Fulfilling orders from behind a bakery counter in a timely manner means you need to be equipped with reliable machinery. If your world revolves around bread, utilizing the right bread slicer and properly maintaining it can make all the difference when it comes to the quality of service and your menu items. There are key factors to consider when selecting the slicer that best suits your business.
Freestanding or Countertop: Which One is Right for You?
The standard types of commercial bread slicers are freestanding and countertop, and the layout of your bakery will determine which one you select. If you have limited counter space, then a freestanding machine is the way to go. They are easily accessible and feature casters that keep them sturdy to the floor.
Countertop bread slicers are situated on your counter and are typically used for smaller operations.
Besides selecting and loading the bread loaf, everything else is automatic: the machines slice to a specific thickness, and some even return the slicer to standby mode after the bread has been sliced.
Thickness and Blades
Choosing the type of bread slicer is the first step, and next comes picking the appropriate model. You know better than anyone which variety of breads your customers prefer, the volume demand, and inventory. Use these factors as a guide when determining thickness and number of slices per hour. Most models slice whole loaves at a time using manufacturer-set slice thicknesses, including 3/8”, 7/16”, 1/2" and 5/8”, to name a few.
Additionally, consider your bread formulations because they affect the life of the slicer’s blades. As durability and longevity go, slicers with standard blades are better for pan loaves whereas scalloped blades are recommended for hard-crusted artisan breads.
Cleaning and Maintenance
Think of a bread slicer like a car--the more you take care of it, the longer its quality and life will last. Commercial bread slicers can be sizable capital investments, and cleaning and maintenance maximize the slicer’s utility and optimal performance.
Proper maintenance focuses on clearing out debris and replacing blades when they’re worn. All those loaves leave behind crumbs that cause buildup and disrupt the slicer’s function, which is why frequent cleaning is critical.
On a regular basis, daily, if possible, unplug your slicer and air blast the crumbs off the machine and blades, using a compressor or canned air, and wipe down the machine using a damp rag. While blade replacement schedules vary by model, we recommend changing the blades no less than two times a year.
To achieve the perfect slice, the whole must be greater than the sum of its parts. It starts with identifying the right type of commercial bread slicer, understanding the features of the make and model, and taking good care of it.