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  1. Dry January Hacks

    Dry January Hacks

    Many people participate in Dry January – it’s the time of year where people aspire to be healthy and we love it! Instead of dreading this time of year for fear of losing profits, take advantage! This is your time to shine and show your customers that you can create mocktails and virgin drinks that are just as delicious as their alcoholic counterparts. Here are some tips on just how to embrace Dry January and drive traffic despite the alcohol respite:

    1. Mocktail Menu

    Mocktails are known to be pricier items – and people will pay that extra dollar for something that tastes exactly like their favorite cocktails. A mocktail menu is also a great option for a customer that isn’t water or soda.

    2. Triva Nights

    Trivia nights drive traffic to your restaurant! People love a good trivia night out with their friends and if you have the resources to do this, you should! Do trivia night once a week and you might even see more people gravitating towards your mocktail menu.

    3. Promote a “Sober Night”

    If you really want to target those that have committed to Dry January, you should go all out and host a night specifically for them. You can host the event on a night that is typically slower for your restaurant if you’re worried about turning away alcohol sales on a historically busy night.

    Make sure you’re stocking up on those beer brands that have also taken advantage of the trend of creating beers with no alcohol in them, including Heineken and Michelob Ultra. Options are key! 

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  2. Refrigerator Cleaning Process

    Refrigerator Cleaning Process

    Your restaurant’s refrigerator is one of the driving life forces of your restaurant. Without it, your life would probably be in shambles! Keeping your refrigerator clean is and should be an important part of your weekly, and maybe even daily, maintenance activities. Over time, food stored in containers is going to spoil and you want to avoid having to thoroughly examine your fridge to find the mystery source of that awful smell. Below are some steps to take when cleaning and organizing your restaurant’s refrigerator:

    Steps:

    1. Unplug Refrigeration Units

    You want to eliminate any possibility of electrocuting yourself when cleaning your fridge.

    2. Empty Shelves of All Items

    Remove all items from every shelf in your fridge and don’t just move the containers to one side. This makes it much easier to thoroughly clean the shelves.

    3. Throw Away Expired Food

    If you think a food item in the fridge is expired or spoiled, throw it away! You don’t want to risk the health of your customers. Jars and cans that are already opened should be thrown away if the date they expire is not clearly labeled.

    4. Wipe Down Interior of Refrigerator

    Use a sponge and warm, soapy water to clean the inside of your refrigerator. Don’t just wipe down the shelves, but also the sides the refrigerator. If you’re having trouble getting rid of dirt in the corners or tough to reach spots of the refrigerator, use a toothbrush to scrub it away.

    5. Disinfect

    Use sanitizer to disinfect the surfaces of the refrigerator because bacteria and mold are notorious for growing in a fridge over time.

    6. Vacuum

    Vacuum the condenser and coils of the refrigerator because they get clogged with dust and debris. The accumulation of dust and debris can also cause your refrigerator to use more energy to work harder than normal to run. Brush the coils and fan and then use the vacuum to suck up the dust.

    7. Clean Exterior

    You should clean the top and the bottom of your refrigerator. Mop underneath and dust on top of your fridge because keeping the fridge’s exterior clean is just as important as keeping the interior clean!

    8. Restock Shelves

    Use proper food placement procedures to load your food back in once you’ve finished cleaning. Rule of thumb when stocking a refrigerator is to place “ready-to-eat-foods” and condiments on the top shelf for easy access. Seafood and meats should follow on the lower shelves.

    Keeping your refrigerator clean is a necessary evil when running your restaurant and keeping up with proper maintenance. You don’t want your customers to get sick, and you want to have the reputation of a clean restaurant with tasty food!

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  3. How and When to Filter Fryer Oil - Fryer Oil Maintenance

    How and When to Filter Fryer Oil - Fryer Oil Maintenance

    No matter if your fryer is the workhorse of your kitchen or only cranked up a few times per week, maintenance is key for peak performance. Maintaining your fryer may seem like a daunting task, but there are a few simple steps that you can take to keep it running like new. 

