Are Restaurants Using Induction Cooktops?

Are Restaurants Using Induction Cooktops

Yes, restaurants are using induction cooktops.

Statistics may indicate that 76% of US restaurants rely on gas, but there’s one thing that remains true: induction stoves are quickly become a favorite among chefs. Despite still holding gas stoves dear, many popular establishments are slowly but surely ditching conventional systems for induction cooktops. Are you surprised? Don’t be.

More restaurants are adopting induction cooking, courtesy of the benefits they stand to gain. And they’ve seen other establishments reap immensely from this futuristic cooking method. If you are one of the restaurant owners who have yet to experience what induction cooktops have to offer, this article is for you. Below, you’ll discover all the pros and cons of using these appliances.

Read Our Article on the Best Commercial Induction Cooktops for Chefs

What Experts and Chefs Actually Say About Induction Cooktops!

It’s not just my personal opinion; even the chefs themselves agree that induction stoves might eventually take over their gas counterparts in restaurants. Here’s a glimpse of what chefs and other experts have to say:

Edward Nunn, Business Development Manager at Hatco Corporation, has over a decade of experience with induction technology. He has witnessed induction move from hotel omelet stations into mainstream home kitchens. 

“From the line cook doing eggs to high-end chefs now using it as a complementary tool along with other gizmos in the kitchen, chefs are driving induction cooking because they like how it works,” he explains. 

Angus An, chef, and owner of four Thai restaurants in Vancouver, utilizes induction in all his establishments. An, says induction cooking has evolved tremendously since he first started using it. 

“We have it in all of our restaurants. Over the past 10 years, induction has grown in leaps and bounds. The price has come down and the power has come up,” An remarks.

Here is my rewrite of the second passage while retaining the quotes:

Mary Chiarot, the general manager and vice at Garland Canada, states that induction cooking allows chefs to spend less time monitoring and more time serving. 

“Chefs can increase the speed of service and keep stocks and sauces at a precise temperature during service,” Chiarot says. 

Pros Of Induction Cooktops for Commercial Kitchens

Commercial kitchens that use induction hobs enjoy a plethora of benefits, including:

Pros of Induction Cooktops
Rapid heating and temperature control
More energy efficient than gas or electric
Cooler cooking surface reduces burn risk
Flat surface is easy to clean
Safer with no open flames or hot elements
Unattended cooking ability
Portable and modular units available

Faster Cooking

Every restaurant owner should note this down. A survey was conducted recently to gauge just how impatient people are getting. 55% of the respondents said they get fed up after waiting 5 minutes at a drive-thru. On the other hand, 54% of the respondents said they get extremely annoyed when they are forced to wait for their orders to be fulfilled for over 10 minutes while dining at a restaurant.

Do you see a trend here? Diners like getting their food fast. Luckily, establishments using induction cooktops rarely keep their customers waiting for long. That is because these appliances cook food much faster than conventional alternatives like gas stoves.

Take rice as an example. While using an induction cooktop, you can prepare delicious rice in less than 15 minutes. But a gas stove will likely take upwards of 20 minutes.

Lower Energy Consumption

An average restaurant spends between $2000-$6000 a month on energy bills. That’s quite steep. But establishments with induction hobs spend much less. Why?

According to a report from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, a good induction cooktop transfers up to 90% of the energy it draws to cooking food. That’s quite impressive, considering that traditional electric and gas stoves transfer 74% and 40%, respectively.

To summarize, any commercial kitchen that uses an induction cooker enjoys higher energy efficiency and substantial savings when it comes to monthly utility bills.

Reduced Risk of Fires

Fire outbreaks are common in commercial kitchens. In fact, each year, approximately 8,000 eating and drinking establishments report a fire to US fire departments. And every year, thousands of restaurants incur heavy losses courtesy of fire. In extreme cases, extensive fires force some establishments to close their doors permanently.

That said, induction cooktops are helping countless commercial kitchens avoid disastrous fires. These appliances are much safer than traditional systems because they don’t rely on combustion or gas lines. Plus, they don’t use open flames to cook food. So, these appliances are highly unlikely to cause fires.

Fewer Employee Injuries

Did you know that people in the restaurant and food service industry report approximately 12,000 burns annually? No other employment sector experiences that many burns. But it’s understandable. Commercial kitchens, after all, contain many items that can cause burns, from deep fryers and spilling hot water to hot cooking surfaces and cookware.

