January Equipment Checklist: Clean, Repair, Replace?

Tuesday, January 5th, 2016

New Years 2016After the holiday craziness is finished, and you catch your breath, take a few minutes to celebrate yourself and your team for a job well done. Then, take a moment to reflect. As you pushed through crunch time, did you take mental or actual notes? How did you do? What things were the most stressful? What seem to fail when you needed it most? How can you improve?

In addition to the financial bump many experience it the holiday season, the bump in volume can really expose issues in your equipment an in your production methods. I’ve been there. You’re 100% in the weeds and are looking to just get through the season. Taking notes along the way can really help, but if you didn’t, try to remember the issues and use the start of 2016 as a way to improve your equipment and your processes.

Look at you reach-in refrigeration. How did it maintain temps? Are the door and seals in good condition? It is clean (be honest!)? Is it time to replace the unit? Did you have enough storage? Do you have the right types of containers to store things properly?

Look at your work and prep area. Where did it fall short? Do you need more work surface area for prep? What about a chef-base refrigerator or a work table, would they help? Can you use bins to store ingredients that you need in large quantities?

Check out your cooking equipment. How is it working? Where did you have a slow-down? Where is the bottleneck in production? Need more griddle space? More burners? More fryers?

What about holding space? What about cold prep and holding? Running through the low-lights of the year can help a lot in preparation for the holidays in 2016.

Good luck and happy new year from all of us at ShortOrder.com!

 

2016 Food Trends – Should You be Trendy?

Tuesday, December 8th, 2015

Last month, the National Restaurant Association came out with the top food trends of 2016. Many of the trends involved local sourcing and environmental sustainability, which was similar to the trends in 2015, and the year before that, but they note that trends tend to evolve slowly over time. Trends that are more lifestyle changes, like environmental sustainability, are even more slow to evolve.

In case you didn’t see the list, we posted it here for you:

Top food trends 2016

Now that you know what’s “trendy”, do you choose to jump on this bandwagon or stick with what you’re already doing? Some of this decision will be based upon what your restaurant is like. Are you focused on home-cooked comfort food? Some people say, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!” That might be true, but you might benefit from sourcing your meat and vegetables locally. You might already be doing this. (Aren’t you trendy?!) If not, and you decide to start sourcing locally, there are considerations. If you’re sourcing locally, you’ll have the freshest food – and you’ll want to keep it that way! You might need to add additional refrigerated storage. Ideally you’ll only order what you need in a short time-frame, so maybe an undercounter refrigerator is all you need to add to the mix. If you’re going to be busy, you might add a bigger two door reach in refrigerator. Keep in mind, many vegetables do not need to be stored in the refrigerator. So, maybe you just need to add a few more shelves. Easy! Your food will taste fresh and you’ll be helping your local community – it’s a win-win!

What about healthful kids meals? Should you say out with the chicken tenders and in with whole grain pasta? I’m pretty sure chicken tenders aren’t your only dish that requires a deep fryer! If so, I say make the change and save the space in your kitchen! Parents love the option of having healthier items to choose from on the kids menu, so even if you keep the fried chicken, consider adding more healthy choices. Adding a new menu item that uses stuff you currently have on hand should be a quick change that could increase your business!

The tenth trend is house-made/artisan ice cream. While delicious, do you have what you need to keep your ice cream frozen? While you probably don’t need an 8 flavor ice cream dipping cabinet, you might need additional freezer space. You’re not going to be able to feed a lot of guests on 1 quart of ice cream. Better free up some space before you’re forced to serve artisan cream.

Number sixteen, ethnic-inspired breakfast items – we’re hoping that’s a fancy way of saying “breakfast tacos!” Here in Texas, we have tacos for breakfast. lunch and dinner. We feel like the rest of the country is seriously missing out. If there ever was a trend to latch onto, this is the one! What’s it doing way down at number 16 anyway? This one should be number one!

