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.

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Now Serving – November 2013 – The Changing Face of the Children’s Menu

Tuesday, November 5th, 2013

 

NOVEMBER 2013 A monthly newsletter showcasing the taste of cookware ISSUE 59
Now Serving

Thanksgiving is almost here. Is all of your equipment in tip-top shape, ready for the busiest time of the year? If you do need to order a new piece of equipment, be sure to click here and check out the Gen2 closeout specials we are currently offering. With several different types to choose from, you should be able to find exactly what you’re looking for.

Speaking of Thanksgiving, did you know the average weight of a turkey purchased for Thanksgiving dinner is 15 pounds? With that big of a turkey, there are sure to be lots of leftover. What’s your favorite way to serve up leftover turkey? Let us know on our Facebook page! 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: Nathan Robinson!

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 Changing Face of the Children’s Menu, Pineapple Shrimp in Endive Leaves as a light and refreshing no-cook appetizer, and our featured products: a Gen2 Fryer, a Stoelting Soft Serve Machine, and a Luxor Utility Cart.

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 Changing Face of the Children’s Menu

Bring in More Business with an Updated Kid’s Menu

 

Nicole Granese discusses the strong influence today’s children have on where parents choose to dine out in her article, “Want Fries With That? Kids Say ‘No Thanks’ To Boring Kid’s Menus.” She also lists four things restaurants need to focus on on in order to create a kid- and parent-approved experience:

1. Better-for-You OptionsMore attention is being paid to the childhood obesity epidemic than ever before. Consequently, kids are being taught the importance of making healthy eating choices in schools across the country. 80% of 5-11 year olds surveyed by KidSay agreed that healthy eating is considered to be cool. Why not attract more customers with healthier options that both the kids and parents will approve of?

2. Larger SelectionAlthough the traditional fare of chicken fingers, mac and cheese, and grilled cheese still dominate most kid’s menus, it has been proven that at least 41% of parents prefer a larger variety of both entrees and beverages for their children to choose from. And if the extra options are nutritious, even better.

3. More Sophisticated FlavorsToday’s kids are seeking more sophisticated and exotic flavors than before. Chef’s throughout the country have an increased focus on developing recipes for kids that expand their palettes. Another common trend is to take traditionally “adult” dishes and transform them into kid-friendly options as well.

4. More Entertaining Dining ExperienceIn the past, children have wanted to order off of the kid’s menu for the toy. In recent years, both parents and kids have started to recognize that the majority of those toys are junk, and would instead prefer to receive some type of free activity. This can be achieved by providing free online content, game apps, or even expanding the kid’s menu to contain more activities.

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Featured Recipe
Pineapple Shrimp in Endive Leaves
Check out this no-cook appetizer from wholefoodsmarket.com.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Lb Cooked, Peeled Shrimp
  • 1 Large Cucumber, Peeled, Seeded and Diced
  • 2 1/2 Cups Diced Pineapple
  • 1/4 Cup Chopped Cilantro
  • 3 Tbsp Lime Juice
  • 3 Heads Belgian Endive

Directions:

  1. Chop shrimp and place into a large bowl.
  2. Add cucumber, pineapple, cilantro, and lime juice and stir to combine.
  3. Separate endives into individual leaves and arrange on a serving platter.
  4. Spoon approximately 2 tablespoons of shrimp mixture into each endive leaf and serve.
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Now Serving – Marketing Tips for the Holidays, Hot Apple Cider and Two New Manufacturers

Friday, November 16th, 2012
November 2012 A monthly newsletter showcasing the taste of cookware ISSUE 47
Now Serving

Howdy! How are things? Have you come down off of your sugar-high from all of the Halloween candy yet? I realize that a lot of major things have occurred around our country since our last newsletter, ranging from the Superstorm Sandy (I do hope that all our readers from the Northeast are recovering.), to the Giants winning the World Series, to Obama getting re-elected, to the NBA season starting on-time (unlike last year), and so much more.

Now we are merely weeks away from the biggest food holiday of the year…Thanksgiving! Do you keep with tradition and cook a turkey or do you celebrate in a different way? I overheard a co-worker that is going to break imagetradition this year by skipping the stuffing and turkey, and grill “Shrimp on the Barbie” instead. I know a lot of people that skip the cooking altogether and eat out as well. What are your plans? Tell us about it on our Facebook page.

Something exciting going on here at ShortOrder.com this past month, is that we have added two new manufacturers to our product line, Nemco and Luxor. Please stop by ShortOrder.com and search our new items. Each month, we do random giveaways on our Facebook page. We actually had two different promos happen last month that you possibly missed if you haven’t “liked” us yet. Another way to save, is to submit a product review on Shortorder.com. We’re giving away a $50 ShortOrder.com Gift Card to one reviewer per month. Join me in congratulating this month’s winner: Jeff Simon.

ShortOrder.com offers a great 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 month’s issue: How to use the holidays to your marketing advantage, an easy recipe for apple cider, and our Featured Items: a Gen2 Griddle, a Nemco Food Cutter, and Luxor Utility Cart.

