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In our last blog post, we talked about how flatware relates to your guests’ perceptions and expectations in the dining room. Every detail in the dining room – the ambiance, the interior design, the flatware, and so on – influences their perception of your establishment and creates expectations for how the entire dinging experience will go from start to finish. If even one small detail does not meet or exceed those expectations, that will be the one thing that sticks out in their minds. Therefore, restaurant operators must be thoughtful about the selection of every piece of the place setting. Each piece, from the stemware, to the china, all the way down to the individual pieces of flatware must meet and express the same high standard of quality. If only one piece is out of place, if the quality does not match the rest of the place setting, it detracts from the entire dining experience, no matter how small. In this blog post, we are going to apply the exact same principle to the buffet.

In keeping with the theme from our last post, say for example that you are anywhere from an upscale casual to a fine dining establishment offering a $20 brunch. Before your guests even walk in the door, they already have certain expectations based on the type of establishment you are and the price tag of the brunch itself. If you are serving your brunch buffet-style, do the styling and design of your chafing dishes and serving pieces live up to those expectations? Or are they just the same old standard serving pieces we are all used to seeing down at the local all-you-can-eat-for-$8.99 buffet? Sure, your menu items may be top quality, but shouldn’t the pieces in which they are served speak to the same level of quality? Or, what if you are catering a wedding or some other formal event? Does your buffet ware fit with the décor?

Winco Idol Chafing DishesThat’s why Dine Company is excited to bring to you all new chafing dishes and serving pieces from Walco Stainless. The Walco Idol Collection combines modern design trends with elegantly styled, highly polished 18/10 stainless steel that will help your buffet make the statement of high quality that your guests expect and deserve. Besides their attractive appearance, Walco Idol Chafers include a number of innovative features designed to not only enhance the presentation of your buffet but also to improve the efficiency of service.

Available in a variety of sizes, Walco Idol Chafers feature self-closing, vented glass covers that maintain the quality of the food while allowing the guest and service staff to see what is inside the chafing dish even when closed. The lids only require a gentle lift just past the sixty-degree position to stay open. Another light nudge downward and the lid will close gently and quietly on its own. Drip channels eliminate the problem of condensation collecting on the underside of the lid, guiding it back into the water pan and not onto the food. The lids are also easily removable for double-sided service when needed. For changing out serving pans, a simple pan lift feature allows the user to gain a grip on the underside of the pan lip quickly and efficiently. A removable spoon rest finally gives the user a place to set the serving utensil up and out of the way without having to either leave it inside the dish or having to resort to the old faithful, “universal spoon rest”: the five-inch round side plate.

Perhaps the best feature is that these chafing dishes are induction ready. For more information on the principles behind induction cooking check out our blog on induction cookware. The chafing dish body itself features 3-ply stainless steel with an inner layer of aluminum for better heat conductivity. For more information on 3-ply cookware, check out our blog on stainless steel and aluminum cookware. The chafing dish body can be removed from the stand and be used on a portable induction unit or a work table with drop-in induction units installed.

Walco also offers its own induction units that can turn any chafing dish into an induction chafing dish. Even for chafing dishes that have very low amounts of ferrous metal and are therefore not rated as “induction ready”, these units feature new induction coil technology that will work with virtually any chafing dish. The model INUNITCBB countertop induction unit can either be used on a countertop or mounted flush into a countertop to make an induction workstation. The model IN-UNIT portable induction unit can attach to the underside of any chafing dish with its patented magnetic system. Both of these units are extremely energy efficient. With very low amp draw, the user can run up to 10 units on one 20 amp circuit. The units are able to be programmed to run for a specific amount of time, up to 9 hours, and from 200 to 300 watts depending on the amount of heat the user needs.

The option to use induction rather than chafing fuel creates additional advantages and opportunities for the end-user. On a practical level, just think of the potential cost and storage savings from switching from chafing fuel to induction. And think of the advantages in terms of safety. That’s one less hazardous material to transport and store. Not only that but when it comes to catering, not all venues, such as healthcare or senior living facilities, for example, are going to allow chafing fuel for safety reasons. Another scenario where an induction would be an advantage over fuel is catering to an outdoor venue on a windy day. Now, there is no need to worry about flames being blown out by the wind. As induction heating and cooking become more mainstream, we are beginning to see trends more and more towards induction chafing dishes and away from chafing fuel. If yours is a business that does a high volume of catering or buffet service, induction chafing units such as these will potentially create options and opportunities that you wouldn’t otherwise have. And that puts you in a better position to meet and exceed your guests’ expectations.

So remember, no detail in the dining room is too great or too small to make a statement of quality to your guest. To learn more about how Dine Company can help you improve the dining experience, you can visit our store at 3110 Preston Hwy in Louisville, Kentucky, or you can call us at 800-467-6631 and speak to a customer care associate.

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