Last, but not least is food trucks. I know here in Austin we’ve been eating out of food trucks for years! It’s a great, affordable way for aspiring chefs to get their start. Wanna jump on this trend? (warning: shameless plug ahead!) ShortOrder.com has all the equipment you need to get started, and has outfitted quite a few of these restaurants on wheels. This trend is another one that needs to stick around. It’s an exciting change to the restaurant industry and a way around the financial roadblocks that are often found when trying to achieve your dreams of restaurant ownership.

What other trends are you seeing that didn’t make the list? Join the conversation on our Facebook page!

A Day with Pumpkin Puree

Tuesday, October 20th, 2015

It’s that pumpkin-carving time of year and that leaves the question: What do you do with all of those pumpkin leftovers? We’ve scoured the internet and have found some delicious recipes that use pumpkin puree. Here are the ones that sounded the best to us:

Breakfast

Pumpkin Pancakes

SO_pumpkinpancakes

Recipe from MarthaStewart.com

We’ve all had pancakes, from buttermilk to blueberry, who doesn’t love a delicious pancake for breakfast? These hot-cakes sound especially good because they’re mixed with pumpkin, cinnamon and nutmeg. Fall in a pancake? Yes, please! (more…)

How to Deep Fry a Turkey

Tuesday, November 25th, 2014

Deep frying a turkeyDeep fried turkey is a nouveau Thanksgiving treat, rising in popularity less than a decade ago but still nowhere near commonplace across the US. ShortOrder.com wishes everyone a safe and happy Thanksgiving this year, and with emphasis on the ‘safe’ part, we’d like to offer everyone a layman’s guide to safely deep-frying yourself a Thanksgiving treat.

Thaw the Turkey

Ideally, you’d be able to get a fresh turkey the night before Thanksgiving and keep it in the fridge, but how realistic is that? Better safe than sorry; get an appropriately-sized frozen turkey a week in advance and allow it to thaw in the fridge for that week (roughly one day per 4 pounds.)

(more…)

Our Favorite Thanksgiving Recipes

Tuesday, November 18th, 2014

Thanksgiving Turkey DinnerThanksgiving is one of those holidays that always poses a challenge to chefs; on the one hand, everyone knows what to expect; on the other, you want to show off you in everything you serve. ShortOrder.com has put together a few examples of how to do Thanksgiving in a way that is both classic and unusual at the same time; because there is no need to sacrifice individuality when you take on a classic recipe.

Turkey with Wild Rice Sausage-and-Apple Stuffing (Recipe courtesy of Food Network)

A new twist on a classic! Prepare your Thanksgiving turkey just like you always would, but instead of stuffing the cavity with a predictable bread-based stuffing, try this: (more…)

Now Serving – August 2014: Better Guest Engagement Boosts Repeat Visits

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

 

AUGUST 2014 A monthly newsletter showcasing the taste of cookware ISSUE 68
Now Serving

The days are getting shorter and school’s about to start which means we’re nearing the end of summer! Now is a great time to complete an inventory of all of your equipment and replace any items that are worn or damaged. Be sure to click here and browse the wide variety of equipment that ShortOrder.com has to choose from.

The month of August brings an abundance of fresh produce. What are some of your favorite fruits and veggies? Stop by our Facebook page and let us know! We’d also love to hear how we can improve your online shopping experience. And while you’re there, make sure you take a look at our one-day only deals! Don’t forget, if you review a product online, you will be automatically entered into Short Order’s monthly giveaway. Please join us in congratulating this month’s winner: David Luongo!
Don’t forget to check out our clearance section. We have a large variety of discontinued, and scratched and dented products that are all covered by the full manufacturer warranty.

In this month’s issue: Better Guest Engagement Boosts Repeat Visits, a refreshing and healthy recipe for a Spinach-Honeydew Cooler, and our featured products: a Bev-Air Standard Top Sandwich Prep Refrigerated Counter , an Eagle Blender Station, and a Turbo Air Direct Draw Systems Kegerator.

