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Restaurant Equipment

  1. Charbrolier Cleaning

    In a restaurant kitchen, charbroilers are an excellent way to sear beautiful brand marks and impart a light smoky flavor onto proteins, fish and vegetables. However, to achieve consistent brand marks and the best release of product off of the cooking grid, routine cleaning and “dressing” of the top surface of the cooking grid with a light coat of oil (typically with vegetable oil but any variety of oil will do) are recommended. Charbroilers typically have cast iron or stainless steel grates. To dress the cooking grate, make a “jelly roll” out of a kitchen towel by folding it in thirds, rolling tightly and tying with butcher’s twine. The final roll should be about 4-5” long and about 2 ½-3”in diameter. Keep this roll in a 1/9th size pan next to the broiler filled with a small amount of vegetable oil. Wipe the cooking grates to remove any debris and then, using tongs, grab the roll and sweep the grates, coating lightly with oil. Repeat as necessary or after each product drop. At close of service when it is time to clean the unit, allow charbroiler to run on max for ten minutes and then turn off all sections. Wipe the cooking grids and allow the unit to cool completely before attempting to clean. Once the unit is cool, remove the cooking grids and set aside. Clean places where fat, grease or food may have accumulated. Deflector trays and crumb trays should be emptied and cleaned regularly. If cooking grids are heavily soiled or show a large amount of carbonization, they can be soaked in a commercial degreasing solution as necessary. If de-greasing is required, carefully remove top grates and submerge in cleaning solution. Rinse completely with clear water and dry before returning to the unit. Do not drop cooking grids, as it may cause damage and may require replacement. About Vulcan Equipment Vulcan, a division of ITW Food Equipment Group LLC, is a leading manufacturer of cooking equipment in the U.S. with a broad line of products including ranges, convection and combi ovens, fryers, griddles, charbroilers, steamers, braising pans, kettles and heated holding cabinets. Vulcan sells both to the foodservice and food retail end-user segments, including chain and independent restaurants, hospitals, assisted living facilities, nursing homes, K-12 schools, colleges/universities, hotels, casinos, recreation, corrections, and grocery stores.
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  2. What are The Must-Have Restaurant Supplies?

    What are The Must-Have Restaurant Supplies?
    One of the questions that comes up often in any discussion of provisioning a restaurant for business is: which items are absolutely indispensable, and which are ones that someone can get away with waiting to purchase until later. The same question, of course, comes up for home kitchens as well--but of course, many if not most homes come with the most essential needs already in place. There are certain things that obvious needs: a range, ovens, refrigerator, and so on. But from there, some things may be harder to decide on. So we’ve compiled a general list of the must-have restaurant supplies to keep any kitchen running smoothly. Small appliances Not all small appliances are created equal, and not all of them are needed for all operations; however, there are certain things that every kitchen--commercial or residential--should have, to maximize efficiency. While it is technically possible to operate without many of these appliances, it takes far more time and effort to do so. - Blenders (carafe and/or immersion) - Food processors - Mixers - Honorable mention: deep fryers While blending, mixing, and processing ingredients can, of course, be done without the aforementioned appliances, the process takes twice as long--or longer--and the results are impossible to make maintain consistency. The question of whether your operation would function better with only an immersion blender, only a carafe-style blender--or if you need both--is an important one to consider, as well. While a carafe blender is useful for many of the same things that an immersion blender can do, it is not as efficient at, for example, pureeing soups and sauces on the spot--or at some other functions. Deep fryers are useful for a variety of levels of operation, from the home kitchen to the biggest restaurant operation; while you can certainly deep-fry items in a pot on a cooking range, a dedicated deep fryer helps to get consistent results and increases safety as well as speed. However, there are some operations that simply don’t fry--and for them, it’s clearly not a necessity. As a final note: when purchasing small appliances, there are a few general things to look for. Durable construction--particularly for the area where the food is--is vital, as is the ability to break down and clean the necessary components. From there, look at the power that the appliances pull, as well as how effectively that power is used. With those basic guidelines in mind, you can be fairly confident to pick items that will stand up to the kind of constant use you expect from them. Storage and Cleaning Storage and cleaning supplies are a vital need for any kitchen. The best storage containers have firm, watertight seals (some are even airtight), and clear labeling of volume. Polycarbonate and other hard, clear plastics are the best materials, because they’re inert and won’t absorb or leech into the foods stored in them. Polycarbonate withstands temperatures from -40 degrees Fahrenheit to 210 degrees Fahrenheit, making it a versatile material--but it does cost more than polypropylene or polyethylene. Shape and size of storage containers are also important considerations: square containers allow for better use of space, but round/cylindrical containers do have their place in the kitchen. Alongside storage, cleaning supplies are an absolute necessity for making sure that the food you serve is safe to eat. Cleaning rags, specially-labeled buckets for cleaning solutions and sanitizer, spray-bottles, and of course cleaning solution concentrates are all important things to keep a surplus of: it is far, far better to have more of these shelf-stable products on hand than it is to run out unexpectedly. For commercial kitchens in particular, it can be difficult to get a food service-compliant replacement on short notice. Beyond these two categories, of course, there are the basic, bare-bones restaurant supplies that anyone can agree on the necessity for: utensils, pots, pans, and service items, and so on. The most basic set of utensils that a kitchen would require includes: saute pans, soup/stock pots, saucepans of at least two sizes, baking sheets and pans, spatulas, ladles, tongs, knives, and whisks. We’ve talked about knives before--and how to select the ones best suited to your budget as well as your needs--and some of the basics of cooking implements like tongs, spatulas, and more; all of the items that you purchase for your kitchen should be easy to clean with the cleaning supplies you have available.
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  3. How Well Do You Know Flatware?

