eTundra Categories

Archive | March, 2013

April Fool’s Day Word Search

Fun Fact: The Scottish love April Fools’ Day. In fact they love it so much, they celebrate it for two days. In Scotland they call it “hunting the gowk” (the cuckoo), and if you are tricked, you are an “April gowk.” To really get “behind” the holiday, the second day, called “Taily Day,” is devoted to pranks involving the back side of the body. The “butt” of these jokes may often have a “kick me” sign placed on their back.

Continue Reading

Facebook News Feed Redesign – Advantages for Your Business

It’s true, Facebook announced earlier this month that they’re launching a radical news feed redesign! Here are the changes you can expect to see soon:


  • Rich Visual Stories
  • Choice of News Feeds
  • Mobile Inspired Consistency

Currently, the News Feed takes up 40% of page real estate. The rest of the page is jam packed with busy navigation menus, notifications, sponsored ads, recommendations and much more. The content you share easily gets lost in all of the visual noise.

Goodbye clutter. Hello bright beautiful stories. This is what the new Facebook News Feed will look like:

New Facebook Feed

As you can see, the News Feed completely dominates the page with large, eye-catching visuals (similar to Google+) and the left navigation is represented by app icons similar to mobile devices. The right sidebar still contains recommendations and ads, but it’s cleaned up, and again, more visual. You will also notice that Graph Search is implemented in this example which is another big change Facebook is rolling out.

New Facebook Feed 2

Not only will individual posts be larger, but they’re getting a snazzy new redesign! Notice how the image posted by Alicia Keys has white overlay text rather than a snippet of standard text above the image? The reasoning behind the News Feed redesign was to draw more attention to media than standard text.

That’s a huge advantage for restaurants! Imagine all the delicious food photography you can post to captivate fans. #foodporn.

In less than 2 years photos have come to dominate News Feed content. Over 50% of all content on Facebook is visual and the number is growing. This means that users and businesses must pay better attention to what they’re posting, and jump on the visual bang wagon. Facebook posting habits must grow accustomed to the News Feed changes in order to hold onto fans.

Aritcle & Blog Post Links Will Also Change

Currently posts have a small image thumbnail, article title, a short description, and space for users to comment on why they shared the post. The new design offers the same information, but the image is much bigger, the title and descriptions offer more of a newspaper feel and the publication’s logo is printed in the bottom right corner of the post.

New Facebook Feed 3

So, next time you write a blog article do us all a favor and incorporate crisp, relevant images and a catchy article description to entice users to click and engage.

When Someone Adds a Friend or Likes a Page You Will See Something Completely Different Too

The new presentation of the News Feed post when someone likes your page will look bright and alluring. Not only will your profile picture be highlighted but your cover photo and a like button will be displayed. This new design will give users a much better feel for your business, and a large call-to-action button to like your page. Again, what a great opportunity for restaurants to make a lasting impression.

New Facebook Feed 4

Make sure your cover photo and logo have appealing high-quality images that tell a story about your brand and cuisine. Don’t let users think twice about clicking “Like”.

Facebook Check-Ins are Getting Revamped Too

This new layout should help drive more customers to your door! This version is similar to Facebook’s current mobile app that allows check-ins, including maps with images that will pop-up for all check-ins.

New Facebook Feed Check-In

Is all of your location data up to date? If not, it’s time to jump on it!

In a nutshell, Facebook is making visual posts the bread and butter of the News Feed. Now is the perfect time to spice up your profile with bright, striking images and include pictures in your posts whenever possible. If you start making these changes now, you will be ready when the News Feed redesign goes into effect.

Pictures courtesy of Facebook. 

Continue Reading

Too Dim or Not Too Dim: Sound Off On Restaurant Lighting

West Flanders, Boulder CO With Dim Lights

Photo Credit:Brewtally Insane!

As we sat at West Flanders Brewing Company enjoying some of their delicious brews for happy hour, the lights suddenly went dim.  At first it was hard to focus on small things, like the menu and details on people’s faces, especially distant ones.  This wasn’t anything new to any of us – restaurants dim the lights all the time – but as we struggled to regain focus, we began discussing the potential harm this could do to restaurant profits and how the customers actually feel about it.

