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Tundra’s Waste Management System

Tundra’s Waste Management SystemLast April we put in place our own waste management
system, which evolved after studying our not so healthy
trash habits around the office. The result of this had us cutting down on our trash and ramping up our recycling and composting efforts. First, we installed composting bins to capture paper towels in the restrooms. Then we added recycling & composting bins next to the trashcan in our break room as well as smaller recycling cans at each cubical in the office. Finally, we educated our employees on where our trash is going and what can and cannot go into the different bins with the help of visual aids. Needless to say, the new green initiatives were well received by the staff at Tundra.

See our last blog post on our waste management efforts, or for more green tips, see our other blogs posts on going green.

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Sustain and Grow With Us

Sustain and Grow With UsOur mission: We respond immediately to solve the needs of our customers, so that they can sustain and grow the relationship they have with theirs.

20 years ago our company was started based on the mission statement
above. It was important for our founder, Michael Lewis, to do more than just sell parts to restaurants; in fact, it was fundamentally essential that our customers felt taken care of. We built relationships with them and kept things as simple as possible. Based on these fundamental “ways” (we don’t do policies) we were able to grow into the Tundra we are today, and we thank our customers for being there to support us.

With the announcement of our Dreamstaurant contest winner, Adam Hegsted, we knew we had an opportunity to expand on this mission: to expand here at Tundra, to help Adam and to help you.

Today, we invite you to sustain and grow with us as we continue to bring
more to the table.

 

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A Look at Tundra’s History with Co-Founders Michael Lewis & Rob Fenton – Part II

A Look at Tundra’s History with Co Founders Michael Lewis & Rob Fenton   Part IIWith the expansion into the online marketplace came the potential for Tundra to bring business to the national and global fronts, providing large establishments as well as the at-home consumer an avenue to shop equipment and parts from the comfort of a computer. A bare-bones website, constructed and maintained by Michael’s son Ryan Lewis in the early 2000’s, generated a single order on the day the site launched, (“for one cutting board,” Michael laughs) and after a few months the company had carved out a place for itself online.

“The first website was very primitive, very clunky, but it was sort of cutting edge at that time,” Michael jokes. “Then we went on to the second one, and with each one we were able to expand the amount of product we put on. We were able to get deeper into the customer world. We became far savvier with web marketing. I think the rest of that’s history to where [the web] is one of the most significant growth engines in this company today.”

The push into web sales and marketing also added to Tundra’s ability to cater to customers on a different level by providing a convenient, customized shopping experience for larger businesses.

“At that same time we started to get a lot of interest from different groups that we worked with. Restaurant chains. They were interested in utilizing and liked the idea of having their own website,” Rob reflects regarding Tundra’s chain sites. “We were able to create a lot of uniqueness for them. It’s amazing how many people are involved in that and want that. It’s worked out well.”

While technological advances assisted in the company’s growth, it’s a core set of values on which Tundra finds its footing for day-to-day interactions and ethics. Jotted down as Michael left his old company, and unaltered as they were cemented into how business is conducted, the thirteen values are painted on the walls and keep the company focused.

“In fifteen minutes I wrote down the values of what I wanted to take with me from my prior experience and hold on to,” Michael explains. “It was the stuff that was successful or wished to be successful. The things that when we had difficult times held us together. That’s where the thirteen values came from.”

As years progressed and times changed Tundra’s culture continued to blossom, and with more product and sales came more challenges. Adjusting to additional business and providing customer and employee satisfaction may not have always come easy, but working back toward the values that helped form the company proved invaluable.

“That’s the beauty of culture, and values, is that they drift.” Michael says of the Tundra’s strong values. “You know the old saying is ‘to be off the path is to be on the path, because at least you have a path and you know you’re off it,’ and having a core set of values to return to was always a centering point.”

And with that centering point always in mind the business has continued to expand. Bringing high quality parts and equipment to restaurants and cozy kitchens around the world has proven fruitful, and both Rob and Michael see the possibilities for Tundra as endless.

