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Archive | June, 2012

Is Your Restaurant Exhaust System Sucking Up Money?

Is Your Restaurant Exhaust System Sucking Up Money?The exhaust system in your kitchen is one of those essential pieces of equipment that you must have in order to operate.  And if your hood is like the ones in most restaurants, it has two settings: “on” and “off.”  When your line is operating at full tilt during the dinner rush, the “on” setting is probably perfect, quickly sending heat and fumes straight from your cooking equipment outside.  But what about afternoons or during light lunches?  You probably still have the ventilation on but your equipment is not creating nearly as much exhaust.

I don’t have to tell you how much energy that hood exhaust in your kitchen is using.  Here’s a few tips on making sure your restaurant exhaust system is running as efficiently as possible:

Get the system rebalanced. Your exhaust system needs some regular maintenance to run at optimal levels.  If too much smoke is building up in your kitchen, or if the system seems like it’s on overdrive all the time, a rebalancing by a trained technician is in order.  A rebalance ensures the system is keeping the kitchen safe but not sucking up too much energy by working too hard.

Maximize suction. If you’re paying to run your kitchen ventilation system, it might as well be pulling as much of the stuff you don’t want in your kitchen as possible.  To maximize smoke and heat capture, make sure your cooking equipment is pushed all the way up against the wall underneath the hood.  This prevents clean air from getting sucked up from behind the equipment and puts the maximum amount of hood over your line.  And if your hood doesn’t have side panels, you can install them easily and cheaply.  Side panels help trap smoke and fumes, making the exhaust system more efficient.

Install a demand ventilation control. If you really want to save some money on kitchen ventilation then a demand control is for you.  It senses the cooking volume in your kitchen and adjusts fan speed accordingly.  A ventilation control can reduce kitchen exhaust energy usage by 30% – 50% and can be either ordered with a new exhaust system or installed on an older unit.Is Your Restaurant Exhaust System Sucking Up Money?

Clean and maintain hood filters. The hood filters are the metal squares in the exhaust opening of your restaurant’s exhaust system that catch the grease in air as it gets sucked out.  The hood filter plays an important role, since grease buildup can become a dangerous fire risk.  As time goes on hood filters become saturated with grease and should be cleaned.  The dirtier the filter, the harder your exhaust has to work to suck air through them.  Also make sure they are installed correctly (with the baffles, or ridges, in the vertical position) and that there are no gaps between them.  Replace damaged filters immediately.  Click here for a complete guide to hood filters.

If you happen to be designing a new kitchen, you should account for a few factors in order to maximize ventilation efficiency:

Group heavy cooking equipment together. Whatever you’re going to be cooking with the most should all be right next to each other underneath the hood.  If you have a single heavy cooking appliance, like a charbroiler, and other lighter cooking equipment, it’s a good idea to separate the heavy piece from the lighter pieces and give it a dedicated high volume exhaust.  This allows you to run the lighter equipment under a hood that doesn’t have to be on full blast all the time.

Create a big overhang. While 4 feet is the industry standard, 5 or 6 feet of hood will capture more smoke and allow you to run your restaurant exhaust system more efficiently.

Making the kitchen ventilation system energy efficient not only saves you money, it ensures that the exhaust is capturing the maximum amount of smoke and fumes and getting them out of your kitchen.

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The Church of Cupcakes

The Church of Cupcakes Priests. Prayers. Candles. Confessionals. Cupcakes?

Are you looking for a new place to worship? Need a way to fill the void in your spiritual life? The Church of Cupcakes may be the delicious solution to your problems. This is not your typical church. This culinary cathedral will satisfy even your sweetest tooth.

The Church of Cupcakes is religious in its cupcake construction; comparing it to the indescribable sensation experienced after hiking a mountain, kayaking a river or rafting through raging rapids. They welcome all worshippers to join in the “euphoric bliss” gained through preparing and enjoying a cupcake.

The Denver based company recently changed its name from Lovely Confections. The Church of Cupcakes is very excited about the new direction of the business but could use some extra funding to get this plan in action. They are currently registered for a grant contest and could use your help. The contest is sponsored by Chase and Living social and designed to award 12 small businesses with a $250,000 grant. In order to be considered for one of the grants each small business needs at least 250 votes.