    Filtering and changing your deep fryer oil is a must. 

    Fryer oil filtration prevents loose food particles from burning and ruining the flavor of your oil. Regular filtration can double the usable lifespan of your oil – saving you significantly on oil costs over time.

    The instructions below break down how and when to filter the oil in your deep fryer.

    Maintaining Built-in Filtration System

    In many commercial deep fryers, there is a built-in filtration system that makes filtering easier for the operator. Typically, these internal filtration systems are located inside the cabinet of the fryer. The system passes oil through a filter and catches particles, which can then be discarded. Refer to your operations manual for detailed instructions on how to complete the process.

    Check out our video on how to filter your fryer (insert YouTube video here)

    The advanced technology in commercial appliances can save maintenance time for your staff and keep your kitchen efficient, clean and functioning at its best.

    Mobile Filters

    If your kitchen has a fryer without built-in filtration, mobile filters are a good option.

    Portable deep fryer oil filter systems require more labor than built-in filtration systems but are quicker than manually filtering the oil. Most mobile filters are compatible with a variety of manufacturer fryers. The process involves inserting a nozzle into the fry pot. The system filters the oil and returns it to the fry pot through the same hose.

    When to Filter Oil

    Many operators think that the major cost of adding a fryer to a commercial kitchen is the fryer itself. In reality, one of the highest costs is recurring oil replacement. By filtering and maintaining good oil cleaning practices, you can reduce this cost. 

    So, when is it time to filter your frying oil? There are a few tests you can run to measure its freshness. 

    Traditionally, the color of the oil has been a key indicator of its health. Oil is typically clear with a yellowish tint. When the oil gets darker or loses its transparency, it’s time to filter it. You can also invest in inexpensive fryer oil test strips. Simply dip a test strip into the oil and get a clear reading of whether to change or filter the oil. In some, more advanced commercial fryers, there are automatic oil detection and testing components that trigger a notification when it is time for maintenance. 

    As a rule of thumb, you will want to consider filtering after each daypart. For example, if you are open for lunch and dinner, filter after each meal. This schedule will, of course, be impacted by the types and volume of food you are frying.

    Filtering and Maintaining Your Fryer Oil

    Whether you just added a new fryer to your kitchen or you’re a seasoned fryer, the most important thing you can do to maintain the best frying practices is routine maintenance. Filtering oil is one of the easiest maintenance practices and can help save your business time and money. If you have questions about your specific fryer or you are in need of assistance when it comes to oil maintenance, our team is ready to help.

    Written by Vulcan: https://www.vulcanequipment.com/.

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  4. Spiked Ice Cubes

    Spiked Ice Cubes

    If you’re looking to add to your alcohol intake without physically drinking more alcohol, you can add alcohol to your ice cubes! Spiked ice cubes are a great way to counteract dilution and to add more flavor to your drinks, all while making your drink a bit stronger!

    How to Make

    Obviously, liquor shouldn’t freeze, but if you have the right combination of water and liquor, you can transform the mixture into an ice cube. You have to add enough water to the mixture to lower the alcohol by volume (AVP). It is recommended to use between 8% and 12% ABV when making a spiked ice cube and that two-thirds of the mixture be non-alcohol based.

    Benefit

    Dilution can be a big problem if you have a patron who takes their sweet time when finishing their drink. You don’t want the flavor of the drink to be lost in the shuffle as the ice melts into your drink. Spiked ice cubes will make the drink stronger as time passes and who doesn’t want that!

    Play around when creating spiked ice cubes and find the best way to create your ice cubes so that they will perfectly complement your drink. Your drink will evolve as you sip it!

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  5. Low Calorie Cocktails

    Low Calorie Cocktails

    Trying to stick to your New Year's resolution to lose weight and don’t want to give up alcohol? We get it - you want a drink after a long week at work. We’ve got some cocktails for you that are perfect if you’re trying to stick to a diet.

