Restaurant Preparedness Tips for the Holiday Season

Monday, November 25th, 2013

Restaurant Preparedness Tips for the Holiday SeasonAs the Thanksgiving holiday fast approaches and the cold fronts roll in, many consumers will be bundling up and heading out of their homes to do their winter shopping. With special sales events like Black Friday coming up, everyone will be out and about checking holiday gifts off their lists. As time runs low, consumers will be turning to restaurants like yours to keep them energized as they frantically scramble to get gift shopping done in time. This means that as a restaurant, you had better be prepared! Your customers will have been battling lines and catty cashiers all day, and will expect their meal to be a relaxing break away from the mall madness. Here are some handy tips from ShortOrder to prepare your restaurant for a heavy holiday load while maintaining winter cheer.

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What’s Next for Commercial Restaurant Tech

Friday, November 22nd, 2013

What’s Next for Commercial Restaurant TechAt ShortOrder we’re pretty proud of our high-tech commercial restaurant equipment. Appliances and ice machines like the Manitowoc NEO Undercounter Ice Maker are designed to make life in the kitchen easier and more efficient thanks to technology that caters specifically to a busy work environment that requires high quality service. Manufacturers of ice machines like Manitowoc and Scotsman are consistently improving ice machines’ technology for better ice production more efficient operation. These ice machines’ features include advance notice of service needs, intuitive settings and design, and lowered energy consumption for a better use of your resources, plus environmentally-friendly ice machines.

So in addition to smart ice machines, what’s next for the world of commercial restaurant technology?

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SoundOff – November 2013 – Hot Food Tables

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013

Hot Food Tables
November 2013
The holidays are here, which means there will be great deal of buffets and brunches over the next few weeks. Hot food tables are an excellent way to not only serve food, but also to keep it warm. With a wide variety of styles to choose from, it is important to consider the intended usage, top layout, and your temperature needs before making your purchase.
There are many different types of hot food tables, such as water bath, dry, and infrared heat. In order to determine which type is best for you, you must be aware of what you will be primarily warming with your hot food table.
They can also range in size from containing two wells, up to five wells. Keep in mind that if you do purchase a pizza hot food table, it does not have any food wells. The main thing that does vary between each manufacturer is the under-shelf, as they can be stationary or adjustable. You will also need to determine if you need a hot food table that comes with a cutting board or a work-board. Finally, hot food tables either come with an infinite temperature control, or a thermostat control, which would allow for you to choose the temperature that you would like to have your table set at.

You can shop for hot food tables hereat ShortOrder.com.

Featured: Hot Food Tables
Model
Rating
Performance
Features & Specifications
Randell
5 Star

 

- 3 Hot Food Wells
- 8″ Work-board

 

- Thermostat Controlled

- 78″W x 36″H x 30″D
- Warranty: 1 yr. parts & labor

 

Eagle

5 Star

- 4 Hot Food Wells
- 8″ Cutting Board

 

- Thermostat Controlled

- 63.5″W x 34″H x 30″D
- Warranty: 1 yr. parts & labor

 

MDT4F12A1H
 
 
Eagle
4 Star
- 4 Hot Food Wells
- 8″ Cutting Board
- Infinite Controlled
– 63.5″W x 34″H x 21″D
– Warranty: 1 yr. parts & labor

 

Eagle
4 Star
- Pizza Holding Table
- 48″ S/S Tabletop
- Infrared Warmers
– 48″W x 64.5″H x 21″D
- Warranty: 1 yr. parts & labor
Copyright © 2011. All Rights Reserved.

Top 5 Desserts for the Holiday Season

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

Top 5 Desserts for the Holiday SeasonAs we move into the holiday season, we’ve started to notice a shift in dessert menu offerings. They’re starting to reflect the holiday cheer that we love so much. Therefore, we at ShortOrder have put together a list of the top 5 desserts that are a must for your winter holiday menu.

1. Eggnog Cupcakes with Spiced Rum Icing

These cupcakes are a sure-fire way to brighten your customers’ day, and bring them back for more. By offering this unique dessert, you’ll be catering to classic holiday tastes (plus, the cupcake fad is still going strong). (Recipe by BakersRoyale.com)

2. Peppermint Fudge

What’s better than a delicious combination of peppermint and chocolate fudge? This is a great addition to any holiday menu because you can prepare it in the morning and serve it throughout the day. You can’t beat a simple, quick and easy dessert like this. (Recipe by ShugarySweets.com)

3. Peppermint Mocha

Everyone knows that the second winter rolls around, it’s Peppermint Mocha time. All you need is a great commercial espresso machine, a few key ingredients, and you’ll have everyone coming by your restaurant for their daily dose of caffeine. (Recipe by momadvice.com)

4. Pumpkin Pie Fudge with Salted Dark Chocolate Ganache

Anything that is pumpkin-flavored is sure to be a hit during the holidays. So why not add a little pumpkin to the holiday menu? This recipe is simple, yet delicious, featuring an unlikely combination of ingredients that will satiate customers’ holiday tastes. As long as you have one of our commercial ovens and a refrigerator, you’ll be set to make this delicious winter holiday treat. (Recipe by rookno17.com)

5. Pumpkin Pie

There is no better classic holiday dessert than pumpkin. This classic holiday dessert is a great item to have because you have a lot of room to play with the recipe. Customize it however you see fit so that your dessert stands out from the rest. (Recipe by leitesculinaria.com)

Finally, don’t forget to update your appliances this holiday season! You wouldn’t want one of your commercial kitchen appliances breaking down in the middle of this busy season. For equipment from some of the top brands that delivers dependable performance, check out ShortOrder’s selection of commercial restaurant equipment.