What the Studies Say

When you consider that sit down restaurants are quite the opposite of fast-food joints when it comes to music and lighting, there’s definitely a science behind the mood being set and how that mood relates to food; however, finding the studies to say that there is a definite science is somewhat limited.  One study that was done in 2012 by Cornell University found that lighting and music do indeed affect how we eat food, but not how you might expect.

By taking a well-known fast-food establishment and making two different versions – one with brightly-lit lights and up-beat music, and the second with soft lighting and smooth jazz – the researchers were able to offer the same food, but in two different environments.  What they found was that people actually ate less when they were in a more relaxed atmosphere. They may take their time to enjoy their food and drinks, but they don’t order anymore food than they would at a fast-food restaurant.  The researchers (like many of us) expected the exact opposite – they expected people to eat more because with dimmer lighting and softer music, people tend to linger longer.

In hindsight, I should have named this section “What the Study Says,” but that just doesn’t sound as important, now does it?

What Does This Mean For You?

Dimming the lights may cause people to eat less, but if your guests are health-conscious, this is a great way to help them cut calories; in fact, the study showed that consumers ate 18% fewer calories when the mood was set to be more relaxing.

If you’re in the business of strictly gaining profit instead of showing off your culinary talent as well, then fast-food style settings may be the place for you.  But like most chefs, when it comes to their food they’re passionate about the tastes, the blends, the colors, the presentation, etc.  In a fast-food environment you would absolutely be hindering all of your efforts towards making that culinary experience the one you want.

What the People Say

Of course with plenty of places to vent online, there are numerous discussions across the web of people debating the reasons for dim lighting in a restaurant.  The majority seemed to agree that dim lighting was to set the mood – make the dining experience more comfortable.  They felt that it helped to make people focus on what’s in front of them, including the food and their dining companions.

Oddly enough, they also felt that it was almost like a conspiracy theory to help the restaurant gain more profits, because people would eat/order more food (exactly opposite of what the study found).  They also blamed dim lighting on the reason behind coyote ugly – the dim lighting hides blemishes and makes people look more attractive… I knew there was more to this coyote ugly thing than just alcoholic beverages.

The bad news is that many people were complaining that too dim of lights made it hard to read the menu and see the food on the plate.  They also felt that the lower light setting helped to hide bad food: presentation and taste.  And of course, the dim lighting does what it does to my husband every time he watches a movie, makes them sleepy.

What Does This Mean For You?

Well, if your restaurant is trying to make profit off of dim lights, the people are on to you.  They’re also done with biting off their arms because of bad dates they wake up next to.

But you can do something to help them know there is no conspiracy theory.  It can be as easy as adding candle light to the table so it’s easier to see the menu and the food.  You can also invest in some awesome LED lit menus that definitely add some light to the table.

Should There Be Another Study?

The LED lit menus got me thinking – would people order more food if they could see what was on the menu?  Maybe those people in the study actually ordered less because they couldn’t see. Hmm, looks like another study possibility.

Watch out, this video is definitely trying to set the mood up in here.

Continue Reading

FOOD ALERT: Be Wary of These Controversial & Fake Foods

Turtle Soup

Americans have always invested an enormous amount of time and worry into what they eat. Every week there seems to be another menu item that is controversial and detested as unhealthy. Among the thousands of foods enjoyed by people from all over the world, here are a few that are considered to be the most controversial… fakes!

Fake Honey

Stroll through any supermarket in the US, and you’ll find a full display of shiny containers full of golden honey; however, according to Food Safety News, nearly 1/3 of that honey is likely to have been smuggled in from China – and laced with illegal and unsafe antibiotics. Knowing that the honey you buy is safe to eat is crucial for you and your family’s health.

Here are a few tips that I found for helping to sniff out the fakes:

  1. Check the label. Read the ingredients listed and check for additives. Any company selling honey is required to list any additives added – make sure you know exactly what’s listed on the label before you buy.
  2. Taste the honey. If it seems off, yet the label claims it’s pure, try the dissolving test to check for purity: Get a glass of water and one tablespoon of honey. Empty the honey into the water. If the honey is impure, it will dissolve in the water. If it is pure, the honey will stick together and sink as a solid clump to the bottom of the glass.

