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5 Simple Recommendations to Earn Bigger Tips

5 Simple Recommendations to Earn Bigger TipsWith most Americans eating out 4-5 times a week, it is no wonder the food service industry continues to grow even in a slow economy. A server’s position is a main component of a successful restaurant operation. A server’s job responsibilities include greeting guests with friendliness, knowing the menu inside and out, provide high quality service, maintaining a professional appearance, communicating with staff to ensure guest satisfaction, and a variety of additional side tasks. Research has shown that server’s who earn better than average tips are less likely to be turned over as quickly as industry standards and maintains a better working relationships with co-workers and restaurant guests.

Here are five simple recommendations that will earn you larger tips today.

  1. Lean or squat down to introduce you by name. This shows you are personable and ready to listen.
  2. Always smile when speaking to guests. Friendliness is always noticed, people go out to eat to enjoy themselves and have a good time. The last thing they want to encounter is a grumpy server.
  3. Entertain customers with a fun restaurant fact, joke or puzzle. Reiterating the friendliness aspect of a server’s job description, sharing a quick fun fact shows you’re here to give your guests a pleasant experience.
  4. Repeat a customer’s order back to them. This one is simple, but it shows you are listening and you care about giving your guests exactly what they want.
  5. Write ‘thank you’ on the check. One extra reminder that shows your guests you enjoyed serving them.

Severing can be a tough job, the hours can be long and the appreciation sometimes low. However happiness is contagious and chances are if you smile and treat people well they will likely treat you well. Listening to guests and helping them experience an enjoyable dining experience will likely lead to increased tips.

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Your Butcher Block & You: Tips For Maintaining a Healthy Relationship

Your Butcher Block & You: Tips For Maintaining a Healthy RelationshipElegant yet practical, the butcher block is an attractive kitchen addition that many culinary adventurers choose to install in their home or business. The appeal of a professional butcher block, for both its beauty and everyday convenience, often leads budding chefs and casual cooks alike to spend hundreds of dollars, if not thousands, on the right style or quality guarantee. Unfortunately, professional butcher blocks require a professional dedication to cleanliness and care to stay their best, and if that new butcher block isn’t maintained and cared for properly it quickly becomes an expensive, unattractive chopping block.

Fortunately, forming a healthy, long-lasting relationship with your butcher block is relatively easy. By following a few simple guidelines while you’re working and during cleanup you can keep your block strong, beautiful, and working for you for years to come.

Before installation:

Butcher blocks are made from various woods, and the funny thing about wood is it has a tendency to play by its own rules as time progresses. Over the years, and as the seasons pass, your butcher block will respond to the changes in humidity and continually expand and contract. During those hot, humid months of summer many blocks will expand by as much as 1/8 of an inch, and when the heat retreats and the colder months of winter sweep in your block contracts and shrinks. Accounting for expansion when installing a brand new butcher block is a must, and failing to do so can cause your block to bow and crack when it expands.    

While you work:

  • First and foremost, never use razor-edged cutting tools on your block if you want to preserve its integrity for longer than a few months. Razor-Your Butcher Block & You: Tips For Maintaining a Healthy Relationshipedged tools are simply too sharp to use without chipping away at the wood’s surface. Punishing your butcher block by repeatedly chipping away at the surface creates soft spots and unwanted cracking that eventually affects performance. Make sure the edges of your utensils are dulled to keep your block in the best shape possible after each use.
  • Just like using razor-edged tools, cutting in the same spot on your butcher block leads to early aging and premature deterioration. Evenly distributing your cuts, chops, and preparation whatnots around the butcher block prevents any one area from wearing too quickly and developing soft spots. Periodically flip your block over and alternate between cutting surfaces to extend the block’s life and keep both sides wearing evenly.
  • When it comes to fish or fowl:  Never cut fish or fowl on your butcher block unless the block has been thoroughly cleaned. The safety stipulations surrounding seafood and popular fowl require a sanitary prep environment, and a poorly maintained butcher block is a quick way to customer complaints, sickness, and possible legal actions.

Cleaning up afterward:

  • Moisture is the enemy when it comes to keeping your butcher block solid and strong, and the worst thing you can do after you’re done on the block is let moisture stand for a long time. Sooner than you’d think that standing moisture (be it water, juices, brine, or blood) soaks into the surface of your butcher block and softens the wood, causing it to expand and for the glued joints to break down. As soon as possible remove any lingering moisture from the block’s surface.
  • A tried and true method of removing up to 75% of the moisture from a butcher block’s surface is scraping it with a steel scraper or spatula. Scraping many times a day helps keep everything clean, dry, and sanitary by removing the risk of harmful bacteria build up. To remove remaining moisture be sure to wipe the surface down with a soft, absorbent cloth.
  • Once you’ve scraped and wiped down your block it’s smart to give it a good wash to ensure you’ve removed all contaminants and food remnants, but NEVER PUT YOUR BUTCHER BLOCK IN THE DISHWASHER. Wash your block by hand, using regular dish soap and hot water, and avoid submerging it in water. The key to a good, thorough clean is keeping your block as dry as possible while washing (which sounds counter-intuitive since you’re washing the thing), but once again the longer your butcher block is exposed to water the more it will absorb that moisture and cause damage. If you don’t rush, and clean thoroughly and consistently, you’ll have an odorless, clean cutting surface for next time.