Happy holiday cooking from all of us at ShortOrder!

Fast Casual Restaurant Trend Alert: Potatoes

Friday, November 15th, 2013

We like to keep an eye on trends in the fast casual segment here at ShortOrder, and recently we spotted one that’s particularly a-peel-ing. Apparently potatoes are what’s hot—so to speak—in fryers across the nation. Because the potato is a versatile vegetable (boil ‘em, mash ‘em, stick ‘em in a stew), there are many possibilities when it comes to catering to customers in need of a creative spud.

The potato trend is actually one that’s resurfacing. It was a big deal back in about 2008, when it seemed that every oven in a quick service restaurant was making room for potatoes and sweet potatoes. Now, a recent twist has found a place in the fast casual industry, and a few places, like Potatopia, have even made the potato the star of a single-item menu. Not unlike the fast casual personal pizza trend, the potato trend focus seems to be mostly on variety, customization, and toppings.

So how can you hop on the potato trend bandwagon?

Start by exploring all your potato possibilities. First, the things you can do to the actual potato: bake, boil, mash, twice-bake, thrice-bake, pancake, smash, sauté, fry, pie, and chip are just a few that come to mind. When you’re equipped with the right restaurant equipment, there is no limit to the number of ways you can cook a potato.

Next, the art of dressing the potato. Old standbys like cheese, sour cream, and butter are, of course, a good idea, but you can easily branch out to let customers personalize their potatoes with sauces, meats, vegetables, and more.

Then make sure you’ve got the right equipment. The kitchen at Potatopia, for example, houses a double-decker convection oven, fryers, and a hybrid convection-microwave oven. Gather up a variety of restaurant equipment, and make sure you get high-quality equipment like Gen2 fryers. If your menu is based around a single item, you don’t want your main ingredient to be a lackluster part of the dish.

Has your fast casual eatery capitalized on the potato trend? What kinds of restaurant equipment and fryers have you used? Let us know by connecting with ShortOrder on Twitter and Facebook!

 

What Millennials Want from a Drink Menu

Monday, November 11th, 2013

There has been a lot of buzz lately about Millennials’ emerging role in the foodservice industry. They are a unique demographic, clocking in as the biggest generation since the Baby Boomers at 68 million individuals, and consisting of Americans between the ages of 21 and 34. From opting for price-conscious drinks to shaking up new flavors using ice machines’ ice for cocktails, there are many different ways that restaurants can cater to Millennials when it comes to modifying and marketing their drink menus. Here are 4 ways to tap into things that are important to Millennials when it comes to beverages:

Try What’s Trending

Pay attention to what’s new in the adult beverage industry. According to a survey by Technomic, Inc., Millennials are more likely to try a new drink than other demographics are. Tap into drink trends and new products to keep your beverage menu up-to-date and interesting so that Millennial consumers will take notice and keep coming back.

Offer Variety

Whether you employ your ice machines to shake up a variety of cocktails, serve house-made liquors over ice, or blend a specialty margarita with ice from your ice machines, make sure you give Millennials plenty options. Again, this demographic is more likely to venture outside the norm to taste something new. Millennials are also more fond of a wide range of alcohols, from Moscatos to tequila to seasonal beers, so don’t be afraid to mix up your inventory regularly.

Emphasize Flavor

While sweet drinks are certainly a favorite among Millennial imbibers, they are often an introduction to more a more expansive range of adult beverage ingredients. Pair spicy, smoky, or subtle flavors with ice from your ice machines to create unique drinks that cater to Millennials’ tastes.

Brand Loyalty? Not So Much

When it comes to choosing drinks, Millennials are less concerned with brand loyalty than they are with deals and a reasonable price point. As a demographic with high demands for creative drinks but relatively low funds to buy them, restaurants should focus on offering promotions and special events.

More Advice and Ice Machines from ShortOrder

How are you using your drinks menus and ice machines to cater to the spending power of Millennials? What are your most popular drinks to make with ice from your ice machines? Tweet at ShortOrder on Twitter or like us on Facebook and let us know!

Now Serving – November 2013 – The Changing Face of the Children’s Menu

Tuesday, November 5th, 2013

 

NOVEMBER 2013 A monthly newsletter showcasing the taste of cookware ISSUE 59
Now Serving

Thanksgiving is almost here. Is all of your equipment in tip-top shape, ready for the busiest time of the year? 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.

Speaking of Thanksgiving, did you know the average weight of a turkey purchased for Thanksgiving dinner is 15 pounds? With that big of a turkey, there are sure to be lots of leftover. What’s your favorite way to serve up leftover turkey? 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. Please join us in congratulating this month’s winner: Nathan Robinson!

