Monthly Archives: January 2015

  1. 5 Crazy Uses For Your Empura Deep Fryer

    5 Crazy Uses For Your Empura Deep Fryer

    Having an Empura deep fryer on hand opens up the possibilities for a world of culinary delights.  If you can get batter around it, then you can deep fry it, right?  We’ve gathered together a list of some of the oddest deep-fried delights for your eating pleasure.

    State fairs are the best places that you can go to find people who are pushing the boundaries in deep-fried fare.

    1. Deep fried butter can be found at the State Fair of Texas.  Who would have thought that you could take butter, wrap it with a breading and deep fry it?
    2. Deep fried beer

    If you can package the liquid, you can put it into the deep fryer.  While that’s most likely not the motto of the people who run State Fairs, it certainly should be.

    1. Deep fried samoas

    Take your traditional Girl Scout cookies and then rev it up a notch by tossing them into the deep fryer.  There’s nothing that supports the campaign to expand your waistline better than adding hundreds of calories to an already decadent treat.

    1. Deep fried picnic on a stick

    This wouldn’t have been so bad had there not been some double dipping on the chicken. This treat combines fried chicken, tater tots, and pickles on a skewer.  Then they’re breaded and deep fried.

    1. Deep fried scorpion

    Yes, scorpions. People are flocking to these in the Arizona state fair. Wonderful scorpions are taken and deep fried to absolute perfection in an Empura deep fryer, if you’re brave enough.

    If you’ve got some fair food to share or are thinking about putting some of these wonderful meals in your restaurant, we’d love to know about it.  Tell us about your Empura deep fryer adventures.

    Photo attribution

    Read more
  2. 4 Uses for Your Baker's Pride Salamander

    4 Uses for Your Baker's Pride Salamander

    The Baker’s Pride Salamander caramelizes, broils, browns, melts, and heats anything that you put within it up to amazing temperatures.  The salamander is the go-to tool of toasting chefs everywhere. Insert your hot lizard jokes here!

    How you can use the salamander

    Toasting sandwiches

    Some members of our staff are madly in love with toasted ham and swiss sandwiches on crusty French bread.  To get that light toasting and the cheese melted, it only takes a little time in the Salamander to get it just right.

    Quick and easy quesadillas

    Purists might say that quesadillas should only be cooked on the griddle, but we know for a fact that they can be crafted inside the Salamander.

    Pizza

    There’s nothing like a good slice of pizza when you’re having a lazy sort of day.  The Salamander can take your pizza and give the cheese an almost unnatural goodness while still keeping the crush fresh and delightful.  While we’d never suggest the ‘in the box’ pizza for your restaurant, it might be great for something off the clock and casual.

    Grilling steaks

    All the wonders and delights of grilled and broiled steak without the hassle of getting flames and smoke all over everywhere.  Put your steak into the Baker’s Pride Salamander and watch it go to town.  Now, we know that it’s hard to screw up good old fashioned meat, but try Salamanders; they make the steaks interesting.

    There are so many things that you can use the Salamander for in your commercial kitchen.  If you don’t have one, or your use it simply as a cheesemelter, you’re missing out on the wide range of goodies that can be subject to the lizard’s flame.

    Photo Attribution

    Read more
  3. How to Prepare for a Health Inspection pt 2

    How to Prepare for a Health Inspection pt 2

    Today, we’re continuing the conversation about preparing for a health inspection.  Yesterday, we mentioned that the first impressions of your restaurant count, that hand washing was essential, and that keeping food within proper temperatures is extremely important.

    Let’s extend the conversation today by talking about preparedness within the workplace.

    • Record keeping

    Where a lot of places fail is in the ability to have accurate records on hand to show to the inspector.  They want to make sure that you are keeping up with the guidelines, but many restaurants are woefully underprepared when their time comes

    • Test the employees

    Talk to the employees about food safety procedures and quiz them while they’re working.  Ask them if they’re keeping the right tasks and educate them if it happens that they’re not following the rules.  Health code violations are serious business.

