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Hot Food Service

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Design Guidance

Overall Strategies

Hot foods require equipment that maintains the product's temperature and freshness over a period of time. This equipment uses energy to power heating coils, steam trays, or warming lamps to keep food warm after it is prepared. Hot food service lines may also include grills, gas or electric burners, and fryers to prepare food to-order. Equipment should be selected that is energy-efficient, can be powered off completely, and requires minimal time for warming up.

Best Practices

  • Consider humidity created by warming trays when specifying cooling systems for the serving areas. Inadequate humidity control can lead to moisture on windows, which can cause mold if allowed to drip behind walls and floors.
  • Select Energy Star and FEMP-designated appliances.
  • Seal any visible steam leaks from warming trays to save energy and avoid excessive humidity in the space.
  • Manage plug-load by selecting products that can be powered off completely during non-business hours.

Compare Hot Food Service Options

EB = Existing BuildingsNC = New Construction and Major Renovation

Federal Requirements

Guiding Principles