Your Guide to Achieving an FDA-Approved Gluten-Free Menu

Monday, October 28th, 2013

A short couple of months ago on August 5th and after quite a few years of consideration, the FDA released new regulations and a uniform standard for the term “gluten-free”. The truth is that even the best commercial restaurant equipment may not ensure that your food remains gluten-free. These regulations couldn’t have come at a better time, as restaurants offering gluten-free menus are popular and on the rise. So if you’re ready to stock up on restaurant equipment great for going gluten-free, it’s probably time to get familiar with the new rules.

In summary, the FDA defines anything termed as “gluten-free” must be “inherently gluten-free and does not contain 1) a gluten-containing grain, 2) a gluten-containing grain that has not been processed to remove gluten [ex. Wheat flour], or 3) a gluten-containing grain that has been processed to remove gluten [ex. Wheat starch], if the use of that ingredient results in the presence of 20 parts per million (ppm) or more gluten in the food. Also, any unavoidable presence of gluten in the food must be less than 20 ppm.)

The last bit there about not containing more than 20 ppm gluten is the key here – being the globally agreed amount of gluten among researchers that should not cause adverse effects in people affected by celiac disease. It sounds slightly daunting, and you may find yourself questioning which piece of restaurant equipment even measures in “ppm”, but by following some simple steps you’ll be able to find yourself easily adhering to the FDA’s new guidelines by August 5, 2014.

1. Avoid cross contamination! This may seem obvious, but many don’t realize the ease with which gluten-free items may come into contact with items with gluten in them. Research evidence suggests that the tiniest speck of gluten can be transferred through contaminated utensils, restaurant equipment, deep fryers, etc. Just be mindful and thorough when handling your restaurant equipment if you plan to offer a truly “gluten-free” menu.

2. Thoroughly analyze all menu items to meet the gluten-free criteria. Even if you keep your restaurant equipment as clean and gluten-free as can be, it won’t amount to much if you haven’t made sure that your ingredients are positively “gluten-free” by FDA standards. There are many resources such as registered dieticians that will not only help you analyze your current menu, but also help you to build a tasty gluten-free menu.

3. Get commitment from and train management and all staff. A vital aspect of offering a gluten-free menu to your guests is ensuring that the entire restaurant staff is on the same page as far as handling restaurant equipment and storing, preparing, or serving gluten-free items. It is recommended that restaurants achieve this by having management and both front and back of house staff attend training programs such as the GREAT Kitchens Course (Gluten-free Resource Education Awareness Training). A committed and well-educated staff on the proper handling of food and restaurant equipment will make certain that guests can maintain trust and loyalty in your establishment.

4. Implement specific protocols and monitor adherence to procedure. You’ve gone through the trouble of analyzing your menu and training your entire staff to the intricacies of serving gluten-free items – it is now time to put that top-quality commercial restaurant equipment to good use by implementing very specific rules, so that everyone knows what the correct protocol is every step of the way. In addition to this, keep a keen eye and monitor the way the new rules are being executed, as your staff makes the proper adjustments and puts their training to use.

Is your restaurant thinking of offering a gluten-free menu or looking for commercial restaurant equipment great for cooking gluten-free? Let ShortOrder know via Twitter or Facebook!

 

Blender Equipment: All-in-One Efficiency and Healthy Recipes

Friday, October 25th, 2013

Among your business’ restaurant equipment, whether it be in a restaurant, coffee shop, or bakery, you may find a lonely, unused blender with untapped potential.  Sure, you break it out every once in a while to mince the garlic or speed up some vegetable purée, but there are so many advantages to a good blender that may motivate you to begin exploring your blending options.

Of the top advantages of having one of the best brands of blender equipment, the simple idea of efficiency is probably the first. By taking the all-in-one approach of combining ingredients, you eliminate the prep time involved in cooking three different courses with four different dips to match. Not only will combining raw (preferably local ingredients to ensure freshness) ingredients in one blender save prep time, it will also severely reduce the clean up involved afterwards. Without having to fire up the grill and get into the messy business of pots and pans, all you’ll have to worry about is washing the blender after a quick meal.

