Take a look at these informative videos and articles and get some great ideas for your own foodservice solutions!
Back to topHow To Create A Healthy Company Culture In Your Restaurant
August 27, 2020 | by Kim Lorang
In any company, creating and maintaining a healthy culture is the key to employee retention and happiness. One might argue that this is even more important in restaurants, where team members often work long shifts and truly depend on one another to provide exceptional service to customers.
A positive, healthy culture where employees feel respected, valued, and encouraged to share their feedback without fear of retaliation is truly the backbone of a happy workforce!
Check out a few eye-opening stats on how company culture truly shapes an organization, from a study done by BuiltIn:
Why is establishing a healthy company culture such a crucial part of business? Check out a few benefits:
Hiring new talent: A healthy company culture gives your restaurant a competitive advantage when it comes to attracting new talent. Happy employees can become your strongest recruitment resource; when they tell others how much they love working in your restaurant, others will naturally apply for positions!
Retention and Loyalty: A healthy company culture breeds happy employees! When people enjoy going to work each day, they are far more likely to stay with their employer. Companies that invest in making their employees feel valued will notice their team is more productive, more motivated, and more willing to step up to help with projects that are not part of their regular duties.
Less Stress: Creating a healthy company culture is the top way to reduce workplace stress. When employees feel free to voice their concerns or feelings without fear and feel their feedback is addressed quickly and positively, they are less likely to feel frustrated and anxious.
Now that you understand how important it is to foster a healthy, positive culture in your restaurant, let’s talk about the steps you can take to ensure your workforce is full of happy, dedicated employees that are empowered to do their jobs well and communicate effectively with their team members!
Determine the Current Culture
Before you can figure out what you want your culture to look like, you must take an objective, honest look at what the culture looks like now. Depending on the level of trust your employees have in management, this could be as simple as sending out a survey to get feedback from employees to determine what they think the organization is doing well and what needs work. Unfortunately, if trust is broken, these answers may not be honest, as employees may feel they will be retaliated against if they share their real thoughts. It will be essential to review internal issues that have come up and read non-verbal cues of employees during daily operations in those cases. If you feel there may be trust issues, those issues need to be addressed first and foremost, as efforts to boost the company culture may be fruitless without laying that solid foundation.
Define the Desired Culture
Once you have an honest understanding of your culture and how your employees view it, you can begin creating the blueprint that will guide your company culture. Think about what words you’d like your employees to use when talking about your company. How would they describe your leadership team? What do you want communication to look like within your organization? How can you empower your team to do their best work and grow with your organization?
Set Clear Expectations
Once your leadership team has a clear idea of what your culture should look like, it’s time to share your plan with your team! Remember, if there is a lack of trust, your employees might be skeptical of the outcome. It is essential that the leadership team “walks the walk” every single day, demonstrating the values and actions in each interaction with the team. Make expectations clear, and encourage your employees to share ideas that might help further team satisfaction. Encourage positivity and express gratitude often. When employees see management making these efforts, they are much more likely to hop on board!
Foster Positive Connections
The more connected your team feels, the better your culture will be! Positive workplace relationships are so important; a company with a great culture can crumble if there are strained relationships between coworkers. When leadership shows excellent listening skills when an employee brings up an issue they’re having with another employee and goes out of their way to ensure all issues are addressed positively, employees will be less likely to feel resentment towards one another. Encouraging healthy communication and planning team-building events that allow your team to enjoy one another’s company in a relaxed setting are great ways to promote these connections!
Measure Progress and Recognize Changes
When you focus on improving your company culture and lead by example, you will notice a happier, more productive workforce over time. The more frequently you measure your culture’s growth, the better! Consider discussing your culture quarterly, and make it an activity that is woven into your everyday operations. Talk with employees to find out if their views on the company are changing. Take note of the number of issues you’re addressing with employees. Pay close attention to the way your team is communicating. Think about how interactions have changed since you began working to change the culture. Are more people coming to you with ideas or concerns? Are fewer employees reporting feeling overworked or undervalued? Have you had to mediate less issues between team members? Has employee retention increased? What feedback have you gotten during exit interviews? Be sure you recognize employees when they act in ways that align with the culture you’re working to build. Give praise openly and show your team you value and appreciate them often. So much of your measurables will come from your employees, so take your cues from them!
When you put as much effort into creating a standout company culture as you do creating wonderful experiences for your guests, your operations will run more smoothly. The investment you make in your culture, and ultimately your people, will pay off in spades when you have a restaurant full of happy employees that love coming to work each day. That focus on culture will quickly spill over into the customer experience when your team members work together to ensure your guests receive top-notch service while enjoying your standout food and drinks!
Food SafetyHACCP is vital in today's kitchen and these units make it easy!
Food Quality Slow chilling damages the food’s cells – creating issues related to taste, aroma, overall appeal and customer satisfaction. Blast chilling and shock freezing eliminates this damage, delivering a consistently finer product and a loyal, satisfied clientele.
