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What NOT to buy when buying donut equipment
Do not buy donut equipment before determining the donut business model. Once the donut business model is thoroughly planed out, then you can plan the specific donut varieties needed for the business model. Once the two above criteria’s are met, then determine what donut equipment is needed.
I would start with a donut equipment list that includes everything needed for the daily donut production of donuts for a medium size shop (approximately 350 dozen donuts). But what if your donut production needs are bigger? There are many ways to expand your business model; a mobile concession van, satellite locations, and wholesale orders are only a few. This is where a solid business plan becomes invaluable. All plans have one thing in common, however, the need for increased donut production. It is much easier and more cost effective to plan for this from the beginning. Original plans for the kitchen should include considerations for future donut equipment expansion.
How is this achieved? With the exception of the exhaust hood most extra equipment can be added as needed and the space for the equipment can be allocated in the planning stages. The installation of the exhaust hood is very important – plan for how much room you will need for additional donut equipment.
I highly recommend installing a 12ft – 14 ft exhaust hood from the very beginning. This is necessary for two donut fryers, the copper kettle (If you do not know why you need a kettle – contact me), and a convection oven and/or stovetop/hotplate (a combination of convection oven and 4 burner hot plate is recommended in the Primary Equipment list). For those who live in hot regions (nearly everyone) the best placement for the convection oven is under the exhaust hood so ambient temperatures in the shop can be reduced.
By simply adding a few extra pieces of equipment as your business expands donut production in the kitchen can be doubled for the yeast donut line and quadrupled for the cake donut line. Efficiency and planning are the key to success. For expansion of your business you will need an additional donut fryer, a second proofbox, and a dough sheeter for handling large amounts of yeast donut dough.
TIP: This is how it works. The Belshaw Donut Depositor will be wall mounted between the two fryers in order to easily access both fryers, with no pause. Only one of the fryers will need a drain board, the donuts from the other fryer can be drained by placing the screen kitty-corner on the fryer well for a few seconds before moving on to the glazer.
Most architects do not know this (because they are not donut makers) and will allocate more space under the hood than is needed for the donut fryers.
In addition to the second donut fryer and proofbox and the dough sheeter, several other pieces of equipment are valuable for increasing efficiency and production in the shop. These are described below.
Donut fillers (jelly pumps) may be automatic or manual. As donut production increases, I recommend upgrading to the automatic donut filler. The Edhard Double Outlet Donut Filler (please refer to the equipment list) will more than double filled donut production. The unit can be customized with fine attachments that will make filling donuts with custom jellies, Bavarian creams, and other fillings a breeze. If buying an automatic donut filler used, be aware that they are composed of three parts that are often sold separately; the power base, the hopper attachment, and the filler spouts. Extra hoppers are useful for quickly switching fillings without interruption in production.
Extra donut glazers may be purchased, one for each of the main glazes, up to four total. The most used glazes being vanilla, chocolate, maple, and orange. When not in direct use, the glazers can double as a preparation area by simply closing the lid. If room is not available for extra glazers or if cost is a concern, I have developed an icing technique using plastic tubs on which the screens of donuts are set. The donuts can be glazed using a ladle and the extra glaze recaptured. This will manage the yeast line of specialty glazes for a medium production shop. However, at least one glazer must be dedicated for the vanilla glaze and as production increases additional glazers become prudent. An excellent was to expand your business is through wholesale orders. Raised glazed donuts are especially suited for wholesale.
They are always popular and very authentic, pleasing your customers. Once set up, it is much quicker to glaze raised donuts with multiple flavors than it is to ice and decorate specialty donuts. Wholesale orders can be quickly filled and delivered, giving the donut shop owner the ability to reach a large and varied customer base.
For icings, the concept is similar to working with glazes. Icing warmers will be needed for traditional and specialty icings. As donut production increases, efficiency can be streamlined by adding more units.
Hobart Mixers are an essential piece of equipment in the donut shop. For a high production shop, an 80 quart Hobart mixer is perfect for handling 60 – 70 lbs. of yeast donut dough at a time. The 80 quart mixer, however, is too large for smaller batches of specialty icings, fillings, etc. An ideal set up for a high production shop would have an 80 quart Hobart mixer for the yeast donut dough and large batches of glazes, icings, etc. and a 40 quart mixer for smaller batches of cake donut batter and for icings and glazes. The 40 quart mixer also acts as a backup if the 80 quart mixer should malfunction.
A 20 quart mixer is ideal for preparing specialty fillings such as buttercream and for thinning Bavarian creams. The 6 quart Kitchen Aid recommended in the Equipment list may be used for startup purposes. Mixers absolutely fall under the old saying “Right tool for the right job”. Each size of Hobart mixer has a purpose and will be used on a daily basis. A final note on the 60 quart mixer; this size will manage 60 lbs. batches of icing or 50 lbs. of yeast donut dough. More than 50 lbs. of yeast donut dough in a 60 quart mixer will begin to “walk” up the hook as it is mixed. The 60 quart mixer experiences more wear and tear with large batches than the 8o quart and it is too large for smaller batches of specialty offerings. An all around awkward size. The 80 quart mixer does not cost much more used than the 60 quart and is most definitely worth it.
If you are asking yourself “will I be making that large of batches at a time?” – The answer is Yes! When the donut business gets humming, wholesale orders need to be filled, and satellite locations stocked large batches will be absolutely necessary to keep up with the production demanded of a successful donut shop. We offer hands-on- donut training and master recipe packages as part of our services.
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