Blog

  1. Utilizing Food Bloggers/Influencers

    Utilizing Food Bloggers/Influencers

    Bloggers and influencers are all over the internet describing their experience with food and with a restaurant itself. Treating a food blogger to a free meal at your restaurant can be beneficial, but how do you know if you’re choosing the right blogger that can connect with your audience? Below are some tips for choosing a blogger/influencer that is a good fit for your restaurant.

    Research

    First, visit the blogger/influencer’s blog and see if their articles are well written. You also want to see what they’ve said about other restaurants and businesses they’ve reviewed. Be sure to check out their social media pages as well and make sure their audience aligns with yours. If your blogger/influencer focuses more on food that is great for children, but you’re looking to have an influencer that showcases how great your food is for an older age range, you might want to choose a different blogger.

    ROI

    Ask the potential blogger/influencer what their return on investment (ROI) is. Some influencers might not have any clue what you’re asking for, but if the blogger has great statistics on getting people to click from their blog post to your website, that’s a sure sign that they know what they are doing and might be right for you.

    Form

    Create a form that potential influencers/bloggers have to complete in order to get a free meal and write about your restaurant. On this form, you can include minimum requirements for an influencer (xx followers, xx visits to their website, etc.). You can use this form to help you decide if the blogger might be beneficial in writing a review of your restaurant.

    Influencers and bloggers have become figures that people rely on when deciding whether or not to try out a new product or service. Make sure to choose an influencer/blogger that is big enough to be found by your audience and appeals to your audience.

    Read more
  2. Email Marketing

    Email Marketing

    Building an email list can be time consuming, but worth the effort! Email marketing is a great way to promote your restaurant without many costs. You can control the message, target specific people, and speak with your customers directly.

    Building Your List

    A great way to start your email list is to look to existing customers, people who live near your restaurant, and those that visit your website or social media. There is software available that can assist you in building the list, but it is doable to do it the old-fashioned way. You just have to make sure that you give your customers a way to opt-out of receiving emails.

    Composing Process

    When crafting these email blasts, think about publicizing your menu, providing information, or highlighting upcoming events. Don’t send a barrage of emails constantly because people will opt-out immediately.

    Timing

    Thursday afternoons are the perfect time to send out an email because it sets you up to let your customers know about your weekend events and promotions. People planning their weekends will be grateful to have a little heads up!

    Dos                                                                                         

    • Mail consistently
    • Use short paragraphs
    • Use content related subject lines
    • Break up text with images
    • Provide contact info

    Don’ts

    • Write in all caps
    • Send an email with no value
    • Mail too often
    • Use too much text
    • Hide your unsubscribe link

    Email marketing is a great way to reach your customers without spending a significant amount of money. Email lists allow you a direct way to communicate and build relationships with your customers.

    Read more
  3. Deep Dive: Convection Ovens

    Deep Dive: Convection Ovens

    We’ve discussed types of ovens for your restaurant’s kitchen in the past, but in this post we’re going to focus solely on convection ovens.

    In a convection oven, heat is transmitted in three ways: conduction, convection, and radiation. By using radiation heating, heat is absorbed by objects in the oven, and by using conduction heating, you apply heat directly to the bottom of the item to warm it up. Convection ovens combine regular heating elements with fans to create currents of air inside the oven.

    Benefits

    Convection ovens significantly reduce the formation of hot and cold spots that occur inside the oven. Food items in convection ovens are always evenly heated.

    • Food is cooked quicker than in a traditional oven
    • Food can be cooked at a lower temperature for the same amount of time
    • Can lower energy costs (depending on efficiency)
    • No need to rotate pans in oven
    • Allows more food to be cooked

    Tips

    • Avoid ovens that contain a rear fan with no third heating element (most countertop convection ovens do not have a third heating element)
    • Look for convection ovens with a 2 inch air gap around the edges of the item you’re cooking to allow for even current flow

    Potential Issues

    • If switching to a convection oven from a traditional oven, you will need to alter cooking times and temperatures for all of your menu items
    • Be aware that in convection ovens, air blows hard enough to move parchment paper and disturb batters 
    • When the oven door is open, convection ovens lose heat quicker than traditional ovens

    Convection ovens might be a great fit for your restaurant kitchen. If you’re looking fo some, check out these on our website: https://www.restaurantsupply.com/convection-ovens!

    Read more
  4. Reducing Utility Bills and Energy

    Reducing Utility Bills and Energy

    Electricity, gas, and water are among the biggest factors in running a successful restaurant, but they are also the biggest users of energy. Utility costs can add up quickly, but, good news – there a few simple changes you can make to reduce your costs! We have some budget-conscious tips below.