Wider Menu - Greater Choices Offer your patrons what they’re actively looking for – a more varied menu of delicious, fresh-tasting choices! With a blast chiller/shock freezer as your culinary partner, chefs can complete semi-finished dishes in record time. More fabulous items on the menu means more delighted and loyal customers.
Time Saving Reduces prep times and production costs when you strategically use your blast chiller/shock freezer to prepare foods ahead of time.
Improved/Extended Shelf Life You can increase shelf life up to five days with a blast chiller. If long term storage is required, remember that shock freezing prolongs shelf life for several months.
Less Waste Discarded leftovers can become a thing of the past. Blast chilling or shock freezing makes them useful and desirable the following day.
Less Product Shrinkage The rapid speed of blast chilling protects moisture in food from evaporation up to 15% of overall weight.
Labor Saving Because chefs can now produce seven days worth of food in just three or four, labor and support personnel times can be minimized, creating greater efficiency, lowering expenses, and building a stronger bottom line.
Smarter Food Purchasing Buying in bulk at lower prices is not a risk–but a reward–when you introduce blast chilling and shock freezing into the food prep process. Seasonal items are now more accessible, and you’ll avoid the risk of running out of popular menu items during peak periods.
What's the difference between blast chilling and shock freezing?
Bacteria are the main cause of spoilage in food products. They find their way in and proliferate, causing food to deteriorate–starting with the appearance, then the texture and finally the aroma and flavor.
These micro-organisms work fast, especially at temperatures between 140 ÌŠF and 40 ÌŠF, however lower temperatures have a hibernating effect that increases as the temperature drops, thereby gradually reducing bacterial activity until it stops altogether.
To limit the danger of bacterial contamination in food, it is extremely important to lower its temperature rapidly, thereby reducing the time spent in the danger zone (140 ÌŠF to 40 ÌŠF).
The blast chiller allows the product core temperature to be reduced from 160 ÌŠF to 38 ÌŠF in 90 minutes, so that the food can be kept longer with its original texture, flavor and aesthetic qualities.
After blast chilling, the food can be preserved at a temperature of 38 ÌŠF for up to 5 days, after which it must be reconstituted to serving temperature.
Freezing temperatures (0 ÌŠF) enable the storage time of food products to be extended. However, it is necessary to ensure that the freezing process does not damage the food quality.
Slow freezing leads to the formation of macro-crystals of ice, which cut into the food tissues, making the food change consistency and lose nutritional characteristics upon thawing.
Shock freezing is the only system that allows food products to be preserved for weeks or even months, keeping the initial quality almost intact.
The fast penetration of cold transforms the liquids in the food into micro-crystals, which do not damage the tissues of the food, so that upon thawing, the product will not have weight and color loss while the texture and flavor remain unchanged.
With a shock freezer, it is possible to bring the food temperature to 0 ÌŠF within roughly 240 minutes.
Have a look at some of these units here, and contact us to find one to suit your needs!
Although many fine dining operators prefer menus listing their offerings accompanied by a brief description in print, others throughout the industry believe that when it comes to stimulating appetites and increasing sales, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” Creating just the right image requires working with talented professionals skilled in both arranging appetizing depictions of food and drink and sensitive enough to maintain a “family look” over a given series of images. This is especially important in that the illustrations will frequently be used in many formats, including menus, collateral materials, table tents, websites, and others. In some family or QSR restaurants, they will be enlarged and backlit to serve as the main customer selection guide.
The intrinsic difficulties in photographing food items require skill, patience, and—very often—multiple examples of the same item due to the fact that hot lights can create an adverse effect and it often takes time to set up the shot. A noted New York photographer who serves both foodservice operators and suppliers describes the difficulty of photographing a mug of cold beer: “We had a freezer with 16 mugs that had been left overnight to achieve the right frosty appearance. The frost would last only a few seconds under the lights and, to get the right effect, the beer had to be lighted both front and back and from below. We would carefully pour it to get just the right ‘head’ and then use an eyedropper to create a line in the frost. The shoot took several hours, and we couldn’t touch a drop of the beer until it was over."
If you are planning to incorporate photography in your menu and marketing efforts, here are a few suggestions:
Use a professional photographer.Photography is not inexpensive, but the average menu lasts two years. The website and other promotional uses make it worthwhile to present your offerings in the best possible way. There are key effects that you just can’t get by doing it yourself with a phone.
Tell the truth. Your customers are going to expect that the food they receive is exactly what’s depicted, or close to it. A legendary television commercial depicted a woman asking “Where’s the beef?” when the miniscule hamburger she received bore no resemblance to the large appetizing image on the poster. Make sure that “what they see is what they get.”
Don’t over position the “atmosphere” in the shot.It should be in keeping with your establishment. If you choose to purchase stock photography, make sure the surroundings of the dish are similar to those in your venue. Don’t choose an image with fine china, silver, and candlesticks if you’re a family restaurant.
Choose popular favorites. A photograph is a suggestion to the customer. Because you can’t crowd a menu with everything you serve, it’s best to depict those foods that are most popular among your customers or for which you have established a unique reputation.
