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.

(more…)

7 Tips for Range Safety in Your Kitchen

Monday, March 3rd, 2014

Commercial Range Burner SafetyAre you being safe enough in your kitchen? Ranges are a smart addition to any restaurant’s kitchen, but only if you take the right precautions when cooking with, cleaning, and maintaining them. Don’t let kitchen safety fall by the wayside when the dinner rush hits. Follow these 7 range safety tips to keep your kitchen hazard-free and staff-friendly.

1. Always keep your ranges clean. A clean range is a safe range. It’s also the most efficient, which is handy when the clock is ticking during high volume hours. Grease and leftover food pieces can catch fire if they are not cleared away from the range’s cooking area regularly.

2. Clean your kitchen floors. Liquids around a commercial range are a safety hazard, so keep your kitchen’s floors clean throughout the day.

3. Don’t store items on top of a range. This is what’s commonly referred to in the restaurant industry as “an accident waiting to happen.” Anything stored on top of a range, even if the range is off, is a fire hazard. Likewise, be careful what your store around the range. Flammable items should be kept in a different area of the kitchen.

4. Pay attention to temperature. Monitor the range, and never leave a hot range unattended. Always keep oven mitts and potholders nearby to prevent accidents and burns.

5. Watch for leaking gas. If your range has open gas burners, keep an eye on the flame to make sure it is a quiet, steady blue. If your flame is a sputtering yellow one, turn it off and inspect your range immediately.

6. Keep equipment safely upright. The traffic flow in your kitchen should be suited to the setup of your equipment, and vice-versa. Make sure your range is safely positioned so no one is in danger of rushing into it and knocking it over. This is especially important for light-gauge steel ranges, which weigh less and are easier to tip over.

7. Keep up with range maintenance. You should regularly inspect your range to make sure all connections are properly hooked up and all parts are in good working order. Also clean your range regularly to prevent buildup of grease or other solids.

If you have questions about how to buy a range for your commercial kitchen, check out 6 FAQs about Commercial Ranges or the ShortOrder buyer’s guide to ranges. Not sure which range to buy? Contact us on Twitter or Facebook, or call ShortOrder for free at 800-211-0282.

 

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.

(more…)

How to Be a Wine Connoisseur

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

How to Be a Wine ConnoisseurSo, it’s wine o’ clock at your restaurant, and you have no idea what wine to serve your customers. Don’t worry; ShortOrder is here to help. We’ve put together a short four-step plan that will turn you into a wine guru.

1. Develop Your Own Wine Palate
If you have never been one for the taste of wine, we suggest starting out with a modest wine. For example, many white wine-only drinkers who want to try the world of red wine start out with a nice Malbec, because its flavor isn’t as bold as, say, a Merlot or Cabernet. Also, to help you truly experience all of the flavors, we suggest that you make sure to swish each sip around your mouth instead of just throwing it back.

(more…)

Restaurant Preparedness Tips for the Holiday Season

Monday, November 25th, 2013

Restaurant Preparedness Tips for the Holiday SeasonAs the Thanksgiving holiday fast approaches and the cold fronts roll in, many consumers will be bundling up and heading out of their homes to do their winter shopping. With special sales events like Black Friday coming up, everyone will be out and about checking holiday gifts off their lists. As time runs low, consumers will be turning to restaurants like yours to keep them energized as they frantically scramble to get gift shopping done in time. This means that as a restaurant, you had better be prepared! Your customers will have been battling lines and catty cashiers all day, and will expect their meal to be a relaxing break away from the mall madness. Here are some handy tips from ShortOrder to prepare your restaurant for a heavy holiday load while maintaining winter cheer.

(more…)

Now Serving – July – How to Use Credit Card Processing to Your Advantage

Friday, July 12th, 2013

JULY 2013 A monthly newsletter showcasing the taste of cookware ISSUE 55
Now Serving

I hope that you all had a great 4th of July! I know I did. How is your kitchen equipment holding up in the heat? I know that ice machines tend to take a beating during the summer months. You should make sure to inspect them, and give them a good cleaning to keep them running at their optimal level. We have over 200 ice machines to choose from, so if you happen to be needing a new one click here. thermometer

I am sad to say, this will be my last newsletter with y’all, as I am moving onto something new. ShortOrder.com has been amazing! Great boss, fantastic co-workers, and wonderful customers like yourself. It has been a privilege to be a part of this company. Ann Marie will be taking over our newsletter, and I’m proud to pass the torch to her.

