The foodservice industry changed completely during the pandemic and has left a lasting impact on restaurants. A stronger emphasis on safety, convenience, and delivery have come into focus. Improving food safety is an important mission for all food service operations, and the right equipment can help accomplish this.

Holding cabinets are a star in preserving food temperature and safety in commercial kitchens. These cabinets help limit exposure to people when cooking for delivery or take-out. Industry professionals have incorporated this equipment to improve food safety practices as well as keeping food fresh for take-out and delivery.

Insulated holding cabinet

What is a Holding Cabinet?

A holding cabinet is a piece of cooking equipment that uses fans to keep food at a safe temperature while waiting for delivery or consumption. Cabinets come in a variety of configurations depending on needs and available space. Holding cabinets can also be used to limit exposure to circulated air in a kitchen.

Types of Holding Cabinets

Holding cabinets come in different sizes and builds to fit volume and other needs. There are important features to consider when purchasing a holding cabinet, which is discussed in our Holding Cabinets Buying Guide.

Insulated vs. Non-Insulated

The need for insulation in a holding cabinet depends on operation volume and holding time in the cabinet. Insulated cabinets are designed to hold food for longer and are ideal for food transportation. Non-insulated cabinets are perfect to hold food while waiting for a to-go order pickup. We discuss in our Insulated vs. Non-Insulated Holding Cabinets guide the pros and cons of both for your business.

Half vs. Full Height

The size should also be considered when buying a holding cabinet. Your operation’s delivery/take-out volume and kitchen space will determine the size of holding cabinet you need.

  • Half Height: Half-height cabinets are great for low volume operations with limited space. These cabinets are ideal for restaurants that do less take-out or delivery business, or for small kitchens.
  • Full Height: Full-height cabinets should be used in high volume operations that do a lot of take-out and delivery business. These are perfect for large kitchens and ghost kitchens.
Cardboard takeout container

How Holding Cabinets Can Benefit Your Restaurant

Restaurants can improve food safety, cut costs, and improve delivery during this time of change. Utilizing holding cabinets can promote limited contact with food as well as keep safe temperatures. They will also keep food hot and fresh for delivery and take-out operations.

Promote Food Safety

With the risks of COVID-19 still looming, limiting person-to-person contact is essential. Holding cabinets can help cut down on contact between kitchen staff and food while waiting on pickup.

These cabinets also are designed to preserve safe food temperatures before eating. They utilize fans to distribute heated air to keep food hot.

Limit Food Waste

Heated holding cabinets can keep food at safe temperatures for longer than heat lamps. This will help cut down on food waste and costs. They also keep food at desirable temperatures for delivery and take-out, which keeps customers happy.

Improve Delivery Programs

Customers expect meals to be hot, fresh, and delicious when it’s picked up or delivered to their doors. Keeping food hot and fresh as long as possible is essential to offering quality take-out and delivery. Holding cabinets can keep food hot and safe until it’s ready for the customer.

More on Holding Cabinets: 6 Trends for Restaurants Resuming Dining Services

Food Heaters and Warmers

For more options in keeping food hot and fresh for delivery, we offer a variety of warming and heating equipment. Heat Lamps: Traditional heat lamps are ideal for short-term holding. Keep food hot before serving to dine-in customers. Food Warmers: Keep food hot on a cooking line for portioning and serving. Utilize food warmers for serving and buffet displays. Warming Drawers: These are ideal for keeping buns, breadsticks, and rolls hot for service. Keep baked goods fresh and delicious.  

More on Food Safety

Ensure your restaurant keeps safety top-of-mind by following food safety programs. Read more on promoting safety in the kitchen and dining room with our food safety series.
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