    Mojito – 150 Calories

    At around 150 calories, a mojito, which consists of rum, mint, lime, and soda, is a great drink when trying to cut calories. To avoid the excess sugar in the drink ask for half the simpele syrup (the drink is sweet after all!)

    Tequila and Soda – 100 Calories

    Tequila has a lower glycemic index than other alcohols. Foods and drinks with a low glycemic index are perfect for weight loss. The soda is calorie free and it pairs well with a vegetable or fruit garnish.

    Seabreeze – 180 Calories

    If you like to drink vodka cranberries, a seabreeze is a great low calorie option for you. The grapefruit juice cuts the amount of sugar in half and adds vitamin C.

    Mudslide – 184 Calories

    Mudslide’s can sometimes resemble a creamy, milkshake, but this recipe calls for Kahlua, vodka, and Irish cream liqueur. This combination still tastes like dessert, but is relatively low in calories!

    We’re here to help you stick to your weight loss resolutions, but we still want you to enjoy yourself. You can go out and have a relaxing night with any of these drinks without wrecking your weight loss goals!

     

     

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  6. Bar Marketing Ideas

    Bar Marketing Ideas

    Bars are a popular place where people gather to socialize, talk, drink, and dance. Attracting and engaging with customers is becoming more difficult as everyone seems to be taking on the role of bar owner. To keep your bar relevant and to differentiate it from the competition, you need to change your marketing tactics. Below are some fresh marketing tactics to attract customers:

    Audience

    You need to get specific when defining your audience. Focus on exactly the type of customer that you see on a daily basis. It doesn’t make sense to try to target the super rich if you’re a local bar, or to try to appeal to the older crowd if your customers are typically college students.

    Goals

    Set realistic and measureable goals. You don’t want to set a goal with the general hope of increasing business, but with exactly what you want to achieve. For example, you might want to set a goal of doing better than your competitors or getting people to arrive earlier and leave later. These results can be measured to see if your marketing tactics are efficient.

    Sports

    If you’re a sports bar, you should tailor your sports marketing ideas to include local professional, college, and maybe even high school sports. You can name drinks after athletes and play reruns of classic games during slow sports periods. The bar can be decorated with team colors and logos.

    Beer Specials

    Hold beer tastings or promote specials for certain beers to attract customers. You can offer your customers beer from around the world for a specific time period, and hold contests for creating and naming beers.

    With so many bars popping up virtually everywhere, you need to find a way to differentiate your bar from your competitors. Get creative and have fun when brainstorming marketing ideas!

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  7. 2020 Food Trends

    2020 Food Trends

    As we enter the New Year, we expect to see some new food trends. While they can sometimes be hard to spot, if you identify them and get ahead of the trends, you’ll be sure to make your restaurant a destination for customers. Here are some of the food trends we expect in 2020:

    Beans

    Beans have worked their way into our hearts (and our stomachs) whether we were aware or not. While they might not be the most photogenic food on the market, they’re a great protein source, especially for those who have taken on the quest to make their lives healthier.

    Keto

    It seems as if this high-fat, no starch diet isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. 2019 saw the introduction of Keto-based snacks to grocery stores around the country. We anticipate seeing more and more Keto-specific snacks hitting the shelves as we head into 2020.

    Reinventing the Pantry

    People are becoming more conscious of the food they’re stocking their pantries with. With healthier options becoming more readily available, people can stock their pantry with whatever they choose.

    Veggie-Snacks

    Companies have been capitalizing on health trends and bringing forth more vegetable-centric snacks. Think: cauliflower tortilla chips – or – cauliflower anything really!

    We hope you’re as excited as we are to see the food trends that take over in 2020. We know you strive to provide the best food for your customers and your families!

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  8. Restaurant Equipment Brands

    Restaurant Equipment Brands

    Is it time for you to add or replace equipment in your restaurant’s kitchen? You want the best equipment you can get! You want to survey your options for the best equipment for your budget because you want your customers to have the best experience. Check out he list of some trusted equipment brands below:

    Cambro

    Cambro offers high-quality equipment that focus on safety and efficiency. Their best products include storage containers and smallwares.