How are you staying cool this summer? Let us know on our Facebook page! That is also the place to find out our one-day-only deals! ShortOrder does a random giveaway each month to someone who has reviewed a product online. Please join us in congratulating this month’s winner: Karen Hulett!

When in a financial crunch but needing to buy some new equipment, make sure to visit our clearance section first. We have scratched and dented, and discontinued products that are all covered by the full manufacturer warranty.

In this month’s issue: Change your way of thinking about credit card processing, Orange-Banana Smoothie Pops to keep cool, and our featured products: a Manitowoc ice machine, a Gen2 griddle, and an Advance Tabco cabinet base work table.

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

Meghan Jarrell

How Processing Credit Cards Can Help Your Sales

It’s time to shift your way of thinking

 

Have credit card fees got you down? Do you feel like you are wasting money? Well, that’s probably because you are. You are now most likely thinking this is an article about some magical way to make those fees disappear, but it isn’t; sorry! According to Dan Simons’ article in The Kitchen Sink, he suggests that it is all about how you look at the situation.

The percentage of customers using plastic over cash is on a rise and not slowing down anytime soon. In 2012, 81 percent of money spent in the US at full-service restaurants was charged to debit, credit or pre-paid cards, which is an increase from years past, and quite a high percentage. Therefore, you cannot fight customers paying with credit cards. Times have changed and this is just how things are, but what you can do is use that information to your benefit.

Each time a credit card is swiped you immediately have stats such as: the customer’s name, how much they spent, how much they tip, what time of day they visited, etc… That information can be remarkably beneficial. There are new, innovative companies out there that will provide that information for you, and help you put that data to good use. Your credit card processor usually will not share this information for various reasons, so you have to find a “payment marketing” company that will.

Credit Cards

 

For example, there is an upscale-casual dining restaurant in Washington, D.C. that has put this marketing tool into effect. Through an online dashboard they were able to implement a frequent buyer program after learning how many return customers they have. They now are able to keep notes on their returning customers and personalize their experience each time they return. It is time to switch your negative feelings about credit card processing over to positive ones, and start utilizing all of the data that you have right in front of you.

Featured Products
QM-30A
gen2-mg-24c-nat
hk-ss-2410
Manitowoc Ice Machine
QM-30A
65-lb/24 hr, dice size cubes
$1,349 delivered
Gen2 Griddle
Gen2-MG-24C-NAT
2 burner, manual control
$814.00 delivered
Advance Tabco Cabinet Base Work Table – HK-SS-2410
14/304 SS, hinged doors
$2,498.00 delivered
Click for more info! Click for more info! Click for more info!

Featured Recipe
Orange-Banana Smoothie Pops
Orange Banana Pops
Cool off this summer with this recipe from countryliving.com
Yield: 6 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 7 Oz. greek yogurt
  • 2/3 Cup thawed orange juice concentrate
  • 2 Large bananas
  • Zest of 1 lime
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lime juice

Directions:

  1. Puree all ingredients
  2. Pour into six 3 ounce molds
  3. Freeze for 4 hours, or until solid

Tip: To release pops, dip molds into hot water until pops loosen and slide out.

Short Order
Frymaster
Vulcan
Manitowoc
Beverage-Air
Globe

The Most Efficient Way to Use Your Gen2 Griddles

Thursday, October 18th, 2012

Here at Short Order, we take our products and the quality of the food they help make very seriously. Not only do we want to provide you the very best in restaurant equipment, but we also want to make sure you can get the best results for whatever it is you’re preparing. Take our extensive selection of state-of-the-art Gen2 Griddles, for example. Here are a few tips on how to use our griddles as efficiently and effectively as possible:

Take Your Time
Kitchens can get hectic, and when you are in the middle of a big rush, things can fall through the cracks. It’s easy to forget to heat the griddle before service and try to crank the heat up as high as possible in order to make up for time lost. This creates two problems. First, the drastic rise in temperature will waste energy and cost you money. Second, that much heat created that fast will make for an uneven cooking temperature which means the outside of your food will be overcooked or burned while the inside is still cold.

Take the TG-48C-NAT Gen2 Griddle for example. It’s heavy-duty gas griddle and thermostatic controls gives you a heat range from 150 to 450 degrees Celsius. With a little preparation and the help of custom thermostats, you can get the perfect temperature for any recipe you need so your food is cooked to perfection on the inside and out.