“I think it’s unlimited,” Rob says. “As we go forward, always going back to who we are and what we do and the ability to focus on the customer and take care of them as we have in the past, the future’s bright. There is no limit.”

As Tundra celebrates its 20th anniversary this month orders will continue to ship, customers will continue to browse the showroom, and calls will continue to come in. Those humble beginnings of a three employee effort have grown to a well-oiled 135 person team, with each member contributing to the expansion of ten products to nearly 70,000, and the company’s culture and drive for customer care continues to evolve with no limits in sight.

“It’s been one hell of a ride,” Rob remarks.

Read Part I.

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A Look at Tundra’s History with Co-Founders Michael Lewis & Rob Fenton – Part I

A Look at Tundra’s History with Co Founders Michael Lewis & Rob Fenton   Part IFrom a garage based one-man parts company, to a recognized national supplier of literally everything including the kitchen sink, Tundra Restaurant Supply has grown as a business and evolved as a concept for the past twenty years. This month Tundra’s crossing that anniversary line, and co-founders Michael Lewis and Rob Fenton have been along for the ride since the company’s conception. Keeping business practices and employee relations grounded in a solid “ways not policies” mentality, both men can still be seen laughing with vendors or conversing with co-workers on a daily basis. Michael and Rob recently took a trip down memory lane and reminisced about the early days, what makes Tundra special, how things have changed, and how staying the same where it counts has kept the company strong and unique over the years.

“When I came out here it started very fundamentally,” Michael remembers of his move from New Jersey in 1992, “It literally started in my garage. I came out here with the idea of starting a smaller, regional restaurant dealership that emphasized parts and brought what my prior company did at the wholesale level to the retail level.”

Printing and passing out product fliers, in person, to Boulder, Colorado’s budding restaurant scene in early ’93 helped Michael get familiar with the area and the restaurateurs he’d be doing business with. “Well, we have these in stock and we can get a whole lot more,” was his pitch, and pretty soon it was time to print the first official catalog. This is when Michael and Rob crossed paths.

“It’s kind of an interesting story,” Rob recalls. “Out of hundreds of printers in the Front Range, Michael picks three out of a catalog. I was one of the three. I was working for a printing company, and we were able to win and secure the business.”

Those first few small catalogs solidified the duo’s working relationship and paved the way for Tundra’s future.

“We were comfortable with each other right away. I liked his history, where he came from, what he had done in his past life,” Rob says. “My only statement was ‘I know this is going to work. I believe it will work. I just don’t know how long it’s going to take to get there.’”

The answer was:  not long. With three employees (Michael, Rob, and a fundamental team member named Nancy Hogan) Tundra powered forward, securing space, building a customer base, and working with vendors to acquire product. By mid-1993 the shelves had product on them, the phone was ringing intermittently, and the company was able to purchase and ship orders.

“One of the things that worked well at the start was we had a strong value base,” Michael explains. “We had a high integrity for the customer, the vendors, for product, and we were going to deliver a level of service that we believed was not available.”

At that time we did something really revolutionary. We listened to the customer,” Rob agrees. “I think it was key timing too. Timing was perfect.”

With a value system in place that focused on customer service, having fun, respect, and forward progress, paired with a desire to provide customers with the parts and products they needed, the business began to grow. Restaurant supply had been a niche market up until the early 90’s, and as Tundra expanded, so too did the local restaurant scene. Over twenty years of building and maintaining relationships in and outside the area, Tundra’s product offering has gone from parts to small wares, equipment, disposables, and on to textiles and design all with help from the customer. “That was all customer pool,” Michael says. “It wasn’t necessarily a back room creation or we thought this was what the customer wanted. It was asked, and we were able to deliver.”

Continue on to  Part II.

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Share Your Story of Restaurant Mayhem

The United States has faced devastating disasters in the last 10 years that have not only affected families, but businesses too.

