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Monthly Archives: December 2019

  1. 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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  2. Ring in the New Year at your Restaurant!

    Ring in the New Year at your Restaurant!

    Feeling blue now that Christmas is over? Think about keeping the party going and ringing in the New Year at your restaurant! Get ready to pull out all the bells and whistles to make this party a memorable way to celebrate the arrival of 2020. Below are some tips to pulling off a great New Year’s Eve Party:

    Party Ideas

    There are a variety of themes you can go with for the party. Fancy? Glow sticks? Decade party? You might want to give your customers a chance to dress up elegantly or to celebrate a past decade in honor of entering a new one! Get creative with your ideas and once you pick a theme--stick to it!

    Entertainment

    Once you decide on a theme, you have to decide how you can best entertain your guests. The music you choose is a game changer and can definitely make or break your party. Bring in a photo booth for the party to allow guests the opportunity to take pictures and remember they spent New Year’s Eve 2020 at your restaurant!

    Promotion

    A New Year’s party is no fun if no one attends! Use your social media to promote the party. Think about making a Facebook event or starting a hashtag that is unique to the party. Advertise in your restaurant and maybe even send out invites (if you have a loyalty program, send an e-vite to those enrolled in the program!).

    Party Supplies

    Create a limited menu and stock up so you don’t run out of anything! Have your bartenders create some New Year’s themed cocktails and hors d’oeuvres for your guests.

    Use the holiday season to your advantage and throw a party at your restaurant to bring in the New Year. No one wants to be lonely on New Year’s Eve—you’ll find that people will come for the company. After the party is over…sit back, relax, and reflect on 2019 and what a success your party was!

     

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  3. Patio Heaters

    Patio Heaters

    Brr…the cold is here and it isn’t leaving for a couple of months! You might feel a little sad about the fact that you closed your patio up and put all the furniture away, and maybe even saw a decline in profits, but instead of completely closing up your patio for the winter months, you should invest in some patio heaters. Here are a couple different patio heaters that might suit the needs of your restaurant and keep your patio going year round:

    Ambiance Heaters

    Ambiance heaters bring you the comfort of what looks like a roaring fire with no need to refuel the fire with wood or fuel. These heaters also have built in safety features that ensure the safety of your customers and employees. This heater will definitely help you attract those looking for a romantic date night.

    Sunglo Heaters

    There are four basic Sunglo models to choose from that you can pick to fit your restaurant's direct needs. If you have a small patio, you can choose a heater that hangs from the ceiling so you can maximize floor space.

    Infratech Heaters

    These heaters are great if you want your customers to feel the warmth, but not be able to see the heat source. Infratech heaters are energy efficient and are offered in a variety of models to fit your restaurant’s needs.

    Patio space is so valuable for a restaurant and patio heaters can help you keep it open year round and maximize your profits. Check out the heat lamps we have available for purchase on our website: https://www.restaurantsupply.com/commercial-patio-heaters!

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  4. Promoting the Holidays

    Promoting the Holidays

    Use the holiday season as an excuse to market your restaurant and everything it has to offer. Here are some tips to market your restaurant during the holidays and attract as many customers as possible:

    Send Holiday Cards

    Sending your customers a card in the mail shows that you care about them and appreciate them giving you business. Send a card with an appetizing picture of your favorite dishes with a classic holiday greeting. You can also include a special offer or coupon with the card.

    Holiday Specials

    Offer holiday themed drinks and food to your guests (we’ve talked about quite a few great holiday cocktails and entrees to add to your menu in past blogs!). People love traditions—so add some traditional holiday items to your menu, but make sure to stick to the overall theme of your restaurant!

    Promote Gift Card Sales

    Make sure to remind people that your gift cards are a great holiday gift! Offer customers an extra incentive to purchase a gift card and let them know it’s worth their while (ex. free $10 gift card with purchase of a $50 gift card).

    Give Back to the Community

    The spirit of giving is in the air! Customers might be more willing to visit your restaurant if they know you’re giving back to those that need it, especially around the holiday season.

    Capitalize off of the holiday season and focus your marketing efforts around giving back to your customers and those that have supported your business. Be creative and always stay true to your brand!

