Prepare Your Restaurant for Fall & Everything it Brings

September 16th, 2014

Chefs in a Restaurant KitchenFall is here, and it’s time to get ready for the changes the autumn season brings. No, not the changes in the leaves; the ones that are relevant to the restaurant industry. That means:

  • Football season
  • Back-to-school
  • Colder weather
  • Holidays approaching

 

Football season means piles of guys coming in asking for beer, finger foods (usually fried), and a clear view of The Game on one (or several) flat screen TVs. At the minimum, you’re going to want to change the filters on your deep fryers and your ice machines in order to keep them producing the freshest food and drinks they can. Also, if you haven’t already switched to craft beer on tap, this is the best time to do it. Read the rest of this entry »

National Food Safety Month: Tips for a Safe Commercial Kitchen

September 9th, 2014

Restaurant Kitchen Chef Slicing VegetablesSeptember is National Food Safety Month, and we at Short Order want to honor that by putting up a short summary of the most basic food safety tips that we hope all of our clients and customers are following this month — and every month.

The Biggest Dangers in a Commercial Kitchen

There are two food-related dangers in a commercial kitchen that outweigh all others. The first is cross-contamination; getting one food into another in a way that leads to unsafe circumstances. The second is improper temperature control, which gives maleficent bacteria and viruses a chance to multiply and become quite dangerous.

What Foods Can Cross-Contaminate

There are two basic groups of foods that can cause problems with cross-contamination. The first group is the food that nasty viruses and bacteria grow on (or in). That means raw meat, raw fish, eggs, and pasteurized dairy products among others. The second group is the major allergens; milk, eggs, soy, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, and wheat. Any time you handle any of these foods, you need to follow strict protocols to keep them separated.

Keep Them Separated, Seriously.

This means cleaning surfaces and tools between each food — and possibly even having entirely different stations for processing ready-to-eat vs. cooked foods and allergenic vs. non-allergenic foods. It means storing your food in containers that seal without leaking, and putting the food most likely to contaminate in the event of a spill on the bottom shelves. It means packing contaminating foods in separate containers from others when transporting them.

Temperature Control

The most obvious element of temperature control in cooking is making certain that all of those aforementioned raw foods get cooked to a safe internal temperature before they’re consumed, but there’s a bit more to it than that. Temperature control also means keeping food out of the ‘danger zone’ between 40 degrees and 105 degrees Fahrenheit. That in and of itself is a complex task involving a myriad of protocols for transporting, storing, thawing, preparing, cooling, storing the leftovers, and reheating the leftovers (make sure everything reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit for at least 15 seconds before serving).

Food safety is a critically important element of every restaurant’s function. All it takes is some people getting sick from eating at your restaurant to have catastrophic effects on your business. Follow the rules, and keep you customers and your employees safe this September and all year long.

Now Serving – August 2014: Better Guest Engagement Boosts Repeat Visits

September 3rd, 2014

 

AUGUST 2014 A monthly newsletter showcasing the taste of cookware ISSUE 68
Now Serving

The days are getting shorter and school’s about to start which means we’re nearing the end of summer! Now is a great time to complete an inventory of all of your equipment and replace any items that are worn or damaged. Be sure to click here and browse the wide variety of equipment that ShortOrder.com has to choose from.

The month of August brings an abundance of fresh produce. What are some of your favorite fruits and veggies? 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 Short Order’s monthly giveaway. Please join us in congratulating this month’s winner: David Luongo!
Don’t forget to check out our clearance section. We have a large variety of discontinued, and scratched and dented products that are all covered by the full manufacturer warranty.

In this month’s issue: Better Guest Engagement Boosts Repeat Visits, a refreshing and healthy recipe for a Spinach-Honeydew Cooler, and our featured products: a Bev-Air Standard Top Sandwich Prep Refrigerated Counter , an Eagle Blender Station, and a Turbo Air Direct Draw Systems Kegerator.

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

Ann Marie Hillier

Better Guest Engagement Boosts Repeat Visits

Why the Employee/Guest Relationship is so Valuable

According to multiple recent studies, restaurant employees who make personal connections with their guests have the largest impact and are much more likely to receive positive feedback scores and recommendations. Jason Q. Freed explains why the employee/guest relationship plays such a crucial role in gaining repeat business in his article, “Better Guest Engagement Boosts Repeat Visits.”

According to a recent Goodsnitch analysis of customer feedback, customers were 57% more likely to recommend a restaurant if they also identified a specific employee for recognition. Rob Pace, founder of Goodsnitch said, “Our data shows that a key driver of patron recommendations is when a customer connects with a specific employee.”