    One of the mainstays of restaurant supplies is dinnerware or flatware: all of the utensils that people need to manage a fine meal, from appetizer to dessert or coffee. They’re a major staple of food service, and making decisions about what sets to buy--from pattern to materials, which specific types to have available to which ones can multitask--is a major consideration. A good restaurant supply store will have a lot of options to choose from, but before you go shopping you should make sure you know the essentials.

    To begin with, not every restaurant will need all of the flatware utensils that exist. Most restaurants can stick with a very basic set: salad forks, dinner forks, dinner knives, soup spoons, and dessert/coffee spoons. Of course, some restaurants will use the same spoons for both soup and the sweet courses, but there are reasons for the different sizes and configurations of flatware items. There are, of course, far more utensils than these: fish forks, lobster forks, seafood forks, fruit forks, ice cream, pastry, strawberry, snail, and oyster forks. Just within one category there are a lot of options to choose from, clearly! The different configurations of the tines--from the fruit fork’s three slim tines to the two tines of the snail fork and the four tines common to most other forms--generally are geared towards making it easier to manipulate the particular item in question, piercing and catching or scooping or cutting, depending on the course in question. Clearly, though, buying up every piece--even if your restaurant serves a very wide variety of dishes--is not entirely practical. Assess what the core needs of your operation are: what types of dishes you serve the most of, which of these items can be used fairly easily for multiple courses, and so on, and move from there.

    Then, too, there’s the question of materials. The most commonly available varieties of flatware are sterling silver, silver-plated, and stainless steel. There are, of course, various strengths and weaknesses of each type. While you should avoid mix-and-match approaches to flatware purchases, there are some areas in which sterling silver or silver plated flatware makes a major difference. Silver adds some elegance to high-end seafood meals, and since the metal is inert, it doesn’t carry or transmit heat as readily. However, for most restaurant and even home operations, stainless steel is the way to go, for a few reasons: first, it’s much, much more reasonably priced, especially when buying in large quantities, than sterling silver or even silver-plated utensils. Secondly, the material is much tougher to scratch, and much easier to clean than silver flatware. But even among stainless steel flatware, not all products are created equal; the best standard is 18/10 stainless steel, which has the best proportion of chromium and nickel in the alloy to prevent corrosion and enhance hardness.