Your Butcher Block & You: Tips For Maintaining a Healthy Relationship*NOTE: Never use a steel brush to scrape. It’s too rough and will damage your butcher block.

Avoiding a rocky relationship with your brand new butcher block is a must if you expect the block to stick around for longer than a month or two. You’ve got to show it some love, treat it right, and care for it appropriately if you want the time you and your butcher block share to be long-lived and fruitful. Following a few simple guidelines is all it takes!

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Is Mayhem Knocking at Your Door?

Is Mayhem Knocking at Your Door?

Mother Nature has had quite the attitude this year! From devastating fires and flash floods to hurricanes, earthquakes and tornadoes, she has been turning communities upside down. Thank heavens you can plan ahead for such tragic events. In fact, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) have generated some tips to help restaurateurs make food safety part of their preparation efforts. If you have a game plan for when severe weather strikes you can prevent food loss and potential food borne illness in your establishment. Temperature controlled food storage can be difficult during a power outage if your commercial refrigeration loses electricity so make sure to stock up on dry ice, canned food, bottled water and batteries. Below are steps to follow if natural disasters are knocking at your door.

How to prepare for a possible weather emergency:

  • Keep a refrigeration thermometer in your refrigerator and freezer at all times. Refrigerator and freezer thermometers will provide the internal temperature of your refrigeration in case of a power outage and help determine the safety of the food. Set freezers at 0°F or below and refrigerators as 40°F or below.
  • Freeze containers of water for ice to help keep food cold after power is out.
  • Freeze refrigerated items such as leftovers, milk, and fresh meat and poultry that you don’t need immediately to help keep them at a safe temperature longer.
  • Plan ahead and know where you can get dry ice and block ice quickly.
  • Store foods on shelves that will be safely out of the way of contaminated water in case of flooding.
  • Have coolers available to keep refrigerated food cold if power is out for more than 4 hours. Purchase or make ice cubes and store in freezer for use in refrigerator or cooler. Freeze ice packs and blankets ahead of time to use in coolers.
  • Group food close together in freezer to ensure foods stays cold longer.

Steps to follow during and after a weather emergency:

  • Do not taste any of your food to determine if it is safe!
  • Minimize how often you open your refrigerator and Freezer doors to maintain the internal temperatures as long as possible.
  • A refrigerator will keep food cold for approximately 4 hours if it is unopened. A full freezer will keep food at the proper temperature for about 48 hours. If it is half full is will keep food cold for 24 hours if the door is not opened.
  • If your food contains ice crystals or is at 40°F or below it may be refrozen.
  • Obtain dry ice or block ice to keep your refrigeration as cold as possible if the power goes out for a long period of time. 50 pounds of dry ice should hold an 18 cubic food full freezer for 2 days.Is Mayhem Knocking at Your Door?
  • If the power has been out for several days you will need to check the temperature of the freezer with a refrigerator thermometer of food thermometer. If your food contains ice crystals or is at 40°F or below the food is safe.
  • If you do not have a refrigerator thermometer then you will need to check each package of food to determine its safety. If the food still contains ice crystals it is safe.
  • Throw away or compost refrigerated perishable food such as meat, poultry, fish, soft cheeses, milk, eggs, leftovers and deli items after 4 hours without electricity.
  • If you are ever in doubt, get rid of the food.

How to determine what food to keep and what to discard:

  • Do not keep or eat anything that may have been in contact with flood water.
  • Discard any food that is not in a waterproof food container if it may have been in contact with flood water. (e.g Containers with screw on tops, snap lids, pull tops, and crimpled covers are not waterproof. Also discard cardboard juice boxes, baby formula boxes and home canned foods in they come in contact with flood water because they cannot be cleaned and sanitized)
  • Inspect canned food and discard anything that looks damaged. (e.g Swelling, leaking, punctures, holes, fractures, rusting and denting represents can damage.)
  • Thoroughly wash metal pans, ceramic dishes, and utensils with soap and water, using hot water if available. Rinse and then sanitize them by boiling in clean water or immersing them for 15 minutes in a solution of 1 tablespoon of unscented bleach per gallon of clean water.
  • Thoroughly wash countertops with hot water and detergent then rinse with sanitizing solution.

How to remove odors from refrigeration:

  • Get rid of all spoiled food.Is Mayhem Knocking at Your Door?
  • Remove shelves, crispers, and ice trays. Wash thoroughly with hot water and detergent then rinse with sanitizing solution.
  • Wash interior of refrigeration including door and gasket, with hot water and baking soda. Then rinse with sanitizing solution.
  • Leave the door(s) open for 15 minutes to allow free air circulation.

If the odor still remains:

  • Wipe the inside with equal parts of vinegar and water. Vinegar destroys mildew.
  • Stuff refrigeration with rolled newspapers, close the door(s) and leave for several days. Remove paper and clean with vinegar and water solution.
  • Sprinkle fresh coffee grounds or baking soda loosely in a large, shallow container in the bottom of the refrigerator and freezer.
  • Place a cotton swab soaked in vanilla inside the refrigeration. Close door for 24 hours.

As you can see there are many precautionary steps you can take to protect your restaurant from food loss, food borne illness and odors that may turn customers away from your establishment. Weather emergencies are not always foreseen so make sure to plan ahead so you don’t go down with your ship!

