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Archive | June, 2013

Help Us Donate to Boulder Safehouse Outreach Center

Help Us Donate to Boulder Safehouse Outreach Center

Keeping with the spirit of our values in giving back, Tundra’s Culture Crew is putting together a donation drive for next month. This time, we’ll be taking donations on behalf of the Boulder Safehouse Outreach Center, an organization dedicated to offering support and services to those impacted by domestic or dating violence in the Boulder community.

Now through July 25th our employees will be bringing donations into the office, and we’d love if you could help us!  All you have to do is find extra things you have laying around that are unopened, and bring it into our showroom.  Our front counter team will even help you unload!

Here’s a quick list of items that was sent over to us from the Safehouse for immediate needs:

  • Ground Coffee
  • Liquid Laundry Detergent
  • Unopened Cold Medicines (allergy, pain relief…)
  • Cleaning Supplies (sponges, brooms, 409, ajax cleanser etc.)
  • Latex/Vinyl Gloves (for cooking and cleaning)
  • New Combs and Brushes (hair)

Find Other Donation Items Needed

If you can find anything around your house that you aren’t using, or come across a deal at the store next time you’re there, I’m sure ANY and ALL of your donations to the Safehouse are greatly appreciated.

SAFETY ALERT – Boulder Safehouse Outreach Center advises that if you are in danger, to please use a safer computer, or call 911, or call SPAN’s 24-Hour Crisis & Information Hotline at 303-444-2424. Learn more technology safety tips.

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Glassware 101: A Guide to Choosing the Right Drinking Glass

Glassware 101: A Guide to Choosing the Right Drinking Glass

Choosing glassware that compliments your business or home is key. Glassware can set the mood for your dining room, bar and at home entertaining requirements. Choosing glassware that best suits your beverage needs is important to your dining guests. eTundra offers glassware in a variety of styles and options including: high-ball glasses, cocktail glasses, collins glasses, wine glasses and more.

Shop All Glassware

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NEMA Plug & Receptacle Configurations – Straight Blade

NEMA Plug & Receptacle Configurations   Straight BladeConfused about the massive amount of plug and receptacle connector combinations? No need to fear, I’ve got you covered!

The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) has assigned labels to the vast number of configurations.  The reason for so many different types is to prevent the wrong combinations of electrical systems from being plugged together, thus avoiding potentially dangerous situations. So, here you have it, our beautiful masterpiece of Straight Blade NEMA Plugs & Receptacle Configurations.

Click on image for larger view.

NEMA Plug & Receptacle Configurations   Straight Blade

Looking for Locking Blade NEMA Plug & Receptacle Configurations?  We’ve got a chart for that too!

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Commercial Ice Machine Cleaning Made Easy

Commercial Ice Machine Cleaning Made Easy

It’s officially summer and with the season comes extra reason to re-evaluate just how clean your commercial ice machine really is. You can plan on sun-cooked-patrons filling their drinks with ice during the summer months, but nothing ruins that refreshing beverage like dirty ice from an over seasoned machine.

Have no fear! Cleaning an ice machine is easier than it seems. Here are some general cleaning instructions:

Cleaning the Ice Machine

  1. Consult your ice machine manual for specific cleaning instructions and power switch locations, as not all ice machines have the same design.
  2. Open ice machine door to access internal components.
  3. Ensure ice machine is turned off and clear evaporator grid of any remaining ice.
  4. Turn on ice machine clean mode.
  5. Add nickel-safe ice machine cleaner to trough as it fills with water.  Amount of cleaner used is specific to your brand and model of ice machine.
  6. Let machine run through clean cycle.
  7. To sanitize ice machine, repeat clean cycle with sanitizer instead of cleaner.
  8. Once cleaning cycle is complete, turn machine from CLEAN to OFF mode.
  9. Remove internal components (water curtain, water trough, and water distribution tube), and clean with a mild detergent.
  10. Clean inside of ice machine with cloth, water, and mild detergent while internal components are removed.
  11. Replace internal components.
  12. Turn ice machine back on.

Cleaning the Ice Bin

  1. Remove ice from bin and either discard or save for reuse.
  2. Remove drain plug and allow any excess water left in bin to drain.
  3. Wash inside of bin with mild detergent. Sanitize and rinse thoroughly.Commercial Ice Machine Cleaning Made Easy
  4. Replace drain plug.
  5. Depending on climate and location, hanging a slime remover stick inside bin may help reduce build-up.

Adding/Replacing the Water Filter

  • If you’re not filtering the water used in your ice machine, you’re letting all kinds of minerals affect the quality of the ice.
  • Be sure the filter you use has a scale inhibitor to help eliminate scale build-up.
  • Replace the water filter of your ice machine every 6 months to 1 year.
  • Replacing a filter is as easy as removing the old one and attaching the new one.