“Suggest” accompaniments.Although your photographs will focus on main items, it’s often possible to include accompanying drinks or desserts as background.
Widescreen TVs, smartphones, and computer monitors have made people much more visually sensitive. Using the right pictures in the right places only serves to enhance the image of your establishment and can positively impact your sales. Be sure that your photographs look almost “good enough to eat.”
Would any rational business leader sign up for a service that costs as much as 30 percent of sales? In some cases, yes. In other cases, no. Allow me to explain further.
Just in case you don’t know what I’m referring to, the above scenario applies to third-party delivery services such as Uber Eats, Postmates, Grub Hub, etc. These third-party aggregators take the customer’s order via their websites, pick up the food at the restaurant and deliver it to consumers. For these services, they charge restaurants 20 percent to 30 percent of the check. These services can be very helpful for some operators but may not be right for all restaurants.
If foodservice operators do the math using conventional methods with their current business models, in many instances they will conclude that third-party aggregators may not actually help the company’s profitability.
Do The Math
Go ahead and do your own calculation using the following metrics:
What is your food cost? (Typically 25 percent to 35 percent of sales.)
What is labor cost? (Typically 25 percent to 35 percent of sales.)
What are other fixed costs such as rent, utilities, marketing, royalties, etc. (Typically 10 percent to 25 percent of sales.)
Add to this the cost of a third-party aggregator. (Typically 20 percent to 30 percent.)
After going through this exercise, what do you have left in profit? Perhaps the foodservice operator does not have anything left and the analysis would suggest the operator is paying its customers to take its food.
Based on this conventional analysis, why in the world would a restaurant sign up for this type of service?
How can so many brands be wrong by using third-party aggregators? What do they know that you don’t? Is there a different analysis that you should be doing?
Let’s start by asking a few key questions that may help you assign the appropriate costs to third-party sales.
To accept the cost of third-party aggregators, foodservice operators must think unconventionally. Dig into what it is that third-party aggregators really do and determine the real costs associated with the sales they generate. The first key question is: Can the foodservice operation generate these sales without the help of an aggregator? Or, are these incremental sales?
If working with third-party aggregators generates additional sales, the next question becomes: Do these sales require more labor or can you fulfill them with the same labor? If these sales will cost more in, say, labor, can the operation assign a lower labor cost due to some efficiencies that the third-party aggregators bring to the table? Because the consumer does not enter the restaurant, for example, third-party aggregator sales do not require the foodservice operation to spend time taking an order and making change, as well as tending to a dining room. Industrial engineering in foodservice analysis shows that in the quick-service and fast-casual arena, the order and cash labor is about 20 percent to 25 percent of guest service work content.
If the foodservice operator already offers delivery, this may somewhat offset working with third-party aggregators. If labor costs go from the conventional 25 percent to 35 percent of sales, to less than half, or even zero dollars, the profitability of getting the third-party aggregator sales becomes a profit generator.
I guess that you can also do your own online ordering and delivery, but this requires the customer have your online form. Is this convenient, or is it more convenient to go to one website that has a bunch of options?
No matter how you answer these questions, understand this trend will remain prominent for quite a while. Customers like having food brought to them and they like using third-party aggregators. Perhaps consumers think it is more convenient this way because one application gives them many options. If the third-party aggregator markets the restaurant in its website, does this reduce marketing costs for the foodservice operator?
After considering all of these factors, what should the appropriate analysis be to help a foodservice operator better determine the profit impact of using third-party aggregators?
To decide if a third-party aggregator is a friend or a foe to a foodservice operator, the restaurant must run their own analysis and numbers to help develop a better understanding of which path to travel.
Your menu gets the undivided attention from all of your guests as they hold it in their hands and take it all in. This the point where diners are settling in for a great dining experience, absorbing the ambiance, and checking out what you have to offer. Your menu is your chance to convey your branding messages and express the personality of your restaurant as you would like it perceived.
Think about the reader when writing your menu. It’s been said that leaving currency symbols off of your menu results in less price focus. Make sure the menu is easy to read. Arranging menu items in sections tends to be pleasing and less overwhelming for diners as they explore their options. When using colors in your menu, be sure to accommodate the concept of your restaurant. You may even want to consider the known effects of colors on appetite. The color red is the most appetizing color and is known to trigger feelings of hunger, the color yellow is linked to feelings of happiness and is also known as an appetite stimulating color, orange combines red and yellow bringing feelings of comfort and food cravings, and the color green is appealing to someone craving healthy food. The color blue is known as an appetite suppressant.
There are so many ways you can go with your menu. It should express you and the message you would like to bring to your customers. Be creative and have fun with it!
Menu Solutions has just about everything you can think of when it comes to menu options, styles, shapes, and themes. Check out the video below for a look at just a few of the menus offered by Menu Solutions, have a look at their online catalog, then contact us to place your custom order!
The solutions and benefits that Champion brings to a foodservice operation with their complete dishwashing and waste reduction system are unbelievable!
