4 Energy Saving Tips for Restaurant Ranges

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

burner-safetyWhat’s the difference between a restaurant manager and wasteful range?

One hires, bills, and fires, and the other’s fire bills are higher!

But all jokes aside, folks, you’ve got a lot of kitchen to do, and you need to save all the money you can. Did you know that by being conscious of the way you use energy with your ranges, you can actually save money on your gas and electric bills? Plus, saving energy in the kitchen isn’t just good for your utility bills; it’s also better for the environment. So treat your ranges right, and they’ll serve you well for years to come. To help you get started, here are 4 tips to help you save energy when cooking with a range.

1. Pay attention to the color of your flame. If you have an open flame burner, your flame should always burn steady and blue. Not only will it save you energy, but keeping your flame even and blue is safer. A sputtering yellow flame could be indicative of a gas leak.

2. Use lids on pots. Adding a lid while you cook can shorten cook time by holding heat in, saving you time and improving efficiency.

3. Turn your burners off when not in use. A good range will have fairly rapid start-up and recovery times, so pay attention to when your customer traffic lulls occur and turn off your ranges accordingly.

4. Train your kitchen staff. Work with your back-of-house staff to talk about the ways to save energy in the kitchen. Not only will this reduce your energy bills and improve the life of your equipment, it will help reduce overall hold times during food preparation.

For more energy saving tips, check out the What’s Cooking guide to saving energy in your restaurant.

2014 Summer Hiring Survey: Results Are In

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

Employees-in-Kitchen_Waverbreakmedia-Ltd-Copyright_ThinkstockEarlier this month, Snagajob announced the results of its 2014 Summer Hiring Survey that examines hourly employees in the hospitality, retail and foodservice industries. Of the 250 employers surveyed, 36% of the respondents were from businesses with fewer than 50 employees, while 39% of respondents represented companies that were substantially larger with more than 500 employees. Below you’ll find the most pertinent information from the survey.

  • According to this report, the number of youth that are employed between the ages of 16-24 years old will increase between April and May by more than 2 million (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics).
  • President Obama’s proposed federal minimum wage for 2014 increased from $7.25 to $10.10, but based on this survey, the average wage for the upcoming summer months will be $10.39 (a 29-cent difference).
  • (more…)

The Art of Getting Positive Restaurant Reviews

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014

reading-restaurant-reviewsThe food and beverage industry is fraught with competitors and in today’s digitally connected culture, every restaurant patron with a smartphone may as well be considered a journalist or food critic. It’s no secret that the importance of word-of-mouth marketing is on the rise, and positive restaurant reviews can have a direct impact on a restaurant’s yearly revenue. People now trust the opinions of others online – not opinions of professional critics, but rather those of friends and peers. Top-of-the-line restaurant equipment and experienced chefs in the back of house do not always guarantee positive reviews from patrons.

Before we delve into the good ways that a restaurant can garner positive reviews, we’ll start with the absolute no-nos. For reasons that should be apparent, do not take it upon yourself to write your own reviews. No matter how much you consider yourself a literary master, consumers can usually tell when reviews are faked by someone who obviously works there. There are also negative repercussions to paying someone to write positive reviews for you. For example, Yelp has created a consumer alert that lets searchers know when they’ve caught a business paying for fake reviews. Authenticity and transparency are key when dealing with reviews and customer communication.

So, how do you get real, positive reviews? ShortOrder has some actionable tips for restaurants looking to increase their number of positive reviews:


The Wild Whirled of Bar Blender Basics

Monday, April 21st, 2014

WaringBB180Here’s a tongue twister for you, bartenders:

Betty Bartender bought a blender. “But,” she said, “this blender’s battered.
If I want a blended beverage, I better buy a better blender.”
So Betty ‘Tender bought a blender better than her battered blender,
and when her beverages were blended, Betty’s bar was better tended.

Betty knows a better blender when she sees one. But do you? Bar blenders come in all shapes and sizes, and if you have margaritas, daiquiris, or any number of tasty blended drinks on your bar menu, you need the right blender to keep up with your customers’ demands. Buy a better blender, ‘tenders. Here are the top questions you should ask before purchasing new bar blenders.

