Author Archives: Hope Thoennes

About Hope Thoennes

Hope Thoennes is a Content Specialist for Central Restaurant Products, a food service equipment and supply distributor in Indianapolis. She writes for Central's catalog, website and blog and provides latest foodservice information on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Blenders vs Choppers vs Processors

Food Processor vs Blender vs Chopper – Which Do I Need?

Ensuring that you have the right equipment in your kitchen is essential to the success of your business. Just like you are not going to make french fries in a steamer, you are not going to make a smoothie in a chopper. Some kitchens may see that they need a food processor, a blender, and a chopper; however maybe you can get by with just one! It all depends on what the equipment is being used for. Let Central help you figure out what you need!

Blenders vs Choppers vs Processors

Food Processors 

  • Purpose: Strong and sharp blade to easily cut raw, hard-to-chop ingredients
  • Good Foods to Use For: nuts, carrots, onions, etc.
  • Recipe Ideas: nut butters, pesto, curry paste, hummus, homemade salad dressing
  • Bonus: Many food processors utilize attachments which allows operators to slice, dice, grate, grind meat, puree vegetables, knead dough, and more!

Food Blenders

  • Purpose: To combine ingredients that have a liquid base
  • Good Foods to Use For: soups, cocktails, smoothies, salsa, etc.
  • Bonus: Operators are still able to chop and grind with a blender, but this is meant to be done with softer foods unless otherwise noted. Many commercial blenders can still chop and blend hard ingredients if done properly.

Food Choppers

  • Purpose: Quickly cuts fruits, vegetables and meats in uniform pieces
  • Good Foods to Use For: onions, diced chicken, peppers, lemons, etc.
  • Bonus: Want to give the same results every time? Food choppers give operators the option of changing out blade sets to get the size of cut desired. Want 1/4″ slices of onion on each burger? That’s quick and easy to do with a food chopper!

Food Processor vs Blender vs Chopper


Cleveland, Frymaster, Garland Promotion

Lowest Prices and Free Shipping on Garland, Frymaster and Cleveland

You are in the kitchen of your popular cafe at lunch time ready for a good crowd. You just launched a new special consisting of gourmet grilled cheese with a side of handcut fries or the soup of the day. Orders start flooding in, but your equipment has seen better days and can’t keep up. What are you supposed to do now?!

Garland, Frymaster and Cleveland offer unparalleled kitchen equipment ranging from  ranges and ovens to fryers, griddles, and so much more! Rest assured that your equipment can handle the lunch rush.


Since 1864, Garland has been producing kitchen equipment made to withstand the fast-paced environment of high-volume kitchens. From ranges, induction, counter-top equipment, and more, Garland has the piece you need for a complete kitchen.




Did you know that Frymaster has been awarded Overall Best in Class 15 consecutive years? This is no coincidence for the leader in commercial fryers who continually exceeds expectations in precision and quality. Set up your kitchen for success and shop Frymaster’s vast array of fryer options!

Frymaster Fryer

Cleveland Range

Cleveland Range is a leading manufacturer and designer of steam cooking equipment with a long and proud history of serving the foodservice industry with quality and innovative cooking devices. With main products of steamers, steamer-ovens, kettles, and braising pans, Cleveland Range will help you simplify your kitchen.



Shop Central

Ready to purchase? Visit our website to browse all Garland, Frymaster and Cleveland products at the lowest prices with free shipping! If you need assistance in your decision, our Product Consultants are here to help! Call them at 800-215-9293 or chat live with them now. Speak to your Product Consultant about a free catalog, or request a copy online.

Coffee Brewers

Tuesday Tip: Coffee Brewers

Coffee brewers come in a variety of types and features, meaning there is no need to short your establishment or over-buy. Here are some tips and things to keep in mind when shopping for a coffee brewer.

How much coffee do you serve?

Before making a decision on a brewer, you must first determine how much coffee your establishment serves on a daily basis. For instance, if you serve a lot of coffee throughout the day, look into higher capacity, automatic brewers. However, if you only serve small amounts of coffee or only need a brewer for an office or breakroom, look into smaller capacity, pour over brewers.

Pour Over or Automatic

  • Pour over coffee brewers are great for serving coffee in low volumes. They require water to be poured in, but since they don’t require water lines, many are portable.
  • Automatic coffee brewers are best for establishments that serve large amounts of coffee. They require a water connection which enables a constant supply of coffee.

