Prepare Your Restaurant for the Holiday Season

Tuesday, November 8th, 2016

Everyone knows that the holiday season represents a prodigious boon for retailers. All across the country, big-box stores and mom-and-pop shops alike rake in a reported 20 to 30 percent of their total annual sales in the period between Black Friday and Christmas. This is a significant portion of any bottom line.

But retailers aren’t the only ones who benefit from the holidays. Restaurants like yours can also experience a huge increase in customers and sales, either through direct promotion of holiday specials or via residual foot traffic from nearby malls and shopping centers. The catch is, you have to be ready to handle the upcoming surge in a way that is least disruptive to standard operations. Towards that end, here are some tips on how to prepare your restaurant for the holiday season.

  • Get organized: Planning ahead is crucial for meeting the demands of the holiday rush, so getting organized should be your first step. Reviewing your reservation system (or implementing a new one), evaluating your available personnel and planning key shifts, and ordering extra inventory are just a few items that should be on your to-do list.
  • Hire short-term help: Being overstaffed during the holidays is far preferable to the alternative, which is why you should start looking for seasonal help now. Depending on the size of your restaurant and services provided, you may want to consider adding kitchen hands, waitstaff, banquet servers, and delivery drivers to the roster for the next couple of months.
  • Inventory smallwares and check equipment for usability: More customers means you’ll require faster turnover of smallwares (dishes, glasses, cutlery, etc.) and will have your ovens, dishwashers, fryers, ice machines, and food warming stations working overtime. Inventory smallwares now to make sure you have sufficient quantities to serve larger crowds and inspect your commercial restaurant equipment to see if any repairs or replacements are needed.
  • Consider temporarily expanding your services: To really cash in on the season, consider adding services that you don’t normally offer. These may include home and office deliveries, full-service catering for offsite events, onsite parties, and providing to-go sides, pies, and other desserts for customers to enjoy at their own holiday dinners.
  • Sell gift cards or gift certificates: Gift cards and certificates are not only a blessing for people seeking last-minute stocking stuffers, but also a way to continue driving traffic after the holidays. Be sure to have gift cards or gift certificates available, and train your staff to suggest a purchase to every customer.

A strong holiday season can push your restaurant into the black or turn a good year into a great one, but the benefits aren’t automatic. It takes a lot of time and effort to prepare for the influx of customers and provide them with outstanding service, so follow the tips listed here to get started.

ShortOrder SoundOff – Microwave Ovens

Monday, March 31st, 2014


Microwave Ovens
March 2014

Microwave ovens are an essential part of every kitchen. For commercial kitchens, it is important to use a commercial microwave oven as opposed to residential. Although residential microwave ovens are less costly, they will not be able to hold up to the demands a commercial kitchen brings, and they lack NSF sanitation standards.

Commercial microwave ovens are higher wattage which guarantees faster cooking as well as safer defrosting. They also have a more advanced heat distribution system which allows food to be evenly re-heated. The majority of commercial microwave ovens have programmable controls which not only makes it easy to use with one-touch start, but this feature also saves energy and is much more efficient.

Before purchasing your commercial microwave oven, it is important to consider how much power you will need.

  • 1000 Watt – This meets the minimum requirement and is recommended for small, limited use items such as the occasional sandwich meat or liquids.
  • 1200 Watt – This wattage is ideal for larger food items for both cooking and reheating. Most 1200 watt commercial microwave ovens come with touch pads and are cook time programmable.
  • 1700 Watt – This offers more power for bulk food reheating as well as a fast menu item turn around.
You can shop for microwave ovens here at

Featured: Commercial Microwave Ovens
Features & Specifications

5 Star


– 1700 Watts
– 3 Power Levels


– 66 Lbs

– 16.63″W x 13.19″H x 20″D
– Warranty: 3 yr. parts & labor



4 Star

– 1200 Watts
-11 Power Levels


– 73 Lbs

16.75″W x 13.5″H x 22″D
– Warranty: 3 yr. parts & labor




4 Star
– 2200 Watts
– 11 Power Levels
– 94 Lbs
– 19.25″W x 18.25″H x 25.5″D
– Warranty: 3 yr. parts & labor




5 Star
– 1000 Watts
– 6 Power Levels
– 42 Lbs
– 20.13″W x 12″H x 16.5″D
– Warranty: 1 yr. parts & labor
Copyright © 2011. All Rights Reserved.


