If we told you that 91% of Americans want to see non GMO labels on the food they eat, would you rethink what foods you should be serving up? “Genetically modified organisms,” are plants or animals created through the gene splicing techniques of biotechnology, and a growing portion of your clientele would like to be made aware of their presence in the ingredients you use. Making the move towards offering non GMO foods for your customers is not that hard, but it will involve setting up separate stations. For example, you should consider investing in another fryer that is only used to hold non GMO canola oil; keep in mind that same frying oil will work to cater to other dietary restriction orders, like allergens and vegetarian diets. If the initial cost of doubling up on a few choice pieces of equipment seems overwhelming, remember that the percentage of people in the US that need segregated food is growing at an exponential rate, which means greater profits for those restaurants that follow suit.
Author Archive | Kasy Allen
In the residential kitchen, we’re all quite aware of the 3 forbidden rules when it comes to cast iron:
- Never, ever use soap!
- Never, ever soak it in water!
- Never, ever let water rest on it after being cleaned!
Depending on who you talk to, and how big their love for cast iron is, there could definitely be some rules added to this list – never use metal utensils, throw out rusted pans (this one hurts my heart a little bit), always season new pans, etc. However, whether it be a frying pan, oven to table ware, or griddles, almost all of these rules are different when it comes to using cast iron in a restaurant.
Restaurant Use of Cast Iron
If you scour the web for help with taking care of cast iron in a restaurant, resources are very limited, and almost all of the information you find is for home cooks. However, all of these forbidden rules aren’t the same in the commercial kitchen, because there are health code regulations that don’t allow for a pan to be simply wiped clean and re-used.
If you’re one of those home cooks, prepare to be blown away by what we’re about to tell you.
Wiping a pan clean or using salt to scrub the left-over bits away is not the way to properly clean cast iron after being used in a restaurant. In fact, as far as the health inspector is concerned, the same holds true for cast iron as with any other pan: it has to be ran through a 3-sink basin with detergent/rinse/sanitizer in order to be properly cleaned for re-use. As in most commercial kitchens, the detergent that is required to be used is specifically for what’s being cleaned; e.g. pots and pans has their own detergent, just as flatware has a particular pre-rinse formula. If you think about it, it makes sense to clean cast iron like this, to ensure the seasoning of the pan doesn’t turn rancid – risky and scary.
So, want to know how restaurants get away with not following all of those forbidden cast iron rules? They use those pans so many more times than that same pan would ever be used in the residential kitchen and they’re stored in a very hot environment, which basically helps them season themselves.
Now, that’s not to say that in the commercial kitchen other rules aren’t followed to help maintain a nice seasoning, which includes doing the first initial seasoning and wiping the pan down with vegetable oil or lard before storing (which a lot of residential users do as well).
With that said, because there is health code obstacles in the way of using cast iron in the food service industry, many cooks have started using hi-carbon or black steel pans to get a close substitute without having to worry about violating health code.
71% of adults in America are trying to eat healthier when they eat out. For a lot of these potential restaurant patrons, eating healthy is not just a choice, it’s a need. For your customers on health related diets, the best way to enforce healthier standards is to use portion control. Insuring the accurate amount of butter or salt in a dish for the customer can ensure lower weight and blood pressure, while also saving you money by control ingredient cost. Detecto makes portioning out ingredients easy with their RP30 square rotating scale. This scale helps you weight every last ounce of food while you add it to a plate, making it easy to know precisely what’s leaving your kitchen and heading in front of those health conscious guests.
If your restaurant is in an area with a large Jewish community, it makes sense to ensure your menu has kosher options. Would it surprise you to know that kosher eaters in America are equal to the number of people with food allergies? The truth is that offering kosher food options on your menu is a big opportunity to grow your business! However, before you can get started, you need to learn the rules on how to prepare, cook, and serve kosher. For example, investing in an undercounter refrigerator (we’d recommend Beverage Air) is a first great move. All kosher cuts of meat need to be kept in a separate refrigerator from other, non-kosher meats being served. Plus, it’s easier for you to know what meats are strictly kosher if you stay organized in the kitchen. You’ll also need to look into separate smallware packages and prep areas. The investment upfront may seem grand, but the return on investment could be greater in the long-run.