Another benefit of opting for a blended snack or meal is, of course, the nutritional benefit. By blending and puréeing your raw ingredients, you are facilitating a much easier digestive process and intake of nutrients and vitamins. The simple fact of the matter is that our chompers don’t physically break down food the way a high-powered blender can. The other nutritional benefit of creating a blended meal is retaining the maximum amount of proteins and nutrients within your food, much of which is denaturated or broken down when you introduce the element of heat through grilling, frying, boiling, or baking your vegetables. Blending food is also a fantastic way to get your day’s worth of vegetable and fruit servings without having to sit down and gnaw through it all over the span of a day.

Here are some of ShortOrder healthy blender recipes, easily customizable and full of purposeful nutrients:

    • Mean and Green: Try combining kale, green grapes, cucumber, and granny smith apple for a delectable combination of both fruits and vegetables. This eerily green concoction will provide guests with a burst of energy and improve general health.
    • Boost of Immunity: A mix of your citruses (grapefruit and oranges) with kiwi will pump you full of the Vitamins A and C you need to help guests combat the inevitable sickly seasons.
    • Hummus: Top-grade blenders are not restricted to making smoothies and fruit juices. Try throwing chickpeas in with a number of fresh ingredients (garlic, parsley, red pepper) to make a fresh, healthy hummus to serve with pita chips!
    • Soup: Puréeing vegetables such as broccoli or tomatoes for use in a warm, simple soup served with a side of bread can always be a great way for guests to enjoy something light and healthy.

 

Check out ShortOrder’s selection of blenders to see which fits your business’ menu the best! Have some favorite blender recipes of your own? Share them with ShortOrder via Twitter or Facebook!

SoundOff – Kegerators

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013

Kegerators
October 2013

 

The holidays are right around the corner which means playing host to a variety of holiday parties and gatherings. A kegerator is a great and convenient way to serve cold, refreshing beer to your customers. Before making this exciting purchase, there are some important things to consider. How much beer will be consumed on a daily basis? How many varieties of beer do you want to have on tap? What style do you prefer? Will the kegerator be placed inside or outside?
Kegerators range in size from containing one standard keg up to eight or more slim-barrel kegs. It’s important to calculate the average daily beer consumption in order to know which size will best fit your needs.
You will also need to choose between a stainless-steel exterior or a black-vinyl exterior. Additionally, there is the option of a standard top or a club-top. A club-top includes a sliding door and glass rail.
Finally, if the kegerator will be located outside, it must be sealed on the back. Also make sure to look for kegerators that are Energy Star compliant which will be an excellent money saver in the long run.

You can shop for kegerators here at ShortOrder.com.

Featured: Kegerators
Model
Rating
Performance
Features & Specifications
Beverage-Air
5 Star
- 1 Full Keg Capacity
- Club Top

 

- 1 Single Faucet

- 24“W x39″H x 28″D
- Warranty: 3 yr. parts & labor

 

True

3 Star

- 3 Full Keg Capacity
- Standard Top

 

- 2 Single Faucets

- 69.13″W x 37″H x 27.13″D
- Warranty: 3 yr. parts & labor

 

MDT4F12A1H
Turbo Air
4 Star
- 3 Full Keg Capacity
- Standard Top
- 2 Single Faucets
– 69″W x 37″H x 27″D
– Warranty: 1 yr. parts & labor

 

 
Beverage-Air
5 Star
- 4 Full Keg Capacity
- Standard Top
- 2 Dual Faucets
– 79″W x 37.25″H x 28.19″D
- Warranty: 3 yr. parts & labor

What Kind of Ice Machine is Right For Your Hotel?

