There has been an unexpected spike in demand for commercial utensil washers as a result of the pandemic, it has been claimed.
Milton Keynes-based supplier Winterhalter said factors such as hygiene and labour-saving were driving the trend after reporting increased interest in the category.
National sales manager, Glenn Roberts, said: “In the past, many foodservice operators would wash utensils, pots and pans by hand – we’re now getting comments from customers like, ‘it’s time we got a machine to do the job properly.’
“There’s no doubt that a quality utensil washer will deliver a more hygienic result than hand washing. At the same time, with staff shortages, a utensil washer will reduce labour requirements and do the job quickly as well as hygienically, so it’s a win-win.”
Some operators have avoided buying utensil washers in the past because of the space they take up.
Mr Roberts said that traditional utensil washers had been viewed as ‘cumbersome machines taking up valuable kitchen space’, but modern machines tend to be much smaller.
He said Winterhalter now supplies a UF Series utensil washer with a footprint that is just 775mm wide by 870mm deep. It is capable of washing up to 64 large (612mm x 672mm) racks per hour.
List price for Winterhalter utensil washers start at £18,570 but operators that don’t want to purchase machines outright can lease them to spread out the costs.
“Utensil washers were once thought of as a bit of a luxury. Not any more. We expect to see demand increase as the foodservice market returns to full operation,” said Mr Roberts.