Here at Target Catering Equipment, we specialise in the application of induction cooking technology, providing cost-effective cookline solutions for commercial kitchens that deliver quicker turnaround times of cooking food, safer working environments, reduced carbon footprints and minimal on-going maintenance requirements. We advise businesses on how they can become more sustainable by implementing induction cooking technology and other energy efficient appliances within their commercial kitchen.
Here we will be looking at the differences between mobile and fixed cooking suites and why you might choose a mobile suite over a fixed built-in suite.
Originally, range suites were the mainstay and source of chef’s-pride in European kitchens, however they have since been making their way into mainstream commercial kitchens around the world, partially driven by the popularity of open or display kitchen designs.
Range suites are cooking centres that are traditionally arranged as a closed island of cooking splendour. Many European and classically trained chefs gravitate to these suites, when equipment cost is no object and space is available as they can easily accommodate several chefs and assistants, and their arrangement allows for easier communication within the kitchen.
In more recent years, with the size of many kitchens getting smaller and the development of modern commercial induction technology, cooking suites are growing rapidly in popularity, becoming more varied and accessible in style and design, which means they are suitable for commercial kitchens of all shapes and sizes.
So, what are the main differences between fixed and mobile cooking suites?
Traditional gas fired island suites are manufactured out of heavy duty 3mm thick stainless steel, with built-in appliances such as solid top plates, open burners, griddles, braising pans to name just a few. These built-in appliances are heavy and require a framework that can withstand the heavy-handed nature and heat that comes with working with gas appliances and large, heavy cookware and are therefore typically fixed in one place, non-manoeuvrable with gas, electrical, water and waste services running underground. This requirement of lots of heavy thick material increases the cost of the suite and increases its impact on the environment.
Modern induction cooking technology and electric appliances are more lightweight and do not require gas pipework to fuel the equipment. Being lightweight means, you do not need the support structure as required with gas appliances which in turn means less material is required in framework, reducing the impact on the environment, reducing material costs in manufacture and allowing units to be fitted on castors, making them mobile.
So, why would you choose a mobile suite over a fixed suite…?
Mobile induction suites can be easily moved to allow for easy cleaning especially when situated up against a wall. Favoured by Environmental Health Officers as they allow for deep cleaning with the kitchen, making it significantly easier to maintain a 5* hygiene rating. Carrying out regular deep cleans is essential for eliminating potential health hazards, formed by food spills and residue that gets into hard to reach places. If kept unchecked, unwanted bacteria and vermin can thrive within these in-accessible dirt traps.
The ability to pull out these units allows for easy access to built-in appliances, necessary for when faults or damages occur or when PPM (planned preventative maintenance) and servicing checks are required. It also provides easy access to plumbing and electrical services, making jobs easier for engineers and kitchens staff.
Should your mobile cooking suite experience a malfunction, its ability to be moved with ease allows for a simple removal from site for repair if required, without causing disruption to other kitchen appliances. This also allows for temporary equipment to be put in as a stand in until the suite is operations again allowing your business to carry on as usual.
When fixed cooking suites are installed, they are often delivered part manufactured and finished on site. This often means units once installed will be too large to remove from a property and as such become a fixed asset within said property. For those that do not own properties freehold, or those that plan to relocate or expand in the future a fixed suite can be an expensive outlay cost and restrict your future business plans.
Kitchens with fixed suites can also be restricted as once an arrangement has been selected it would have a big impact on the kitchen’s operation and cost implications if any changes to the configuration were needed, therefore businesses can be tied to a suit which doesn’t meet their current preferred menu requirements.
Mobile suites are typically manufactured off site and delivered as a whole unit, reducing interference and down time to operating kitchens. Units are simply wheeled into position, plugged in to pre-installed services and ready to go within minutes.
The manoeuvrability of mobile cooking ranges means that they don’t become a fixed asset part of the building and can be removed and relocated as and when necessary. This offers greater flexibility, especially for future kitchen developments, when it may be necessary to upgrade, reposition or even re-sell a suite to allow for sequential and efficient cooking/preparation processes. This also applies to menu changes, which can be catered to by moving the appliances around to suit new cooking methods and requirements.
With modern induction technology, air flow around the electrical components is critical for ensuring optimum operating conditions thus ensuring premium performance of the appliance. With fixed suites you restrict the circulation of airflow throughout the unit which has negative effects on the performance of the components. With raised mobile units air can be pulled over and pushed out over components keeping them cool and operating efficiently.
Mobile suites are the way forward if you are forward planning and want to keep flexibility within your commercial kitchen, take a look at our range options HERE.