Fish Fakers

Mislabeled fish is also becoming a widespread problem. According to the US Food & Drug Administration, nearly 33% of fish purchased across the nation is not what it claims to be. Seafood fraud is not only hurting consumers pocket book, but also hurts honest vendors and fisherman throughout the supply chain.

  1. The biggest fake fish species being sold include cheaper fish like pollock and whiting – although they are being marked and sold as cod.
  2. Catfish has been found to be sold as grouper, while cod and tilapia are being sold as red snapper and salmon.
  3. Really impacting the consumer’s pocketbook is when cheaper, farm-raised fish is being substituted as wild caught fish.

The Taste Of Controversy

Environmentalists and animal rights activities alike are speaking up about these controversial foods.

Blue Fin Tuna is quickly being fished to extinction and has become a highly controversial food. Blue fin is highly prized by sushi chefs around the world. However, research has shown that Blue Fin has become extinct in the Black Sea and continues to be fished in a sustainable way in other parts of the world.

Turtle is considered a delicacy in Asia and Eastern US. Most commonly found in soup, the controversy around this food is that many of the species being harvested for human food are endangered. Aside from endangerment, turtle is usually seen as part of the ‘pet’ category rather than a food category.

Horse-meat is popular in Asia, Europe and South America, and over the past 5-10 years, horse-meat has quickly become more of an acceptable consumable meat worldwide. The controversy surrounding horse-meat is that many people see horses as pets or companions, rather than food. Farms producing horses specifically for the purpose of consumption are becoming more popular and are often compared to farms that raise cows and chickens.

Dolphin activists claim that the practices in catching dolphins are inhumane. Dolphins are caught, hooked, and gutted while still alive. Dolphin meat also contains more mercury than most fish, which is poisionous to humans.  Dolphin is another fish type that is often mislabeled and sold as another fish type.

Shark Fin, like Dolphin, is resulting in a declining population for sharks. The practice of shark finning is not regulated and is seen as very cruel, because in many cases live sharks are captured at sea, their fins cut off, and then they are returned to the sea fin-less.  The sharks often die because they can’t swim properly. Both the humane treatment of animal life and sustainability play a role with shark fin.

My findings in writing this article have led me down a road to ask:

  • Whose responsibility is it to regulate the foods that are being sold across the nation?
  • Does the consumer play a role in knowing where their food comes from and how it was raised or grown?

Your comments are welcome.

Continue Reading

Easter Word Search

Fun Fact: Besides chocolate, what other candy pops its head around the corner during Easter time? Jelly beans! An astounding 16 billion jelly beans are made exclusively for Easter. That’s enough beans to fill a plastic egg the size of a nine story building!

Continue Reading

Dreamstaurant: The Wandering Table

Imagine a 1,200 square foot space that’s narrow (about 25 feet wide) and long with concrete floors, a white ceiling and a row of fluorescent tube lighting as long as the narrow room. Each wall is a different, loud color ranging from nectarine orange to lilac purple and sky blue. There’s art hanging from the ceiling and on the walls, there’s art standing on the floor and there’s art drying on tables. But it’s not just any art, it’s created and designed by children.

As you step into the space you find a 4 foot tall “Where the Wild Things Are” monster (who I later found out was the mascot of a parade float) and a 5 foot heron hanging from the ceiling with a thick wire frame and blue fabric to fill in the body. Each colored wall is lined with shelves containing crayons, colored pencils, construction paper, clay, paint and brushes, glue and chalk.

Through the middle of the space sits a long community table large enough to seat 30 people. The table is covered with a white table cloth, white candles and tall cylindrical vases holding white hydrangeas. Each place setting consists of a folded dark brown, cloth napkin with two forks to the left and a knife and spoon to the right. A stemless wine glass is filled with drinking water and a cream card stock menu rests on the napkin with 12 dishes listed chronologically. The top of the menu reads, “ The Wandering Table.”

