Commercial Toaster Buying Guide: How to Choose the Right One

Posted: January 04, 2024

When it comes to running a successful business in the food industry, having the right equipment is crucial. One such essential piece of equipment is a commercial toaster. Whether you're running a bustling cafe, a busy restaurant, or a breakfast buffet, investing in a reliable commercial toaster can make a world of difference.

In this buying guide, we will explore the factors you need to consider when choosing the right commercial bread toaster for your business. From efficiency and durability to toast capacity and special features, we'll cover it all. By the end, you'll understand why a well-chosen commercial toaster can streamline your operations, enhance customer satisfaction, and contribute to your business's overall success.

Table of contents:
what is a commercial toaster?
How does a commercial toaster work?
Types of commercial toasters
what are the major components of a commercial toaster?
Factors to consider when choosing a commercial toaster
considering the budget for a commercial toaster
how to maintain and clean a commercial toaster?

What is a commercial toaster?

A commercial toaster is a kitchen appliance specifically designed for use in commercial settings such as restaurants, cafes, and hotels. It is designed to efficiently toast large quantities of bread, bagels, or other similar items. Commercial toasters typically have multiple slots or conveyor belts to accommodate a higher volume of food. They are built with durable materials to withstand heavy usage and often incorporate features such as adjustable toasting settings, timer controls, and quick heating elements. The primary purpose of restaurant toaster equipment is to provide fast and consistent toasting, allowing businesses to serve their customers with hot and delicious toasted items efficiently.

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How does a commercial toaster work

The working principle of a commercial toaster is relatively straightforward. When you place the slices of bread into the slots, they come in contact with electrically heated coils or infrared heating elements. These elements generate intense heat, which quickly transfers to the bread, causing it to toast. The toaster's adjustable settings allow users to control the level of toasting, from lightly browned to crispy and golden. Some commercial bread toasters also feature conveyor belts that automatically move the bread through the toasting process, ensuring consistent results.

Types of commercial toasters

There are three primary types of toasters - the Pop-up Commercial Toaster, the Conveyor Commercial Toaster, and the Bun-Grilling Commercial Toaster. Each type offers unique features and benefits suited for different commercial establishments.

Commercial pop-up toasters:

A commercial pop-up toaster is a convenient and energy-efficient solution for toasting bread, bagels, and similar items in small diners, coffee shops, and other establishments with lower volume demands. Unlike conveyor toasters, pop-up toasters conserve more energy, making them suitable for smaller-scale operations. Here are some key features of commercial pop-up toasters:

Commercial Pop-Up Toasters Feature

Description

Toasting Options

Great for bread and English muffins. Some models can accommodate bagel halves and thicker items.

Toasting Capacity

Approximately 60 - 380 slices per hour, depending on the specific model.

Counter Space Requirements

Occupies minimal counter space, usually under 13" wide x 14" deep.

Electrical Requirements

Most models operate on 120V power supply. Some heavy-duty models may require 208/240V connection.

By offering a compact design and versatility in toasting options, commercial pop-up toasters efficiently meet the needs of establishments with smaller demands. They are particularly suitable for toasting bread, English muffins, and can accommodate certain thicker items like bagel halves and Texas toast. With their quick toasting capabilities and minimal space requirements, commercial pop-up toasters are a valuable addition to any kitchen or foodservice environment.

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Conveyor commercial toasters:

A commercial conveyor toaster is a versatile and efficient equipment designed to handle a wide range of bread types and cater to high output demands. It is one of the fastest & best commercial toaster. Unlike a conventional pop-up toaster, a conveyor toaster utilizes a conveyor belt system to feed the bread into the heating chamber for toasting. Once toasted, the product slides down a slanted chute into a collection area. This type of toaster is ideal for businesses such as breakfast buffets, catering services, and busy restaurants.

Here are the key features of a commercial conveyor toaster:

Conveyor Commercial Toaster Feature

Description

Toasting Capability

Can toast various types of bread including standard bread, bagels, English muffins, and specialty breads.

Production Capacity

Can toast anywhere from 200 to 2,400 slices per hour, depending on the model. This high capacity makes it suitable for fast-paced establishments with high demand.

Space Requirements

The width of conveyor toasters typically ranges from about 15" to 24", while the depth varies from 18" to 26". This allows for countertop placement while accommodating available space.

Electrical Requirements

Lower-production models can operate with a standard 120V electrical connection. However, for higher output levels, such as 500 slices per hour, a heavier-duty 208/240V connection is needed.

