A few years ago, I worked as a server at a local Max & Erma’s during a summer home from college. The best part of that job? Working doubles on Saturdays. Yeah, I actually mean that. On Saturdays, I would get a short break to eat between shifts. I always – always – bought a breadstick with my meal. As a college kid not concerned with carb intake, those warm, buttery breadsticks were heaven. I know now that those breadsticks kept their perfect consistency because of the built in drawer warmer in the kitchen. Below, I’ve taken a deeper dive into those drawer warmers with a brief overview and things to think about if you’re in the market.
Drawer warmers are located in the back of house and are used in a variety of restaurants and fast food chains. Drawer warmers hold cooked foods, such as breadsticks, rolls, and baked potatoes, at the correct moisture level and holding temperature until they’re ready to be served. There are two primary types of drawer warmers: free-standing units and built-in units.
Free standing warmers are the most popular due to their versatile application and their ability to be incorporated into almost any existing kitchen design. Free standing drawer warmers can be located on countertops, lower table shelves or on the floor next to the food prep line.
Free standing drawer warmers are available in one drawer, two drawer, three drawer, and four drawer configurations. Additionally, optional casters are available instead of legs if you’d like your unit to be mobile.
Built in drawer warmers are custom applications and are favored by restaurant design consultants because they are conveniently installed within stainless steel enclosed bases or custom workspaces.
Built in drawer warmers are available in one drawer, two drawer, and three drawer configurations. Also, they often have digital controls versus manual controls like free-standing units.
Standard features on both units include individual temperature controls, moisture controls, and a duel temperature gauge. Temperature controls the range from 100 degrees to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Drawer warmers have stainless steel fronts, sides, and drawer facings, while each drawer features a telescoping track and a full size (12” x 20”) stainless steel pan insert.
Drawer warmers are available in 120 volt, 208 volt, 230 volt and 240 volt options. When shopping, make sure you verify the voltage capacity within your workspace, as well as the voltage on the unit with the manufacturer.