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Food Warming & Holding Restaurant Equipment Guide

Food Warming & Holding Restaurant Equipment Guide

buffet dish warming tray

Today, the team at American Services wants to inform you regarding the many options you have when looking to add food warming and/or hold equipment to your restaurant.  All of these options give you choices regarding cost, functionality, and customer convenience while providing a safe environment for the food you serve. Let’s get started!

Food Bars vs. Hot Food Tables

When considering the addition of a food bar versus a hot food table, there are a number of things to look at.  Hot food tables provide a functional stainless steel appearance, the ability to keep food hot longer thanks to being electrically powered, an adjustable thermostat that helps maintain an optimal temperature, and options that allow for greater customer service such as end tables, cutting boards, and added work space features.  Food bars offer conveniences like sneeze guards or sun canopies, can be used anywhere since they do not require electricity, can be used on any table top, have the option to be used hot or cold, and provide extra storage within the portable base.

Drawer Warmers vs. Countertop Food Warmers

Drawer warmers are used for holding food in a kitchen since they are not meant to be a display unit.  These units are smaller in size, can be used to hold a variety of different food items, and offer varied temperature control for multiple drawers. Countertop food warmers on the other hand are made to serve customers hot food items in a self-serve environment.  These units can be ordered with a specific holding purpose in mind or can be used in an all-purpose way.

Finally, if you are looking to keep food warm for a short period of time, an overhead warming unit will work best.  When this is the situation, you will be choosing from a heat lamp or heat strip.  Heat lamps work well when you need to heat individual pans of food since they direct heat to one specific location.  Heat strips are used to cover more length of space with even heat and can be used in sized ranging from 18 inches to 12 feet.

As you can see, there are a number of options out there when it comes to food warming and holing.  Ask the Kirkwood area restaurant equipment experts at American Services to help you evaluate your needs in this area of your commercial kitchen today!

Restaurant Equipment Leasing FAQs – Part 1

Restaurant Equipment Leasing FAQs – Part 1

lease

Many start-ups or restaurant owners who need to upgrade outdated equipment turn to leasing for an option that offers nice cash savings right away.  While this is a great option for some business owners, you need to go into a lease agreement with the right knowledge under your belt.  Today, the Sunset Hills area restaurant equipment experts at American Services want to give you the knowledge you need to get the affordable and fair lease you need!  So, let’s do a quick  leasing FAQ!

What is an equipment lease?

  • An equipment lease is kind-of similar to a rental agreement in that you agree to pay a set monthly payment for so many months in order to use equipment.

What are some of the benefits of a lease?

  • Leasing is good for those who have limited capital and are looking to reduce up-front costs associated with purchasing the equipment they need.  Leasing also offers low monthly payments and less lenient credit requirements.

What equipment is offered via lease?

  • Business owners can often find most equipment they need up for lease.  Do some research and you will likely find a multitude of options.

What lease terms are available?

  • The most common lease terms you will find include 24, 36, 48, 60, and 84 months with purchase options that include Fair Market Value, $1 Buyout, and 10% Put.

How does a lease differ from a loan?

  • When you get a loan, you are financing the full purchase price of an item across a period of time at a set interest rate.  At the end of a loan you own the equipment.  With a lease, you are essentially paying to use equipment for a set period of time with the option to then purchase the equipment at the end of the lease.

We hope this first set of FAQs will set you on the right path to a lease that works for your situation.  Join us again soon for Part 2 of this series with more valuable lasing information!

Advantages To HVAC Contractor Loyalty

Advantages To HVAC Contractor Loyalty

 LoyaltyFinding a reliable contractor that you can be loyal to with all of your service, repair, and maintenance work has many advantages.  These advantages will serve you in a number of valuable ways and even give you an extra boost over your competitors. Today, the team at American Services HVAC near Ballwin wants to show you why you should choose an HVAC contractor and become loyal to that one company.

  • Price Negotiations – A loyal customer is always going to get the best price when working with any contractor.  When you are loyal to the same contractor for an extended period of time, your contractor will thank you for your loyalty with special discount opportunities or a reduced rate just because.  You will also have the advantage of being able to more easily negotiate a reduced price for upgrades and other extras along the way.
  • Personalized Service – When you use the same contractor for any length of time they begin to understand your very personal needs.  This allows for a better overall experience for both the contractor and the client.  With a loyal contractor you take some of the guess work out of what you need and why.
  • Expedited Service – As a preferred or loyal customer, your contractor should be able to fit in your unexpected service needs in a speedier manner.
  • Payment Term Flexibility – Once you have paid your contractor on time for a number of jobs, you are more likely to get some flexibility on the terms related to credit that a contractor can extend to your business.  This may allow you the ability to upgrade your equipment faster or help you get through a cash flow issue.