  • In 2005, Hurricane Katrina, one of the deadliest hurricanes in recent history, hit the Gulf Coast.  In a 90,000 square mile area,  thousands of local residents were left Share Your Story of Restaurant Mayhemunemployed and homeless while the death toll rose to more than 1,800 people and the total cost of damage was estimated at $125 billion.
  • Midsummer of 2012 ignited another catastrophic disaster – the Waldo Canyon Fire in Colorado. This fire was named the most destructive wildfire in Colorado history: killing 2 people, burning 346 homes, forcing an evacuation of 32,000 people and smoldering 18,247 acres.
  • Most recently, Hurricane Sandy aka ‘Frankenstorm’ ripped across the east coast. The death toll has risen to approximately 109 people while 17,500,000 people were affected and an estimated $60 billion in damages (see this compelling Katrina vs. Sandy comparison by the Huffington Post).

Now more than ever, restaurant owners are learning what it means to prepare for a natural disaster – like those aforementioned, as well as the numerous earthquakes, floods, tornadoes and other catastrophic  weather patterns that have devastated our nation. Precautionary steps need to be made for before, during and after an event: building and food care, evacuation plans, support needs, etc. Unfortunately, the lack of available resources to learn more about what this means is few and far between.

Share Your Story

Share Your Story of Restaurant MayhemShare Your Story of Restaurant Mayhem
That is why we need you! Your story can be extremely valuable to other restaurant owners, not only in the US, but around the globe…
  • What is it like to live through a natural disaster?
  • What did you do to protect your business?
  • What didn’t you do that you wish you would have done to prevent damage?

We would love the opportunity to hear your story, and in return, your story could be published in our next flyer publication! We send our quarterly flyer to 250K independent restaurant owners nationwide and, of course, you would get the opportunity view the article before it goes to print.

If you are interested please share your restaurant’s mayhem story; we can’t wait to hear your story!

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Flavors of Fall: Pumpkin, Apple and Sweet Potato

Tasty, easy and budget friendly fall recipes to try at your next party, catered event or restaurant menu change.

Aw…the familiar flavors of apple, sweet potato, pumpkin and spices like cinnamon and nutmeg are enough to make anyone settle in for a cozy evening at home. It’s clear, Tundra Restaurant Supply is obsessed with food service products, and we carry everything from baking sheets and commercial refrigerators to pint glasses and salt & pepper shakers. In our effort to bring more to the table, we’re featuring a couple of rich, flavorful recipes we thought you might like to try!

Pumpkin Cheesecake BarsFlavors of Fall: Pumpkin, Apple and Sweet Potato

These cheesecake bars are quick, easy and undeniably tasty. Give them a try at your next catered event, party or to simply share with family and friends.

Crust Ingredients

  • 20 creme-filled chocolate sandwich cookies (Oreos are great)
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Filling Ingredients:

  • 2 8-oz. packages cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line an 8-inch-square pan with foil so that foil overhangs sides. Mist with cooking spray.
  2. Make crust: Process cookies in food processor until ground. Pulse in butter. Press evenly into pan. Bake until firm, 10 to 12 minutes. Cool slightly.
  3. Make filling: With an electric mixer on medium speed, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth, about 2 minutes. Beat in pumpkin, then eggs, 1 at a time. Beat in vanilla, flour, spice and salt until just combined.
  4. Pour mixture into pan. Put pan on a large rimmed baking sheet; place in oven. Pour hot water into baking sheet until it’s nearly filled. Bake until cheesecake is set around edges but jiggles slightly in center, 40 to 45 minutes. Remove pan from sheet; cool completely on rack. Cover with plastic wrap. Chill until firm, at least 3 hours.
  5. Cut into bar sized servings.
  6. Enjoy!

Recipe is courtesy of My Recipes.

