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Crocs Work Shoes: Same Function, More Style

Crocs Work Shoes: Same Function, More StyleFinding a good pair of comfortable black shoes for restaurant workers who are on their feet all day can be a challenge.  Crocs shoes are known for their durability, comfort, and great traction on even the greasiest kitchen floor.  And when Crocs came out with some stylish interpretations of their classic shoe, the food service industry snapped to attention.

The Crocs Bistro, Saffron, and Ginger put a stylish stamp on work shoes for restaurant professionals – but what really got the attention were the great features found in every pair. Crocs’ patented Croslite material is used to make all Crocs shoes for the food service industry, and is antimicrobial, odor resistant, and molds to the shape of your foot for a personalized fit. Crocs work shoes feature enhanced arch support and a closed-toe design, balancing comfort and safety perfectly.

Now Crocs has followed up the success of these earlier models with some great new designs, again giving food service some great options when it comes to finding a functional yet stylish shoe:Crocs Work Shoes: Same Function, More Style the Crocs Amaretto, Barista, and Alice all  represent a new innovation in work shoes for anyone who works in a restaurant.  This stylish shoe can be worn in even the most formal dining room yet is as comfortable as any other Crocs work shoe.  The leather upper and custom fit lace-up closure are perfect for anyone wanting a stylish fit.

Comfort means a Croslite footbed that relieves pressure on feet, legs, and back.  Crocs Lock tread means these work shoes are slip resistant in any situation, especially wet floor in restaurant kitchens.

If you’re a food service professional, do right by your feet and get some stylin’ Crocs today.  If you’re a manager or an owner, do right by your employees and get them outfitted!

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Two Levels Of Oven Mitt

Maintaining a safe work environment for your kitchen staff is always one of your priorities.  One of the most common injuries besides knife cuts is probably burns from hot cookware or hot surfaces on cooking equipment.

The problem with garden variety oven mitts is they aren’t NSF certified, which means they can become mediums for transmitting food borne illnesses to your employees and customers.

I know what you’re thinking: it’s just an oven mitt, right?  As long as nobody gets burned while wearing it, what’s the big deal?

Companies like Tucker BurnGuard have taken the oven mitt to a whole new level, and the results are pretty impressive.  Tucker gloves are NSF certified for personal and food safety, and different Tucker gloves are specialized for specific tasks in your commercial kitchen.

Two Levels Of Oven Mitt

The Tucker Steam Glove

The Steam Glove protects in wet or oily jobs up to 225 degrees Fahrenheit.  These gloves also feature a SteamGuard material that protects the wearer from hot vapor and water.  They are of course waterproof and have a rough texture for easy gripping in wet conditions.

Two Levels Of Oven Mitt

The Tucker SiliGlove

The SiliGlove is a silicone glove with heat protection up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  The removable liner can be dishwasher cleaned and the glove itself is anti-bacterial.  These three-finger gloves are 18” long and offer full heat protection plus superior food safety.

Two Levels Of Oven Mitt

The Tucker Quick Klean Mitt

Quick Klean mitts are the ultimate combination of heat protection and food safety.  Standard cotton gloves get wet and grimy and can transmit bacteria.  These mitts are easily cleaned and have removable liner that can also be cleaned for maximum sanitation.

Buying Tucker oven mitts for your restaurant is going to be more expensive than buying standard cotton ones.  However, the improvements in staff safety and food safety can make up the difference between a cheapie and a Tucker mitt.  There’s also something to be said about the durability of a well made mitt.  These Tucker mitts probably last through two or three life cycles of regular cotton mitts.

How has your experience been with Tucker oven mitts?  Is the price worth the quality?  Leave a comment below and let us know!

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Two Products That Will Really Help Your Food Safety Efforts

I want to talk about some products that can really help your food safety efforts:

1.  Stainless steel 1/6 pans for your prep table coolers. Stainless is a much better conductor  than plastic, so Two Products That Will Really Help Your Food Safety Effortskeep your foods in them and it will help you avoid critical cold holding violations from the health department.  Additionally, do the following:

  • Ensure that foods are 41 F or below BEFORE placing them in cold holding units.  These types of coolers are designed to hold cold foods, not to cool them.
  • Do not overfill inserts.  Mounding foods is a near guarantee that the top portion rises in temperature.
  • Keep the pivot lid closed during slow periods.  I regularly see open lids during afternoon slow periods, and foods are warming up unnecessarily.

2.  Additional epoxy wire shelving for your walk-in coolers. I often observe shelves in walk-ins with considerable unused vertical space between the shelves.  In a walk-in, this is wasted space that you can easily reclaim for the one time expense of adding shelving.  And if you’re going to buy new shelving, make sure it’s epoxy coated.  This prevents rust from forming and keeps your shelves clean.

Two Products That Will Really Help Your Food Safety EffortsThink about these examples:

  • If you normally cool foods in several 2” pans, then install shelves close enough for the pans to slide in side by side.Two Products That Will Really Help Your Food Safety Efforts
  • If you store vegetables in 6” food storage boxes, then install your shelves close enough for them to slide them in side by side:  Two Products That Will Really Help Your Food Safety Efforts

I hope you are visualizing your walk-in cooler and considering how you can maximize your space.  Installing extra shelving eliminates the tendency to stack containers and will ensure airflow around each container.