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

Ann Marie Hillier

Better Guest Engagement Boosts Repeat Visits

Why the Employee/Guest Relationship is so Valuable

According to multiple recent studies, restaurant employees who make personal connections with their guests have the largest impact and are much more likely to receive positive feedback scores and recommendations. Jason Q. Freed explains why the employee/guest relationship plays such a crucial role in gaining repeat business in his article, “Better Guest Engagement Boosts Repeat Visits.”

According to a recent Goodsnitch analysis of customer feedback, customers were 57% more likely to recommend a restaurant if they also identified a specific employee for recognition. Rob Pace, founder of Goodsnitch said, “Our data shows that a key driver of patron recommendations is when a customer connects with a specific employee.”

Additionally, recent research done by Deloitte shows that customers are more likely to return to certain restaurants on multiple occasions based solely on the relationships they have built with that restaurant and its staff. This will ultimately lead to word-of-mouth suggestions which has been proven to be one of the most influential marketing forces for any type of business.

Further studies have revealed that employees are often pleased to hear that they have been recognized personally by a guest, which causes them to offer an even higher level of service on subsequent visits.

“Connection is thus a two-way street that may also unlock the key to workplace happiness, retention and great service,” a news release from Goodsnitch says.

Featured Products
Bev-Air Standard Top Sandwich Prep Refrigeration
SPE48-08
Elite Series, Two-Section
$1,884.00 delivered
Eagle Blender Station
BWBS14-24
Wet Waste Sink
$605.00 delivered
Turbo Air Direct Draw Systems: Kegerator
TBD-3SD
3 (1/2) Barrel Capacity
$2,312.00 delivered
Click for more info!
Click for more info!
Click for more info!

Featured Recipe
Spinach-Honeydew Cooler
Check out this healthy recipe from epicurious.com.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Bunch Flat-Leaf Spinach
  • 2 Cups Cut-Up Honeydew Melon
  • 1/2 Lemon (Peel and White Pith Removed)
  • 2 Tbsp Lemon Juice (Optional)

Directions:

  1. Pass 1 bunch flat-leaf spinach, 2 cups cut-up honeydew melon, and 1/2 lemon through a juicer.
  2. Serve over ice.
  3. Add lemon juice to taste.
Short Order
Frymaster
Vulcan
Manitowoc
Beverage-Air
Globe

Pros and Cons of Recycling at Your Restaurant

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

Garbage and Recycling BinsRecycling: we know it’s good for the Earth, and thus by extension for humankind, but is it the right move for your restaurant? The decision isn’t as easy as you might think.

About 3 of 5 American restaurants recycle at least some part of the waste they produce; most of it in the form of plastic and cardboard packaging, or compost. Very rarely are major items such as unusable restaurant equipment, tables and chairs, or other durable goods recycled, even if they could be.

Right now, the most significant predictor of whether or not a given restaurant recycles is the quality of their municipal recycling program. But even in places where the program is excellent, there are several reasons a restaurant may decide against it.

(more…)

Houston, We Have Contact: How to Clean Food Contact Surfaces

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014

Short-Order_Chef-CleaningIf there ever was a spotless way to cook and prep food, it would be something along the lines of ‘cooking in outer space.’ You wouldn’t have to worry about any cutting boards to clean or messy paper towels, and all your food would be floating across the cabin of your spacecraft. After all, you never hear astronauts say, “Houston, did you forget to pack the detergent and bleach?” If only we could cook and eat our food like astronauts in space.

Alas, our gravity-bound environment forces us to deal with the food contact surfaces that we use every single day. Bacteria and diseases are more prevalent than ever and proper sanitization and cleaning are vital to keeping a healthy lifestyle. Here are some down-to-Earth steps for keeping your kitchen countertops clean and sanitized.

Step 1:

The first step is to clean and give your surface a good scrub down. This is the hard work such as scraping and wiping down the food- contact surfaces. If any type of raw meat touched the surface in question, grab a pair of rubber gloves to prevent the spread of salmonella or other bacteria and scrub away.  (more…)

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!

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!

 

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