Katharine Kluger

  1. Ice, Ice, Baby...

    Ice, Ice, Baby...

    Ice, more often than not, has a notoriously bad reputation at restaurants. But, no matter what you do, ice is essential to your restaurant and not just for drinks, but surprisingly also for cooking operations. 

    Ice in Displays

    It’s no surprise that most beverages are served with ice (and the ice cube matters too—check back on past blog posts for more on that), but using ice as part of displays in your restaurant is a way to catch the attention of your customers. Especially in seafood-based restaurants, displaying seafood on ice is a great way to show your customers that your food is fresh and it’s visually appealing. Ice can also be on display in salad bars to keep everything fresh.

    Cooking With Ice

    Using ice when cooking is more common than you might think and adds great benefits to your food. Ice can be used for storing food and cooling blanched (removing skin from certain foods) vegetables. Cooling vegetables in ice makes them crunchy and crisp and preserves color and texture. This is perfect when serving vegetable dishes to your customers. Ice can also protect the flavor of a sauce and introduce air to certain drinks. Emulsion is also popular when cooking. Basically, you use ice to help combine liquids that normally wouldn’t mix together (oil and water, etc.).

    Ice can be used for exponentially more than just chilling a drink and will make the quality of your food and ultimately your restaurant better and more sophisticated.

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  2. What Oven is Right for Your Restaurant?

    What Oven is Right for Your Restaurant?

    Picking the right oven for your restaurant is the key to running a successful restaurant and there are so many to choose from that you might feel overwhelmed. The first thing to know that might make your search easier is to ignore residential ovens that you would find in someone’s home and focus on commercial ovens. Residential ovens are only designed to be used 1-2 times a day, while commercial ovens are more durable and meant to be used multiple times a day. Two commercial ovens that we’ll focus on are standard ovens and convection ovens:

    Standard Ovens

    These are the most common and simple type of commercial ovens. Standard ovens produce heat at the bottom of the oven that radiates upwards and can cook almost any recipe that you want. These ovens are also the least expensive and are extremely easy to repair. However, the only thing to watch for with standard ovens is they don’t always cook food evenly if the temperature is not set right.

    Convection Ovens

    These ovens are similar to standard ovens, except that they circulate air through fans in the oven. Because of the fans in the oven, food is generally cooked faster and cooked consistently. The circulation of the air prevents cold or hot spots when cooking the food.

    There are many types of ovens that have a multitude of different functions, which can make the search for the perfect oven very time consuming. Buying the wrong oven equipment for your restaurant can be detrimental to your business so research ahead of time is essential. We sell any type of oven that you can imagine at this link: https://www.restaurantsupply.com/commercial-ovens

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  3. Elevating your Patio

    Elevating your Patio

    As soon as the weather turns warmer, people flock to your patio in search of enjoying the warm summer sun with some great food. Patios allow more people to enjoy your restaurant and in many cases have been known to increase profits. Here are some tips to maximize your outdoor space!

    Offer Live Music Outside 

    Live bands are a great way to draw people to your restaurant and outdoor patios offer the ample space to do that. Creating a timeline ahead of the summer season is always a bonus and gives you sufficient time for marketing efforts and to book live music in advance. 

    Outdoor Bar

    Obviously, you can shuttle drinks in and out of the restaurant to your customers on the patio, but having an additional bar outside can be a big plus. An outside bar allows for customers to easily order drinks for themselves and help your employees cut down on the time it takes for them to get the drink to the customer. 

    New Seasonal Menu

    A seasonal menu gives variety to the food you’re offering at your restaurant and draws people in who want to experience new plates. You can highlight local produce on the menu that customers have seen at local farmers markets. You can also customize the menu to include summer favorites and ditch the hot soups that wouldn’t be enjoyable on the heat of a patio.

    Outdoor patios not only add more space to seat your customers, but they also come with the ability to customize menu options, host summer events at your restaurant, and potentially increase your profits.

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  4. Blenders, Milkshake Machines, and Everything in Between

    Blenders, Milkshake Machines, and Everything in Between

    Everyone loves a good smoothie or milkshake, especially at this time of year. Ideally, we would love to enjoy this by our pool, but that’s not always possible so we visit your restaurant in search of these relaxing, cool drinks. Below are some specifics about the machines that will provide you with the perfect smoothie or milkshake:

    Milkshake Machines

    These are a must-have for any ice cream oriented businesses, but they also can be useful for your restaurant. Typically, these machines have two or three spindles that effectively mix these shakes together at about 25,000 RPM. If you’re looking for a milkshake machine for your restaurant, here’s the link: https://www.restaurantsupply.com/milkshake-machines