The Church of Cupcakes brings a new and exciting approach to the world of cupcakes. They are dedicated to providing tasty treats made with organic, local and sustainable ingredients and making sure their entire operation is environmentally safe. This is clear when reading the company’s “Ten Commandments.” This is a list of ten culinary laws that the company cooks by. These commandments vow that the company will always bake from scratch, never use artificial colors or flavors, use renewable packaging and always celebrate the cupcake for bringing joy.

Along with offering fresh local ingredients the company’s style is unique because of their ironic humor and clean, vintage design. The colorful store is complete with glitter floors, a foosball table, photo booths and scripture chalkboards in the bathrooms. The company also sells custom t-shirts and bumper stickers as well.

The store isn’t the only unique aspect the Church of Cupcakes offers to customers. The menu is one of a kind because of its ingredients and clever names. From rapture raspberry to sprinkle salvation and pillar of salted caramel all of the menu items are fun and delicious. The cupcakes are baked in small batches throughout the day in order to offer customers the freshest cupcake every time. The Church of Cupcakes offers a “virgin” cupcake that is gluten free and available in chocolate or vanilla which can be paired with any frosting option.

The Church of Cupcakes is located at 1489 Steele Street in Denver. The store’s hours of worship are Tuesday-Friday 11 a.m.-6:30 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m.-5p.m. You can also visit churchofcupcakes.com or call (720) 524-7770 to place an order.

The church bells are ringing, come in to the Church of Cupcakes today and enjoy a little piece of heaven in every bite.

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8 Restaurant Marketing Tips

In these tough times, restaurants can use all the free marketing they can get. If a pricey restaurant marketing consultant is not in your budget, read on to discover ways to get your eatery in the customers’ minds, without spending a dime.

1. Talk to your customers.  Ask how they found you. If it’s not your usual source, follow up to see if you can connect with that niche market.

2. Don’t play by the rules.  How about honoring one of your competitor’s coupons on a night with slow traffic? Or, offer a really attractive loss leader, one that garners you some serious buzz. Take a tip from the gas stations that offered gas for 10 cents a gallon at the height of gas prices—not only did they have lines stretching down the street, but they usually got free publicity from the local television news and newspaper.

3. Use technology.  Submit your web site to the search engines, start a blog, open a Twitter account and figure out how you can use it successfully. Don’t have a website? Why not? You can start a blog easily and for FREE with Blogger or WordPress.

4. Collect customers’ email addresses.  Used cautiously, email is a great, free way to speak directly to your customers and showcase your events. Just be sure not to spam your customers and make the subject line grab attention!

5. Get involved in the local community.  Make a personal difference. It’s good for both you and your business. Volunteer and encourage your staff to as well or donate snacks and drinks to local groups working on improving your community.

6. Cultivate referrals.  When you thank your customers for coming in, remind them to tell their friends how much they enjoyed their meal. Word of mouth is THE most powerful marketing tool you have.

7. Speak with confidence.  People love a winner. Be sure your staff projects the same attitude.

8. Be honest.  Build your customers’ trust with everything you do. People recognize when they are being treated fairly and honestly and they tell other people.

Erin Martin is the Online Editor of MustHaveMenus, an online company that provides restaurants with an online Menu Editor and high quality menu
templates. She blogs her thoughts on menu design trends and restaurant marketing strategies at http://blog.musthavemenus.com.

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Restaurant Grease Management: How Traps Will Save Your Butt

Restaurant Grease Management: How Traps Will Save Your ButtGrease is an inevitable byproduct of your restaurant’s kitchen.  Unfortunately, grease doesn’t disappear when it gets washed down the drain.  Instead, it tends to build up and stick to the sides of pipes and drainages, just like cholesterol in diner’s arteries.

And just like cholesterol, that buildup over time can cause some serious problems.  Best case scenario, your kitchen smells like a rotting cesspool.  Worst case, you floor drains start spouting the soupy mix that can only be created when the drains of your dishwasher, pot filler sink, and pre-rinse sink combine.

The resulting food safety nightmare would make any health inspector shudder.  The damage is usually measured in the thousands of dollars.  You definitely don’t want that to happen in your restaurant.

Local codes usually require some sort of grease management system for commercial kitchens.  Otherwise cities end up with thousands of dollars worth of damage to municipal water lines.  But just because someone stuck a grease trap in the cellar 20 years ago doesn’t mean your restaurant is safe from the doomsday scenarios I lined out above.

