Katharine Kluger

  1. Ice Safety Tips

    Ice Safety Tips

    This may come as a surprise, but according to the FDA, ice is considered food. This means that you need to be handling ice in a sanitary manner! Bacteria lingers in restaurant kitchens no matter how often and how careful you are when cleaning the kitchen, but here are some tips to try to keep your ice sanitary:

     Train Employees

     Employees should ALWAYS wash their hands before getting ice from the ice machine and they should only hold the ice scoop handle.

    • Never scoop ice with your hands, or with a glass—this might be efficient, but it’s highly unsanitary
    • Don’t return unused ice to the ice machine
    • Ice machine doors should be closed except when removing ice
    • Ice scoops should be cleaned regularly and stored outside the ice machine
    • Never use the ice machine as a refrigerator

     Inspect Ice Machine

    • Always inspect the exterior of the machine (door handle, hatch, etc.)
    • Look for any evidence of growth on or inside the machine
    • Routinely clean ice

     Ice Machine Maintenance

     We’ve touched on exactly how to clean your ice machine in the past, but always make sure that you’re getting your ice machine routinely checked.

    • Should be serviced by technician two times per year
    • Certain ice machine companies will schedule these inspections and cleanings for you

     Ice can easily become dirty if you don’t take care of it, or your ice machine. You don’t want to be serving customers dirty ice because they definitely will not be coming back and we’re all about making sure your customers come back time and time again!

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  2. Loyalty Programs

    Loyalty Programs
    Loyalty Programs How do you create customer loyalty when there’s a new restaurant popping up every single day? Loyalty programs are the answer! Most people use their mobile device to decide where they’re going to eat, and they do that within 3 hours of their next meal. We talked a few posts back about the importance of an app for your restaurant, but we’re going to explain exactly how to use that app to get people wanting to come back. Convenience Take Starbucks for example, they have MyStarbucks Rewards and it’s such a simple and easy app to use. You simply go into the app and pay right there! Their online orders have skyrocketed and people are constantly in the app where Starbucks can give them targeted content. Don’t make your loyalty program confusing—all you have to do is give people incentives for wanting to come to your restaurant and they will. Unique Create a loyalty program that’s unique to the brand of your restaurant. Try to find something that your competitors can’t copy, and if you can’t do that, then you have to make sure that you’re offering rewards that other restaurants aren’t. Create special events and special menu items for customers that use your loyalty program. Build Relationships When you get those repeat customers, you need to learn their names! You want your employees to be on a first name basis with repeat customers to show the customer that you care about them and that they’re more than just their money. Loyal customers not only provide you with continuous business, but they’re unpaid marketers for our business! Word of mouth is huge for local businesses and when you create loyal customers, you create people who love to talk about how much they love your restaurant and how great it is.
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  3. Pots, Pans, and Stoves--Oh My!

    Pots, Pans, and Stoves--Oh My!

    There are so many different types of pots, pants, cookware utensils, etc. that can be used when preparing food, but what is necessary for your restaurant? Cookware can fall to the wayside when planning the layout/design and menu of your restaurant, but you can’t forget about the cookware because that’s how you get that delicious food to your customers. Here are some of the necessities for your restaurant below:

    Skillet

    Cast-iron skillets are essential to your restaurant because they're multi-functional and can prepare multiple foods. Skillets give you the ability to sear, bake, and fry foods, and some skillets can be built into your stovetop. Skillets cook food evenly because they retain heat when being used.

    Grill Pan aka Griddle Pan

    Anything that would normally be cooked on a grill can be cooked on this grill pan! It’s a viable substitute for an outdoor grill and is essential when cooking any meat. You can cook fish, burgers, chicken, vegetables, and more on this pan. Some grill pans come with a press that is perfect for making panini and grilled cheese sandwiches!

     Wok

    Originating in China, woks are known for being helpful in cooking a large amount of food at one time. These pans are big, have long handles, and tall, sloped sides to keep the food from sliding out. Pasta dishes, stir-fry’s, and more can be cooked in this pan.

    Whether you’re just starting out, or you’re a veteran restaurant, those are just some of the pans that you should have in your restaurant kitchen and they can make your life a lot easier. Click on the link to go look at these pans and more: https://www.restaurantsupply.com/commercial-cookware!