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  5. Christmas Cocktails

    Christmas Cocktails

    Are you getting into the holiday spirit at your restaurant, or are you hosting Christmas? You probably have last minute shopping and errands to run, but Christmas is a week away, so get going on finalizing your Christmas menu! Check out these Christmas cocktails that are sure to impress your guests below:

    White Christmas Martini

    Ingredients:

    • 2 ounces vanilla vodka
    • 2 ounce white chocolate liqueur
    • 1 ounce white crème cacao
    • 1 ounce half-and-half
    • Honey and coarse sanding sugar for garnish

    Pour honey into a shallow dish and put the sanding sugar in another dish. Coat the rim of your glass with honey and dip the rim in sugar. In a shaker, add the vodka, white chocolate liqueur, crème de cacao, and half-and-half. Shake and put into martini glass.

    White Chocolate Peppermint Martini

    Ingredients:

    • 5 ounces white chocolate liqueur
    • 5 ounces vanilla vodka
    • 1 ounce crème de cacao
    • 1 ounce half-and-half
    • .5 ounces peppermint schnapps
    • White chocolate syrup and crushed peppermints for garnish

    Rim the edge of your glass with white chocolate syrup and crushed peppermint, then add the white chocolate liqueur, vanilla vodka, crème de cacao, half-and-half, and peppermint schnapps to shaker with ice. Shake and put into garnished glass.

    Cherry Almond Cocktail

    Ingredients:

    • 1 ounce cherry brandy
    • 1 ounce amaretto
    • 2 ounces half-and-half
    • Dipped cherries for garnish

    Add liqueurs to glass filled with ice and top with half-and-half, then stir to mix and garnish with a chocolate dipped cherry.

    Everyone loves an excuse to drink and the holidays are no different. Shake up your favorite drinks by adding a holiday spin and your guests will appreciate the extra effort!

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  6. Kitchen Must Haves

    Kitchen Must Haves

    If you’re looking to open your own restaurant, there are must have items for your kitchen that you don’t want to forget. Without these items, your kitchen won’t be able to function properly. Your restaurant can have the perfect location, a great marketing plan, and a great team, but without the items on the checklist below, you won’t be able to deliver the best experience to your customers.

    Refrigerators and Freezers

    While having these units in your restaurant kitchen might seem obvious, you want to have the right types that fit the needs of your restaurant. Look back at our previous blogs for a more in depth explanation on refrigerators and freezers, but you need to research and decide if your restaurant demands a reach in or walk in refrigerator/freezer (whichever fits your needs!).

    Slicers

    If you’re going to be preparing tons of meat, cheese, or other items that need to be sliced with precision, you should purchase a slicer. Infrequent slicing can be done manually, but if you’re looking for precision, an electric slicer is the way to go! Electric slicers save you time and labor.

    Safety Equipment

    Housing proper safety equipment in your kitchen might fall on the backburner (no pun intended), but it’s extremely important! Check with the local safety guidelines before you purchase any safety equipment because you don’t want to waste your money on equipment that isn’t within regulation. Fire extinguishers are one of the most important pieces of equipment to have!

    Some of the items on the checklist above might be obvious, but sometimes the stress, time, and labor that go into running a business will leave you forgetting about small details.

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  7. 2020 Cocktail Trends

    2020 Cocktail Trends

    As we’ve discussed in the past, cocktails are ever evolving and as we approach the new year, there are several new trends that have popped up. We can’t exactly predict what exactly 2020 will bring, but we can speculate about some things that are becoming popular as we move into the new year. Here are some trends coming your way for 2020:

    Shake up the Ice

    People are taking notice that certain ice forms should be used for specific drinks. Dilution matters for a great drink and the type of ice cube you use can make or break your drink. Check out some of our old blog posts to see what ice shapes to use for certain drinks.

    Simplicity

    The age old saying that simple is better does apply in some situations. Cocktails have grown to be complex, but sometimes, just because you're keeping a cocktail simple doesn’t mean you're taking away from how delicious it is. This will save you money and increase your preparation speed!

    More Gin

    More gin-based drinks are coming! Gin has become very popular in cocktails and bartenders are using it more because they are working with more and more farmers and using plant-based garnishes and sides that pair well with gin.

