Ample workspace is a must for any restaurant kitchen. Equipping your commercial kitchen with a variety of work tables ensures that you and your staff can work comfortably and efficiently even during peak business hours. Constructed of many different types of materials, commercial work tables feature a wide range of tops and bases designed to handle specific tasks.
Stainless steel work tables are a popular choice for all kinds of food prep jobs. Durable and strong, stainless steel work tables can hold up to constant banging, scraping, and cutting from everyday use. They are corrosion-resistant, even in humid and wet conditions, and can easily withstand intense heat from hot pots and frigid temps from frozen foods. Additionally, stainless steel tables resist spots and are easy to clean and disinfect.
When selecting a stainless steel table, pay close attention to the table’s gauge, a signal of strength. The smaller the gauge number, the thicker the steel. Heavy-duty stainless steel prep tables are generally constructed with 14 gauge steel while light-duty tables are manufactured with a 16 gauge top.
In addition to gauge, you also need to consider the type of stainless steel table. A 300 series stainless steel work table is made with a chromium and nickel blend. It is more stain-resistant than a 400 series work table, which is less expensive and used in light duty applications.
Restaurant work tables are also available with wooden tops. Butcher block tables, suitable for cutting meat and other foods, come in two different styles: end grain and edge grain. End grain butcher’s blocks are constructed with wood fused with wood fibre perpendicular to the block’s surface. This type of butcher’s block is less likely to nick or chip and helps minimize knife sharpening by reducing the impact of the blade as it hits the block. Less expensive than end grain, edge grain butcher’s blocks feature wood blended with wood fibre parallel to the surface.
Hardwood maple top work tables are often used for kneading and rolling dough. Made with a hardwood maple work surface and adjustable-height stainless steel legs, maple work tables can be customized with stainless steel undershelves for convenient storage.
Restaurant owners who need additional storage space will find cabinet base and freezer base work tables useful. Cabinet base work tables are equipped with hinged or sliding doors and shelving to hide and organize supplies. Freezer base work tables keep food cold with rear or side mounted refrigeration systems.
Before purchasing a work table, think about what kinds of food prep tasks will be completed in your kitchen as well as how food will flow from one work station to the next. Also, be sure to measure each work area to ensure that the width of the work table meets your space requirements.