I’ll Clean The Ice Machine…. Tomorrow

January 27th, 2015

manitowoc_qm_45aSome of the most overlooked items in the kitchen are the spaces in the ice machine that we cannot see. Bacteria in an ice machine can cause the production of a biofilm. In turn, that biofilm causes visible mold. Even in the cold section of the ice machine, bacteria can survive. That bacterial can secrete a film and as that film increases, it gets harder and harder to remove.

I’ve been in the foodservice equipment business for almost 20 years. In that time, I’ve seen some scary things on-site. I’ve even closed a few establishments for the day as a means to reclaim the cleanliness of the facility. I have sold thousands of ice machines and have seen thousands more. I know that cleaning the ice machine thoroughly is inconvenient. If you have a 24/7 facility, you can’t do without a constant flow of ice from your machine. Regardless, you will lose ice production unexpectedly if the machine becomes so dirty it can’t function!

The ice machines of today have come a long way. Machines like those by Scotsman and Manitowoc provide on-board cleaning functions to help disinfect the ice machine. Add-on items like Manitowoc’s LuminIce Growth Inhibitor® keep your machine in top working order in a high-yeast environment (think bakeries) and the i-AuCS is an optional automatic cleaning system. Keep in mind, this won’t replace a periodic deep clean, but it will make them easier and less frequent.  Scotsman’s Prodigy Ice Machine line and water filtration systems come built with AquaArmor®, an antimicrobial compound that is molded onto key components of the ice machine to protect against bacterial growth. Filtration of the water coming into the machine can also help in keeping the machine running safe and efficiently. Read the rest of this entry »

Undercounter Ice Machines  

January 23rd, 2015

Short-Order_Undercounter-IceIce is serious business, whether you’re serving fountain drinks or adult beverages. Without a constant, consistent supply of good ice, you can’t keep your customers refreshed. Maybe you have a large ice machine that is inconveniently placed and are looking for something to have on-hand while serving. Undercounter ice machines are designed to fit below a counter to maximize your kitchen’s space while still producing a serious amount of ice. Thinking about upping your ice game? Here are a few things to consider about undercounter ice machines.

How much ice do you use?

Ice machines use a measurement of pounds of ice per day. It’s good to know your range of ice usage on a 24-hour basis to know what capacity you are looking for. This is also important because while your ice machine is making an amount of ice per day, the bin holds a lesser amount (for example, the Manitowoc Ice Machine UD-0310W produces 271 lbs. daily and has a 100-lb. bin). If the ice bin fills, the machine will stop making ice, and if you use all of that at once, you’re starting from scratch. Keep note of how much you use on a day-to-day basis to find what size storage bin and commercial icemaker you need.

Consider dimensions

Before you pick out your perfect ice machine, think about where you would like to put it and make sure your icemaker will fit. Most are between 34 and 39 inches in height and vary in width and depth.

Types of ice

You’ll find that there are three types that commercial ice machines make: cubes, flakes and nuggets. Cubes are measured in “dice” size, usually with the option of “half dice” or “whole dice.” These are the most popular types of machines purchased.

With flakes, the machines produce small, hard bits of ice that mold to any shape, making it great for salad bars. Flakes also have a low production cost.

Nuggets are small, soft, chewable pieces of ice that are great for carbonated beverages and making blended beverages. This type of ice does tend to melt and stick together in a dispenser, so make sure you get an appropriate agitator kit.

Nothing is better than an ice cold drink on a hot day. Find the perfect undercounter ice machine for your business at ShortOrder.com!

Can you make GREEN by going green?

January 13th, 2015

Garden on the RoofIn his recent article on FastCasual.com, Ed Zimmerman asks the question that seems to be on everyone’s mind these days: “Is your restaurant green?” According to a recent survey among consumers regarding food trends, environmental sustainability ranked first!
The reasons to “go green” are numerous. It’s responsible, it shows you care about your community, but now you can add customer interest to the list – which means it’s profitable.

How can you go green?

Shop local. Locally sourced food is a growing trend and local farmers are more than happy to work with you. Develop monthly specials based on season. Don’t be afraid of adding it to the “featured menu,” even if there’s not a ton of product. If you run out for the night, it will increase the demand on future nights!

Source green foods. There are so many options! Chefs can now find green options year-round, even fruits and vegetables, pasta, cheese, wine and more. Read the rest of this entry »

Top 7 Catering Tips Before You Start Serving

December 30th, 2014

Catered Buffet FoodConsidering catering? We have put together some catering tips to help you make the most of your operation. Since the catering season is now upon us, if you have some of the things on this list checked off, you are probably ready to get started. If not, consider these tips for next year.