    • Cleaning supplies

    Make sure that there are no sponges used to clean the bathroom, as sponges harbor bacteria.  Have separate wiping cloths so that cross-contamination doesn’t happen.

    It is possible for every restaurant to get an A on their health inspection.  All it takes is having the right restaurant supplies on hand and a willingness to make sure that you are providing the best to your customers.

    Photo attribution

    Read more
  4. How to Prepare for a Health Inspection

    How to Prepare for a Health Inspection

    Food safety procedures are part and parcel of the restaurant game.  Your customers must be confident that they won’t become ill upon eating your tasty treats.  One way to ensure that your restaurant is upholding its end of the bargain is to have regular health inspections.

    Health inspections aren’t scheduled, which means that your restaurant needs to be prepared at any time.  One thing that more proactive restaurants do is have mock inspections where the restaurant is inspected by the managers.

    How to you prepare for a health inspection?

    Preparing for a health inspection is much like being prepared for a pop quiz in school.  Having the general information will help you do well, but being spot on will help you do even better.

    • First impressions count

    While the health inspector is more concerned about what’s going on in the kitchen, it’s still quite important to get their perspective of the restaurant as they’re walking in.  As restaurant owners and managers, we get very tunnelvisioned, and the outside perspective will do people good.

    • Talk about hand washing

    When it comes to food safety, hand washing is one of the easiest ways to eliminate the germs which can develop on our hands.  Following that up with a sanitizer adds a little extra insurance.

    • Temperatures

    When you read about health inspection violations from any city, some of the most common violations that you’ll see revolve around improper temperatures.  These types of issues are sometimes tricky to solve, as they require repairs, but are definitely solvable.

    We’ll talk a little more about preparing for health inspections in our post tomorrow, where we’ll talk about what you can do as well as offering up some resources.  Stay tuned.

    Photo Attribution

    Read more
  5. Pros and Cons of Non-Tipping Restaurant

    Pros and Cons of Non-Tipping Restaurant

    Just because it’s been done since the inception of the industry doesn’t mean that the system is right, just, or equitable.  Every American restaurant-goer has been trained to treat the tip as part of every restaurant meal, but there’s at least one restaurant who’s changing the system.

    A restaurant in Philly, the Girard Brasserie and Bruncherie, has given up the tip system to treat all of their employees like office workers. People are given a reasonable hourly wage, health insurance, sick time, and vacation days.

    The system that’s in place right now has tipped worker’s wages set at $2.13 an hour, a figure which hasn’t changed in over 25 years.  When the restaurant kept track of the tips, they found their average worker was paid around $8.25 an hour.

    There are pros and cons to the system.

    Pros:

    • On ‘off’ days, workers are still guaranteed a reasonable wage.  Getting people to work days and nights in this restaurant might not be like pulling teeth.
    • Health insurance was previously not offered to tipped employees.  Having health insurance available keeps workers healthy and able to work.
    • Paid sick leave wasn’t offered to tipped employees.  Now workers don’t have to fear as much loss if they’re sick.

    Cons:

    • Tipped employees have the potential to make quite a lot more than the state mandated wage.  At the more expensive restaurants, the mandatory 10-20% can yield up to $20-30 an hour for a busy night.
    • The prices of dishes at this restaurant have been changed to reflect the offering of health insurance, paid sick days, and vacation time.

    When running a restaurant, there are several factors to consider, including restaurant supplies, labor costs, and more.  The jury’s still out on whether this system will take hold and revolutionize the industry, but it seems to be working out well.

    No-Tip Restaurant Offers Food For Thought On Pay, Benefits

    Photo Attribution

    Read more
  6. What is Trussing?

    What is Trussing?

    Have you ever had to truss a bird before cooking it? At Restaurant Supply, we sell skewers for this purpose, but do you know why it’s important to truss a bird? You’re about to find out.