Odds are, if you work the grill in a restaurant, you’re already a seasoned veteran in the art of grill zones. There are your hot zones that cook meats at the temperature needed for medium to well-done and other cooler spots that cook it perfectly between rare to medium-rare. There are also other spots for veggies and softer food types, but did you know that there should always be an area specifically designated for your vegetarian and vegan guests? Because different types of oils need to be used for these guests (no animal by-products), it’s best to keep meats and oils, such as bacon grease, well away from the veggie friendly zone. Your grill should be set up so that anyone that comes up to the grill knows exactly what area is for what – no need to worry about cross-contamination for your vegetarian and vegan friendly fans. Maintaining grill zones also helps prevent cross-contamination for other dietary restrictions, like allergens. Taking an extra step toward food safety is easy when you stay organized in the kitchen.
We’ve written about how easy it is to replace your refrigeration door gaskets, but time and time again, we’ll walk into a commercial kitchen and see duct-tape doing the job the gasket should be doing. What, not you? You may not be taping the door closed, but with any over-worn gasket in the kitchen, duct-tape may be right around the corner. Here are a few signs that it’s time to replace your gaskets:
- If you begin to see cracks anywhere in the gasket.
- If the gasket is beginning to separate from the equipment.
- If the material of the gasket begins to harden so much that it doesn’t create a good seal.
- If the refrigeration unit keeps coming on and shutting off, odds are it’s having a hard time keeping temp. There are a lot of things that could be at play here, but the gasket is one of the easiest, quickest, and cheapest ways to begin narrowing down where the issue may be.
- If you can feel cool air leaking around the gasket when the door is closed.
- If you begin to see condensation build-up around the gasket seal.
New Gaskets With Gaps – Is It Defective?
When gaskets arrive at your door, it’ll likely be twisted and contorted in a way that makes it look almost impossible to install. In fact, if you try to install it without working out the kinks, you’ll notice small gaps that are letting cold air seep through.
To work out the kinks, it’s best to soak any new gasket in hot water for 30 minutes before trying to install it. If the kinks don’t come out, you can also try using other methods to heat up the gasket a bit. At home, we’d recommend using a hair dryer or even throwing it in the dryer for 10 minutes, but in the commercial kitchen, you could alternatively bring water to a slow boil, turn it down to a simmer, and put the gasket in the water for 10 minutes. Once heated, lay it on a flat surface and stretch the gasket into the shape it needs to be to fit the equipment it is being installed on.Shop Gaskets Now
Bringing in the summer with new ice cream equipment, supplies, and dispensers helps keep your customers chill and your sales hot, especially when you’re using commercial products that help save you time and money over time. Our Ice Cream Specialty Shop is perfect for helping to bring everything together, including blenders for yummy smoothie concoctions and dipper wells to help keep utensils clean. Here are just a couple of our top selling items for ice cream enthusiasts.
Ice Cream Dishers
At the top of our list are ice cream dishers (or is it called a scoop). These simple little tools are an ice cream essential in the home and business. Without these, scooping up that ice cream would be a bit harder and wouldn’t give those scoops their signature shape – who wants to see lop-sided ice cream on top of their cone? Ranging from $1-$20, make sure to get the size that is perfect for your needs.
Hot Fudge Dispensers
If you weren’t craving an ice cream sundae before you got to this point, I bet you will after I tell you that our second favorite ice cream parlor must is a hot fudge dispenser. Capable of maintaining a constant temperature without scorching the chocolate, these dispensers are perfect for helping to keep the flow in the kitchen. Prices range from $150-$750, and the most important decision when picking these products out is the capacity they need to hold to benefit your business best.
Ice Cream Molds
Want to get into the business of selling your own popsicles or want to give your ice cream a specialty look, then you’ll definitely need these ice cream molds. They’re easy to use and typically come with wooden sticks to get you started as soon as they arrive. Prices range from $20-$200, which is mainly based on how much production you’re planning on doing.
Dipper wells are handy-helpers on the back line as they help to keep utensils clean for continual use. They run a constant flow of water over the utensils that reside in them, which ensures bacterial growth is washed away and other harmful allergens. There’s a wide price variety with dipper wells ($50-$1,000), but again, it’s based on the capacity the item needs to be to properly maintain your business.
Ice Cream Drink Mixers
Depending on if you’re looking to serve frozen drink concoctions on a minute-by-minute basis, or just a few a day, ice cream drink mixers are a great way to keep serving up the very best of ice cream favorites. Ranging in price from $100 to $1,000, the perfect drink mixer for you is going to be deciding on the number of spindles, where the placement of the machine will be, and the speed the machine needs to provide to keep you in business.