Classic Sweet Potato PieFlavors of Fall: Pumpkin, Apple and Sweet Potato

Perfect pie recipe for beginner home chefs or on-the-go professionals!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups peeled, cooked sweet potatoes
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 stick melted butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 cup milk
  • 9-inch unbaked pie crust
  • 3 egg whites

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. For the filling, using an electric hand mixer, combine the potatoes, 1 cup of the sugar, the butter, eggs, vanilla, salt, and spices. Mix thoroughly. Add the milk and continue to mix.
  3. Pour the filling into the pie crust and bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
  4. Place the pie on a rack and cool to room temperature before covering with meringue.
  5. For the meringue, using an electric mixer beat the egg whites until soft peaks form; beat in the remaining 1/4 cup sugar 1 tablespoon at a time. Continue beating until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is glossy and stiff, but not dry. With a rubber spatula, spoon the meringue onto the pie, forming peaks. Make sure the meringue touches the crust all around.
  6. Sprinkle with a pinch of granulated sugar.
  7. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until delicately browned.
  8. Cool, serve and enjoy!

Recipe courtesy of Food Network.

Apply & Grape PieFlavors of Fall: Pumpkin, Apple and Sweet Potato

Use red grapes to achieve a deep purple color – great for any fall setting!

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour plus more for surface
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 cup chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2″ cubes
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening

Filling:

  • 3 pounds tart, crisp apples (such as Pink Lady), peeled, quartered, cored, thinly sliced
  • 1 pound red grapes, halved
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • Vanilla ice cream (optional as a topping)

Directions:

For crust:

  1. Pulse flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor. Add butter and shortening; pulse just until coarse meal forms. Add 1/3 cup ice water; pulse until dough forms clumps, adding more ice water by teaspoonfuls if dry. Gather dough into a ball; divide in half. Flatten into disks, wrap in plastic, and chill for at least 1 hour and up to 2 days.
  2. Roll out 1 dough disk on a lightly floured surface into an 11″ round. Transfer to pie dish; press gently onto bottom and up sides of dish. Trim dough flush with edge of dish, leaving no overhang. Freeze until firm, about 10 minutes. Add scraps to remaining dough disk; roll out on parchment paper to a 12″ round. Slide paper with dough onto a rimless baking sheet and chill in refrigerator.
  3. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line dough in pie dish with foil or parchment paper. Fill foil with pie weights or dried beans. Bake until edges are just beginning to turn golden, 25-30 minutes. Remove foil and pie weights. Return dish to oven; continue baking until crust is dark golden all over, about 20 minutes longer. Transfer pan to a wire rack; let crust cool completely.

For filling:

  1. Mix apples, grapes, sugar, and flour in a large saucepan; stir to coat. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring often, until fruit is translucent and juices are thickened, 30-40 minutes. Let mixture cool to room temperature.
  2. Preheat oven to 375°F. Transfer fruit to crust. Remove remaining dough from refrigerator. Using a decorative cutter, make a pattern in center of dough, leaving a 2″ plain border; reserve cutouts. Invert dough over fruit in crust; peel off parchment paper. Trim dough along edge of crust, leaving no overhang. Arrange reserved dough cutouts decoratively over top crust, pressing lightly to adhere. Place pie on a baking sheet.
  3. Bake pie until crust is golden brown and juices bubble, 50 minutes-1 hour. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
  4. Enjoy!

Recipe courtesy of Epicurious.

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Autumn’s Best Apples

Whether you went apple-picking at an orchard, the farmers’ market, or the grocery store, we have some delicious ways to showcase fresh apples! These tasty dishes are sure to please even the pickiest of guests!

Autumn’s Best ApplesApple Pie Baked in an Apple

A simple, natural blend of ingredients with a gourmet presentation.

Ingredients:

  • 5-6 Granny Smith Apples
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • ¼ cup of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of brown sugar
  • Pie crust – homemade or pre-made

Pre-heat oven to 375° F.

Directions:

  1. Cut off the top of 4 apples off and discard. Remove the inside of each apple with a melon baller very carefully, as to not puncture the peel.
  2. Remove skin from remaining apple(s) and slice very thinly. These apple pieces will give you the additional filling needed to fill the four apples you are baking.
  3. Mix sliced apples with sugars and cinnamon in a bowl.
  4. Scoop sliced apples into hollow apples.
  5. Roll out pie crust and slice into 1/4 inch strips. You can also add a strip of pastry inside the top of the apple almost like a liner to add a little more sweetness to the pie.
  6. Cover the top of the apple in a lattice pattern with pie crust strips.
  7. Place apples in an 8” x 8” baking pan. Add just enough water to the cover the bottom of the pan.
  8. Cover with foil and bake for 20-25 minutes.
  9. Remove foil and bake for an additional 20 minutes or until crust is golden brown and sliced apples are soft.
  10. Enjoy!