Tip #7 Develop a marketing plan:

Step 1 – Know your potential catering clients. Step 2 – Figure out the best way to reach them. When they’re having lunch in your restaurant, start asking how they handle meals for their company and which experiences they have enjoyed, and which ones they haven’t! Step 3- Get the message out there that you can help make their company meals simple and delicious.

Tip #6 Marketing:

Keep track of your daily customers and where they work. Always focus on those companies first. They know you. They know your food. They want you to succeed. Read the rest of this entry »

About Commercial Microwave Ovens

December 23rd, 2014

Commercial Microwave OvensIt’s the most wonderful time of the year… or at least the busiest! For many restaurants, the holiday season brings in lots of hungry families. Whether they’re tired from shopping all day or they’re in town for a family visit, they all come in to your restaurant ready to EAT – and fast! Many times, the quickest way to get the customers what they want is with a commercial microwave, and you’ve never needed it more than the holiday season.

Has your microwave picked the worst possible time to call it quits? Or are you just in need of an upgrade? Make sure you’re shopping for the right microwave oven for your needs.

Commercial Microwave Oven vs. Residential Microwave Oven

If you’re running a commercial kitchen, you might be tempted to save a few bucks and run up to the local small appliance store and grab a residential model. Be warned, there are a few reasons why the extra money is worth the investment! Read the rest of this entry »

Countdown to the New Year with the Top 10 Foods of the Last Decade  

December 18th, 2014

Ice Cream Biscuit SandwichesThe American diet is an ever-changing creature, with constant surprises from newcomers like Sriracha, which has taken the nation by storm in recent years, becoming more popular than Tabasco in some parts of the country. But for all that, the core of the American diet doesn’t really change that much over the course of a decade. Or does it?

Actually, it turns out it does. While there are those trends that exploded, peaked, and then vanished all within the last 10 years, there are a few that have stuck with us, and you’ll probably be surprised at what they are. The data below is taken from a survey done by NPD research group that found the 10 foods that have grown the most in popularity over the past 10 years.

10: Pancakes

Yup! If you thought that pancakes peaked back when IHOP was at the height of its popularity, you haven’t been paying close enough attention. Be careful with traditional definitions of pancakes, because a ‘pancake’ isn’t always just simply, a pancake. The rise of savory pancakes like the San Francisco new-classic Sourdough-and-Sauerkraut Pancake and the Korean-American scallion pancake make this entry significantly broader than you might think. When you add in the fact that there’s a brand new PancakeBot 3D printer out there that will turn any graphic you give it into edible pancake art, you can see that this is far from the round buttermilk standby of your youth. If you’re getting serious about pancake making, we have this heavy-duty electric griddle for mornings when you need to feed a crowd quickly. Read the rest of this entry »

How to Deep Fry a Turkey

November 25th, 2014

Deep frying a turkeyDeep fried turkey is a nouveau Thanksgiving treat, rising in popularity less than a decade ago but still nowhere near commonplace across the US. ShortOrder.com wishes everyone a safe and happy Thanksgiving this year, and with emphasis on the ‘safe’ part, we’d like to offer everyone a layman’s guide to safely deep-frying yourself a Thanksgiving treat.

Thaw the Turkey

Ideally, you’d be able to get a fresh turkey the night before Thanksgiving and keep it in the fridge, but how realistic is that? Better safe than sorry; get an appropriately-sized frozen turkey a week in advance and allow it to thaw in the fridge for that week (roughly one day per 4 pounds.)

Read the rest of this entry »

Our Favorite Thanksgiving Recipes

November 18th, 2014

Thanksgiving Turkey DinnerThanksgiving is one of those holidays that always poses a challenge to chefs; on the one hand, everyone knows what to expect; on the other, you want to show off you in everything you serve. ShortOrder.com has put together a few examples of how to do Thanksgiving in a way that is both classic and unusual at the same time; because there is no need to sacrifice individuality when you take on a classic recipe.

Turkey with Wild Rice Sausage-and-Apple Stuffing (Recipe courtesy of Food Network)

A new twist on a classic! Prepare your Thanksgiving turkey just like you always would, but instead of stuffing the cavity with a predictable bread-based stuffing, try this: Read the rest of this entry »

Brand Spotlight: Garland Restaurant Equipment

November 11th, 2014

Garland Stove

Garland ranges have been around since 1873, when the Garland Foundry became the Garland Stove Company. Their initial product line had an amazing 200+ varieties of stoves, earning them a spot at the 1893 World’s Fair.

Over the next century, the Garland name was purchased, sold, and moved around the country, but the one thing that has always remained the same has been their dedication to creating quality stoves. Their unwavering quality has always set them apart from their competition. Other brands were purchased by the same parent company, and inevitably they were folded into Garland, because Garland is quite rightfully the name that is trusted by consumers when it comes to stoves.