If you still have questions about the safety precautions you should take before severe weather or what to do post disaster you can contact FSIS representative, Karen, at www.askkaren.gov or m.askkaren.gov on your smart phone. Ask Karen is available 24 hours a day!

 

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6 Key Elements that Make a Strong Brand

When you hear the word brand, what do you think of?

Maybe BMW or Google comes to mind. Others may envision Wal-Mart or Coca-Cola. People all over the world would recognize these brands after just a glimpse and immediately associate it with past experiences. For BMW many people think of luxury and fine automobiles; while for Wal-Mart discounts and enormous retail stores comes to mind.

A brand is a promise. It’s a consistent message to the consumer about what the company does, how they do it and why they do it. This message should be so clear and obvious to the public that just seeing a logo or a sign will immediately provoke specific thoughts and emotions connected with the company.

Branding is a very important step along the path to success for any business. No business is too small for branding. Creating a unique and consistent experience for customers every time they visit the business will keep your loyal customers coming back and also attract new customers. A brand provides a sense of security to consumers; it’s comforting to know what you will get from a business every time, no matter what.6 Key Elements that Make a Strong Brand

Branding is especially important for restaurants. A strong restaurant brand can build a loyal customer base that a company can rely on. One of the best examples of a strong restaurant brand is Chipotle. Chipotle has built a brand that stands for organic, quality ingredients. This is clear every step of the way. The name Chipotle refers to a jalapeno pepper, the company’s tagline is food with integrity, the ingredients are in clear view for diners and even the bag is covered in text about the quality ingredients. Chipotle has many devoted customers and some of them can absolutely be attributed to the strength of the restaurant’s brand.

Establishing a strong brand is a process and takes time to be successfully completed. Before any branding can begin the company needs to set a clear message from which the brand will be based. Remember this message is a promise to customers about what to expect when dealing with the company at any point in the future. Once this message is clear, branding can begin. A company’s brand should be evident during every aspect of a customers experience with that company.

Business Name

In most situations a business’ name is the first piece of branding a customer is exposed to. The business name in most cases will become the most recognizable piece of the branding strategy. The name needs to logically correspond with the desired brand.

Logo

A logo is another extremely visible part of your branding campaign. This design should be symbolic of the company’s overall message or theme that has inspired the brand. The keys to having a great logo are consistency and awareness. This decal should be easily recognizable by customers so that just catching a glimpse of it will remind them of your business.

Color Scheme

It is important to pick the appropriate color combination for your brand to help set the mood and feeling that customers experience during every visit. Different colors have different effects on people. For instance, many restaurant chains utilize warm colors (red, orange, yellow) because they are known to stimulate hunger. Choosing a color scheme gives you the opportunity to influence what customers will feel when walking through your restaurant’s door.

6 Key Elements that Make a Strong Brand Uniforms

Uniforms add to the customer experience and a brand’s consistent presentation in two ways. First, uniforms add to the brand’s presentation simply because all of the employees are dressed in company designed clothing that complement the restaurant’s atmosphere. A dress code also positively impacts workers’ attitudes. Marilyn Schlossbach , principal partner of Kitschens Hospitality Group, says, “Being in uniform puts you in a frame of mind of being at work and getting into the role for your theater production.” The theater production is employees playing their role and doing their part in the effort of presenting the brand in a positive fashion.

Tagline

A good slogan is something a company can hang their hat on. This is a brief message that sums up the company’s mission in a few words. A good tagline must be original and creatively specific to the company. Some good examples of successful slogans are:

•    Nike-Just Do It.
•    Wendy’s-Where’s the beef?
•    M&M Candies-Melts in your mouth, not in your hands.

Customer Experience

The final and most important element is customer experience. This includes the way the food is cooked, how customers are greeted at the entrance, average time they have to wait and every other experience they have while at the restaurant. This experience needs to be consistent every time the customer is in the restaurant. This will make customers more comfortable visiting your restaurant because they know what to expect each time they come in.

A superior branding strategy has to be unique and consistent. Straying away from the overall theme or message at any point in the process can result in a weaker brand. Maintaining a strong cohesive brand throughout all company media elements will give your restaurant an advantage and set it apart from the competition.

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Delicious Deli Recipes

Delis are great for the on-the-go customer, and we all have our favorite sandwich shop that makes a sandwich just the way we like it. When choosing to stay home, try one of our favorite sandwich recipes – they’re quick, easy, toasty, and, most importantly, delicious!

Deluxe Deli Club Sandwich
Delicious Deli Recipes
Ingredients:
3 slices bread, toasted
1 Tbsp. Real Mayo Mayonnaise
1 American Cheese Slice, cut in half
2 slices Oven Roasted Turkey Breast
2 slices tomato
2 slices Bacon, cooked
Lettuce leaves

 

Directions:
1.    SPREAD 2 toast slices with mayo.
2.    COVER 1 toast slice with 1 process cheese slice half, 1 turkey slice, 1 tomato slice, 1 bacon slice and lettuce; top with second toast slice. Repeat layers.
3.    CUT into quarters.

