Monthly Archives: September 2015

  1. Sandwich Shop Switches to Soda

    Sandwich Shop Switches to Soda

    When you’ve got a passion, there’s nothing that stands in your way, and Bill King has a passion. He had a thriving sandwich shop, (which we hope was stocked with True Deli cases) that he recently shut down in favor of more liquid passion: soda.

    Chances are, it started as an experiment. He decided to make a little soda for his sub and ice cream shop. That love of soda evolved to the point where those sodas were the “main reason why people came to the store.” It was only natural that he would take the next step and shift his business focus into that.

    Now, Mr. King is looking for a permanent residence for his burgeoning soda empire. His company, Doggone Good Soda, makes sarsaparilla, strawberry, grape, red currant, and plenty of other sodas for consumption. He’s also able to create private label soda so that others can get into the soda game.

    Giving up the True deli cases isn’t all bad. Mr. King is following his passion, looking for ways to sell his soda to the market. He’s got these sodas at specialty retailers and online, and they’re catching on with the others in his field. Does your restaurant have Doggone Good Soda in it?

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  2. Fried Food at the Texas State Fair

    Fried Food at the Texas State Fair

    Regardless of the push for good, clean, healthy food, we still love the fried food. In fact, we’re kind of jealous of those folks who are getting to go to the Texas State Fair and see the Star Countertop Fryers in action. There’s a huge selection of fried foods there – both old and new favorites are there.

    It definitely doesn’t taste like chicken! We’re talking about the fried alligator. You can have that mixed with some jalapenos, onions, and garlic. Put that with cheese and a delightful remoulade, and you’re all good to go.

    How about the carrot cake that gets breaded in some wonderful ingredients and then deep fried? Yes, you can have that too. That, and add in a little deep-fried peach action, and you’ve got it made.

    One of the newest addition is the beer-battered buffalo. This dish has a bit of pepper, Corn Nuts, and some of the best beer-battering beer ever. It has a bit of bacon dust, and some chipotle dipping sauce. In other words, this is something that will make any Star Countertop Fryer proud.

    Then, well, there’s bacon. There’s the bacon margarita, so there’s definitely something deep fried in the mix. Have a bit of the margarita with any one of the deep fried bites, and while you might gain weight, you’ll do it with a smile on your face.

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  3. Independent Convenience Stores Hold Treasure

    Independent Convenience Stores Hold Treasure

    Once upon a time, there were a lot more individual convenience stores. These would have gas and treats, but the makeup of the store was anyone’s guess. It was a pleasure to rifle through the row upon row of display refrigerators, finding just that one obscure soda that nobody else in the city had.

    We’ve made our way to chain convenience stores now where everybody gets the same brand of display refrigerators, and there are no crazy things hiding in the back, no obscure items that the owner just wanted to try on a whim. It’s all regulated now, we could say. There are still some holdouts, however.

    So, as you’re driving along and you notice this little rustic mom and pop convenience store, take a moment to stop in and investigate. You might be treated to the owner’s love of pickled pig’s feet and pork rinds. You might also find that they have an extensive supply of soda that isn’t necessarily run of the mill.

    There’s really no telling. What we can tell you, though, is that these convenience stores and gas stations are some of the things which make up the heartland of America, the ‘something special’ that makes traveling to a place so wonderful.

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  4. Golden Chain Award Winners Share Their Secrets

    Golden Chain Award Winners Share Their Secrets

    How do some of the biggest and longest-lived restaurant change stay relevant over time? By listening to their franchisees and their customers. At the MUFSO conference, the CEOs of DineEquity, Denny's, International Dairy Queen, Panda Restaurant Group, and Wingstop Restaurants all won the Golden Chain award and gave a talk about why they were so successful.

    They attribute their success to actively listening to customers, employees, and franchisees, and articulating their brand values. For instance, Dairy Queen used to only serve ice cream, but they spread into burgers and other cooked items due to customer demand. Denny's is updating their menus and operations to cater more to millenials, despite Denny's reputation as a place that older Americans like to dine.

    Denny's in particular has backed social causes. At one point in their history they stopped caring about their social responsibility and it hit their bottom line. When they got a new CEO and addressed the problem and asked their franchisees and customers what their biggest concern was. The answer was hunger relief, so they've backed hunger charities like No Kid Hungry as their way of giving back to the community.

    Regardless of whether you're frying things in an Empura deep fryer, or using a soft serve machine to turn out frozen yogurt, all restaurants have to listen to the people they interact with in order to deliver the best restaurant experience they can. The winners of the Golden Chain award exemplify that.

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  5. Drake Opens New Restaurant Called Frings

    Drake Opens New Restaurant Called Frings

    We talked a little bit earlier about the rush of opening your own restaurant. It’s not something that’s limited to the people who can’t seem to get out of the kitchen. No, celebrities also get into the restaurant business, using their name as the investment. The latest celebrity to have purchased restaurant equipment is Drake with his place Frings.

    Serve French fries and onion rings together and you have frings. These two make a wonderful combination – we have definitely felt the weight of indecision for which delicacy that we want out of the Empura deep fryer. It’s no wonder that this has gained some push, as the concept of frings has been around for quite a while, started by the Harvey’s chain in Canada.

    Drake’s newest restaurant opened in Canada, complete with a star studded sendoff. Jada Pinkett-Smith and Jaden Smith were in attendance, along with Serena Williams. We hope, like we always do, that the restaurant itself experiences long lasting success.

    Have you thought about taking your own success one step further by opening a restaurant? There’s frankly something quite alluring about having a grand place where people can eat and enjoy the company of their friends and neighbors. Who do you think will be next to join the restaurant business?