As you can see, there are a number of reasons that make being a loyal HVAC customer a smart idea.  The team at American Services would be delighted to have you as a part of our loyal customer list.  Let us get yous tarted with a free estimate today!

 

Portable HVAC Units – Pros & Cons

Portable HVAC Units – Pros & Cons

Air Conditioner Blowing Cold AirSometimes a traditional HVAC unit that vents throughout your entire space isn’t possible due to structural or other limitations.  When this is the case, many individuals will look toward a portable HVAC unit to do the job.  These units have a number of pros and cons associated with them.  Today, the professional Fairview Heights commercial HVAC technicians from American Services will provide you with a few of the most common pros and cons to keep in mind when considering such a unit.  Let’s get started!

The first pro most buyers look toward when considering a portable HVAC unit is the cost. Many turn to portable HVAC units when it would otherwise cost much more money to overhaul an entire system.  In this case, yes, the portable unit is much more cost effective in regard to the upfront cost.

Another pro to having a portable unit is the portability.  These types of units can be moved from room to room allowing you to only cool or heat the space as it is needed.  This can save you money because you are utilizing the function of the unit on an as-needed basis as opposed to all the time.

Now, let’s look at a few of the cons.  Con number one is that portable units are not very efficient.  This means the unit will have to run for an extended period of time in order to cool or heat your space.  Portable units also only cool small spaces such as one office area or other contained room.  It is not reasonable to expect to purchase a portable unit and cool your entire commercial building.

If you are in a situation where you think a portable HVAC unit is the only choice you have, don’t make any purchases until you talk to the team at American Services.  Instead, let the American Services give you a professional quote that best utilizes the funds you have.  Give the team a call for your free quote today!

 

Don’t Skip Your Restaurant Equipment Maintenance!

Don’t Skip Your Restaurant Equipment Maintenance!

Cafe OwnerWhen you purchase your new restaurant equipment from American Services, our team is going to recommend a customized maintenance plan.  You many wonder why do we do this.  Well, we all know that your equipment purchase is essentially an investment – and an expensive one at that.  This investment in your business is also responsible for your kitchen productivity on a certain level and needs to be very reliable so that you aren’t left out of business for any extended period of time.  Taking your purchase to the next level with a maintenance plan is thus the missing piece to assuring the reliability, functionality, and longevity of your equipment.

Another question may then arise as to why maintaining your equipment is so vital.  Just like you would maintain your car or the appliance in your home, the restaurant equipment you purchase for your business needs to be looked at by a professional at regular intervals to ensure it will function properly.  Regular maintenance is also important so that any warranty coverage isn’t lost due to owner negligence.  The plans we offer at American Services are even more helpful because of the money you will save thanks to the packaged services we can offer.

As you consider the necessity of maintaining your equipment and the possible savings offered by a maintenance plan, please feel free to contact the Hazelwood area Restaurant Equipment experts here at American Services.  Our team is focused on your satisfaction.  We want you to love your equipment and consider serving you in all areas of your business a privilege.  Get on the road to total service by calling us today.  The services we offer extent beyond the equipment we service in your kitchen and make us the area’s only one stop shop!  Ask us about our water filtration, HVAC, beverage system, and ice machine services now!

 

Walk-In Cooler Maintenance Tips!

Walk-In Cooler Maintenance Tips!

refrigerator unitIf you are in the restaurant, convenience store, or grocery store business, the walk-in cooler or freezer is a part of your daily life.  Since these units are a big investment, it is important to keep them well-maintained.  Today, let’s take a look at some tips that will ensure you unit is kept in proper running order.