BBQ Beef Brisket Sandwiches
Delicious Deli Recipes
Ingredients:
1  red onion, divided
2 cups  each shredded green and red cabbage
¼ cup Miracle Whip Dressing
1 bottle (17.5 oz) Barbecue Sauce, divided
1 Tbsp. oil
1  beef brisket (3 lb.), trimmed
1 can  (14.5 oz.) beef broth
2 cloves garlic, minced
12 Kaiser rolls, partially split, toasted

Directions:
1.    HEAT oven 350ºF.
2.    CUT half the onion into thin slices; place in large bowl. Add cabbages; mix lightly. Mix dressing and 2 Tbsp. barbecue sauce. Add to cabbage mixture; toss to coat. Refrigerate until ready to use.
3.    HEAT oil in large skillet. Add meat; cook 5 min. or until browned on both sides, turning after 3 min. Transfer to 13×9-inch baking dish. Chop remaining onion piece; sprinkle over meat. Mix broth, 1/2 cup of the remaining barbecue sauce and garlic; pour over meat. Cover.
4.    BAKE 2-1/2 to 3 hours or until meat is done (160ºF). Let stand, covered, 10 min. Shred meat; place in large bowl. Add remaining barbecue sauce; toss to coat.
5.    FILL each roll with 1/2 cup meat mixture and 1/3 cup coleslaw just before serving.

Festive Turkey Sandwich
Delicious Deli Recipes Ingredients:

1 slice whole grain bread, toasted
6 slices Oven Roasted Turkey Breast
¼ cup hot prepared Stuffing (we recommend Stove Top Brand)
1 Tbsp. whole berry cranberry sauce

Directions:
1.    TOP toast with remaining ingredients.
2.    ENJOY!

 

eTundra.com stocks everything you need, from countertop cooking and warming equipment to display cases and food prep equipment for your deli.

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Creating A Sexy Back Bar

Having an attractive and organized back bar is important for several reasons. A presentable bar will show your customers that you care about your business, property, product and furthermore, them. You want to do everything you can to trigger a spark in your customer’s mind that tells them your establishment has great drinks, food and atmosphere. Presentation is often half the battle of retaining repeat business and happy customers. Another reason to keep your back bar organized is for your bar staff. The easier it is for your bartenders to find what they need and get to it quickly will significantly reduce customer waiting time which, in turn, will boost customer loyalty. Here are a few tips on how to make your back bar “sexy”.

Bar Refrigeration

Your bar refrigeration has a tremendous impact on your customers. People like their drinks cold when served. Even a chilled glass can make a world of difference. It is important to keep your back bar refrigeration orderly, clean and visible to your patrons.

Back bar coolers are a must behind the bar. These coolers either have a glass door or solid door. Glass door bar coolers are great for bars with a wide selection of bottled beer or wine. People will generally not have to ask “What do you have in bottles?” if they can see your selection. Just remember that you must stay on top of your coolers organization and cleanliness because everyone can see what is inside. A solid door bar cooler is great for storing refrigerated garnishes, cocktail mixers or anything else that may not be as visually appealing to your guests.

If you have ever had beer in a frosty mug you know how exquisite the cool liquid feels and tastes as it hits your taste buds. Glass and plate chillers allow you to chill beer mugs as well as small plates in a hurry. Chilled plates are great if you serve cold appetizers or desserts.

Draft beer dispensers are another great addition to your back bar. They allow customers to easily see what beers you currently have on tap. Kegs are easily stored in the cabinet under the taps where they are refrigerated to ensure a cold brew with every pour.

Bar Glassware

Make sure your restaurant glassware is accessible and displayed in an appealing way. First decide the types of glassware your establishment needs and then how to display it. Glass hangers work Creating A Sexy Back Barwell and keep glassware out of your bartender’s way while still making it easy to grab when needed. Just make sure to have enough storage for all the glassware your bar needs. Hand drying glasses is a great habit to take on in order to avoid water marks. You do not want your glasses on display to look dirty or smudged.

Bar Organization

Liquor displays are not only eye catching but helpful for your patrons. Make it easy to differentiate top shelf bottles (more expensive liquors) from well bottles (less expensive liquors). Often restaurants put their most used liquors on speed racks below the counter and display top shelf bottles on tiered displays or shelves that are easily visible. It is common practice to put your less expensive bottles on the bottom of the display and more expensive at the top. Many bars will actually display empty bottles and keep back stock under the bar in liquor storage cabinets for easy-to-reach access.

The last products I would like to encourage are garnish centers and bar caddies. Making garnish centers available to your customers is okay but not encouraged. You do not want your customers periodically sticking their dirty hands in your garnishes. What I do recommend is making them visible to remind customers about your citrus selection and Bloody Mary toppings. Bar caddies should be in your drink mixing stations as well as on your counter top. Your bar staff can then easily grab what they need in a hurry and customers can grab extra napkins, straws or a toothpick without interrupting your staffs’ workflow.

An organized and clean back bar will result in a sexy back bar. You must always remember that what your customers see will make a lasting impression on your establishment.

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E.M.P.L.O.Y.E.E.: How to Spell Hired in the Restaurant Industry

Any restaurateur knows that hiring the wrong employee can be very costly for business. Not only will a bad employee cost you literally, by spending the money to hire and train them and the employee that eventually replaces them, but the level of work they bring to the table in your restaurant can also be very costly. While employed this problem employee is representing your business to the public. This can be more costly than the money spent to hire and train them because your company may lose current or potential customers as a result of the poor customer service.