    Lighting

    Properly illuminated restaurants are attractive to customers. If your restaurant is too bright, or too dark, that makes a difference to customers. However, you can use LED or incandescent light bulbs, which reduce the amount of energy you’re using to light your restaurant and are also budget-friendly. Consider investing in automatic dimmers if you get lots of natural light in your restaurant. Dimmers will adjust to the amount of light you actually need at any given time.

    Refrigerators

    Refrigerators can use up most of your energy, but there are some ways to ensure that refrigerators are being as energy efficient as possible.

    • Make sure fans are running properly
    • Review temperature settings
    • Ensure doors keep cold air in and keep warm air out
    • Clean condenser coils as often as possible

    Water Leaks

    Water leaks can cost restaurants a ton of money each year. Fixing water leaks can significantly reduce your energy output.

    For a restaurant owner, saving energy equals saving money, and that’s important! You need to save money where you can in order to invest it in something that is needed to make your restaurant better for your customers.

    Read more
  5. Replacing Kitchen Equipment

    Replacing Kitchen Equipment

    Commercial kitchen equipment is a huge investment, but worth it if you purchase the right equipment for your needs. The equipment should be efficient and have a considerable life span. However, there will always come a time when you need to replace your existing equipment because using equipment past the end of its lifespan makes it less efficient and creates unnecessary problems for you. Below are some instances where you’ll need to replace your equipment:

    High Repair Cost

    Maintenance and repair costs can become costly very quickly. The cost of purchasing new equipment might be less than constantly having to repair your existing equipment.

    Safety

    While using kitchen equipment, safety is a priority. If you’re using equipment that isn’t completely safe, you need to replace it immediately. There is no reason to risk the safety of yourself or your employees.

    Menu

    Changing up your menu might call for a change in equipment! Your needs will change and impact what you need from an appliance.

    When considering replacing commercial appliances, you should be certain to take note of durability and regulations. You want to invest in an appliance that can serve you for a long duration. As you have to follow government regulations and building codes, make certain that the equipment you purchase is compliant with those regulations.

    Read more
  6. Commercial Food Steamer

    Commercial Food Steamer

    Cooking with steam is a healthy, quick, and efficient way to cook foods without drying them out. Steamers are often used to cook vegetables because it allows the vegetables to keep their natural colors, texture, and it doesn’t strip them of natural vitamins and minerals as other cooking methods might. You do not have to use oil or cooking spray with a steamer making it a healthy way to prepare foods.

    Choosing the Right Steamer

    Your menu and its needs will guide you in deciding what type of steamer to purchase. For example, deciding on a steamer size depends on how many servings you need to produce when making any single menu item.  Steamers range in size from small countertop sizes (perfect in your home kitchen) to floor steamers with multiple compartments.

    Convection Steamer

    Convection steamers cook foods at 212 degrees Fahrenheit without pressure. The steam transfers the heat and cooks the food. These steamers are generally less expensive and more popular than other types. Convection steamers are more versatile because they can reheat food, thaw food, steam food, and more.

    Pressure Steamer

    Because pressure builds steadily during the steaming process, food can be cooked up to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Pressure steamers are larger than most other steamers and can cook faster than most because of their size.

    Microwave Steamers

    Microwaves can double as steamers if you purchase a microwave with the capability. Microwave steamers can hold several pans of food at once and get the job done without the time-consuming task of draining water out of the equipment afterwards.

    Use of a steamer in your commercial kitchen can make the flavors in your food pop and make your customers’ experiences better. Because steamers range in size, you can easily find one that fits in your kitchen and efficiently cooks food.

    Read more
  7. Staying Relevant and Trendy

    Staying Relevant and Trendy

    Millennials look for brands and places that are relevant – unfortunate, but true! You want your restaurant to keep up with consumer expectations and trends, otherwise it will become a hangout spot and place of the past. It may be difficult, but as a restaurant owner, you should look to forecast and predict upcoming trends. You know your business and what foods and drinks are working, and which are not. Here are some ways to keep your restaurant relevant in an everchanging environment:

    New Foods and Drinks

    It’s important to stick with the foods and drinks that you’re known for and that are most popular at your restaurant, but every so often, you need to sample new food items/drinks in order to keep up with people’s demands.

    Internet

    Google is your best friend! There are food sites dedicated to what’s popular in the food industry and new trends. Take those into account when deciding new menu items and flavors to experiment with.

    Host Events

    There are a range of events you can host at your restaurant! Whether it’s a sampling party, game day party, etc., people will come to think of your venue as a place to try new things and maybe even approach you with ideas for other events.

    New restaurants are popping up left and right, and you want to stay relevant and rival your competition. Find out what you’re doing right and what might need improvement and go from there. Substitute new menu items in for current items that may not be doing as well as you thought they would. It never hurts to try to keep up with the trends and try new things!

