Step into any sandwich shop or pizza parlor and you’ll usually see a prep table at the heart of the kitchen. Designed to support the task of assembling sauces, condiments and ingredients together to create a meal, a worktop refrigerator or prep table allows staff to create a wide variety of sandwiches or pizzas from the same ingredients, but in a multitude of combinations so that meals can be personalized to order easily and efficiently minimizing the movement of staff as they work. We have a list of six facts about prep tables that are universal and apply to sandwiches, pizzas or general meal assembly.
1. Prep tables include a work surface and easily accessible food pans in a cold rail on top so the user has easy access to all the different ingredients making personalization easier. Pizza, sandwich and general use tables are almost always constructed this way.
2. One of the ways to tell if a prep table is for pizzas or sandwiches is by the width of the work surface. Pizza tables are generally wider than a sandwich prep table.
3. A common layout of sandwich and general use prep tables is to have two rows of food pans running along the top rear of the unit and a 10” – 12” wide work surface that extends the length of the front.
4. Pizza prep tables often have a raised rail for the food pans and they have a work area can accommodate a pizza, or about 20.” On some models the work surface may hang over the front edge of the table by a few inches. Mega top prep tables usually a have three rows of food pans.
a. The rails at the top of the tables are kept cold by one of three methods:
b. Cold wall technology
c. Forced Air technology
5. To keep the rails that hold the food pans cold, cold wall technology, forced air technology or a combination of these is utilized to maintain ingredients at proper temperatures meeting NSF standards for food safety (33 to 41 degrees F).
6. Beneath the worktop is a refrigerated cabinet which will have doors or drawers. These cabinets are nearly the same as a counter height reach-in cooler and are used to store ingredients in food pans when the table is not in use or to hold back up ingredients for peak food prep times.
Cook’s has recently launched a new line of FSE refrigerated worktop prep tables in three sizes different sizes. These tables are available in a 27-1/2”W Single Door unit, a 47” W Double Door Unit and a 60”W Double Door unit. We also carry refrigerated prep tables from several other vendors