November 19th, 2015
Even during the holiday season—one of the busiest in the industry—restaurant safety should take top priority. When the day gets hectic, it’s easy to let little things like a lax cleaning regimen or unsafe clothing go unnoticed. However, that’s when keeping an eye on safety matters most. To make sure workers and guests are safe this holiday season, check out these handy kitchen safety tips.
Read the rest of this entry »
November 12th, 2015
‘Tis the season, as they say… to raise the bar! Did you know that alcohol consumption goes up 12% over the holidays? As a bar owner or restaurant owner, this is not news. Though it comes with increased liabilities, it can also come with margin-rich sales. Responsible service of alcohol during the holiday season is a real profit center. How can you make it more profitable? Well, here are some ideas:
Did you know that increasing your sale price yields far more profit than cutting your costs an equal amount? Seems like it doesn’t make sense? Think again. I’ll leave you in the capable hands of Google to test my statement. Consider raising your prices slightly over the holiday season. If demand increases by 12%, you can assume that there is less overall price sensitivity during the holiday season. ‘Tis the season!
Read the rest of this entry »
November 4th, 2015
As it gets colder, customers’ taste buds start to beg for something warm and comforting. Out with crisp summer salads and barbecued meat, and in with the soups and baked goods. However, standard recipes can become stagnant over time, so it’s important to spice things up every once in awhile. Here are few ideas to help inspire your autumnal menu.
1. More Soup For You
When it’s cold, there’s nothing better than a warm cup of soup. However, it doesn’t take long for a simple soup du jour to become a bit boring. Branch out from traditional favorites like chicken noodle, and introduce some new flavors to your menu. Butternut squash is seasonal and super easy to prepare, a chorizo and white bean stew is a fresh take on a classic recipe, and spicy harvest chipotle chili gives a favorite fall comfort food a little kick. To get your restaurant ready for the season, try these bowls for a warmer color scheme. Read the rest of this entry »
October 20th, 2015
It’s that pumpkin-carving time of year and that leaves the question: What do you do with all of those pumpkin leftovers? We’ve scoured the internet and have found some delicious recipes that use pumpkin puree. Here are the ones that sounded the best to us:
Recipe from MarthaStewart.com
We’ve all had pancakes, from buttermilk to blueberry, who doesn’t love a delicious pancake for breakfast? These hot-cakes sound especially good because they’re mixed with pumpkin, cinnamon and nutmeg. Fall in a pancake? Yes, please! Read the rest of this entry »
October 8th, 2015
Back in the day, seeing a microwave on the cook line or assembly area of a restaurant was considered bad form. I knew some folks that would judge the quality of a place by first looking for the existence of a microwave.
I think those days have passed. Seeing a microwave on the line is a normal occurrence. They offer speed and convenience. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to go to a high-end fish house and see them throwing a handful of Gordon’s fish nuggets in the microwave to later throw on a fancy plate and charge me $100. No offense to the Gordon’s fisherman, but I don’t trust him in a high end kitchen.
One of the reasons that microwaves are less disheartening to see commercially, is the success they have in our home kitchens. There are many reasons for that, but it’s a 50/50 split between better frozen foods and better microwaves.
A simple, yet impactful, change in the microwave’s design is the carousel that rotates the product to provide for more even heating. Given the nature of microwaves, heating is often uneven. Rotating the product help foster even heating.
Convection microwaves are starting to get traction domestically. RV’s and houses are starting to see the convenience and flexibility these units can provide. They can even cook bread! They are fast and efficient.
All microwaves are not alike. Different technologies provide different functionality at different price points. To warm sauces, a $3,000 microwave would be overkill. In the same vein, using a low watt unit may not be suitable to every need. Check out our microwave buyers guide for some tips on finding the right unit for the right job.