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  4. Restaurant App Accessibility

    Restaurant App Accessibility

     

    Having an app for your restaurant will enhance your customers’ experience and make you more accessible to the public. The more accessible you are, the more likely a customer is to give your restaurant a try. Mobile apps that give customers the ability to order online, view the menu, and view prices are becoming more popular and people love it for the ease that it gives them in deciding on a restaurant to eat at. Below we’ll explain to you just why creating a mobile app for your restaurant is beneficial:

    1. You can serve more customers at once.
    2. The app provides you with free marketing and promotions by raising awareness about your restaurant.
    3. The app can help you create a client base.
      • Combine with loyalty programs/rewards making customers more apt to use social media to promote your brand
    4. You can use the statistics from the app to learn more about what’s working and what’s not.
    5. Customers will be sure to order more because all they have to do is hit a button on their smartphone!
      • Convenience
      • Prefer using app over calling restaurant

     Whether you like it or not, the world is moving more digital and this is one trend that you should take advantage of. A mobile app for you restaurant is sure to increase your visibility and increase your online orders.

     

     

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  5. Restaurant Faucets

    Restaurant Faucets

    We’ve already touched upon what type of sinks can be used in your restaurant, but the right type of faucet is just as important! Faucets are vital to the functionality of your restaurant and, if need be, can be installed on sinks that already exist. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular faucets that you can use in your restaurant:

     Deck Mounted Faucets

    • Mounts directly on to sink or countertop
    • Generally less expensive than other types of faucets

     Wall Mounted Faucets

    • Mounts on wall and extends over sink
    • Most commonly used faucet
    • Chosen for its modern look

     Pre-rinse Faucet

    • Allows you to quickly clean cookware, glassware, etc. before placing in dishwasher
    • High water pressure means no need to wash by hand before entering dishwasher
    • Conserves more water than other types of faucets

     Pro tip: it’s always important to remember that if you’re starting from scratch to buy the faucet before the sink! We have all these types of faucets and more on our website: https://www.restaurantsupply.com/restaurant-plumbing-and-faucets.

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  6. Hot Alcoholic Drinks

    Hot Alcoholic Drinks

    With the weather taking a turn for the cooler, you should think about introducing hot, alcoholic drinks to your menu. You can even customize the drinks to fit the season and the holiday. You might want to add a pumpkin-type drink to your fall menu (especially before Halloween), and a mint-type drink around December.

     Pumpkin Toddy

    • 1 oz apple brandy
    • ½ oz rye whiskey
    • ½ oz fresh lemon juice
    • ½ oz grade b maple syrup
    • 1 tsp pumpkin purée
    • 2 drops Angostura bitters
    • Grafted cinnamon
    • Water

     Add all the ingredients except water to a preheated mug, top with 5 oz of boiling water, and stir to combine. Top with grated cinnamon if you wish to add a garnish to the drink.

     Hot Buttered Rum

    • 2 oz gold rum
    • 1 tbsp buttered rum batter
    • Boiling water
    • Cinnamon stick garnish
    • Freshly grated nutmeg garnish

     Add the rum and butter to a mug, fill with boiling water, and stir to make the perfect, warm drink on a chilly day.

     

    There are plenty more warm drinks to spice your customers up in the cold weather and we wouldn’t want you to forget about serving classic Eggnog around the holidays. Serve it to your customers with a twist, or the traditional way, and that’ll be certain to bring some cheer to your restaurant. Give people a reason to leave their house in the cold with the promise of a drink that will be certain to give them a warm buzz!

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  7. Drinks from the Past

    Drinks from the Past

    Can you guess how many different types of alcoholic drinks there are today? No? Well neither can we and we won’t even try because there are just too many to count! Not only are there different types of drinks, but all bartenders have their own spin on every drink they make, which is slightly different from the bartender making the same drink next to them. It makes sense that there are many drinks that have fallen to the wayside and got lost in the shuffle. Below are some drinks that we think might be useful to bring back for your menu:

     

    Bombay Sapphire

    This drink is a colorful take on the classic gin & tonic and is sweeter than the original.

    Ingredients:

    • 1.75 ounces Bombay Sapphire Gin
    • 0.50 ounce blue curacao
    • 1 sprig rosemary
    • 1 lemon wedge
    • Light tonic water

    Add the Bombay Sapphire, curacao, rosemary, lemon, and gently squeezed lemon wedge to a glass and swirl well to combine. Fill the glass with cubed ice and top with light tonic water and mix gently with a bar spoon.

     

    Gin Rickey

    Ingredients:

    • 50 ml gin
    • 1 whole lime cut in half
    • Sparkling water

    Fill a highball glass with ice and add the gin. Juice the halves of lime into a glass and drop in the juiced lime shells. Fill with sparkling water and you’ve got yourself a classic American drink!