Effective grease management means committing to an ongoing process that is usually unpleasant and never in the cleanest parts of your kitchen.  Some tips to make sure grease waste isn’t creating problems in your restaurant:

Evaluate your grease output.  Some restaurants produce more grease than others, plain and simple.  If you already have a grease trap system, check it once a week for a month and see how quickly grease builds up to the point where a cleaning is needed.  If you don’t have a grease trap, install one right away, then check it regularly to see how often it’s going to need to be cleaned.

Grease traps work by using a series of baffles to prevent grease from flowing from one end of the system to the other.  Since grease is lighter than water, it collects at the top of the trap.  Sooner or later so much grease will collect that it starts to flow over the top of the baffles, and the trap ceases to trap grease.  You want to clean your system well before this happens.

Use this information to formulate a regular cleaning schedule.  You might also want to rotate the poor sucker who gets this thankless task.  You may want to install smaller undersink traps on the biggest grease producing drains in your kitchen that are more accessible than the main trap, which makes cleaning easier and reduces the likelihood of plumbing system damage.

Many restaurants use a professional service company to clean and care for their main grease trap.  This can get expensive, but depending on the size of your establishment and the amount of grease you produce, it could be a worthwhile investment.  Some services even convert the grease they recover from your trap into biodiesel, adding a renewable element to the process.  It’s probably still a good idea to use undersink traps to supplement your main system even if you use a cleaning service, since this will reduce the frequency of their visits.

In general grease traps are pretty indestructible, especially if you clean them regularly, but eventually they will need to be replaced.  Look for damage to the baffles in the trap and cracks or excessive gunk buildup in the inflow and outflow pipes.  Canplas grease traps are one of the best in the business and my personal recommendation if you’re in the market for a new one.

The most effective way to manage grease in any commercial kitchen is to be proactive about it.  Don’t wait to clean traps and don’t assume the problem will take care of itself.  Otherwise your restaurant might look like this:

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How To Calibrate A Thermometer

How To Calibrate A ThermometerThink of a good thermometer as the crescent wrench of your food safety program.  Without it, you have no idea what the temperature of your food products are, either when you cook them or when you store them.  And that means you can’t tighten the bolts of your food safety program, locking out food borne illnesses and locking in food quality.

The problem with thermometers is that they lose their bearings over time and use.  If you’re using that thermometer to make sure food is staying out of the danger zone, and your thermometer is more than a couple degrees Fahrenheit off, you’re taking a risk your restaurant really can’t afford.  Luckily, calibrating a thermometer is easy and it should be done regularly in your restaurant.

You should re-calibrate your thermometer if:

  • You dropped it (especially if it’s a dial thermometer)
  • Before you use it for the first time
  • If you use the same thermometer to measure very cold and very hot temperatures
  • Daily or weekly if you use the same thermometer multiple times

Most health inspectors will recommend daily recalibration if you are checking many temperatures throughout the day (and hopefully, for the sake of your food safety program, you are!).

There are two methods for calibrating thermometers:

Ice point.  Fill an insulated glass with crushed ice and then add a little water.  Let it sit for at least five minutes and then insert the sensing part of the thermometer into the cup.  Make sure the sensor is in the middle of the glass and at least an inch from the sides, bottom, and top of the glass.  Hold it there for 30 seconds or until the dial stops moving or the digital thermometer beeps.  Your thermometer should be reading 32 degrees Fahrenheit after 30 seconds.  If it’s not, it needs to be recalibrated.  The ice point method is the most accurate way to calibrate a thermometer.

Boiling point.  Boil at least six inches of water.  Once the water has reached a rolling boil, stick the sensor part of the thermometer into the middle of the water, taking care to keep it at least two inches from the sides, top, and bottom.  After 30 seconds, the thermometer should read 212 degrees Fahrenheit if you’re at 1,000 feet or less of elevation.  See below if you are at a higher altitude.  If it doesn’t read 212, your thermometer needs to be recalibrated.

Changes in boiling point temperature by elevation:

  • Sea Level: 212 degrees Fahrenheit
  • 1,000 feet: 210 degrees Fahrenheit
  • 2,000 feet: 208 degrees Fahrenheit
  • 3,000 feet: 206.4 degrees Fahrenheit
  • 4,000 feet: 204.5 degrees Fahrenheit
  • 5,000 feet: 202.75 degrees Fahrenheit
  • 8,000 feet: 197.5 degrees Fahrenheit

How To Calibrate A ThermometerHow To Calibrate A Thermometer

Dial thermometers have a little screw or nut that adjusts the dial to the correct temperature.  Simply turn the adjuster until the dial reads the correct temperature according to the method you’re using to calibrate.

