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Author Archive | Kasy Allen

Elkay Sinks & Faucets

Elkay Sinks & Faucets

There’s not much to say about sinks… or so we thought.  One of our favorite brands of sinks, Elkay, does an amazing job of sharing quality content on their blog and in social media. We were overwhelmed with all of the helpful information they provide – and yes, for something as simple as sinks.

Here are some of our favorite links.

1. Interview with Elkay’s Designer Suzanne DeRusha

Ever wonder if people that work with sinks get excited about what they do?  Well, if you were wondering, Suzanne will help you get excited too, as she runs through her favorite design trends and her dream drain.

2. Caring for your Stainless Steel Sink

Get the dos and don’ts of proper stainless steel maintenance, which goes well beyond sinks.  This list includes instructions for the finish of your sink and how to deal with specific issues like chloride build-up and scratches.

3. Installing a New Sink

You know we’re fans of DIY, so having a partner that helps our customers navigate their own DIY projects is definitely a plus!  Elkay also links to other helpful posts to make sure the mount is right, what the sink depth should be, and how many bowls you’ll need.

4. DIY? Here’s Some Food for Thought

Before adventuring down the DIY road, you should always have a list of pre-cautionary recommendations to run through before going full-speed ahead.  These are Elkay’s recommendations.

5. Go Big on YouTube

With over 80,000 views, Elkay has created a video library that is informative and insightful.

6. Ideas Galore on Facebook & Pinterest

We’re big Pinterest fans, so to find one of our partner brands sharing in on the fun on Pinterest – we’re definitely in!  We also loved the content they were sharing over on Facebook.

Elkay does a great job of helping their customers find the right product for their business or home, and a few others that leave you dreaming and pinning!

For our full line of Elkay sinks, visit our site.

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Over 7,500 New Parts Added!

Over 7,500 New Parts Added!The beauty of having over 15,000 parts to offer for your do-it-yourself (DIY) needs is that we likely have all the widgets and gadgets you need to keep your kitchen running smoothly. Well, that was until we came across over 7,500 more parts that fit nicely with our other repair parts. Yes, you read that right, as of March 1st, we now have over 22,500 parts in our inventory to go along with our numerous how-to videos and articles to help you better manage your business repairs.

Don’t feel comfortable taking the leap to DIY? 

That’s okay, we understand that sometimes it can be intimidating, but our team is here to help you better understand how we can do-it-together (DIT).  Give our team a call at 888-388-6372 or Live Chat with us over on our main site.

Shop All of our Parts Now >

Interested in what new brands have beefed up their parts with us?  Here’s the list!

  • Alto Shaam
  • American Range
  • APW Wyott
  • Atlas Metal
  • Baker’s Pride
  • Bevles
  • Blodgett
  • Cres Cor
  • Doughpro
  • Duke
  • Frymaster
  • Lang
  • MagiKitch’n
  • Nieco
  • Nor-Lake
  • Perlick
  • Pitco/Frialator
  • Prince Castle
  • Scotsman
  • Silver King
  • Southbend
  • Star Manufacturing
  • Vulcan Hart
  • Wells

And what about those categories?  Yep, we have that list too!

  • Beverage Equipment Parts
  • Cooking Equipment Parts
  • Dishwasher Parts
  • Electrical Parts
  • Gas Connectors
  • Gas Parts
  • Hardware
  • Hood Filters
  • Hot Water Steam Parts
  • Janitorial Parts
  • Machine Parts
  • Prep Equipment Parts
  • Refrigeration Parts
  • Tools

Shop All of our Parts Now >
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Top 6 Items to Add to Your Spring Shopping List

Top 6 Items to Add to Your Spring Shopping List

Spring is in the air and a lot of us are thinking spring cleaning, but it doesn’t all have to be left to dusting and scrubbing this month.  Here are a few of our favorite spring items that remind us that there’s more to March than just cleaning.

1.    Food Scales

Food scales are used in the food service industry quite a bit by chains, but we’ve found many small business that still haven’t heard of the money saving benefits behind these items (we wrote about it here and here).  This is why we had to kick off our spring list with food scales – well that, and they have springs, get it?

2.    The Cooler Sno Cone Machine

Get a head start on summer with this lightweight, portable sno cone machine from Paragon.  Weighing in at a little under 11 pounds and measuring 16” wide x 24” high, don’t let its cuteness fool you – it’s capable of producing 500 pounds of shaved ice per hour!  Now you just need to decide on your favorite flavor of syrup!

