Pizza Prep & Sandwich Prep Refrigeration Benches
Prep fridges, also known as prep benches or refrigerated preparation tables can play an important role in restaurant kitchens to enhance efficiency, promote good hygiene, and improve overall functionality and workflow efficiency. These specialised pieces of equipment are designed to streamline food preparation so chefs and kitchen staff can minimise the workload demands in an already demanding and busy restaurant environment.
Prep fridges play a particularly crucial role in the specialised realms of pizza, kebab and sandwich preparation. In the context of pizza preparation, these fridges are often equipped with heavy-duty marble and granite benches and have dedicated salad bar space for ingredients like cheese, sauce, vegetables, and meats. The design of these tables allows pizzerias to keep all their toppings within arm’s reach, which is vital for facilitating a swift and efficient pizza assembly process. The refrigeration aspect is vital for preserving the freshness of these ingredients, ensuring that the final product is not only delicious but also meets stringent food safety standards.
Similarly, when it comes to sandwich preparation, prep fridges provide an organised and accessible workspace for assembling a variety of sandwiches. Deli or sandwich prep tables are often designed with smaller prep areas than pizza preps while still holding salad bar compartments for different types of meats, cheeses, condiments, and vegetables and ensure that perishable items remain at optimal temperatures, reducing the risk of spoilage and contamination. The proximity of ingredients within the prep fridge improves ease of use so staff spend less time traveling through the kitchen to replenish items as they are needed, allowing chefs to meet customer orders promptly even during peak hours.
While the basic concept of using prep fridges for both pizza and sandwich preparation remains similar, the differences lie in the specific needs of each culinary domain. Pizza prep fridges often have wider bench space and bigger compartments required for pizza assembly. On the other hand, sandwich prep fridges may have a greater number of smaller GN pan compartments to accommodate the diverse array of condiments and toppings used in sandwich making. Understanding these nuances allows you to choose equipment that best aligns with the specific requirements of your menu, ensuring that both pizza and sandwich preparation processes are optimised for efficiency and quality. In both cases, the dual functionality of these fridges as storage units and preparation benches proves invaluable in maintaining the efficient flow of operations in the fast-paced environment of a restaurant kitchen.
Key uses and benefits of prep fridges in restaurant kitchens:
- Temperature Control and Food Safety: Prep fridges are equipped with refrigeration systems that allow for precise temperature control. Maintaining the right temperature is essential for preserving the freshness and safety of perishable ingredients. By storing items like meats, dairy, and vegetables in a prep fridge, chefs can reduce the risk of bacterial growth and contamination.
- Organised Workstation: The layout of a prep fridge provides an organised and efficient workspace for chefs. Some prep friges come with inbuilt designated salad bar compartments and some allow for self-contained saladbar to be added on top of the bench to maximise usable space for prep or storing a few extra ingredients that don’t require refigeration. Ingredients can be stored separately, reducing the chances of cross-contamination where multiple dishes are prepared simultaneously.
- Time Efficiency: The convenience of having ingredients within arm’s reach can significantly reduce preparation time. Chefs can easily access and assemble ingredients without the need to constantly move between different storage areas. This time-saving feature is invaluable in meeting the demands of a high-volume restaurant, where efficiency is key.
- Extended Shelf Life: The refrigeration function of prep fridges help extend the shelf life of produce, allowing kitchens to stock up on fresh pre-prepped ingredients without worrying about spoilage. This can lead to a reduced more efficient workload and cost savings, as restaurants can prep ingredients in larger quantities to reduce the frequency of restocking especially during peak times.
- Customisation and Versatility: Prep fridges come in various sizes and configurations, allowing you to choose the model that best fits your need. Some units have multiple fridge compartments, drawers, or a combination of both, providing flexibility in organising different types of ingredients. This versatility ensures that restaurants can tailor the prep station to suit thier available floor space and the specific requirements of their menu.
- Streamlined Workflow: In a well-designed kitchen, the placement of prep fridges is strategic to facilitate a smooth workflow. Many pizzarias use the prep fridge in front-of-house locations where the pizza-making process is in full view of the customers. You obviously do not want to give an impression of being disorganised or have customers watch staff struggling to make their orders. By having prep fridges close to the cooking station, chefs can easily transition from preparation to cooking, minimising the time it takes to bring a pizza to completion.
- Space Optimisation: Prep fridges are often designed to serve as both a storage unit and a preparation workbench. This dual functionality helps optimise kitchen space, especially in smaller establishments where every square inch counts. The countertop of the prep fridge can be used as an additional workspace, reducing the need for separate benches which wastes valuable space.
- Hygiene and Cleaning: Modern prep fridges are designed with easy-to-clean materials such as marble and stainless steel. Other features like removable drawers and shelves make it simple to clean and sanitize the unit regularly, ensuring a hygienic environment. This is essential for meeting Australia’s strict health and safety standards in the foodservice industry. Salad bars require ingedients to be covered in order for the temp to be held at a safe level. Some saladettes have lids that extend across the entire width of the unit so all pans can be reveled at the same time for ease of use. Others rely on each pan having its own individual lid so only selected ingredients need to be opened. An important decision when it comes to selecting the right unit and whether continuous use of the salad bar is required throughout your service times.
Prep fridges are indispensable tools in many restaurant kitchens not just pizza and sandwich bars. Kitchen Setup supplies a great range of Australia’s best-value units that cover almost every space and specific restaurant use. If you have any questions or wish to discuss what will be the best option for your kitchen please get in touch for helpful advice without obligation.
View Our most popular prep fridge units listed below.
Large Sandwich Prep – Atosa Sandwich Prep Fridge – MSF8304G
Benchtop Salad Bar – BenchTop Saladette