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  1. Cleaning Your Commercial Dishwasher

    Cleaning Your Commercial Dishwasher

    We’re still on that cleaning kick! You absolutely have to clean your restaurant’s dishwasher because it doesn’t clean itself – just your dishes! All the debris and dirt that comes off your dishes gets stuck in your dishwasher and will sit there forever if you don’t clean it. Below are some tips for cleaning your commercial dishwasher:

    Clean the Nozzles

    The nozzles in dishwashers get clogged very easily, but good news, they’re easy to remove! Clogged nozzles will cause the water pressure to drop and make your dishwasher less efficient. Remove the nozzles after each cycle, unclog, and run under hot water.

    Interior

    You need to clean your dishwasher's walls, corners, and the doors. Food left behind isn’t always visible, so be sure to clean everything! Use a cloth or brush and rinse after you scrub everything down.

    Tank Water

    Commercial dishwashers get their water pumped in from a water tank, and that water will get dirtier every time you put dirty dishes in and run the dishwasher for a cycle. A best practice for your water tank involves changing the water in your tank after every cycle.

    Descale

    Don’t forget to clean the exterior of your dishwasher! You can run a putty knife along the sides of the dishwasher to get rid of any scum that has accumulated.

    Leave Dishwasher Door Open

    You should leave your dishwasher’s door open when it’s not in use – let it air dry! Leaving the door open allows for less humidity and lessens the buildup of scum because of the constant airflow.

    Although dishwashers keep our dishware clean and keep our restaurant running efficiently, they don’t wash themselves. Make it a priority to clean your dishwasher and make it a weekly, if not daily, habit!

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  2. 2020 Wine Trends

    2020 Wine Trends

    Almost a month into the New Year, we want to look at the who’s who for wine and what wines people are gravitating towards in the new decade.

    Prosecco Rosé

    This combination of Prosecco and Rosé is becoming more and more popular as it just became approved to sell on the market in Italy.

    Vegan

    Not surprising here – vegan trends are spilling over (no pun intended!) into alcohol and drinks, not just food! The number of wines with vegan labels on the market in 2019 skyrocketed and are becoming a more popular alternative option.

    Natural Wines

    Technically, natural wine doesn't have a definition, but natural wine is considered a wine that is fermented without yeast and additives. Natural wine tastes similar to a sour beer, moreso than regular wine. Natural wine is still part of a small niche, but is becoming more popular.

    Trade Deals

    Will you have trouble accessing your wine with the newly propose tariffs and trade deals that keep popping up? As of now, the answer is no, but seeing a wine tariff in the near future is something you might want to keep in the back of your mind!

    The 2020 wine trend predictions above may or may not come to fruition, but it doesn’t hurt to try them. People are always looking for different wines to try and we all know we like to participate in a good wine tasting from time to time…or as often as we possibly can – no judgment!

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  3. Commercial Sink Maintenance

    Commercial Sink Maintenance

    We’re on a cleaning kick – if you can’t tell! It’s very easy to let your restaurant’s sink go quite a long time without a washing because it seems to rank pretty low on your mile long task list. But fear not! Below are some ways to keep your sink clean:

    Rinsing

    You should be rinsing your sink as often as possible. Soap, water, and a sponge will remove most stains and rinsing regularly will prevent the buildup of any residue.

    Deep Cleaning

    Periodically, you should be cleaning your restaurant’s sink with a water and bleach solution. Wipe down the sink with this solution and then fill the sink with the solution and let it soak for at least half an hour before rinsing.

    Preventative Care

    You should avoid rubber sink mats because these trap water, which can lead to rust. Other metal products left in the sink can also cause a buildup of rust, so you should store these outside of the sink.

    Rust

    If you have a stainless steel sink, rust is less likely to accumulate, but it does happen! A solution of oxalic acid can remove the rust, but be sure not to use steel wool pads or other traditional methods to clean the sink, as it will scratch the stainless steel.

    Stains

    No matter how hard you try to prevent them, stains will pop up. Detergent and water will work for most stains, but you might need to use other methods to get rid of grease and other persistent stains.