    Blenders

    When searching for a blender for your restaurant, you need to make sure the blender is a bar blender for drinks and not food. These blenders are designed to do exactly what they sound like, blend liquids, ice, and fruit together to make a great, smooth drink. We have some blenders that you might like: https://www.restaurantsupply.com/bar-blenders

    Juicers

    Although juicers sound like they might be similar to a blender, they mainly solely extract juice from a variety of foods, not just fruit. The three main types of juicers are: centrifugal, masticating, and citrus juicers. To put it in easy terms, centrifugal juicers cut fruits and vegetables with a flat knife, masticating juicers utilize a tool that spins around to cut the fibers of the fruits and vegetables, and citrus juicers shred the juice from the flesh of the fruits. To learn more, visit this link: https://www.restaurantsupply.com/commercial-electric-juicers

    All these machines might not be necessary for your restaurant, but each can make a task easier for your employees and might even make your restaurant run more efficiently. Check out these machines to see just what they can do for you!

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  5. Fourth of July Drinks!

    Fourth of July Drinks!

    Do we use the July 4th holiday as an excuse to drink? Absolutely, but there’s nothing wrong with that—so here are some great drinks and frozen treats you can make yourself to entertain guests for your 4th of July celebration!

     

    Watermelon Slice Popsicles

    ¾ cup tequila

    ½ cup of Sparkling Ice strawberry

    ¼ cup lime juice

    1 pound watermelon

    Stir these ingredients together in a large bowl. Cut the watermelon into wedges, soak in the mix for 15 minutes, and insert a popsicle stick into the wedge. Freeze the wedges on a baking sheet for 1 hour and they’re ready to serve to your guests! 

     

    Firecracker Daquiri (With or without alcohol):

     3 oz. rum

    1 cup frozen strawberries

    Juice from 1 lemon

    1 bottle of chilled Lemon Flower Sipp 

    Add all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth and then pour straight into glasses and you’re ready to go! If you want to make it look like you know how to make great drinks (obviously you do), you can garnish with lemon or strawberries as an added bonus.

     

    Blueberry Thyme Gin Smash

    1 ½ oz. vodka

    ½ oz. elderflower liqueur

    ½ oz. simple syrup

    Muddled (crushed) blueberries

     

    Mix all the ingredients together and you have yourself a simple, great-tasting drink.

     

    July 4th is a staple, summer holiday that calls for warm weather, hanging by the pool, and some tasty drinks and these should do the trick!

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  6. Restaurant Social Media

    Restaurant Social Media

    Social media has become all the rage, so whether you like it or not, you need to create an online presence for your restaurant/bar! When searching for information about restaurants, people flock to a business’ social media accounts and look to see what people are saying about that business online. Certain platforms, specifically Instagram, are integral for your business because of the sheer amount of posts daily centered on food and beverages. This just confirms that your customers are probably talking about you and your restaurant whether you have a social media presence or not. Here are some tips to make your social media accounts better:

     1)    At the very least, have a Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram account for your business

    2)    Important information (hours, location, etc.) are updated and easily accessible on the profile

    3)    Include a link to your website on all accounts

    4)    Use engagement posts, not just promotional posts:

    By this, I mean you need to act as if you’re talking to someone who has just walked into your restaurant. Ask them a question or for an opinion on something about your restaurant and this will facilitate a conversation that provides you with the information you want, while also allowing for your customers to interact with each other.

    5)    Make sure to take advantage of the live stream tool on each platform

    Live streams give you the opportunity to connect with your customers and show them the behind the scenes of your restaurant or do live demonstrations with your chefs and bartenders.

    I know that some of us feel that social media is taking over people’s lives for the worse, but in order for a restaurant to survive, people need to be able to take to social media in search for more information on your business. Social media’s domineering presence is something you should take advantage of and will only make your business stronger. 

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  7. Sinks Matter Too!

    Sinks Matter Too!

    I’m sure there are plenty of people that don’t even take a second thought about the sink they use every single day, but I’m here to let you know that the type of sink you use in your restaurant is important! Obviously, a sink is used for food prep and to keep the equipment and your hands clean, but what sink is best for your restaurant? Some popular commercial sinks include the under bar sink, the drop in sink, and the sink bowl.

     Under Bar Sink

     These sinks are usually narrower than other popular sinks and these sinks usually contain compartments and have a board on each side to help dry washed items. These sinks give the bartender the ability to quickly and efficiently wash and dry bar glasses. 

    Drop In Sink

     These sinks are pertinent in meeting health standards and codes. Typically, drop in sinks have three to four compartments for washing dishes. They range in height, width, and length to make for easier installation into your restaurant.

    Sink Bowl

     These are generally welded into a stainless steel table and will out-last many other types of sinks. Sink bowls come in a variety of sizes allowing for you to find the perfect space to incorporate the sink into your restaurant.