What intensity blender do I need?

There are three classes of commercial bar blenders: economy, restaurant, and heavy-duty. Evaluate how much work your blender will be doing and choose a blender class accordingly. If your bar menu tends toward blended drinks, especially those with large ice cubes or frozen fruit, opt for a blender with a higher horsepower.


Lean, Green Manitowoc Machines Get 2014 ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year – Sustained Excellence Award

Monday, April 14th, 2014

Energy-Star-Manitowoc-id-0452We have good news for all of you environmentally-conscious restaurateurs: Manitowoc Foodservice was recently named by the EPA as 2014 ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year and given the Sustained Excellence Award. Yes indeed, one of our very favorite ice machine manufacturers has been recognized for its continuing concern for the environment and dedication to excellent equipment. Manitowoc, known for its superior kitchen equipment and ice makers, has consistently exhibited a commitment to environmental protection and energy efficiency while producing quality products. Manitowoc has been an ENERGY STAR Partner since 2001, with an ENERGY STAR portfolio comprised of 556 products, some of which are the Manitowoc ice machines we carry here at ShortOrder.


What Is Scratch and Dent Restaurant Equipment?

Monday, April 7th, 2014

VulcanV60-clearanceGetting the best price possible on a piece of restaurant equipment is vital for businesses looking to save, but maintaining a bottom line can be tricky, especially for smaller businesses. And indeed, for these businesses, brand new restaurant equipment might be a little outside the budget. Fortunately, scratch and dent restaurant equipment makes a great alternative to paying full price for a piece of kitchen equipment. Clearance scratch and dent equipment comes in all varieties: ranges, ovens, fryers, holding cabinets, char broilers, griddles, hot plates, steamers, cheese melters, braising pans—you name it, you can probably find it at a discount.

So where do those scratches and dents actually come from? Not from misuse at the hands of another fry cook, don’t worry! Discounted scratch and dent restaurant equipment has just experienced a little freight damage. The equipment is still perfectly usable, and performs to the standards you expect from the top restaurant equipment manufacturers. In short, if you don’t mind a few aesthetic blemishes on a new range or fryer, discount restaurant equipment is an exceptionally smart addition to your kitchen.

Are you a business on a budget that has benefited from clearance equipment? What do you think about scratch and dent equipment? Tell us about your experience by finding Short Order on Twitter or Facebook!

Trending Spring Vegetables for Your Restaurant Menu

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

fresh vegetables‘Tis the season for lush, leafy greens and vibrant vegetables to make their appearance on restaurant menus nationwide. Spring begins during National Nutrition Month, providing a great opportunity for restaurants to tweak their menus in accordance with the trend. The long list of vegetables that flourish in abundance during spring ranges from artichokes to zucchini, meaning restaurants have the utmost flexibility and a great arsenal of ingredients when firing up the restaurant equipment and concocting new spring recipes. Here, we seek to highlight some of the trendiest spring vegetables of the season:

1. Kale
This leafy green has seen a tremendous rise in popularity over the past few years, and it doesn’t seem to be fading anytime soon. Besides being nutrient-rich and full of delectable flavor, kale has the added benefit of being an extremely versatile (more…)

How to Choose a New Point of Service (POS) System

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

POS systemsYour restaurant’s point of service (POS) system is what keeps your restaurant’s operations up and running. Transactions need to be handled quickly and smoothly, so POS terminals need to always be working optimally and quickly. If you are on the hunt for an upgrade to your POS systems, consider these 4 factors when choosing a new point of service system for your restaurant.

1. Durability

The construction of a terminal is a good indicator of its quality and ability to stand up to heavy use. To determine its reliability, examine (or get an IT pro to examine) the grade of the materials from which the terminal is made. Commercial grade material, though pricier, will ultimately serve you well, as it is made for intensive, extensive use. This is because POS’s made of commercial grade materials (rather than consumer grade) are constructed specifically to withstand the restaurant environment.


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