Guide to Commercial Hot Food Tables

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

Guide to Commercial Hot Food TablesAlthough you might think the name says it all, commercial hot food table knowledge goes far beyond just being a table that keeps foods hot. Fortunately, ShortOrder is here to expand your hot food table horizons and get you up to speed on all there is to know about commercial restaurant equipment.

Hot food tables, also referred to as “steam tables,” come with many different options. While you won’t be able to efficiently use them to cook, they are ideal for heating up and keeping cooked food warm for self-service in the front of house or for serving customers from the back of the house. For buffet-style service, hot food tables are flexible in that they can be freestanding (and thus easy to move around and position in different areas) or can be built into existing counters.

Hot food tables are typically powered by either gas or electricity. This minute factor becomes important when deciding where in your restaurant the hot food table will go and what function it will serve. For instance, if you are using the hot food table to keep food warm in the kitchen in order to serve to customers and there exists only an electrical connection where the hot food table will go, the gas-powered hot food table is probably not your best choice.


6 FAQs about Commercial Ranges

Monday, February 24th, 2014

6 FAQs about Commercial RangesFrom burgers to crème brûlée, ranges have a myriad of uses in commercial kitchens. But buying a range for your establishment can be a bit of a chore if you don’t know what to look for. Before you buy a range, read up on these 6 frequently asked questions about purchasing ranges.

What types of ranges are there?

There are two types of ranges: restaurant ranges and heavy duty ranges. What’s the difference?

  • Heavy duty ranges are best for kitchens that make 250+ meals per day. These might include hotels, hospitals, and schools. Heavy duty ranges are durable and can endure consistent high-volume use.
  • Restaurant ranges are used in kitchens that make fewer than 250 meals per day. They tend to be higher in quality, but generally also cost more in terms of purchase, service, and energy costs.

What kinds of tops do ranges have?


How to Make Customers Love your Restaurant

Thursday, February 20th, 2014

How to Make Customers Love your RestaurantWhen you’re busy running your restaurant, it can be easy to forget about the little things that keep customers coming back. From everyday operations to long-term adjustments, there are lots of small changes you can implement that can make your restaurant more successful. Here is a list of best practices for restaurants that can help keep your customers happy.

1. Make a good first impression.

For a customer who has never been to your establishment before, it’s vital that you make a positive first impression. When customers walk into your restaurant, they should be greeted by a friendly smile and a “hello.” Your staff should also be dressed appropriately in attire that reflects positively on your restaurant.


ShortOrder SoundOff – Walk-In Coolers

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

Walk-In Coolers
February 2014

Walk-in coolers are a necessity for several different types of business, ranging from restaurants to flower shops. They serve as a great way to keep perishable items fresh. The purchase of a walk-in cooler is a large investment in your business, so it is very important to do extensive research before buying one. There are several things to consider before deciding which walk-in cooler is best suited to fit your needs.

  • Insulation Materials – There are two types of insulation most commonly used on walk-in coolers: Extruded Polystyrene and Polyurethane. Extruded polystyrene has a high initial R-value as well as great moisture resistance. Generally, it has the ability to retain 47% of its R-value over the life of the product. Polyurethane also has a high initial R-value, but only retains 19% of its R-value over the life of the product.
  • Exterior Materials – There are 4 types of exterior materials to choose between when purchasing your walk-in cooler.
    • Galvanized – Once the most popular choice, G90 Galvanized meets the bare minimum requirements for a walk-in cooler. While it is strong and dent resistant, it can easily develop “white rust” if not cared for correctly. It is also important to note that flooring in this material is not NSF approved unless quarry tile is installed prior to use.
    • Aluminum – Aluminum is exceptionally resistant to corrosion, but can dent very easily. In order to increase its strength, aluminum flooring is typically diamond tread plate embossed and the walls and ceilings are stucco embossed.
    • Galvalume – Galvalume is actually a combination of aluminum and galvanizing material that is steel coated. This not only gives it the strength of steel, but it is 12 times more corrosion resistant than galvanized. It is generally considered to be the best “bang for your buck.”
    • Stainless Steel – The most expensive alternative, stainless steel is also the strongest and lease corrosive. Although it comes in both brushed or polished finished, most choose brushed as it tends to minimize the visibility of scratches.
  • Refrigeration Systems – Walk-in coolers have two main components: the condenser and the evaporator. The condenser is located outside the unit, while the evaporator is located inside the unit. The refrigeration system can either be top-mounted or side-mounted. The main difference is that the side-mounted refrigeration system requires a condensation drain hose to be connected to a closed drain.
  • Capacity – Finally, it is important to consider the size of the walk-in cooler that will best fit your needs. Remember to account for future growth. A good rule of thumb is that 1 cubic foot of open storage accommodates approximately 28 lbs of food.
You can shop for walk-in coolers here at