Brew Capacity

Brewing capacities range from a few liters to over five gallons. Some vendors list capacities by cups, while others list by liters and gallons. To decide an optimal brewing capacity, think of how much coffee your establishment goes through in an hour.

Brewing Vessels


  • Great for individual serving or to hold smaller capacities of coffee
  • Pair well with brewers that include warming plates, which allow the decanters to retain heat for extended periods of time
  • Many can be customized with colored handles and lids to help distinguish between regular, decaf, or flavored coffees (Typically, a black or brown handle/lid represents regular coffee and orange represents decaf.)


  • Brewers that pour into airpots are great for larger capacities that need to retain a hot temperature for long periods of time
  • Great for a variety of self-serving establishments from convenience stores to catering events
Thermal Carafe

Thermal Carafes

  • Great for individual serving or to hold smaller capacities of coffee
  • Durable and aesthetically pleasing
  • Can be set out for longer periods of time without needing to be placed on a hot plate as they have longer temperature retention
In-line Brewer


In-line brewers are ideal for narrow settings where height isn’t an issue. They are linear in shape and typically hold decanters on the top and the base of the unit.

Low Profile Brewer

Low Profile

Low profile brewers work well in low height environments where the unit’s width isn’t an issue. They typically hold decanters in front of and next to the unit, which makes them ideal in a horizontal setting.

Hot Water Faucet

Many establishments need the ability to access hot water immediately for items such as tea or oatmeal. This is where many coffee brewers serve another purpose and have a built-in hot water faucet.


Different brewers have different features which may help make a brewer be the perfect fit for your establishment:

  • Auto shut-off
  • Energy saver mode great for idle periods
  • Ready-to-brew light and thermostats help operator determine when to start brewing based on water temperature
  • Automatic brewers with pour over capability
  • Dual-head brewing great for making regular and decaf simultaneously
  • Cord and plug allow brewer to be portable (Note: depending on the type of business you run, larger quantities of coffee are most likely to come from a hard-wired machine.)

Ready to shop?

Browse Central Restaurant’s wide variety of coffee brewers here!

Food Service News

Foodservice Industry Week in Brief: September 1, 2017

Happy Friday and Labor Day Weekend! Time to catch up on the latest foodservice industry news and Central blogs and promotions!

Industry News

  1. Delish: 103 Ultimate Summer Party Appetizers
  2. Fast Casual: Judge strikes down Obama’s OT ruling, industry leaders urge compromise
  3. Nation’s Restaurant News: McDonald’s is making a big bet on coffee
  4. Delish: All The Ways To Donate Food To Hurricane Harvey Victims
  5. QSR Magazine: After Harvey, Chain Hopes to Feed Thousands
  6. Fast Casual: Help from restaurant industry pours into Texas, Louisiana’s flooded areas
  7. Delish: These Bakers Made Hundreds of Loaves of Bread for Hurricane Victims After Harvey Stranded Them
  8. QSR Magazine: The Future of Drive Thru: Overcoming Choke Points
  9. Nation’s Restaurant News: Restaurant job growth slows
  10. QSR Magazine: Soaring Avocado Prices Deal Another Blow to Chipotle

Central Blogs

Central Promos

The new catalog has arrived! Want the latest version? Click here to request a copy!

Visit to view current promotions, or click the links below.

Connect With Us!

To keep up with the latest, subscribe to Central’s email list and get exclusive benefits such as discounts, new product alerts and early access to our clearance list. You can also follow us on the following social channels for the latest blogs, foodservice industry news and more!

Facebookfoodservice industry news social media






Top Image Credit: Floating Kitchen

Bite Me Monday: Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls

Happy Monday!  Here in Central Indiana, the temperatures are already starting to drop and you can feel fall coming in the crisp mornings.  And you know what fall means, right?! S’mores, pumpkins, and apples! Let’s kick off fall with a delicious breakfast recipe: Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls from the Little Spice Jar!

Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls

Supplies Needed

Central is here to make this recipe even more simple! Here’s exactly what supplies you’ll need:


  • Dough Ingredients:
  • 1/4 cup salted butter or clarified butter (ghee)
  • 3/4 cup milk (I used cow’s milk)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 1/4 – 3 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 envelope ‘rapid rise’ or instant yeast (approx. 2 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 2 tablespoons powdered milk
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • Caramel Apple + Cinnamon Sugar FIlling:
  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 5 tablespoons [b]salted[/b] butter, softened
  • 1 large granny smith, cored and finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans (optional)
  • 3/4 cup caramel sauce


To make the cinnamon roll dough:
  1. In a medium microwave-safe bowl, combine the milk, water, and butter. Heat on high for 1 minute, remove and stir. Continue to heat in 30 second intervals, stirring after each, until the butter melts and the milk is warm. If the milk is hot, allow the mixture to sit on the counter for a few minutes. You want it to be warm to the touch before you proceed.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, add 3 cups of flour, sugar, salt, powdered milk, and the yeast. Add the warm milk mixture and the egg. Beat on medium-low speed to combine. If the dough is sticking to the sides of the bowl, add the remaining flour, 1/4 cup at a time, until the dough begins to pull away from the sides and form a ball. I needed the entire 3/4 cup for my dough. Continue running the dough in the machine for another 5 minutes on the medium-low speed setting. Remove dough from hook and cover with dough (just the doughs surface) with plastic wrap. Let dough rest for 10-15 minutes.
To make the cinnamon brown sugar:
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, cinnamon and ground nutmeg until combined.
To make the caramel apple cinnamon rolls:
  1. When the dough is ready, turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface. With a floured rolling pin, roll out the dough into a 14×10 inch rectangle. (you can trim the edges with a pizza cutter if you want the dough to be a perfect rectangle). Using a small spatula, spread the softened butter out evenly over the entire surface of the dough. Sprinkle evenly with the cinnamon brown sugar mixture. Top with apple and pecan pieces. Drizzle 1/2 cup of caramel sauce on top. Roll up the dough tightly, cut into 12 even pieces and place in a lightly greased 9-inch round or 13 x 9 rectangle pan*. I used dental floss to cut my cinnamon rolls, it’s easier than using a knife.
  2. Loosely cover the rolls with a towel and allow to rise in a warm, dark place for 20-25 minutes. If you have the time, allow them to sit for 35 minutes, that’s even better. [b]Here’s a tip:[/b] heat a 200 F degree oven, Turn the oven OFF and place the rolls inside oven and allow them to rise. It’s the perfect little trick to get them to rise in 20 minutes.
  3. When dough has risen, uncover the dish. Place a rack near the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bake the caramel apple cinnamon rolls for 15-18 minutes or until the rolls are golden and cooked through. Remove and let cool on a wire cooling rack for 5 – 10 minutes. Drizzle with the remaining caramel sauce and serve warm. Serve with additional caramel sauce or powdered sugar.


If you bake these cinnamon rolls in a 9-inch round pie pan only 11 of the rolls will fit. 12 rolls fit in a 13 x 9 rectangle pan. Also, you can bake these in muffin pans to get individual caramel apple cinnamon rolls.
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12 cinnamon rolls
Enjoy! Check back next week for another bite worthy recipe!

Foodservice Industry Week in Brief: August 11, 2017

Happy Friday! Time to catch up on the latest foodservice industry news and Central blogs and promotions!

Industry News

  1. Delish: 31 Recipes to Transition Summer Favorites To Fall
  2. FastCasual: Jersey Mike’s exec: 6 ways to build a vibrant company culture
  3. QSR: Why Millennials are the New Lifeblood of Restaurants
  4. Delish: Caramel Apple S’mores Will Get You So Excited For Fall
  5. Eater: Starbucks Is Now Bottling Pumpkin Spice Lattes
  6. National’s Restaurant News: Applebee’s to close up to 135 locations
  7. Delish: 55 Bacon Recipes That Are Seriously Addictive
  8. Food Republic: 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Wild Maine Blueberries. Now In Season!
  9. QSR Magazine: KFC’s Comeback Story Takes Flight
  10. Nation’s Restaurant News: Must-see videos: Chick-fil-A helps chef give back to the community

Central Blogs

Central Promos

The new catalog has arrived! Want the latest version? Click here to request a copy!

Visit to view current promotions, or click the links below.

Connect With Us!

To keep up with the latest, subscribe to Central’s email list and get exclusive benefits such as discounts, new product alerts and early access to our clearance list. You can also follow us on the following social channels for the latest blogs, foodservice industry news and more!

Facebookfoodservice industry news social media






Top Image Credit: Floating Kitchen

10 Ways to Liven Up Slow Nights at the Restaurant

Is there a certain night of the week where your restaurant is consistently slow? We have brainstormed & searched high and low to find the 10 best ways to increase business on those slow nights. Give them a try and let us know how much they increased business!

