See three ways how the Winston CVAP can cook and hold your food – clearing up space in your kitchen and saving tons of time!
See three ways how the Winston CVAP can cook and hold your food – clearing up space in your kitchen and saving tons of time!
One could say that the rules we eat by are almost subconscious in us. When confronted by eating etiquette of different cultures, they may seem arbitrary to us, yet we’re accustomed, comfortable with our own rules (of course). Here’s a look at traditional eating etiquette in 10 foreign countries.
In Japan, especially when you eat noodles and soups, it is appropriate to slurp the food, even at a high volume. Slurping is a sign of appreciation. In addition, it’s also appropriate to drink from the soup bowl, a questionable practice here in the US. For those of us that are good with chopsticks, be careful that you don’t cross them, lick them, or put them straight up in a bowl of rice – this is seen as disrespectful.
In these countries, it is seen as unclean to eat or pass food with your left hand. To Westerners this may seem unusual, but the reason these foreign countries find this disrespectful is because the left hand is associated with going to the restroom.
In France, it is considered unsophisticated to split the bill at a restaurant. You should propose to pay the whole bill or nothing at all. It’s also customary to use two hands to eat – either use the fork and knife or fork and bread, but never a single utensil at a time.
Speaking of bread, it’s not generally eaten alone as an appetizer, people use it to get the food on the fork. Bread is ripped off instead of being bit off directly from the slice.
In Mexico, people eat more commonly with their hands (part of the reason why goes back to the origin of tortillas). It is considered an arrogant practice to eat with a knife and fork, but then again, it’s a lot easier to eat tacos with your hands.
Unlike in Mexico, in Chile and Brazil you must use a knife and fork, even for traditional finger foods. It is considered ill-mannered not to do so otherwise. In Brazil, even pizza and burgers are eaten with a fork and knife.
If you find yourself in Italy, make sure to remember the rules of cheese. It’s considered bad to ask for cheese unless it is offered to you. It’s also bad practice to put extra cheese on your pizza, and really bad to put it on seafood (while people speculate on the reasons why this is so, a widely adopted reason is that the cheese will hinder the various subtle tastes in seafood).
In Portugal, don’t ask for salt and pepper, unless they are already on the table. The chef will be insulted by this, because it appears that they don’t have the proper skills in the kitchen.
In Thailand, they don’t use the fork as a utensil to eat from. The fork is only used to push food onto the spoon. Also, it is very unusual to use chopsticks there. If you make this mistake, play the tourist. It’s very common for foreigners to use chopsticks until corrected.
In China, belches and making a mess around the table are a sign of satisfaction and a compliments to the chef. Leaving a bit of food left on the plate shows the host that they have provided more than enough food for you.
Bulgaria doesn’t put much stock in the whole ‘breakfast is the most important meal of the day’ attitude. Here, the most important meal is dinner. When you’re eating with others, make sure to offer the eldest person at the table the first plate.
Because eating customs in other cultures may not be straightforward or may seem unusual to what you’re accustomed to, it’s important to do the necessary research to understand what’s acceptable in the country you’re planning to viit. This will make your dining experience much more enjoyable (and may save you some embarrassment as well).
I’ve watched too many TV shows on restaurants that fail to clean under their heavy duty equipment, that it seemed fitting to write a post on exactly how easy it is to clean in a place that may seem hard to reach. Not only is it absolutely disgusting to ignore cleaning underneath and behind kitchen equipment, it violates health laws. Working with our friends from Dormont, here’s a list of how to move that heavy equipment out of the way for easy cleaning.
Moving Equipment for Cleaning
Reattaching Equipment After Cleaning
When shopping for new equipment, it can be overwhelming to weed through the differences from one piece to the next, but the good news is that when it comes to shopping for new Globe mixers, we can help make that decision a little easier.
