Weekly Food Inventory Counts Can Save Time And Money

Tuesday, February 24th, 2015

Short-Order_Food-InventoryDid you know that according to industry averages, chain restaurants are two to three times as profitable as independent restaurants? How do they do it?! One way to cut costs is to do a weekly food inventory count and food cost calculation. While most independent restaurants do a monthly food inventory count, most chains calculate their food inventory weekly.

Though it seems like a daunting task to tackle weekly, don’t fear! We found some tips from RestaruantOwner.com to help you streamline the process.

Get organized! Accurate inventory counts can go out the window when your stock room and refrigerated storage are unorganized. Products should be easy to see and count. (more…)

Can you make GREEN by going green?

Tuesday, January 13th, 2015

Garden on the RoofIn his recent article on FastCasual.com, Ed Zimmerman asks the question that seems to be on everyone’s mind these days: “Is your restaurant green?” According to a recent survey among consumers regarding food trends, environmental sustainability ranked first!
The reasons to “go green” are numerous. It’s responsible, it shows you care about your community, but now you can add customer interest to the list – which means it’s profitable.

How can you go green?

Shop local. Locally sourced food is a growing trend and local farmers are more than happy to work with you. Develop monthly specials based on season. Don’t be afraid of adding it to the “featured menu,” even if there’s not a ton of product. If you run out for the night, it will increase the demand on future nights!

Source green foods. There are so many options! Chefs can now find green options year-round, even fruits and vegetables, pasta, cheese, wine and more. (more…)

Countdown to the New Year with the Top 10 Foods of the Last Decade  

Thursday, December 18th, 2014

Ice Cream Biscuit SandwichesThe American diet is an ever-changing creature, with constant surprises from newcomers like Sriracha, which has taken the nation by storm in recent years, becoming more popular than Tabasco in some parts of the country. But for all that, the core of the American diet doesn’t really change that much over the course of a decade. Or does it?

Actually, it turns out it does. While there are those trends that exploded, peaked, and then vanished all within the last 10 years, there are a few that have stuck with us, and you’ll probably be surprised at what they are. The data below is taken from a survey done by NPD research group that found the 10 foods that have grown the most in popularity over the past 10 years.

10: Pancakes

Yup! If you thought that pancakes peaked back when IHOP was at the height of its popularity, you haven’t been paying close enough attention. Be careful with traditional definitions of pancakes, because a ‘pancake’ isn’t always just simply, a pancake. The rise of savory pancakes like the San Francisco new-classic Sourdough-and-Sauerkraut Pancake and the Korean-American scallion pancake make this entry significantly broader than you might think. When you add in the fact that there’s a brand new PancakeBot 3D printer out there that will turn any graphic you give it into edible pancake art, you can see that this is far from the round buttermilk standby of your youth. If you’re getting serious about pancake making, we have this heavy-duty electric griddle for mornings when you need to feed a crowd quickly. (more…)

Fall Beer and Food Pairings to Offer Diners

Tuesday, October 7th, 2014

Assortment of Beers and AlesThere is something completely natural about the desire to pair beer with autumn food. Maybe it’s because the beverage shares a color with the leaves, or maybe it’s because the earthy flavors evoke the smell of the rain-soaked land…or maybe they just taste great together. If you’re running with that last theory, here’s our take on maximizing the flavor profile of your fall pairings:

Strong Beers for Strong Spices

Traditional autumn flavors are warm and spicy; nutmeg, cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves. To pair with these strong flavors, you want a strong beer. Pair these classic fall flavors with hoppy harvest brews or caramel-tinted American amber ales for the best effect. The significant exception; if you’re going to eat a traditional Mexican mole sauce, you’re better off pairing it with a pumpkin brew. The spice profile fits neatly in with the sweetness of that particular beer.

Hoppy harvests and American ambers pair well with soft, ripened cheeses such as Brie and Camembert. Similarly, intensely sweet fruit such as poached pears or bananas foster are perfectly balanced by the intensity of the harvest brews and amber ales. (more…)

Future Food Service Trends

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

Short-Order_Kitchen-ChefsLike everything else in the world of business, food service is constantly evolving. Exactly what the future will bring is naturally a matter of educated guessing more than certain understanding. Here are some of the trends we believe restaurant kitchens should prepare for in 2015 and beyond:

Energy Issues

Barring a radical innovation, electricity costs are likely to rise as time goes on, which means that cutting energy costs will continue to be a big part of food service in the future. Look for restaurants to switch to LED lighting, energy-efficient appliances, smart refrigeration, smart holding trays, and other energy-saving methods to lower overhead and promote sustainability.

