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  1. Garnishing with Dehydrated Produce

    Garnishing with Dehydrated Produce

    Bartenders have been seeking new techniques to make their cocktails unique and using dehydrated fruit is one of the newest trends! There’s plenty of bars all serving the same drinks, but you should be constantly brainstorming new ideas to make your bar and drinks stand out. You can easily buy a food dehydrator to dry out your vegetables and fruits to garnish your drinks with. 

    Even just drying your basic limes and lemons can make a world of difference because although they’re used in many drinks across the world, dehydrating them makes them identifiable. These dried fruits are not only aesthetically pleasing, but they’re delicious and can be eaten by the customer. 

    Dehydrating food for your drinks also decreases your carbon footprint and reduces waste. If you chop up a lemon or lime, they only last for a few days, but drying them out makes them last indefinitely. Along with the reducing your impact on the environment, you get the added bonus of saving money (yay for impacting your bottom line!). You spend less on garnishes for your drinks because you’re now cutting garnishes once a month instead of every single day. 

    Check out some of our food dehydrators below to use in your restaurant:

    https://www.restaurantsupply.com/catalogsearch/result/?q=food%20dehydrator!

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  2. History of Ice

    History of Ice

    Ice is found in most drinks across the world, but at one time, way, way back when, ice was a rare treat for the wealthy. Ice was used sparingly before the 16thcentury, but was brought back by the Italians and picked up by France to be used for extravagant events. Henry III displayed ice on tables when entertaining to chill his wines and show off his excessive wealth.

    Eventually, ice found its way to the United States and became popular among the rich, with the likes of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson using ice to enjoy drinks and treats. At the beginning of the 19thcentury, lakes were no longer the only ways to obtain blocks of ice with the first ice machine created in 1845 in Mississippi. However, it wasn’t popular, so it sat on the shelf for a couple more decades before it was picked up again in Texas and as the end of the century approached, ice became all the rage in the beverage industry.

    Ice became a garnish and part of the flair of a cocktail. Using clean ice was aesthetically pleasing and people began experimenting with how to use certain ice shapes in different cocktails. Because of the changing liquor laws in America, ice took a back seat for some time, but returned as an essential part of the modern cocktail in the 2000’s. Ice companies grew to serve the demand for innovative, clean ice that bartenders were looking for to experiment with in their cocktails.

    Next time a bartender places your cocktail in front of you, take an extra minute to appreciate the ice in your drink and be aware of the shape that they used to perfect your drink!

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  3. Creating Budgets for your Restaurant

    Creating Budgets for your Restaurant

    Whether you’re opening a new restaurant, or playing with new ways to save money at your current restaurant, budgeting the correct way can save you a ton of money! Knowing how much money you bring in each month lets you know the targets you’re hitting and if your restaurant is actually successful. Being aware of how much money you’re making allows you to be proactive with your money and plan for the future. Here are some tips for restaurant budgeting: 

    Forecast your Restaurant’s Sales

    If you don’t already keep track of your profits, you need to go back and gather your sales from the past year. Once you know your sales from the past year, you need to make a 12-month budget. This isn’t something that needs to wait until January of each year (we know you’re just trying to procrastinate!). You can make a budget any month of the year.

    Create your Budget

    Making your actual budget helps you plan for the year ahead. Obviously you might make some missteps, but those can be easily corrected. It’s better to plan for the future and adapt as time passes than to completely ignore it and have to go into self-preservation mode without any idea of what you’re doing. Creating a budget allows you to set goals for the restaurant and that way at the end of your 12-month budget, you can see if you exceeded goals (or completely flopped, but we’re hoping for the former!).

    Setting a budget for any business can seem stressful, but if you take the time to sit down and truly make a budget, you’ll know where your restaurant stands and you’ll be able to set goals and plan for the future.

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  4. Strong Restaurant Culture and Values

    Strong Restaurant Culture and Values

    Designing a strong restaurant culture proves to make a restaurant more profitable and successful. People identify with brands and businesses that resonate with them and that have identifiers that make them different from their competitors. Anyone can own a restaurant and just do the basics: serve food, but having a restaurant culture with identifiable values helps not only your customers feel more connected, but your employees. We’re going to focus on employees for this blog because retaining employees is important. Values give employees a sense of purpose and the sense that they’re working for a larger purpose and this has become very popular among millennials entering the workforce.

    Differentiation

    Identifying values that make your restaurant unique sustain culture, and culture is what drives a business and promotes those values further. Values should come from leadership and be consistent with your brand. If values aren’t set in stone from the top, employees will set those values for you, which doesn’t typically work because they get miscommunicated. 

