We've already covered the topic of which oven is right for me, but in terms of school nutrition programs, the answer can be entirely different. As all school nutrition professionals know, there are a handful of challenges everyone faces, and this can make selecting the right school cafeteria oven different than selecting an oven for, say, a chain restaurant.
When determining what the needs are and selecting equipment that's appropriate for those needs, there are a handful of factors to consider. They can include budget, student participation, menu selection, space, and labor.
Let's take a look at a few tips for selecting ovens in a Florida school cafeteria.
CONSIDER THE BUDGET.
We all know this is where conversations can begin or end. Budget is everything. When selecting an oven for a school, is it possible to support more menu items with a particular type of unit such as a combi oven? Can you get by with a more basic unit if you're not looking to use it for a variety of processes? How much do you need to spend to get maximum benefit from a given space in your school cafeteria?
CONSIDER THE MENU.
There are four main types of ovens that all perform different functions. Deck and pizza ovens are great for churning out high quality pizza as long as they can create pies in keeping with the student demands. Convection ovens cook faster than traditional ovens and can have roll-in options that allow schools to prepare entire racks at the same time. Combi ovens allow operators to do a whole range of functions within a single space such as roasting, baking, and retherming. And hydrovection ovens are similar to combi ovens with versatile benefits like grilling, toasting, poaching, searing, and frying -- but they cannot provide bulk steaming capabilities.
CONSIDER THE STUDENTS.
This is the most important piece of the selection puzzle in many occasions. Students have to be happy and enticed to participate in school lunches, and the quality of food and menu options play a key role. While regulations might try to reduce food types such as fried foods, students still like them. Ovens can be the great equalizer. They can deliver an amazing French fry, for example, without all the unhealthy frying oil.