Just so you know, this is not just a theory to me … I have customers who have successfully done this, solving longstanding cooling and cold holding problems in their walk-in coolers.

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Handle Bulk Vegetable Oil The Smart Spout Way

Handle Bulk Vegetable Oil The Smart Spout WayIf you’ve got a restaurant, you probably deal with a lot of oil.  Between changing the oil in fryers, making dressings and sauces, and cooking on the line, the only person moving more oil in the neighborhood is the local mechanic.  And, like any restaurateur, you probably buy the stuff in bulk containers so that it’s a little easier to handle and a little cheaper to buy.  And we all know how annoying those bulk containers can be to handle.  They’re, well, bulky.

The Smart Spout is exactly what it sounds like: a smart idea that makes a restaurateur’s daily life a little easier.  It’s simple, functional, and easy to use.  What does the smart spout do?  It allows you to pour bulk fryer or vegetable oil easily without spilling.  Simple as that.  Anyone who has stepped on oil on the floor in a commercial kitchen can attest to the dangers even a small spill can create.

The Smart Spout fits 1, 17.5, and 35 gallon bulk oil containers.  It swivels so that oil can pour freely in any direction.  It comes in red and green so you can tell fryer oil from ingredient oil.  It’s washable, sealable, and reusable.

The Smart Spout reminds me of old gasoline cans.  20 years ago they had a screw cap and that was it.  Then somebody got smart and invented a pour spout so you didn’t spill gas everywhere, which is both costly and dangerous.  Now every Jerry-can in the world has a spout.

I don’t know if every bulk vegetable oil container in the world will have a spout one day, but they should, for the very same reasons every gas can now has one.  If you deal with those bulk oil containers, make your life a little easier.

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Commercial Cookware: Weighing The Trade-Offs Before You Buy

Commercial Cookware: Weighing The Trade Offs Before You BuyIt goes without saying that commercial cookware is a must for any restaurant’s kitchen.  These are the tools of the trade, and if you’re looking to buy professional cookware, chances are you already know exactly what you want and where to get it.

The purpose of this guide is not to give you a 101 on the types of cookware.  I’m assuming you already know the basics.  The purpose of this guide is to give you some information that may help you become a more discerning shopper when you need new cookware, not to tell you what a fry pan is and why you should use it over a sauce pan.

So based on the assumption you know the difference between sauce pans and fry pans, let’s move on to material.  This is where your cookware buying decisions can start to get a little sticky.  In general, there are three main factors to consider when deciding on the material you want in your cookware:

1.    Price. Some materials are cheaper than others, plain and simple.  In general the scale goes like this, from least expensive to most: aluminum, non-stick, stainless steel, and tri-ply.  There are definitely some trade-offs between each type, which I’ll get into later in this post.

2.    Durability. Heating, cooking, cooling, and cleaning all put serious stress on professional cookware.  Some types of cookware are more durable than others, and durability is going to be a key factor to weigh against price when deciding what kind of cookware to buy.

3.    Heat conduction. Since the purpose of cookware is to conduct heat to the ingredients you’re trying to cook, the efficiency with which different types of materials conduct heat is another important consideration.
You’re probably already familiar with the different types of materials professional cookware is made from.  Let’s go through them anyway so we can weigh how each type stacks up against the three factors I outlined above.

Aluminum

Commercial Cookware: Weighing The Trade Offs Before You Buy

Price: usually the lowest.

Durability: well, it depends on the kind of aluminum.  1100 series aluminum is the softest material available for professional cooking.  It tends to warp and dent easily, which means it can have a short lifespan in a bustling commercial kitchen.  3000 series aluminum (including 3003 and 3004) is harder because an alloy has been added to the aluminum that makes it more durable.  Of course, alloy aluminum is also going to be more expensive.

Heat conduction: just about the best.  Technically, copper is a better conductor of heat than aluminum, but because copper reacts chemically to certain food types, and is even softer than aluminum, it typically isn’t used in commercial cookware.  The exception to this is tri-ply cookware, which I’ll get into later.

Non-stick

Commercial Cookware: Weighing The Trade Offs Before You Buy

Non-stick means the cookware has been coated with a special material that makes it harder for food to stick to the pan when cooking.  This coating is usually applied to aluminum cookware and limited to types that are used for high heat applications – typically fry pans.

Price: a bit more than natural aluminum, but still very affordable compared to other materials.

Durability: it depends on how you care for it.  Non-stick will scratch off very quickly if you use metal utensils during cooking or clean it with an abrasive surface like a brillo pad.  And of course non-stick still has all the durability issues of other aluminum cookware.

Heat conduction: just as good as aluminum.

Stainless Steel

Commercial Cookware: Weighing The Trade Offs Before You Buy

Price: more expensive than non-stick and natural aluminum.

Durability: stainless is about the most durable material you can get in commercial cookware.