Additionally, recent research done by Deloitte shows that customers are more likely to return to certain restaurants on multiple occasions based solely on the relationships they have built with that restaurant and its staff. This will ultimately lead to word-of-mouth suggestions which has been proven to be one of the most influential marketing forces for any type of business.

Further studies have revealed that employees are often pleased to hear that they have been recognized personally by a guest, which causes them to offer an even higher level of service on subsequent visits.

“Connection is thus a two-way street that may also unlock the key to workplace happiness, retention and great service,” a news release from Goodsnitch says.

Featured Products
Bev-Air Standard Top Sandwich Prep Refrigeration
SPE48-08
Elite Series, Two-Section
$1,884.00 delivered
Eagle Blender Station
BWBS14-24
Wet Waste Sink
$605.00 delivered
Turbo Air Direct Draw Systems: Kegerator
TBD-3SD
3 (1/2) Barrel Capacity
$2,312.00 delivered
Click for more info!
Click for more info!
Click for more info!

Featured Recipe
Spinach-Honeydew Cooler
Check out this healthy recipe from epicurious.com.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Bunch Flat-Leaf Spinach
  • 2 Cups Cut-Up Honeydew Melon
  • 1/2 Lemon (Peel and White Pith Removed)
  • 2 Tbsp Lemon Juice (Optional)

Directions:

  1. Pass 1 bunch flat-leaf spinach, 2 cups cut-up honeydew melon, and 1/2 lemon through a juicer.
  2. Serve over ice.
  3. Add lemon juice to taste.
Short Order
Frymaster
Vulcan
Manitowoc
Beverage-Air
Globe

Get Ready for Kickoff: The Necessary Restaurant Equipment for Football Season

September 2nd, 2014

Tailgating Football FansFootball Season starts September 4th — is your restaurant ready? The football crowd has its own dynamic and its own wants and needs; if your restaurant equipment is not up to the demands they are going to place on it, you may be leaving money on the table. So what exactly do you need?

Fryers

There is nothing the football crowd loves more than deep-fried food. Hot wings, chicken fingers, onion rings, french fries, and mozzarella sticks; these should all be a snap for your kitchen to pump out when the guys arrive for their ritual of beer and carb-coated snacks dipped in boiling oil. Fryers should be easy to access and well-maintained, because they are going to be seeing a lot of use this season.

Kegerators

Did we mention beer? There’s a good reason for that; it’s always been popular among the football crowd. This season, it’s going to get cranked up another notch as craft beers become the standard in many places from the Pacific Northwest to the Alamo. Kegerators combine the fresh-from-the-fridge taste of a bottle with the direct-to-the-mug convenience of draught — be sure you’re equipped.  Read the rest of this entry »

What’s New in the Restaurant Adult Beverage Industry?

August 27th, 2014

Different Kinds of Alcoholic Beverages on White BackgroundWe like to keep an eye on what foodservice industry research giant Technomic is talking about, and right now, it’s all about adult beverages. Let’s take a look at what Technomic predicted earlier this year and how their predictions panned out so far.

2014′s Predictions

At the beginning of the year, here’s what Technomic had to say about the direction of the adult beverage industry:

  • Savory flavors like tomato, vinegar, and spices were going to rise in popularity.
  • Premade cocktails were making a splash.
  • Tropical fruits including mango, along with pears, were becoming norms.
  • Craft beer and cider continues to grow in popularity as it has steadily for years.
  • Palate-cleansing spices like ginger, mint, and lemongrass were starting to explode.
  • Crossover drinks that combine elements of cocktail, beer, soda, and even exotic elements like milkshakes are appealing to the younger audience.

Read the rest of this entry »

5 Tips for Restaurant Catering Success: Supplies, Ideas, and More

August 26th, 2014

Buffet Food by Catering ServiceIf you run a restaurant, it can be a very profitable (but very scary) notion to try to get into the catering business. On the one hand, you are already making a bunch of food every day and catering basically just increases your audience. On the other hand, catering offers its own unique set of challenges and potential pitfalls.

Want to up your foodservice game? Here are some tips for success moving from restaurateur to caterer.

1. Decide On Your Service

There are lots of different kinds of catering, and each comes with a unique set of operations. For example, catering a business luncheon, a wedding, and a kindergarten class field trip are three very different kinds of catering. Before you make any other decisions, decide what kinds of events you intend to cater, making sure they match the kinds of food you can produce. Read the rest of this entry »

Pros and Cons of Recycling at Your Restaurant

August 20th, 2014

Garbage and Recycling BinsRecycling: we know it’s good for the Earth, and thus by extension for humankind, but is it the right move for your restaurant? The decision isn’t as easy as you might think.

