Opening a Bakery? Restaurant Equipment You’ll Need for Sweet Success

Monday, September 30th, 2013

If you’re about to dive into the world of puff pastries and pies, you’ve got an adventure ahead of you. Opening a bakery takes a lot of planning (from the right restaurant equipment to an excellent selection of treats), but its rewards can be sweet. After you’ve crafted a mouth-watering menu, you’ll want to start putting together all the necessities to get your kitchen up and running. Here’s what restaurant equipment you’ll need for ultimate bakery success:

Storage

Keeping things organized, both in the kitchen and out front, are key components in making a bakery run smoothly. Though decidedly unglamorous to implement and maintain, good organization will make life a lot easier, allowing you to keep supplies within easy reach and making food inventory easier.

Restaurant Equipment

You’ll need all the restaurant equipment basics to bake up a bevy of classic bakery treats. For example:

Fryers will facilitate the creation of donuts, fritters, fried pies, and the like.
Convection ovens cook foods more quickly and evenly, and cause the butter in baked goods to lose its moisture faster, resulting in a flakier, crispier food
Commercial mixers make it easy to combine larger amounts of ingredients with minimal effort, mess, and cleanup.

Display Shelving

What’s a baked good without a proper display case? Unlikely to get eaten, that’s what. Make sure your bakery items are well-displayed on display shelving or in glass cases so that customers can eyeball their chosen foods before selecting their favorites. After all, it’s fairly easy to resist a doughnut on a menu board, but much harder when all that glazed, sugary goodness is right in front of you.

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Change Your Ranges with the Locavore Movement

Thursday, February 14th, 2013

Many restaurants are looking for ways to set their business apart from the rest.  This week we can help you change what goes on your ranges for cooking by investigating the popularity of the locavore movement.  A unique approach to buying, preparing, and serving food, the locavore philosophy can be a way to improve your relationship with both the surrounding community and with your customers.

About the Locavore Philosophy
The term “locavore” refers to a person who is committed to eating local foods.  What constitutes “local” can vary depending on who you ask to define “locavore”; it can mean keeping to foods within a 100-mile radius of your home to keep within an entire city or region of your state.  The type of food available to locavores ranges from eggs from local farms and vegetables from farmers’ markets to local honey sold at a grocery store.

Why Go Locavore?
Choosing to stick to the locavore philosophy may have some drawbacks for businesses, but the benefits are great as well.  The most obvious benefit of eating locally is that you and your customers know where your food comes from and what is in it.  The resulting menu for your ranges, then, consists of fresher foods, opportunities for seasonal dishes, and a greater variety of foods to cook on your ranges.  Patronizing local growers and vendors also puts money directly back into the local economy, avoiding the need to exact a chunk of profit for a middleman in the production or shipping process.

How to Buy and Eat Locally
Raw fruits and vegetables are main contenders in a locavore’s starting menu, but it is equally possible to find local poultry, eggs, dairy, and meats.  And this philosophy doesn’t just apply to raw ingredients!  The type of food you can get from local vendors ranges from the simple to the fully-finished.  Locally-made jams, coffee, baked goods, paper products, and even beer can be incorporated into your restaurant’s repertoire.

How to Alter Your Menu
You may not be able to turn your whole menu into a locavore’s feast—and that’s fine!  Instead, try swapping out 5 major ingredients for foods that you can easily obtain locally and use on your ranges and in your ovens.  Alternately, you could choose to make 2 or 3 dishes for your ranges that you can tout as completely locavore-friendly.  You should also advertise your vendors on your menu, even if only by way of a small list on its back.  This lets your patrons know exactly where their food is coming from—and isn’t that the point of going local?  Plus, it will help you strengthen your relationship with your vendors, who will appreciate the publicity.

 

Beyond Breakfast: Oatmeal’s Other Uses with Restaurant Equipment

Thursday, January 17th, 2013

As you may already know, it’s National Oatmeal Month!  It’s time to break out your restaurant equipment and explore the wide world of oatmeal.  As a breakfast dish, it makes for a great start to the day, since it takes longer to digest and makes you feel fuller for longer.  Additionally, it is full of B vitamins and calcium, and may lower your risk of heart disease and high cholesterol.  There are plenty of ways to get creative with this great grain using your restaurant equipment.  Last week we showed you a breakfast recipe as an excellent example of how to prepare delicious oatmeal-oriented dishes, and you may also remember a holiday pie that incorporated oatmeal for a nice crunch.  Here are two more unique recipes that include oatmeal to cook up on your restaurant equipment.  Happy National Oatmeal Month from ShortOrder!

Peanut ‘N’ Jelly Muffin Cake

This food doesn’t know which meal it should belong to.  Is it a muffin?  A cake?  A sandwich?  Quaker Oats files it under “breakfast,” so we will too, but this unusual treat would also make a great snack cooked up in your restaurant equipment.

