A Guide to Hot Food Servery Units

Serving food fresh from the kitchen and keeping it at the right temperature can be quite challenging for many commercial caterers. The risks involved if food isn’t maintained properly can prove quite costly otherwise. So what’s the best solution? We’ll guide you through some of the servery units we sell to help keep your food hot (or cold) after it’s been cooked.

What Equipment is Used to Keep Food Hot?

Choosing the right commercial food warmer can make a huge difference to how you prepare and transport your food. Whether you run a restaurant or oversee meal services in a hospital or school setting, we’ll explore various types of warming and holding equipment, how each manages your food and the benefits of using each piece.

powder coated servery unit

Heated Food Trolleys

Heated food trolleys offer the perfect solution where service points are situated at a distance from the kitchen. These popular units are designed with highly durable castors for easy and safe transport – ideal for hospitals, hotels, prisons and care homes. 

The food is kept at a precise temperature until ready to be served and is typically regulated from exterior controls (either manual or digital).

A commercial hot food trolley makes holding and serving a wide range of foods simple. They are capable of transporting individual plated meals or bulk dishes depending on your requirements. And once you’re done, the stainless steel interior allows for easy emptying, cleaning, and refilling, so you can quickly get back to serving without hassle.

What do we recommend? – The Challenger Hot Food Trolley

commercial hot cupboard

Hot Cupboards

Much like a heated food trolley, hot cupboards are designed to ensure your hot food items are kept at safe and optimal serving temperatures. They are excellent static storage solutions for plated, pre-cooked meals intended for future service or for accommodating a significant number of plates for large gatherings.

Hot cupboards are well-insulated, helping to conserve energy and contribute to lower operational costs. They are designed to provide uniform heating throughout the cabinet, ensuring that all parts of the food are kept at the desired temperature. This helps prevent hot spots and uneven heating. 

Furthermore, an additional Bain Marie topper can be added to retain moisture in foods, helping to maintain the quality and flavour of your dishes. The types of food ideal for this are:

  • Sauces, Gravy and Condiments
  • Soups and Stews
  • Pasta Dishes
  • Vegetables
  • Casseroles
  • Breakfast Items (such as beans and scrambled eggs)

Many pubs and restaurants tend to opt for hot cupboards due to their practical design, which often includes sliding doors on both sides of the trolley. These ‘pass through points’ provide a quick and easy way for chefs to place freshly prepared meals directly into the cupboard.

What do we recommend? – Beaumont Hot Cupboard

hot servery counter

Carvery Units

Carvery units are popular choices for catering events and buffets, as they provide a visually striking and practical way to serve large groups efficiently.

These types of units are typically known for serving freshly carved meats such as roast beef, turkey, ham, lamb and more. Pre-cooked meats can be prepared in advance, and carving is done as needed, reducing the overall wait times for customers – helping to streamline the process of serving large groups.

What do we recommend? – Cherwell Servery Unit

How Long Can You Keep Food Warm in a Hot Food Servery Unit?

Generally, hot food servery units can keep food warm for 2-4 hours. Many commercial units are designed to maintain temperatures above the recommended minimum safe holding temperature of 140°F (60°C) for hot food.

Preheating the trolley before placing the food inside can help extend the duration for which the food stays warm.

What if I Need to Keep Food Cool?

Regeneration ovens are designed to handle both chilled and frozen food. These ovens keep the food chilled during transport and (if required) can then be reheated to a safe and enjoyable serving temperature close to the point of service.

Get In Touch

Consider the type of meals you’ll be transporting, where the servery unit needs placing and the number of customers you will be serving to gain a better understanding of what type of equipment you’ll need. We’ve then got the solution to help you keep food at the right temperature, allowing you to maintain high food quality as well as meeting health regulations. Please get in touch with us today if you require further information or for any queries. We will be happy to help.

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