    Finally, there are production methods to consider and know about. The three basic methods of producing flatware items are: forged, stamped, and hollow-handle. Hollow-handle is the most complicated production method, resulting in lightweight, well-balanced utensils--but they also tend to be very expensive. Stamped flatware are made using patterns that are stamped directly into sheets of metal, which are much more economical, and slightly heavier than the hollow-handle varieties. Forged flatware is done in a very old-fashioned way, pouring liquid metal into forms, making it all one, single piece--and very heavy.

    With this information in mind, you can go to a restaurant supply store and start looking into the choices available to you for furnishing your table or tables. For the most economical choices, stainless steel (of an 18/10 grade) and stamped manufacture are the best; but for high-end restaurants or fancy china service, sterling silver with hollow-handle or forged production is a better way to go. By knowing what your flatware needs are, you can make informed choices about what to buy, in which volumes, and what you can leave on the shelf.

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  4. 10 Easy-to-Implement Restaurant Kitchen Safety Tips

    restaurant kitchen safety

    Workplace injury and illness cost restaurant owners millions of dollars annually in compensation and productivity; kitchen safety should be a top priority for all restaurants.

    For hospitality workers, where hourly wages and casual employment contracts are the industry standard, a single missed day of work can not only cause undue financial stress, but can also affect the productivity of your kitchen.

    This article is compliments of Toast.

    As always, check out for all your restaurant needs.

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  5. Small on Space, Big on Return: The Vulcan MiniJet Combi Oven

    Small on Space, Big on Return: The Vulcan MiniJet Combi Oven
    This blog entry is compliments of Vulcan Equipment.

    In a perfect world, you’d have all the room you could possibly need in your commercial kitchen. In the real world, however, you’re likely facing the same critical challenge as many other industrial food service operations: a shortage of space. The good news? Lack of square footage doesn’t have to mean lowering your expectations -- especially if you make smart equipment buying decisions. Enter the Vulcan Minijet TM Combi Oven. Offering everything you want -- and then some -- from a combi oven, this powerful piece of professional kitchen equipment is mini but mighty.

    Do More with Less with the MinijetTM

    Why pay for multiple pieces of commercial kitchen equipment when you can pay for one instead? All combi ovens save space in restaurant kitchens thanks to their multi functionality (convection oven/steamer/combi). Measuring in at a width of just 21 inches, this consummate combi has an extremely narrow footprint designed to fit into even the tightest spaces.

    But a small stature is not the only thing the Minijet TM. has going for it when it comes to making the most of your space. The embodiment of the customer-backed innovation for which Vulcan is well known, the Minijet TM boasts a unique rear design with recessed utilities allowing flush placement against the wall. And the interior of the Vulcan Minijet TM Combi Oven is as mindful of space constraints as its exterior. Not only do pans slide directly onto its guide racks, but its clever design accommodates four 12"x20"x2.5" or six 12"x20"x1" pans. The result? Optimal capacity despite its small size.

    Low Profile, High Performance

    It may keep a low profile, but the Vulcan Minijet TM Combi Oven’s unique Twin Control (touch and knob functions) gives capability in the hands of any operator -- regardless of skill level.

    Busy kitchen professionals looking to prepare terrific tasting food without fussing with complicated equipment will love the simplicity of the ABC display. With just temperature, time and humidity, it is the heart of all cooking. Using patent pending technology, the ABC settings automatically control humidity based on selected cooking temperature. Operators get the performance of a combi with simply reducing cook times. Chefs looking for complete control, meanwhile, will enjoy bringing their dishes to life with the JET display, which allows them to manually change settings on the spot and to cook with a food probe for the ultimate in precision cooking. Ideal for entry-level users, the Minijet’s TM third setting, AUTO, is all about cooking with ease and peace of mind. If pictures are more your style, create and save custom recipes and simply touch a picture of the item you want to cook. We've already established that this hard-working combi oven can conserve both money and space, but it's also a time-saver across everything from staff training to turnover.