TOPPING

  • 1/3  cup oats (quick or old fashioned, uncooked)
  • 1/4  cup all-purpose flour
  • 2  tbsp. firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/3  cup peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp. stick margarine or butter, softened

 

CAKE

  • 1-1/2  cups all-purpose flour*
  • 1 cup oats (quick or old fashioned, uncooked)
  • 1/2  cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4  teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 1 cup fat-free milk
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) margarine or butter, melted
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2  cup grape, strawberry, or raspberry jelly

 

Heat restaurant equipment oven to 350°F. Spray 9-inch round metal cake pan with cooking spray.

For topping, combine oats, flour and brown sugar. Cut in peanut butter and softened margarine with two knives or fingertips until mixture is crumbly; set aside.

For cake, combine flour, oats, brown sugar, baking powder and salt in large bowl; mix well. In small bowl, combine milk, melted margarine, egg and vanilla; blend well. Add to dry ingredients all at once; stir just until dry ingredients are moistened. (Do not over mix!) Pour into pan. Spoon jelly by teaspoonfuls randomly over batter. Crumble reserved topping evenly over batter.

In restaurant equipment oven, bake 35 to 40 minutes or until golden brown and wooden pick inserted in center comes out with just a few moist crumbs clinging to it. Cool 10 minutes in pan on wire rack. Cut into wedges; serve warm.

(Recipe via quakeroats.com)

Quaker Health Soup

This recipe is actually from a book of Quaker Oatmeal recipes from 1910!  The book promoted ways to incorporate oats into a daily diet.  It looks like the power of subliminal advertising isn’t just for the 21st century.  Here is the recipe for “Quaker Health Soup”:

Bring 6 cups highly-seasoned white stock to boiling point; add 1/2 cup oats and simmer one hour; rub through sieve and strain through one thickness of cheese cloth; add 2 cups scalded milk and bind with 2 tbsp. butter and 2 tbsp. flour cooked together; bring to boiling point; add salt, pepper, and cayenne to taste.

(Recipe via monthsofediblecelebrations.blogspot.com)

Warm Ovens and Home-Baked Holiday Treats

Thursday, December 20th, 2012

Last week we brought you some delicious winter drinks, but now we’d like to turn our attention the baked goods of the holidays.  Our ovens are chock-full of holiday treats.  As you know, catering to the holidays is an important part of standing out as a business.  Baked good fresh out of your ovens signal “home for the holidays” to patrons, and provide a way to warm up on cold winter days.  Here are a few sweet and fruity as-good-as-a-bakery recipes for a menu that will keep your ovens busy and your customers happy.

Traditional ovens will work for any of these recipes, but you might try baking them in convection ovens as well for faster cook time!  Just make sure to adjust baking time as necessary.  Enjoy these tasty recipes and have a warm holiday!

Breakfast:  Berry Oven Pancakes
Take this breakfast-time favorite and re-shape it!  Use the small container of your choice, be it a 2-cup baking dish or a gratin dish.  Put a tablespoon of butter in the dish, bake for 3 minutes, then take the dish out, making sure butter fully covers the bottom of the dish, and add pancake batter.  Bake for about 13 minutes.  Spoon a berry medley or the filling of your choice into these bowl-like pancakes and serve warm.

Appetizer: Cranberry Orange Brie Crostini
A twist on the traditional crackers-and-brie combination, this creation is a great way to start a meal and celebrate the decadence of the holidays.  Just spread marmalade over baguette slices, add a thin slice of brie, and bake.  Set your oven’s timer for 4-5 minutes to melt the brie.  Take the slices out and top with dried cranberries and pistachios.  For a savory variation, replace the fruit and nuts with black forest ham, and bake under the broiler for about 3 minutes.  Ta da!  Instant hors de’oeuvres.

Dessert: Crunchy Oatmeal-Nut Apple Pie
Pie, as a holiday staple, can be found in many ovens this season, and is preferred by many over even the best cookie recipes.  Whether you choose to use a ready-made pie crust or you make one from scratch, this textured version of America’s favorite dessert will satisfy traditionalists and adventuresome foodies alike.  Simply mix whole-wheat flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, and a pinch of salt in a medium bowl. Cut in 2 tablespoons butter until evenly distributed. Add orange juice concentrate for a hint of citrus, and nuts for more texture.  Simply bake an apple pie for 30 minutes, remove it from the oven, sprinkle the crunchy topping liberally over the pie’s fruit, and bake for another 20 minutes.

Warming Up Your Ovens with Marketing Campaigns for Holidays

Thursday, November 22nd, 2012

It’s the most wonderful time of the year… for food.  Kitchens have been gearing up their ovens for the winter holidays, and now that they’re here, we welcome the opportunity to try out holiday specials and offer customers a variety of options during the holiday season.

So many holidays feature food as a major part of their celebration.  Think about it: chocolates and romantic dinners for Valentine’s Day, anything green on St. Patrick’s Day, a traditional Easter Dinner, barbecue for the Fourth of July, the soohor and iftar meals during Ramadan, all things pumpkin for Halloween, turkey and all the trimmings for the Thanksgiving, latkes (potato pancakes) and sufganiyot (jelly-filled doughnuts) for Hanukkah, and a feast for Christmas fresh from the ovens.  The possibilities for culinary creativity are endless.  Here are some good ideas to help drum up some business for your ovens on holidays year-round.