Multi-Purposed Restaurant Equipment

As customers become more demanding and discerning and their requirements become more specific, restaurants are going to need equipment that is multifunctional and can be assigned to a variety of different purposes as seasons change, new menus roll out, and customers approach with unique requests. (more…)

Prepare Your Restaurant for Fall & Everything it Brings

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014

Chefs in a Restaurant KitchenFall is here, and it’s time to get ready for the changes the autumn season brings. No, not the changes in the leaves; the ones that are relevant to the restaurant industry. That means:

  • Football season
  • Back-to-school
  • Colder weather
  • Holidays approaching

 

Football season means piles of guys coming in asking for beer, finger foods (usually fried), and a clear view of The Game on one (or several) flat screen TVs. At the minimum, you’re going to want to change the filters on your deep fryers and your ice machines in order to keep them producing the freshest food and drinks they can. Also, if you haven’t already switched to craft beer on tap, this is the best time to do it. (more…)

National Food Safety Month: Tips for a Safe Commercial Kitchen

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

Restaurant Kitchen Chef Slicing VegetablesSeptember is National Food Safety Month, and we at Short Order want to honor that by putting up a short summary of the most basic food safety tips that we hope all of our clients and customers are following this month — and every month.

The Biggest Dangers in a Commercial Kitchen

There are two food-related dangers in a commercial kitchen that outweigh all others. The first is cross-contamination; getting one food into another in a way that leads to unsafe circumstances. The second is improper temperature control, which gives maleficent bacteria and viruses a chance to multiply and become quite dangerous.

What Foods Can Cross-Contaminate

There are two basic groups of foods that can cause problems with cross-contamination. The first group is the food that nasty viruses and bacteria grow on (or in). That means raw meat, raw fish, eggs, and pasteurized dairy products among others. The second group is the major allergens; milk, eggs, soy, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, and wheat. Any time you handle any of these foods, you need to follow strict protocols to keep them separated.

Keep Them Separated, Seriously.

This means cleaning surfaces and tools between each food — and possibly even having entirely different stations for processing ready-to-eat vs. cooked foods and allergenic vs. non-allergenic foods. It means storing your food in containers that seal without leaking, and putting the food most likely to contaminate in the event of a spill on the bottom shelves. It means packing contaminating foods in separate containers from others when transporting them.

Temperature Control

The most obvious element of temperature control in cooking is making certain that all of those aforementioned raw foods get cooked to a safe internal temperature before they’re consumed, but there’s a bit more to it than that. Temperature control also means keeping food out of the ‘danger zone’ between 40 degrees and 105 degrees Fahrenheit. That in and of itself is a complex task involving a myriad of protocols for transporting, storing, thawing, preparing, cooling, storing the leftovers, and reheating the leftovers (make sure everything reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit for at least 15 seconds before serving).

Food safety is a critically important element of every restaurant’s function. All it takes is some people getting sick from eating at your restaurant to have catastrophic effects on your business. Follow the rules, and keep you customers and your employees safe this September and all year long.

What’s New in the Restaurant Adult Beverage Industry?

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

Different Kinds of Alcoholic Beverages on White BackgroundWe like to keep an eye on what foodservice industry research giant Technomic is talking about, and right now, it’s all about adult beverages. Let’s take a look at what Technomic predicted earlier this year and how their predictions panned out so far.

2014’s Predictions

At the beginning of the year, here’s what Technomic had to say about the direction of the adult beverage industry:

  • Savory flavors like tomato, vinegar, and spices were going to rise in popularity.
  • Premade cocktails were making a splash.
  • Tropical fruits including mango, along with pears, were becoming norms.
  • Craft beer and cider continues to grow in popularity as it has steadily for years.
  • Palate-cleansing spices like ginger, mint, and lemongrass were starting to explode.
  • Crossover drinks that combine elements of cocktail, beer, soda, and even exotic elements like milkshakes are appealing to the younger audience.

(more…)

5 Tips for Restaurant Catering Success: Supplies, Ideas, and More

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

Buffet Food by Catering ServiceIf you run a restaurant, it can be a very profitable (but very scary) notion to try to get into the catering business. On the one hand, you are already making a bunch of food every day and catering basically just increases your audience. On the other hand, catering offers its own unique set of challenges and potential pitfalls.

Want to up your foodservice game? Here are some tips for success moving from restaurateur to caterer.

1. Decide On Your Service

There are lots of different kinds of catering, and each comes with a unique set of operations. For example, catering a business luncheon, a wedding, and a kindergarten class field trip are three very different kinds of catering. Before you make any other decisions, decide what kinds of events you intend to cater, making sure they match the kinds of food you can produce. (more…)

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…)

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