Additionally, stacking kits are available to combine two conveyor toasters, allowing for increased production capacity while saving valuable countertop space. With their ability to handle a variety of bread types and high output rates, conveyor toasters are a practical choice for businesses in the food industry.

Bun grilling toasters:

Bun grilling toasters are versatile countertop appliances designed to toast various types of bread products, including bun halves, sub rolls, bagels, and sliced bread. They offer features that allow for customization, such as the option to toast dry or use a butter coating and griddle plate to caramelize the product. These toasters can match the slice output of conveyor toasters and are ideal for high-volume sandwich shops or cafeterias looking to enhance their burgers or sandwiches with a buttered, toasted bun.

Here are the key features of bun grilling toasters:

Bun Grilling Toaster Features

Description

Toasting Capability

Designed for bun halves, sub rolls, and similar items, as well as bagels and sliced bread. Can toast dry or caramelize with a butter coating.

Toasting Capacity

Can toast anywhere from 550 to 1,600 slices per hour.

Size

Generally larger than other types, ranging from about 22" to 25" wide and 12" to 18" deep. Can be as tall as 31" due to vertical feed chute.

Electrical Requirements

Most models require a 208V or 240V connection, although some 120V models are also available.

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What are the major components of a commercial  toaster?

Commercial kitchen toaster generally consist of several key components that work together to achieve consistent and high-quality toasting results. Let's take a closer look at the parts of a toaster:

Heating elements:

  • Generate heat for even toasting
  • Typically made of Nichrome wire
  • Positioned above and below bread slots

Bearings:

  • Provide smooth and efficient rotation of moving parts
  • Reduce friction and wear
  • Ensure proper alignment and stability

Bushings:

  • Act as a bearing surface between moving parts
  • Absorb shock and vibration
  • Enhance the overall durability and lifespan of the toaster

Crumb trays:

  • Collect crumbs and debris to maintain cleanliness
  • Prevent accumulation of burnt particles that can affect toasting
  • Easy to remove and clean, ensuring hygiene and optimal performance

Release sheets:

  • Non-stick sheets placed on the heating elements
  • Prevent bread slices from sticking and burning
  • Facilitate easy removal of toasted items without damage

Motors:

  • Provide mechanical power for moving parts such as the bread slots or crumb tray mechanism
  • Ensure precise and controlled movement
  • Enable consistent and efficient toasting process

Drive chains:

  • Transmit power from the motor to various moving parts
  • Ensure synchronized movement of components
  • Enhance the overall reliability and performance of the toaster

Feeders:

  • Assist in the smooth insertion and removal of bread slices
  • Help position the bread slices accurately in the slots
  • Ensure even and consistent toasting results

Belts:

  • Aid in the movement of components such as the crumb tray or bread carriage
  • Transmit power efficiently and quietly
  • Offer flexibility and reliability in the toaster's operation

Diodes:

  • Electronic components that allow current flow in only one direction
  • Control the flow of electricity in the toaster's circuitry
  • Help protect the toaster from power surges or voltage fluctuations

Lights:

  • Illuminate the toasting process for visual feedback
  • Indicate when the toaster is in operation or when toasting is complete
  • Assist users in monitoring the progress and status of the toasting cycle

Switches:

  • Control the power supply to the toaster
  • Enable users to turn the toaster on or off
  • Some switches may offer additional functions, such as adjusting toasting settings or activating special modes

Transformers:

  • Modify voltage levels to match the requirements of different components
  • Provide the necessary power supply for heating elements, motors, and other electrical parts
  • Ensure safe and efficient operation of the toaster's electrical system

Factors to consider when choosing a commercial toaster

When it comes to selecting a commercial pop up toaster for your business, there are several important factors to consider. To ensure that you make the right choice, here are some key factors to keep in mind:

