Commercial Dishwashers: What is Best for Me?

Commercial Dishwashers: What is Best for Me?


Having the correct commercial dishwasher is crucial to running a successful establishment. Whether it’s a small pub or a hotel banquet hall, clean dishes are a necessity.  If you are struggling to keep up with clean dishes on a busy weekend night at popular restaurant, it will lead to longer wait times, and a longer time to get your food, which will lead to unhappy customers and unhappy customers are bad for business.  You need a dish machine that will keep up with the demands of your restaurant and one that is reliable. There are several factors that go into choosing the appropriate dishwasher for your commercial kitchen.  Important questions need to be answered before you can fully understand what kind of machine you will need.

Some important questions to ask yourself are:

  1. What is the size of your establishment, and what is the volume of dishes you expect to wash?  This will determine if you need a small dishwasher or a high-capacity one.
  2.  What amount of space do you have for a dishwasher?  Be sure to measure your space so the dishwasher fits comfortably.
  3.  What kind of dishes are you going to be using?  Some dishwashers are specific to glassware only, while others can handle a variety of dishes and silverware.
  4.  How much time do you want to spend washing dishes?  Different machines have different time cycles, so this will be an important factor in determining what dishwasher you choose.
  5.  What is my budget?  Dishwasher prices vary in price, so knowing your budget ahead of time will help narrow your search.

Now that you’ve asked yourself these questions, it’s time to determine what type of dishwasher is best for your use.  There are a few common types of commercial dishwashers, all with different features and capabilities.

Conveyor dishwashers are used for heavy use.  They are typically found in schools, hospitals, and high-volume restaurants.  The conveyor style can handle dishes and silverware and process up to 1000 dishracks every day and are designed to be installed next to dirty and clean dishtables. With this style dishwasher, the dirty rack of dishes will be slid onto the conveyor belt and ran through the dishwasher and out the other side onto the clean dishtable.  It will need to be hardwired by an electrician.

Door Type dishwashers are similar to conveyer dishwashers, but take up a smaller footprint and can’t handle as many racks per day.  Door Type washers are good for smaller scale restaurants and can handle up to 350 racks a day.  Like conveyer washers, door type washers are designed to be connected to clean and/or dirty dishtables.  With door type washers, the door lifts up, the dishrack goes inside, and the operator closes the door to start the wash cycle.  When complete, the operator lifts the door open and removes the clean dishrack.  The Door Type dishwashers also need to be hardwired instead of plugged into an outlet.

For small establishments where you can clean as you go, an Undercounter dishwasher may be your best option.  Undercounter washers can run 20 – 55 racks per hour.  They have a single door that opens on a hinge, while the door type listed above has a door that lifts to open.  Undercounter dishwashers are typical for front of house use, which minimizes the running of dishes back and forth of dishes from the kitchen to the customer.  Typical uses for this setup would be under a bar counter and using the dishwasher for glassware, appetizer plates, and silverware.

Another common type of dishwasher for behind the bar is a Glass Washer.  They are designed for glassware only and can wash up to 2,000 glasses per hour.  Glass washers are available in pass-through, carousel, or rack-style and can be high or low temperature.

There are pros and cons to every style dishwasher – be sure you are answering all of the above questions before making your decision.  Some dishwashers also require a hood, so know what your space allows for and know the expenses that come with a hood.  Ventless dishwashers are available and will not require a hood but keep in mind they have a lower production output.

Find your answers and do you research. Foodservice equipment experts at Horizon are here to help.  Contact us today and let us outfit you with the perfect dishwasher for your needs.