South Africa’s hospitality industry is going through a rough time, with lockdown the toughest on those in the catering industry. As uncertainty looms for those that make their bread-and-butter from lunch, pastries, or weddings, birthday parties, corporate events, ceremonies, and year-end office party functions, many are joining restaurants and jumping onto the takeout service wagon, with the help of chafing dishes.


Why Caterers Must Have a Chafer


Derived from the French word “chauffer”, which means to make warm, chafing dishes are a popular, non-wasteful, and low-energy method of keeping foods warm and safe and fresh throughout the day, like it just came out the oven. Keeping food hotter and for longer than food stored in traditional pots and pans, these catering and hotel essentials are the most affordable and convenient way to avoid drying-out, overheating, and ruining food. If that is not enough, this heated dishware allows for an elegant presentation.


Elegant Displays Mean More Business


An essential addition to any hotel, bed and breakfast, school, business, eatery, and catering business, chafers are more than just about serving. Flaunting elegant displays in polished stainless steel with a glass lid, and a stylish handle, these tasteful must-haves achieve a clean and appealing presentation. As a result, similar to modern cookware, these dishes come in many sleek shapes and sizes, catering to many mains, entrees, and settings. In the catering industry, this is a big plus, as elegant presentation means more business.


Classic to Elite Shapes and Sizes of Chafers


Chafing dishes are a functional, yet elegant addition to any kitchen, but selecting the right one can confuse. Some are round, and others are rectangular, oval, and even square. Some use fuel, and others use induction as a heat source. There is no set rule about pairing size and shape. Mains like seafood and risotto suit larger round and square dishes. Side dishes suit oval and rectangular, and round chafers are popular with warm desserts, sauces, and side dishes.


Last but not least, there is the esteemed Marmite chafer, which is the master for serving and warming sauces, gravies, stews, and soups. Besides its various shapes, sizes, and models that range from classic to elite and affordable to the extreme, quality chafers boast high-end stainless steel that makes them durable, and easy to clean and maintain, ensuring your dish lasts a decade and more.


Induction and Fuel


On-site or off-site, you will need a reliable heat source – will it be chafing fuel or induction? Chafing fuel is easy to use, as it comes in disposable canisters that use liquid or gel to create an open flame. You remove the lid and light the plate – it is simple. Unlike electricity or fuel, induction uses electromagnetic heat technology. It is so much safer than using petrol, more energy-efficient than electricity, and its settings allow you to have more control over temperatures. Its unrivalled portability and even distribution of heat make it a winner for anyone in the catering industry. However, induction only works with iron, whereas chafing fuels can work with any material.