  • Make sure your unit’s door is closed when not being used.  Never leave the door propped open for an extended period of time.  The best practice is to only have the door open when entering or leaving the the walk-in.
  • At least twice a year, you need to be cleaning the evaporator and condensing coil of the unit.  If your coils are outside, it is best to cleans them even more often.
  • Check your fan motors to ensure they are running at optimum speed.
  • Reduce drag by cleaning the fan blades.
  • If your condensing unit is located outside, make sure you keep the area clear so that there is adequate air flow.
  • Make sure airflow isn’t restricted by anything stacked around the coil.
  • The insulation on the suction lines between the condensing unit and the evaporator should be checked for damage or decay on a regular basis and replaced when needed.
  • Don’t let your unit waste energy.  Have a technician check your electrical connections for loose spots on a regular basis.
  • Lubricate all hinges on a yearly basis to ensure the unit is closing properly.

The South County area commercial walk-in refrigeration specialists at American Services hope these tips will get you started on maintaining your units in the best possible way.  If you have any questions, or would like for an expert to take a look at your walk-in cooler or freezer, contact American Services today!

What Are Blast Chillers?

What Are Blast Chillers?

Commercial Refrigeration Near St PetersIf you are in the food business, you understand how important your refrigeration equipment really is.  It not only allows you the ability to store the perishable goods, but also helps keep your patrons safe by cooling your products to industry standards.  In today’s kitchen it is becoming increasingly important to provide a safe cooling environment and in order to accomplish that, many are turning to the use of blast chillers. Let’s take a look at what blast chiller do and how they could benefit your business.

Blast chillers are special refrigeration/freezer units that allow the ability to take hot foods from over 90 degrees to 3 degrees in a very short period of time.  This process eliminates the amount of time that food is in a risky temperature zone and thus helps preserve the safety of that dish.  Some of the advantage to blast chiller include: Quality Preservation; Appearance; Texture; Taste; and Nutritional Value.

As you can see, the use of a blast chiller has many desired qualities for restaurant, catering, and other commercial kitchen owners.  If you think a blast chiller refrigeration unit would be a great addition to your business, the St. Peters area  industrial refrigeration team at American Services can help!  American Services has been the St Louis area’s leading commercial HVAC, cooking equipment, ice machine, beverage systems, and industrial equipment service provider for years!  Our professional team is highly trained and skilled in the work they perform and we want to help you!  Don’t take the risk of not having compliant refrigeration equipment in your business any longer. Contact the American Services team at 855-733-1776 for a free estimate today!  Thank you for considering American Services!

Upgrade to a High Velocity Cooling System

Upgrade to a High Velocity Cooling System

cooling efficiency in MOWhile, the traditional HVAC systems may seem to be the preferred choice for some, savvy business owners should still consider a high velocity system to completely replace their existing  air conditioning systems. Many think that they can reuse their existing ductwork however the duct work used in high velocity systems is very different than the conventional duct work. A high velocity HVAC system becomes a far better alternative, in terms of installation and operating costs.

For those who need a more convenient cooling solution, a high velocity HVAC setup may well be the smart choice. These types of HVAC systems force air into buildings at a high rate of speed. This force creates a multitude of air currents that evenly distribute the cooled air in a much shorter period of time. 

High velocity HVAC systems also offer other benefits to users. The ductwork necessary for a high velocity system is considerably less intrusive and installed far more affordably. Due to their smaller size, the ducts can be placed far more advantageously and exactly to a customer’s specifications. Lastly, they take up a much smaller profile in a room and blend in with décor to a far greater degree.

It only takes two visits a year from your local Sears technician to help keep your system running at its best and save you energy. Our heating and cooling 10-point checks can make sure your unit is ready to tackle any harsh temperatures. Make preventive maintenance your new routine today and help safeguard against costly breakdowns in the future. For industrial cooling solutions in Missouri, American 

If you’re looking for an HVAC provider of cooling, heating, refrigeration or restaurant equipment, American Services  Cooling installation and repair in Missouri can meet your needs. We offer 24 hour emergency service, licensed professionals to handle your service requests and we guarantee you’ll be happy with your American Services experience!

American Services proudly serves the following industries;

National Chain Restaurants

Convenience Stores

Food Service Industry

National Chain Food Stores

Cold Storage Facilities

Retail Grocery Industry

Truck Stops/Travel Centers

Independent Supermarkets and Restaurants

Retirement Communities

Schools

Office Complex

Apartment Complex

Hotels

Keeping Your Restaurant Equipment Ice Machine Maintained

Keeping Your Restaurant Equipment Ice Machine Maintained

ice machine restaurant equipment in MOWe’ve all been there.  You have a nice refreshing beverage in front of you, you take a sip and it tastes stale because of bad ice cubes.  As a restaurant owner, this is one of that last things that you want to have happen, and preventing it just takes a little hard work and scheduling.