    Trussing is a cooking technique for birds that serves several functions. It seals the cavity of the bird tight and helps it keep its shape during cooking. Trussing also gives the bird an attractive shape for serving, and it is also easier to carve. Properly trussed birds will also cook faster since all the parts of the chicken are bound tight together. Most of the time people truss birds to keep stuffing from drying out. By sealing the cavity, the steam generated by the bird remains trapped inside. When done well it can cause the skin of the bird to puff out which looks very attractive.

    The two main methods of trussing are skewers and string. Most restaurants use skewers because they are reusable. There’s no advantage to using one over the other, and often a cook will use both methods for different parts of the bird. To truss a bird using metal skewers, here’s how to do it.

    The first thing to do is clean the bird thoroughly and pat dry. Stuff the bird or apply an herb rub to the cavity now if you plan on doing so. Turn the chicken with the breast upward and pull the wings up over the neck skin toward the back and tuck them under the shoulder of the bird. Next, fold the skin of the neck over the opening and secure it with a skewer. Do this by threading it back and forth through the skin several times as if you were doing a running stitch. Finally, push the legs close to the body and tuck in any extra skin between the thigh and the breast, then cross the ends of the legs together and put a skewer through to hold it.

    If the wings are locked behind the shoulders, the cavity is shut tight by one or more skewers, and the legs are tucked closed to the body and skewered together, you’ve successfully trussed your turkey. After cooking, use extreme care in removing the metal skewers, as they will be quite hot.

    For presentation, this looks great when you’re bringing it to the table for perhaps a down-home family meal or an Asian inspired whole duck.  With the right trussing, you can turn the experience into even more of a delightful affair.

    Photo Attribution

    Read more
  7. Is Your Menu In Compliance?

    Is Your Menu In Compliance?

    Consumers are savvier with their food these days.  Long gone are the days where the chef could go, ‘just eat, you’ll be fine,’ and the patrons were forced to accept that as the answer. Now we need ingredient lists and nutritional information. The FDA just passed new menu labeling requirements which might affect your establishment.

    Who’s affected by the regulations?

    If you’ve got 20 or more locations that operate under the same name with the same menu, then you’re affected.  If you’re a small restaurant, say, a mom and pop restaurant, you’re able to voluntarily comply.  This also applies to convenience store foods.

    What do you need to do?

    There are four things which need to be done: (quoted directly from this article in Restaurant.org):

    • Display calories clearly and prominently on menus, menu boards and drive-thru displays for standard menu items. Calorie information must be displayed on signs near menu items in the case of self-service, buffet and cafeteria lines.
    • Make other nutrition information available in writing on request. Additional information includes data on calories from fat, total fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, sodium, total carbohydrates, sugars, dietary fiber and protein.
    • Include a menu notice advising guests that further written nutrition data is available on request for standard menu items.
    • Include a succinct statement on the menu advising guests how calories fit into a recommended daily diet.

    For more information regarding compliance and which menu items are covered, take a look at the NRA’s take on these regulations at Restaurant.org.

    Read more
  8. Food Safety Tips for Caterers

    Food Safety Tips for Caterers

    Caterers prepare food off-site and bring it to the venue. Cleanliness and proper food standards are of the utmost importance. A caterer’s reputation is on the line even moreso than at a brick and mortar restaurant, since there are many more opportunities for bacterial infection during transport.  Here are some tips for caterers to be consistent with food safety standards.

    Wash your hands often

    Washing your hands is one of the best ways to keep the germs away.  By using an antibacterial soap, germs on the hand don’t automatically travel over to the food that is being prepared.  Usually, standard sinks can be found in the restrooms of the event.

    Keep the ice separate

    The ice that goes into the drinks should not be the same ice that is used to chill the drinks in the first place.  The ice should be kept separate, with separate scoops, as germs and other bacteria can introduce itself through the partygoers’ hands.

    Cook it to the right temperature

    Just because it’s a catered event does not mean that there should be any skimping in cooking the food to the required temperature.  If you’re reheating from being offsite, make sure that the temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

    Use those Insulated Food Carriers

    Keep the hot foods hot and the cold foods cold by transporting the food in insulated carriers.  If you’re lucky enough to have a truck with appropriate tie-downs, there are also food and beverage carts which will keep your food hot and cold as necessary.

