The Best Way to Wash Your Wares in Dish Compartment Sinks

Monday, June 23rd, 2014

AdvanceT9-3-54-XYou know the old saying “Don’t dish it out if you can’t take it?” At Short Order, we’re not afraid to dish it, because our dish compartment sinks can take on just about anything. Built by the fine folks at Eagle and Advance Tabco, and approved by the National Sanitation Foundation, our dish compartment sinks are a necessity in every restaurant kitchen. Compartment sinks improve kitchen workflow and keep your operation NSF-safe. But what’s the most efficient way to wash wares in a dish compartment sink? Working from left to right in a three-compartment sink, here is the best way to wash utensils and cookware in your restaurant kitchen’s dish compartment sink.

Compartment 1: Food Removal

Because some foods are notoriously tough to remove from dishes, cutlery, and cookware, your first step in the cleaning process should be an initial scrub to get rid of food particles. Next, wash items with detergent in water heated to a minimum of 110°F. Drain the water every so often to keep up the cleansing process. When washing aluminum cookware, make sure the cookware has cooled before washing so it won’t warp, never soak it, and try using baking soda or vinegar for extra-tough food removal. (For washing tips for other types of cookware, check out this What’s Cooking post.)

Compartment 2: Rinse

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Get Organized! Ways to Rethink Your Restaurant Shelving

Wednesday, June 18th, 2014

Here at Short Order, we’re all about making life in the kitchen easier. We know what kinds of equipment it takes to keep a restaurant kitchen running smoothly… and we don’t want to be shelve-ish about sharing our tips. Read on and see for your-shelf how you can stay organized with the right carts and shelving.

Restaurant-Carts-and-Shelving

Types of Shelving

  • Dunnage racks are best for keeping heavy items off the floor. They come in a variety of sizes from brands like Lakeside, Metro, and New Age.
  • Dry storage shelving kits are a versatile way to organize anything from pans to pickle jars. Strong, adjustable, and available in a variety of sizes, dry storage shelving is a good catch-all for your equipment and supplies.
  • Keg racks are suitable for… what else? Kegs. Though you can likely get away with putting your kegs on another type of shelving, keg racks are specifically made to support the weight and shape of kegs.
  • Display shelving is a great way to put your grab-and-go products front and center. Get those dry goods out from the storage room or behind the counter and place them where customers can see them.
  • Security carts are useful for items in your kitchen that need extra protection. An enclosed security cart is best for products like alcohol, and is especially useful for caterers who tend to work off-site and need a safe way to transport goods. Security carts are available as stationary units are mobile units.

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How to Stop Wasting Energy with Your Holding Cabinets

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

Hatco-Holding-CabinetIs it getting hot on this blog, or is it just us? Recently we have demonstrated our love for cook-and-hold ovens of the Alto-Shaam variety, and helped restaurants prepare for summer. Today we continue this trend by focusing on our humble friend the holding cabinet. Heated holding cabinets are meant to keep food warm and delicious until it’s ready to serve to customers, so you’ll never serve your diners a cold casserole or a chilly chicken. But the same traits that give holding cabinets their reputation for patience and perfection can also make them energy gluttons. So how can you keep your trusty holding cabinets in good working order while keeping those energy bills down? Here are our top 6 tips for saving energy with your holding cabinets.

1. Pick the right cabinet for the right job. There are several types of holding cabinets, including mobile cabinets, countertop cabinets, and pizza cabinets. You can also choose between half height and full size, plus wattages of 120/1v and 208-240v. Choose the best one for your restaurant’s needs, that way your cabinet won’t be underutilized and wasting energy, or (conversely) overworked and consuming too much energy.

2. Choose insulated cabinets over uninsulated cabinets. Insulated holding cabinets are up to 65% more efficient when it comes to trapping heat vs. uninsulated cabinets.

3. Go Energy Star certified. Kitchen equipment and appliances that have been Energy Star certified have been proven to perform as well as or better than their more wasteful counterparts on the market. Make sure your holding cabinet has that little blue sticker before you make your purchase. (more…)

Restaurant Technology: It’s Here to Stay

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

In this day and age consumers rely heavily on technology to do their daily activities. In fact, according to a study by the National Restaurant Association, 63% of consumers use technology to enhance their dining experience by using it to make reservations, search for restaurant locations and reviews, place in-app and online orders, check out menu items, and look up nutritional information.

Even with this data, many restaurant owners have been slow to implement technology into their business plans due to possible risks, high costs, and fear that this might be a fleeting trend. However, this is no trend; technology is here to stay, and here’s why.

1. Brand Awareness and Engagement

Technology provides a unique opportunity for businesses because it allows them to reach out to potential customers through various mediums such as mobile applications, social networks, and online orders. By using one or a combination of these mediums, a restaurant can create a positive consumer experience and develop real relationships with the consumer.

2. Quick Turnaround

If you utilize technology correctly, you can create a quicker turnaround time for orders than ever before. If you develop a user-friendly restaurant application, customers can place orders before they come in, speeding up transactions and ultimately generating more revenue.

3. Efficiency

Besides creating a quick turnaround time in your restaurant, technology can also influence consumers’ decisions to come to your restaurant, boosting your operational efficiency. For example, you could incorporate a third screen in your restaurant that might include daily promotions or specials that can be changed quickly, and with no additional cost. This type of advertising is more eye-catching that traditional printed materials, and could result in more point of purchase sales. Although investing in such screens can be expensive up front, they can pay for themselves very quickly.

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Summer 2014 Restaurant Prep Checklist

Monday, June 9th, 2014

summer-restaurant-prepMemorial Day weekend has kicked off summer festivities, and restaurants all over the nation should be looking forward to busier summer days. Be prepared for the hectic hotter months and make the most of the season with this short summer restaurant preparation checklist from Short Order:

1. Finish Any Last Minute Spring Cleaning

If you still haven’t gotten around to scheduling a cleaning day for your restaurant, do so before the busy summer season hits. Take a few days to freshen up your interiors and do the heavy cleaning that doesn’t get accomplished during daily sidework. For example, wait stations often accrue a lot of dirt and grime and could use a thorough cleaning, and any carpeting that gets a lot of foot traffic should be shampooed. Take the time to properly deep clean frequently-used restaurant equipment like fryers and stoves.

2. Service Your Commercial Restaurant Equipment

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The Wonders of Alto-Shaam Cook-and-Hold Ovens

Friday, June 6th, 2014

Alto-Shaam Oven 10-10ESI/S 208-240/3Although this brand name may sound like part of a magician’s act (“Alaca-Alto-Shaam!”) or a children’s book (“I do not like green eggs and ham; I do not like them, Alto-Shaam I am”) or a famous orca (“Alto-Shaamu”), the Alto-Shaam brand is actually famous for its world-class cook-and-hold ovens and holding cabinets. Alto-Shaam does not believe in the whole “If you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen” philosophy. In fact, its equipment prefers to take the heat and stay in the kitchen for as long as possible, making foods more delicious and restaurants more efficient.

Founder Jerry Maahs first created Alto-Shaam warming technology in the 1950s as a way to keep chicken warm while it was being delivered. What started as a stainless steel box and a thermal cable evolved into an oven that could both cook and hold food to keep it at the perfect temperature. What’s more, Maahs found that this slow-cooking and warming technique actually kept meats bigger and tenderer for the duration of the cooking process. Yes, Maahs had found a way to get more bird for his buck.

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