3.    Springs

Springs for spring, of course!  With over 500 springs in stock, odds are we can keep you stocked up on springs for quite sometime.

4.    Flowering Onion Cutter

Ever wondered how the “Awesome Blossom” was made?  With this unique tool called the flowering onion cutter.  Simply place a colossal sized onion on the machine and slide the handle down – bam, a perfectly, awesomely cut blossom.

5.    Flower Vegetable Trays

Sure, veggie trays are great for game day serving, but cool veggies can be served poolside too.  That’s why we added this simple vegetable tray to the list – in flower design!

6.    Sno Cone Flower Holders

If you’re getting ready for sno cone season anyway, why not get these fun sno cone holders too?  They keep the syrup from dripping over the sides and the adults love them too – seriously, we used them at our last team member sno cone event and they were a hit!

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Food Service Sales

Food Service Sales

Looking for the best deals, sales, and coupons in the food service industry?  Well, we’re here to bring them to you!

Our 72 hour sale may be over, but while we work on bringing you another great offer, take a look at our clearance section – there are always ways to save!

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Why is Restaurant Concept Important?

Why is Restaurant Concept Important?

Finding a restaurant concept is often times under-appreciated, which is likely one reason why so many restaurants fail within the first couple of years.  In truth, the concept of a restaurant is just as important as finding the right chef and location.  It helps you discover more about the environment and economic status of the location, the target audience, the menu, the aesthetics, the marketing, the service type; essentially, it’s putting all of your ideas down on paper so you have a guide as you proceed forward.

Why do so many people not figure out concept before they start building?  Because it’s not as easy as it sounds.  Serious entrepreneurs looking to open a restaurant often confide into a restaurant designer to ensure the concept is concrete, before even moving into the design phase.  And when success is so reliant on concept, it’s unsettling to know that so many of you will read this, and continue to open your doors without thinking critically about concept.

Outside of the importance of finding your concept, let’s chat about what it is.

It’s Research.

If you don’t already know about the economic, environmental, and demographic status in the area, you should do your research first.  You’ll need to know what your target audience is willing to spend, when they’re going to spend, when you should be open, when weather is going to force you to close, etc.  Ask yourself a couple of questions:

  • How many cars pass by the location in a day?
  • When is busy time for the area?  When is down time for the area?
  • What is the weather like?  Does it rain a lot?  Snow?  Will that affect your business?
  • How are you going to be seen by patrons?  How can you increase visibility?
  • Does the location you’re planning on using already have equipment, or are you going to have to invest in new equipment?
  • What other details do you need to research to ensure this is a good choice?

It’s About Competitors.

If you know that there are restaurants that are already successful around you, learn what they’re doing right.  Dine at their establishment, notice the staff, the aesthetics, the food, the smells, the sounds, everything – and take note.  Also, remember the restaurants that aren’t quite as successful, and find out why they aren’t winning – learn from their weaknesses.

It’s About Finding Your Service Type.

You may know what type of food you want to serve, but have you thought about what size the menu should be?  How about the prices you’ll have on the menu that will be in line with your target market?  Have you thought about what type of restaurant service you’ll be offering: fine dining, casual, fast food, delivery, catering, food truck, carry out, etc.?  Knowing these answers before beginning to make restaurant decisions can save you money in the long run.

It’s About Atmosphere.

What is atmosphere?  It’s how you want people to feel when they come into your restaurant.  The smells they encounter, the sights they see, the flavors they taste, the sounds they hear, and the feelings of what they touch.  It’s about how you prepare your food, how the staff treats the people, and the culture of the restaurant.   It’s the experience you want your patrons to have when they visit – and it’s important.

It’s About the Target Market.

You could create a list of ideas around your concept, but if you don’t know your target market, you’ll be missing a big part of bringing it all together.  You need to know who the ideal customer is that will be coming in your doors.  How old are they?  When do they eat out the most?  Do they have kids?  How much money are they likely to spend?  If you’re planning on opening a family-friendly restaurant in a downtown area that primarily caters to patrons that are grabbing a bite to eat during lunch or sipping cocktails during happy hour, you will likely not get as much business as you would if you would have opened up in the burbs.