The Wandering Table at Art on the Edge

The Wandering Table at Art on the Edge

The Wandering Table is Dreamstaurant winner, Chef Adam Hegsted’s, underground supper club. The table makes stops in various locations from art studios and museums to local farms to the beach – and everywhere in-between. The menu generally consists of local, seasonal ingredients (served tapas style) and wine paired with each dish.

Below is the menu from the pop-up dinner I attended on St. Patrick’s Day. I think I became an honorary member of the “Clean the Plate Club” during this 3 hour meal. It was so delicious I could have licked all 12 plates clean!

Wandering Table Menu

St. Patrick’s Day Wandering Table Menu

What Hegsted strives for at each pop-up dinner is to bring the community together. He continues to develop and evolve something he feels Spokane is lacking – a food community. With each dinner, palates grow wilder and minds whirl into a flavorful abyss. The community is being trained by Hegsted’s Wandering Table to savor the delicious, local flavors of the earth and relish seasonal foods.

Another goal of Hegsted’s is not only bringing the community together but to support it. He doesn’t always make a profit on Wandering Table dinners, but if he does, he donates to local not-for-profit organizations. Art on the Edge is one of Hegsted’s favorites to support. It’s a non-profit community art program of St. Vincent de Paul that provides quality after-school art classes, summer workshops and camps, public art and community festivals. In fact, the dinner I attended was hosted at the Art on the Edge studio and all proceeds from the dinner went to the organization.

Art on the Edge Entrance

VP of Design, Jeff Katz entering The Wandering Table at Art on the Edge.

The Wandering Table was a unique experience and I was grateful to be a part of it. One attendee mentioned they had been on the waiting list for 6 months before they were granted a seat. It’s definitely a desirable dining adventure, especially for the foodies.

Leaving the Art on the Edge studio got me thinking how lucky Tundra was to find Chef Adam Hegsted. Not only is he an exceptional Chef, but he is incredibly organized, humble, and his presence truly warms a room. A server working the dinner with Chef Hegsted had rave reviews about his management style, temper, talent, and personality. Turning Adam’s Wandering Table into his Dreamstaurant is a feeling money can’t buy. It’s the feeling you get when you know you are doing something right. It’s bliss. See pictures from the meal here!

Chef Adam Hegsted and Jeff Katz

VP of Design, Jeff Katz (left) and Chef Adam Hegsted (right)

Continue Reading

Recycling the Notion of Going Green

Recycling at RestaurantsRecycling at RestaurantsWith green initiatives often perceived as a more expensive way to run your restaurant, the inherent value it provides through the eyes of your customers can easily outweigh monetary costs. If your bottom dollar is what’s keeping you from working environmentally conscious practices into your restaurant, consider green initiatives a piece of your marketing budget and treat them like new opportunities. Customers are on-board when it comes to cleaning up your operation, and fortunately going green doesn’t have to be done through one giant leap in order to impress.

Try starting small with a recycling program.

 Fundamentally, recycling should be the first step when considering going green. It does no good (and sends a mixed message to customers) if you’ve got low-energy light bulbs, but throw all your recyclable materials straight into the trash.

Start small with a determined recycling effort, grooming your employees to properly recycle where possible, and watch it grow into a practiced state of mind. Face it, customers these day are going to be more disappointed to not see the blue bin next to your trash can than knowing you use traditional light bulbs. Advertising and putting into practice steps intended to make your kitchen greener – starting with a recycling program – goes a long way.

  • Get ahead of the curve. Not only does recycling hold value to your customers, it’s quickly becoming a necessary practice. More laws are being geared towards making mandatory recycling programs part of restaurant operations, and implementing yours before it becomes a necessity puts you ahead of the curve.
  • Feel good practice. Believe it or not, recycling actually feels good. While it’s not necessarily a practice that will help pad your wallet, making an effort to reduce the waste your establishment produces and helping to achieve sustainability in your community has an inherently “good” aspect for any business. Your participation can and does make a difference, whether you’re a small-town mom-and-pop diner or a franchisee for a corporate chain.
  • Green restaurant certified. As discussed, recycling can be the first step to fully realized restaurant-wide practices. Taking the next few steps, and acquiring a certification from the Green Restaurant Association, is a great way to show yourself, your staff and your customers that you’re committed to going green.