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!

Meghan Jarrell

 

Take Advantage of the Holidays

10 Marketing Ideas to Bring in More Business

Now that we are into the fall, and rapidly approaching the holiday season, it is time to look at what you can do with your marketing to bring more customers in this year. According to Eleanor Frisch’s article: Top 10 Restaurant Marketing Tips for Holidays and Special Occasions, these tips are not only good for the holidays that are coming up; they can be applied to birthdays, anniversaries, and many other special occasions.

  1. Send holiday greetings – send your customers a warm greeting for an upcoming holiday to make them feel appreciated. You can include a small promotion at the bottom to entice them in, ie: free glass of champagne for couples on New Year’s Eve, etc…
  2. Offer a birthday gift – the National Restaurant Association says that more than half of Americans eat out on their birthday. Encourage them to choose you over another location, by sending them a free gift of sorts, such as a free dessert in advance.
  3. Sell gift certificates – take advantage of different holidays all year long by displaying them in a visible location near the point of sale or at the entrance. A lot of certificates are never actually used, which turns into direct profit.
  4. Put on a special holiday promotion – don’t lower your prices but add something extra to add value, such as a free taxi ride on New Year’s Eve, or a special meal/menu on Valentine’s Day for two
  5. Throw a holiday party – focus your food and drink menu around the theme, ie: Mardi Gras, New Year’s, Halloween, etc.., provide special entertainment and advertise through flyers and direct marketing
  6. Use seasonal decorating – this one is simple: roses and candles for Valentine’s Day, for New Year’s Eve use sparkly things, Christmas lights during December, etc… keep up with the seasons but don’t conflict with your overall design
  7. Host a holiday fundraiser – put together a food drive, or pick a day to give a certain percentage of sales to a local charity, and then advertise wherever you can, to bring in the customers
  8. Be politically correct – you do not want to lose customers due to ignorance. Make sure to train your staff and appropriately decorate and word menus and signage to say “Happy Holidays” versus “Merry Christmas”, unless you are certain that your main customer demographics are from a specific religion
  9. Put on a unique holiday stunt – ideas would be to turn your establishment into a haunted house for Halloween, or dress all your wait-staff as elves for Christmas, or hide eggs during Easter. Dress someone as a giant turkey on the street to bring in clients around Thanksgiving. Your options are endless.
  10. Advertise for the holidays – think about events occurring around each specific holiday, there are a lot of local Christmas programs at schools, ballets, etc… put an ad in their bulletins. Thanksgiving would be a good time to advertise in the “food” section of your local newspapers and magazines.

 

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Featured Recipe

Easy Apple Cider

This easy recipe from allrecipes.com will spice up any holiday party.

Yield: 8 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 (64 oz.) bottle apple cider
  • 3 Cinnamon Sticks
  • 1 Teaspoon whole allspice
  • 1 Teaspoon whole cloves
  • 1/3 Cup brown sugar

Directions:

  1. In a slow cooker combine apple cider and cinnamon sticks
  2. Wrap allspice and cloves in cheesecloth and add to pot
  3. Stir in brown sugar
  4. Bring to boil, then reduce heat and serve warm
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The Right Restaurant Equipment for a Delicious Thanksgiving Feast

Thursday, November 8th, 2012

Whether you are catering to the whole family clan or a big group of friends, the right restaurant equipment can help make Thanksgiving food preparation faster, leaving you with more time at the table.  When cooking for large numbers, efficiency is the name of the game.  Mixers, combination ovens, and even Gen2 fryers can make life in the kitchen easier.  Here are some things to consider when putting together your own delicious Thanksgiving feast:

Start cooking your turkey first so it is guaranteed to be finished by the time everyone is settled at the table.  There is nothing worse than a table (or two, or three) full of guests and no main course.

If you decided to deep fry your turkey, be absolutely sure it is completely thawed.  It will probably take 3 to 4 days in a refrigerator to take a turkey from totally frozen to fully thawed and ready for the fryer.   If you’re not sure it’s thawed… wait some more.  Trying to fry a frozen turkey results in splattering oil that can cause a major fire if it comes into contact with a flame.

Be sure to consider your guests’ food preferences and allergies.  Nuts, shellfish, dairy, eggs, and certain fruits are some common food allergies to be wary of.  Also, be careful to keep any allergy-friendly dishes apart from each other on your restaurant equipment.  Clean surfaces and containers thoroughly that may have been contaminated by the allergens.  Additionally, the kids’ table may be pretty picky, so in addition to your famous spicy Andouille sausage dressing have some kid-friendly sides on hand, too.

Be creative!  Think outside the box when it comes to your Thanksgiving meal.  Roast your sweet potatoes with lime and ginger, make a pumpkin coconut tart instead of traditional pumpkin pie, add a little curry to your macaroni and cheese, bake some garlic and sun-dried tomato corn muffins… the possibilities are endless.

