9 Ways to Spice Up Your Fall Menu

Wednesday, November 4th, 2015

Restaurant Fall MenuAs it gets colder, customers’ taste buds start to beg for something warm and comforting. Out with crisp summer salads and barbecued meat, and in with the soups and baked goods. However, standard recipes can become stagnant over time, so it’s important to spice things up every once in awhile. Here are few ideas to help inspire your autumnal menu.

1. More Soup For You

When it’s cold, there’s nothing better than a warm cup of soup. However, it doesn’t take long for a simple soup du jour to become a bit boring. Branch out from traditional favorites like chicken noodle, and introduce some new flavors to your menu. Butternut squash is seasonal and super easy to prepare, a chorizo and white bean stew is a fresh take on a classic recipe, and spicy harvest chipotle chili gives a favorite fall comfort food a little kick. To get your restaurant ready for the season, try these bowls for a warmer color scheme. (more…)

School House BBQ: To Be Or Not To Be

Tuesday, August 18th, 2015

BBQ RibsRecently, a friend of mine asked me about turning a piece of property he has into a restaurant. To be clear, he doesn’t have a passion for foodservice per se, he is a successful operator of several assisted living facilities. The property he owns was purchased with the ambition of opening a new assisted living facility. He sees this endeavor as a “fun” investment. I thought I would comment on the thought process people go through as they look into opening a restaurant. In this case, the plan is to open a tap house and restaurant.

The property in question is a school house that is 106 years old. It sits on 2.5 acres in a well-populated midwest suburb near a major city. The first step was to take the idea to the city to see if they would support changing the use of the property from assisted living to a foodservice establishment. Not only was the city enthusiastic about the idea, they sent my friend to look at a tap house in a nearby large city. They said, “If you can do something like this, we’ll be your best customer!” With that hurdle cleared, now the real work could begin! (more…)

Best In Class Equipment

Wednesday, June 10th, 2015

Each year Foodservice Equipment & Supplies (better known as FES) Magazine polls their subscribers and asks them to evaluate equipment and supplies manufacturers on seven characteristics. The seven key factors are:

  • Product Quality
  • Product Value
  • Product Design and Aesthetics
  • Service and Support
  • Sales Representation
  • Product Inventory and Availability
  • Product Information Availability


The results come out each in October. You might be shopping now, and if you can’t wait until October, here are the top performers from 2014. (more…)

3 Questions To Ask Before Buying A Commercial Range

Thursday, May 14th, 2015

ShortOrder_Range-Garland-h284Whether you’re looking to broil, fry, grill, or simmer, commercial ranges offer an array of cooking choices in one piece of equipment. As one of the most useful tools in the kitchen, finding the right commercial range for your restaurant is important. How many burners do you need? Will you want griddles? Before investing in a range for your commercial kitchen, ask these 3 questions:

How much output do you need from your range?

There are two basic types of commercial ranges: restaurant duty and heavy duty. Restaurant duty ranges—the most common choice—work great for most commercial kitchens. They are made to stand alone, with durability and easy use in mind. Additionally, restaurant duty ranges are less expensive than their heavy duty counterparts. For kitchens that require high volume usage, a heavy duty range is the best option. However, these ranges typically cost more up front and are more expensive to maintain. (more…)

Stop, Watch and Learn

Tuesday, April 21st, 2015

Line Cooks In Restaurant KitchenSince I’m in the biz, I can’t stop watching and analyzing operations in restaurants… often times to my wife’s dismay! I look for missed opportunities and often suggest to the managers a slight change that might make a big difference. Recently, I was at a diner where my family and I enjoy dining on a regular basis. The place is always packed on the weekends and the speed of service is… fair. The food offsets the wait for a seat and the time it takes to get served. The diner is an open-kitchen operation. You can sit at the counter and watch the sausage being made. A couple visits ago, the place was a madhouse. Customers were waiting, the kitchen staff was arguing and the food was moving slowly and with little accuracy. Remakes were clogging the already bogged down line.