Spread the word.

If you’re worried about potential green practices tightening the noose around your restaurants neck, take comfort in knowing that customers are often more than happy to pay a little extra for your efforts. Letting people know you’re doing things differently can sometimes be all it takes to attract potential customers into becoming supportive regulars. The key is to spread the word.

  • Train your staff. Don’t be pushy, and definitely don’t make “green” the new go-to word whenever a server has a customer’s ear, but taking time to train your servers in how best to spread the word is a valuable management practice. A simple “oh and by the way all our produce are locally sourced” does wonders.
  • Make it obviously casual. Again, the worst thing you can do after going green is to shove the notion down the throats of your customers. Try posting casual reminders around your restaurant in the form of signs above your recycling bins, Energy Star logos advertising Energy Star rated restaurant equipment, or the words “I’m made of recycled materials” on take out containers. If you’ve got a website, or promote through the local paper, don’t be afraid to include a graphic or line of copy highlighting your new changes.
  • Advertise extensively. Being proud of going green is not a bad thing, and if it drastically changes your operation for the better you absolutely should let people know. Little reminders might not justify the value you feel these changes hold, but creating an advertising campaign is a bold way to say you’ve made improvements and people should pay attention.

Like fire, greening one’s establishment can be started with a single spark and has potential to catch and spread at unpredictable speeds. Though viewed from some standpoints as a damaging budget-biter ready to burn up your income, approaching green efforts consciously, and stoking the flame when and where it’s necessary, can produce valuable warmth and comfort in the form of customer approval, limited waste and an overall sense of purpose. Many aspects of your restaurant need only be tweaked to perform in a more environmentally friendly way – and may not cost you a penny. Take time to evaluate your current process and objectively decide where cutting costs monetarily is costing you more in regards to a bigger picture.

Continue Reading

Some Alien Ways to Enjoy Alcohol

Alcohol is imbibed, often over-indulged in, and equally appreciated around the globe. From a glass of wine with dinner or a pint of self-brewed ale over lunch to the cornucopia of martinis, margaritas, shots, and suds downed during hazy nights on the town, the list of ways in which we enjoy our alcohol is endless.


That said, pushing the boundaries of brewing and imagining new ways to mix and ingest liquor and the likes is a pastime humanity has proudly embraced.

Here are a few outside-the-box mixes and over-the-top methods for getting your buzz on:

Alien Hemorrhage

Alien Brain Hemorrhage: This colorful concoction is better seen than ingested, as each ingredient adds a new element to the show, and the curdling affect combined with the red grenadine makes for an alien-looking shot indeed.

  • Fill ½ shot glass with peach schnapps
  • Add 2 tsp Bailey’s Irish Cream
  • Top off with a few drops of grenadine
  • Enjoy

Cement Mixer: This shot is essentially the human counterpart to the Alien Brain Hemorrhage. Remove the grenadine and schnapps and add lemon or lime juice.

Tapeworm: While the two above shots may feel a little strange going down, I imagine this shot is nothing but sadness from the moment it touches your lips.

  • One part vodka
  • One part Tabasco sauce
  • Sprinkle with pepper
  • Top off with dollop of mayonnaise
  • Start crying

Smoker’s Cough: Keep the mayonnaise, but switch everything else out for some Jagermeister. Continue sadness.

  • 1 ½ oz of Jagermeister
  • Add dollop of mayonnaise
  • Sob while wishing you’d mixed a Tapeworm instead

Liquid Steak: The man’s man inside of you will force your brain into thinking you’re drinking steak while sensible human being you once were will wonder why you’re drinking rum with Worcestershire sauce.

  • One part rum of choice
  • One part Worcestershire sauce
  • Mustache comb for instant mustache you’ll grow afterward

Praire Oyster

Prairie Oyster: To anyone to ever mutter “This drink’s good, but what it really needs is a raw egg” …let’s be serious, no one’s ever said those words.

  • One part bourbon
  • Crack egg into glass
  • Add Tabasco for flavor (some add pepper, salt, and Worcestershire sauce – any hot sauce will do)
  • Prep griddle for bacon

Black Death: In Soviet Russia alcohol drinks you. But seriously, why would anyone mix soy sauce with vodka?