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Why Restaurants (and Diners) Hate Kids Dining Out

Why Restaurants (and Diners) Hate Kids Dining Out

Last year, we started to see an influx in restaurants starting to ban children from dining at their restaurants.  There were people on either side of the fence on this issue, and we spoke to why catering to the yougins’ could help boost revenue, but we also understand that sometimes little ones just aren’t welcome in restaurants, and here’s why.

In a long awaited closing to this 3 part blog post, here are a few reasons why restaurants hate to see kids in their establishment.

1. Kids are messy.  Yes, a spaghetti smeared face may be cute to you, but to others around you that are trying to enjoy their meal (without losing their appetite), well, it’s just gross.  Oh, and not to mention that spaghetti being flung around the room and left for the server to pick up is just rude.

2. Kids are loud. Trying to get away from an exhaustive day, just to be met by a neighboring table with a screaming, shouting child is one of the last things any diner wants to be met with.

3. Parents don’t tip enough.  This, like a few more on this list, could be seen as stereotyped, but if you’ve ever been a server, you know that the likelihood of getting a decent tip with tables that have kids is slim to none.  The servers are likely in the back of the house throwing rock-paper-scissors to see who gets stuck with your table.

4. Kids can’t stay seated.  Well, they can, but you let them run amok.  It’s already busy in a restaurant, and to have to step over rowdy children makes it even harder to get the job done.  Besides, the patrons trying to enjoy their meal as little Johnny runs around screaming, aren’t going to enjoy their experience either.

5. Kids don’t like fine dining.  To be honest, some of them do, but why would you pay for a filet mignon, when the kid would be completely happy with chicken nuggets?  And to that point, bringing your child to a fine dining restaurant and asking for grilled cheese is rude too, especially when it’s not on the menu.

6. Kids like snacks.  Servers understand that you brought in snacks to keep your little one calm until the food arrives, but if you’re going to be okay with smashed crackers and Cheerios winding up everywhere, you should at least offer to help clean it up.

7. Kids don’t like clothes.  Not sure what it is about keeping pants and shoes on, but when dining out, the “No Shoes, No Shirt, No Service” applies to children as well.

8. Kids love to be social.  Again, it may be cute to you that your child has learned to explore his/her boundaries and likes to make friends with everyone, but other patrons are trying to enjoy their meal, not make friends with a tot.

9. Kids need babysitters.  And your server is not a babysitter.

10. Kids like to let everyone else know what’s going on.  Which includes when it’s potty time… food and an abrupt announcement of potty time never mixes well. Never.

Need some more (anti) kid love in the restaurant?  Here are a few of our favorite sites that share the passion of what it’s like to work in a restaurant around kids…

If you need help learning what you should do when your child misbehaves in a restaurant, take a hint from this dad:

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Shopping Guide for Water Filter Section

Shopping Guide for Water Filter Section

Water filters in their simplest form are, well, water filters – they filter out the impurities in water so that it is safe to consume.  Some types of water filters are used to filter ice and drinking water, whereas others are used to filter all of the water in an establishment, e.g. hard water, fluoride water, conditioned water.  Nonetheless, it’s important to know when you should be replacing your filters and the importance of water filtration in a restaurant.

You should also know the difference between filter heads, pre-filters, replacement filters, scale removers, and water filter systems.  Here’s a quick overview on what each of these categories are.

Filter Heads

Shopping Guide for Water Filter Section

Filter heads go on top of water filters and hold them in place.  You’d typically unscrew the filter from these to change out your water filters, i.e. they’re the head of the water filter system.  Filter heads should only have to be replaced when they are broken, leaking, or are clogged.

Replacement Filters

Shopping Guide for Water Filter Section

It’s easy to know when to replace an old filter if you can read the specifications on the filter itself.  However, if you’re unsure, try to time a replacement every six months or when the water begins to show signs of the following:

  • Water pressure drops significantly.  Many water filtration systems have a PSI (pounds per square inch) indicator needle.  If that needle is in the red or below 30 PSI, replace your filter.
  • The water tastes or smells funny.
  • Mineral deposits (or scale) start to build up in the equipment the water is being filtered through.

If you replace your water filter and you’re still seeing signs of cloudy water or bad taste, you’ll likely need to use a pre-filter as well.

Pre-Filters

Shopping Guide for Water Filter Section

Pre-filters add an additional layer of filtration to help purify water. As the name suggests, these filters are used in the beginning stages of filtration – when water that needs to be filtered comes in, the pre-filter works to filter out sediments like rust and silt particles.  They also help extend the life of your replacement filters.