Carrol University in Waukesha, Wisconsin illustrates in the video below what Champion Industries has done for their operation. They serve about 3,000 meals per day. Before bringing Champion on board, they were facing some of the most concerning challenges that many foodservice professionals face, including food waste, high water and utility costs, labor costs, and sustainability concerns.
For Carrol University, Champion checked every box when it comes to sustainability, waste reduction, increased efficiencies, reduced water and energy usage, cost savings, reduced effects of food waste, bottom line savings, and an overall good feeling of helping the environment.
To say that they are proud to have Champion’s dishwashing and waste reduction system in place, would be an understatement.
Be sure to check out this video and contact us to learn how your facility can benefit from this technology!
Gone are the days of flipping through endless pages of tabletop catalogs just to find that perfect piece. In fact, Oneida’s new Plate Envy™ 3D tabletop design tool eliminates the need to ever open another catalog again. So, how does it work?
Oneida breaks it down into 3 simple steps: Discover. Visualize. Sample.
The process starts with answering a series of questions to determine your restaurant’s style, setting, and cuisine. Plate Envy then provides a list of recommendations based on those answers.
Here’s where the magic happens…
From those recommendations, you are able to pick and choose your favorite patterns, and Plate Envy will generate a realistic 3D rendering of your selections on the fly, so you can visualize exactly what it will look like on the table. The process then concludes with the delivery of a sample order so you can view your selections first-hand in your own space.
So, what are you waiting for? Head over to www.plateenvy.com and try it for yourself.
We all know how important the process of filtration is when utilizing fryers for your menu items. Fryer oil filtration effects the quality and consistency of menu items and can significantly impact bottom line profits for an operation. Regular filtration practices can extend the life of your costly fryer oil and can make or break customer satisfaction.
It is recommended that fryer filtration happens twice a day, depending on your menu. If it’s a challenge to keep up with the recommended filtration schedule in your busy operation, you may want to take a look at other filtration methods and give yourself an upgrade.
In the video below, Tony Jordan from Frymaster provides a quick view of cone filtering, filtering with portable systems, and utilizing built-in filtration methods.
Foodborne illness impacts customer health, an operator’s reputation, a business’s profitability, and in some cases, their complete viability. The CDC estimates that there are as many as 47 million cases of foodborne illness in the U.S. each year, and the key to understanding the need for ServSafe® training is to recognize that food safety decisions are made (or not made) at every point of the foodservice process from construction of the building right up to daily operations that include cooking and cleaning.
Designers create layouts that promote the safe and efficient flow of food throughout the facility. Builders use materials that are easy to clean and resistant to bacteria. Consultants specify equipment that is easy to clean and includes additional food safety features and benefits. Dealers sell equipment and smallwares that help Operators maintain safe practices. Operators, Chefs and employees implement procedures to receive, store, prep, cook and serve food. They also implement warewashing and facility sanitation practices. Even the person who empties the garbage at the end of the day takes steps that can limit bacterial growth and prevent insect and vermin from becoming a problem. But for all of this to happen, knowledge of the issues and best practices is required.
The National Restaurant Association’s ServSafe® Food Protection Manager Course and certification is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI)-Conference for Food Protection (CFP). It is recognized by more federal, state and local jurisdictions than any other food safety certification. In most jurisdictions, either State or County regulators require that foodservice managers gain certification, or demonstrate knowledge of food safety practices.
The ServSafe® curriculum teaches:
The importance of food safety for customers and operators
Good personal hygiene for food handlers and servers
Time and temperature controls that help protect food
How to prevent cross-contamination in foodservice operations
Proper cleaning and sanitizing for foodservice operations
Safe food preparation practices
How to properly receive and store foods
Safe methods of thawing, cooking, cooling and reheating food
Food safety regulations
Pest control for foodservice operations
If you’re an Operator, invest in your own reputation and success by training your employees and managers with ServSafe®. If you’re an employee, invest in yourself by taking a ServSafe® class. Even if you’re not a foodservice manager, maybe you’d like to be one. Taking the course shows current and future employers your level of commitment and initiative. If you work in a profession that provides goods and services for foodservice operators, then take ServSafe®. It will help you provide solutions for your customers. That earns you sales and helps them succeed.
For more information go to www.servsafe.com. Their online customer support can provide information and help you find a course near you.
If you regularly buy or sell commercial foodservice equipment and supplies, then you’re probably familiar with the NSF certification stamp that appears on any number of products from ladles to refrigerators. You may even know that NSF International (formerly the National Sanitation Foundation) is an independent, not-for-profit, third party that, among other things, tests and certifies foodservice equipment and supplies to verify that they meet or exceed NSF’s standards for cleanability, sanitation, and food protection. Items that pass the tests for materials, design, construction, and performance, get the NSF stamp.
I was recently asked, “so what does that mean? Am I required to buy NSF products for my commercial kitchen or not?”
The short answer is “it’s a really, really good idea.”