  • 1 – 1 ½ shots of vodka
  • ½ oz of soy sauce
  • Shake/mix
  • Pour over ice
  • Enjoy?

Seven Seas: Pirates are awesome, right? I knew a pirate once. Pete. Crackers. Polly. Zzzzzzz.

  • Walk into a bar
  • Ask for a Seven Seas
  • Watch bartender mix the first seven bottles they can grab
  • Start mumbling

Bone Luge

Bone Luge: This one’s picking up speed around the country and has been said to be quite enjoyable. Some people say that about monkey brains and chocolate-covered grass hoppers as well, so…

  • Order roasted beef marrow bone in an upscale restaurant
  • Take out marrow and put on toast
  • Take your top shelf liquor (something to sip and savor under 80 proof) and pour down bone luge into mouth
  • Shares notes regarding richness and flavor with any hipster within earshot

Vaportini: Who knew you could vaporize alcohol.

  • Order your Vaportini Complete Kit
  • Follow instructions and vaporize your high proof liquor of choice
  • Realize you’re vaporizing alcohol and question your priorities

Continue Reading

Keeping Culture from Crumbling as Business Booms

Shared Values, Culture

Culture is a concept that seems to elude and confuse companies from one end of the business spectrum to the other, but a company’s culture is an ever-present aspect of any establishment. From the Mom & Pop corner diner to the highly-polished chain restaurant – and on up to the corporate offices calling the shots – each setting has a culture waiting to be understood and encouraged to thrive. Unfortunately, as business picks up and companies expand beyond the family-sized start-up, a healthy company culture is harder to harbor, and all too often as numbers grow, employees start to grumble and the culture well dries up.

As Tundra Restaurant Supply celebrates its 20th anniversary, focus on company culture remains strong, and the idea of evolving and expanding that culture as business booms has become a shared effort.

“When I started the recruitment process and we talked about what Tundra has to offer a prospective employee, Culture Crew and the culture of Tundra was brought up. It was really big for me that it was brought up,” Steve Trujillo, current face of the company’s Culture Crew, said of his hiring in August 2012. “I’ve worked for big box companies, huge companies, where I’m just a cog in the machine and I’m just a number [and] it’s more about what you can provide to the company in environments like that.”

Coming from a broad-spectrum background, with experience in both small companies and corporate powerhouses, Steve shares his enthusiasm for connectivity and community throughout Tundra, while realizing the pitfalls inherent to a growing business.

There’s Something Unique to Every Company

“I think there’s something unique to every single company,” Steve remarks regarding whether or not a culture template works across the board. “The individuals within that company need to kind of go through their own trials and tribulations to develop what that culture is and what kind of programs need to be done to keep culture strong. There are some loose methods, like communication. Every company should communicate across departments. There should be social events in every company. Those kinds of things can be thrown into a general template or process, but I think the key for every company is that [culture] just needs to be addressed.”

It’s important to evaluate a new employee’s potential to thrive and mature personally, as well as professionally, within any company. Being one of the few places Steve has worked where culture was actively discussed, Tundra’s approach to finding the proper fit in terms of employees and attitudes appealed to him from the very beginning. Throughout the interview process, professional skills and competency were discussed as well as whether or not his piece would fit into the puzzle of Tundra’s company culture.

“It felt like questions at that time were leaning towards “will this guy fit personally with the people and the team he’s going to come into, and on top of that will he fit within the company,”” Steve remembers. “It’s good to know that everybody gets some sort of question and answer period about who that person is and why they would be a good fit.”

Finding an employee that fits is only the first step of a long, tricky staircase that leads towards immersion in company culture and being a part of making that culture work. Many workplaces have a top-down “system” of culture where attitudes are dealt out like cards and employees just go with the flow. This can lead to varying views of exactly what a company’s culture means to different people, and a superior who stresses and instructs over involving and engaging employees isn’t really helping anyone.

Culture Crew

“At the beginning it really felt like one person was doing everything related to Culture Crew,” Steve says. “What we’ve done a really good job of, at least this year, is that we’ve all got a shared piece of the pie. Everything from Friday Funday to planning social events; everybody’s got an active role. Everybody’s all hands on board.”