     Who knew that the type of sink you install into your restaurant matters or that they have different uses? With cleanliness being at the forefront of any successful restaurant, picking the right sink can go a long way. Good thing we have all the sinks mentioned above and more on our website at: https://www.restaurantsupply.com/commercial-sinks

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  8. Adding Summer Drinks to Your Menu

    Adding Summer Drinks to Your Menu

    The usual, popular drinks on your menu should stay there year-round, but it’s worth considering adding summer drinks to bolster your menu—and not all of these extra drinks need to be alcoholic. Infusing fruit with waters, teas, and alcoholic drinks are a great way to add a tasty twist to your drink menu. 

     Homemade Waters

    Homemade waters are very easy to create and are a popular way for people to quench their summer thirst and keep hydrated. Infusing cold, fresh water with mint, strawberry, lemon, etc., makes for a great drink and something that you can tempt your customers with as free, welcome drinks when they first arrive at your establishment.

    Sangrias

     We’ve all enjoyed a classic glass of sangria, especially on a warm day to cool us down. You can add fruits and herbs to your sangria to make it unique to your restaurant and provide a tasty treat for your customers.

     Mocktails

    Healthy dining experiences have become quite popular and people are always searching for ways to cut calories. Non-alcoholic drinks can cut the calories from your meal and still allow you to get the flavor and taste you would get with an alcoholic drink. Highlighting the nutritional value of your mocktails will draw in plenty of health-conscious people looking to cool down.

    Creating seasonal drinks generates buzz around your restaurant and draws in people looking to enjoy something different. People are always searching for new drinks to try and seasonal drinks are sure to keep current customers coming back and allow potential customers a reason to try your restaurant

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  9. Size Matters When Dealing With Ice

    Size Matters When Dealing With Ice

    I know you’ve probably never considered the ice you’re putting in your drinks before, but there is a fine art to the ice you choose when making drinks. Although ice is almost always a necessity in making your drink cooler, it can also dilute it and give it a watery flavor. Dilution is not always a bad thing, but picking the right ice can slow down the process.

    Large Ice

    When making drinks that typically take a long time to consume, (whiskey, bourbon, etc.) it’s always better to use large ice because it takes longer to melt. Larger ice usually comes in the form of cubes or spheres and makes the drink especially aesthetically pleasing.

    Crushed Ice

    On the other hand, crushed ice is always better served in drinks with syrups and juices (mint julep, mojito). It dilutes the drink just enough to control the taste of the syrup while still keeping the drink cool enough to enjoy. Crushed ice can also help make a drink thicker for certain types of cocktails.

    Ice Shards 

    Ice shards are perfect for a gin and tonic or a vodka soda, and if made completely clear, make the drink look like a masterpiece. The only downside to ice shards is that if you stir your drink too much, you risk diluting the drink too quickly. 

    If you’re making your own drink at home to enjoy on a nice summer day, you probably won’t care much about the ice you’re using, but when you go to a restaurant, you expect them to have some knowledge about the type of ice they’re serving in your drinks. Contrary to popular belief, ice does more than just keep your drink cool and it’s all about the taste of the drink as well as the aesthetics.

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  10. How to Keep your Customers Coming Back

    How to Keep your Customers Coming Back

    It’s great when you get new customers for the first time, but how do you create an attraction that keeps them coming back? Because we’re creatures of habit, you want your customer’s visit to your restaurant to become part of their routine.  

    Reliability

    Reliability among the food and drinks you serve is key to retaining your customer base. Not everyone is willing to explore with their food, so they often come back for their favorite item on your menu expecting it to taste just as good as it did the first time they ate it. Reliability across the board at your restaurant is important to the customer. Constantly changing your hours and prices, as well as the taste of your food, can put off a customer because they won’t know what to expect when they visit.

    Loyalty Programs

    These are a great way to bring customers back to you multiple times in search of a reward. Incentives are instrumental in the way the human mind works. We do everything in search of some type of reward for ourselves. Just think--we search for friendships and relationships we feel benefit us and it’s the same for choosing where we invest our time. People won’t spend time at a restaurant that doesn’t provide them with good food or result in some sort of happy experience.

    Humans crave connections and experiences that evoke happy feelings. I could go on about creating great customer experiences for pages, but we’ll save that for another time! To put it bluntly, building an experience for your customer when they visit your restaurant is very important. You don’t want your customer to feel you only appreciate them when they’re physically in your restaurant making a purchase, but rather you want them to feel appreciated all the time. Creating an online presence that aligns with your physical restaurant and establishing programs that reward customers for being loyal will bring them back to the restaurant time and time again in search of a memorable time and some great food.

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