    Cleaning your sink regularly will make your life easier and keep your sink out of trouble! It might take extra time to deep clean your sink, but it will save you from having to replace your sink, which will certainly impact your bottom line.

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  4. Cleaning Your Commercial Stove

    Cleaning Your Commercial Stove

    Keeping your restaurant kitchen clean is imperative in keeping your restaurant up to health standards and codes. We’ve discussed how to keep other kitchen equipment clean in past blogs, but for this blog, we’re going to focus on cleaning your commercial stove!

    Tips

    • Keep up With Cleaning

    Clean up spills as soon as they happen – they’re inevitable! This will prevent foods and liquids from burning and becoming stuck to the stovetop.

    • Gas Stoves – Remove Burners

    If you have a gas stove, remove the burner covers, drip trays, and knobs when cleaning it. Soak them in hot, soapy water to get rid of the grease.

    • Owner’s Manual

    Use the owner’s manual to find out the type of cleaning products and utensils you should be using to clean your stove. 

    • Electric Stove

    To clean an electric stove, you need to lift the burner plates and move the metal bowls underneath. You should soak the bowls and knobs in hot, soapy water.

    • Monthly

    Once a month you should move the stovetop away from the wall and use a degreaser to clean the wall and back of the stove.

    Keeping your stove clean is the only way to keep your restaurant running and thriving. Check out some of our commercial stoves here: https://www.restaurantsupply.com/commercial-restaurant-ranges and cleaning supplies here: https://www.restaurantsupply.com/janitorial-supplies!

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  5. Dry January Hacks

    Dry January Hacks

    Many people participate in Dry January – it’s the time of year where people aspire to be healthy and we love it! Instead of dreading this time of year for fear of losing profits, take advantage! This is your time to shine and show your customers that you can create mocktails and virgin drinks that are just as delicious as their alcoholic counterparts. Here are some tips on just how to embrace Dry January and drive traffic despite the alcohol respite:

    1. Mocktail Menu

    Mocktails are known to be pricier items – and people will pay that extra dollar for something that tastes exactly like their favorite cocktails. A mocktail menu is also a great option for a customer that isn’t water or soda.

    2. Triva Nights

    Trivia nights drive traffic to your restaurant! People love a good trivia night out with their friends and if you have the resources to do this, you should! Do trivia night once a week and you might even see more people gravitating towards your mocktail menu.

    3. Promote a “Sober Night”

    If you really want to target those that have committed to Dry January, you should go all out and host a night specifically for them. You can host the event on a night that is typically slower for your restaurant if you’re worried about turning away alcohol sales on a historically busy night.

    Make sure you’re stocking up on those beer brands that have also taken advantage of the trend of creating beers with no alcohol in them, including Heineken and Michelob Ultra. Options are key! 

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  6. Refrigerator Cleaning Process

    Refrigerator Cleaning Process

    Your restaurant’s refrigerator is one of the driving life forces of your restaurant. Without it, your life would probably be in shambles! Keeping your refrigerator clean is and should be an important part of your weekly, and maybe even daily, maintenance activities. Over time, food stored in containers is going to spoil and you want to avoid having to thoroughly examine your fridge to find the mystery source of that awful smell. Below are some steps to take when cleaning and organizing your restaurant’s refrigerator:

    Steps:

    1. Unplug Refrigeration Units

    You want to eliminate any possibility of electrocuting yourself when cleaning your fridge.

    2. Empty Shelves of All Items

    Remove all items from every shelf in your fridge and don’t just move the containers to one side. This makes it much easier to thoroughly clean the shelves.

    3. Throw Away Expired Food

    If you think a food item in the fridge is expired or spoiled, throw it away! You don’t want to risk the health of your customers. Jars and cans that are already opened should be thrown away if the date they expire is not clearly labeled.