Apple Cream Cheese Bundt CakeAutumn’s Best Apples

A true fall classic, garnish frosting with toasted pecans for extra flavor.

Ingredients:

Cream Cheese Filling:

  • 1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Apple Cake Batter:

  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup canola oil
  • 3/4 cup applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups peeled and finely chopped Gala apples (1 1/2 lb.)

    Praline Frosting:

  • 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup powdered sugar

Pre-heat oven to 350°F.

Directions:

  1. Prepare Filling: Beat first 3 ingredients at medium speed in a stand mixer until blended and smooth. Add egg, flour, and vanilla; beat just until blended.
  2. Prepare Batter: Preheat oven to 350° F. Bake pecans in a shallow pan 8 to 10 minutes or until toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through. Stir together 3 cups flour and next 7 ingredients in a large bowl; stir in eggs and next 3 ingredients, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Stir in apples and pecans.
  3. Spoon two-thirds of apple mixture into a greased and floured 14 cup Bundt pan. Spoon Cream Cheese Filling over apple mixture, leaving a 1 inch border around edges of pan. Swirl filling through apple mixture using a paring knife. Spoon remaining apple mixture over Cream Cheese Filling.
  4. Bake at 350° F for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a long wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool cake in pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack, and cool completely.
  5. Prepare Frosting: Bring 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup butter, and 3 Tbsp. milk to a boil in a 2 qt. saucepan over medium heat, whisking constantly; boil 1 minute, whisking constantly. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. Gradually whisk in powdered sugar until smooth; stir gently 3 to 5 minutes or until mixture begins to cool and thickens slightly.
  6. Pour frosting immediately over cooled cake.
  7. Enjoy!

Warm Caramel Apple CakeAutumn’s Best Apples

Serve this delicious apple upside-down cake warm from the oven.

Ingredients:

Cake Batter:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup whipping cream
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 large cooking apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced (2 1/3 cups)
  • 1 box Betty Crocker Super Moist yellow cake mix
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1/3  cup vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon apple pie spice

    Cake Topping:

  • 2/3  cup Betty Crocker Whipped fluffy white frosting (from 12-oz container)
  • 1/2  cup frozen (thawed) whipped topping
  • Caramel topping, if desired

Pre-heat oven to 350° F.

Directions:

  1. In 1-quart heavy saucepan, cook butter, whipping cream and brown sugar over low heat, stirring occasionally, just until butter is melted. Pour into 13” x 9” pan. Sprinkle with pecans; top with sliced apples.
  2. In large bowl, beat cake mix, water, oil, eggs and apple pie spice in a stand mixer on low speed until moistened. Beat on medium speed 2 minutes. Carefully spoon batter over apple mixture.
  3. Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Loosen sides of cake from pan. Place heatproof serving platter upside down on pan; carefully turn platter and pan over. Let pan remain over cake about 1 minute so caramel can drizzle over cake. Remove pan.
  4. In small bowl, mix frosting and whipped topping. Serve warm cake topped with frosting mixture and drizzled with caramel topping.
  5. Enjoy!

Tundra Restaurant Supply stocks everything you need to create the most delicious fall dishes. From kitchen supplies to dining room supplies and cooking equipment to specialty cooking supplies eTundra.com is your one-stop shop for baking and cooking this season!

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CULTURE: Carrying Out Tundra Values

Have fun, exceed customer expectations & work ethically, get to know who Tundra Restaurant Supply really is.

Tundra was created from a set of values that inspired a business which built meaningful relationships with its customers. These values drive Tundra’s mission to solve the needs of their customers and ensure their success. Fulfilling this mission has lead to their own success.

