A food scale is an essential item for your restaurant kitchen, as it will undoubtedly save you money and time. However, there is no single one "best food scale," for everyone, and there are a number of different food weight scales available that suit specific needs and purposes.
Therefore, it helps to get to know the food scale landscape a bit, so that you can choose the best commercial food scale for your restaurant. The primary types of food scales can be listed as follows: Mechanical Portion Control Scales, Digital Portion Control Scales, Legal for Trade Scales, Commercial Weight Scales, and various other Specialized Food Scales.
Below, we'll take a closer look at the various types of food scales that are available in the marketplace today so that you can come to an understanding of which food scale is best for you and your restaurant.
Food Weight Scales
Mechanical Portion Control Scales have been around for a long time and are now a bit "old-school" in nature, though they still serve a purpose. Their low initial cost and portability make them suitable for restaurants, snack bars, luncheonettes and concession stands that are in need of an inexpensive and small food scale.
In general, portion control scales are important for maintaining uniformity in portion size over time, a process that minimizes waste and saves money while providing a consistent experience for the customer. Mechanical Portion Control Scales are versatile in that they do not require electricity or a battery to function and have the added bonus of often being dishwasher safe.
However, Digital Portion Control Scales are now more common in restaurant kitchens, as they provide rapid and accurate digital displays of portion sizes that are easier to read while also ensuring that food waste is minimized and consistency is maintained.
Digital portion control scales are designed for high volume usage over a long period of time, often come equipped with a rechargeable battery, and many are also waterproof.
Legal for Trade Food Scales
For commercial applications in which product is sold by weight, it is a legal requirement that scales must be verified as "legal for trade." Commercial food scales, therefore, must pass a strict series of tests that ensure for accuracy and usefulness.
The National Type Evaluation Program (NTEP) has devised various standards that determine whether a food scale can be designated as legal for trade, based on operating characteristics and performance of the scale. The NTEP tests an individual food scale tens of thousands of times for accuracy before issuing its Certificate of Conformance, at which point the commercial food scale can be advertised as legal for trade.
For restaurants that establish sales price based on weight - as well as related outlets such as delicatessens, butchers and bakeries - a legal for trade food scale is a must. These commercial food scales are the most accurate available and feature clear digital displays, with some models offering a rechargeable battery, tower display and the option of printing labels.
Commercial Weight Scales
Commercial Weight Scales are important for restaurants and other businesses that purchase product sold by weight. The primary purpose of a commercial weight scale is to verify that the amount of product received in weight equals the amount that was paid for in weight. Request a Quote.
Seafood, beef, poultry and produce are all often sold by the pound, and this type of food scale verifies that the delivery received by your restaurant matches up with the quantity and amount that was billed. The bottom line is that commercial weight scales protect you from losses that can result from inaccurate deliveries.
Commercial weight scales are large, designed for extended use and accuracy, and situated close to the ground, thereby requiring minimal lifting of the product delivery.
Other Types of Food Scales
Bakery Weighing Scales, or Baker's Dough scales, are used in bakeries and sweet shops for efficient counterbalance measuring of dough and other ingredients.
Hanging Scales, commonly seen in supermarket produce aisles, can serve a useful purpose in restaurant kitchens when weighing fruits and vegetables while hanging from a fixture or horizontal pipe.
Finally, Pizza Scales, with their oversized platforms, are convenient for weighing pizzas with crusts of all sizes that are adorned with any number of toppings and cheeses, allowing for consistency in the product and customer experience for those restaurants that serve pizza.