Starting a New Food Business: How Weighing Scales Can Help
When buying new equipment for your restaurant, takeaway or catering service, a weighing scale is right up there with the most important thing you own. First time food businesses of all kinds can benefit from incorporating a simple weighing device into their daily routines, whether it be for weighing out ingredients, waste management or keeping track of consistency. This blog will cover what a food scale can do for you and give you the information you need to find the right one for your business. For an in depth look at how to choose a food weighing scale, please see our blog '5 Things to Consider When Buying Food Production Scales'
What is the importance of a weighing scale?
Weighing scales can be used for so much more than simple weighing applications. Modern instruments can normally be used in several different ways and many come with a range of features that can help you keep on top of things such as waste reduction, consistency and more. Let’s look in more detail.
When a customer purchases something from a company that they know and love, it’s because they know exactly what they’re going to get. That’s why consistency is one of the most important parts of any business.
Owning a correctly calibrated weighing scale to weigh out your ingredients will ensure that everything you make will be uniform, so that your customers will know exactly what to expect when they purchase from you. This will help to build trust with your customers and enhance your overall reputation.
Many weighing scales also have percentage weighing or counting functions that can make attaining consistency even easier.
When buying things for your business, you will want to purchase equipment that will make your life easier. Weighing scales can now come with features that aim to speed up tasks and help to ensure your business remains efficient, such as counting functions, checkweighing or percentage weighing. For more information on these see below.
Be aware of what it is you want from your weighing scale and purchase an item with features that best suits your needs. If you’re not sure what you need, Get In touch with a member of our team and they will be happy to help.
Waste reduction and portion control
Understanding how you can reduce waste will not only save you money, it will also enable you to correctly work out your required quantities during the ordering process. For first time businesses where profit margins can be small, this is especially crucial. Food production companies can use larger weighing instruments such as floor scales to weigh out their rubbish, which allows you to make informed decisions on portion sizes. By determining the cost per ton of waste, you can begin to understand your annual waste levels better. Your environmental impact will also be lessened, as it will reduce any unnecessary plastic packaging from being used, prevent excess food waste and keep airmiles to a minimum.
Shipping is a crucial part of any business that sells a physical product and it’s important that you get this right - especially now with such an increase in online ordering and online food services. Correctly calibrated parcel and shipping scales can ensure that your shipping process runs smoothly every time, even as your business grows. Whether you’re sending out cakes, sweet bags or fruit boxes, knowing the weight of your products prior to sending in key, as a poor shipping service risks delays, returns or unwanted ‘postage due’ stamps – all of which ultimately leads to unsatisfied customers.
For more information on shipping scales for small businesses, please see our guide to parcel scales by clicking here.
Do I need trade approved scales?
You need trade approved scales if the item you are selling has a price that is directly based on its weight. A good example of this would be if a butcher were to sell a 6-ounce steak, they would require trade approved scales as the meat would have a price based on that weight. Other food businesses that would use a trade approved scale would be any meat or fish sellers, sweet shops or fruit and vegetable shops.
Trade approval is necessary as it protects the consumer and ensures that what they are buying is accurately priced. It essentially means that a scale has undergone more rigorous testing and is in line with the standards set by the the assesment body for your country. The UK conforms to regulations set by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) which is in accordance with the European Standards, most commonly represented by the 'CE' mark. Be aware that Trade Approval could also be known as NMI, NRCS, OIML, NTEP, Trade Stamped, EC Stamped, M Class Approved, Class III or Class II, Verified or Trading Standards approved depending on your country.
For more information on trade approval, see this guide from Adam Equipment.
What types of scales are used in food service?
There are number of different types of scale that can be used in food service and you should first know what it is that you want to weigh. This will enable you to decide on things such as pan size, maximum capacity, repeatability and type of scale that is right for your business.
A bench scale is what most people have in mind when they think of a kitchen weighing scale. They are normally small, versatile weighing devices that can be used for weighing out ingredients or produce easily.
Checkweighing is a feature that can help to ensure all of your products are uniform in their weight. For example, if you wanted to sell a pack of ten cookies, you would want them to be the same size and weight. You could then individually place them on your checkweighing scale and it would indicate whether they were between your pre-determined parameteres using an easy-to-read visual indicator.
Percentage weighing scale
Percentage weighing is a feature that helps to make sure that all of your products contain an equal amount of ingredients. This can be extremely useful if you need to make smaller or larger batches or something as no matter how much you make, your percentages will be the same regardless.
These scales are larger, heavy duty scales that would be better suited to weighing items such as large sacks of produce or for keeping track of your food waste.
For an environment that is likely to be wet or dirty, a washdown scale would be necessary. These devices feature an IP rating, which determines the level of protection from both liquid and physical matter. For more information on washdown scales and IP ratings, please see our blog; ‘Do I Need a Waterproof Weighing Scale for Food Production?’.
You can view our full range of food and catering service scales here. For any more information about our range of food scales or which one is best for you, please contact us on or use our web chat option at the bottom of the screen.