|Estimated Price||Bowl Quarts||Placement||Speeds||Horsepower||Electrical Output||Amps|
|Globe – SP5||Mixer||$650||5||Countertop||10||800 watts||115/60/1||4|
|Globe – SP8||Mixer||$1,000||8||Countertop||3||0.25||115/60/1||5|
|Globe – SP10||Mixer||$2,500||10||Countertop||3||0.33||115/60/1||5|
|Globe – SP20||Mixer||$2,800||20||Floor||3||0.5||115/60/1||6|
|Globe – SP25||Mixer||$3,500||25||Floor||3||0.75||115/60/1||11|
|Globe – SP30||Mixer||$4,500||30||Floor||3||1||115/60/1||16|
|Globe – SP30P||Pizza Mixer||$5,500||30||Floor||3||1.5||220/60/1||12|
|Globe – SP40||Mixer||$7,800||40||Floor||3||2||220/60/1 & 208/60/3||12 & 7|
|Globe – SP60||Mixer||$10,500||60||Floor||3||3||220/60/1 & 208/60/3||23 & 9|
|Globe – SP62P||Pizza Mixer||$12,500||60||Floor||2||3||220/60/1 & 208/60/3||18 & 12|
|Globe – SP80PL||Mixer||$15,000||80||Floor||4||3||208/60/3||10|
Globe also has a handy mixer selection guide that allows you to pick the perfect mixer based on the type of ingredients you’re mixing together and the average batch weight.
All Globe Mixers Come With
Need more help shopping for a Globe Mixer? Use our Live Chat feature on our main website or call us at 888-388-6372.
Profit margins are notoriously slim in the restaurant world, but boosting the volume of drinks and desserts you sell can be one of the simplest ways to generate more profit from every customer served. Here are six simple ways to sell more of the items that stand to put the most cash back into your restaurant.
Offering some meals in a prix fixe format can be a symbiotic tactic you can leverage to sell your most profitable items in a way that feels like a value to the customer. Additionally, custom menus encourage diners to try profitable items that they love, but wouldn’t typically consider without the “package” deal, including a specialty cocktail, dessert or dessert wine.
Effective menu design is an art and science; the images and layout you use to “tell a story” while guiding the diner’s eye where you most want it to go is a key piece to selling more of the items you want. Because the upper right corner of the menu is generally where the eye travels first, your most profitable items should be featured there. If you can avoid indicating prices (or at best, can minimize the level of attention they get on the menu), you also stand the best chance of convincing customers based on imagery and language, versus price alone.
Revamping the language you use to relevantly appeal to your customer’s motivations, needs, and desires can have a significant impact on your ability to sell profitable items. In fact, Brian Wansink, professor and director of the Cornell Food and Brand Lab at Cornell University estimates that using descriptive terms on your menu can boost sales by as much as 27 percent. Likewise, training wait staff to approach profitable items as a sales-oriented conversation versus a closed-ended question (“Do you want to hear our specials?”) can change the outcome of the order, too.
Boosting your profits by offering free food may seem counter-intuitive, but when you offer complimentary items like freshly baked bread, chips, or olives, they ideally make people want to order something even more profitable as an accompaniment. You establish a “win-win,” e.g. tasty basket of chips and salsa presented alongside your mouth-watering margarita menu can act as a natural food pairing.
Free food on the table doesn’t just appease a hungry customer, it can make them willing to order at a certain threshold at your restaurant in exchange for your generosity — especially if the “freebie” is perceived as high quality. In a Freakonomics podcast about free appetizers, Cornell University professor Michael Lynn supported that theory, stating that “by giving away free items you’re increasing the appeal of what you have to offer to the public.”
Wansink also explains in the Freakonomics podcast that diners have different mental scripts based on the dining occasion, and will typically “perform” appropriate to that script and corresponding “consumption norms.” For example, because desserts and drinks typically accompany special occasions and celebrations, a diner who may not typically order dessert may do just that when the meal is for a special occasion, simply due to social norms. You can boost the likelihood that diners consider your profitable drinks and desserts by leveraging celebrations to your advantage. Train servers to ask if a special occasion brings diners in, and suggestively sell based on that response. (For example, a recently engaged couple will likely respond to champagne, while a couple who just found out they’re having a baby girl will likely respond to the opportunity to indulge in cake with pink icing.) In addition, you can create a lively and celebratory atmosphere supported by appropriate music, scents and sounds that generally make diners feel like they want to stay longer for dessert and drinks.
