We have all heard about the great food trucks and carts that roam around town or that sit outside of restaurants. Sometimes these food trucks and carts are very good, as well as the restaurants they serve, but sometimes they leave you scratching your head wondering how something so simple can cause such frustration. If you are experiencing this kind of frustration at any given time, then you might want to consider hiring a professional to bring the class and flare back into your kitchen. Consider these options to find a trusted source for great food and service:
A hot serving food cart is a multi-outfitted machine that maintains hot food longer, hotter, than food kept in a simple wooden tray. The hot plates and woks used in these carts are made of stainless steel that allows for easy clean up and maximum sustenance for long periods of time. Some carts may require you to purchase a certain number of plates to meet the recommended amount of food per serving. Others allow you to add on more dishes as needed without purchasing more plates.
A buffet line is a system where a series of smaller trays are arranged in a row along a row, serving different types of food from appetizers to main courses. Buffet line operators keep a constant stream of food moving along at a constant pace, allowing diners to get their fill of food without having to wait on a long line. In some cases, depending on the establishment, you may be asked to put your plate on the conveyor belt, removing it when it is time for the next person to arrive. In other establishments, chafing dishes are installed under the buffets so that the food does not have to be moved along the high serving platter.
A chafing dish, also called a sheller, is commonly used in Chinese restaurants, as well as in European cafes and bistros. These side dishes are made of either plastic or stainless steel and may contain vegetables or fruits. The term “chafing dish” refers to the metal surface on which the vegetables or fruit are served. Typically, this is placed under the table so that the guests can easily grab pieces without having to help themselves to one another’s plates. However, in the case of a buffet line, the chafing dishes are placed on an elevated platform at the front of the restaurant so that guests can pick their own food without having to help themselves.
Mirror polish chafing dishes are most commonly used at upscale catered events. These types of items are used during banquets that are held at a private residence or an apartment complex. In these types of events, guests typically pay a fee to be able to dine at the event. A banqueting mirror usually displays the face of the attending guests, but a mirror polished chafing dishes can also display logos or messages in the glass.
Lift-off chafing dishes are used by restaurants that specialize in fine dining. These items are often purchased on bulk by companies that specialize in catering supplies. Lift-off trays typically include a lid that can be lifted off so that a plate can be picked up and served to a guest. In some cases, lift-off chafing dishes may be equipped with a handle that allows them to be lifted off of the table. Trays may also contain hinges along one edge or curves along the bottom of the lid that allow them to be opened and resealed without using a fork. Lift-off mirrors are commonly used with cutlery and other accessories so that the serving dishes can be displayed as well.
Hinged covers are commonly used as a means of providing protection for food during events. A hinged cover is made of a thin metal band that is folded over a metal tray. It is then riveted to the top of the tray, allowing it to fold over and secure itself to the table. Many of these types of chafing dishes are hinged at their edges, allowing the lid to be open while still protecting the food. This type of lid is most often found on buffet tables that will be used to serve hot meals.
The last type of chafing dishes found in catered events are trim styles. Trim styles are often used on buffet lines and can be found in plastic or metal cases that are secured to the table. These trim styles are generally attached to the outside of the serving station and the top of the buffet line so that they can be opened and resealed as needed. Trim styles can also be found with hinges and are most often used with plastic serving trays.