ShortOrder SoundOff – Commercial Steamers – January 2014

Friday, January 31st, 2014


Commercial Steamers
January 2014
For fast vegetable cooking and reheating, commercial steamers are your best option. Since steamers use water instead of oils and butter for cooking, the food being cooked will retain more of its nutrients and natural flavors. Steamers are also known for producing faster cooking times, which in turn will increase productivity in your kitchen. In order to ensure the best results from your commercial steamer, follow these cooking tips listed below.
  1. Always preheat your steamer.
  2. Wait until after steaming to break up and season frozen vegetables, never before.
  3. When steaming vegetables, always use a perforated pan.
  4. Use a solid catch pan underneath any meat that is being steamed in a perforated pan.
  5. Make sure that the drain is 6 feet away from the steamer.
It’s also important to consider whether you prefer a steamer that is a convection steamer or convectionless. The main difference between the two is that convection steamers come with a fan which allows for more even cooking. And finally, make sure to only use a new AGA commercial gas flex hose with the purchase of your new commercial steamer. These hoses are designed to be extremely heavy duty and almost always have a brass quick connect. The plumber supplied home-type flex hoses are not built for commercial applications and are not NSF approved.You can shop for commercial steamershereat

Featured: Commercial Steamers
Features & Specifications
5 Star


– Convection
– One Compartment


– 62,000 BTU

– 21.63“W x 25″H x 33.38″D
– Warranty: 1 yr. parts & labor



5 Star

– Convectionless
– 5 Power Levels


– 2100 Watts

25.57″W x 13.81″H x 20.75″D
– Warranty: 1 yr. parts & labor




3 Star
– Convection
– 2 Compartments
– 100,000 BTU
– 24″W x 59.21″H x 37.13″D
– Warranty: 1 yr. parts & labor


5 Star
– Convection
– Double-Stacked
– 54,000 BTU
– 21.75″W x 61.13″H x 36.13″D
– Warranty: 1 yr. parts & labor

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.


Now Serving – January 2014 – The Power of Saying ‘No’

Tuesday, January 7th, 2014


JANUARY 2014 A monthly newsletter showcasing the taste of cookware ISSUE 61
Now Serving

It’s the start of a new year! Now is the best time to inspect and take inventory of your current restaurant equipment. If you are in the market for a new piece of equipment, be sure to click here and check out the Gen2 closeout specials we are currently offering. With a wide variety of equipment to choose from, you should be able to find exactly what you’re looking for.

January is National Soup Month. What’s your favorite soup recipe? Stop by our Facebook page and let us know! While you’re there, make sure you take a look at our one-day only deals! And if you review a product online, you will be automatically entered into ShortOrder’s monthly giveaway. Please join us in congratulating this month’s winner: William Pingree!

Don’t forget to check out our clearance section. We have a wide variety of discontinued, and scratched and dented products that are all covered by the full manufacturer warranty.

In this month’s issue: The Power of Saying ‘No’, Roasted Dates with Bacon as a no-fuss appetizer, and our featured products: a Hatco Heat Lamp, an APW Hot Plate, and a Beverage-Air Deep Well Bottle Cooler.

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

Ann Marie Hillier

The Power of Saying ‘No’

Not All New Opportunities are Good Opportunities

Throughout your business life, there will be times when saying ‘no’ to new opportunities is the best decision to make. Brian Moran outlines five different circumstances in which every business owner should learn to say ‘no’ in his article “The Power of Saying ‘No’.”

1. The Opportunity Doesn’t Get You Closer to Your Goals If you already have a set plan in place with specific, measurable goals, it will be much easier to determine good opportunities from wild goose chases. You must ask yourself if the presented opportunity will get you closer to reaching those set goals.
2. Your Own House Isn’t in OrderBefore you start adding new concepts and ideas to your own business, make sure that your foundation is solid. If you are still in the process of establishing your business, focus on that and hold off on taking advantage of new opportunities until your business is more stable.
3. The Opportunity Siphons Off Valuable Resources from Your Own Projects As a business owner, you have a finite amount of time, money, and human capital to help you reach your goals. Before taking on a new opportunity, you must ask yourself if you can still achieve your goals while giving this new opportunity access to your finite resources.

4. You Have the Wrong PartnerBefore taking on a business partner, make sure that all expectations have been clearly understood and that you have thoroughly researched this person’s background to ensure your long-term goals are compatible.


The Opportunity Doesn’t Align with Your Core Offerings
Before you say yes to a new opportunity, ask yourself if it will cause any confusion among your customers. If you think it might, be sure to take a second look at the upside potential versus the downside risks.


