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If you're John Belushi in the movie Animal House, you're likely piling plate after plate onto your cafeteria tray, only to throw out half of it away when you drop your tray on the conveyor belt after you're done. The reality is tray service can be quite costly for many reasons, and moving away from it will require more than just ditching the trays. But before we get into how to adapt tray-less cafeteria service, it's first important to understand why it can be beneficial from both financial and logistical standpoints.

The Financial Benefits of Going Tray-Less

There are many reasons why tray-less cafeteria service is more financially effective for operators. The obvious reason is eliminating the need for trays, which can be expensive to purchase and replace as they wear down and break. There are other reasons, too.

Like Belushi, many cafeterias customers have a tendency to pile on as much food as possible when there's available space on the tray, leading to vastly excessive food waste. When you eliminate the tray, food waste costs go down in significant ways, helping the overall bottom line of the operation. In fact, studies in university dining halls have shown that going tray-less has lead to annual food cost savings of more than $200,000.

Today, many operators are looking at tray-less service. Colleges and universities, K-12 school cafeterias, healthcare, corrections, and corporate dining facilities are all great candidates for significant savings by adopting tray-less cafeteria foodservice concepts.

How to Enact Tray-Less Service

Once diners, guests, and customers are done with meals, trays are often deposited on a conveyer, where they go back to the kitchen for cleaning. When you go tray-less, the same principle is applied, but traditional conveyors don't work for smaller items such as forks, cups, and saucers. In order for diners to dispose of these items, without trays, a different type of conveyor belt is required.

High Sabatino is pleased to represent these types of cafeteria capabilities with our latest edition, Gates Manufacturing. Gates begin in St. Louis in the mid-1970s, and today, they've grown into one of the nation's leading providers of foodservice conveyor solutions that support this type of tray-less capabilities. 

Traditional conveyors use a slat conveyor that can jam. They're also noisy and require a special lubricant in order to maintain them for proper use. With tray-less conveyor solutions from Gates Manufacturing, you simply need to clean them off with water in order to enjoy the financial benefits of tray-less cafeteria service.

Learn more about the savings of a tray-less conveyor system from High Sabatino.

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