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: The Changing Face of the Children’s Menu, Pineapple Shrimp in Endive Leaves as a light and refreshing no-cook appetizer, and our featured products: a Gen2 Fryer, a Stoelting Soft Serve Machine, and a Luxor Utility Cart.

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

Ann Marie Hillier

The Changing Face of the Children’s Menu

Bring in More Business with an Updated Kid’s Menu

 

Nicole Granese discusses the strong influence today’s children have on where parents choose to dine out in her article, “Want Fries With That? Kids Say ‘No Thanks’ To Boring Kid’s Menus.” She also lists four things restaurants need to focus on on in order to create a kid- and parent-approved experience:

1. Better-for-You OptionsMore attention is being paid to the childhood obesity epidemic than ever before. Consequently, kids are being taught the importance of making healthy eating choices in schools across the country. 80% of 5-11 year olds surveyed by KidSay agreed that healthy eating is considered to be cool. Why not attract more customers with healthier options that both the kids and parents will approve of?

2. Larger SelectionAlthough the traditional fare of chicken fingers, mac and cheese, and grilled cheese still dominate most kid’s menus, it has been proven that at least 41% of parents prefer a larger variety of both entrees and beverages for their children to choose from. And if the extra options are nutritious, even better.

3. More Sophisticated FlavorsToday’s kids are seeking more sophisticated and exotic flavors than before. Chef’s throughout the country have an increased focus on developing recipes for kids that expand their palettes. Another common trend is to take traditionally “adult” dishes and transform them into kid-friendly options as well.

4. More Entertaining Dining ExperienceIn the past, children have wanted to order off of the kid’s menu for the toy. In recent years, both parents and kids have started to recognize that the majority of those toys are junk, and would instead prefer to receive some type of free activity. This can be achieved by providing free online content, game apps, or even expanding the kid’s menu to contain more activities.

Featured Products
Gen2 Fryer
GEN2-F5-NAT
70lb Capacity
$1,180.00 delivered
Stoelting Soft Serve Machine
E111-37
13.6 Quart Hopper
$6,654.00 delivered
Luxor Utility Cart
L100S3
Stainless Steel, 3 Shelves
$139.00 delivered
Click for more info! Click for more info! Click for more info!

Featured Recipe
Pineapple Shrimp in Endive Leaves
Check out this no-cook appetizer from wholefoodsmarket.com.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Lb Cooked, Peeled Shrimp
  • 1 Large Cucumber, Peeled, Seeded and Diced
  • 2 1/2 Cups Diced Pineapple
  • 1/4 Cup Chopped Cilantro
  • 3 Tbsp Lime Juice
  • 3 Heads Belgian Endive

Directions:

  1. Chop shrimp and place into a large bowl.
  2. Add cucumber, pineapple, cilantro, and lime juice and stir to combine.
  3. Separate endives into individual leaves and arrange on a serving platter.
  4. Spoon approximately 2 tablespoons of shrimp mixture into each endive leaf and serve.
Short Order
Frymaster
Vulcan
Manitowoc
Beverage-Air
Globe

How to Make an Inventory Form for Easier Ordering

Monday, November 4th, 2013

To make a restaurant kitchen run smoothly, there are a lot of factors that need to be accounted for. While having a smoothly-running front-of-house is a very important part of keeping customers coming back, it’s just as important for behind-the-scenes operations to run well. Restaurant equipment that functions optimally is one of those factors. With the right quality restaurant equipment, you’ll experience less downtime due to malfunctions, be able to increase rate of production, and produce dishes that are of a higher quality. In addition to great restaurant equipment, you’ll also need to keep the right amount of food and supplies in stock at all times.

There are two secrets to an efficient ordering process: an efficient inventory and an excellent inventory form. First, you should streamline your inventory process so you can take food inventory faster. It’s best to do inventory weekly. (While this may seem too frequent, it will save you time in the long run.) You should also be sure your space stays clean and tidy to help things go faster.

When it comes time to actually take inventory, you need an order form that will facilitate a quick, accurate count. Make one form each for each product or food category. Some might include:

1. Meat
2. Produce
3. Alcohol
4. Paper products
5. Cleaning supplies

Each order form should have at least 8 categories:

1. Description
2. Ordering unit
3. Price
4. Supplier
5. Weekday par level
6. Weekend par level
7. On-hand quantity
8. Order quantity

You’ll probably need to tailor your inventory form so it is specific to your restaurant, of course, but the idea is that you make it as comprehensive and orderly as possible. For example, “alcohol” could be further divided into “liquor,” “beer,” and “wine” and you might need to add a section for reminders to certain forms. When it comes to food forms, you should list each food product to mirror the order in which it is arranged on your shelves. (Dry, then refrigerated, then frozen is the most likely order.)

Restaurant Equipment and More from ShortOrder

How do you make inventory and ordering easier? What restaurant equipment do you use to make your kitchen run at its best? Find ShortOrder on Twitter and Facebook and give us your tips! You can also follow us and keep reading here at What’s Cooking to stay in the know about restaurant equipment and the restaurant industry.

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