Digital thermometers have a reset button.  Simply push that button when you’re at the temperature point and your thermometer is ready to go.

If you have employees who regularly take temperature readings, train them on how to calibrate thermometers correctly.  Of course, simply showing an employee how to calibrate a thermometer isn’t enough to ensure calibration is happening on a regular schedule and to the correct specifications.  You must trust but verify.  The easiest way to do this  is to schedule a time for all employees to calibrate their thermometers.  That way you can ensure calibration is done regularly and accurately.

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How To Battle The Evil Reservation No-Show

How To Battle The Evil Reservation No ShowReservation no-shows are a frustrating experience for any restaurant.  On an especially busy night like New Year’s Eve or Valentine’s Day, they can really cost your restaurant some serious money.  Not only do you have to depend on walk-in traffic to fill those seats, but there’s a good chance you turned down other customers looking for a reservation leading up to that high-traffic day.

So how do you fight the evil no-show?

Traditionally, restaurants don’t require a reservation confirmation using a credit card, especially for non-holidays.  In recent years that’s been changing, with many restaurants requiring a credit card for the big days like New Year’s.  Some have even begun holding a credit card for regular weekend nights, especially in locations where foot traffic is very light and the restaurant is heavily dependent upon reservations.

First, the 101 on credit card reservations.

Two schools of thought dominate the discussion over credit card reservations.  The first maintains that anything making it harder for your customer to enjoy a meal in your restaurant, like the inconvenience of giving out your credit card and being on the hook for a fee just to make a reservation, is just plain wrong.  The second school says that taking a credit card protects you from losing business, especially on busy nights, and that many other types of businesses like airlines and hotels require a credit card to secure a reservation, so why not restaurants?
How To Battle The Evil Reservation No Show
Both approaches have a point.  Most restaurants probably shouldn’t sweat a cancellation on a weeknight, and therefore there’s no need to make your customer go through the hoopla of putting a credit card down.  Weekends are (hopefully!) a different story, but for most restaurants higher walk-in rates offsets cancellations, so unless you have the uncommon good fortune of owning a place that is always packed to the gills with reservations every weekend, taking a credit card probably doesn’t make a lot of sense.

The big dining days should be a different story altogether.  If you’re turning down reservations for New Year’s or Valentine’s, then you should be securing the reservations you do have, because people usually don’t walk in on those days, they get a reservation first.

OK, 101 – Check.  What if there’s a better way than taking a credit card?

Ah ha – now we’re talking.  I don’t know about you, but anytime I have to pull out my credit card I have to pause and think about it.  There’s something mildly unpleasant about giving your credit card number to someone else, especially if all you want to do is take your wife out to dinner.  There’s got to be a better way to maximize the number of people who make a reservation versus those that actually show up.

Really, your reservation crowd is a great one to get to know.  That’s because these are people who are already sold on how great your restaurant is.  They want to eat in your establishment and they’ve made an appointment to do so.

So why not follow up with them?

Collect an email address and/or a telephone number and call them and/or email them 24 hours before their reservation to confirm.  The vast majority of no-shows simply had their plans change or decided to eat somewhere else and never let you know.  Taking the time to engage this customer not only shows how interested you are in their business, it allows you to make your reservation process more efficient and leaves fewer holes due to no-shows.How To Battle The Evil Reservation No Show

Naturally, some days, like New Year’s, are always going to be credit card days.  You just absolutely have to know who’s doing what on those days.  But for the rest of the year, requiring a credit card seems like too much, and relying on your customer 100% of the time seems like too little.  Engaging your customer, especially since they’ve already indicated they’re interested by calling for a reservation, is a great way to bridge that gap.

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Commercial Gas Range Buying Guide

Commercial Gas Range Buying Guide

A commercial gas range

A good gas range is the center and the soul of a restaurant or commercial kitchen, and every kitchen is different.  Choosing the best unit to suit your specific needs can be a challenge, but if you keep a couple things in mind buying the range you need shouldn’t be hard.

BTUs and Gas Type

Commercial ranges vary in the heat output they produce, which is measured in BTUs (British Thermal Units).  Depending on the cooking application and energy usage concerns, you may want to purchase a unit with a higher or lower BTU rating.