E.M.P.L.O.Y.E.E.: How to Spell Hired in the Restaurant Industry This makes employee interviews and knowing how to recognize a good worker when you see one an important skill for a restaurateur to master. This skill does not come easy; people can seem like a very capable candidate in an interview and turn out to be a below average employee after they are hired.

Before starting an interview it is always important to be prepared. First thing to do before an interview is know exactly what characteristics and experience you are looking for in a potential candidate. Setting a clear list of required skills and work experience will help you judge the candidates and find the ideal employee. Also, before the interviews, review each candidate’s resume carefully and form a list of questions for each one. It is important to ask open-ended questions that require the candidate to do most of the talking. This will give you a better insight into the person’s personality and work history. Some key questions are asking them to describe previous jobs, how they preformed and why they left.

It is not always easy to identify a good candidate in an interview but there are a few personality traits to look for that can indicate a good restaurant worker. The characteristics of a successful restaurant worker can be outlined by the acronym: E.M.P.L.O.Y.E.E.

Engaged

When working in a restaurant atmosphere it’s always important for an employee to be engaged with their work and the customers they are serving. This means that they are always focused on the task at hand and are ready and capable to handle any problem that may arise. A good way to test if a job candidate possesses this quality is to judge the way they carry themselves in the interview, an engaged person will not only give you their full attention but also capture yours with their answers.  Also talk with past employers to get a feel for if this characteristic was evident in their past working experiences. This includes being engaging with customers who come into the restaurant by being able to interact with them and keep them comfortable and satisfied throughout their visit

Mature

Many workers in the restaurant industry are students and young adults. This demographic can be tricky to judge and manage in a work environment. If you aren’t careful it can be very easy to hireE.M.P.L.O.Y.E.E.: How to Spell Hired in the Restaurant Industry someone in this age group that simply is not mature enough to thrive or even survive in a work environment. An employee like this can be very toxic to a restaurant’s work environment.  An immature employee will struggle to carry themselves in a professional matter when dealing with coworkers and customers which will hurt customer service and staff teamwork. This may be the easiest personality trait to identify in an interview by judging the way they carry them self and looking at the quality and importance of their prior responsibilities.

Positive

Attitude is contagious in a work environment. The way one employee carries them self in the restaurant affects the attitude and work ethic of the staff around them. For example, if an employee is constantly complaining it will bring down the morale of the whole team and negatively affects productivity. And the opposite is true as well; a positive attitude can raise the staff to another level. This personality trait will be evident in the interview and when checking on past work experience.

Leader

Having leaders on a restaurant staff is crucial. It is important for staff members to know what they need to do at all times and be willing to take the initiative when they know something needs to be done. An employee that always needs to be told what to do and needs help with simple tasks is not a very productive employee. Leadership skills will be evident when looking at a person’s extracurricular activities and other tasks that they have voluntarily taken on.

Organized

Being well organized in any professional setting is crucial to an employee’s success. In a restaurant this skill is paramount. A restaurant worker needs to be organized in order to stay on top of incoming orders and customer requests. An unorganized restaurant staff can be a big headache for a restaurant manager. A well-organized candidate will be very easy to spot. A well put together resume and appearance are good indications of this skill.

Yes Sir”

A restaurant employee must be able to take orders from managers, customers or anyone else in a position of power without resistance. This is especially important when dealing with customers. In the restaurant industry the customer is always right; even if they really aren’t. When customer makes an employee aware of a mistake that has been made it is that employee’s job to accept the complaint, admit they made a mistake, apologize to the diner and immediately fix the mistake. Many people struggle with this and it can be very detrimental to customer service if an employee can’t swallow their pride and fix the problem. This characteristic may be hard to spot in an interview but can be verified by checking with the candidates past employees.

Efficient

E.M.P.L.O.Y.E.E.: How to Spell Hired in the Restaurant Industry As stated before jobs in the restaurant industry are demanding. Restaurants are fast paced environments where timeliness and quality of the product being served are very important and is commonly how a restaurant gains an advantage over the competition. Employees must be able to complete tasks quickly and without mistakes. Efficient employees help the business run smoothly and make up for the inefficiencies of others on the staff. This is another trait that will be obvious upon contacting the candidate’s references.

Energetic

The last but absolutely not the least important trait is energetic. Having energy in the work place can be contagious just like attitude. One employee’s level of energy can either bring others down or raise them to new heights. An energetic candidate will bring energy and great work ethic to your restaurant and help to positively influence workers around them. Energetic people will obviously bring energy to the interview and come across as extremely active on their resume.

These are in no way set in stone as qualities that every good employee must possess, but this is a good place to start when judging the quality of a job candidate. Some potential employees may be very well organized but not possess any leadership skills or they may be highly energetic and not as efficient. These types of candidates can still be highly successful but combining all of the qualities together should describe the ideal employee.

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Baking With Tundra

Baking With Tundra

It’s obvious we’re a bit obsessed with food service – we strive to bring you products, service and knowledge that will better serve your restaurant, bakery and café. We thought we might try to inspire your culinary senses with these fun, fresh summer recipes!

Peach Cupcakes w/ Peach Cream Cheese Frosting
Baking With Tundra
Makes 24 cupcakes

Peach Cake Ingredients:

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 ⅔ cups all-purpose flour
2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1.75 oz freeze dried peaches, pulverized in a mini food processor
3/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
1/2 cup pureed fresh peach
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions:

1.    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake tins with liners.