About 3 of 5 American restaurants recycle at least some part of the waste they produce; most of it in the form of plastic and cardboard packaging, or compost. Very rarely are major items such as unusable restaurant equipment, tables and chairs, or other durable goods recycled, even if they could be.

Right now, the most significant predictor of whether or not a given restaurant recycles is the quality of their municipal recycling program. But even in places where the program is excellent, there are several reasons a restaurant may decide against it.

Read the rest of this entry »

How to Maximize Your Commercial Restaurant Equipment’s Layout

August 11th, 2014

Designing a Commercial Kitchen Layout with EquipmentArranging a commercial kitchen can feel like playing Tetris… but instead of directing falling blocks on a screen, you’re moving around giant pieces of restaurant equipment to create the perfect kitchen floorplan. That’s because commercial kitchens have to be laid out correctly, or even a couple of minor inefficiencies can compound to slow down service for every customer. For this reason, focusing on eliminating bottlenecks and creating a high-flow workspace is critical. So turn up that MIDI-generated theme song, take a good look at your kitchen, and maximize your layout with these tips.

“Behind You!”

If you have watched more than one episode of Top Chef, you have almost certainly heard someone crying out “Behind you!” as they pass behind other chefs with a dangerously hot tray of hors d’oeuvres. That’s because a professional kitchen requires people to move hot food, large equipment, sharp utensils, and other dangerous materials very quickly from one station to another; and a jostle at the wrong time can spell injury or disaster. Having a kitchen that allows enough space for that kind of transport is a must.

Ergonomics

Ergonomics, in short, is ‘the science of minimizing the number of steps needed to accomplish your work tasks.’ Designing your kitchen so that each employee needs to change stations as infrequently as possible is one key to keeping things efficient. That means that the arrangement of restaurant equipment should facilitate the order in which a string of tasks occur.

Energy Concerns

In the same way that restaurants need to be concerned about efficiency and ease of motion, they also need to think about keeping costs down. Part of that is keeping the refrigerator and freezer as far away from the ovens and cooking surfaces as possible, so cooling equipment doesn’t have to fight equipment that is giving off intense heat. Additionally, it’s best to keep all of the heat-producing items close together under the minimum number of vent hoods.

Adapt or Die

The last key to kitchen configuration is recognizing that your configuration will need to change as time goes by. Keeping your options open and not permanently locking things in place (for example, by sinking bench legs into the floor) is an important part of being able to adjust to circumstances.

 

Maximizing a kitchen’s layout is half science, half art, and all focused effort. Do it well and your bottom line (and chefs) will thank you.

The FDA Food Code and Your Restaurant: What You Need to Know

July 31st, 2014

Chef Preparing a SaladThere are a lot of rules in the 2013 Updated Food Code published by the FDA. Most of them are commonsense rules, but there are some very important bits that every restaurateur should know for fostering a safe work environment, safe storage and handling, cleaning restaurant equipment and much more.

The HACCP

The FDA strongly encourages the creation of a Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point. Essentially, this is a document printed out and available to all of your kitchen workers that details what how to correctly respond to any form of common kitchen emergency. The FDA offers a useful document called “Managing Food Safety” that explains precisely how to execute this process. Having an HACCP isn’t mandated nationwide yet, but a good number of municipalities require it within their borders. Read the rest of this entry »

Fresh Convenience Store Food on the Rise

July 30th, 2014

Woman Choosing Drink at Convenience StoreMost of us remember our neighborhood convenience store. Before the days of instant streaming and iPhone games, there was sitting curbside in front of the 7-Eleven with a Slurpee brain freeze and a newly opened pack of gummies, wasting away the hot summer days. Things have changed a lot since then, and convenience stores have taken notice. More and more people these days are concerned with healthy living, cutting artificial flavors, gluten, and carbs from their diets. Fewer people are buying steamer rack hot dogs and increasingly opting for packaged salads and fruit instead.

So what happens to the Twinkies and potato chips of the c-store world? Some convenience stores are now offering fresher and more sophisticated food selections to keep up with the growing demand. These stores serve up a plethora of “food prepared on-site” items like sushi, prosciutto and cheese cracker snacks, and made-to-order sandwiches. A recent study found that a 2.4% increase of consumers cited “food prepared on-site” as motivation to visit convenience stores. Read the rest of this entry »

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