CULTURE: Carrying Out Tundra Values

Internally, Tundra’s Culture Crew assists with carrying out these values. They plan and carry out company-wide events that encourage employees to have fun! Examples include baseball games, BBQ’s, pancake breakfasts, Friday fun days and much more.

Tundra’s Star Card program encourages co-workers and teammates to acknowledge when each other have gone above and beyond. Giving a co-worker a Star Card

CULTURE: Carrying Out Tundra Values

automatically enters them into a monthly drawing for up to $50 in prizes.

The Tundra Megaphone Program allows employees to voice concerns, comments or questions anonymously. The Megaphone Program is marketed as “If I were President, I would…” this program has received positive feedback from employees thus kicking off a variety of changes around the company. A few fun examples:

  • Want high-quality toilet paper – Check.
  • Want picnic table to sit at while at lunch or on break? Check.
    • Plus they accompanied these tables with fresh potted flowers for visual appeal!

Bottom line is that Tundra was created from building healthy, positive relationships with its customers – part of that success has come from building superior relationships with its employees. Tundra has found people who are happy at work – work harder! Complicated idea…

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Oktoberfest: What is it?

Oktoberfest: What is it?Oktoberfest is the world’s largest people’s fair where over 6 million people from around the world visit Munich, Germany for a 16-day festival to drink beer, eat “wursts” and join together in song. The celebration is most famous for its heavy liter steins of beer but there is more; dance around with locals, sing with the Bavarian bands, gawk at traditional costumes and get an enormous plate full of German hospitality.

Oktoberfest started when Crown Prince Ludwig, was married to Princess Therese of Bavaria on October 12, 1810. The citizens of Munich were invited to attend the festivities held on the fields in front of the city gates to celebrate the happy royal event. The fields have been named Theresienwiese (“Theresa’s meadow”) in honor of the Crown Princess ever since, although the locals have since abbreviated the name simply to the “Wies’n”.

Horse races in the presence of the Royal Family marked the close of the event that was celebrated as a festival for the whole of Bavaria. The decision to repeat the horse races in the subsequent year gave rise to the tradition of the Oktoberfest.

The horse races ended in 1960 but that has not stopped people from attending. There is quite the lineup of events that lure people in from all over the globe. Since 1950 there has been a traditional opening ceremony which includes a 12 gun salute and the tapping of the first keg of Oktoberfest beer at 12:00 pm by the mayor of Munich with the cry “O’sapft ist!” (it’s tapped in the Bavarian language). The Mayor then gives the first beer to the Minister-President of the State of Bavaria.

10 Fun Facts About Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany:

  1. It takes two months for construction workers to transform the fairgrounds from an enormous 100-acre asphalt expanse to a pulsating city of beer tents and food stands, roller coasters and carnival rides—and one month to disassemble it all.
  2. The festival grounds on located on 103.79 acres of land, there are 100,000 seats in festival halls and they use 2.8 million kWh of electricity (as much as 14% of Munich’s daily need or as much as a 4 person family would need in 52 years and 4 months.Oktoberfest: What is it?
  3. There isn’t a fee for entering festival grounds or beer tents.
  4. 6 million people visit the fairgrounds during the 2-week event and together they consume 6 million liters of beer, 500,000 roasted chickens, 120,000 pairs of sausages, 80,000 liters of wine, 50,000 pork knuckles, 30,000 bottles of champagne and a gazillion pretzels.
  5. You must be seated to order a beer unless you are in the “standing zone”. You also must order beer from the server responsible for your section.
  6. There are roughly 965 toilets and 1 km of urinal troughs at the fairgrounds.
  7. Last year’s lost and found had a mountain 4,000+ unclaimed items, including 260 eyeglasses, 200 cell phones, 2 pairs of crutches, 1 wedding ring and a set of dentures.
  8. The drinking age in Germany is 18 for hard alcohol and 16 for beer; therefore you may see some juvenile faces in the mix.
  9. An immensely popular gimmick and sign of affection, lovers and admirers gift one another huge gingerbread hearts (pictured on the right) that are often worn around the neck before being eaten. “Ich liebe Dich” is the most adoring of all the quotations, meaning “I love you.”
  10. In November 2008, Bavarian Anita Schwarz set a new world record when she carried 19 full beer steins (5 in either hand and 9 on top) totaling 90 lbs—a full stein weighs an average of 5 lbs—over a distance of 40 meters without any spillage and placed on a table.

