Scales, available in either mechanical or electrical styles, are a standard and necessary piece of equipment in many commercial kitchens. They facilitate portion control, which is essential for maintaining consistent recipes and managing food costs.

Foodservice scales must be reliable, accurate and durable. From a service and repair perspective, chefs are only as good as their tools, and quality tools are dependable and accomplish tasks efficiently. To be dependable, the scale must be maintained and used properly. Daily care and usage instructions are included with any equipment an operator purchases.

Here, George Loredo, service manager, for PROTEX Restaurant Services, Inc. in Corpus Christi, Texas, provides usage, maintenance and cleaning recommendations for scales.

  • Be aware of the scale’s weight limit and avoid exceeding it. Putting on too much weight can permanently damage the unit.
  • Product being weighed should be carefully placed, not dropped, on the tray top without shaking the scale.
  • Operators should ensure that the scale recalibrates to zero with each use.
  • If the scale is powered by AC voltage, operators must use the correct adapter and inspect the power cord.
  • If the scale is battery powered, operators should use quality batteries and change them frequently.
  • The scale should be cleaned after use with a damp cloth and non-abrasive cleaners. Solvents should be avoided.
  • Scales should not be used in extreme heat or cold ambient environments.