One of the oft forgotten about necessary kitchen tools, commercial can openers are an absolutely necessary piece in most commercial BOH operations. Foodservice operations of all sorts, ranging from concession stands to banquet facilities, use cans of varying shapes and sizes and must have a can opener that can withstand the punishment of commercial environment. Since picking out the right can opener can be a pain, take the following tips into consideration when shopping for your business’s can opener.
1. Number Of Cans
First and foremost, it is important for businesses searching for the ideal can opener to examine the number of expected cans they intend on opening per day. Opening cans by hand can be a time consuming process, so if your business will be opening high volumes, it may be worth investing in a commercial automatic can opener. Additionally, most manual can openers have a range of cans that they are intended to open in one day, and businesses that require more than those specified ranges should upgrade to a manual or automatic opener that better suited to their needs.
2. Size Of Cans
Most, not all, manual commercial can openers are intended to open specific sizes of cans. There are both manual and automatic can openers specifically designed to open only #10 cans, as well openers designed to open only smaller cans. Businesses, especially those that are opening varying sizes of cans, should be aware of what they plan on opening before shopping.
3. Availability Of Parts
Can openers, especially manual can openers, have parts that need to be replace relatively frequently. Things like opener blades and gears can wear down or accumulate residue while performing their intended task, and need to be replaced frequently in order to function properly. Often times, imported can openers can be more difficult to source parts for, and it is almost easier (and sometimes cheaper) to purchase a new one. Be sure to check how readily available replacement parts are when making initial purchases to save time down the road.
4. Dishwasher Safe?
Believe it or not, most commercial can openers are not dishwasher safe. Most heavy duty commercial can openers are constructer (at least partially) of cast iron, which will easily rust and deteriorate inside a commercial dishwasher. There are several NSF approved stainless steel manual can openers on the market that are dishwasher safe, should they be required by local ordinances. These stainless models, however, come at a significantly higher price point and it may even be a better choice for businesses going this route to invest in an automatic can opener.
Nine times out of ten, after a can is opened it will go into a trash bin or a recycle bin. These empty cans take up significantly more space than is necessary, and if left in that state, can quickly fill up dumpsters that cost money to empty. Businesses that discard large numbers of cans would be wise to consider purchasing a manual or automatic can crusher to reduce waste disposal fees.