Featured Products
Hatco Heat Lamp
800 Watts, 48″ Long
$176.00 delivered
APW Hot Plate
30,000 BTU, 6-Burner
$1,570.00 delivered
Beverage-Air Deep Well Bottle Cooler
Shallow Well Design
$1,220.00 delivered
Click for more info! Click for more info! Click for more info!

Featured Recipe
Roasted Dates with Bacon
Check out this no-fuss appetizer from


  • 16 Fresh or Dried Pitted Dates
  • 16 Smoked Almonds
  • 8 Thick Slices Apple-Smoked Bacon


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cut a slit in each date, and place almonds inside slits.
  3. Press dates together to close slits, and wrap each date with a piece of bacon.
  4. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until bacon is crisp.
Short Order

ShortOrder SoundOff – Slicers – December 2013

Monday, December 30th, 2013


December 2013
If you are running a deli or sandwich shop, you will find that a slicer can save you money as well as time. Slicers allow you to produce uniform slices of meat and cheese, and much faster than if you were using just a knife. Before making this purchase, it is important to determine what and how often you will be slicing, how much time you have to dedicate to slicing, and what motor design will best fit your needs.
Your first consideration should be duty-type. Light/standard duty is ideal for slicing deli meats, but is not recommended for slicing cheese. Medium duty can be used to slice cheese for about an hour per day, but is not recommended for frozen products. Heavy duty slicers can be used to cut any amount of any type of meat, cheese, or frozen products.
The next consideration is whether you will most benefit from a manual or automatic slicer. A manual slicer requires someone to manually slide the feeder tray back and forth over the blade. An automatic slicer will automatically slide back and forth, without any supervision needed. Another consideration should be the motor design. Slicer motors are either belt-driven or gear-driven. Gear-driven slicers are more expensive, but will be more reliable and require less maintenance. The belts that drive belt-driven slicers don’t require much maintenance, but they do require regular cleaning. For high volume situations, the gear driven slicer is the best option.
You can shop for slicers here at

Featured: Slicers
Features & Specifications
3 Star


– 40 & 60 Strokes/Minute
– 13″ Diameter Blade


– Automatic, 2-Speed

– 23“W x 25.1″H x 26.7″D
– Warranty: 1 yr. parts & labor


German Knife

4 Star

– Gravity Feed
– 12″ Diameter Blade


– Manual, Gear Driven

25.6″W x 23.6″H x 23.4″D
– Warranty: 1 yr. parts & labor


German Knife
4 Star
– Angle Feed
– 10″ Diameter Blade
– Manual, Light Feed
– 23.7″W x 17.4″H x 18″D
– Warranty: 1 yr. parts & labor


4 Star
– 20 & 60 Strokes/Minute
– 13″ Diameter Blade
– Automatic, 1-Speed
– 28″W x 25″H x 29″D
– Warranty: 1 yr. parts & labor

Holiday Tip: Restaurant Gift Cards Gaining Popularity

Monday, December 16th, 2013

Holiday Tip: Restaurant Gift Cards Gaining PopularityBecause there is less time between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year, restaurants are coping with a shorter holiday shopping season, and are looking for ways to make up for missed revenue. Fortunately, it looks like it is prime time to take advantage of the gift card. Overall, more than 80% of shoppers plan to buy at least one gift card during the holidays this year, according to the National Retail Federation’s gift-card spending survey. And as the economy improves, shoppers are moving away from retailer gift cards and willing to buy restaurant gift cards. Both full service and fast casual restaurants are faring well with this trend, with everyone from Olive Garden to Starbucks showing up as top contenders in the top 20 of a survey of most-desired gift cards by the Baltimore-based card-exchange company, GiftCardRescue.

So how can your restaurant capitalize on rise of the gift card? Here’s how to boost your restaurant’s gift card sales.


The Gameday Essentials Checklist for Restaurants

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013

Has your restaurant seen an increase in action every Monday night since the football season started up? If so, there are a few appliances that your restaurant needs to have to be able to run a successful Monday night football event that will not only keep your customers happy, but keep them coming back for more.

The first item, and probably most important piece of restaurant equipment on our checklist, is a good draft beer cooler. Draft beer is more popular than ever, so it’s a good idea to keep plenty on tap to cater to guest’s tastes. ShortOrder suggests getting one with a 2+ keg capacity so that your customers have a few options to choose from. Plus, by using a Kegerator that has a multiple keg capacity, you’ll have a smaller chance of running out during a big game. After all, the last thing a football fan wants while watching their favorite football team play is to run out of beer.