With member representatives from a majority of departments within the company including warehouse, accounting, human resources, sales, and marketing Tundra’s Culture Crew meets weekly to discuss company attitudes and employee concerns as well as brainstorm team-building activities and events. Enjoying a company’s culture is an invaluable aspect of employee satisfaction that just can’t be built into the job. It’s a feeling of belonging that makes people want to refer friends and tell family about their fantastic company, and facilitating this feeling needs to be a daily, company-wide effort.

“I think culture is kind of all encompassing. Are you happy with the day you come in to? Is your workload easier to handle because your environment makes it that way,” Steve says of how he sees company culture in general. “To me, the culture aspect comes into play as external factors. The work’s going to be there every day no matter what. The whole idea behind why we have a Culture Crew is to keep this family, I mean it started out as a family business, we want to keep those family values and aspects.”

Tundra Restaurant Supply’s growing family of 135 employees all contribute on some level to the company’s evolving culture. Plans for the year include a company barbecue, pancake breakfast, ski trip, baseball game, softball and kickball leagues, and monthly Friday Funday and employee birthday/anniversary cake days. The company’s Culture Crew, with its rotating members, continuously tries to bring the fun back into the workplace.

Continue Reading

How To Save On Toilet Paper & Other Paper Products

Americans use nearly 8 million tons of toilet paper a year! It’s no wonder toilet-paper manufacturers are plying consumers with more sheets, more layers, and even the added sanitation of wet wipes. As a restaurant owner or food service manager have you ever wondered if switching to green paper products is one area where you can save money?

Paper Product Waste

The claims that forests are being destroyed to make toilet paper, facial tissue, paper towels, and other disposable paper products. Seems a bit extreme, right? Whether you agree or disagree with this statement we can all agree that rethinking the way your restaurant buys and uses paper products helps your restaurant save money, as well as the environment. Using less paper helps trim your bottom line through cost-cutting and efficiency, while a restaurant recycling program can generate positive publicity for your business, giving your customers one more reason to dine at your restaurant.

Decrease Your Carbon Footprint With These Buying Tips

  1. Buy paper products with recycled content: Look for products with high recycled content, including post-consumer content. Post-consumer fibers are recovered from paper that was previously used by consumers and would otherwise be dumped into a landfill.
  2. Purchase paper products made from clean manufacturing processes: Traditional paper products are bleached to make them whiter and brighter, but the chlorine that is used in this process contribute to the formation of harmful chemicals that wind up in the air and water, and are highly toxic to people and fish. Key terms to look for when shopping for these items:
    1. TCF: Totally Chlorine-Free
    2. PCF: Processed Chlorine-Free.

The STATS Are In

  • If every box of virgin facial tissues was replaced with a 100% recycled box, 163,000 trees would be saved.
  • If just one roll of virgin toilet paper was replaced with a 100% recycled roll, 423,900 trees would be saved.
  • If just one roll of virgin paper towels was replaced with a 100% recycled roll, 544,000 trees would be saved.
  • If just one package of virgin napkins was replaced with 100% recycled ones, 1,000,000 trees would be saved.

*According to the

Save Your Restaurant Money – Starting Today

  • Invest in one-at-a-time napkin dispensers – helps customers take only what they need.
  • Install hand dryers in restrooms – this eliminates the need for paper towels.
  • Stock bathrooms with only enough toilet paper for one day – you don’t want your back stock disappearing!
  • Consider going digital with receipts.
  • Implement a recycling program to cut-down on unneeded waste.
  • Buy paper products in bulk.

Making small changes, like buying 100% PCF [processed chlorine free] paper products, is not only affordable, but takes up to 45% less energy to produce than traditional paper products.

Going green around your restaurant can go beyond just paper products. Investing in CFL or LED lights may cost a little more up front, but will last much longer than traditional light bulbs. Do you have outdated equipment in your kitchen? Manufactures offer energy star rated equipment pieces that will run much more efficiently.

We understand running a restaurant is expensive, but making a few changes can add dollars to your bottom line.

Continue Reading