2.    Mix together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. In a large measuring cup or bowl, mix together buttermilk, peach puree and vanilla extract. Set aside until needed.

3.    Using an electric mixer, beat butter and granulated sugar in a mixing bowl until pale, about 2 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in pulverized peaches.

4.    Mix in flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two batches of buttermilk mixture. Mix until just combined, scraping down bowl as needed. (I like to mix the last bit by hand using a spatula to make sure I get all the stuff at the bottom.) Scoop batter into cupcake tins.

5.    Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean, about 21 to 24 minutes. Allow cupcakes to cool in tins for 10 minutes, and then remove cupcakes and place them on a cooling rack.

Peach Cream Cheese Frosting

Makes enough to frost 24 cupcakes

Frosting Ingredients:

1 cup of butter, softened
8 oz of cream cheese, softened
1.75 oz freeze dried peaches, pulverized in a mini food processor
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3-5 cups of confectioner’s sugar

Directions:
In a large mixing bowl, mix butter until it is softened and uniform. Add cream cheese and beat together until it is uniform. Add vanilla extract and mix. Add pulverized peaches and mix. Add 3 cups of sugar to the mixture and mix. Add more sugar if necessary. Mix again until mixture is creamy and spreadable. Add more sugar if necessary, otherwise prepare to frost cake.

Chocolate Chip Cookies with a Unique Technique
Baking With Tundra
Makes about 3 dozen, 3-inch cookies

Cookie Ingredients:

2 1/3 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
8 ounces (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 cup packed dark grown sugar, preferably molasses sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs

Directions:
1.    Position racks in the lower and upper thirds of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

2.    Sift flour and baking soda into a medium bowl.  Stir in the salt.

3.    In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle, beat half the butter (1 stick) on medium speed until fairly smooth.  Add both sugars and the remaining butter, and beat until well combined, then beat for a few minutes until mixture is light and creamy.  Scrape down sides of the bowl.  Add eggs one at a time, beating until the first one is incorporated before adding the next and scraping the bowl as necessary.  Add dry ingredients and mix on low speed to combine.  Mix in chocolate.

4.    Remove bowl from mixer and fold dough with a spatula to be sure the chocolate is evenly incorporated. The dough or shaped cookies can be refrigerated, well wrapped, for up to 5 days or frozen for 2 weeks.  Freeze shaped cookies on the baking sheets until firm, then transfer to freezer containers.  (Defrost frozen cookies overnight in the refrigerator before baking.)

5.    Using about 2 level tablespoons per cookie, shape dough into balls.  Arrange 8 cookies on each pan, leaving about 2 inches between, because the dough will spread.  Bake for 12 minutes, or until the tops are not longer shiny, switching the position and rotating pans halfway through baking.  (I just baked pans one at a time in the middle of the oven.)

6.    Cool cookies on the pans on cooling racks for about 2 minutes to firm up a bit, and then transfer to the racks to cool completely.  Repeat with second batch of cookies.  (The cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 days.)

Chocolate Banana Cake
Baking With Tundra
Makes one 9 X 5 inch loaf or a 9 inch round

Cake Ingredients:

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup Dutch processed cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/3 cups mashed ripe bananas (about 3 medium)|
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup sour cream
4 oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

Directions:

1.    Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 350.  Grease bottom and sides of 9 X 5 inch loaf pan or 9 inch round pan.

2.    Sift together flour, coca powder, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl.  Set aside.

3.    In the bowl of an electric mixer, using paddle attachment beat butter at medium speed until creamy, about 1 minutes.  Gradually beat in the sugar and beat at high until well blended, about 2 minutes.  At medium speed, beat in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.  Add the mashed bananas and vanilla extract and mix at low speed until blended.  Add the flour mixture at low speed in three additions, alternating it with the sour cream in two additions.  Remove bowl from the mixer stand and stir in the chopped chocolate.  Scrap batter into the prepared pan and smooth top with spatula.

4.    Bake cake for 55 to 65 minutes (loaf pan) or 45 to 50 minutes (round pan), until a cake tester into the center comes out clean (except for any melted chocolate.)

5.    Cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes.

6.    Unmold cake onto the rack, turn right side up and cool completely.

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Asian Style Recipes

Part 1 | Asian Recipes

Asian cuisine is on the rise in the United States! It’s said we’re in the middle of an Asian-food renaissance that’s being led by two fronts – dedicated students of Eastern culinary traditions and by young chefs who are reinventing traditional, boring Asian dishes! With our newly launched recipe series we have a couple of Asian dishes for you to try in your kitchen.

Vietnamese Grilled Pork Spring Rolls Recipe
Asian Style Recipes

Ingredients: (Serves 4)

For the grilled pork:
1 lb pork chops, loin, butt or shoulder. Sliced thin.
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 shallots, minced
1 Tbs fish sauce
1 tsp sugar
2 tsp freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
1/4 cup peanut or vegetable oil

Hoisin Peanut Dipping Sauce Recipe:

1 cup (8 oz) hoisin sauce
1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
1 Tbs rice vinegar
2 garlic, crushed
1 minced Thai chili, or more for desired spiciness

For spring roll rice paper assembly: About 10 rice paper wrappers

Lettuce
Cucumber, cut into long slices
Fresh herbs: mint, cilantro, basil, Vietnamese coriander, balm or perilla
Bean sprouts

Directions:

1. In plastic bag, combine all ingredients for the grilled pork. Let marinade for about 20 minutes. Grill both sides of pork for about 2-3 minutes, or until desired texture.