Monday, October 21st, 2013

If you’re currently in the market for a new ice machine for your hotel, you may find that there are more factors to consider than you could ever have imagined. We know that when selecting the right ice machine for your business, factors such as the machine’s physical dimensions, volume of ice, the types of ice it creates, and connection requirements are only the “tip of the iceberg.” So, then, what types of concerns should be at the forefront when purchasing a new ice machine specifically for your hotel? The choice between an ice dispenser versus an ice storage bin is seemingly simple, but while evaluating ice machines, keep these pros and cons in mind:

Ice Dispenser Pros:

  • Sanitation – Ice dispensers normally do not allow guests access to any part of the machine other than the dispensing mechanism, essentially disallowing guests any direct access to the ice. This helps prevent any cross-contamination between guests, as the scoop usually used in ice storage bins is eliminated.
  • Efficiency and Fewer Spills – Because dispensers usually have a limit on how large of a container can be filled, guests will be able to fill up their cups and wine buckets more quickly. The mechanism of dispensing also helps to ensure fewer ice spills and subsequently dangerous puddles.
  • Ability to Regulate Ice Dispensing – With a greater number of guests come a greater number of guests needing ice, and the ability to regulate how much ice is dispensed at once will help ensure that the early birds won’t be able to make away with all of the ice. Regulating ice by requiring a room key to be swiped or coins to be inserted will also help reduce waste of ice.

 

Ice Dispenser Cons:

  • Higher Maintenance – Dispensing mechanisms versus storage bins generally require more repairs or servicing simply because there are more moving parts in an ice dispenser than an ice storage bin.
  • Limited Container Sizes – Because some dispensers will have a smaller sink clearance, guests will be limited by the size of the container that will fit. Even with a huge clearance of 10.5 inches, Manitowoc’s ice dispensers would not be able to fill up a beach-day cooler efficiently the way the storage bin with a scoop would.
  • Space Requirements – Most ice dispensers, even with the option of a twenty-two inch wide dispenser, will stand taller than their storage bin counterparts. As a hotel owner, finding enough space or high enough ceilings to fit in an icemaker can be a real concern. Thankfully, manufacturers such as Manitowoc manufacture ice machines for small spaces.

 

Ice Storage Bin Pros:

  • Storage Capacity – The most obvious advantage of the storage bin is its ability to store more ice at one time (as opposed to most ice dispensers maxing out around 180 lbs), thereby providing guests with as little or as much as they need at all times.
  • Low Maintenance – Storage bins physically have less moving parts and potential breakdowns than their dispensing rivals, so that there’s a less likely chance there will ever be an “out of order” sign to upset your guests. In the long term, being able to repair your entire machine without having to purchase a new one could save you a lot of money.
  • Easier Access, No Minimum Clearance – With the large, hinged door and generous scoop, the ice storage bin allows guests to reach in and gather as much as they need when they need it. There is no limit to how large the container can be like there is with the ice dispenser.

 

Ice Storage Bin Cons:

  • No Regulation of Usage – Because guests have easy access to the ice and can have as much as they want (whenever they want) without having to pay, the openness of the storage bin runs the risk of having all the ice used up too quickly without being regulated.
  • Sanitation – The mechanics of the ice storage bin is such that hands will almost surely always be in or around the ice, as well as on the door and ice scoop. This could lead to a rapid buildup of contaminated ice and machinery, leaving you in a risky situation if a guest becomes sick.

While both have their advantages and disadvantages, remember that you can also opt for countertop icemakers or even head-only dispensers! Which kind of ice machine best fits your hotel? Connect with ShortOrder via Twitter and Facebook and let us know!

The Gameday Essentials Checklist for Restaurants

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013

Has your restaurant seen an increase in action every Monday night since the football season started up? If so, there are a few appliances that your restaurant needs to have to be able to run a successful Monday night football event that will not only keep your customers happy, but keep them coming back for more.

The first item, and probably most important piece of restaurant equipment on our checklist, is a good draft beer cooler. Draft beer is more popular than ever, so it’s a good idea to keep plenty on tap to cater to guest’s tastes. ShortOrder suggests getting one with a 2+ keg capacity so that your customers have a few options to choose from. Plus, by using a Kegerator that has a multiple keg capacity, you’ll have a smaller chance of running out during a big game. After all, the last thing a football fan wants while watching their favorite football team play is to run out of beer.

Next on our list of essentials is a nice, heavy-duty commercial fryer. When you get a fryer from ShortOrder, you don’t have to worry about it breaking down in the middle of a football game when your customers are ordering a plethora of fried foods. If this happened, your customers would not be happy, and might change their gameday hotspot for watching the football game.