There may be limits to the prices you can negotiate with your suppliers, or the price you can command for various items from customers without hurting demand, but there are many small yet mighty tactics restaurant owners can leverage to drive profitable drink and dessert sales. With the collective impact of these small changes, you can have a significant impact on your bottom line, and the brand image you form for your restaurant in the customer’s mind.
Infrared burners are found in a wide range of commercial restaurant equipment, including salamanders, char grillers, broilers and fryers. These types of burners are most commonly used to sear, brown, and caramelize food products. Any chef or serious cook knows that the best way to prepare a juicy, succulent steak is to sear the outside as quickly as possible to keep the juices and moisture locked inside.
Infrared burners are mostly recognized for their ability to bring on the Maillard reaction (the reaction of sugars with aminio acids during the cooking process that turns meat brown and gives it flavor and aroma, i.e. “the flavor reaction”). Some units are able to reach sustained temperatures of beyond 2,100⁰ F and can heat up to 600⁰ F in less than 4 minutes. That’s hot enough to melt some metals, and definitely hot enough to put a little brown on a pork roast.
But most probably already know that infrared burners can get extremely hot, extremely quick. So, what else do they do that separates them from other types of burners? That’s a burning question, indeed.
Cooking results with infrared technology differ from those produced by an open gas burner or an electric heating element, mainly because they produce more radiant heat – the same type of heat energy that the sun produces. Rather than transferring heat through the air (convective heat transfer) or across a solid conductive object (conductive heat transfer), heat energy is transferred through heat waves onto the food product. This type of heat transfer is ideal for preparing a perfectly cooked steak.
Ever wondered why some people may leave the door of an oven slightly cracked when using the broiler portion? Many, like me, assume that this is done as a reminder to not burn whatever is under the broiler. Contrary to this belief though, the main reason the oven door is kept ajar is to maximize radiant heat energy by minimizing convective heat energy transfer. With the door kept open, hot air is allowed to escape and therefore does not circulate throughout the oven cavity as it normally would if the oven door was closed. This allows for whatever is being cooked to receive more radiant heat rather than convective heat.
So, why is radiant heat better than convective heat?
Well, radiant heat is not always better to use than convective heat, but in the case for cooking meats, it’s definitely best to maximize radiant heat. This is because convective heat tends to move moisture off of foods, unless whatever is being cooked has already been seared or browned.
Consider how a hand dryer or blow dryer works: these devices continuously move hot air across the surface of an object to remove moisture and eventually leave the object dry. They are using convective heat to create dryness.
With that said, common sense would suggest that cooking a steak using mostly convective heat or the “blower dryer” method is likely not the best idea around, that is, unless you like your steak dry. To avoid customers “yelping” about how leathery and chewy your steaks are, use more radiant heat. Equipment with infrared burners creates more intense radiant heat and is therefore able to cook meats without zapping their moisture.
Hot spots can be a problem with some cooking equipment, especially char grillers. Hot and cold spots occur because heat is not evenly distributed. This causes some portions of food to cook quicker than others and burn. Infrared char grillers are able to completely eliminate hot spots with a design that projects heat waves evenly and uniformly across the entire cooking surface.
Infrared burners are able to achieve even heat distribution through their design. Even radiant heat transfer occurs as heat from an atmospheric burner is absorbed then re-emitted across a perforated glass, metal, or ceramic plate, known as an emitter panel, onto the food product. Because heat is being emitted from a panel and not directly from a flame, char grillers and other equipment using infrared burners will give operators more usable space, helping to increase production.
A typical gas char griller will create a cooking surface with some spots being 40⁰ to 50⁰ F different from other areas; however, char grillers that use infrared technology only allow for 10⁰ to 20⁰ F of varying temperature differences across the entire, usable cooking space.
Although cooking equipment using infrared burners is generally more expensive, they do use less energy, while also increasing production rates. They’re able to shave cook times by up to 50% and do so by using less than a 1/3 of amount gas.
Deep fat fryers that use infrared burners have been proven to improve their heating efficiency by roughly 80%. Traditional gas burners lose heat energy by heating the air between the burner and the heating plates that heat the oil; however, in the models of fryers with infrared burners, the burners are either in direct contact with the heating plates or very close which helps to minimize heat loss that occurs by heating the air.
