Is A Vegetable Prep Slicer a Worthwhile Investment For Your Catering Business?
Speed is one of the most important elements to running a successful catering business. And in addition being able to cook well, of course. You need to be able to prep, cook and go in a very short amount of time. This will ensure flavour, freshness and food quality. And to satisfy your customers. Having the right tools is one of the most important elements to succeeding in this. One item you may consider buying is a vegetable slicer.
These appliances are designed to make short work of slicing vegetables, fruit, and even potatoes and cheeses. All depending on the model in question. Is it the right buy for your business, though?
The Benefits of a Professional Vegetable Prep Slicer
It should be relatively simple to see the benefits of using a vegetable prep slicer in your catering business. It’s all about improving production speed without a related increase in costs or labour required. While the style, size, blade types and overall configuration of the slicer you choose will vary from one model to another and one manufacturer to another, there are some important benefits that you’ll realise across the board, including:
- Dramatic increase in production volume and productivity for the business overall
- Reduced chance for serious injury when slicing fruits, vegetables, cheeses and other foods
- Significantly reduced effort required even over manual slicer models
- Uniform slices, cuts and chops for better presentation of foods at venues and events
- Easily cut through even tougher vegetables and fruits
- Easily slice cheeses for cheese platters
- Less waste due to uniform cuts, slices and chops
All of these are important benefits, but consistency is one of the most crucial. Keeping a uniform size and shape makes your dishes look more professional and visually pleasing. Further separating your business from other catering companies in the area.
As you can see, there are quite a few benefits to owning one of these appliances. With that being said, this is not an investment to be made lightly. While prices can and do vary greatly depending on the model you choose. All of them have their pros and cons to consider.
Pros of a Vegetable Prep Slicer
We’ll start with a look at the marks in favour of buying such a slicer for your business. They are:
- Far faster than slicing by hand, or even with a manual model
- Available with different blade designs, thicknesses and edge types to suit a range of prep needs
- Able to achieve up to 500 pounds of production per hour depending on the situation
- Can be lightweight and durable if made of aluminium rather than steel
- Blades can be sharpened and replaced if need be (model dependent)
- Available shredding blades for use with certain vegetables, fruit and cheeses
- Able to achieve uniform cuts to improve the looks of your dishes for customers
Cons of a Vegetable Prep Slicer
While owning an electric vegetable slicer can provide quite a few important benefits, these appliances are not without their drawbacks. Which can include:
- Blades will need sharpening from time to time.
- Some models do not include a whetstone, requiring you to make a further purchase. Other units do not have an available whetstone at all, which means that sharpening will need to be done by a professional.
- Some units do not come with blades out of the box, and will require an extra purchase.
- Some units have only a limited selection of blade types and shapes that will fit. These are not interchangeable with models from other brands.
- Units may only have slicing blades, with no shredding blades available.
- Some units are not designed for use with cheeses, but only for vegetables and fruits.
- Some units may have an aluminium body, but use plastic motor parts, which will wear out in time and need to be replaced. Replacing motor parts can be difficult, as well.
- Warranty protection varies a lot from one company to another. And even from model to model from the same company.
Tips for Buying a Vegetable Slicer
While there are drawbacks to these pieces of equipment, the pros definitely outweigh the cons. However, you will need to know a few things to look for when buying a slicer.
Vegetable Slicer Blades
One of the most important areas to pay attention to here is whether or not the unit comes with blades. Some ship with a single blade, while others include a selection out of the box. Make sure that your machine has many blade options available (even if they require an additional purchase). Also that all blades are made from stainless steel for durability, performance and cleaning purposes.
Safety Of The Vegetable Slicer
Double-check the safeguards in place on the unit before buying it. You should not be able to operate the pusher or the blades if the unit is open. The unit should also be designed to make it virtually impossible to start the blades with any foreign objects in the slicing/cutting area. Such as, tools, utensils, hands.
The Size Of Your Vegetable Slicer
Consider the size of the unit you need, as well. Most electric models are not portable, and must be mounted to a hard surface within your prep area.
How much room do you have to spare? Compare the various models available out there. And find one that offers the right performance, blade options and other features, but also the right size.
Manual Or Electrical Vegetable Slicer
Depending on the scope of your operation and the amount of slicing and cutting you need to do on a regular basis. You may consider buying a manual veg slicer rather than an electric model.
Production speed is slower, but the price is much lower, as well. You’ll also find that many manual models also offer a wide selection of interchangeable blades. These blades will suit a range of different needs.
When everything is said and done, a vegetable prep slicer is one of the absolute “must have” appliances for any catering company. Really, can you afford not to have one?