    4. Wipe Down Interior of Refrigerator

    Use a sponge and warm, soapy water to clean the inside of your refrigerator. Don’t just wipe down the shelves, but also the sides the refrigerator. If you’re having trouble getting rid of dirt in the corners or tough to reach spots of the refrigerator, use a toothbrush to scrub it away.

    5. Disinfect

    Use sanitizer to disinfect the surfaces of the refrigerator because bacteria and mold are notorious for growing in a fridge over time.

    6. Vacuum

    Vacuum the condenser and coils of the refrigerator because they get clogged with dust and debris. The accumulation of dust and debris can also cause your refrigerator to use more energy to work harder than normal to run. Brush the coils and fan and then use the vacuum to suck up the dust.

    7. Clean Exterior

    You should clean the top and the bottom of your refrigerator. Mop underneath and dust on top of your fridge because keeping the fridge’s exterior clean is just as important as keeping the interior clean!

    8. Restock Shelves

    Use proper food placement procedures to load your food back in once you’ve finished cleaning. Rule of thumb when stocking a refrigerator is to place “ready-to-eat-foods” and condiments on the top shelf for easy access. Seafood and meats should follow on the lower shelves.

    Keeping your refrigerator clean is a necessary evil when running your restaurant and keeping up with proper maintenance. You don’t want your customers to get sick, and you want to have the reputation of a clean restaurant with tasty food!

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  7. How and When to Filter Fryer Oil - Fryer Oil Maintenance

    How and When to Filter Fryer Oil - Fryer Oil Maintenance

    No matter if your fryer is the workhorse of your kitchen or only cranked up a few times per week, maintenance is key for peak performance. Maintaining your fryer may seem like a daunting task, but there are a few simple steps that you can take to keep it running like new. 

    Filtering and changing your deep fryer oil is a must. 

    Fryer oil filtration prevents loose food particles from burning and ruining the flavor of your oil. Regular filtration can double the usable lifespan of your oil – saving you significantly on oil costs over time.

    The instructions below break down how and when to filter the oil in your deep fryer.

    Maintaining Built-in Filtration System

    In many commercial deep fryers, there is a built-in filtration system that makes filtering easier for the operator. Typically, these internal filtration systems are located inside the cabinet of the fryer. The system passes oil through a filter and catches particles, which can then be discarded. Refer to your operations manual for detailed instructions on how to complete the process.

    Check out this oil filtration video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=36c4qP9bvAY!

    The advanced technology in commercial appliances can save maintenance time for your staff and keep your kitchen efficient, clean and functioning at its best.

    Mobile Filters

    If your kitchen has a fryer without built-in filtration, mobile filters are a good option.

    Portable deep fryer oil filter systems require more labor than built-in filtration systems but are quicker than manually filtering the oil. Most mobile filters are compatible with a variety of manufacturer fryers. The process involves inserting a nozzle into the fry pot. The system filters the oil and returns it to the fry pot through the same hose.

    When to Filter Oil

    Many operators think that the major cost of adding a fryer to a commercial kitchen is the fryer itself. In reality, one of the highest costs is recurring oil replacement. By filtering and maintaining good oil cleaning practices, you can reduce this cost. 

    So, when is it time to filter your frying oil? There are a few tests you can run to measure its freshness. 

    Traditionally, the color of the oil has been a key indicator of its health. Oil is typically clear with a yellowish tint. When the oil gets darker or loses its transparency, it’s time to filter it. You can also invest in inexpensive fryer oil test strips. Simply dip a test strip into the oil and get a clear reading of whether to change or filter the oil. In some, more advanced commercial fryers, there are automatic oil detection and testing components that trigger a notification when it is time for maintenance. 

    As a rule of thumb, you will want to consider filtering after each daypart. For example, if you are open for lunch and dinner, filter after each meal. This schedule will, of course, be impacted by the types and volume of food you are frying.

    Filtering and Maintaining Your Fryer Oil

    Whether you just added a new fryer to your kitchen or you’re a seasoned fryer, the most important thing you can do to maintain the best frying practices is routine maintenance. Filtering oil is one of the easiest maintenance practices and can help save your business time and money. If you have questions about your specific fryer or you are in need of assistance when it comes to oil maintenance, our team is ready to help.

