Of all the different academic and educational organisations we provide catering equipment for, universities have the most requirement for flexibility in terms of the types of food they serve, the breadth of range, and the need to produce certain dishes to order. University canteens and rectories are a lot more like mainstream cafes and restaurants than school kitchens, and also unlike schools they compete directly with other catering businesses near (or even within the boundaries of) the university.
While there will still be a high volume peak service period, during which a very large student population will need rapid service, unlike schools and most colleges the lunch period will be spread over a broader time frame and there will be a steady flow of traffic during the rest of the day as well.
Nevertheless, at peak service most of the food will need to have been pre-cooked and be hot-held ready for service, or cooked in large batches during service and transferred to the servery line (in the case of fried foods, for example). We recommend a good selection of processing appliances, like food graters, food mixers and food slicers, or more general purpose food processors with different blade attachments, and batch cooking appliances like large gas or electric commercial ovens, plenty of extra boiling tops or hobs if required, fryers, perhaps even specialist items like pasta boilers and potato bakers.
During lunchtime, enough hot and cold storage will be needed, on a serving line large enough, to keep the queue moving quickly. Opt for built in units like hot cupboards and ambient and heated display units, with extra bain maries if needed, as well as some cold storage units like serve over counters and multideck displays. Many universities meet the all-day demand for food by preparing and serving fresh salads and sandwiches, and combining cold display storage for these with quick cook appliances like panini grills, commercial microwaves and combination ovens.
A high capacity dishwasher is strongly recommended, preferably a pass through system or rack conveyor, and for cold storage we find universities tend to install cold rooms in their large canteens or double doored fridges and upright freezer in smaller refectories.
If you're purchasing more than one appliance, ensure you use the quote system to get the best price possible.