Weekly Food Inventory Counts Can Save Time And Money

February 24th, 2015

Short-Order_Food-InventoryDid you know that according to industry averages, chain restaurants are two to three times as profitable as independent restaurants? How do they do it?! One way to cut costs is to do a weekly food inventory count and food cost calculation. While most independent restaurants do a monthly food inventory count, most chains calculate their food inventory weekly.

Though it seems like a daunting task to tackle weekly, don’t fear! We found some tips from RestaruantOwner.com to help you streamline the process.

Get organized! Accurate inventory counts can go out the window when your stock room and refrigerated storage are unorganized. Products should be easy to see and count. Read the rest of this entry »

What Kind of Refrigeration is Best for Your Restaurant?

February 19th, 2015

 

Short Order RefrigerationRefrigeration units play an essential role to any food-related business. Refrigerators help keep food and drinks fresh and ready for customers whether they’re sitting down for a steak dinner or grabbing a sandwich from a display. Just like our restaurant clients own a diverse range of businesses, we here at ShortOrder pride ourselves on offering a diverse catalogue of professional-grade refrigerators. To help you decide which unit works best for your needs and space, we’ve compiled a list of the basic types of refrigerators and quality examples of each.

Undercounter Refrigerators and Freezers:

Undercounter units are ideal for businesses with smaller or nontraditional spaces. For those of you cooking in a cramped area like a small kitchen or a food truck, an undercounter refrigerator capitalizes on typically unused and underappreciated space. A prime example of an undercounter refrigeration unit is the True Undercounter TUC-60-32F. This deep undercounter freezer offers stainless steel tops and sides as well as four coated-wire shelves and two stainless steel doors. If you need to maximize your space while still providing plenty of deep-space storage, then a True undercounter refrigerator could be for you. Read the rest of this entry »

Dude, Chill! How Choose Refrigeration For Your Food

February 3rd, 2015

Randell Standard Top Sandwich Prep RefrigerationHaving a refrigerator or freezer in your facility might not be enough. Commercial foodservice regulations are so strict that those units must maintain very tight temperature tolerances to safely store food. Food storage temperatures can affect many aspects of the product being stored. Nutrient content, appearance, taste and safety can all be compromised if the product is not stored at the correct temperature.

So what is the right temperature? For refrigerated goods, the holding temperature should be maintained between 35F to 38F. At this temperature, bacterial growth is greatly slowed allowing for prolonged freshness and safety. The lower the temperature, the longer the bacterial growth will be hindered. Since every unit can vary slightly, make sure to know the cold zones in your refrigeration unit to reduce the chance of accidentally freezing products like produce and dairy. Read the rest of this entry »

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 »

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