Oktoberfest: What is it?Oktoberfest in the US.

Almost 20 percent of Americans can claim to have German ancestry. Therefore the traditional fall festival Oktoberfest is a popular event in many cities around the country. Oktoberfest in the USA roughly follows the same calendar as the one in Germany, and includes lots of beer drinking, oompah bands, and chowing down German food like bratwurst and knockwurst. Does that sound like a fun time to you? If you said “Jawohl!” (German for an emphatic “yes”), take a look at the following list of the most popular places to celebrate Oktoberfest across the USA.

Cincinnati – Cincinnati, Ohio, hosts the largest Oktoberfest in the United States with over 500,000 visitors a year. Six blocks of Fifth Street in downtown Cincinnati are closed for the weekend. Started in 1976, you can enjoy the festivities in 2012 from September 21st to 23rd. Highlights include the Running of the Wieners and the World’s Largest Chicken Dance.

Addison– Addison, Texas located just north of Dallas, hosts Oktoberfest from September 20-23, 2012. The Addison Conference Centre is transformed into an authentic Munich beer hall with a Texas twist. It is considered one of the most authentic Oktoberfest celebrations in the United States.

Chicago: Who can forget Ferris Bueller singing “Danke Schön” on a float at the German heritage parade in the film “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off?” Indeed, German roots run deep in Chicago, which makes it one of the best places in the country for Oktoberfest revelry.

Alpine Village, Torrance, Los Angeles – Southern California has been celebrating Oktoberfest at Alpine Village for 44 years. USA Today named it one of the best Oktoberfests in the world. It is held on seven weekends in September and Oktober in a 32,000 square foot tent. Located in Torrance, it is the most popular Oktoberfest celebration in Los Angeles.

Denver – Latimer Street in Denver’s Historic Ballpark Neighborhood is transformed for two weekends in September for this celebration of German culture. Over 250,000 people attend Oktoberfest Denver annually.

Pittsburgh: German heritage is very prevalent in Western Pennsylvania, so it’s fitting that the Pittsburgh area has a couple of Oktoberfest events worth checking out. The best known Pittsburgh area Oktoberfest festivals include the Pennsylvania Bavarian Oktoberfest, billed as Pennsylvania’s largest Oktoberfest, and the Penn Brewery Oktoberfest. Pittsburgh’s Penn Brewery hosts this event in its biergarten and brews a special Oktoberfest beer for the occasion.

Washington DC: The Nation’s Capital and environs has quite a number of Oktoberfest, ranging from beer bashes at local breweries to an Oktoberfest at Jessup, Maryland’s Blob Park, purported to be America’s first Oktoberfest.Oktoberfest: What is it?

New Orleans: If there’s an event that revolves around drinking, you can be sure that New Orleans will be up for celebrating. While New Orleans is not known for its Germanic culture, there are many pubs, clubs, and beer gardens where you can celebrate Oktoberfest in New Orleans. The biggest of these celebrations is at the Deutsches Haus, which celebrates with plenty of beer, schnapps, and chicken dancing.

Atlanta: There are a few places to celebrate Oktoberfest in Atlanta, the most interesting of which is an Oktoberfest party bus that takes revelers to the small town of Helen, Georgia, decked out to look like an authentic German village.

Americans love drinking, eating and dressing up so if you are not involved in an Oktoberfest celebration I recommend you jump on the band wagon. They are fun and a great way to connect with your community. Plus who doesn’t want happy customers in their establishment. Just invest in some Oktoberfest beer, liter steins, brats and you will be good to go!

References: funtober, Harrimon Travel Books, VistaWide

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