Health Code Compliance
Not all health departments require everything in your kitchen to be NSF Certified, but everything in your kitchen that is NSF Certified, will meet any health department requirements. NSF International closely monitors all jurisdictions to make sure that NSF standards meet or exceed federal, state, and local health codes. In the U.S. local health departments perform inspections to verify compliance. When reviewing an operation, inspectors can quickly and easily verify equipment compliance if they see an NSF certification mark. Not having certified equipment can often raise compliance issues and even put a new restaurant's opening on hold.
Protect Your Customers and Your Operation
Your customers expect and deserve safe food. The CDC estimates that each year roughly 48 million people get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die of foodborne diseases. Easily cleanable, properly functioning food equipment is critical for any restaurant or commercial food service operation. Poorly designed or malfunctioning equipment can lead to cross-contamination and even a foodborne illnesses outbreak. According to the National Restaurant Association, even a single foodborne illness outbreak can cost an operation thousands of dollars. The costs come from loss of sales, negative media exposure, lawsuits, loss of reputation, and increased insurance premiums.
Satisfy Chain and Franchise Requirements
Often times, chains and franchises will require that equipment in their local operations be NSF Certified. In addition to the reasons above, this helps promote a culture of food safety within their organization. This can encourage additional safety measures, and improve employee morale and job satisfaction.
In general, before making any major equipment investment, it’s wise to ask your supplier to verify the item is NSF Certified. NSF International lists 22 food equipment standards that address the variety of products within a commercial kitchen including, but not limited to, ice machines, water heaters, food cooking and prep equipment, food carts, refrigerators, warewashing machines, thermometers, food storage containers, dinnerware, disposable gloves, oven mitts, and more. To see a complete list of standards, or to conduct a search by item or manufacturer, click here.
The first time I saw a demonstration of induction cooking, it reminded me of a magic trick. The demonstrator placed a newspaper on an induction cooktop, placed a pot of water on top of the newspaper, and then brought the water to a boil. Once boiling, he removed the pot to show that the newspaper was neither burned, charred nor even singed. Then he did the unthinkable: with the burner still set to “high” he laid his bare hand directly on the burner and didn’t even flinch. Magic!
That is how induction cooking is. After centuries of cooking on open flames, and generations of cooking on electric stoves, induction cooking seems nothing short of miraculous. But if you plan to buy, sell, or use induction cooktops, there are only a few things you need, and don’t need, to know.
What you don’t need to know about induction cooking
You don’t need to know it works. Props to the brilliant scientists, engineers and designers who came up with it, but the theory and explanation of induction cooking is full of words and concepts like Joule heating, magnetic flux, electronic oscillator, Foucault currents, ferromagnetic metals and electric hysteresis. The fact is, we put a man on the moon before the first commercially available induction cooktop ever went into production. That tells you something about the science involved.
What you need to know about induction cooking
It is faster. Because the electromagnetic energy is directly transferred into the metal of the cook-pot, induction cooking is very fast and responsive: even faster than gas.
It is safer. There is no open flame or red-hot heating element to ignite clothes or flammable materials. There is less of a burn risk for cooks, and less of a fire hazard for the venue.
It is cleaner. There are no grates or grease catch to clean. Simply wipe up spills immediately (remember, the surface is not hot to the touch).
It is more efficient. Estimates are that induction is 85-90% efficient because the energy passes directly into the cookware without any heat loss. In the case of gas, the number is closer to 50% and for electric cooktops, 60%. In addition to energy cost savings, that also means a cooler kitchen.
It can be explained. If you need an explanation for those who inevitably ask how your induction cooktop works. You can answer by simply saying: “instead of a direct flame or heating element, induction cooking uses electromagnetic energy to heat up the cookware.” The key phrase is “electromagnetic energy.” Upon hearing that, most folks will accept and understand that your new stove is, well, magic … and that they really don’t want to hear all the science behind the explanation.
Not all pots and pans will work. Because induction cooking relies on electromagnetic energy, glass, copper and aluminum cookware will not work on an induction cooktop. Any of the readily available pots and pans marked “induction ready,” or cast iron, are your best choices. Unmarked stainless steel cookware may or may not work depending on how it was constructed and what other metals were used. If a common refrigerator magnet sticks firmly to the bottom of the pot, then it has enough ferrous metal content to be used on an induction cooktop.
Induction cooking is not magic. It may be a bit mysterious, but it is hardly to be feared. Have a look at some of the induction cookers we have available here.
Catering is a growing segment of the Foodservice Industry and requires unique processes, skills, and equipment. Below are a variety of tips and guidelines for better catering.
Initial Client Meeting
It’s important to know as much as you can about your client, so plan an initial meeting to learn more about their likes, dislikes, and expectations. It will help you create a more personalized and memorable event.
During the meeting, have your client sample dishes that you recommend. Provide photos with presentation options. Watch their reaction and listen to their feedback.
You should come away from this meeting with a better understanding of what your client wants for their event and how to deliver it.
Before cooking …
Take stock of your kitchen equipment and supplies. Catering kitchens may be similar to other commercial kitchens, but some pieces of equipment are especially important for a caterer.