Again, the climate and location you’re in determines how often you’ll want to clean and sanitize your ice machine. In bakeries and breweries, where yeast and particles fill the air, cleaning has to happen almost monthly to keep those particles out of the machine and ice. Be sure to keep these factors in mind when establishing a cleaning and filter replacement schedule.

Clean ice means clean drinks, confidently cool beverages, and happy customers. It’s time to make sure your ice machine is up to snuff and ready to perform this season!

 

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Suspended Coffee – Dream Big. Start Small.

Suspended Coffee – Dream Big. Start Small.

When I started doing research on the Suspended Coffee Movement I expected to find a lot of information on restaurants and people working together to support those in need, but what I actually found was that this movement has its flaws that causes many restaurants to turn their cheek the other way.

What is the Suspended Coffee Movement?

First, a little background on what the Suspended Coffee Movement is.  Based on an Italian goodwill tradition, the idea is to pay it forward with coffee.  It sounds simple, but the story goes that a couple of friends were sitting in a coffeehouse and one friend heard a patron say that they’d like to order 5 coffees, 3 of which needed to be suspended.  This happens with the next few patrons until a homeless gentleman comes in and asks if there were any suspended coffees, and because people had paid for additional coffees (suspended the coffees), he was able to receive a free cup of coffee.

How could that be bad?

Well, if you’ve ever worked in the restaurant industry in front of house, especially in an area with a high homeless population, you can probably already answer that question.  The argument is that the free coffees are actually causing more issues than good.

The baristas and staff that are expected to manage the suspended coffees are already working to do the jobs they are assigned.  To then have to keep track of the suspended coffees, including managing the money (if the POS can even do that), would have to be figured out beforehand.

There’s also the issue of keeping the staff honest.  Without proper rules and management set-up prior to offering suspended coffees, who’s to say where those coffees go… friends? family? favorite customers?  There’s also dishonest patrons that may take advantage of the deal simply because they can.

And loitering (where I suppose was where I was going with the busy homeless population) is another issue.  In cold places, like Colorado (and such), keeping homeless people out of seats so paying patrons can have a sit, is always a struggle.  Drunk, belligerent vagrants tend to ward patrons away rather than encouraging them to suspend coffees.

But it’s the principal of the movement that we need to keep in mind.

It’s not about the coffee.  It’s not about the homeless.  It’s not about helping the less fortunate.  It’s about helping the world be a better place.

Suspended Coffee – Dream Big. Start Small.

It’s really a simple idea.

It’s about paying it forward: doing something, anything to spread a little human compassion, and encouraging people to pass it on.  You could just as easily buy a cup of coffee for a homeless man, as you could just pass him a $10 gift certificate so he could order an entire meal.  You could also leave a rather large tip for a waitress that went out of her way to make your day, and maybe that encourages her to do something nice for someone else.

The point is that all of these small things add up to big things.  You could continue to look at the world as a big disappointment and hope to get by, or you could look for opportunity to make it a better place.

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Amy’s Baking Company: What a Disaster

Amy’s Baking Company: What a Disaster
For any of you that aren’t up to date on Amy’s Baking Company, it’s basically the most amazing non-news story that’s happened in the last month. It’s highly entertaining and a bit unbelievable…

Situated in Scottsdale, AZ, there is a food service establishment so far down the tubes that even Gordon Ramsay’s show “Kitchen Nightmares” couldn’t save it. As a matter of fact, he quit working with the owners (Amy & Samy) because their business was so out of line.

As a result of the show, there was a viral uproar between Amy & Samy and the rest of the Internet. Let me break down the chain of events that lead to the social media meltdown.

  1. They ran through over 100 employees in one year.
  2. Waitstaff is treated incredibly poor. They aren’t trusted and don’t receive tips – the crazy owners do.
  3. The food is sub par, according to Gordon Ramsay (I trust him), and not completely made from scratch as stated by the owners.
  4. The customer is ALWAYS wrong – how’s that for best practice?
  5. Chef Amy can’t take criticism; thus, she has no idea how many unhappy customers leave her restaurant because the staff and Samy are terrified to tell her because of her backlash.
  6. Amy mentioned, “We have three little boys, but they’re trapped inside cat bodies. They’re cats.” …okay, that’s just strange.

Let’s just say they need a reality check.