    Vollrath

    Vollrath focuses more on professional-grade equipment. They have great options for pots and pans, and kitchen utensils

    Libbey

    Libbey is great for updating the front of your house. This brand is a leading designer in glassware and tableware for over two centuries.

    Hoshizaki

    Hoshizaki is a leader in ice machines – our favorite! They’re the world’s largest manufacturer of ice machines and related accessories, including refrigerators and freezers.

    We’re here to help you navigate the various brand options for restaurant equipment because variety can be tricky. Here are some of the brands we provide: https://www.restaurantsupply.com/brands!

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  9. New Year's Cocktails

    New Year's Cocktails

    If you haven’t caught on by now – we love to customize specialty drinks for each holiday. Here are some drinks below that you can use for any party you have for the New Year in the coming month:

    Midori Melon Ball Drop

    Whether you're sipping this drink as the ball drops in Times Square, or if you have this a few days later at a party—you’ll want this in your hand for the New Year.

    Ingredients:

    • 2 ounces melon liqueur
    • 1 ounce citrus vodka
    • ½ ounce elderflower liqueur
    • ½ juiced lemon
    • Sugar (garnish)
    • Melon ball (garnish)

    Rim a chilled glass with sugar using a lemon to wet the rim before applying the sugar. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice, citrus vodka, elderflower liqueur, and lemon juice. Shake and strain into glass and garnish with melon ball.

    The Leap Year

    This cocktail is perfect for this year considering 2020 is a leap year!

    Ingredients:

    • 2 ounces gin
    • ½ ounce sweet vermouth
    • ½ ounce orange liqueur
    • ¼ ounce lemon juice
    • Lemon twist (garnish)

    Fill a cocktail shaker with ice, gin, sweet vermouth, orange liqueur, and lemon juice and stir. Strain the mixture into a cocktail glass and garnish with the lemon twist.

    Silver Sangria

    Sangria is always a classic for any party you’re hosting, but this silver sangria adds a bright New Year’s twist.

    Ingredients:

    • 8 ounces gin
    • 750 ml bottle white wine
    • 4 ounces white grape juice
    • 4 ounces sugar
    • 4 ounces grapes (sliced)
    • 1 apple (sliced)
    • 16 ounces ginger ale

    Dissolve the sugar in the white wine, gin, and grape juice in a pitcher, and then add the grapes and apple. Chill overnight and add ice and top with ginger ale before serving.

    A holiday is a great excuse to experiment with your drink skills and alcohol combinations. New Year’s is no different and your guests will surely appreciate the extra effort you put in!

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  10. The Perfect Ice Cube

    The Perfect Ice Cube

    You’ve probably noticed (and we’ve discussed it in past blog posts) that restaurants are in pursuit of the perfect ice cube. Artisanal-ice, which is very dense, is the new trend in ice and while it might not have the best name, it can greatly improve your cocktails.

    In an ice machine, ice freezes from all directions meaning that particles and impurities are likely to get trapped in the ice. You want your ice to be as dense as possible because the more dense the ice is, the clearer it becomes and the slower it melts. The densest ice comes straight from nature because of the constant water movement.

    Whether a cocktail actually contains ice or not, a cocktail is likely to come in contact with it at some point in the creative process. This might be through shaking and stirring—and will lead to some dilution, no matter how hard you try to avoid it. As we’ve mentioned before, certain drinks call for certain ice cubes. The goal is to avoid dilution as much as possible.

    To counteract dilution after finding the perfect ice cube for your cocktail, you can infuse certain flavors or herbs into the ice so that the flavor is released when the ice begins to melt. For example, some places mix water with chili pepper juice into their ice cubes for margaritas, so that when the ice melts, the drink becomes spicier.

    Depending on the type of cocktail you’re making, the ice will differ. Large, square ice is perfect for some drinks, but small or crushed ice might be better for other drinks. Read one of our past blog posts for more information on what type of ice is best suited for certain drinks: https://www.restaurantsupply.com/blog/post/size-matters-when-dealing-with-ice/!

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