Ensuring food is kept at the proper temperatures until it is served is important for both your restaurant's health score and your customers' safety. However, maintaining food-safe temperatures can be difficult when the food also needs to be visible or accessible to customers, such as in a cafeteria-style serving line or a buffet. These supplies can help you keep hot food hot and cold food cold for hours at a time.
When you need to keep food warm, power is a necessity. Whether you want to use a drop-in hot food well, a soup well, or a commercial steam table, each of these equipment types will require a power source. In most models, food pans or insets are suspended in water, which is kept warm by electric heating elements. Because the water surrounds the food pan with an even temperature, this helps prevent uneven heating and burned food. These are available with both dial and digital controls; in the case of drop-in food warmers, these controls can often be mounted on the side of the counter or even on a nearby wall.
Keeping food cold allows for a little more flexibility. While electric-powered cold-wall cold food wells are the most common solution for buffet lines, there are also options that make use of ice. These allow you to set the food pan in ice, or to fill the cold well with ice for packaged items like bottled drinks and yogurt. While this approach does require a little more upkeep in the form of keeping the ice supply replenished, it can be a good option for mobile operations or locations where an electric connection isn't readily available.