After watching the show, I was completely baffled, but in the back of my mind I thought, this has to be staged, right? No one would treat Gordon Ramsay with such disrespect. Well, guess what? I was completely wrong. After the episode aired on national television, the Facebook page of Amy’s Bakery lit up with insults! Amy and Samy backlashed on all websites they felt were “bullying” them by other people posting bad reviews about them. Most of the posts and comments are too inappropriate to highlight here, but here are a few to give you an idea of how nutty these business owners actually are:

  • “To all of the Yelpers and Reddits: Bring it on … Come to arizona. you are weaker than my wife, and weaker than me. come to my business. say it to my face. man to man. my wife is a jewel in the desert. you are just trash. reddits and yelpers just working together to bring us down. pathetic.”
  • “I AM NOT STUPID ALL OF YOU ARE. YOU JUST DO NOT KNOW GOOD FOOD. IT IS NOT UNCOMMON TO RESELL THINGS WALMART DOES NOT MAKE THEIR ELECTRONICS OR TOYS SO LAY OFF!!!!”
  • “WE ARE NOT FREAKING OUT. WE DO NOT CARE ABOUT A “WITCH HUNT’. I AM NOT A WITCH. I AM GODS CHILD. P*** OFF ALL OF YOU, F*** REDDITS, F*** YELP AND F*** ALL OF YOU. BRING IT. WE WILL FIGHT BACK”

Historically, the couple has been using social media to slander customers and reviews but suddenly they claimed their social media accounts had been hacked… Yeah right!

Amy’s Baking Company: What a Disaster

So what can we learn from this experience?

  1. DO NOT TYPE IN ALL CAPS.
  2. DO NOT explain that God is on your side just to get away with slander.
  3. DO NOT call other people names.
  4. DO NOT explain that the other person is an idiot while misspelling your own words.
  5. DO NOT use erratic punctuation/grammar while calling the other person stupid.
  6. DO NOT describe your cats as “little boys in cat bodies” or “little people in cat suits” or “children, but actually cats, but really children” or “non-human children.”
  7. DO NOT refuse to stop arguing.
  8. DO NOT pretend you were hacked post social media backlash.
  9. DO NOT mistreat employees.
  10. DO NOT open a restaurant and say everything is fresh when it really isn’t.
  11. And above all, DO NOT disrespect Gordon Ramsay – come on people!

These were a given though,right?

The Washington Post named off a few of these DO NOTS and later said “They do everything short of comparing someone to Hitler.” It’s true!
They also created this awesome venn diagram of the meltdown:

Amy’s Baking Company: What a Disaster

Oh, and if you haven’t seen the episode, here is 43 minutes of laughter, OMGs, and “Are you serious” remarks. Make sure there isn’t something hard under your chin because it will definitely drop.

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Cleaning Underneath Restaurant Kitchen Equipment is Easy With Stoveshoes

Cleaning Underneath Restaurant Kitchen Equipment is Easy With Stoveshoes

One of the most common missed cleaning spots in a restaurant kitchen is underneath (and behind) large kitchen equipment, but this is also one area that the health inspector is guaranteed to check.  And we understand, cleaning under these large appliances is a pain: mop strings get stuck in the casters, it takes multiple people to move a 1,000+ pound piece of equipment, yada, yada, yada… but we both know that you still have to get things clean to prevent future issues with rodents and health inspectors.

Whatever is there to do to make cleaning easier?

Turns out Pam McGrew knew what to do.  With her first mock-up, which included a pipe flange with a hole, a rubber sink stopper, and some super glue, Pam did a few test runs in her own kitchen and knew she was on to something.  Not only did the prototype hold up, it made sliding the equipment easy.

Today, Pam’s invention, named Stoveshoes, can be found in restaurant kitchens around the world.  And it really is easy to slide large kitchen appliances away from the wall; in fact, one person can slide an 850 pound double oven like this with only a little force.  Pam doesn’t just use Stoveshoes under heavy kitchen equipment though, she’s found that using them even under storage racks helps move fully-loaded racks out of the way without having to remove all of the food from the shelves.

Other great benefits of Stoveshoes include:

  • They are guaranteed for the life of the equipment that sits on them.  Making them typically last much longer than caster wheels do.
  • They don’t get the mop strings tangled in them like casters tend to do.
  • They’re rated to pressure of nearly 4,000 pounds per square inch.
  • There’s a small whole through them so that any cleaning agents that get on top of them will drip through to the floor, which prevents buildup.
  • They don’t destroy your floors when being slid.

Have you tried Stoveshoes in your kitchen?  Let us know what you think about them and what advantages/disadvantages you’ve experienced to help others that may be interested in getting them.

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7 Tips for Printing Restaurant Menus

7 Tips for Printing Restaurant Menus

Printing your menus may be the final step, but don’t let it be an afterthought. Once you’ve invested in a branded design that’s engineered for success, you’ll want to see that quality carried through to the finished product. Visually appealing menus generate more sales, so follow these simple tips to maximize your menu’s payoff.

1. Give Specials a “Special” Sheet

Your unique, fresh items (daily, weekly, seasonal) boost sales and keep customers coming back for more. But listing them on your main menu requires costly reprints, which can cause reluctance to update specials regularly. Display them instead on a small insert to maximize flexibility and minimize cost.

2. Isolate Your Upsell Items

Everyone wants to beef up their bottom line by selling more drinks, desserts and daily specials.

