One of the first considerations to make when choosing a cart is weight capacity. Carts with capacities under 500 pounds are classified as standard- or medium-duty. They're well-suited for transporting lighter loads like bus bins, table settings, and prepared food. Utility carts that can handle weights of 500 – 1000 pounds are classified as heavy duty; these can handle dense packaged food items like frozen products and large, heavy cans. For the heaviest items, things like kegs and bags of flour and rice, choose an extreme-duty cart that hold up to 1500 pounds or more.
Flat ledges are flush with the shelf. This makes it easy to slide large products and containers on and off.
Raised ledges can help secure contents to keep them from sliding off during transit.
Marine edges are designed to contain spills. These are useful for transporting messy items like bus tubs.
Aluminum is the more lightweight of the two metal options. It is also strong and durable, and it will not rust like steel, but it is more susceptible to dents and scratches.
Steel is the more sturdy of the two metals. It will resist rust unless it is scratched or receives other surface damage. It is durable enough to resist dents and its clean, sleek appearance makes it a favorite for front-of-house applications.
Polymer is a rugged plastic material. It will not rust or corrode and its relatively soft texture makes it ideal for busy environments where it runs the risk of being jostled and bumped.
- If your cart is to be used front of house, consider one with an enclosed cabinet. This will conceal the contents of the cart on two or more sides, keeping it out of sight of your customers.
- Drawers can make it easy to keep contents organized, especially smaller items like utensils and silverware.
- For a unit than can be folded up and tucked away when not in use, choose a collapsible utility cart.