Scale Removers

Shopping Guide for Water Filter Section

If you have hard water, you likely are very familiar with scale build-up.  Scale forms in the piping of faucets and equipment and causes issues overtime.  It also causes hot water heaters and equipment that uses hot water to run less efficiently, because scale makes heat transfer much more difficult.  If you have an issue with scale, you’ll likely need to invest in scale remover and a scale inhibitor (also known as a scale stick).  The scale inhibitor simply holds the scale remover, whereas, the scale remover is the action-Jackson of getting rid of scale build-up without adding any impurities to the water that is being filtered.  The scale remover Tundra offers is non-toxic and safe for food service equipment.

Water Filter Systems

Shopping Guide for Water Filter Section

Finally on our list are water filter systems.  Tundra provides over 50 water filter systems that are complete with filter heads and replacement filters.  Some come with a scale inhibitor and scale remover and others are much larger, providing more water filtration.  The size and type of a water filter system you should be investing in, depends on how you run your business and what equipment you already have (or are planning on purchasing).  Although most equipment will have guidelines on what filtration system is best, you also need to be aware of how much water and ice your business will be using – including room for future growth (you don’t want to spend money on a smaller ice machine that you’ll likely outgrow within a year’s time).

If you’re unfamiliar with the workings of water filtration, we’d highly recommend chatting with one of our sales team members.

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Are You Using the Right Zester?

Are You Using the Right Zester?For most bakers, zesting is an everyday occurrence (as well as, at most bars), but for others, it’s a simple zest here and there that’ll satisfy.  From the diehard zesting enthusiasts to the people trying it the first time, here are a few tips and products to help you learn more about the art.

Don’t believe it’s an art?  Did you know that lemons and limes that come from a normal grocery store typically have pesticides sprayed on the outside?  So, even if you scrub the fruit before zesting it, you’re still going to get those pesticides in your recipe.  Besides, when zest is added to the side of a beautiful cocktail, it does start to resemble art.

The Heart of Zesting

For lemons and limes, you’ll always want to find a fruit that feels heavy for its size – this means it’s perfectly ripe. And it’s best to pick your fruits and vegetables from a natural food market, to ensure nothing is sprayed on the outer layer.  Other fruits and vegetables that you could zest, include potatoes, oranges, grapefruit, and apples; actually, we’ve seen avocados zested too.

Whichever fruit or vegetable you’re starting with, make sure to scrub them clean and then wipe them dry.  When you get ready to zest, it is only the outermost layer that you want to take off.  The white part is called the pith, and will give the recipe a tart flavor.  Finally, if you zest more than your recipe calls for, it’s okay to freeze the remaining bits for a few months.

Safety Notice: If you’ve ever zested, you know that you should always keep Band-Aids nearby, but if you haven’t, well, zesting usually involves scrapped knuckles and fingers.

The Zesters

Microplane

Microplane zesters produce a fine, airy zest that is perfect for cake toppings, or to swirl into popsicles before freezing them.  Because the zest is so small, it’s easy to eat, and doesn’t take away from other ingredients, but make sure to avoid the pith.  You can also use them to finely shred parmesan cheese to top Caesar salad and pasta dishes.  These zesters are usually small enough for the waitstaff to carry them from table to table.

Manual Citrus Zesters

These little gadgets are handheld and are also easy to carry around.  They produce a thicker zest than the microplane zester, and the length of the zest can be from very short to long (it takes some time to get used to it to get these different lengths).  These types of zesters will usually take more time to get the end result, but they are very inexpensive.

Vegetable Peeler

For thicker strips, you can also use a vegetable peeler to shave off big pieces of garnish.  There’s the handheld type of peeler, and the table mountable ones that help do the job much quicker.  Again, you’ll have to watch how close you get to the pith.

Zip Zester

The Zip Zester is very similar to a table mounted vegetable peeler, but was made specifically for busy bars and bakeries looking for an easy zester.  This zester is capable of creating:

  • A thick peel for swirled garnish that can be added to the side of drinks.
  • Thin ribbons that can easily be shaped in bows and ribbons.
  • Fine zest or strands of zest.

To create the different types of zest mentioned, you’ll need the 4 different blade types (the main product only comes with the blade for thick peels and fine zest).

What makes the Zip Zester unique is that it helps save time (up to 10 times faster than other zesters), helps prevent knuckle scrapes, and totally avoids the white pith.  It is also capable of cutting potatoes for curly fries, fruit strands to infuse vodka, and other garnish types similar to the zesters mentioned above.

