Whether it's catering for 10 or 110, the best catering comes from prior planning and quality equipment. The equipment can include bain-maries, cookers, delivery vans, utensils and crockery. Without a range of these tools, it can be difficult to pull off a catering job successfully.
Schools, bakeries, mobile caterers, restaurants, hotels and cafes all require these items to have an efficient kitchen and exceptional food. In bakeries, much of the equipment used is for combining and baking bulk lots of mixtures. On the other hand, restaurants, cafes and hotels often require deep fryers, gas burners and ovens to be used around the clock or for extended periods because of the types of clientele they attract. For hygiene and food safety reasons, there are usually multiples of items like knives, chopping boards, bowls and serving trays to avoid cross contamination. The different tools of the trade can be utilised very differently from place to place according to their opening hours and business operations.
Any chef or cook worth their salt will soon tell you that you can't go past a quality pot or pan to make the cooking experience that bit easier and more efficient. A solid, sturdy base is often preferred as it means the cookware can take a beating and be ready for another round without compromising on the quality of the food. Timing is everything in a kitchen, therefore, it's important for a cook to be able to control heat distribution and understand how the food is heated on various burners.
Many reputable companies that produce catering equipment strive for quality and high standards. This means that professionals will come back to them time and time again to buy their products and will spread the word to fellow chefs. It is very easy to tell if a piece of equipment is of high quality. Things to consider when assessing the quality is the materials used, the warranty provided and general feedback from the supplier. The price is often reflective of the quality, but isn't always the case, so be wary. If a supplier is trying to sell you the most expensive product, ask questions about warranties and after sales care. If the manufacturer doesn't back their product when others do, this is a fair indicator you are not being sold the best product for the job.