  • Capacity and size: One of the primary considerations when choosing a commercial bread toaster is its capacity and size. Evaluate your business's needs and determine how many slices of bread or other food items you need to toast at once. Consider the volume of orders during peak hours to ensure that the toaster can handle the demand. Additionally, take into account the available space in your kitchen or food preparation area to ensure the toaster fits appropriately.
  • Toasting options and settings: Different restaurant toasters offer varying toasting options and settings. Some models provide adjustable settings for browning levels, allowing you to cater to customer preferences. Others may have additional features like bagel toasting, defrosting, or reheating. Consider the specific requirements of your menu and customers to choose a toaster with the appropriate functionality.
  • Durability and build quality: Commercial toasters should be built to withstand heavy usage and last for an extended period. Look for toasters made from durable materials such as stainless steel, which can resist corrosion and withstand rigorous daily use. Read reviews and consider the reputation of the manufacturer to ensure that the toaster is of high quality and built to withstand the demands of a commercial kitchen.
  • Energy efficiency and speed: Efficiency and speed are crucial in a commercial setting where time is of the essence. Look for a toaster that can quickly and efficiently toast bread without compromising on quality. Energy-efficient models can help reduce electricity costs and minimize environmental impact, making them a wise long-term investment.
  • Safety features: Safety should be a top priority when selecting any commercial kitchen equipment. Ensure that the toaster has safety features such as heat-resistant exteriors, cool-touch handles, and automatic shut-off mechanisms. These features can help prevent accidents, protect your staff, and maintain a safe working environment.

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Considering the budget for a commercial toaster

When considering the budget for a commercial kitchen toaster commercial toaster for restaurant, it's important to strike a balance between price and quality. Here are some key points to keep in mind when making this decision:

  • Determine your specific needs: Assess the requirements of your business in terms of toaster capacity, speed, and durability. This will help you narrow down your options and avoid overspending on features you don't need.
  • Consider the price-quality relationship: While it may be tempting to opt for the cheapest option, remember that a higher price often reflects better quality and longer lifespan. Investing in a slightly more expensive toaster can save you money in the long run by reducing maintenance and replacement costs.
  • Read customer reviews: Before finalizing a purchase, take the time to research and read reviews from other buyers. This will give you insights into the performance and reliability of different models, helping you make an informed decision.
  • Compare warranties and after-sales support: A longer warranty period and good customer support can provide added peace of mind. Look for brands or models that offer reliable warranties and responsive customer service to ensure a smooth experience.
  • Consider energy efficiency: Energy costs can add up over time, so selecting an energy-efficient toaster can help reduce your operating expenses. Look for toasters with energy-saving features such as adjustable power settings or automatic shut-off functions.

How to maintain and clean a commercial toaster

Proper maintenance and regular cleaning toaster are essential to ensure its optimal performance and prolong its lifespan. To keep your toaster in top shape, follow these practical steps. Start by unplugging the toaster and letting it cool down completely. Remove the crumb tray and empty it, disposing of any accumulated crumbs. Wipe down the exterior with a damp cloth and mild detergent, taking care to avoid the heating elements. For the interior, use a soft brush to remove any debris or stuck crumbs. Additionally, check the toaster's cords and plugs for any signs of wear or damage.

Choosing the right commercial toaster is crucial for efficient and high-quality toasting in a commercial setting. This buying guide has covered key factors such as capacity, speed, durability, and additional features. By using this guide, readers can make an informed decision and select a toaster that best suits their specific needs, ensuring a delightful toasting experience in their business.

FAQ's

Are more expensive toasters better?

The cost of toaster does not necessarily determine its quality or performance. While more expensive toasters may offer additional features or aesthetic appeal, the effectiveness of toasting bread primarily depends on the toaster's design and functionality.

What kind of toaster do restaurants use?

Restaurants typically use commercial-grade toasters designed to handle high-volume usage and meet the demands of a professional kitchen. These toasters are often larger, more durable, and equipped with features like multiple slots and adjustable settings.

How often should you replace your toaster?

The toaster lifespan can vary depending on its quality, frequency of use, and maintenance. On average, a well-maintained toaster can last anywhere from 5 to 10 years. However, if you notice significant wear, malfunctioning, or safety concerns, it's advisable to replace your toaster sooner.

How much electricity does unplugging the toaster save?

Unplugging a toaster when not in use can save a negligible amount of electricity. Toasters consume minimal energy in standby mode, and the energy used to heat up the heating elements quickly outweighs any energy saved by unplugging. 

How to use a pop-up toaster?

To use a pop-up toaster, simply place slices of bread in the slots, adjust the browning control to your preference, and press the lever down; the toaster will automatically pop up the toasted bread when done.

What toaster should I buy?

When choosing a toaster, consider your needs and preferences, such as the number of slots, browning settings, and additional features like bagel or defrost options.

What type of energy does a toaster use?

Commercial toasters in restaurants typically use electric energy for toasting, providing a quick and efficient way to prepare large quantities of bread.