    Read more
  8. Cleaning Your Commercial Oven

    Cleaning Your Commercial Oven

    Your restaurant kitchen’s oven is more than likely overused and if you neglect to clean your oven regularly, that can lead to the buildup of debris. Debris buildup can cause a decline in the quality of the food you're serving to guests and can cause kitchen fires. Below are some steps to help you properly clean your commercial oven.

    Daily Cleanings

    Make sure that you clean your oven at the end of every day. This helps you manage the buildup of debris and allows you to keep the oven doors open overnight to air out. For daily cleanings, you shouldn't have to use oven cleaner.

    Remove Racks

    Debris buildup also accumulates on the oven racks (especially if you put meats directly on the racks). To keep the racks clean, remove them and clean them separately in the sink using a mix of hot water and soap. 

    Walls

    Once the racks are removed from the oven, wipe down the interior and the doors of the oven with a damp towel. Make sure to pay attention to the areas around the fan because debris will cause the fan to run less efficiently.

    Monthly Cleanings

    Along with daily cleanings, monthly cleanings are a necessity. Deep cleaning the interior and exterior once a month is the best way to ensure that your oven will work at peak performance. Your oven’s owner’s manual will provide you with the best practices and tips for cleaning your oven. 

    Manage Spills

    Manage spills as they occur, but make sure that the oven is cooled down before you take on the spills!

    Cleaning an oven is not at the top of the list of favorite chores to do, but when you’re running a restaurant, it’s essential. If you're reading this article and find that your kitchen oven is dirty beyond repair, check out some of the ovens we have at https://www.restaurantsupply.com/commercial-ovens.

    Read more
  9. How to Clean Your Griddle

    How to Clean Your Griddle

    Adding a griddle to your kitchen will make it more appealing and give you the opportunity to make your menu more diverse. Regardless of how often you use the griddle, cleaning it the right way is important. Here are some steps to clean your griddle the correct way:

    Non-Chromium Surface

    1. Use a Grill Scraper

    Remove excess food and grease with your grill scraper and scrape it into the waste drawer. 

    1. Griddle Brick

    If a grill scraper isn't getting those all of the debris off your griddle, use a griddle brick while the surface is still warm to wipe away debris. Make sure to rub in the direction of the grain so you don’t ruin the stainless steel surface.

    1. Empty Waste Drawer

    At the end of every day you should be emptying, washing, and sanitizing your waste drawer.

    1. Clean Surface

    Once a week you should unplug the griddle and clean it after it cools completely. Use non-abrasive griddle cleaner and then thoroughly rinse with water.

    1. Re-season Surface

    After its weekly cleaning, you should apply a thin layer of cooking oil, which aids in preventing rusting.

    Chromium Surface

    1. Scraper

    After every use, use a scraper to remove the excess grease and food debris.

    1. Clean Surface

    At the end of the day, clean the surface with a mixture of mild soap and water. Then wipe down the surface with a wet cloth.

    On chrome surfaces, never use pumice or griddle stones, sharp spatulas, steel wool, or liquid grill cleaner to clean your griddle. 

    Adding a griddle to your restaurant can help you diversify your menu and help you offer some variety to your customers. Taking proper care of your griddle is essential in keeping it running properly.

    Read more
  10. Venture into the Restaurant Business

    Venture into the Restaurant Business

    We’ve discussed how to keep a business up and running, but never exactly how to start one. More than ever before, people want to dine out or take home prepared food. Below are some steps to starting the sometimes daunting task of creating and opening your own restaurant.

    Audience

    You should decide on a few target audiences and then narrow those down to one. Look at location, age, income, etc. of those that live in the area where you plan on opening your restaurant. You need to know whom you’re catering to! It’s easier to please a specific group rather than trying to please everyone because that never works.

    Concept

    What kind of food are you going to serve? A concept lets customers know in advance what type of food to expect and you surprising your guests is not always a good thing!

    Niche

    Identify your competitors! Differentiating yourself from your competitors is key and finding that one thing that makes you different from your competitors might be the reason for your success. You also need to identify your own skills. For example, if you’re a people person and you like interacting with others, you want to design a restaurant that allows you to connect and engage with your customers. However, if you prefer to stay more behind the scenes, you should design a restaurant that allows you to stay behind in the kitchen and deal less with customers and more with operations.

    Business Plan

    It’s essential to make sure you don’t rush into opening a restaurant. A lack of planning definitely lends a hand in the failure of a restaurant. You want to map out all your plans on paper including pricing, your menu, financial information, long-term expenses, etc.

    These are just some of the tips and tricks to you prepare for opening a restaurant. Don’t forget to focus on and plan your menu design, employee hiring process, and funding before you jump into the restaurant business.

    Read more
Page