    The old expression insists that “good things come in small packages.” We can think of no better embodiment of this sentiment than the Vulcan Minijet TM Combi Oven, which uniquely empowers a diverse range of operators to consistently and comfortably produce extraordinary food. Want to learn even more? Visit Vulcan’s Minijet™ Combi Oven Guide, to find out how experienced kitchen professionals and chefs are taking advantage of this amazing piece of kitchen equipment on a daily basis.

    About Vulcan Equipment

    Vulcan, a division of ITW Food Equipment Group LLC, is a leading manufacturer of cooking equipment in the U.S. with a broad line of products including ranges, convection and combi ovens, fryers, griddles, charbroilers, steamers, braising pans, kettles, and heated holding cabinets. Vulcan sells both to the foodservice and food retail end-user segments, including chain and independent restaurants, hospitals, assisted living facilities, nursing homes, K-12 schools, colleges/universities, hotels, casinos, recreation, corrections, and grocery stores.

    This blog entry is compliments of Vulcan Equipment.

    As always, check out for all your restaurant needs.
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  6. 27 Creative & Cool Restaurant Names

    27 Creative & Cool Restaurant Names
    We’ve all had those a-ha! moments when something up there clicks, and we make the realization that restaurant or store name is actually quite impressively creative.

    My personal favorite is when I’m driving semi-aimlessly (but attentively, I assure you!) down the street and happen across a restaurant. I don’t think twice about it at first, but all of the sudden when I've paused at a red light four blocks away, the light bulb illuminates, and I realize just how creative that restaurant name was.

    That’s why I’m here to highlight some of the most unique and creative restaurants' names in the country. Shoutout to Delish and Eater for compiling some awesome lists already. The rest were combined with a dig through the Toast restaurant customer base as well as some of my own research. I’ve broken them out into a few of my favorite categories including puns, references, and miscellaneous aliases.

    The Puns It’s been said that puns are the lowest form of humor.

    But you can’t deny that they possess the rare ability to crack a smile even on the sternest of characters. Most restaurants with pun names tend to promote a more relaxed atmosphere. And there is no shortage of puns in restaurant names. Here are some of my favorites:

    1. Brew’d Awakening Coffeehaus - Lowell, MA. Not only is this a pun, but it is also a double-entre. Wins all around.

    2. Cheesy Does It - Saratoga, NY 3. The Dairy Godmother - Alexandria, VA 4. Kale Me Crazy - Atlanta, GA 5. Turnip the Beet - Dover, NH 6. Lettuce B. Frank - Rochester, NY 7. Party Fowl - Nashville, TN. This Nashville fried chicken joint “includes a number of hot chicken dishes with heat levels ranging from mild to “Poultrygeist,” as well as creative spins on the classics.” Check out their website for more menu items.

    8. Rolling Dough Cookie Company - Lynchburg, VA 9. Wok N' Roll - Cambridge, MA 10. Wild Thyme Cafe - Smithville, TN

    The (Sometimes Obscure) References When you love something, sometimes you’ve just got to name a restaurant after it.

    Or, at least, that was the case for some of these restaurants and managers. The combination of pun + movie or music or miscellaneous references is popular amongst restaurants. The below list are my favorite creative restaurant names based on pop culture or other obscure references.

    11. Life of Pie - Ontario, Canda. With a rotating menu depending on the day of the week, this Canada-based bakery & cafe certainly knows a thing or two about pie.

    12. 16 Handles - New York, NY and others 13. Wok This Way - San Antonio, TX 14. Tequila Mockingbird - New Canaan, CT 15. The Big Legrowlski - Portland, OR 16. Lord of the Fries - Melbourne, Australia 17. The Glass Onion - Falmouth, MA. When their 2-year old son suggested that the restaurant be named after one of his favorite Beatles’ songs, The Glass Onion, Josh and Tally Christian couldn’t really deny him.