In honor of Food Allergy Awareness Week, May 11-17, 2014, I thought I’d pull together some food allergy facts and how you can better prepare your restaurant for food allergen customers.
First, I think I’ll start with my own story on food allergies. My youngest son has a severe allergy to tree nuts, pistachios and cashews specifically, but we stay away from all nuts because we’ve experienced the unfortunate of him going into anaphylactic shock.
We were at our favorite summer place to grab a quick snack and take a scroll down the Grand Lake beach. At this time, we knew that my son had an allergen to tree nuts, but he was fine with peanuts, so when my mother ordered herself an ice cream sundae with peanuts, she double checked with the counter attendant that there was indeed no tree nuts in those peanuts. The girl confirmed, and we set off for our stroll down the beach. At one point my little one wanted to taste Grandma’s ice cream, and she obliged. Within seconds of him swallowing down a spoonful of that ice cream, his throat started to close. We were miles away from the hospital, but had our Epipen Junior on us. We gave him a full dose and began our way to the hospital. Before the shot, he was gasping for air, and it was quite frightening. He was terrified, we were scared, and I just kept holding him on the way to the hospital. The good news is that he’s fine now, but he won’t touch a single nut ever again – not even peanuts.
The reason I tell you this story is so that you get an understanding of the importance of checking food labels so that you know where it comes from. Odds are those peanuts had listed on the back that it was made in the same factory as tree nuts, and that’s why my little one had an allergic reaction. In some cases, people may choose to sue for incidences like this, we didn’t, but it could happen, which is why it’s important to know what is in each and every ingredient that you serve to your patrons.
You may have a basic understanding of what allergies are, but to define how and why the body reacts the way it does is quite intense. If a food is consumed that the person is allergic to, their immune system kicks in to protect them. Think of the food as a germ or virus trying to attack the immune system. Now, for most of us, our immune system knows that it’s just a food, but for those with allergies, their immune system has an abnormal response to the food protein and goes into full attack mode. Odd, right? When the bad food protein enters the body, histamine and other chemicals are released to help defend the body.
There is no cure for food allergies, but for most mild allergies, children can grow out of them. However, for the top 8 food allergens (that contribute to 90% of the total allergies across the nation), those typically stay with the child for life. The only way to prevent an attack is to strictly avoid the food, which also means being aware of cross-contamination, breathing the food in the air (mainly with dust in the air with nut allergies), and sometimes even touching the food.
Speaking of those top 8 food allergens, the list is: milk, eggs, wheat, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, and shellfish. According to the NRA, nuts cause 4 out of 5 food allergy fatalities, and twice as many people are allergic to shellfish as nuts.
According to FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education), the organization that helps to promote food allergens in businesses such as institutions, restaurants, and the corporate world, and who puts on the annual Food Allergy Awareness week, 4% of the US population (or 12 million people: 1 in 25) have a food allergy. Children are the largest group affected by allergies, with 1 in 13 kids being affected – that’s about 2 kids per classroom on average.
There are many organizations out there to help your food service business learn how to appropriately handle allergens and how to train your staff. It is your duty to know what ingredients are in each food item you serve, before there’s a bigger issue at hand.
A few resources to help with training, include:
There’s also this handy site to help people with food allergens find safe places to eat. This is a great opportunity for you to list your restaurant if you think you’re a fit. It’ll help drive business, get links back to your site, and you’ll be helping the allergen community learn more about your business.
In closing, I’d like to mention that most families that have an allergy sufferer joining them when dining out, do take precautions before picking just any restaurant or any dish. They don’t want to go through the hell of feeling their throat close up and not knowing if they’ll recover. Believe me, we take every step we can to ensure our little one stays out of harm’s way; in fact, using sites like I mentioned above to find an allergy free restaurant is what families would typically do; if not just call the restaurant ahead of time. When your life revolves around having an attack because of something as tiny as a nut, you definitely do your research before taking a bite. Here’s a great example of a dining out guide that most allergy sufferers follow before choosing a place to eat.
Let me know, how does your restaurant prep for food allergens? Do you use the purple coded knives and cutting boards to help separate?
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?
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!
Springs for spring, of course! With over 500 springs in stock, odds are we can keep you stocked up on springs for quite sometime.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.