Blast Chillers Freeze time is crucial in catering. Blast chillers allow you to prepare more complex menu items in advance, at the most convenient time, and then freeze them quickly. When blast chilled, meals are ready to prepare and serve as if just created. Blast chillers maximize food quality and help minimize food safety risks.
Thermometers Having accurate food thermometers in the pocket of every catering staff member during an event is crucial. Properly calibrated thermometers provide staff the ability to monitor food temperatures closely and make sure food temperatures stay out of the danger zone.
Hot Plates and Warmers Presentation is very important. It can be the difference between a good meal and a great one. There are a wide variety of countertop warmers that can help you present dishes in a creative and interesting way, without sacrificing food safety or quality.
Holding Cabinets & Banquet Carts Maintaining food temperature and quality, while transporting food from kitchen to venue, is a challenge that caterers face every day. Holding cabinets and banquet carts are available in many shapes and sizes, and many are designed specifically for safe and successful food transport.
Plan The Event
Once the groundwork has been taken care of, it’s time to plan the event. Set up timelines, carefully scheduling pre-event meetings and tasks. The following guidelines may help.
Perform a site inspection in advance. Determine what facilities will be used and what is available.
List all items needed for the job.
Use an inventory list. Create an inventory list of all items you will be transporting to the venue. You’ll need it after the event is over to make sure you’ve repacked everything that needs to be transported back home. This helps you avoid loss of equipment and supplies.
Calculate costs. When calculating event costs, make sure to categorize costs (e.g., food, labor, equipment, and facility).
Assemble your staff in advance. Discuss an un-priced copy of the function sheet. Assign duties, describe the party theme, and create an expectation of performance. Distribute a checklist to each department.
Schedule deliveries. Make sure supplies are ordered in advance to avoid surprises, especially if you need a hard-to-find specialty item.
Keep food trays fresh and supplies well stocked. Prepare spare or backup trays, and hold them in a cooler. Never prepare trays at the table.
Portion control is an important part of catering. It is especially important when managing food costs and food waste. Keeping a close eye on portion control is a great way to ensure profitability of catering. Below is a guide for portioning a catered menu.
Appetizers (Evening function with no dinner served) 10-15 pieces/person. These should be hearty appetizers.
Appetizers (Before dinner) 3-5 pieces/person
Appetizers (Before lunch) 1-3 pieces/person.
Beverages 3-4 beverages/person
Coffee—1 cup of coffee every 1.5 hours per person.
Lunch Each person should get a main entree (5 oz), 2-3 sides (4 oz. each), bread or a starch, and dessert.
Dinner Serve water with a lemon slice along with any other beverages.
Each person should get a 5-7 oz. entree dish, 2-3 sides (4 oz. each), bread and soup, or salad
St. Patrick’s Day is coming up. And according to the Chicago Tribune, St. Patrick’s Day is the biggest drinking holiday in the United States. So odds are, operators who serve draught beer are going to pour a pint or two as part of the celebration.
So that consumers get the maximum enjoyment from those pints, it’s important to make sure they’re poured perfectly. Fortunately, Fergal Murray, Master Brewer at Guinness, has outlined a 6-step process to pouring the perfect pint. We believe his process, with minor adjustments, is fitting for any beer at any time of year. So if Guinness isn’t an option or your operation isn’t open this St. Patty’s Day, the process can still apply.
We’ve outlined Murray’s process below. It’s accompanied by a video featuring Murray.
Step 1: Select your glass. Make sure it’s clean and dry.
It’s important to select the appropriate glass for the type of beer being served. Most breweries have branded glasses specific to their beer. For those that don’t, here is a full guide to beer glasses.
Step 2: Hold the glass at a 45-degree angle measured against the floor. If the glass is logoed, have the logo facing down, towards the floor. Point the spout at the logo. Never allow the spout to touch the beer or the glass.
Step 3: Pull the faucet towards you and allow the beer to fill the glass ¾ of the way or to within an inch of the top of the glass.
Step 4: Let the beer settle. Stop pouring, set the glass down and allow the beer to settle. This will promote the formation of a nice strong head on the pint of beer. It should take about two minutes for Guinness to settle properly. The timing will be different for each beer.
Step 5: Top off the pint. Pick the pint up and hold it perpendicular to the floor. Place it under the spout. Push the faucet away from you allowing beer to slowly fill the glass just past the rim of the glass. The head should actually peak just past the rim.
Step 6: Present the beer to the lucky guy or gal who will get to drink it. If you’re the lucky one who is going to drink it, then go for it!
Consumers eat with their eyes first. The same goes for drinking. So get the most out of your beer by pouring it with care.
The prospect of selecting the right glass for the right wine can be a challenge if you’re uninitiated in the world of wine. In general, wine glasses are categorized as Red Wine Glasses, White Wine Glasses or Champagne Glasses, but among enthusiasts, these broader categories can be broken down even further. For example, the broader category of “Red Wine Glass” can include Bordeaux Glasses, Pinot Noir Glasses, Beaujolais Glasses and even Chianti Glasses. With seemingly infinite variations in style and pattern, lines quickly become blurred and it’s easy to get hung up on wine glass classification, or what I call “glassification.”