Last on our gameday checklist is the perfect commercial charbroiler. Any restaurant that caters to football fans knows that on Mondays it’s best to be fully stocked up on favorites like hamburgers and hot dogs, which are staples in the Monday night football fan’s diet. This is why you need a charbroiler that will grill a great hamburger every time.

So are you ready for next Monday based on our checklist? If not, contact ShortOrder today and let us take your kitchen to the next level.

Now Serving – October – Unexpected Time-Saving Tricks

Friday, October 11th, 2013
OCTOBER 2013 A monthly newsletter showcasing the taste of cookware ISSUE 58
Now Serving

It’s October, which means the holidays are right around the corner! Now is the time to inspect all of your equipment to make sure you are ready for this upcoming busy season. If you do need to order a new piece of equipment, be sure to click here and check out the Gen2 closeout specials we are currently offering. With several different types to choose from, you should be able to find exactly what you’re looking for.

Did you know that the most Halloween candy is sold on October 28th? What are your favorite Halloween treats? Let us know on our Facebook page! While you’re there, make sure you take a look at our one-day only deals! And if you review a product online, you will be automatically entered into ShortOrder’s monthly giveaway.

Unfortunately we did not have any new reviews this month, so you could have been the big winner!
Don’t forget to check out our clearance section. We have a wide variety of discontinued, and scratched and dented products that are all covered by the full manufacturer warranty.

In this month’s issue: Unexpected Time-Saving Tricks, Pumpkin Veggie Tray as a healthy alternative for Halloween, and our featured products: a Scotsman Ice Machine, a Gen2 Range, and a Wolf Salamander.

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

Ann Marie Hillier

Unexpected Time-Saving Tricks

They Shouldn’t Work…But Actually Do

 

Feeling bogged down by all of the responsibilities that come with running your own business? Check out these 4 time-saving tips as discussed in Rohit Bhargava’s article, “4 Time-Saving Tricks That Shouldn’t Work (But Actually Do).”

1. Open SchedulingDid you know that most of us waste a lot of time scheduling, and often rescheduling, meetings? There is a mistaken perception that you need to have complete control over setting up your own meetings, or that hiring an assistant may be too expensive. Consider hiring a virtual assistant instead to save both time and money.

2. Forced InterruptionsThere is a common misconception that in order to work the most effectively, you must eliminate all interruptions. Although frequent interruptions can make it hard to concentrate, changing tasks throughout the work day can provide a mental break and ultimately help you to be more productive.

3. Going OfflineTake time each day to turn off your phone and computer. Going offline will force you to actually think about solutions to problems instead of thoughtlessly typing a query into the search bar. Being offline also challenges your mind and may help lead you to new ideas and innovations that you may not have otherwise developed.

4. Taking a VacationDuring busy times, the thought of a vacation may seem almost impossible. Instead of saving your work until you return, try delegating it to colleagues or employees. When you return, instead of resuming all of your old duties, watch how your tasks were performed while you were away and ask yourself if it’s really necessary to take those tasks back.

Featured Products
Scotsman Ice Machine
CU50GA-1A
65-lb/24 Hours
$1,290.00 delivered
Gen2 Range
24-GEN2-4B-S20-NAT
4 Burner, 480 lbs.
$1,287.00 delivered
Wolf Salamander
RB36-NAT
Stainless Radiants
$2,021.00 delivered
Click for more info! Click for more info! Click for more info!

Featured Recipe
Pumpkin Veggie Tray
Check out this healthy alternative for a fun, Halloween treat from tasteofhome.com.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Large Bag of Baby Carrots
  • 1 Cucumber
  • 1 Head of Broccoli
  • 1 Carton of Your Favorite Veggie Dip

Directions:

  1. Create an outline for your pumpkin by laying some of the carrots out in an oblong circle on your serving tray.
  2. Fill in the circle with the rest of the carrots.
  3. Remove enough of the carrots to create a cucumber-filled smile.
  4. Place small bowls in the carrots for a nose and eyes and fill with dip.
  5. Slice off the stem of the broccoli head and place at the top of the pumpkin.
Short Order
Frymaster
Vulcan
Manitowoc
Beverage-Air
Globe

