A food heater is one of the most important pieces of equipment that you can have in your restaurant. If you serve soups frequently or are known for your specialty soups, a soup warmer will allow you to keep your soups piping hot and serve customers faster. If soup is offered prior to a meal, your restaurant food warmer ensures that there’s little time between ordering a main entrée and the soup coming out while the person waits for their food to be cooked.

You'll find a lot of great uses for a food warming station that go beyond just soups.

However, you need to know what to look for in your soup warmer before buying one. There are a lot of choices to pick from and features that you may overlook.

What Features to Look for in a Food Warmer for a Restaurant

food heater

Individual food warmers can save your back-of-the-house workers a lot of time keeping your food warm. If you want to purchase one to make your restaurant more efficient, consider the following features when making your choice:

  • Capacity: How many quarts of soup do you want to keep warm at one time? You'll need to look for a size that is perfect for your eatery. You may need multiple soup warmers if you sell large volumes of soup, but there are plenty of smaller capacity options to accommodate eateries of all sizes.
  • Temperature control: Different soups require a specific warming temperature. Examine each unit’s heating range, which may be as low as 80°F and as high as 200°F+.
  • Material: Stainless steel is the de facto standard for soup warmers, but you may find models with stainless steel liners on the inside and hard plastic on the outside. Some models also use aluminum liners. Both aluminum and stainless steel are highly durable materials, which are easy to clean.
  • Safety: The standard safety feature found in high-end soup and food warmers is the ETL listing. An ETL-listed model meets both sanitary and electrical safety requirements. Some models do have a heating indicator light, allowing you to know when the warmer is on so that you don’t scold yourself when removing a lid.
  • Lip: A pouring lip is not a must-have feature, but it is one that makes the life of a server much easier. If you find a model with a lip, it will reduce the risk of spills and soup waste.

Top 6 Individual Food Warmers

Check out the most popular models:

1. Thunder Group SEJ30000TW, 10 Qt, 13x14.5-inch Black Electric Soup Warmer

electric food warmers

Offering a 10-quart capacity and a compact size, this soup warmer has a lot of great features:

  • Built-in thermostat
  • Measuring cup
  • Spoon
  • Stainless steel material

Precision temperature control allows you to keep soups warm or hot, and the hinged lid makes serving as simple as possible. Add in your soups or stews, heat and serve.

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2. C.A.C. ELSW-200S, 10.5 Qt Countertop Stainless Steel Silver Electric Soup Warmer

food warming station

C.A.C. offers a 400W soup warmer with a 10.5-quart capacity, perfect for smaller eateries that need to keep their soups warm. A front label makes it easy to label each soup, and features include:

  • Adjustable temperature control
  • Indicator light
  • Stainless steel design

Chefs can adjust the temperature up to 175°F or lower the temperature for thicker soups. Stainless steel food warmers are known for being easy to clean, being durable and retaining heat very well. 

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3. Adcraft SK-500W, 11.4-Quart Premium Soup Kettle

individual food warmers

Adcraft offers a larger capacity soup warmer, holding 11.4 quarts of soup at a time. The sleek black kettle look will augment even the hippest kitchen, and 500W of power makes warming soup fast and efficient. This unit features:

  • Stainless steel lid
  • Dent resistant exterior
  • Adjustable temperature control
  • Steel insert

One of the main perks of this soup warmer is that it allows chefs to adjust the temperature range between 80°F to 200°F. If you’re warming up a thicker soup, turn the temperature down or turn it up for thinner soups.

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4. Winco ESW-70, Stainless Steel Soup Warmer

food warmer for restaurant

Winco offers the final model on our list, and it’s a beautiful stainless steel soup warmer boasting a 10-quart capacity. ETL-listed, this soup warmer meets high electrical safety standards and also features:

  • No-drip lid
  • Double wall construction
  • Stainless steel design
  • Inner pot
  • Preprinted soup labels
  • Temperature knob

Winco’s design offers a double wall construction to maximize the unit’s safety and insulation. Soup will stay warm for hours in this warmer due to the additional insulation and stainless steel design. 

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5. Winco ESW-66, 10.5-Quart Electric Soup Warmer, ETL

stainless steel food warmers

Winco’s ESW-66 has a holding capacity of 10.5 quarts, and it’s an ETL model that meets high safety standards. You can heat up soups, chilies and even stews in this warmer. Features include:

  • Double wall construction
  • No-drip lid
  • Stainless steel design
  • Inner pot
  • Magnetic labels

You can adjust the soup warmer’s temperature up to 175°F. A stainless steel construction ensures a steady base, magnetic labels allow you to swap out the names of the soup and a double wall construction keeps soups hot for hours.

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6. Thunder Group SEJ31000C, 10.5-Quart Stainless Steel Soup Warmer

food warmer cart

Thunder Group’s soup warmer has a 10.5-quart capacity and is designed to keep both soups and sauces warm. The unit’s hinged lid seals in heat and moisture to maximize flavor and retain heat for longer. Features of this unit include:

  • Interchangeable titles
  • Hinged lid
  • Stainless steel collar
  • Adjustable temperature collar

This soup warmer is NSF approved and designed to meet the needs of even the busiest restaurants.

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Soup warmers are a way to keep soup warm for hours, reduce waste and maintain flavors. Stainless steel ensures that flavors are always fresh and that cleanup is quick and easy. In addition, customers are served faster, improving overall satisfaction and allowing you to serve more guests throughout the day.

We have a wide range of electric food warmers to choose from in our full catalog.

Click here to view all of the food warmers that we have in stock.