    Written by Vulcan: https://www.vulcanequipment.com/.

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  8. Spiked Ice Cubes

    Spiked Ice Cubes

    If you’re looking to add to your alcohol intake without physically drinking more alcohol, you can add alcohol to your ice cubes! Spiked ice cubes are a great way to counteract dilution and to add more flavor to your drinks, all while making your drink a bit stronger!

    How to Make

    Obviously, liquor shouldn’t freeze, but if you have the right combination of water and liquor, you can transform the mixture into an ice cube. You have to add enough water to the mixture to lower the alcohol by volume (AVP). It is recommended to use between 8% and 12% ABV when making a spiked ice cube and that two-thirds of the mixture be non-alcohol based.

    Benefit

    Dilution can be a big problem if you have a patron who takes their sweet time when finishing their drink. You don’t want the flavor of the drink to be lost in the shuffle as the ice melts into your drink. Spiked ice cubes will make the drink stronger as time passes and who doesn’t want that!

    Play around when creating spiked ice cubes and find the best way to create your ice cubes so that they will perfectly complement your drink. Your drink will evolve as you sip it!

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  9. Low Calorie Cocktails

    Low Calorie Cocktails

    Trying to stick to your New Year's resolution to lose weight and don’t want to give up alcohol? We get it - you want a drink after a long week at work. We’ve got some cocktails for you that are perfect if you’re trying to stick to a diet.

    Mojito – 150 Calories

    At around 150 calories, a mojito, which consists of rum, mint, lime, and soda, is a great drink when trying to cut calories. To avoid the excess sugar in the drink ask for half the simpele syrup (the drink is sweet after all!)

    Tequila and Soda – 100 Calories

    Tequila has a lower glycemic index than other alcohols. Foods and drinks with a low glycemic index are perfect for weight loss. The soda is calorie free and it pairs well with a vegetable or fruit garnish.

    Seabreeze – 180 Calories

    If you like to drink vodka cranberries, a seabreeze is a great low calorie option for you. The grapefruit juice cuts the amount of sugar in half and adds vitamin C.

    Mudslide – 184 Calories

    Mudslide’s can sometimes resemble a creamy, milkshake, but this recipe calls for Kahlua, vodka, and Irish cream liqueur. This combination still tastes like dessert, but is relatively low in calories!

    We’re here to help you stick to your weight loss resolutions, but we still want you to enjoy yourself. You can go out and have a relaxing night with any of these drinks without wrecking your weight loss goals!

     

     

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  10. Bar Marketing Ideas

    Bar Marketing Ideas

    Bars are a popular place where people gather to socialize, talk, drink, and dance. Attracting and engaging with customers is becoming more difficult as everyone seems to be taking on the role of bar owner. To keep your bar relevant and to differentiate it from the competition, you need to change your marketing tactics. Below are some fresh marketing tactics to attract customers:

    Audience

    You need to get specific when defining your audience. Focus on exactly the type of customer that you see on a daily basis. It doesn’t make sense to try to target the super rich if you’re a local bar, or to try to appeal to the older crowd if your customers are typically college students.

    Goals

    Set realistic and measureable goals. You don’t want to set a goal with the general hope of increasing business, but with exactly what you want to achieve. For example, you might want to set a goal of doing better than your competitors or getting people to arrive earlier and leave later. These results can be measured to see if your marketing tactics are efficient.

    Sports

    If you’re a sports bar, you should tailor your sports marketing ideas to include local professional, college, and maybe even high school sports. You can name drinks after athletes and play reruns of classic games during slow sports periods. The bar can be decorated with team colors and logos.

    Beer Specials

    Hold beer tastings or promote specials for certain beers to attract customers. You can offer your customers beer from around the world for a specific time period, and hold contests for creating and naming beers.

    With so many bars popping up virtually everywhere, you need to find a way to differentiate your bar from your competitors. Get creative and have fun when brainstorming marketing ideas!

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