When making a decision for your tabletop, it’s helpful to know about the basic form and function of the most popular wine glass patterns. Wine glasses are almost always formed with a stem, a foot and a bowl. Wine is served in stemware, primarily to prevent the transfer of body heat from hand to beverage.
The shape of the bowl serves additional functions:
Narrower bowl: helps maintain serving temperature of chilled wine
Narrower openings: concentrates the aroma of wine just below the nose
Wider bowl and opening: allows for maximum oxidation, believed to enhance flavor and aroma
Taper or curve: delivers wine to that part of the tongue where the beverage will be most enjoyed
A little knowledge and some common sense helps when making a decision. But remember that just as oenophiles may differ on the best wine and food pairings, so too can they differ on the best wine and glass pairings. Don’t forget to give a nod to personal preference and style when selecting the best wine glass for your holiday table.
Below are some general descriptions and images of the primary wine glass patterns.
WINE GLASSES – Primary Patterns
An iconic design, it features a wide shallow bowl atop a stem. The wide surface area allows carbonation to dissipate quickly, perhaps too quickly for the currently popular dry champagnes. For this reason, it has largely been replaced by the Champagne Flute (see below). The Coupe may still be acceptable for sweeter champagnes and sparkling wines. It also lends a certain festive appeal to weddings and special events where they are occasionally stacked to create Champagne Fountains. The Coupe is also occasionally used for cocktails such as daiquiris.
Features a very tall and narrow tulip or trumpet shaped bowl atop a shorter stem. With less surface area exposed at the opening of the glass, the primary design characteristics help maintain the carbonation in the champagne while pouring and drinking. The tall design also gives the bubbles more distance to travel from bottom to top, enhancing the visual appeal of the beverage. Champagne Flutes, if sturdy enough, can also be used to serve mousse or trifle.
Resembles a downsized White Wine glass, with a capacity of 4 to 6 oz. It is said that too large of an opening “allows the fruit to escape” while too narrow of an opening doesn’t allow it to breathe. A standard “U” shape bowl, or tulip shaped bowl is popular. Although true port enthusiasts may object, port can be served in a small to medium sized brandy snifter in lieu of a Port Glass.
Red Wine Glasses
Round and wide with an opening that is smaller than the widest part of the bowl, some variations are broader at the base tapering upward toward the opening. Either shape should provide plenty of surface area for oxidation. This is particularly important for red wine drinkers. Red Wine Glasses can also be used to serve a variety of appetizers and desserts.
Sherry, a fortified wine, is usually served in smaller portions, hence smaller glasses. The traditional Spanish “Copita” has either a “U” or tulip shaped bowl with a capacity of 3 to 4 ounces. Although true sherry enthusiasts may object, sherry can also be served in a Port Glass or even a small White Wine Glass. Sherry Glasses are also used for aromatic aperitifs, cordials and layered shots.
White Wine Glasses
Narrower and taller than a Red Wine Glass, it features a bowl that is round to tulip shaped, tapering upward toward an opening that is narrower than the widest part of the bowl. The narrower shape traps the crisp, delicate aromas of white wine and may help maintain its cooler serving temperature.
A growing trend, the basic pattern is the same as any Wine Glass, only without a stem. The bottom of the bowl is flattened and usually thickened to prevent the tumbler from tipping over.
In any foodservice operation staff hygiene is extremely important, beginning with clean hands.
Clean hands start at the hand-washing station. And every hand-washing station starts with a sink designated for hand washing. Hands should never be washed in sinks used for food prep, dishwashing, utility services, or anything else for that matter.
The next vitally important aspect of hand washing is soap. Having an easily accessible and easily operated soap dispenser at every hand-washing station is a great start.
Once hands have been washed and rinsed, it’s important that they’re dried properly. So a single-use paper towel dispenser should also be present at every hand-washing station.
After hands have been cleaned it’s important to try to keep them as clean as possible. This is where faucets can come into play during the hand-washing process. If at all possible, having a hands-free faucet at the hand-washing station is optimal. The most popular solution to hands-free faucets is a station with foot pedals.
With these products, any operator can get their designated hand-washing station up and running. It’s a vital element of any food-safe foodservice operation.
No matter what kind of beer you might drink – ales, pilsners, stouts, lagers, IPAs or some other brew, one thing is for sure. The right beer glass can make any beer taste that much better.
Below is a comprehensive review of available beer glass patterns, excluding the universal Red Solo® cup.
Beer Boot – From German tradition, it’s a large boot shaped glass that holds multiple servings of beer. Difficult to drink from without spilling, it is a popular novelty glass for festivals and events.
Beer Chalice – Of Belgian design, very thick walled glass with a large round bowl atop a short stem and hefty foot. Often dimpled. Great for Big Belgium Ales, German Bocks and Imperial Stouts.
Beer Flute – Borrowing from the design of the Champagne Flute, with a larger sized portion, these tall narrow stemmed glasses are designed to maintain and showcase the effervescence of beer and add a touch of style to beer service in general.