In the hour or so I waited for my food, I drank coffee and watched the craziness, I noticed something. The font on the tickets was too small! The confusion in the back was being greatly increased because the tickets were hard to read. The staff had to actually pull the tickets off the rack and hold them up to their eyes to see what they said. On top of that, everyone had reading glasses on their heads. They needed two hands to read each ticket! (more…)

About Commercial Microwave Ovens

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2014

Commercial Microwave OvensIt’s the most wonderful time of the year… or at least the busiest! For many restaurants, the holiday season brings in lots of hungry families. Whether they’re tired from shopping all day or they’re in town for a family visit, they all come in to your restaurant ready to EAT – and fast! Many times, the quickest way to get the customers what they want is with a commercial microwave, and you’ve never needed it more than the holiday season.

Has your microwave picked the worst possible time to call it quits? Or are you just in need of an upgrade? Make sure you’re shopping for the right microwave oven for your needs.

Commercial Microwave Oven vs. Residential Microwave Oven

If you’re running a commercial kitchen, you might be tempted to save a few bucks and run up to the local small appliance store and grab a residential model. Be warned, there are a few reasons why the extra money is worth the investment! (more…)

Kegerators: The Best Choice for Your Restaurant or Bar

Tuesday, October 28th, 2014

Beverage Air KegeratorIt wasn’t actually that long ago that pubs and saloons had to rely on massive, walk-in ice rooms or other large refrigerators to keep their beer cold. But today, even a tiny hole-in-the-wall can offer cold draught beer through the magic of kegerators. Available in sizes and shapes that range from sizable, industrial units to little rolling coolers, kegerators are made to maximize the draught beer experience while minimizing the space required. Modern restaurant/bar kegerators come with a variety of features, including (but not limited to):

  • Digital temperature readouts.
  • Digital temperature controls.
  • Batteries w/charge indicators.
  • Stainless steel draught tower.
  • Intense cooling ability, down to 32 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Forced-air refrigeration that keeps the hoses cold so there is no ‘first foam’ effect.
  • Sturdy castors for easy rolling.


Introducing Smallwares on ShortOrder.com

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014

Smallwares Food CanisterShortOrder.com has been in the business of providing high-quality, low-cost restaurant equipment since 2007, and we’re proud of the products we offer and the service we provide. That said, we are always looking for ways to improve our service and offer additional quality products for the food service industry. In an effort to expand our product offerings, we proudly announce the introduction of smallwares!

What is a ‘Smallware’?

Smallwares are the small items that every kitchen needs in order to function. We are moving beyond just kitchen equipment and adding a variety of vital and useful items, including:

  • Plumbing Supplies: Faucets, water filters, pre-rinse lines, drain baskets, and more.
  • Disposables: Plastic cutlery and dinnerware, food wrap, take-out containers, etc.
  • First Aid, Personal Safety, and Food Safety Supplies
  • Janitorial Supplies: From brooms and mops to cleansers to soap dispensers and beyond.
  • Kitchen Supplies: Including aprons, food scales, cutlery, timers, serving cards, and so on.
  • Food Service Equipment: From condiment pumps to overhead warmers and more.
  • Dining Room Supplies: Flat- and dinner-ware, beverage and napkin dispensers, etc.
  • Restaurant Hardware: From power cords and switches to trash bin coasters and beyond.
  • Restaurant Furniture: Child seats and crowd control barriers.


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…)

Get Ready for Kickoff: The Necessary Restaurant Equipment for Football Season

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

Tailgating Football FansFootball Season starts September 4th — is your restaurant ready? The football crowd has its own dynamic and its own wants and needs; if your restaurant equipment is not up to the demands they are going to place on it, you may be leaving money on the table. So what exactly do you need?


There is nothing the football crowd loves more than deep-fried food. Hot wings, chicken fingers, onion rings, french fries, and mozzarella sticks; these should all be a snap for your kitchen to pump out when the guys arrive for their ritual of beer and carb-coated snacks dipped in boiling oil. Fryers should be easy to access and well-maintained, because they are going to be seeing a lot of use this season.


Did we mention beer? There’s a good reason for that; it’s always been popular among the football crowd. This season, it’s going to get cranked up another notch as craft beers become the standard in many places from the Pacific Northwest to the Alamo. Kegerators combine the fresh-from-the-fridge taste of a bottle with the direct-to-the-mug convenience of draught — be sure you’re equipped.  (more…)

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