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  6. The Beauty of Rotisserie Chicken

    The Beauty of Rotisserie Chicken

    A healthy choice to offer diners and customers is the rotisserie chicken. The concept goes back to the old days, back when people would cook things over a fire – it was discovered that if you rotated the meat near the fire, you’d get a crisp, tasty outer skin and moist delicious insides. As we’ve progressed, there was the distinct realization that we can’t have open fires in grocery stores.

    Instead, we’ve substituted the open fires in grocery stores with rotisserie ovens. The great part about these is that you’re not confined to a single bird roasted by Ogg on a spit. Instead, with enough planning, a chef can set 20 birds or more to rotate on separately revolving spits around a heating element.

    Down below, there’s a giant drip tray to catch the grease and oil that falls off of the birds, and we imagine that when there’s 20 going, that’s quite a sight! Ask anyone who runs the rotisserie oven over at your favorite grocery store and we imagine that they can tell you some stories.

    All told, though, it’s amazing to see a whole lot of rotisserie birds laid out at the local supermarket. Seeing each one of them in their cardboard boxes is a testament to the marvel of science. We’ve come a long way from Ogg the Caveman.

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  7. Dunkin Donuts Dipping into Mobile Delivery

    Dunkin Donuts Dipping into Mobile Delivery

    Imagine… you wake up and start your morning routine and think that you’d really like some donuts and coffee. The time is coming soon when you can have these delivered to your door, as Dunkin Donuts may join restaurants offering delivery service. And, considering that Dunkin Donuts also has sandwiches and other items, it can be a hit throughout the day, delivering to homes and offices alike.

    The growth that the foodservice industry has seen in mobile apps and other arenas makes delivery something which is a necessity for restaurants. It can mean the tipping point between going to one place over another. If you can get something that you crave delivered to your home or office, that convenience can be priceless.

    Well, not necessarily priceless. Having coffee delivered from the Bunn Coffee Makers at Dunkin Donuts will cost between $1.99 and $5 to Tapingo. The amount varies by city, but there are times when paying that delivery fee is well worth it. Here’s hoping that they offer that service in the morning so that those ‘morning people’ out there can get their cup of joe.

    What do you think about the idea of delivery coffee and donuts from Dunkin Donuts? We’d love to know more about it in the comments.

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  8. The Feeling of Opening a New Restaurant

    The Feeling of Opening a New Restaurant

    It’s been a few years since we were last in college, but we remember the thrill of getting the notebooks and getting everything set up for the coming attraction. Opening a new restaurant gives that same giddy feeling: dreaming of the menu, installing restaurant equipment, hiring new employees… it’s that flurry of action that makes it so exhilarating.

    Do you have the tables and chairs? Do you have enough restaurant smallwares? Have you done a trial run to make sure that you have all of the counter space that you need? Only experience will tell if you got the right Empura Gas Fryer for your needs, but just getting it in the first place can give you a boost of confidence.

    You can make that giddy feeling last a lifetime when you keep everything clean and you know that your customers are satisfied with your food. Treating people right and to good meals is a calling for some, and opening that first restaurant, whether you’re looking at a deli or a buffet or a fine dining location, is an amazing feat.

    So, like going to college, opening a restaurant can be one of the biggest thrills of the year. And, like any good college experience, make sure that you’re prepared for it, and you will be rewarded with great memories.

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  9. Bear Takes a Nap in a Restaurant

    Bear Takes a Nap in a Restaurant

    Tell us if you’ve heard this one before. A bear walks into a restaurant, eats some cinnamon bread icing, and then curls up to sleep on a shelf. People were confused when someone busy cooking at the commercial range yelled ‘bear’ and encouraged everyone to escape from their new fuzzy friend.

    Police officers were called and the wildlife rescue team came to the aid of the people who were working in the restaurant. The bear was taken out of the restaurant unharmed, though he was a bit malnourished and injured a little bit. He was merely looking for a good nap in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

    You can prepare for nearly anything that happens in your restaurant by having the right restaurant equipment on hand, but there’s very little which will prepare people for the spotting of a bear on the shelf. One assumes that the makeshift bed was just right for the cub.

    What’s the craziest thing that you’ve had happen within your restaurant? Have you had any interesting animal encounters that you’d like to talk about? Maybe an animal came into the back room? Perhaps you’ve had some close encounters with weird folks? We’d love to read about it in the comments.

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  10. How do you like your Fries?

    How do you like your Fries?

    Everywhere across the country, small groups of people get together in restaurants and coffee shops across the country to do business networking. We’ve been to some of these meetings, assuming that you’re most likely to purchase restaurant equipment from someone you trust. Usually, the places that we meet are local  so we can have a face-to-face meeting with the owner.

    One of the places which had this meeting around us was a burger place. These burgers were crafted by hand, and they understood what rare meant (many chefs have the *theory* of rare, but their execution might need a little work). Their flavorful rare burgers were something to behold, but the real star of the show, what kept people coming back, were the fries.

    We can always admire a restaurant that cuts their own fries using a heavy duty potato fry cutter. Honestly, these guys go through a LOT of potatoes every day, too. For an individual restaurant, they must have gone through at least 50 pounds of potatoes a day, each one of those put through new fry oil and put into one of those American Metalcraft conical baskets. Seriously, a lot of fries.

    When we were there, you’d have the choice between sweet potatoes and regular potatoes. It didn’t make a difference in which one you went for, either – they were both astoundingly good. Good food is the key to a good restaurant. Where were you served the best fries?

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