Preparing a Fried Fall Feast with Gen2 Fryers

Thursday, November 1st, 2012

Now that October is coming to a close, it’s time to put away our spooky decorations, throw away the piles of empty candy wrappers, and make room for cornucopias, copious amounts of football, and a delicious autumn feast. This Thanksgiving consider using one of our Gen2 fryers to help you prepare a tasty fall meal in deep fried style. (Tis’ the season to treat ourselves, right?) Here are some of our favorite dishes that we know will complement any holiday meal.

Sides


Fried Stuffing on a Stick
 This is exactly what it sounds like: your favorite stuffing recipe battered, stuck on a stick, and dropped in one of our Gen2 fryers. Stuffing kebabs make it even easier to eat your favorite holiday side. And with the GEN2-F3-NAT, one of our most economical Gen 2 fryers, it’s never been easier to prepare your favorite seasonal fried foods. With a 40-pound capacity, you’ll be able to make enough stuffing to last you until New Year’s Eve.

Deep Fried Cranberry Sauce Fritters
Classic cranberry sauce is one of our favorite autumn traditions, but this new twist of a dish might just surpass the classic. You’ll need the gelatin-based cranberry sauce sliced into thin cylinders to make these disc-like servings of fried goodness. The GEN2-F3-NAT, or any of our other Gen2 Fryers, will help you get the perfect temperature to create a crunchy outside and a gooey delicious inside.

Main Course


Deep Fried Turkey
Fried turkey is quickly becoming one of the most popular ways to prepare this classic holiday headliner. Deep frying the bird leaves the meat crisp and crunchy on the outside and juicy and moist on the inside. Although this method is popular, it can also be dangerous. Here’s a trick to know how much oil to put in: place your turkey in the fryer then fill it with water until the turkey is fully submerged. Take the turkey out, and the water line remaining is how much oil you need. Just don’t forget to wipe all of that water out before adding new oil! With the GEN2-F5-NAT, one of the largest of our Gen2 fryers, cooking the holiday turkey is almost as easy as eating it. And with an automatic safety shut-off, frying your favorite poultry has never been safer.

Dessert


Pumpkin Empanadas
Empanadas, or hand pies as they’re called in northern regions, are tiny fried pies with delicious filling tucked into the center. This seasonal favorite is sure to make all of your guests happy. People love pumpkin pie. Now just imagine how much they will love fried pumpkin pie. With either the GEN2-F3-NAT or the GEN2-F5-NAT, or any of our other Gen2 Fryers, making these delicious pockets of pumpkin-goodness is simple, safe, and sure to leave every holiday guest coming back for seconds.

Now Serving: Buffet Food Safety Tips and Pumpkin Pie

Thursday, November 10th, 2011

Greetings!

Happy Thanksgiving!! It’s my favorite holiday – when you gather with friends and family and remember to give thanks for all that you have. It’s a great sentiment and one that I try to remember all year long. All of us at ShortOrder are thankful for you our customers, followers and friends. What are you most thankful for? Post it on our FaceBook page – Inspire others to be thankful too.

Quick reminder: Check out our special discounting program for those with a ShortOrder account. Don’t have an account? Create one today! Just log in with your first and last name and your email address, and you will be able to see steep discounts on many of our most popular items.

Enough about us! Please join me in congratulating John Heathcock – October’s winner for our product review drawing! 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.

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 often for the best deals.

In this issue: some tips on maintaining a clean Thanksgiving buffet, a recipe for Pumpkin Pie, and our Featured Items: Eagle hot food tables, Beverage Air kegerators and Scotsman ice machines.

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

 

A Feast to Remember!
So your guests remember the food not the illness….

Thanksgiving is right around the corner and with large meals and many guests, the meal often turns to a buffet. When food is out on display for self-serving, it is the responsibility of both the guest and the host/restaurant to follow the food safety tips.

For the guest:

  • Wash up! Clean hands are the first step in a safe and healthy food environment.
  • Use a clean plate for every trip to the buffet. This will prevent germs from being transferred between guests.
  • If you are at a buffet and notice someone re-using a dirty plate, inform the manager. Some people may not have seen the sign requiring a fresh plate for each trip.
  • Respect the sneeze guard! If there is one available, serve yourself with your hands and keep your eyes, nose and mouth above the glass barrier.

For the restaurant/server:

  • Wash your hands before preparing food.
  • Keep the kitchen, dishes and utensils clean and always serve food on clean plates.
  • Cook food thoroughly – Fresh and frozen raw meat, poultry and fish should be cooked hot enough to kill the bacteria, parasites and viruses that may be in the product. The temperatures shown below are recommended for home preparation of food. Always use a meat thermometer to check temperatures.
  • Hot foods hot, cold foods cold!
  • Hot foods should be held at 140 degrees or warmer
  • Cold foods should be held at 40 degrees or coolerTwo Hour Rule! Food should not be at room temperature for more than 2 hours. Replace empty dishes – do not refill them.

There you have it folks – not the most exciting subject, but one of the most important! Food safety tips are always important and especially this time of year when buffets are more prevalent.

Enjoy the holiday season – happy feasting!

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