Use Thawed Ingredients When Possible
Similar to slowly raising your temperature, try to avoid putting frozen food directly onto the Gen2 griddle. The surface will have to produce more heat and energy in order to cook the food. And sadly, just like heating the surface up too quickly, food won’t cook as well in the center.

Keep Away from Cold Spots
In order to maximize your griddle’s efficiency, try your best to keep it away from doorways and overhead air conditioning units. The less cold air your Gen2 griddle has to compete with, the hotter it gets with less time and energy.

Keep it Clean
Keeping your griddle clean, just like all other restaurant equipment, is a given, but cleanliness also helps cut down on energy costs. A large surface like the Gen2 Griddle MG-24C-NAT makes cooking a breeze. However, it can be an intimidating surface to clean. Pro Tip: Instead of scraping and cleaning a cold griddle surface, heat the griddle to where it’s barely warm. This will loosen up all the debris and making cleaning up a whole lot simpler.

Now Serving – Restaurant Marketing Tips and Zucchini Cobbler

Friday, July 13th, 2012
July 2012 A monthly newsletter showcasing the taste of cookware ISSUE 43
Now Serving
Greetings!

I hope everyone had a great 4th of July! We’re in the heat of summer now – How’s your equipment holding up? This time of year is tough on ice machines as they have to work twice as hard to produce the same amount of ice. If you’ve repaired yours several times, you might consider replacement. Foodservice Equipment and Supplies wrote a helpful article on when to replace your ice machine – read it here. If it IS time, check out our deals on ice machines of all sizes here!

If you’re in the market for ice machines, or any other piece of equipment, there’s a way to save on your equipment costs: You can earn some money while helping other people out. Go to Shortorder.com and submit a product review! We’re giving away a $50 ShortOrder.com Gift Card to one reviewer per month. Also, keep an eye on our Facebook wall – and check back frequently for special one-day only deals!

Don’t miss the clearance section, full of scratch and dent and discontinued inventory! These products have only minor physical imperfections and are protected by the full manufacturer warranty. Clearance inventory changes often so check our clearance section for the best deals.

In this issue: Remarkable Restaurant Marketing: What Works?, a recipe for Zucchini Cobbler and our Featured Items: a Scotsman ice machine, a Panasonic microwave, and a Beverage Air refrigerator.

Remember, this newsletter is for you and if there is anything you’d like to know more about – give us a shout! We’d love to hear from you.

Enjoy!

Tylee Van Waes

Remarkable Restaurant Marketing: What Works?

A brief analysis of a study on restaurant operators and their customers

Recently, the National Restaurant Association conducted a study to better understand restaurant operators’ use of and preferences for particular marketing channels and how consumers engage and respond to them.

Restaurant operators have always struggled to find the best way to draw loyal customers. They use a wide variety of marketing channels ranging from traditional print to online media. It is important to not ignore one avenue over the other, as they work together to form a cohesive message and build a relationship with customers. Research shows that a marketing strategy that is balanced and meets consumers’ expectations is the right approach.

What does that mean? We’ve listed a few of the highlights from the report:

targetKnow your customer – Do some research and get to know your customers’ likes, locations and lifestyles. Customized marketing for your particular customers is the most effective.

 

Connect online – Tech savvy customers have an expectation of an online presence such as a website, email, social media and maybe even daily deals online.

 Extend your reach – Don’t go crazy here, but do make an effort to balance your marketing campaign with thoughtful online dialogue and a consistent message across all mediums.

 Build your reputation – Customers view restaurants with an online marketing campaign as trustworthy, upscale, modern and popular (all good things!). It is also a good idea to monitor the web for negative remarks and always take the time totalk (respectfully!!) respond to any issues. It shows the customers you care.

 Join the conversation – When using social media, remember that customers consider it to be their personal space. Ditch the hard sales approach, join the conversation, be respectful and informative.

For the full report from the National Restaurant Association and LivingSocial, click here.

Featured Products

ice machine
microwave
fryer
Scotsman Ice Machine & Bin
C0330MA-1B/B330P
381 lb/24hr production
344 lb storage
$2529.00 delivered
Panasonic Microwave
NE-1054F
1000 Watts
10 memory pads
$234.00 delivered
Beverage Air Refrigerator
KR48-1AS
2 door reach in
$2537.00 delivered
Click for more info! Click for more info! Click for more info!

