Manual vs Automatic slicers

Gotta pull the trigger on a slicer.
Didn’t plan on one but… guess I need one.
They completely freak me out and don’t want to touch one.
Having said that, I feel like I should get an automatic one which are incredibly expensive… to me, anyway.
The manual ones are expensive enough!
Just looking for some thoughts on the whole safety manual v automatic thing.

(looking at the Berkel X13)

It depends on the volume you are slicing. We got an automatic one this year. I will not change back to the manual one. We are slicing 50 - 70 lb meats a week. All from Italy. Don’t want to make it by hand. We are operating a 20 year old bizerba a404 slicer. Fully electronic. Worth every penny.

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My local Hobart dealer let me borrow one. We used it for a week and decided it was just as easy to slice manually. We slice about 120lbs. per day. We have to stand there and stack the meat anyway.

Thanks, guys. Not much really- only need them for the Paninis, really. How many I will sell… don’t really know yet.
Would use it for some pizza toppings as well, but really for the paninis.
If I had to guess… certainly low volume; not a deli nor a sub shop.

I have a Bizerba automatic and one location and a manual Bizerba at another. It doesn’t really make too much of a difference to me between the two. I dont think I’ll buy another automatic since they cost more. I also couldn’t recommend Bizerba enough. I’ve had Berkel’s and Globe’s in the past, they’re great slicers too but imo aren’t in the same league as Bizerba.

I just bought another Bizerba GSP-H last week on ebay for $1900 brand new; look there and you should be able to find one for less than $2k, they might have the GSP-HD (automatic) for ~$3k.

Edit: If you want to drive to Philly, I’ll sell you one of my old Berkels (manual) for $250 :slight_smile: It’s old, but sometimes the older ones are less hassle and it works well.

Friend has an automatic SE-12D Bizerba from 2007, I believe, but little use and like new.
He said he’d sell it to me- works like new.
Appreciate the offer, Mike, but a drive to Philly sounds… long!

At what point / volume do you decide to use whole meat vs sliced meat? What is the typical cost savings of using the whole vs sliced?

Cost difference between sliced/not sliced, time in labor to cut and clean said product.

Say you have a price difference of $15 between sliced/non-sliced. Time in labor to cut and clean the slicer is 15 minutes.

With a wage of $15 per hour, that would equate to (15/60)*15=total cost in labor. As long as the total cost in labor is less then your price difference then you save money.

So for the above example: (15/60)*15=$3.75 in labor cost. $15-$3.75=Cost savings of $11.25

Now let’s say the time to cut and clean is 30 minutes. (15/60)*30=$7.50 in labor cost, Gives you savings of $7.50.

But this means you need to have someone available to do the cutting and cleaning. If you have to create a new position to do the work, unless you are going thru large amounts of meat, it will not be worth the savings.

Most of us have down times thru out the day we can fill with quick jobs (say the first example of 15 minutes) and in those cases the labor cost is already factored in, so your savings are really the full amount.

Plus you need to figure in the waste that will come from employees slicing to thick or throwing away the ends instead of cutting them as far down as they will go which you will always have a little bit which can not be used.

So true on the ends of deli meats. I save those freeze them then give them to this customer for dog treats.
Maybe one day everyone will use presliced meats and it will be the norm.
Sliced American cheese is less money than slicing it yourself same with pepperoni

I think it’s a quality issue for some products, presliced deli meat sucks. Some meats even need to be sliced to order imo, we sell a lot of hoagies at our store in addition to pizza.

Mike’s comment is what led to a slicer… or the reality.
When I told my rep I was planning on pre-sliced she said “few choices”, “higher prices” and “pretty poor quality”
I don’t know…
Was at Sams yesterday and saw their pre-sliced meats. I don’t plan on needing much… just doing some Paninis.
Don’t want poor quality but they looked pretty good to me.;jsessionid=EE4CA17BB5B9EB85B9780CD6050E7303.estoreapp-44277895-24-70639450?navAction=push


Why not start with the pres-sliced and if it works you can always buy a slicer and go that route? I imagine the quality wont’ make as much of a difference on a hot sandwich, it would be more obvious on a cold sandwich. If you slice your own then you might end up throwing a lot away when it spoils too

You know… I was kinda thinking that, too.
I was at Sam’s yesterday grabbing a few bulk bakery items just to play around with recipes,. etc
I stood at the meat section (not buying anything) but just staring at the offerings, prices, etc… the NOT having to deal with a slicer, etc My girfriend said “You stare at that Black Forest Ham any longer you’ll gonna have to marry it… or they’re gonna call the cops”
I mean, they had everything- Ham, turkey, RB, Salami… only thing I did not see was Pastrami.
It wasn’t low quality “cheap” stuff, either- all natural, no artificials, etc
May make some Paninis and see.

Do you sell any sandwiches at all? We sell sandwiches on ciabatta bread that are pretty simple, some have deli meat and some don’t. They cook great in the pizza oven so you don’t need a press like you might with paninis.

Our top seller is our “Pesto Mozzarella Melt” which is just a ciabatta sandwich with basil pesto, fresh mozz, & tomatoes cooked in the oven; we add a 6 oz grilled chicken breast and call it an “Italian Chicken Ciabatta.” Our cost are really low on these sandwiches and people really like them. You just have to make your own pesto, we just use fresh basil, grated parm, minced garlic, & a 51/49 blended oil in a food processor. You can add pine nuts, but then you have to worry about nut allergies and added cost.

Here’s our menu if you want to see the other sandwiches we make on ciabatta, we did this after trying (and failing) with paninis

Appreciate the ideas and thoughts.
New build so haven’t sold anything yet.
Test bakes on pies tomorrow.
Trying to connect the Prism POS to the internet today- that’s today’s struggle. There will be a new one tomorrow, I’m sure.