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).
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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:

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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.

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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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Cook Up Something New for National Nutrition Month

Monday, March 17th, 2014

Vegetables on rangeHappy National Nutrition Month, everyone!

“But isn’t it always National Nutrition Month?” we hear you say. Well, it should be. But we don’t always pay the attention that we should to eating right and staying smart about what we ingest. That’s why the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics sponsors National Nutrition Month every March. This year, the theme is “Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right,” so we thought we’d have a look at ways to change the way you use your kitchen equipment so you can keep your customers healthy. Restaurateurs, use this opportunity to rethink your restaurant’s menu a bit. Don’t worry—you don’t have to change up your whole menu to accommodate this healthful holiday. Simply add a small section to your menu, adjust the way you are cooking some of your current foods, or add a one-month-only specials handout.

Here are some suggestions for menu additions this month for a salubrious celebration of National Nutrition Month.

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How to Deal with Bad Restaurant Reviews

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014

Unhappy dinersThe disgruntled customer: it’s an eventuality every restaurant will have to face. For one reason or another, every establishment encounters a patron who has a bad experience and who takes their complaints to the Internet review site of their choice. Whether it’s Yelp or TripAdvisor, these reviews carry real weight in a world where 81% of smartphone users said they used their smartphones to compare restaurants before choosing a place to eat (according to an NRN survey). That’s why it is truly to a restaurant’s advantage to learn how best to handle bad online reviews. In fact, if done correctly, restaurants can even turn negative press into positive marketing. Here are 5 steps to dealing with bad online reviews of your restaurant.

1. Keep Tabs on Your Reviews

The first step in handling negative reviews is to know what people are saying about you. While, yes, it is easier to stick your head in the sand and believe everything is peachy keen, it’s better to accept that people are probably talking about your restaurant. And the fact is, it’s better to know what they’re saying. Search Yelp, Urbanppoon, LocalEats, TripAdvisor, Zagat, Dine.com, and other review sites and mobile apps to find your restaurant and read comments and stories from reviewers. You may also receive reviews on Twitter or Facebook if your restaurant is active on social media.

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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.

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How to Be a Kid-Friendly Restaurant

Monday, January 20th, 2014

How to Be a Kid-Friendly RestaurantWith the trend of “healthy eating” on the rise, restaurants are being forced to reconsider their kids’ menus. According to a study by the NPD Group, parents are taking their kids out to eat less and less – meaning restaurants need to revise their game plans and become even more kid-friendly in order to retain customers with families. As picky and fussy as kids may be, they (and their parents) are a very important portion of restaurant patrons and can be a great source of revenue for restaurants seeking to be family-friendly. Luckily, developing a kid-friendly restaurant environment doesn’t require an overhaul of your restaurant equipment. All you need is a little preparation and proactivity:

1. Be Prepared

Before you examine your kids’ menu recipes, make sure that your restaurant facility is well-equipped to feed and entertain multiple families with children. High chairs and booster seats will come in handy for all ages of children who have a tough time sitting still. Be sure to clean and sanitize the high chairs and booster seats every evening, as we all know too well the ensuing disasters when dealing with children and finger foods.

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4 Skinny Menu Tips to Cater to New Year’s Resolutions

Friday, January 17th, 2014

4 Skinny Menu Tips Cater to New Year’s ResolutionsEvery year when January 1st rolls around, everyone starts planning out what their new year’s resolutions will be. Invariably, at least one resolution will be shedding a few extra pounds. This is why we at ShortOrder recommend developing a health-focused menu that will encourage customers to keep their resolutions while eating your delicious food. So, below are a few delightfully delicious, but health-conscious suggestions to add to your new menu:

1. Skinny Pizzas

Pizza is most definitely a restaurant staple, which is why it is a great idea to make a lower-calorie pizza. You can do this by using low fat cheeses, a plethora of fresh vegetables, grilled meats, and an ultra thin crust. You can’t go wrong with adding this to your menu.

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