    18. Pita Pan - New York, NY 19. Lee Harvey’s - Dallas, TX 20. Planet of the Crepes - Tucson, AZ. They stand as Tucson’s online mobile creperie and was voted as the Best Food Truck in 2014. 21. Thai Tanic - Washington, D.C. District of Columbia 22. Jekyll & Hyde Club - New York, NY. No big pun or mystery here, this Jekyll & Hyde themed restaurant is a “haunted restaurant and bar for eccentric explorers and mad scientists.”

    The Miscellaneous Aliases The sounds roll of your tongue. The catchiness and compelling nature of alliteration encourage restaurant goers to start talking about your restaurant. Highlighted below are some that got me talking:

    23. No Name Restaurant - Boston, MA 24. Biscuit Boy - Zion, IL. The simplicity alongside the alliterative nature of this Zion restaurant makes the name a winner. 25. Duck Duck Goat - Chicago, IL 26. He’s Not Here Bar - Chapel Hill, NC 27. The Three Needs Taproom & Brewery - Burlington, VT. This Burlington-based taproom doesn’t clearly outline what the 3 needs are. In order to find out, you need to go inside and ask, and even then an answer is not guaranteed.

    This is simply a few of the MANY cool and creative restaurant names that exists out there. Are there others that you’ve seen? Comment below and I’ll add them to the list next time around! This blog entry is compliments of Toast. As always, check out for all your restaurant needs.
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  7. Ramen Noodles and Poke Bowls - the Latest Food Trends to Explore!

    Ramen and Poke, oh my! These fun fast casual food concepts are popping up all over the place and with good reason - they are delicious, colorful, and easy to execute with high price margins on the food costs. Plus, neither ramen or poke is anywhere near a 'new' food concept - both have deep cultural roots and have been enjoyed for generations in the respective areas they originated in. If you're looking for a new restaurant concept to try, consider one of these two options. Here's a little more info on both:

    Asian Miso ramen noodles with egg, tofu, pork and enoki in bowl on blue marble table.

    Ramen: originating in Japan, a classic ramen bowl involves Chinese wheat noodles, a killer broth, and a variety of savory (delicious) toppings. The ramen craze in Japan originated in 1910, with the first stand along ramen shop opening at that time. It took, granted, several decades for this classic, easy to execute, and delectable noodle dish to take off in the USA, but it's now a fast growing industry, with trendy eateries popping up in major cities on the east coast, west coast, and everywhere in between. Broth is key - essential - to a good ramen bowl - so perfect yours, and then work on a variety of ingredients which will please a variety of palates and lifestyle restrictions. Remember to cater to vegetarians with both vegetarian broth and completely separate prep space in order to increase your marketability.

    Hawaiian tuna poke bowl with seaweed, avocado, red cabbage, radishes and black sesame seeds

    Poke: from the far East to the far West, Poke Bowls hail from Hawaii. A very simple preparation involves marinating raw fish in a soy sauce marinade, and then creating a 'bowl' with various rice and vegetable toppings. This trend is newer, even, then ramen and appeals very easily to a health conscious consumer, especially if the bowl is prepared with brown rice. Different types of fish can be used, and because the fish is marinated, cheaper cuts can also be employed.

    Want to try out these concepts but not sure how they will do in your neighborhood? Consider a pop up to gauge interest and also run the kitchen for a night and see how your staff does with either/or concept - or perhaps even a hybrid of both!


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  8. Making the Transition from Food Truck to Brick and Mortar Location

    Chef Grills Bacon On a Food Truck

    Food trucks are a great, economical way to get your business started on a budget. Many brick and mortar restaurants envy food trucks their low overhead, mobility, and ability to go to customers vs waiting for customers to come to them.