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What You Need to Know to Use a Mandoline

What You Need to Know to Use a Mandoline

Here’s the thing, mandolines are scary, and the majority of us have our bloody tales of hit fingers or knuckles, so why do we keep using them?  If you ask most Chefs, their response is simple, it’s those perfect, even cuts that can be sliced down to size, within seconds. 

If you’re in the market for a new mandoline, don’t let tales of injury leave you missing out on a unique kitchen supply item that can help save time, while delivering perfect cuts for presentation.

Safety First

Mandolines typically come with a hand guard, and if you’re inexperienced with them, we’d advise to always use the hand guard until you’re more familiar with how the mandoline works. Yes, each mandoline is different, so you need to get to know the one you’ll be working with. 

Some people like to slice down until theirs about an 1/8 of the way through the vegetable or fruit and then just discard (or save for broths) what’s left.  Other people continue to use the hand guard, while others feel comfortable slicing down to the very end.  Yet, another solution is to use cut resistant gloves when slicing away.  These gloves are great for all types of cuts, but make sure to look into the different cut levels before making a purchase.

Know the Blades

In case you haven’t picked it up by now, these blades are very, very sharp, but when looking to purchase a mandoline, you should definitely know more about it than just its sharpness.  Our mandolines range from $6 to $150, and the biggest difference in these products is the blade length and type.

Blade length ranges from 3.63 inches to 6.5 inches wide.  When trying to decide on the right length, think about what you’ll be cutting and the average width of that vegetable or fruit.  Potatoes, tomatoes, and apples can easily take up the space of the larger blade, but a carrot or lime could be cut just as easily on the shorter blade. 

Make sure to look at how many blades come with the mandoline and what each of those blades do:

  • Are they adjustable for different size cuts?
  • Do they offer a variety of cuts, like crinkle cut, waffle cut, julienne, straight?
  • Are there specialty blades for tomatoes or grating cheese?

Final thoughts on picking a mandoline, is to check the warranty of the item, whether it has a stand (or if it is handheld), and if it is dishwasher safe.  You could hand-wash a mandoline, but remember the safety factor behind doing this.

See the mandolines available at Tundra or visit us over at Pinterest to see yummy mandoline recipes.

P.S. Do you know the difference between mandoline and mandolin?

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2nd Annual Dreamstaurant Contest: Finalists Announced & Votes Are Rolling In

2nd Annual Dreamstaurant Contest: Finalists Announced & Votes Are Rolling In

Tundra Restaurant Supply launches social media portion of contest – vote on your favorite finalist.

Boulder, CO (January 13, 2014) – Today, Tundra Restaurant Supply (eTundra.com) announced their top seven finalists for the second annual Dreamstaurant contest. In alphabetical order, the finalists competing for the grand prize package of $40,000 are:

•    Athan Miller – Steamers Coffeehouse, Jack’s Bar and Grill
•    Curtis Beebe – Pearl in the Grove
•    Geoff Suk – New Concept/Restaurant
•    Jeff Labhart – Bonta: Natural Artisan Gelato
•    Jerry Nevins – Snow & Co
•    Kathleen Rana – Jersey Girl Café
•    Tory Nelson  – Wapiti Colorado Pub

The public and the finalists are encouraged to cast a vote for their favorite Dreamstaurant finalist and share their favorite with their friends. Votes can be cast on a daily basis until the voting period ends on January 31, 2014.

The contest winner will be announced February 4, 2014.

Why is Voting so Important?

Although Tundra’s own judges have the final say on the winner, they need the public’s help on who they think should be picked. Tundra is basing the winner of the contest on an 8-point grading system, one of which is for social response. The higher the votes a contestant gets, the more points they can get in this category.

Let the votes begin!

About Tundra Restaurant Supply

Tundra Restaurant Supply believes in taking action to solve customers’ problems so that those customers can sustain and grow the relationship with theirs. By following this mission they have grown to be the leading international distributor of restaurant equipment, supplies and parts for the food service industry: including over 60,000 items by more than 600 different brands. Tundra also offers restaurant design services by designers with more than 30 years’ experience in the industry, and other specialty items in the plumbing and janitorial trade.  Tundra has expanded since its conception, but has always held true to its roots of creating a culture to always have fun – learn more about Tundra and their mission.

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