Higher BTU ranges are going to heat things faster, but at a higher rate of energy consumption.  A higher BTU rating also means quicker heat recovery times

Lower BTU rates will heat things more slowly, but more efficiently.  Lower BTU ratings mean a slower heat recovery time

Most gas ranges are outfitted for natural gas.  Natural gas is the most common gas type and chances are you are hooked up to natural gas.  LP gas or liquid propane is the gas you get if your range is connected to a propane tank, usually for rural locations or portable operations.

griddle and Charbroiler Add-On Options

Griddles are ideal for cooking multiple foods at once.  The large, flat metal plate that makes up the griddle distributes heat evenly over the entire surface.  Heat can be controlled either manually or thermostatically.  A grease trough allows for easy cleaning.

Charbroilers allow you to broil poultry, seafood, and meat quickly and effectively.  Most restaurants and commercial kitchens purchase a separate charbroiler unit, but combination range and charbroiler units can be special ordered.

Necessary Accessories

Casters allow you to move your commercial gas range quickly and easily for cleaning or rearranging.  Manufacturers charge a ridiculous fee for casters that come with their restaurant cooking equipment.  Instead, buy your casters separately and save a bundle.

Gas hose connector kits allow you to connect your new restaurant range to your kitchen’s gas source, whether it’s natural or LP gas.  Make sure you check the diameter of your range’s connection before ordering.

Don’t Forget Your Altitude!

If your commercial kitchen or restaurant is above 2,000 feet in elevation, you may need to have the gas valves on your new range adjusted.  Make sure you tell the manufacturer or vendor you’re buying from if you are located above 2,000 feet.

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Why Fast Food Lunch Is Good For Your Restaurant

Why Fast Food Lunch Is Good For Your RestaurantOne restaurant that has been doing just fine during the economic downturn is McDonald’s.  Their combination of convenience and affordability has made the golden arches the restaurant of choice in tough times.

As consumers become more and more health and value conscious, restaurants have an inherent advantage over fast food chains during the lunch hour.

The one element holding you back from expanding your lunch rush is time.  People just don’t have as much time during lunch as they once did, and in an on-the-go society, a leisurely lunch just doesn’t realistically fit into most people’s agenda.

Chain restaurants like Applebee’s and Houlihan’s have effectively maximized lunch traffic with a simple formula: value – time = more customers.  In other words, the more value you offer in the shortest amount of time, the more lunchtime customers you’re going to see.

Both chains offer “speed lunch” promotions, where the customer’s meal is guaranteed on the table in 15 minutes or it’s free.  Servers place a timer on the table when the order is taken and after that, it’s off to the races.

Houlihan’s has made landing lunch on the table in less than 15 minutes and turning the table in 30-45 minutes an exact science, and any restaurant can benefit from their example.  Customers appreciate your restaurant accommodating their tight schedule and still delivering a quality product.

Here are some strategies to help you implement your own speed lunch promotion:

Cut down the menu.  You don’t want your kitchen staff prepping and cooking a variety of menu items when they’re on such a tight timeline.  Stick to your core offerings that have good margins (because you might be giving away a free one!) and are relatively easy to prepare.

Develop benchmarks for meal prep and service.  Houlihan’s requires that servers enter orders in 2 minutes or less after they are taken to allow the kitchen as much time as possible.  Servers are then given 2 minutes to serve the meal after it’s ready.  No matter how much time your speed lunch allows, make sure you have benchmarks so that you and your staff know when you start getting into the dangerous free meal zone.

Leverage POS technology.  More than likely you have already invested in a POS (Point Of Sale) computer terminal system that allows orders from the front of the house to be entered electronically.  A POS system is vital to the success of a speed lunch promo because it greatly increases the efficiency of transferring orders from servers to the back of the house.

If you already have a POS system, consider adding more terminals to reduce lines and distance so that servers can meet their order entry deadline.  If you don’t have a POS system, taking on a speed lunch promotion is going to be very interesting.  Investing in one not only helps the success of your speed lunch promo, it also improves efficiency across your restaurant.

Leverage restaurant equipment.  Before launching a speed lunch promotion, carefully analyze the cook times of the items you’re going to offer and make sure your staff can consistently produce under a given time limit.  Quick and efficient cooking equipment like steamers, broilers, and microwaves should be used whenever possible to make sure prep times stay down.  Food prep equipment like food processors and vegetable cutters are great ways to increase your kitchen staff’s efficiency.

Continue to analyze preparation and cooking techniques and look for ways to improve efficiency.