Next on our list of essentials is a nice, heavy-duty commercial fryer. When you get a fryer from ShortOrder, you don’t have to worry about it breaking down in the middle of a football game when your customers are ordering a plethora of fried foods. If this happened, your customers would not be happy, and might change their gameday hotspot for watching the football game.

Last on our gameday checklist is the perfect commercial charbroiler. Any restaurant that caters to football fans knows that on Mondays it’s best to be fully stocked up on favorites like hamburgers and hot dogs, which are staples in the Monday night football fan’s diet. This is why you need a charbroiler that will grill a great hamburger every time.

So are you ready for next Monday based on our checklist? If not, contact ShortOrder today and let us take your kitchen to the next level.

Ice Machines, Spices, and More: Top Drink Trends

Monday, August 26th, 2013

Are you caught up with the most recent trends in the beverage world? Restaurants that don’t change with the times can find themselves a bit low on profit and slow in business, so it’s best to put your ice machines to good use to offer customers trending options when it comes to drinks. This week ShortOrder offers you some of the top beverage trends in the business, and some ideas about how to incorporate them into your menus, from ice machines to coffee beans.

Pour-over coffee is making headway right now in the restaurant industry. This delectable spin on your basic brew involves pouring boiling water over a filter packed with coffee grounds. The result is the freshest of cups of Joe, and it seems patrons are willing to pay a little more for the quality. To mix things up, serve pour-over coffee on ice from your ice machines.

Try out specialty ice for your cocktails if you want to give your ice machines a rest. Flavored ice cubes might include smoked ice, flowers, fruits, spices, and herbs, and alter the flavor of a drink from start to finish. Use mint-infused ice in a mint julep, or simply add a new flavor to an old favorite with ice flavored with cinnamon or nutmeg.

Spicy cocktails are another trend making the rounds at bars everywhere. This trend is manifesting in everything from cocktails with a strong splash of ginger to martinis featuring harissa, a North African chile paste. The spicy cocktail is actually part of a growing trend in preferences for foods with a kick in all areas of the menu. Take advantage of this trend by shaking up some spicy-but-subtle cocktails over ice from your ice machines.

Craft beer has been a major player in the bar scene, and it doesn’t look like it’s going away any time soon. In fact, according to the Brewers Association, craft brew sales rose saw a 17% rise last year. To take advantage of this trend, find out where your local breweries are and consider stocking some of their wares. Customers will appreciate the local patronage, and brewers will appreciate the revenue and the publicity.

More Ice Machines and Tips from ShortOrder

What drink trends are you excited about right now? How have you put your ice machines to work to cash in on beverage trends? Connect with ShortOrder on Twitter and Facebook and tell us about it! You can also browse our selection of ice machines online and find the one that fits your bar or kitchen’s needs the best.

Harness the Impulse Buy with the Benefits of Display Shelving

Friday, August 9th, 2013

The impulse buy is a major draw in foodservice establishments, and display cases help facilitate impulse buying in a big way. Whether you’re promoting baked goods or beverages, display shelving and display refrigeration can help an establishment move product and earn a greater profit in the long run.

Display shelving and refrigeration are best for small products that customers can pick up and take with them, either as to-go items or as items that accompany a meal. Chips, muffins, cookies, bottled water, wrapped sandwiches, juice, and fruit are all great candidates for display shelving success. Place your displays next to the checkout counter for optimum impulse buying potential.

Display Shelving

Display shelving is great for wrapped dry goods like baked goods and bagged snacks. For places that are short on space, vertical display shelves take up less room than horizontal ones, and are a great way to put things closer to eye level. Place heavier items on the bottom shelves to ensure the display doesn’t tip over during busy, crowded hours. The most popular items should be kept on the top shelves.

Display Refrigeration

When it comes to display choices, display refrigeration presents a lot of different options. Tall, short, enclosed, open-air… choosing the one that works best for your establishment is easy. Just think about the kind of product you want to promote and where the optimal place for it would be. For example, if you want your display to be near the checkout but still allow customers to see over the counter, an open-air self-serve case might be best. If you have a corner or wall that needs extra refrigeration space, a one-door or two-door upright display refrigeration unit might fit in your restaurant better.

Connect with ShortOrder

Do you use display shelving or display refrigeration in your establishment? Does it help you with sales of small products? To tell us, and to keep up with ShordOrder for more tips on display shelving, display refrigeration, the restaurant industry, and more, find ShortOrder on Twitter and Facebook.

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