle-powered chores. Building momentum from this early success, Hamilton and Beach were able to pioneer their way to others, marketing many new innovations, like electric fans, glass washers and vacuum cleaners, under their Hamilton Beach name.

Hamilton Beach Drink Mixers

Perhaps one of the greatest Hamilton Beach staples is the electric drink mixer. First created in 1911, their original drink mixer created quite the sensation, quickly mixing up malts for customers across America. As the twentieth century progressed, one could hardly step inside any soda fountain or ice cream parlor without spotting a Hamilton Beach mixer. And even though times change and technology advances, even though soda fountains have since faded into nostalgia, one can still spot Hamilton Beach blenders and mixers at nearly any restaurant bar or establishment serving up smoothies or ice cream treats.

Hamilton Beach’s HMD400 Three Spindle Drink Mixer is one of their most popular mixers on the market because it mixes nearly twice as fast as other three spindle mixers with an automatic start/stop operation.

Hamilton Beach Bar Blenders

In addition to mixers, Hamilton Beach’s line of commercial bar blenders range from light duty to high performance, depending on intended use. The popular Hamilton Beach HBB908 Light Duty Bar Blender is one of their most economical blenders enabling smaller establishments to add high profit frozen drinks to their menu at a low upfront cost.

Hamilton Beach HBB908 Light Duty Commercial Bar Blender

Light Duty Bar Blender, Central Model #815-058

It’s not, however, ideal for bars with high volume.  The Hamilton Beach HBH550 three-horsepower Fury high performance bar blender is. This model features an all-metal drive coupling that’s built to last.

Hamilton Beach HBH550 Fury High Performance Commercial Bar Blender

High Performance Bar Blender, Central Model #815-076

Coming back to Central’s catalog is the Hamilton Beach HBS1400 Revolution Ice Shaver and Blender. This model offers precise ice portion control and can make up to four 16 oz. drinks at a time. One of the main features of this model is the sensor technology that alerts the users to ensure the hopper lid is in place or if the drain line is full. The double-wall hopper minimizes noise while keeping ice solid.

Hamilton Beach HBS1400 Revolution Ice Shaver and Blender

Revolution Ice Shaver/Blender, Central Model #815-065

View Hamilton Beach’s extensive commercial line here.

Use Cres Cor Mobile Heating Equipment Anywhere – Even Zombie Weddings!

As a family owned company, Cres Cor has been making moves on the mobile food service industry since 1936! Cres Cor’s line of cook and hold, holding cabinets, and meal delivery carts will keep catering running smoothly and your guests happy…even if they’re the “death” of the party! Check out the video below for more!

Online Restaurant Reservations | Booking Online Reservations | Central Restaurant Products

As millennials buying power continues to grow, many businesses are adapting to accommodate their preferences.  This is a generation in search of convenience, opting to do what they can with a click of a button on their phone without having to speak to anyone. This includes quickly making restaurant reservations, whether last-minute or planning a special occasion.

For many small businesses, building a website advanced enough to allow for online reservations can be a daunting and costly endeavor.   Some restaurants may have the ability to manage their own reservations; but, they may also be in search of new ways to market to a broader group of diners, or just trying to get their name out there more.

We wanted to break down a few of the bigger players in this space to give a high-level overview of what they offer.  One option isn’t better than the other. It all depends on your personalized business needs.

Open Table

According to OpenTable’s site they offer restaurant marketing, data analytics, training, support and more for restaurants who sign up.  Some compelling stats of the reach they can offer your business include:

  • 21 million diners find restaurants through OpenTable each month
  • Their diners have spent more than $16 billion at partner restaurants
  • OpenTable diners write more than 850,000 reviews each month

Their app is user friendly, allowing a potential diner to search by location, time and day and then expand differently.  You can also select a restaurant based on recommended options, cuisine type, and more.

Open Table

Open Table’s Mobile User Interface

Outside of the breadth of restaurants on OpenTable, potential diners may choose to use this reservation option over others because of the perks of booking through their site or app.  Each reservation offers points that a diner can cash in for gift cards to OpenTable restaurants or Amazon.  This could potentially sway guests away from making the reservation directly on the restaurant’s website, opting to use OpenTable instead.

Open Table Rewards

Open Table Rewards

OpenTable offers two different package options: GuestCenter or Connect.  Connect is their standard offering that features “more covers without the table management.” GuestCenter, on the other hand, is a cloud based service that runs on both Apple and web-based products, marketed as their premium level of service.

This chart from their website makes it easy to compare the pros between the two:

Open Table: GuestCenter vs. Connect

Courtesy of www.opentable.com

Additionally, there is a $1,295 set-up cost when you start with them.  OpenTable allows you to accept reservations through their website or through your own website via a widget.

You can find more information on all OpenTable can offer here.

Yelp

Yelp bills themselves as a better restaurant booking system at a lower cost.  The stats they offer are:

  • 92 million diners seated in 2016
  • Number one most frequently used site for finding restaurants
  • Save, on average, $800 for every 1,000 online reservation

Yelp officially got in to the online reservation game in 2014, having already acquired SeatMe in 2013, leveraging the 95 million plus who use Yelp monthly. They went on to acquire Eat 24 in 2015, and partnered with NoWait, a company that helps diners skip the waiting time, in 2017.

They offer a single standard plan cheaper than the OpenTable options. There is a flat monthly fee for service and that’s it. No set-up fee, no individual reservation fee, no hidden fee.

Yelp Reservations

While the pricing is more affordable, the ability to search based on open tables on a specific date and time is not yet available. 

To use, a potential diner searches by area and selects the restaurant to view availability.  This can be a drawback to someone looking to make quick reservations.

Yelp also displays restaurant reviews front and center. This is a nice experience for potential diners to see, but if a restaurant has less than stellar reviews through the Yelp service, it may not be the best option for them.  It also shows the most recent review below the star rating.  If a restaurant has several great reviews, but your most recent one is negative, it will unfortunately be the review potential guests see until a new review comes in.

Like OpenTable, you can accept reservations through Yelp or through your own site with their widget. You can find more information on what Yelp could offer your restaurant by clicking here.

Resy

Resy is a complete restaurant reservation and waitlist system, boasting:

  • 80 million diners seated
  • 8% global no show rate
  • 2,000 venues live
  • 160 global cities

Like Yelp, the cost structure on Resy is based on a flat fee; however, they offer more plan options ranging from $189/month to $899/month.Resy

The search functionality allows users to search by date and guest count, and will show open time slots right on the search result page.

The downside of using this option is the reach.  Since the service is only available in select cities, you are not reaching as many potential diners.  It also curates the results, so your restaurant may not show in all searches.  This is done with the potential diner in mind based on what they search and book; however, this can present a challenge in acquiring new customers.

You can find more information on what Resy could offer your restaurant by clicking here.