Featured: Walk-In Coolers
Features & Specifications
5 Star


– Side Mounted Unit
-Galvalume Exterior


– 1,391 Lbs

– 93″W x 90″H x 93″D
– Warranty: 1 yr. parts & labor



5 Star

– Top Mounted Unit
-Galvalume Exterior


– 779 Lbs

– 58.5″W x 90″H x 47″D
– Warranty: 1 yr. parts & labor




5 Star
– Top Mounted Unit
– Galvalume Exterior
– 1,790 Lbs
– 116″W x 90″H x 116″D
– Warranty: 1 yr. parts & labor


5 Star
– Side Mounted Unit
– Galvalume Exterior
– 965 Lbs
– 70″W x 78″H x 70″D
– Warranty: 1 yr. parts & labor


3 Tasty Sandwich Ideas for Commercial Toasters

Tuesday, February 18th, 2014

3 Tasty Sandwich Ideas for Commercial ToastersCommercial toasters are the best way to give the chilly customer a sandwich for a quick and delicious warm-up, but choosing the right commercial toasters is just as important as the recipes themselves. After all, an influx of hungry customers won’t be satisfied with too much waiting time. Prevent this problem by investing in any number of conveyor commercial toasters, like the APW Commercial Toaster XTRM-3. With its countertop design, stainless steel finish, variable speeds and top and bottom heat controls, it has the ability to produce approximately 1,000 units per hour.

Here are a few good ideas for variations on our favorite toasty sandwiches to warm hungry customers up.


Buying a Commercial Steamer for Your Restaurant? Read These FAQs First

Monday, February 10th, 2014

Panasonic Commercial Steamer NE-3280 230-240v/1-phAs any restaurant operator knows, the focus on healthy menus is increasing more and more. At the same time, restaurants are expected to maintain a fast production level while serving high-quality dishes. As a result, many restaurants have turned to commercial steamers to provide quick, delicious foods that retain more nutrients and freshness.

If your restaurant is considering adding a commercial restaurant steamer to its kitchen, or else replacing a worn-out steamer, read on for our buyer’s guide to commercial steamers.

Why choose steam cooking over other methods?

There are a lot of reasons steam cooking is more beneficial than baking, frying, or boiling. Cooking with commercial steamers…


Now Serving – February 2014 – 10 Tips to Interview Like a Pro

Thursday, February 6th, 2014

FEBRUARY 2014 A monthly newsletter showcasing the taste of cookware ISSUE 62
Now Serving

It’s almost Valentine’s Day, which means an abundance of flowers, chocolate, and dinner reservations. With an increase in dining out this time of year, now is the perfect time to upgrade your restaurant equipment. If you are looking to purchase a new piece of equipment, be sure to click here and check out the Gen2 closeout specials we are currently offering. With a variety of items to choose from, you should be able to find exactly what you’re looking for.

Did you know over $1 billion worth of chocolate is purchased for Valentine’s Day in the United States alone? What’s your favorite type of chocolate-y treat? Stop by our Facebook page and let us know! 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: John Holsonback!
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: 10 Tips to Interview Like a Pro, Valentine Milk Shake as a tasty Valentine’s Day treat, and our featured products: a Hamilton Beach Blender, a Beverage-Air Milk Cooler, and an Eagle Drainboard Glassrack.

