Restaurant Smallwares

  1. Do You Replace Silverware Between Courses?

    Do You Replace Silverware Between Courses?

    Hardly anyone thinks about the flatware while they’re eating at the table, but it can be a source of much consternation for some. There are some restaurants out there who refuse to change their flatware between courses. In very fine dining places, this just won't do!

    While it might mean the additional use of a commercial dishwasher, the practice of putting out new silverware for each course should be honored. That way, the flavors from the first course don’t spread over into the additional courses, or contamination from the table doesn't transmit to the fork.

    There are places out there who force their patrons to eat with the same silverware over all of the courses. If they’re determined to do that, they should also provide a fork rest to make sure that each diner has a place to put the restaurant flatware while they’re not using it. Restaurants should be attentive to the guests, and while not replacing the flatware between each course is not a major infraction, it is definitely unsanitary.

    What do you do with your restaurant flatware when you’re not eating with it? Do you put it on the table? Do you think that you should be offered freshly washed silverware in between courses? Is a napkin or a fork rest sufficient? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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  2. Does Your Restaurant Flatware need an Upgrade?

    Does Your Restaurant Flatware need an Upgrade?

    Everything that you bring into your restaurant, from your restaurant equipment to your restaurant flatware, makes an impression on your customers. Your customers look at everything when they come into your place. Quality is never something to let go by the wayside.

    Everyone who walks into your restaurant has the power to talk with their friends and share their experiences on social media applications like Yelp, Zomato, and Google. With that power, the stress of having something out of place can be tremendous. You may ask yourself a lot of questions. For instance, does your restaurant flatware need an upgrade?

    When you first started your restaurant, did you start off with the odds and ends of silverware coming from your house? Having a uniform approach to the flatware at your place contributes to the overall impressions that your customers will have. And of course, you'll want to keep it as clean as you can!

    While you don’t necessarily need the best of the best to keep your place running, you do need to have the most appropriate flatware for your decor. In fact, your flatware can be the centerpiece of your entire restaurant! What does your flatware say about you and your business?

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  3. 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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  4. LED Candles are Safer

    LED Candles are Safer

    For romantic settings, the cliche is to use candles. But there are many more options than normal candles for the table.   You can choose to go for subtly illuminating tealights, or you can expand your repertoire a little bit to have flameless LED candles.  There are some candle-like solutions which come with remote controls!

    One of the questions that you have to ask yourself as a restaurant owner is do you value the authenticity of having a real candle at the table over the safety of having simply an LED?  What is truly the difference?

    Well, wax candles will drip the wax all over the table if you’re not careful.  They can stain your tablecloths. The longer that your patrons stay, the more likely you’re going to have a mess to clean up when they’re done with their meal. Candles have to have holders too, but many types of holders are easy to knock over. This is a fire hazard to you, your workers, the restaurant patrons, and even your business.

    We suggest giving Hollowick LED Candles a try. They are flameless and also last a lot longer than the regular candles.  You can charge and recharge them without having to worry about replacing them.  In many cases, they last longer than the relationships that they’re celebrating!

    You can have romantic dinners at your restaurant without having to worry about the waxy results of real candlelight.  Purists may disagree, but the soft lighting of an LED candle is just the same.

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  5. How to Choose Flatware

    How to Choose Flatware

    Flatware may seem like a pretty easy thing to buy. It’s just a matter of getting the right pattern and having everything match right? There’s actually more to it than that! The material it is made out of and how it is constructed are also big factors that determine the quality.

    Flatware is normally made of stainless steel, since true silverware will tarnish easily and is hard to clean in the restaurant environment. But there are several types of stainless steel used for flatware: 18/10, 18/8, and 18/0. The first number says how much chrome is in the steel, which is the important part to make steel stainless. The second number is how much nickel is in there as well. Nickle softens the shine of the chrome to make it look more like silver. The higher the nickel percentage, the more silver-like the flatware looks.

    Then there is how the pieces are made. They could be poured from molds (hollow handled), stamped, or forged. Each category is heavier than the one proceeding. Which weight you choose is a matter of choice, though very light pieces of flatware may feel flimsy and low-quality compared to heavier ones.

    Style, weight, and material are the key features to look for when choosing flatware or silverware. For more information, check out our utensils page.

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  6. Why you Need a Syrup Dispenser

    Why you Need a Syrup Dispenser

    If you’ve ever been to an IHOP or a Waffle House, you’ve seen these on your table. In our last post this week on condiments, we’re looking at syrup dispensers. Syrup is a tricky condiment to work with. It’s rather messy, difficult to control, and doesn’t flow through small holes. Syrup also attracts bugs very easily. If you put syrup into a squirt bottle it wouldn’t come out well, but if you left an open container then you’d get a fly-filled table.

    Syrup dispensers solve both of these problems. These condiment containers have a trigger on top. When pulled back, it retracts a metal plate covering a large hole. Users can control the flow of syrup from the container by how far back they pull the trigger. When released, the plate snaps back over the hole to close it. It also pushes excess syrup back into the container when you do this. This solves both problems in a snap.

    Syrup dispensers are also good to use in buffet tables for salad dressings. Their low-mess design reduces cleanup, and many customers think they are more sanitary than traditional dressing bottles. Syrup dispensers come in a lot of varieties. Check out our page to learn more.

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  7. Are You Choosing the Right CAC China For Your Restaurant?

    Are You Choosing the Right CAC China For Your Restaurant?