    Little Things

    The little things DO count. Having the necessary equipment and materials to get the job done is very important to employees. Employees shouldn’t have their materials shorted and little things, such as having a sufficient amount of pens, towels, etc, are essential in running your restaurant. Employees feel neglected and less important and respected when you can’t even provide them with the basics that help them do their job. This can lead to a toxic work environment and a culture where employees feel disrespected and unable to approach management. Management needs to be consistent with its messages and values and follow through on these promises.

    The work environment and culture can easily become toxic and be detrimental to your restaurant. Clearly communicating your values and brand identity to your employees makes for an overall better work experience and more successful business.

     

     

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  5. Furnishing your Restaurant

    Furnishing your Restaurant

    Planning the opening of a new restaurant, or even rebranding and refurnishing your current one can prove to be a difficult task. You would assume that it might be easy and might even be a bit fun (depends on who you ask—we’re not all interior decorators), but it can prove to be a daunting task.  We're here to provide you with some tips! 

    Consistency

    Atmosphere is important and certain colors and environments can complement your menu better. Once you decide the theme or vision of your restaurant, you need to keep that consistent across everything inside your restaurant because this reinforces your brand and what you want to convey about your restaurant to customers. If you’re not great with interior design, stick to neutral colors (black, white, tan, etc.). Sticking to the same colors and theme will reinforce your brand.

    Comfort

    Even if your restaurant and business thrives on sophistication and elegance, you still want to make sure your customers are comfortable. If you’re a quick-serve restaurant, you can forego comfort for wooden or metal chairs without sacrificing your customer base, but if you’re a sit-down dinner restaurant, you want to make sure your furniture is comfortable for the amount of time your customers spend there. Uncomfortable furniture can result in the turning down of the dessert menu and less glasses of wine!

    Upkeep

    At first when buying furniture for your restaurant, you might opt for the cheaper options, but you need to think of the future and how well the furniture can be cleaned and how durable it is. Wear and tear happens very quickly in popular restaurants (more so than at your own kitchen table), and then you’ll have to keep spending money to replace it.

    There are so many great options for furnishing your restaurant, but being smart about what you buy is important in building a successful restaurant. Check out the variety of furniture we have on our website: https://www.restaurantsupply.com/restaurant-furniture!

     

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  6. Ice Mishaps

    Ice Mishaps

    Ice can easily be made the wrong way, which makes for drinks that taste, well, to put it plainly, weird—and when I say weird, I mean weird in a disgusting way! You want your ice to be made from crystal clear, clean water and to not contain any aromas from the air around it. Buying the right ice machine may help avoid these common ice mishaps! 

    Aroma

    If your restaurant uses ice that comes from a refrigerator or freezer, it might absorb the aroma of the food around it. This makes for ice that clearly will not mix right when placed in a drink and it might even make the drink taste disgusting once the ice starts melting. Buying an ice machine will give you a machine that is completely separate from your refrigerator and freezer meaning your ice won’t absorb any surrounding food aromas.

    Freezing Process

    Ice that is made in a refrigerator/freezer will most likely be made to come out cloudy. Because the freezing process of a refrigerator/freezer is so quick, air gets trapped in the ice making it cloudy and less appealing to your customers. Cloudy ice is not aesthetically pleasing and looks dirty to a customer who doesn’t know the difference. Ice machines may take longer to make ice, but they produce such a high quantity that it’s a more efficient way to make and serve ice at your restaurant.

    Ice is essential when making a great tasting, aesthetically pleasing drink at your restaurant, whether it’s alcoholic or not. Ice machines will make your life easier and be more efficient when serving your customers. Here are some ice machines for you to check out: https://www.restaurantsupply.com/commercial-ice-equipment-and-supplies!

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  7. Display that Food!

    Display that Food!

    Food display cases are a staple in many businesses, especially smaller-scale coffee places, delis, and ice cream shops. You want your merchandise to be appealing as possible, no matter if your customer wants a quick bite to eat or is doing routine shopping for later. Shopping for food products is all about finding food that is aesthetically appealing and looks edible to the customer. Customers make impulsive purchases, which will be highly influenced by how great your display and your food looks. 

    To find the right display case for your needs, you need to ask yourself some questions: Do you want customers to serve themselves? What do you want your store layout to look like? Are employees serving your customers? Do you need a hot or cold display case, or both?