    2020 is going to be a year full of change for cocktails not only in flavor and taste, but in the amount of time it takes to prepare a cocktail and the ingredients used. We look forward to seeing these trends in 2020!

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  8. Taste and Smell

    Taste and Smell

    If taste and smell didn’t exist…well you would probably be out of business! But since the stars aligned and we were given the privilege of taste and smell, let’s rejoice and learn a little bit more about the science behind it. I’m sure you’ve noticed that sometimes when you have a cold, you can’t taste or smell, or have very limited taste. How come?

    First, let’s explore how taste works. The taste buds on your tongue detect five categories: sweet, spicy, bitter, sour, and umami, and everyone has between 5,000 and 10,000 taste buds. Each taste bud has special sensory cells that, when stimulated, send messages to the brain to identify which flavor is being detected. The sensation of detecting a flavor is actually a combination of smell and taste because when you chew, you force air through your nasal passage in order to breathe. The proteins in the hair in your nose send the messages to the brain that help us identify flavors.

    So, is smell or taste more important? The answer is a combination of both. Scents can trigger food memories and trigger a food decision, so if your food smells bad (we hope it doesn’t!), people are more likely to not try that food. Many bakeries use vents to pump the oven scents to the front room where customers are ordering because the smell encourages people to impulse buy whatever food item they smell.

    Keep in mind a combination of taste and smell is the best way to enhance a customer’s experience! This combination will hopefully establish a food memory that can be triggered just by walking into your restaurant and smelling or tasting your food, and keep customers visiting time and time again.

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  9. The Season is the Reason!

    The Season is the Reason!

    The holidays are a time to show the ones you depend on that you care about them. Don’t forget your employees! The holidays are the perfect excuse to throw a holiday party for your employees to show them just how much you appreciate all they do for you. You offer delicious food to your customers—why not offer some of that great food to your employees? When throwing a holiday party for your employees, here are some things to keep in mind:

    Alcohol

    You don’t have to have alcohol at your party if you’re worried it will get out of control or if you have underage employees. Alcohol is one of the easiest ways to rack up the bill for a party without even realizing it! If you choose not to include alcohol at your party, use those funds to invest in a band, prizes, or something else your employees will enjoy. You can also experiment with some holiday mocktails.

    Food

    Remember, this party is for your staff, so you don’t want them contributing even if they’re used to making the food. You can have it catered, or if you’re thinking about your budget, you can make the party into a potluck where everyone brings a dish. However, if you have a small team, you should consider having your head staff cook for the rest of the employees.

    Schedule

    Finding a time that works for all your employees when you work in the restaurant industry can be tough. Try to schedule the party on a day that the restaurant is closed, otherwise you’ll run into the problem of rewarding your staff with a party, only for some to have to work. Pick a day for the party earlier in December because as it gets closer to the end of the month, people’s schedules get busier.

    You should always be letting your employees know that you appreciate them, but what better way than to use the holidays as an excuse? We all love a good holiday party, so use the holiday season as a reason to show your appreciation!

     

     

     

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  10. Wine, Wine, and More Wine!

    Wine, Wine, and More Wine!

    People love their wine, so running a wine program might be beneficial for you! Wine is food and you should choose the wines you provide to your guests very carefully. People appreciate fine food (and fine wine!), and will have an elevated experience if you pair your wines correctly. Here are some tips for running a wine program at your restaurant:

    Consider the Food

    You need to consider what food is on your menu. Certain wines pair well with certain foods, while others do not. You don’t want to offer wine that doesn’t complement your food!

    Customers

    You want to choose wines on your menu depending on the type of customer you are planning to serve. You want to be able to serve wine to people who are willing to take risks and try something new, but you also need to be able to offer more mainstream options to those who are less experienced diners.

    Level of Service

    The wine you choose to have on hand to serve to customers depends on the type of experience you want to provide you customer. A fine-dining experience means your customers will expect a larger selection with lots of depth, while a more casual dinining experience means less expectation about the type of wine you're serving.

    Even fast, casual restaurants are jumping into the wine game with wine on tap. A wine program can do wonders for your bottom-line and can differentiate your restaurant from its competitors. 

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