Casters are used primarily in the industrial and food service world, we’ve found that there are many small and big uses for them in the home too. Of course a caster that is able to hold up to 300 pounds under a trash can may be a bit excessive (or maybe not, I’m not judging), there are other uses for a mighty caster like this in your home.
For a bit of fun, we pulled this list together of how you can use different casters around your house and business.
1. Bins and Cans
Ever bring the trash can over to the sink to throw out peels as you shred your vegetables? How about when the recycle bin or trashcan is overstuffed, and it’s best to bring it out to the dumpster to help unload it? Casters are perfect on the bottom of bins and trashcans to make them more portable in the kitchen.
2. Islands and Butcher Blocks
For a more industrial look in the kitchen, add casters to the bottom of your butcher block or island. This also helps with moving them out of the way when more space is needed or different configuration is needed when guests come over.
Keeping with the industrial look, adding casters to your beds will help keep the industrial motif going. Casters attached to your bed also help move it out of the way for easy cleaning underneath, or for those of you lucky enough to have large doors to the outside, a push of the bed to the outdoors can create quite an intimate occasion – not even kidding, this is a thing!
4. Coffee Tables
Ever have an urge to break-dance in the living room or just need more room for crafting? When the coffee table is on casters, you can roll it away for extra space anytime!
5. Under Bed Storage
We love these rolling under bed storage boxes on casters. They give you extra storage space in an often unused area, and are perfect in kid rooms for lego and toy storage. If antiquing it up isn’t your thing, try using a simpler look, like with these boxes.
6. For the Pets
Try converting an old suitcase into a dog bed, then place casters on the bottom so that the bed can be wheeled to the living room, outdoors, or by mans-best-friend at night. You can also use as an old crate on casters as an upcycled pet feeder like our friend Summerofseventy did.
To see other fun ideas on DIY caster projects around the home, catch us on Pinterest.Shop Casters Now >
Parts diagrams help you know exactly what parts you need to make repairs on common kitchen appliances. Similar to the diagram above, we have hundreds of free diagrams for you to be able to find the right parts needed for your food service equipment. The diagrams are broken down by brands and appliance type (salad spinner, mixer, slicers, glasswashers, blending stations, etc.).
Once you find the diagram for the piece you’re trying to repair, all you have to do is match the number up with the list of parts below the diagram, and you’ll be on your way to quick do-it-yourself (DIY) repairs that helps keep money in your pocket. Don’t feel comfortable making those repairs on your own? Give our team a call at 888-388-6372 or use the Live Chat function on our main site to be connected with our customer service team.
We have a team full of knowledge when it comes to the food service industry. From former Chefs and Servers to Repair Technicians and Food Service Veterans, let our team help you do-it-together (DIT).Get Free Parts Diagrams
The design phase of any new thing is filled with bringing a bunch of ideas together to form a consensus between the parties involved. With restaurant design, it always starts with the restaurateur’s concept, but where it becomes truly developed is when the design experts come in and help rally that concept into a plan.
About a month ago, we went out and visited our Dreamstaurant winner, Snow and Co, and were able to see the hollowed out building that would soon be the next Snow and Co.
Our very own VP of Design, Jeff Katz was with us, as well as, Patrick Lenahan with Yaeger Architecture out of Overland Park, Kansas. Met with the 5,600 sq. ft. empty building (4,400 sq ft of the space is designated for Snow and Co), these designers already begun spinning their wheels towards how Snow and Co could fit the building. They discussed arrangements and opportunities, but it wasn’t until they were able to go back to the office that they were able to pull all those ideas into a new conceptual plan.
Of course, with any design phase, there’s always room for changes to ensure that the restauranteur is happy with what will become his/her dream restaurant, but it is the architect that turns over the initial drawings.
Then our design team is able to begin ensuring those drawings fit with the proper flow of a restaurant – from front of house to back of house, if the flow isn’t appropriate, it can cause issues when the restaurant is up and running.
With these initial sketches done, the team can now come together with a more formalized plan that can be presented to everyone involved in the creation of the new Snow and Co. We call this our development stage:
“When our designers complete their comprehensive design program – based on the operational plan – it can be used by all members of the design team. This helps to define the required spaces, relationships, design elements, seating and other essential components. It also features requirements for the successful design, construction and operation of the proposed restaurant.”
Once the comprehensive design program is complete, we’ll move on to delivery, which is when we get to start seeing the new Snow and Co come to fruition – building and construction.