Recently we’ve been bringing you advice about common restaurant equipment questions, like how to choose a fryer, and fixes for common commercial ice machine problems. This week we’re focusing on commercial sinks. No restaurant should be without a commercial sink, but there are a lot of factors to consider when buying a commercial sink. Today, ShortOrder is answering some of the most common questions about commercial sinks so you can choose the right one for your restaurant.
1. What kinds of commercial sinks are there?
There are dish/compartment sinks, mop sinks, and hand sinks. Dish/compartment sinks with 3 compartments are the restaurant standard. The 3 compartments of dish/compartment sinks are each dedicated to a specific purpose: one for washing, one for rinsing, and one for sanitizing. By separating these 3 functions, your kitchen becomes more efficient, and your dishes are guaranteed to be washed and sanitized properly. Prep sinks (mop sinks and hand sinks) are available with 1 to 3 compartments, come with or without a drain board.
2. What kind of steel should I choose?
When it comes to types of steel for commercial sinks, you should take into account 2 factors. First, the type of stainless steel. 400 series stainless steel grade is the best for durability, with 300 series following close behind. Second, consider the gauge of steel. The smaller the number, the thicker and stronger the steel, making 14 gauge steel a higher quality than 16 gauge. However, you should be fine with 16 gauge unless you require a very heavy-duty sink.
3. What sanitation standards do commercial sinks need to meet?
All commercial sinks should meet certain health and sanitation needs. Make sure the sink has approval from the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF). The NSF is an independent, accredited organization that sets national sanitation and public health standards by testing and certifying a variety of products and systems, including the approving the design and construction of commercial sinks. You should also check your local health department’s requirements, which usually include a requirement of 2 drain boards.
4. What kind of sink drain do I need?
To determine the size of the drain outlet you need, check your local sewage codes first. It should be either 1.5” or 2” in diameter. Then opt for a lever drain or a twist handle, both of which let you drain your sink without having to put your hand in the scalding water you require to keep dishes properly sanitized.
5. What kind of sink faucet do I need?
Buy the best faucet you can, since they get some pretty heavy use in the kitchen. Where your water line runs will determine what kind of faucet you need. Deck mounted faucets are used with water lines that come straight up from the floor, while wall mounted faucets connect o water lines in the walls. Pre-rinse units work with either configuration, but you should use a wall bracket regardless of the location in order to prevent damage to the commercial sink’s faucet.
6. How many commercial sinks do I need?
The general rule is 1 hand sink per 5 employees, a hand sink for each prep and cooking area, and a hand sink per 300 square feet of space.
7. How much should I pay for a commercial sink?
Many restaurants are purchasing commercial sinks with a budget in mind; however, that doesn’t mean you should sacrifice quality in favor of price. When buying commercial sinks, opt for a restaurant equipment provider like ShortOrder, which will beat any legitimate advertise price from a competing dealer, and provides customers with ratings, reviews, and a wide selection of equipment.