    However, at some point, every food truck may consider expanding their operations to a brick and mortar store. Once you have a proven concept at hand, you can increase your profit margins drastically by adding chairs - and a liquor license! - to your operation. However - there are still important things to consider before taking the plunge:

    Location - a food truck can easily go from place to place. Some cities, such as Austin, TX, will even allow food trucks to semi-permanently park on land - thereby rendering the operation extremely cheap from a rent perspective. A restaurant is, of course, static by nature. So location is key. Even a couple miles distance in a city can be the difference between high foot traffic and almost no foot traffic. Although a solid menu and marketing plan will certainly boost your customer base - as well as the reputation you've built through your food truck business - choosing a desirable, high traffic location will certainly help.

    Finance - a new restaurant build out can easily cost a quarter of a million dollars - or more. Where is this capital coming from? Chances are, you will need a partner with deep pockets or a hefty loan in order to turn your restaurant into reality. In addition to the opening costs, it's important to consider how long you will be in operation before turning a profit. Average, six to twelve months are needed before a restaurant turns a profit (although again - see above - a good marketing plan, good location, and good reputation can drastically increase that).

    Vibe - food trucks are, almost by definition, hip and cool places. Restaurants can have many different atmospheres, and it's a great time to sit down and brand your business appropriately when your're creating your restaurant plan. Are you more upscale? Chic? Minimalist? Family oriented? Traditional? All of these are great things to consider with your architect and general contractor as you make the plunge from food truck to brick and mortar.

    Equipment - this is last on our list but perhaps the most important piece of all! Your restaurant will need: ovens, shelves, refrigerators, ice machines, pots and pans, knives, cutting boards, the list goes on and on. Chances are a good part of your food truck may be used in the new spot, but it may make sense to keep the food truck for mobile/catering operations and to sustain your existing business and start from scratch. No matter your choice - trust for the best possible deals from the best brands and shop with us first when outfitting your new restaurant.

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  9. Ever Hear of the TroughVeyor?

    Ever Hear of the TroughVeyor?

    There are only a few restaurants out there that serve patrons in the thousands every lunch period, but institutions like schools, prisons, and hospitals do it all the time. They’re responsible for quickly serving large groups of people and cleaning up everything that’s left on the plate. That’s one of the reasons that the Savajor 300-TVR TroughVeyor disposer system exists.

    Speed is of the utmost importance when cleaning food waste from plates. It’s necessary to get to the next one and prepare the shift for the next thousand plates or so. The troughveyor system gives workers a trough to rinse and remove the food waste that is still on the plates and bowls. Everything is water tight.

    The pumps are designed to keep the water flowing, and the trough sends the food waste to the disposer. It only uses 7 gallons of water a minute to do such a vital job. The machine has a silverware trap, something perfectly designed in case a fork or a spoon gets through when doing the initial cleaning. This disposer system is well worth it for those institutional settings that need speed to succeed.

    When you need to dispose of a lot of food waste, consider purchasing a TroughVeyor for your facility.

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  10. Chocolate Dipping Machine Used at Universal Studios

    Chocolate Dipping Machine Used at Universal Studios

    Oompa loompa indeed! We know that the Matfer Choco 10 Chocolate Dipping machine will last a long time at the new Universal Studios Willy Wonka inspired chocolate factory. It will be a sticky-sweet delight for everyone.

    This restaurant, Toothsome, will be based on a “19th century inspired Steampunk chocolate factory, complete with towering smoke stacks, funky gadgetry, and staff wearing unique Steampunk fashion.” What a better wonderland to play with, releasing your pure imagination?

    The drink creations appear to be best suited to that world of fantasy, dripping with chocolate and chocolate sauce. We’re looking forward to the way that the dipping chocolate will flow free in Orlando’s streets.

    And, what better than a sweets shop for park goers? Visitors don’t have to pony up the park fee to go inside and explore this new wonderland that’s about to open. Again, what an awesome way to use one of the Matfer Choco 10 Chocolate dipping machines (we don’t know if they’re using them, but we’re sure that they should. )

    So, what crazy chocolate drinks has your restaurant come up with? Chocolate, with its reputation of soothing the savage beast, helping people feel wonderful after a long day at work, and more. We’d love to see what you have come up with.

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