     

    There are a variety of drinks that seem to have been forgotten over the years and some research will uncover plenty that you can add to your menu and modify with a modern twist. 

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  8. Trends in Alcohol Consumption

    Trends in Alcohol Consumption

    Today, people either really love alcohol, or they try to stray as far away from it as possible. People are becoming more self-aware of what they’re consuming and are sometimes going as far as to monitor how much they’re drinking. There has been a movement towards being sober and not drinking at all. Obviously, people are still drinking in excess, but including non-alcoholic drinks on your menu is something to think about! Searching for a great tasting, non-alcoholic drink that people actually want to drink can be difficult, but here are some great recipes:

     

    Mojito Mocktail

    Ingredients: 

    • 1 tbsp sugar
    • Small, bunch mint
    • 3 juiced limes
    • Soda water

    Mix the sugar with the leaves from the mint using a pestle and mortar. Then put a handful of crushed ice in 2 glasses and divide the lime juice between the glasses with the mint mix. Add a straw and top with soda water.

     

    Gin Free Gin & Tonic

    Ingredients:

    • 5 cardamom pods
    • ½ cucumber
    • 1 chamomile teabag
    • ½ bunch mint leaves
    • 1 strip lemon zest
    • 5 cloves
    • ½ bunch rosemary
    • Tonic water
    • Ice

    Bruise the cardamom pods, slice the cucumber, and put them in a large jug and add the chamomile teabag, mint leaves, lemon zest, cloves, and rosemary. Top with 500ml of cold water. Leave to infuse in the fridge for 2-4 hours. When serving, strain the infused water and pour 50ml of water into each glass. Top with tonic water and lots of ice.

     

    Educating yourself on drinking trends can help you move your restaurant in the right direction, and ultimately help you provide the best experience for your customer.

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  9. Restaurant Cleaning Schedule

    Restaurant Cleaning Schedule

    We all love to clean—right? No? Well, that’s no surprise, but we unfortunately all still have to do it, and if you want to run a successful restaurant, then you better get to cleaning! Restaurant cleanliness is so, so important to the customer and not one person will go back to a restaurant that they don’t deem clean. Cleaning should be one of the top priorities for your restaurant and your employees. Here a checklist for cleaning your restaurant below:

    Daily Cleaning

    • Clean fryers, grease traps, and brush grills
    • Sanitize all surfaces, sinks, faucets, and soda guns
    • Put all rags, chef coats, and aprons in laundry
    • Wash floor mats and sweep and mop all floors
    • Clean hood filters in dishwasher
    • Wipe down outside surfaces of ice machine
    • Replace tin foil liners of grill and range
    • Empty sanitizing bins
    • Sanitize meat/cheese slicers
    • Label and air-tight cover all food before going in refrigerator

     

    Weekly Cleaning

    • Clean ovens
    • Empty and clean all reach-in refrigerators and coolers
    • Clean coffee machines
    • Wash walls 
    • Flush floor drains with drain cleaner

     

    Monthly Cleaning

    • Deal with grease buildup (behind fryers, stoves, ovens, etc)
    • Empty and clean freezers
    • Wash ceilings
    • Empty ice bin and sanitize
    • Check equipment (knife sharpness, calibration of equipment, etc)

     

    A less than clean restaurant is bad for your bottom line! Remember, the checklist above is just for cleaning your kitchen, but don’t forget about keeping the front of house clean. We have all your cleaning supplies at this link: https://www.restaurantsupply.com/janitorial-supplies!

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  10. Apple Cider Fireball Slushie Cocktail

    Apple Cider Fireball Slushie Cocktail

    That name is a mouthful, but it sure does sound tasty! This cocktail definitely contains the most fall ingredients we can think of. As we’ve mentioned before, seasonal cocktails give your customers (and new potential customers), a reason to come to your restaurant. All you’ll need for this drink is a blender and some cocktail glasses:

    Ingredients

    • 4 cups ice cubes
    • 1 cup apple cider
    • 1 cup Fireball
    • Splash ginger beer
    • Apple slices for garnish

    Add the ice, cider, and Fireball to the blender and blend until smooth. Then separate into 2 glasses (this makes enough for 2 people, but we won’t be surprised if you’ll want to keep this yummy drink all for yourself), and top with a splash of ginger beer and garnish with an apple. What an easy way to impress your customers and this is something you can easily make in the comfort of you own home! You can make so many fall drinks with apple cider, but we think this one takes the cake. 

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