1. Charity Events

Between local little leagues, homeless shelters, youth groups, or other organizations, there is always an opportunity for a ‘charity event night’. Customers have to show a flyer to support the cause and a set percentage of all sales go towards the charity. Another great tip for these events – require a few representatives from the charity to help around the restaurant to pick up trash, greet guests, etc. This way, they can also share more about their cause and interact with customers!

2. Kids Eat Free

What parent doesn’t want a delicious meal and a night off from cooking? Offering free kids meals with the purchase of an adult entree draws in families who want a fun night out.

3. Trivia Night

Trivia Nights are always a hit! Have weekly/month themes and offer drink or appetizer specials. Have fun interacting with customers while allowing them to have a fun night out!

4. Neighborhood Events

How well do you know your neighbors? For great repeat business, take a slow night and make it a party! Set up tents, games, drink specials, and a limited delicious menu. Pass out flyers around the neighborhood and spread the word about your block party! They’ll remember your restaurant for the delicious food and the fun times.

5. Guest of Honor Night

Whether it’s Teacher Tuesdays, Veteran’s Wednesday, Nurses Thursday or so on, treat your special guests like royalty and offer a percentage discount or free drink. They deserve the honor and delicious food!

6. Coupons!

Why not advertise coupons in the local paper? You’d be surprised what people will do with a coupon. Everyone is looking for a good deal, and let’s be honest, it is hard to pass up good food. Be clear in your wording, and meet your money savvy neighbors!

7. Deal of the Day

$0.25 Wings Wednesdays, $1 Craft Beer Nights, etc. The possibilities are endless! We have to emphasize it: people love a great deal and people love great food! Add a midweek special to draw in the crowds.

8. Battle of the Bands

Let’s really liven it up with some live music! Host a Battle of the Bands competition and let local musicians compete to win a grand prize. This will draw in music fans, friends and family of the bands, and will make for a ton of fun!

9. Student Discounts

Live near a campus? Offer student discounts on food and drinks to draw in the younger crowd – we all know they need the discounts and the good food!

10. Mug Night

Allow customers to bring in a reasonably sized mug of their own and receive discounted drink prices all night! A fun way to interact with the customers and make new customers!

Plastic Food Pans

Tuesday Tips: Plastic Food Containers – What’s the Difference?

Easily taken for granted, plastic food containers are a staple supply in any food service operation and it’s beneficial to take the time to become familiar with the main types, materials and sizes. By paying attention to these attributes, you could save money in both the cost of the container and also in the reduction of food waste through a more efficient operation.

When shopping for plastic food containers, it is important to know which type of container you need and what the container is made of before making a decision.


Food Pan
“Food Pan” food containers: The workhorse of plastic food containers
  • Come in sizes designed to fit in food wells, transports, chafers
  • Available in various materials that allow for a large temperature range
  • Can go from prep, refrigeration, cooking, warming and serving
  • Lids available for different applications—serving, storing, holding temperature
Food Storage Box
Food Storage Boxes: Designed for bulk storage
  • Largest capacity
  • Stackable design for efficient storage
  • Sliding lids available for one handed operation
  • Good for replacing the original packaging after receiving
Food Storage Containers
Food Storage Containers: Smaller shapes and sizes suited for food rotation
  • Smaller sizes allow for batch prep work and quick retrieval from refrigeration
  • Round shape for easier stirring and mixing
  • Square shape for more efficient use in storage space
  • Lids designed to preserve food integrity



Polycarbonate $$

  • High impact resistance and rigid construction
  • Clear construction for great visibility
  • Highly stain resistant
  • Average temperature range of -40°F to +212°F
  • More expensive than Polypropylene or Polyethylene

High Heat Polycarbonate

High Heat Polycarbonate Plastic $$

  • High impact resistance and rigid construction
  • Usually in see-through Amber or solid Black construction
  • Average temperature range of -40°F to +375°F
  • More expensive than Polypropylene or Polyethylene


Polypropylene $

  • Impact resistant and sturdy construction. More flexible than Polycarbonate and high heat but not quite as flexible as Polyethylene
  • Translucent in appearance, but can be colored for different applications
  • Average temperature range of 0°F to +230°F (not ideal for freezing)
  • Recyclable, microwaveable and dishwasher safe
  • Less expensive than Polycarbonate or High Heat Polycarbonate Plastic


Polyethylene $

  • Impact resistant and sturdy construction, most flexible
  • Usually white in color, but can be colored for different applications
  • Recyclable and dishwasher safe
  • Average temperature range of -40°F to +180°F (not ideal for cooking)
  • Less expensive than Polycarbonate or High Polycarbonate Plastic