2. In blender, combine all ingredients for the hoisin peanut dipping sauce. Blend until everything combines smoothly together. If it is too thick, continue adding warm water until desired consistency.

3. In bowl of warm water, dip each rice paper wrapper for about 3-5 seconds (depending on rice paper thickness). Do not over soak your rice paper wrapper! Place on work service and allow rice paper to soak up water and become gelatinous and pliable (about 30 seconds to 1 minute, again, depending on the thickness rice paper).

4. On top 1/3 side closest to you, lay lettuce on the bottom for added strength to the wrapper. Then place meat, herbs and other vegetables. Roll up spring roll about 1/3 way through, and then fold in the sides.

5. Serve with hoisin peanut dip on an Obon serving tray.

Banh Hoi (Vietnamese Rice Noodles with Beef)
Asian Style Recipes
Beef: (Serves 4)

1 1/4 pounds well-marbled tri-tip (bottom sirloin) steak, well trimmed (about 1 pound after trimming)
2 large cloves garlic, minced and crushed to a paste
1 small shallot, finely chopped (about 2 1/2 tablespoons total)
2 teaspoons light brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
Generous 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground preferred
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon light (regular) soy sauce
2 tablespoon oil
1 pound fresh banh hoi fine rice noodles
1/2 cup Scallion Oil Garnish
1 small head soft leaf lettuce, such as red leaf, green leaf, or butter leaf
8 to 12 sprigs cilantro
8 to 12 sprigs mint
1 small English cucumber, seeded and sliced, optional
8 to 12 sprigs of other Vietnamese herbs, such as red perilla (tia to) and Vietnamese balm (kinh gioi), optional
3/4 cup Nuoc Cham dipping sauce

Directions:

1. If you have time, freeze the place the steak for about 15 minutes to firm and be easier to cut. Slice the beef across the grain into thin strips, a scant 1/4 inch thick, about 1 1/2 inches wide, and about 3 inches long. You may need to angle the knife to achieve the ideal width and make sure you are using a sharp, professional grade chef’s knife.  Set aside.

2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the garlic, shallot, brown sugar, salt, pepper, fish sauce, soy sauce and oil. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Add the beef and use your hands to massage the seasonings into the beef, making sure that each slice is well coated. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate at room temperature for 1 hour. Or, refrigerate overnight, letting the beef sit out for 30 minutes to remove the chill before grilling.

3. While the beef marinates, make the scallion oil, if you haven’t done so. Before grilling the beef, prepare the banh hoi noodles. Use kitchen shears to halve each piece of the noodles into pieces the size of playing cards. Arrange them on 2 platters in overlapping layers, with some scallion oil atop each piece of noodle; leftover scallion oil can be served on the side for extra richness. Cover the noodles, and set aside to prevent drying while you cook the beef. Arrange the lettuce, herbs and cucumber on 1 or 2 plates and set at the table. Put the dipping sauce in a communal bowl or individual sauce cups and set at the table.

Orange Chicken Recipe
Asian Style Recipes
Ingredients:

1/2 pound chicken breast (cut into bite-size cubes)
5 dried red chilies (cut into 1.5 inch length, seeded and soaked in warm water)
1 teaspoon minced orange zest
2 cloves garlic (minced)
1 inch ginger (minced)
1 stalk scallion (use the white part only, cut into thin threads for garnishing)
2 teaspoons oil
Oil for deep frying

Orange Sauce:

1/4 cup freshly-squeezed orange juice
3 tablespoons canned chicken broth
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
5 teaspoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon white pepper powder
1 teaspoon corn starch
Salt to taste

Frying Batter:
1/2 cup water
2 oz. all-purpose flour
1 oz. corn starch
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 egg
1 teaspoon cooking oil
1 small pinch of salt

Directions:

1.    Mix the orange sauce ingredients and set aside.

2.    Mix the frying batter and dip the chicken meat into the batter. Heat up a pot, or even better, a wok of cooking oil. When the cooking oil is hot enough for frying, drop the chicken pieces into the oil and deep fry them until they turn golden brown or crispy. Transfer them out onto a plate lined with paper towels to soak up the excess oil.

3.    In a wok, add 2 teaspoons of cooking oil and quickly stir-fry the minced garlic and ginger until aromatic. Add in the dried red chilies and toss around until you smell the spicy aroma. Follow by the minced orange zest and then chicken. Quickly stir the chicken around before adding the orange sauce mixture. Continue to stir-fry until the sauce thickens. Dish out, garnish with the scallion threads and serve immediately with steamed white rice.

4.    Prepare a charcoal or preheat a gas grill to medium (you can hold your hand over the rack for no more than 4 to 5 seconds). To broil the beef, position a rack about 4 inches from the heat source and preheat the oven for 20 minutes so it is nice and hot.