Make sure your staff is ready.  You may want to schedule extra staff for speed lunch promo days, especially when you first start out.  Evaluate staff performance and put teams together that operate well under the deadline pressure.  Keep top performing teams together so that familiarity breeds added efficiency.

A speed lunch promo is a great way to create lunch crowds in your restaurant.  And the challenge for you and your staff to perform can make it an exercise in teamwork that can have many unintentional benefits for your business, such as finding ways to increase efficiency and teamwork.

These new findings can be applied to the rest of your business easily, and while your dinner rush might have a little more time, the lessons you learned turning tables at lunch might help you make an extra buck at night too.

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Local Produce: A Fresh Marketing Approach

Fresh. Organic. High-quality.

These are a few ideas associated with local produce. They are also three reasons why your restaurant should invest in the local food movement today. Not only will you improve your ingredients but you will also communicate that your restaurant supports the surrounding community and is aware of what diners want.

Thousands of restaurants nationwide are embracing this trend and investing in local produce. According to a study from the National Restaurant Association, 90% of fine-dining establishments offer some form of local produce on their menu.

But this trend is not limited to upscale restaurants. The NRA also reported that 63% of casual dining, 56% of family-owned restaurants, 45% fast-casual chains and 28% fast food restaurants have all invested in local produce. Two examples of restaurants that already use local produce are Chipotle and McDonald’s.

Here are some of the reasons a local produce campaign will market your company to customers.

Support of the Local Community

This is very simple; investing in local farming shows you are part of the community. This may be the most beneficial marketing point for investing in local produce. People like to support their local community and when they see a company doing the same they will return the favor and help support that company. Communities tend to take care of a company they can call their own and investing in local produce will make your restaurant one of those companies.

High-Quality Ingredients

Using local produce also means using high-quality ingredients. The quality of industrial farmed produce suffers because it is mass-produced. Locally grown food is sustainable and isn’t exposed to the pesticides, hormones and harmful farming practices factory farms frequently use.

Some factory farms do not rotate their crops, like sustainable farms do, but instead they will continue growing on the same land repeatedly without giving the land a break. This practice reduces the nutrients and minerals the crops contain. Another example of harmful industrial practices is rBGH, an artificial growth hormone that is used in milk production on some factory farms. If you are buying your produce locally from a farm practicing sustainable methods it will be higher quality and your customers will appreciate this.

Giving the Public What they Want

Bon Appétit Management Company, a large food service provider that makes $350 million worth of food purchases per year, recently demanded a food and farm bill that would change harmful farming practices and improve food quality. The company supply’s kitchens in 31 states and made it clear that they would no longer buy from farms that did not meet their food standards.

Bon Appétit  is not alone in their demand for higher quality food.  American diners are becoming more interested in the quality of their food and knowing where it is coming from. In a national poll last year 78% of people said they believe making healthy food more affordable and accessible should be one of the main objectives in the new farm bill.

These are just a few of the advantages to supplying fresh local produce in your restaurant. Diners will appreciate and respond to your investment in sustainable produce. So make a bold statement today to improve your brand image along with your ingredients and buy locally.

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Mmmmmmm… Self Serve Draft Beer

Mmmmmmm... Self Serve Draft BeerIf Homer Simpson had his own bar (or took over Moe’s), then the Draft Tables made by Ellickson USA would be the first thing he bought.

The Draft Table is an all-in-one beer tapping system built into a circular table that allows customers to pour their own beer whenever they want – directly from taps in the middle of the table!  The Draft Table is controlled by a wireless connection and starts out as “closed.”  Once a server checks IDs and collects credit cards they can open the table via a wireless controller.  The taps at the table are now activated for two beers a person, and the fun begins.  Staff can re-open the table two more times after the two beer limit has been reached, giving servers a chance to check on the table.  Any beers under the limit are not charged, but who wouldn’t want to keep pouring their own beers???

Even better, Ellickson has developed “i-button technology,” which allows customers to sign up for a small chunk of hardware that attaches to a keychain and can activate taps automatically.  The two beer limit still applies.

Ellickson is an Irish company that has only recently landed on this side of the Atlantic.  The concept of self-serve beer is still pretty new in the U.S. but it’s starting to catch on – and 90% of the state liquor boards out there have approved the Draft Table for use.

The Draft Table gives customers a unique experience while improving the efficiency of a busy bar.  If your restaurant or bar caters to discerning beer drinkers then this innovative technology makes a lot of sense.  VisitEllickson’s website for more information!

Mmmmmmm... Self Serve Draft Beer

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