    Have dishwashing available

    Keeping foodstuff on the plates and then carrying it back to the kitchen with you is not only unsanitary, but it provides a haven for contamination and bacteria to make their way into your vehicle.  Arrange for dishwashing facilities so that you can wash your dishes at the event.

    Making sure that there are proper food transportation and safety measures in place will help your catering business rise to the top.

    Read more
  9. 6 Reasons Why Your Awesome Restaurant Needs a Website

    6 Reasons Why Your Awesome Restaurant Needs a Website

    While there are many restaurant chains that are getting it right, we’re still in love with local restaurants.  There’s something magical about that little deli that serves some of the best latkes in the world, or that mom and pop smokehouse that serves the best barbeque in the U.S.  We wonder, though, why many great restaurants don’t have good websites. Why should a restaurant have one?

    Websites incite imagination.  Through that imagination, people are drawn to the restaurant like zombies to brains.  They can’t help themselves when they see those mouthwatering ribs, those delicate soups, or even the tantalizing milkshakes.  Their yearning turns to dollars.

    Websites drive conversation.  With a website, a restaurant has the ability to put their opinions into the world.  Does the chef believe that kale is the source of all goodness?  Websites are an excellent place to put this information.

    Websites sell products.  From a California BBQ franchise to a global tasting experience in Montana, websites can be used to open new revenue streams for the restaurant, and turn the place from a local hangout to a global destination.   If the parts for world domination are already in place, why not take it to the next level?

    Websites tell stories.  People love stories.  They want to know how the restaurant was a dream of the owners, how it was founded on a few dollars and a brand new convection oven, or began as a passion.  Stories sell.

    Websites inform diners.  Yelp, Urbanspoon, and other review sites might not tell the full story.  If a restaurant, for example, changes menus daily, the website gives a place to post that new menu.  It is also a haven to talk about neat stuff within the restaurant.

    Websites improve traffic.  A website helps more people more easily find a restaurant.  So many people are searching online for a good dining experience. If you don’t have a website, you’re missing out on a golden opportunity to get attention.

    A website can prove to be a valuable weapon in the war for diner’s money.  A well-designed website stands out when pitted against a poor website or no website at all.  The website is one component in the quest for a restaurant’s online domination.

    Read more
  10. The Nemco Easy Tuna Press Does it All

    The Nemco Easy Tuna Press Does it All

    If you go through a lot of tuna, you know it can be a messy job draining all those cans. Nemco has an Easy Tuna Press for draining tuna cans quickly and with minimal mess. We imagine that this would work also very well with the other canned food that has lots of water contained inside.

    Why use a tuna press? The press drives out more water than just draining the can. Less water in the tuna means that your dish will be less soggy. Soggy bread with a tuna salad sandwich has never been fun, and extra water can also ruin other dishes as well. It’s easy to add water if there’s too little, but once a dish is made it’s hard to get out!

    Now, the device does looks like a kind of medieval torture device, but we assure you that it’s much better used for pressing tuna rather than anything nefarious.  The only creatures that truly hate the easy tuna press are cat, only because the juice lands in the sink.

    How does it work?

    • Take the 12 pound press and put it onto the side of the sink.  Turn the crank until it’s all the way up.
    • Take an open can of tuna and pour out the water while holding the lid in place.
    • Keep holding the lid and turn the can over, putting the open side onto the base of the press.
    • This is the fun part.  Turn the crank clockwise until the press is snug against the can and it takes a bit of effort to turn the crank.
    • Wait until the water finishes draining, then push the crank a slight bit further to get the last bits before releasing the pressure.
    • Drag the can off of the base, turning the machine right side up and making sure that your hands are covering the lid.

    Once the tuna is out of the can, you’re all set to make sandwiches, salad, or other tasty treats with your canned tuna.

    Read more
Page