Undercounter Glass Washers: The Busy Kitchen’s Secret Weapon

Friday, October 11th, 2013

This week at ShortOrder, we’d like to spotlight undercounter glass washers in keeping with the “undercounter” theme (see last week’s undercounter ice machine post), Although undercounter glass washers may be rather under-celebrated in the world of commercial restaurant equipment, the fact is that they’re an extremely useful asset in a kitchen or behind a bar. Read on for ShortOrder’s glass washer exposé.
Did you know that in order for dishes to be truly sanitized, the water they’re washed in needs to reach at least 140° F? Unfortunately, this scalding temperature can be hard to reach when washing glasses by hand. Additionally, washing glasses one at a time is slow work, which in turn slows down operations in the kitchen and behind the bar, two areas that require a quick and steady pace throughout the day. The advantage of undercounter glass washers is that they both save time and fully clean and sanitize your glasses. Glass washers like the Hobart Glass Washer LXEC-3 wash 34 racks per hour, and provide auto chemical priming, detergent, a rinse aid, and sanitizer pumps.

And undercounter glass washers aren’t just efficient; they’re good for your employees, too. Bartenders in particular have to wash a large volume of glasses over the course of a day, and doing so manually can be hard on the hands, thanks to the scalding temperature that true sanitization requires, as well as any harsh chemicals in the cleaner. Automatic glass washers eliminate this problem, as they generate the high temperatures and cleaning agents you need.

On the whole, when it comes to undercounter glass washers, it turns out that less is more. Undercounter glass washers tend to be less expensive than their full-size counterparts, they use less water per cycle, and most are designed to fit underneath a standard bar counter, so you won’t have to sacrifice space at the expense of efficiency.

Do you use undercounter glass washers in your establishment? Look up ShortOrder on Twitter and Facebook and let us know what you think of your undercounter glass washer.

 

Manitowoc Ice Machines for Small Spaces: The NEO™ Undercounter Ice Maker

Monday, October 7th, 2013

Operating a quality eatery in a small space comes with plenty of challenges… but fitting the proper restaurant equipment in shouldn’t have to be one of them. The necessary quality implements like Manitowoc ice machines, decent storage, ranges, and proper refrigeration can be the difference between subpar service and a successful operation.

Though Manitowoc ice machines’ new NEO™ Undercounter Ice Maker is small, it packs a big punch of productivity. Sporting a ton of Manitowoc technology, this bad boy fits snugly in the smallest of places, making easy for you to find a home for it in your restaurant. And once you do? Fresh ice every day, all the time, at a moment’s notice. The NEO™ Undercounter Ice Maker has a compact design, and lots of small features that put it above the rest. The NEO™ Undercounter Ice Maker is both easy to clean and convenient to use, since it has…

• Rounded corners of components make cleaning these Manitowoc ice machines much easier and more thorough.
• An ergonomically-designed ice scoop that can be attached to the Manitowoc ice machine’s left or right side—whichever is most efficient for your restaurant’s layout.
• A removable bin.
• An angled door for easy access and visibility.
• Relocated key components, now outside the food-zone for convenient servicing.
• Fingerprint-resistant external panels.

And because of its small design, it can fit in an unused corner or a low countertop, making the most of the space you’ve got.

If undercounter Manitowoc ice machines aren’t quite your style, opt for head-only dispensers, countertop ice makers, or dispensers. Check out ShortOrder’s ice machines for all kinds of restaurants. What kind of Manitowoc ice machines do you prefer? Connect with ShortOrder via Twitter and Facebook and tell us!

 

Short Order | What's Cookin'

A Restaurant Equipment Blog for the Enhanced Professional Kitchen

View ShortOrder's Product Lines

Gen2
Gen2
Luxor
Luxor
Nemco
Nemco
Vulcan
Vulcan Ranges
Scotsman
Scotsman Ice Machines

Low Price Guarantee

ShortOrder.com is committed to being the low price leader. Not only will we meet, but we'll beat any legitimate advertised price from a competing food service equipment dealer for any item in our inventory. We will gladly refund 110% of the difference on an identical item from another dealer (including all freight charges.) Contact us at 800-211-0282 if you feel you have located an item that is priced lower than ShortOrder.com.

We beat any price

PRODUCT CATEGORIES