Featured Recipe
Zucchini Cobbler 

A zucchini cobbler? That’s right! Check out this awesome recipe from  allrecipes.com!
Yield: 25 Servings Ingredients:

  • 8 cups peeled, chopped zucchini
  • 2/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups butter, chilled
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

 

Directions:

  1. In a large saucepan over medium heat, cook and stir zucchini and lemon juice until zucchini is tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in 1 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and nutmeg and cook one minute more. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease a 10×15 inch baking dish. In a large bowl, combine flour and 2 cups sugar. Cut in butter with pastry blender or two knives until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir 1/2 cup of butter mixture into zucchini mixture. Press half of remaining butter mixture into bottom of prepared pan. Spread zucchini mixture over top of crust, and sprinkle remaining butter mixture over zucchini. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon cinnamon.
  3. Bake 35 to 40 minutes, or until top is golden. Serve warm or cold.
cobbler image
Short Order
Frymaster
Vulcan
Manitowoc
Beverage-Air
Globe

 

Time for Some Spring Greening!

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

I’m sure you’ve heard of spring cleaning, but this year try some spring “greening!” If it’s time to replace restaurant equipment, go for Energy Star rated products, start recycling or buy recycled products, but in honor of upcoming Earth Day, take one small step to in the right direction. There are tons of opportunities to make a difference in your ecological footprint.

Why?

There are many benefits to going green! It saves you money and brings an added value to your environmentally conscious customers. They’ll feel good knowing they support an environmentally aware business.

How?

Some simple changes can make a huge difference.
- Try buying in bulk. It reduces the amount of individual packaging and trash. It can also result in lower unit cost.
- Do you serve your food in take out containers? Consider switching to washable dishware for in-house servings. If you must use a to-go container, consider using recyclable products.
- What about your light bulbs? Using an energy efficient light bulb, like an LED, will save you significantly on energy costs. So even if they are more expensive up front, the savings will pay for itself in the long run.
- Replacing equipment or buying a new piece? Make sure you buy one with an Energy Star rating. Energy Star is a government backed program that helps businesses protect the environment through superior energy efficiency. An Energy Star rating says that the equipment will offer savings on energy bills without sacrificing performance, features or comfort.
- Fix Leaks! Stop air leaks by caulking and insulating around leaking windows and doors. Repair leaky toilets or faucets
- Reduce waste by switching from paper towels in the restroom to energy efficient hand-dryers.
- Unplug computers, electronics, coffee machines, POS systems when not in use.
- Use less water and only serve water to customers upon request. Run dishwashers and washing machines only when FULL. Look into low-flow toilets, waterless urinals and tankless water heaters.
- Clean and maintain your equipment. Clean equipment runs more efficiently.
- Check your door gaskets on your equipment. The constant opening and closing of oven, steamer and refrigeration leads to wear and tear on the gaskets. Replace worn gaskets to reduce leaks of hot or cold air.
- Check your pilot lights. They are a constant use of energy in your kitchen. If the flame is taller than a couple inches or yellow in color, adjust it until it’s small and blue. Also clean the range and replace old burners to maximize efficiency.
- Carefully calculate capacity – analyze your peak demand and base your equipment capacity based on your peak demand. Remember to account for future growth as well! In general, overestimate your equipment capacity by 10-20% to make sure it will meet your needs over the 5-10 years it should last.

Oh My!

That may seem like a lot to do, but don’t feel pressure to do all of these now. Make a goal to implement just one of the above this month and rest easy knowing you are making a difference. Next month, try another. Pretty soon you’ll have a greener restaurant and a cleaner earth to pass on. Happy Greening!

Short Order | What’s Cookin’

A Restaurant Equipment Blog for the Enhanced Professional Kitchen

View ShortOrder's Product Lines

Gen2
Gen2
Luxor
Luxor
Nemco
Nemco
Vulcan
Vulcan Ranges
Scotsman
Scotsman Ice Machines

Low Price Guarantee

ShortOrder.com is committed to being the low price leader. Not only will we meet, but we'll beat any legitimate advertised price from a competing food service equipment dealer for any item in our inventory. We will gladly refund 110% of the difference on an identical item from another dealer (including all freight charges.) Contact us at 800-211-0282 if you feel you have located an item that is priced lower than ShortOrder.com.

We beat any price

PRODUCT CATEGORIES