Studies show that these items sell better when presented on attention-getting separate sheets or table tents. But limit the list to 4-7 items; it’s easier for customers to choose when they don’t feel overwhelmed.

7 Tips for Printing Restaurant Menus

3. Use Photos to Increase Sales

People focus on images first, so telling customers an interesting story with pictures can make your brand more memorable. You might feature black & white or sepia-tone photos of early founders, showcasing a bit of your company history. Casual restaurants might feature pictures of entrées; limiting them to 1 or 2 per page piques interest without cluttering the menu.

4. Order Professionally Printed Menus

The menu is your primary selling tool, and a top-notch menu tells customers you are passionate about every facet of their experience. With professional digital printing, resolution and colors are vibrant, and the quality is far superior to what home/office printers can do.

5. Choose a Clean, Simple Paper

Use a nice sturdy white cardstock that prints well—you can print any background color on it.

Printing on colored paper may seem cheaper, but your fonts, colors and images may look muddy or discolored instead of crisp and sharp. Consider a slightly glossy paper—it will stay cleaner and colors will pop.

7 Tips for Printing Restaurant Menus

6. Get a Press Proof

This is a step you don’t want to skip. Ordering a sample print lets you see exactly how your finished menu will look. Before you submit a big order, take this chance to double-check copy and font size. Is it legible in restaurant lighting? Test it on your staff and customers. Make any changes at no extra cost and then order the full quantity.

7. Consider Having Your Menu Laminated

A laminated menu is more durable while being lighter and easier to carry around than a bulky cover. Laminated menus stay much cleaner and can be gently wiped off, so replacements are needed much less frequently.

Ordering professional printed menus will save you time, and quite possibly money. No need to buy paper or ink cartridges, no time wasted trimming edges or folding! Menu printing services like MustHaveMenus will deliver table-ready menus right to your door. Following these best practices for high-quality printed menus will pay off in bigger tickets and satisfied diners.

7 Tips for Printing Restaurant Menus

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Frozen Drink Dispenser Recipes from Bunn

I put this article off for almost a month because I couldn’t think of a fun, exciting way to present beverage dispensers. They are basic pieces of equipment with one purpose – dispensing refreshing and tasty beverages. But after digging and digging through search results I found this fun article from Bunn about their frozen drink dispensers. They share some great recipes to try this summer that will please a wide range of ages.

From milkshakes to margaritas check out Bunn’s frozen drink recipes below!

MilkshakesFrozen Drink Dispenser Recipes from Bunn

NOTE: Each recipe makes approximately 3 gallons and don’t forget to set the dispenser setting to “max” for thicker shakes.

Vanilla

  • 1 gallon half/half
  • 1.5 gallons whole milk
  • 60 oz. sugar (by volume)
  • 9 teaspoons of double strength vanilla

TIP: For root beer float – cut recipe in half and replace with root beer from 2 liter bottles.

Chocolate

  • 1 gallon half/half
  • 1.5 gallons whole milk
  • 50 oz. sugar (by volume)
  • 4.5 teaspoons of double strength vanilla
  • 22 oz. chocolate syrup

Strawberry

  • 1 gallon half/half
  • 1.5 gallons whole milk
  • 50 oz. sugar (by volume)
  • 4.5 teaspoons of double strength vanilla
  • 10 oz. strawberry syrup flavoring
  • 32 oz. frozen mashed strawberries. (We find it easier to allow the frozen strawberries to thaw in the bag and mash them by hand while still in the bag before adding to the machine.)

TIP: Add 4 sliced bananas to the recipe above for a Strawberry Banana flavor or substitute strawberries with a mashed version of your favorite fresh fruits and leave the strawberry syrup out. 

Chocolate Chip

  • 1 gallon half/half
  • 1.5 gallons whole milk
  • 60 oz. sugar (by volume)
  • 9 teaspoons of double strength vanilla
  • 24 oz. mini chocolate chips

Kid-Friendly Frozen Drinks

Fruit & Hawaiian punch, orange & grape soda and root beer are classic frozen flavors kids have come to love. Basically, you can put anything into the machine that contains sugar. 2 liter bottles of soda work perfect but steer clear of diet and cola flavors because the carbonation tends to disappear quickly leaving the beverage a bit bland.

Frozen Drink Dispenser Recipes from BunnAdult Frozen Drinks

Pre-mixed drinks such as daiquiris, mud slides, margaritas and pina coladas work great! The pre-mixed bottles sold at most grocery and liquor stores including product and alcohol are generally made to be added to a blender with ice. Substitute the ice for water and pour into the Ultra. Bunn has found that one bottle of mix; to one bottle of water (you can use the bottle the mix came in) will typically be the correct ratio.

Have any more delicious beverage dispenser recipes to share? Please comment below.

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