Use Unique Holiday Promotions
Offer customers some incentive to choose your business in particular on a holiday.  This might mean offering a specialized “green” menu on St. Patrick’s Day, advertising a discount or special service to larger parties around New Year’s Eve, or if you are a casual establishment, holding trivia nights with themed quizzes and small prizes.

Advertise Strategically
Think about your main demographic of customers and cater to them when advertising.  Place ads in the local newspapers’ or magazines’ food sections.  If your business has social media outlets, use them to advertise and promote any special offers you may be running.

Decorate for the Holiday
Opt for colors that match the season, and keep your décor neutral to cater to all tastes.  Colored lights for winter holidays, sparkly décor for New Year’s, candles and draperies for Valentine’s Day… you get the idea.

Stay Politically Correct
You may think that being “PC” is overhyped these days, but political correctness is something you should pay special attention to in your marketing.  Be inclusive in your advertising.  A simple “happy holidays” on signs, menus, and wished by your staff will welcome customers of all types, and the kind sentiment remains intact.

Keep your ovens full and your guests happy with unique advertising, and you’ll all have a happy holiday, no matter the time of year.

Alto-Shaam Ovens and Holding Cabinets

Wednesday, February 10th, 2010

Alto-Shaam Holding CabinetAlto-Shaam restaurant equipment at ShortOrder.com includes ovens and holding cabinets, two things that many restaurant kitchens consider must-haves. And many restaurant owners and chefs choose Alt0-Shaam due to the manufacturer’s excellent reputation for reliability and performance.

Here at ShortOrder.com, our editors have recognized several Alto-Shaam ovens and holding cabinets as Editor’s Choice, and they’ve also rated some with five stars, the highest possible rating. Alto-Shaam is truly a leader in the industry and has earned the respect of many.

What’s more is that the Alto-Shaam Cook and Hold oven recently won Best in Class from Foodservice Equipment and Supplies Magazine for the 8th year in a row.

Alto-Shaam Ovens

Shop our impressive selection of highly-rated Alto-Shaam ovens, including the Alto-Shaam Oven 10-10ES/S/208-240/1. This oven is rated five stars and has an Editor’s Choice rating. It is an oven/steamer combination and is electric. Additionally, there’s the Alto-Shaam Oven 750-TH-II/208-240/1, a single-desk slow cook and hold oven. And yes, you guessed it: This is yet another Editor’s Choice/five-star rated Alto-Shaam unit.

Alto-Shaam Holding Cabinets

In need of holding cabinets? Alto-Shaam might be your best bet. Check out the Alto-Shaam Holding Cabinet 1000-UP/STD/208-240v, a heating cabinet that’s won Best in Class. It’s mobile and also features a double compartment and flat wire rack slides for 18×26-inch pans. This is a sleek unit with a stainless steel interior and aluminum exterior. This is just one of many Alto-Shaam holding cabinets available.

Alto-Shaam at the Lowest Prices

Thanks to our Low Price Guarantee on restaurant equipment, you’ll have the assurance that you’re getting your order for the lowest price possible. We also offer flexible freight terms and even ship to Dubai and Canada. There’s no better place to get Alto-Shaam ovens and holding cabinets. Plus, we offer a great selection of restaurant equipment from Vulcan, Manitowoc and more.

Taste of Chicago is Summer Favorite

Monday, June 16th, 2008

Taste of Chicago in 28th Year

The Taste of Chicago is an indicator of summer for many Illinois residents. Considered the world’s largest food festival, the Taste of Chicago promises not to disappoint.

The Taste of Chicago, considered the second largest tourist attraction in Illinois, runs for ten days starting this year on Friday, June 27th and running until Sunday, July 6th. The Taste of Chicago, now in its 28th year, sees over 3 million festival attendees in its Grant Park location in downtown Chicago. There are over 70 restaurants and food vendors that participate each year in this free-admission food festival.

Taste of Chicago Brings World Class Fare

All types of cuisine can be found at this much anticipated food festival. Kitchens all over Chicago prepare ethnic and exotic foods, family favorites and Chicago specialties to feed all the hungry festival goers. Then the restaurants line up along the park with their portable ovens and refrigerators in hopes that their food creations are chosen as the Taste of Chicago favorite.

Taste of Chicago More Than Food

Food isn’t the only thing that you will find at this Mid-West food festival. You will also find a 5K Race for the Taste with proceeds going to the Greater Chicago Food Depository, as well as top-notch entertainment.
The free entertainment at the 2008 Taste of Chicago food festival includes the likes of Chaka Kahn, Stevie Wonder, Plain White T’s, Gomez, Old 97’s, Bonnie Raitt and many others.

Taste of Chicago Participants

Now if you are a Chicago restaurant that wants to participate in the Taste of Chicago, you are a little late for this year. The applications were due back in February. However, contact the Illinois Restaurant Association to make sure that you are on the list to receive an application for the 2009 Taste of Chicago.

And if you do get in, make sure to give us a call and we will get you all the restaurant equipment you need to prepare your festival cuisine.

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