Beer Goblet – Same as a Beer Chalice, only not as heavy and thick. Great for Belgium Ales, German Bocks and Imperial Stouts.
Beer Mugs – Heavy, sturdy and thick walled vessel with a large handle. Sometimes dimpled. Sides are typically straight, or tapered slightly inward toward the opening. Great for pouring and toasting, they come in many different shapes and sizes. Great all purpose glass, especially for draft beers.
Nonic – English in design, it is similar to a Pint Glass with a curved or flared lip close to the top of the glass. The flare helps when holding the glass and allows it to be stacked easily. Great for Lagers, Ales and Stouts.
Pilsner – The classic Pilsner Glass has a hefty base, with little or no stem, and tall, straight, tapered sides rising to the opening. There are many variations, including some with curved sides and narrower openings (see Weizen Glass). It was designed for the Pilsner, but is great for Lagers and any lighter beer.
Pint – Coming in many different styles, the iconic Pint Glass is the Guinness Irish Pint Glass, featuring thick glass, and sides that taper slightly out toward the opening at the top. They traditionally hold one imperial pint (1.2 U.S. pints). A great all purpose glass, it is especially popular for Stout, Black & Tans, and Bitters.
Pokal – Similar to a Pilsner glass, a slightly bulged bottom atop a one inch stem with nearly straight sides that rise to a narrower mouth. A great all purpose glass, it is best used for Pilsners and Golden Ales.
Porter Glass – Although there appears to be much disagreement, most major U.S. manufacturers offer a Porter/Stout Glass that is tall and sturdy, with a short wide stem, out of which gently curving sides rise to create an inverted teardrop shape with a slightly smaller opening. Great for Stouts, Porters, Brown Ales and Craft Beers.
Schooner – Similar to a Chalice with a slightly rounder bowl. Great for Wheat Beer.
Seidel – A German Mug, usually dimpled, with curved sides.
Stange – A small glass, typically 6 to 8 oz., with an opening roughly the same size as the base. The sides may have a slight hour-glass curve. Most commonly used for tasting obscure German beers such as Alt, Kolsch and Gose.
Steins – A beer mug made of ceramic, pewter or silver.
Stout Glass – Most major U.S. manufacturers offer a Porter/Stout Glass that is tall and sturdy, with a short wide stem, out of which gently curving sides rise to create an inverted teardrop shape with a slightly smaller opening. Great for Stouts, Porters, Brown Ales and Craft Beers.
Tankards – A Stein with a top, hinged to the handle, that can be flipped open with the thumb.
Taster – Any one of a variety of beer glasses between 4 and 6 oz. The smaller portion is perfect for tasting a variety of different beers in one sitting.
Tulip Beer Goblet – The Tulip Beer Goblet has a bulbous bottom on a short stem with a sturdy foot. Bulged out in the middle, the sides flare near the top to create a lip. They are perfect for serving Scottish and Belgium Ales as well as other aromatic beer.
Tulip Beer Glass – The Tulip Beer Glass or Tulip Pub Glass has no stem. With a flat bottom, the sides curve upward toward a bulged middle and back in toward a narrower opening.
Weizen Glass – Or Wheat Beer Glass, has a hefty base, little or no stem, and tall, gently curving sides that rise to a wider bulge near the top and then curve back in to a narrower opening. It is often called a Pilsner Glass, even though technically, the Pilsner Glass should have straight tapered, rather than curved, sides.
Yard – A novelty glass, the Yard Beer Glass is narrow and approximately a yard tall with a flared lip and with a bulb at the bottom making it nearly impossible to drink without spilling. It typically holds about 1.5 liters of beer and is popular at festivals and special events. It is often served in a wooden support or stand.
It seems harmless enough. Why can’t a professional foodservice operation use a residential microwave?
What I found out is that using a microwave built for residential use in a foodservice environment can be very costly and can also create some very serious safety hazards as it tries to keep up with the busy restaurant environment.
Residential microwaves in a high-demand environment can unnoticeably cook unevenly and leave cold spots. And this can be very dangerous to patrons and potentially the operator.
As a result of the differences in food safety standards in a foodservice environment, residential microwaves don’t meet the requirements of health inspectors and insurance policies.
Your kitchen deserves a Commercial Microwave. Here’s a list of reasons why…
Meet criteria under commercial insurance policy and health inspections.
Get held to a higher standard during testing for increased safety.
Are built stronger with high quality components, cooling fans, transformers and control panels. And are equipped with heavy-duty power cords and commercial quality relays.
Are equipped with control panel that allow easy menu programming for consistently cooked product every time.
Are more powerful for faster heating and better quality results. Internal stirrers contribute to even cooking results without the hassles of a turntable.
Come with a wiring diagram that allows for faster and more accurate servicing. Residential microwaves often require complete replacement after a component failure.
It should now be clear that a residential microwave just doesn’t cut it when put to the test in the busy foodservice environment. So make sure the kitchen in which you cook is properly equipped.
Find some top-quality commercial microwaves right here!