In 2008, for example, Garland won Best in Class awards for its products in the categories of:

  • Primary Cooking Equipment
  • Furnishings, Décor, and Custom Fabrication
  • Storage and Handling Equipment
 

Read the rest of this entry »

Now Serving: October 2014

November 4th, 2014

OCTOBER 2014 A monthly newsletter showcasing the taste of cookware ISSUE 70
Now Serving

As the holidays get closer, restaurants tend to get even busier. Now is a perfect time to take inventory of your restaurant equipment and replace anything is that is worn or damaged. Click here and browse the variety of equipment that ShortOrder.com has to choose from.

The month of October signifies leaves changing colors, a variety of fall festivities, and the harvesting of pumpkins! Pumpkins first originated in Central America and are considered to be a close relative of melons. It’s currently estimated that farmers grow 1.5 billion pounds of pumpkins each year, with over 30 different varieties. Do you have a favorite pumpkin recipe? Stop by our Facebook page and let us know. We’d also love to hear how we can improve your online shopping experience. And while you’re there, make sure you take a look at our one-day only deals!


Don’t forget, if you review a product online, you will be automatically entered into ShortOrder’s m
onthly giveaway. We did not have any new reviews this month, so you could have been the big winner!
Be sure to check out our clearance section. We have a great variety of discontinued, and scratched and dented products that are all covered by the full manufacturer warranty.

In this month’s issue: Reducing Food Waste Can Improve the Bottom Line and the Environment, a festive recipe for a Pumpkin Cheese Ball, and our featured products: a Luxor Utility Cart , a Manitowoc Ice Machine, and Eagle Display Shelving.

Do you have any suggestions for us? We are always ready to hear from you. Please drop us a line anytime!

Ann Marie Hillier

Reducing Food Waste Can Improve the Bottom Line and the Environment

How to Change Wasteful Habits

Purchasing food that ends up in the landfill has extreme costs not only for restaurants, but also for the environment. According to a recent study done by the Food Waste Reduction Alliance, 80 billion pounds of food are discarded into US landfills every year, with restaurants accounting for 37% of this waste. The Food Recovery Hierarchy, a systematic approach designed to reduce food waste is discussed in Brenda Rick Smith’s article, “Reducing Food Waste Can Improve the Bottom Line and the Environment.”

  • Source Reduction – Consider conducting a waste characterization audit that evaluates everything coming in as well as going out. This audit should identify opportunities to change purchasing patterns in addition to reevaluating how food is prepared and presented. An added benefit of cutting out waste is that it often means adding dollars back in to the top line.
  • Feed Hungry People – According to the USDA, almost 50 million Americans (including 16 million children) do not have enough money to secure adequate daily nutrition. Although liability concerns have kept restaurants from donating food in the past, it has been proven that those concerns are largely unfounded. Organizations such as Food Donation Connection manage the food donation process by acting as matchmakers between qualified local non-profits and restaurants. Always make sure to select a charity that is qualified in food safety.
  • Feed Animals – Consider donating food to animals that is not suitable for human consumption. Before automatically sending food to composting or the garbage dump, check with local farmers about their needs.
  • Industrial Uses – There are several companies that will actually pay restaurants for used materials such as used oil and grease that they will convert into biofuels.
  • Composting - Consider composting any food that can’t be consumed or recycled for another use. A great resource for this is findacomposter.com to identify local providers.
  • Incineration or Landfill – This is the least desirable of options for disposing of food waste as it truly does go to waste. Currently, 96% of food waste ends up in landfills or incinerators.

Featured Products
Luxor Utility Cart
HE32-B
2-Shelf, 400 lb Capacity
$53.00 delivered
Manitowoc
QM-30A
60 lbs/24 Hour Production
$1,312.00 delivered
Eagle Display Shelving
M1836Z-4
Chrome Plated Wire Shelves
$211.00 delivered
Click for more info!
Click for more info!
Click for more info!

Featured Recipe
Pumpkin Cheese Ball
Check out this festive recipe!

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 Cups Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • 2 8oz Packages Cream Cheese (Softened)
  • 1 Packet Ranch Dressing Mix
  • 1 Bag Nacho Cheese Chips
  • Stem of Green Pepper

Directions:

  1. Mix cheese, cream cheese, and ranch dressing mix together and refrigerate until somewhat firm.
  2. Form into pumpkin shape.
  3. Put nacho cheese chips in zip-loc bag and use rolling pin to crunch them into small pieces.
  4. Coat cheese ball with nacho cheese chips.
  5. Place green pepper stem on top.
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