Something that is very important for restaurant owners to keep in mind is that as part of the Food Code put forth by the US Food and Drug Administration, ice is considered a food product.  What that means is that ice is held to the same standards and conditions that other food is held to, so it is imperative to make sure your ice machine is running well! Also consider that unattended ice machines can develop a slime like substance, which can lead to bacterial growth and other problems that are better to avoid.  So what can you do as a restaurant owner to insure that none of this happens?  The steps are actually quite simple to insure that your guests are receiving the best quality food product that you can deliver.

In order to clean an ice machine, it has to be defrosted and therefore turned off, so obviously you will want to schedule this work outside of normal operating hours.  It is also a good idea to have a back up plan or alternative ice source as the process can take an extended period of time.  Once all the ice is melted, you will want to drain any excess water that is left in the machine so that you are starting with a machine that doesn’t have any leftovers from it previous operation life.  Next, you will want to repeat the above process one more time allowing the ice machine to run through the whole cycle once again, from the ice forming to the defrosting process.  Once all of that is complete, you can begin the actual cleaning process.

To clean the ice machine, remove any trays or items and put them in the dishwasher to sanitize.  Once that is complete you can wipe the interior of the ice machine down with an approved cleanser and then rinse with warm water.  After all of that is done you will want to check the machine by running it again and making sure everything comes out as intended.

The above steps will help you to insure that your ice machine is clean and the ice you serve to your customers is as good as the fresh beverages that they are drinking.  These steps should be performed as needed, but is probably a good idea to do it at least quarterly.

For a quote on restaurant equipment ice machine maintenance in Missouri, contact us today at American Services.

 

HVAC Retrofits

HVAC Retrofits

HVAC Services in Saint LouisRegardless of how well your HVAC system is maintained, age and building expansion will eventually cause you to replace it. This critical decision needs consultation from professionals such as American Services HVAC repair in St. Charles, and a well thought out plan.

HVAC system replacements are a costly process that can disrupt building operations over an extended period of time. A well thought out plan including consultation with a certified HVAC designer helps ensure that the retrofit produces maximum benefit. This will enhance operations of the facility, and immediately generate energy cost savings. A good plan will also make sure that the retrofit process will not have to be repeated in the future secondary to poor planning and impulsive decision making.

8 steps to keep in mind for an  HVAC retrofit:

  1. The quickest and easiest way to replace older HVAC systems is to put in a new system that matches the old one. Match components by type, compatibility, voltage/amp output, and then replace with new components of exactly the same profile. This process will work if there are no changes in your building.
    2. New technologies result in tremendous progress in the last 15 years as far as HVAC technology. New DDC control systems provide a better climate while reducing energy costs. High efficiency chillers can reduce the cost of air conditioning. Variable frequency drives improve operating efficiency. These are all proven new technologies and are used widely today in modern installations.
    3. Modern buildings today are under a constant state of change. Interiors are upgraded; tenants are moving in and out, infrastructure changes increase. The one thing that doesn’t change is your HVAC system trying to support all these changes. This is why flexibility must be built into your HVAC system retrofit.
    4. Part-load performance-chillers are the single largest users of electricity improving the efficiency of chillers is what chiller manufactures strive to do. When selecting replacement chillers, pay attention to full load efficiency ratings
    5. Maintain records of maintenance performed on your building, maintenance costs, increasing maintenance requirements.  Implement a preventative maintenance checks and services checklist for your building’s maintenance staff.
    6. Seeing the big picture- most generally tunnel vision develops when planning for HVAC retrofits focusing on only specific components or portions of the entire HVAC system. Experience shows, before making retrofit decisions facility executives should step back and determine if other projects planned for the building will affect the HVAC system operation.
    7. The major goal of any HVAC retrofit program is to improve the level of service.  Facility executives should consult the occupants and be willing to receive input. Facility executives can then develop a clear understanding of what the HVAC system will be expected to do.
    8. Program approval-HVAC retrofits are costly programs.  More often than not facility executives simply submit funding requests with little or no supporting information, the outcome, “Funds Denied”. Put a band aid on components and just patch systems together, to keep things going. An HVAC retrofit is a major undertaking for the Facilities Department, the occupants, and organizations management. A certified HVAC systems designer, HVAC component manufacturer should all be brought in during the planning phase.