    Self-serve display cases are perfect if your business is a place where you want to provide your customers with the ease of grab and go. These display cases have many different types of doors, shelving, and can only house certain foods. These cases can house hot or cold food depending on the type you buy, so make sure that you buy a display case specifically for your food needs. Regardless of whether your display case is self-serve or used by your employees, there aren’t many differences between how the display case functions and looks.

    Want to see some great display cases for your business? You came to the right place---follow the link to see some display cases you can buy on our website: https://www.restaurantsupply.com/food-display-and-merchandising!

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  8. Properly Cleaning your Ice Machine

    Properly Cleaning your Ice Machine

    Ice machines are essential to most restaurants and bars, and if you neglect to clean them properly, they can harm the way your restaurant runs. Clean ice machines ensure that your customers are ingesting clean ice. Not cleaning your ice machine can lead to the buildup of mold and bacteria that will not only make your ice detrimental to your customers’ health, but will look dirty and disgusting. Regardless of brand, most ice machines can be cleaned in a similar way. Here are step-by-step tips on how to clean your ice machine properly:

    1)    Remove all ice from the dispenser.

    Turn the machine off and allow the ice to melt completely or move the ice to another area while cleaning. 

    2)    Turn on the clean or wash button on your machine. 

    Water will flow through the machine and down the drain. Wait until the water trough fills back up and the display indicates to add chemicals (this typically takes 1 minute).

    3)    Add ice machine cleaner and remove all interior parts.

    Your ice machine manual will indicate the recommended amount of cleaner that goes in your machine and if you need to remove any interior components before cleaning.

    4)    Mix a combination of warm water and cleaner and clean all parts you removed.

    Again, your machine’s manual will specify how much of each liquid to add together to create the solution to clean the components.

    5)    Use the same mixture with a brush or cloth to clean the inside of the ice machine where the ice sits (sides, bottom, and top).

    6)    Rinse all areas with water.

    Use water to rid all the areas of the mixture of cleanser and water that you used to clean. This prevents any chemicals from contaminating the ice.

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  9. Cocktail Tidbits

    Cocktail Tidbits

    I’m sure you probably haven’t thought about how cocktails came into existence or why—all we care about is if it tastes great (that’s really all that matters), but there are some interesting facts behind the creation of cocktails! 

    1)    What even is a cocktail? A cocktail is defined as any beverage with two or more ingredients, one of which is alcohol.

    2)    Why do we make toasts? The Ancient Romans used to put a piece of toast into their drinks for good health and eventually, put toast into their friends’ drinks to signify good fortune. 

    3)    The first cocktail shakers were shaped like penguins!

    4)    The International Bartenders Association (IBA) has an “official” cocktail list: https://iba-world.com/cocktails/

    5)    Cocktails were invented in America.

    Cocktails have been around for hundreds of years and the list continuously grows as bartenders become more and more bold and creative when making their drinks. Bartenders have even slightly modified popular drinks that have endured the passage of time to make the drink unique to their own style.

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  10. Dishwasher Central

    Dishwasher Central

    Your restaurant would not exist without dishwashers because obviously, we value clean plates and so do your customers! Your customer will definitely not be returning if you serve their food using dirty dishware and you certainly won’t be gaining any new customers if word gets out that you use dirty dishware. Here are some popular dishwashers and their specifics that might be a great fit for your restaurant:

    Glass Dishwasher

    Restaurants/bars with a high volume of glasses need a machine that will gently clean their glasses without breaking them (what a nightmare when objects shatter in our dishwasher!). Sensitive types of glassware, such as martini and wine glasses, will easily break in regular commercial dishwashers. Generally, it’s recommended that glass dishwashers are used mainly for washing glasses…who would’ve figured, but there are certain models that are suitable for washing more than just glassware.

    • Designed for sensitive glassware
    • Wash a high number of glasses quickly

    Under Counter Dishwashers

    These machines, size and appearance wise, resemble residential dishwashers that you might see in someone’s home. Under counter dishwashers typically wash one rack per cycle and are 53” high, 23” wide, and 25” deep making these machines the best for small coffee shops and restaurants.

    • Ideal for places serving less than 100 meals per hour
    • Don’t require a ton of space
    • Most affordable commercial dishwasher

    Dishwashers are another piece of essential equipment for your restaurant and without them, you won’t be able to satisfy your customers. If you’re in the market to replace your current dishwasher, or if you’re just starting out and need your first dishwasher, check out the variety of dish washing machines we sell at this link: https://www.restaurantsupply.com/commercial-dishwashers!

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