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

Ann Marie Hillier

10 Tips to Interview Like a Pro

How to Determine Which Candidates are Right for Your Company

Given that your staff is your top resource, it is important to make the most out of your interviews with potential candidates. In her article “10 Tips to Interview Like a Pro,” Dawn Cacciotti, senior vice president, human resources of the National Restaurant Association offers guidance for interviewing job candidates.


  • Conduct the interview in a quiet spot which allows you and the candidate to focus on the conversation.
  • Always show the same respect to candidates that you expect from them.
  • Include a variety of questions in the interview, asking candidates yes/no questions, as well as questions that require a more lengthy response.
  • Try to learn more about the candidate’s personality through questions that ask them to provide examples from their past work experience.
  • Make sure to ask follow-up questions which demonstrates genuine interest in the candidate’s answers.
  • If the position requires specific certifications, make sure that the candidate has the necessary background to qualify.
  • Focus on behavioral-based interviewing. Think about the common characteristics of your top performers and ask questions to determine if candidates also possess these traits.
  • Always pay attention to smaller details, such as non-verbal cues from the candidate. Did they come in and smile? Did they dress appropriately for the interview and the position?
  • Consider a test run, giving candidates the opportunity to work half days with their potential team (with pay). This will be a great way to reveal the candidate’s strengths and weaknesses.
  • Allow job candidates to ask you questions which can reveal their preparedness as well as enthusiasm for the opportunity.
  • Have closing comments prepared. Always thank the candidate for their time and interest. Even if you’re not interested in hiring the candidate, it is always important to remain courteous.


Featured Products
Hamilton Beach Blender
1 Gallon, Two Speed Motor
$940.00 delivered
Beverage-Air Milk Cooler
2-Section, 37″ Height
$2,211.00 delivered
Eagle Drainboard Glassrack
Threaded Drain, 36.5″ Height
$587.00 delivered
Click for more info! Click for more info! Click for more info!

Featured Recipe
Valentine Milk Shake
Check out this tasty Valentine’s Day treat from


  • 2 Cups Strawberry Ice Cream
  • 1-2 Cups Milk
  • 2 Tbsp Strawberry Jam
  • 2 Ounces Cherry Kijafa Wine


  1. Blend all ingredients until the shake is thick and creamy.
  2. Serve the milk shake in a tall glass topped with whipped cream.
Short Order

Choosing Walk-In Refrigerators and Freezers: A Buying Guide

Monday, February 3rd, 2014

Choosing Walk-In Refrigerators and Freezers - A Buying GuideToday on the What’s Cookin’ blog, we invite you to put on your jackets and join us for a rundown of the most frequently asked questions about walk-in refrigerators and freezers.

Beloved by businesses of all kinds from ice creameries to flower shops, walk-ins are a necessary part of daily life, keeping perishables fresh, chilly, and accessible on the premises. They come in many sizes and configurations, so it can be tough to choose the right one for your business. So without further ado, here is everything you ever wanted to know about commercial walk-in refrigerators and freezers but were afraid to ask.

What are the different kinds of walk-in refrigerators and freezers?

There are 3 kinds: refrigerators, freezers, and hybrids. You can put a walk-in and its condenser pretty much anywhere, so whether you need it inside or outside of your facility, you’re covered. Walk-ins work with existing flooring as well as pre-fabricated flooring. Note that if you do purchase a walk-in for outdoor use, you’ll need a compressor cover, crank case heater, fan cycle control, and roof-sealing kit.

What kind of refrigeration system do I need?

A walk-in’s refrigeration system is made up of a condenser (on the outside of the walk-in) and an evaporator (on the inside of the walk-in). Both your condenser and your evaporator should have high-efficiency EISA-compliant motors. There are 3 types of refrigeration systems:


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