5.     I usually grill the meat as individual pieces, working the meat with tongs to turn them frequently. If you prefer, skewer the meat on soaked bamboo skewers (soak 16 to 20 skewers in water for 45 minutes) so that the pieces are easier to grill; you can serve the meat on the skewers or remove them from the skewers. Whether grilling or broiling, cook the beef for 5 to 7 minutes, turning frequently, until browned and a little crispy.

6.    Arrange on a platter and serve with the noodles, lettuce and herbs, and dipping sauce. To eat, invite guests to take a palm-size piece of lettuce, add few leaves of fresh herbs, a piece of banh hoi noodle, and a piece of beef. Bundle up the parcel, dip it into the sauce and deliver to the mouth.

Tundra Restaurant Supply offers over 200 Asian Restaurant Supplies to help you cook the best Asian food around!

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Fiesta of Flavor: Mexican Food Recipes

Mexican cuisine is off the charts with flavor and color. The best part about making Mexican food is that you can use canned ingredients from your cupboard or fresh produce from the local farmers market to make a tasty and appealing dish.

Below are a few Mexican recipes we compiled that will not only impress customers at your establishment but also your friends and family at home.

Vegetarian Mexican Salad Boats:
Fiesta of Flavor: Mexican Food Recipes
1 bunch romaine hearts, rinsed and separated
1 sweet potato, finely diced
1 Tbs. cumin
1 Tbs. chili powder
1 (14.5 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (10 oz) can sweet corn, drained and rinsed
4 radishes, thinly sliced
10 cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
1 lime
5 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1 avocado, diced

Directions: Heat 2 Tbs. of oil in a medium skillet over medium-high. Add the sweet potatoes, cumin, chili powder, a pinch of coarse salt and freshly ground pepper. Sauté about 10 minutes, until browned and cooked through. Remove from heat. In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining 3 Tbs. oil, juice from the lime, cilantro and another pinch of salt and pepper. In a bowl, combine the beans, corn, sweet potatoes, tomatoes and radishes. Pour in the dressing and toss to combine. Spoon the mixture into each romaine boat and top with diced avocado and more cilantro, if desired.

Stacked Roasted Vegetable Enchiladas
Fiesta of Flavor: Mexican Food Recipes
Ingredients:
1 poblano chile, cut into matchsticks
2 red bell peppers, cut into matchsticks
1/2 head of cauliflower, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
1 small sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 medium onion, halved and slivered
1 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen
3 T heat-safe oil like grape seed or coconut
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
2 garlic cloves, minced
salt and black pepper
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 cups homemade or store bought salsa/pico de gallo
2 ounces baby spinach leaves (about 2 big handfuls)
9-10 corn tortillas, halved (try making homemade tortillas!)
2 cups shredded cheese (I used a cheddar-Monterey Jack blend)
sour cream and thinly sliced scallions (green onions) for garnish, if desired

Directions: Preheat the oven to 425°F. Lightly oil a large shallow roasting pan or rimmed cookie sheet.

Place poblanos, red bell peppers, cauliflower, sweet potato, onion, and corn kernels onto cookie sheet. Drizzle olive oil and sprinkle the cumin and minced garlic over top. Add a generous pinch or two of salt and black pepper, and then use your hands to mix everything together. After everything is coated well, spread the vegetables evenly in the pan. Roast for 30-40 minutes until vegetables are tender and begin to brown in spots. Stir or shake the pan every 10 minutes for even roasting. Remove pan from oven and reduce oven temperature to 350°F.

Prepare an 8” or 9” square baking pan with nonstick spray. In a small bowl, stir the cilantro into the salsa. Spread 1/4 cup of salsa into the bottom of the baking pan. Add a layer of tortilla pieces, to completely cover the salsa. Top with 1/3 of the vegetables, a handful of spinach, and 1/3 of the cheese. Make a second layer of tortilla, salsa, vegetables, spinach, and cheese. Top with a layer of tortillas, salsa, vegetables, and cheese. Cover with aluminum foil.

Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake another 10 minutes, until cheese is melted and everything is heated through.

Let it sit for 5 minutes and cut into squares. Serve with sour cream and a sprinkle of sliced scallions.

Fiesta of Flavor: Mexican Food Recipes

Photo Credit Pinch of Yum. Click on image to view recipe.

Chicken Tamale Pie

1/3 cup fat free milk
1/4 cup egg substitute
1 1/2 tablespoon taco seasoning, divided
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 (14 3/4 ounce) can cream-style corn
1 (8.5 ounce) box corn muffin mix (such as Jiffy)
1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chilies, drained
1 (10 ounce) can red enchilada sauce
2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast
3/4 cup shredded white cheese
Cilantro and crumbled Cotija cheese for topping

Instructions: Preheat oven to 400°F. Combine milk, egg, ½ tsp taco seasoning, ground red pepper, corn, muffin mix and green chilies in a large bowl, stirring just until moist. Pour mixture into a round pie plate coated with cooking spray. Bake at 400°F for 20-30 minutes. While corn is baking, toss the chicken in the remaining 1 tablespoon taco seasoning. When corn is done – it will be just barely set and golden brown – pierce entire surface liberally with a fork (it might stick a little bit to the fork). Pour enchilada sauce over top. Top with chicken; sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 400°F for 15 minutes or until cheese melts. Remove from oven; let stand 5 minutes. Top each serving with cilantro and Cotija cheese.

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