Heat conduction: here’s where the trade-off with stainless steel comes in.  On the one hand, you’ll get some super durable cookware.  On the other, stainless steel doesn’t conduct heat very well at all compared to aluminum.  Of course, it will get hot over time, and has pretty decent heat retention, but if you’re trying to get ingredients hot very quickly, stainless isn’t going to perform as well.  That’s why stainless steel tends to perform best for long, slow, simmering type cooking, like stock pots and sauce pans.

Tri-Ply

Commercial Cookware: Weighing The Trade Offs Before You Buy

Tri-ply is a hybrid of multiple materials, and in many ways this approach embodies the best attributes of stainless steel and aluminum.

Price: similar in price or more expensive than stainless steel.

Durability: tri-ply usually consists of a stainless steel body with a layer of copper or aluminum on the bottom to boost heat conduction.  This gives your cookware the durability of stainless steel without sacrificing any heat transfer.
Heat conduction: is usually excellent because of the highly efficient conduction of the aluminum or copper layer on the bottom.

Finding the right trade-off between price and performance is the perennial problem of any equipment purchase.  At least there are some intriguing options when it comes to professional cookware, and those options definitely give you some flexibility when it comes to deciding what kind of cookware you’d like in your kitchen.

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Restaurant Floor Matting: Safety First, Comfort Second

Getting quality kitchen floor matting isn’t only a staff comfort issue; it’s an important safety issue as well. Kitchen floor matting is made from a rubberized material and can be placed anywhere in your kitchen where staff stands while working, including on the line, in front of the dishwasher, behind the bar, and in front of sinks.

Floor matting is great for safety because, as anybody who has worked in a kitchen knows, floors become wet and greasy very quickly, no matter how recently you cleaned.Commercial kitchen floor matting is anti-slip even when greasy or wet.

The best thing about it is your staff will love you for putting down floor matting because it’s so much more comfortable to stand on than concrete

Restaurant Floor Matting: Safety First, Comfort Second

Black grease-resistant floor matting

Black matting is grease resistant and is usually used for bar areas and other areas away from cooking equipment.

 

Restaurant Floor Matting: Safety First, Comfort Second

Red grease-proof floor matting

Red matting is grease proof, and even though it’s more expensive, is the best option for the line and around cooking equipment.

Restaurant Floor Matting: Safety First, Comfort Second

Black cloud anti-fatigue floor matting

Cloud matting brings an extra level of comfort to whoever gets to stand on it, and is almost a requirement for staff who stand in the same place all day while they work.  Cloud matting is also slip resistant and anti-microbial and is the best in comfort and safety.

Over time your kitchen floor matting will wear from constant use. You should replace your matting if it has begun to tear, or if it’s become very thin. No matter what, maintaining good floor matting in your kitchen and bar is very important for staff safety and comfort, so make sure you keep good matting down at all times in your restaurant.

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How To Cut Bar Inventory Losses 20%

How To Cut Bar Inventory Losses 20%We’ve all been there.  The bartender is super busy and splashes some alcohol in your glass before topping it off with whatever mixer goes with your drink – and you end up with a strong one or a weak one.  And of course flirty girls and good tippers regularly expect – and get – a good pour on their refills.

The problem is, inconsistent drink pouring can account for as much as 20% in lost revenue for a busy bar or restaurant.  Drink taste can also vary widely with different amounts of liquor, which means mixed drinks have to be one of the most inconsistent products you sell in your establishment.

No one would tolerate such variation on a prime, high margin entrée, and increasingly bar managers are using technology to gain control of their liquor inventory.  Precision Pour spouts measure exactly how much alcohol is poured in each drink using a 3-ball measuring system that is both accurate and smooth.  The result is the  elimination of over and under pouring.

In addition to putting an absolute clampdown on waste and theft, Precision Pour spouts allow bartenders a chance to upsell stronger drinks for customers.  Since bartenders don’t have the option to pour drinks stronger or weaker, customers wanting a stiffer drink can purchase a double instead of just plunking a couple extra bucks in the tip jar and getting a nod from the bartender.

Competition has always been tight in the bar and nightclub scene, and profit margins can be thin, so many owners perk up when they hear about ways to cut costs and generate more upsells.  But taking care of good customers is something anyone who wants to succeed in the restaurant industry had better excel at.  The tradeoff with more control is reduced intimacy with customers because everyone gets the same pour, no matter if you’ve been coming to that bar for years or tonight is your first time.How To Cut Bar Inventory Losses 20%

The flip side of that argument is that stronger drinks also mean drinks that don’t taste as good.  The hottest trends in the industry are all pointing towards craft cocktails that give the consumer a taste that’s at least as good as the buzz.  That makes precise alcohol pours even more important if you want to address the customer’s new expectations when it comes to taste.

That makes Precision Pour spouts a good investment from and inventory control and a quality control point of view.  The Precision Pour can fit in almost any liquor bottle, is easy to clean, and can handle even the thickest liqueur.  You can get Precision Pour spouts that dispense various amounts of alcohol, measured in ounces and milliliters, and even color code the spouts to make it easier for bartenders to find bottles during the rush.

Simply put, you’re losing money and negatively affecting quality if you don’t accurately measure the amount of alcohol in each drink you serve.  The Precision Pour spout is a great way to knock out both those birds with one stone.

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