September 22nd, 2015
Restaurants have been around for centuries, dating as far back as Ancient Rome. Over the years, the food, the atmosphere and the service have improved by leaps and bounds. I mean, we have air conditioning and electricity folks! The problem is, even though we have seen massive changes since the Roman times, until very recently, the restaurant industry technological advances seem to have stalled out in the 1990’s. When it comes to placing food orders, many chefs, kitchen managers and owners are still placing their orders by fax or phone call. Reservations at many restaurants are still made over the phone, orders taken on a pad of paper.
Read the rest of this entry »
September 17th, 2015
Running a bar seems like a fairly straightforward and common operation. Open doors, serve drinks, count tips, close shop, right? However, once you realize that about 50 percent of bars fail within the first 3 years, the picture gets a little more complicated. How does an owner effectively operate a bar? What are the tricks of the trade? It starts with getting your act together behind the counter. We’ve assembled a short list of the most important tips to keep in mind when running your bar.
1. Sanitation First
Keeping your bar sanitary should be your first priority, and that’s why it’s first on the list. Making sure that your glasses are properly cleaned and dried may seem like a simple enough task, but if done incorrectly it can lead to complaints, loss of business, and/or legal trouble. The two key elements to keeping your glasses clean are the Hobart Dish Machine and the Eagle Drainboard Glassrack. The dish machine will clean all types of glasses in a matter of minutes, and the glassrack is the best way to make sure the glasses are properly sanitized, drained, and dried by the time they’re handed over to the next customer. Both units are well-designed to fit right under the bartop for easy access. Read the rest of this entry »
September 10th, 2015
Now that school is back in session, parents around the world get their schedules back. Many have to work on homework at night, sign agendas, fill out school paperwork and get up every morning to make a healthy lunch before sending their kids off to a day at school. Wait… you don’t make a homemade lunch for your kids daily? What kind of parent are you? The answer? The same as many other parents! Schools offer education. Education transcends the classroom and enters the lunch room every school day. The lunchrooms of today are not like it was when I was a kid. There are more choices for students as well as stricter guidelines for schools. How has that changed the kitchen? Let’s look.
If you were to step into today’s K-12 school kitchen, you would notice that it is far more streamlined than in the past. Why? The food being put into that kitchen has changed. Back in the day, most kitchens were working with raw ingredients. Slicers, ovens, choppers, sinks, braising pans, steam jacketed kettles and holding cabinets galore were used to change those raw goods into the lunch we (some not so fondly) remember from our childhoods. Read the rest of this entry »
August 18th, 2015
Recently, a friend of mine asked me about turning a piece of property he has into a restaurant. To be clear, he doesn’t have a passion for foodservice per se, he is a successful operator of several assisted living facilities. The property he owns was purchased with the ambition of opening a new assisted living facility. He sees this endeavor as a “fun” investment. I thought I would comment on the thought process people go through as they look into opening a restaurant. In this case, the plan is to open a tap house and restaurant.
The property in question is a school house that is 106 years old. It sits on 2.5 acres in a well-populated midwest suburb near a major city. The first step was to take the idea to the city to see if they would support changing the use of the property from assisted living to a foodservice establishment. Not only was the city enthusiastic about the idea, they sent my friend to look at a tap house in a nearby large city. They said, “If you can do something like this, we’ll be your best customer!” With that hurdle cleared, now the real work could begin! Read the rest of this entry »
August 13th, 2015
The beloved American football season is fast approaching. Whether or not your restaurant caters to gathering around to watch the game, the game’s spirits are high no matter where you are. To prep your business for the frenzy of football, consider the best ways to prepare food and drink for the season that fans love the most.
Direct Draw Kegerators
Let’s cut to the chase: football and beer are best friends. An effective and efficient way to keep your draft beer cold and on-hand is a direct draw system that keeps your beer on the floor and easily accessible. With some models holding up to five kegs, you can pick the commercial kegerator that suits your business best.
In addition to a draft system, you’ll need convenient storage and refrigeration for your bottled brews as well. Undercounter refrigeration units vary far and wide according to the amount of space you need and the way you’d like to organize your beverages. Read the rest of this entry »
A Restaurant Equipment Blog for the Enhanced Professional Kitchen