Luckily, many establishments have now switched to induction cooking and reduced the frequency of burns. Cooktops only to heat the right cookware. As such, besides the cooking zone, no other part of an induction hob is supposed to get hot. That means people can touch these appliances while they are on without getting burned.

Better Kitchen Ambiance

Induction cooktops remain cool for extended periods. They also release little to no ambient heat. That is unlike traditional options like gas stoves, which have open flames that often heat the surrounding air and make commercial kitchens hellishly hot.

In other words, commercial kitchens that rely on induction cooktops have a cooler ambiance, which is crucial. According to OSHA, when people working in commercial kitchens get exposed to excessive heat, they develop heat-stress-related illnesses like heat stroke and heat exhaustion. And a sick worker translates to compromised productivity and financial losses.

Cons Of Induction Cooktops for Commercial Kitchens

Like other appliances used in commercial kitchens, induction hobs have their downsides. The most notable include:

Cons of Induction Cooktops
More expensive upfront costs
Only work with ferromagnetic cookware
Sensitive to scratches and debris
Electronics can fail over time
Noisy cooling fans in some models
Limited color and finish options
Require compatible cookware purchase

Steep Price Tags

Commercial induction hobs are pricier than many other alternatives, including gas stoves. With around $2,000, you can get a pretty decent gas stove for your kitchen. But, an excellent commercial induction cooktop often costs upwards of $4,000.

But, from the perks of induction cooking, paying the extra money for an induction cooker is definitely an intelligent move.

Fragile Cooking Surfaces

Classy induction cookers have a glass-ceramic top. And as fancy as they may seem, they can break easily. Commercial kitchens aren’t short of situations and items that can damage glass cooktops, from high cooking temperatures to falling tins and excessive scrubbing.

The upside is there are steps commercial kitchens can take to protect their induction hobs from breaking prematurely. These include keeping them away from cabinets holding heavy objects and using recommended cleaning practices.

Is There a Difference Between Induction Stoves for a Home Vs. Commercial Kitchen?

Yes, there’s a difference between a commercial induction hob and a cooktop designed for home use. It’s actually a pretty big difference.

For starters, the wattage for home-use induction hobs usually hovers around 800-3000W. But the range for standard commercial induction cookers is between 3500W and 8000W. Moreover, commercial induction hobs are significantly larger and more powerful than their counterparts. Lastly, induction hobs for home use are also relatively cheaper than commercial appliances.

Final Thoughts

Admittedly, most commercial kitchens still rely on gas stoves. But, prominent chefs and restaurant owners are gradually shifting to induction cooking. Those who have already leaped to the other side now enjoy myriad perks, from faster cooking times and satisfied customers to increased energy efficiency and reduced utility bills.

If induction cooking is still an alien concept in your establishment, make your move now. Get an excellent commercial induction hob and reap all the benefits we’ve discussed. But don’t dive into the market and fish the first appliance you come across. If you want a cooktop that will give your kitchen the best years, choose a quality appliance based on factors like material, power rate, and safety features.

Common Questions

Are induction cooktops becoming more common in professional kitchens?

Yes, many modern restaurants are installing induction cooking technology. Its speed, precision, and efficiency make it an attractive option over traditional gas or electric ranges.

What types of restaurants use induction most?

Induction is most popular in fast-paced commercial kitchens like hotels, catering, buffet/banquet halls, and quick-service restaurants where speed is essential. But some fine dining establishments use it too.

How does induction benefit workflow in busy restaurant kitchens?

Induction allows extremely rapid heating, boiling, searing, etc so chefs can cook faster. It also reduces monitoring time once up to temp so staff can multitask. Induction keeps specific zones consistently hot too.

What are the cost savings of switching to commercial induction?

Induction is more energy efficient than gas or electric ranges, reducing utility bills. Its speed also minimizes wait times and food waste. Induction ranges have lower maintenance costs than gas appliances as well.

What types of cuisine is induction best suited for?

Induction works for most cooking methods. But it excels at Asian, Indian, and other cuisines using a lot of boiling, frying, searing, and stir-frying where instant, steady heat is ideal.

Are there downsides to restaurants using induction?

The upfront costs are higher. Cooks must use compatible pots and pans. And power levels may be lower than commercial gas ranges. But many find the benefits outweigh these factors.

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