    Presentation makes all the difference in the world.  If the plate is way too small, then it will look like you’ve overcrowded on your portion size.  If you’ve gone too large, then the customer will wonder what you’ve done with the other half of the meal, even if you’re overstuffing them.  The right piece of CAC China is waiting for you.

    How do you choose the right CAC China plates for you?

    Well, this is where the décor of the restaurant and your menu intersect.  You’d want something that goes with the theme and feeling of your restaurant, of course.  If you’re feeding them down-home messy barbeque, you probably don’t want to be using china!

    Then again, if you’re serving them high-end meals, you don’t want to be serving them on paper plates.  No, the best way to determine that is to think of other restaurants which may be in your niche.  How do they serve their food?  Do you even notice the plate?

    If you don’t notice the plate or hadn’t noticed the plate until we started talking about it, then they probably have the right ones for most of their dishes.  If you seriously notice it, then it’s probably the wrong one.

    Choosing the right CAC China plates comes down to research and experimentation.  Choose the ones that are right for you.  See if you’re able to get just a few of different sizes to see how well they perform for you.

    Remember that it all comes down to presentation and style.  It’s all in your hands.

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  8. 5 Ways to Curb Employee Theft

    5 Ways to Curb Employee Theft

    Employee theft is nothing to sneeze at in a restaurant.  People steal an amazing amount of money, but they also steal food and alcohol.  Restaurant supplies, even restaurant smallwares, cost money. Here are some ways to curb employee theft.

    Hire Mystery Diners and Employees

    By hiring mystery diners and employees, you are getting people who are objective and are willing to report on the goings on within the company – something that you could not get from customer comment cards or other arenas. If you suspect employees are stealing from you, putting new employees in place might be just the way to catch them – as they might be recruited to help in the scheme.

    Surveillance Systems

    By installing a surveillance system, you can find out who’s cheating the system and who’s making your restaurant their own personal playground.  That’s one of the first things that the Mystery Diners team does on getting to a place.

    Give Employee Perks

    Employees are less likely to steal when they feel like they’re being treated right.  Let the employees eat for free when they’re working at the restaurant. This generates a good sense of well-being.

    Key Codes

    Knowing the people who have codes to the locks, safes, and cash drawers can narrow down who is taking advantage of your restaurant.  By detecting certain patterns with your employees, you might realize that you have potential security issues.

    Accurate Inventory Controls

    You have to know what’s in the restaurant before you can accurately know if anything has been taken.  This is where there’s a huge difference between thinking someone is stealing from you and actually knowing it.

    These aren’t the only ways to catch internal thieves.  Soon enough, they will mess up and you will catch them with their hand in the till or on the neck of the bottle, but do you want to take the losses?

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  9. 5 Customer Comment Card Strategies

    5 Customer Comment Card Strategies

    Restaurant owners and managers are responsible for overseeing the restaurant, which include making sure that both the front of house and back of house play nicely together and that customer responses are honored. One way to solicit customer responses is through the use of customer comment cards.

    A customer card system, if it’s done well, can not only put you in touch with the feelings of your patrons but also alert you to changing trends and put your finger more fully on what it takes to help customers come to your restaurant.

    Suggestions for Customer Comment Cards

    The customer comment card should be direct and simple. There shouldn’t be any mistake as to what the card is or the type of information that you’re looking for.  Basically, you don’t want to overwhelm your customer.

    • Easy to read, professionally printed

    Professional printing and typesetting is essential for your customer comment card system. Everything must be clear. When you’re initiating the program, print a smaller run to see how it flies.

    • 10 questions at the MOST

    Your customers shouldn’t feel like they’ve gone back to school with a lot of questions.  You’re more likely to get false answers which do no good for you or your restaurant.

    • Room for comments

    Some of your diners want to leave comments rather than rate your restaurant from 1-10.  Give them a chance with ample space on the form.

    • Put them in a great location

    There are some places who leave customer comment cards on the table for diners to look at during their meal.  There are others who include a card with every check.  There are still others who leave the cards with the cashier.

    • Give them a reason to fill them out

    Bribery works.  And it works well.  Give your patrons a chance to get something for giving you their opinion.  Maybe you can offer a little free food or something to ‘grease the wheels’ of your restaurant empire.

    Instead of putting your customer comment cards into the check folder, you can also conduct those surveys online if you’ve got a more web savvy clientele.  The manner of gathering information doesn’t matter, as long as the information is gathered.

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  10. Fun Stuff with Escargot

    Fun Stuff with Escargot

    It’s Friday, which means that it’s time to pay more attention to the finer things in life.  There’s truffles, there’s foie gras, and then there’s escargot.  The French eat 40,000 tons of snails per year, and have brought the tradition over to the many French restaurants and eateries.

    Traditionally, the snails are killed and cooked with garlic, butter, or wine, then put back into their shells for eating.  They’re usually served to diners in their shells on a special escargot plate, one which has indentations for holding each individual snail.

    Because of its popularity, people are setting up escargot businesses all over the world.  The space needed for farming snails is quite small, and the demand is higher – especially in more urban areas.  If you can find space for some flowerbeds, you can raise some snails.

    Escargot eating supplies are fairly easy to find.  You need a little fork to dig the snails out of their shells, as well as tongs to transport them, but other than that, it’s no more troublesome than eating other shelled creatures.  You end up wrestling more with crawfish than you do with escargot.

    Here’s something fun.  It’s kids tasting escargot for the first time, as well as their reactions to it.  It made us laugh, so we thought that we’d pass it on to you.

    It never hurts to give new cuisine a shot.  When done well, escargot is truly the delicacy that it’s hyped up to be.

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