Simple Fixes for Keeping Plated Food Hot


A delicious meal, beautifully 
plated, and served at just the right time by a friendly and professional server. Everything is perfect, except for one thing. After the first bite, the guest motions to their server to return to the table. The service may be quite warm, but the food isn’t.

It happens to every restaurant from time to time. If it’s been happening at yours a little too often lately, it’s time to give the situation a closer look. Once you have an idea of what’s contributing to the issue—whether it’s fewer staff than normal, longer trips from kitchen to table, cool room temperatures, outdoor service, or all of the above—it will be easier to correct.

Strip Heaters

Strip heaters keep hot food hot with radiant heat from above, but without continuing the cooking process. Hatco Strip Heaters are easy to install and work well for a kitchen’s back-of-house areas, waitstaff pickup stations, and customer serving counters.

By using infrared heat, the strip heater provides a warm landing area for plated food with temperatures between 140-160° F that slow the natural cooling process and hold food at optimal temperatures for longer.

To learn more about strip heaters and how to choose the best Hatco strip heater model for your operation, click here.

If your orders tend to be large and plating takes longer, you may also want to consider a base heat, such as Hatco's heated shelf options.

Decorative Heat Lamps

Hatco Decorative Lamps provide radiant heat to briefly hold food warm at kitchen work areas, wait staff pickup stations, or customer serving points with the added bonus of enhancing your décor. 

Versatile enough for almost any location, the range of lights are available with a selection of unlimited personalized choices.



Plate Covers

We often think of plate covers as being just for banquets, but when the distance is long or the air is cool between the kitchen and table, they are also a valuable heat-retaining tool for restaurants and other foodservice venues.

Cambro plate covers provide good insulation, quiet service, and excellent scratch-resistance which makes them a more practical, easy-care choice than metal covers. 

They stack securely, are safe for high-temperature commercial dishwashers to sanitize between service, and are NSF listed. 

Versa Camcovers are offered in three elegant, neutral colors for round and square plates. 


Camwear Camcovers are available for round plates only in a Crystal-clear material that shows off food presentation and expedites accurate service.

No-hole Camcovers shield meals completely, protecting against both heat loss and contamination. 



The Cambro Mobile Plate Cover Drying and Storage Rack keeps plate covers hygienic and organized in a small amount of space. 

Constructed with Premium Series Camshelving, it comes with a lifetime warranty against rust and corrosion. 

Ultra-durable, impact-resistant ABS drying cradles allow plate covers to air dry separately and completely. 

This mobile rack holds up to 80 plate covers up to 3" high with a maximum inside diameter of 10.8". To see a full list of compatible Cambro Camcover models, click here.



We can help you support proper serving temperatures from prep to table and take worries about cold food off your plate. To talk about your operation’s workflows and specific heat-retention challenges, contact us.

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