Author Archives: John Klun

Game-Day Snacking- Real French Onion Dip

It’s fall and football season is back in full swing.  And what kind of host would you be if you didn’t supply the best snacks for your guests?  Not a very popular one, that’s for sure! But fear not, we’ve got a delicious game-day dip idea that is sure to be a hit!  We’ve got what you need to know to make this gameday staple below.  Just add potato chips!

Real French Onion Dip -seriouseats.com

Ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 3 large yellow onions, finely diced (about 1 quart)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 ounce finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon finely sliced chives

Directions:

  1. Heat sugar in a 12-inch stainless-steel skillet over medium-high heat until completely melted and light brown, about 3 minutes. Immediately add onions and stir with wooden spoon to coat onions in sugar. Add butter, baking soda, 1 teaspoon salt, and a few grinds black pepper. Toss to combine. Cook, shaking pan occasionally until onions release all their liquid and brown coating builds up on bottom of pan, 6 to 8 minutes.
  2. Add 2 tablespoons water shake pan while scraping with wooden spoon to deglaze brown bits from bottom of pan. Continue cooking, shaking occasionally until coating begins to build up again, 3 to 5 minutes. Repeat deglazing and cooking steps three more times until all water is used up and onions are deep brown. Transfer to medium mixing bowl and allow to rest at room temperature for 5 minutes.
  3. Add sour cream, mayonnaise, lemon juice, Parmesan, and Worcestershire and whisk to combine. For smoother texture, run through blender or food processor. Chill in a sealed container for at least 1 hour and up to 5 days (flavor will improve with time). Spoon into a bowl, sprinkle with chives, and serve with chips.

Yield: ~2 cups

Active Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 1/2 hours

Now that you’ve got the dip covered, just head on out and get your favorite potato chips! If for some reason you wind up with leftover dip, you can always put in on a hamburger or a nice roast beef sandwich!  You might be surprised how good it is!

Increase Speed of Service and Efficiency in Your Restaurant

An unexpected rush, being short staffed or a menu item that slows down speed of service each time it is ordered.  There are many of reasons why customers may wait longer than they want to be seated, get their meals or get the check.  While you cannot have a plan in place for every possible situation, you can use these tips to minimize the negative impacts of slow service!

Increased Speed of Service: Restaurant Best Practices

Before you can critique how fast or slow your speed of service is, you need to define what great service is at your restaurant.  According to foodwoolf.com, restaurant owners should “get clear on what great service looks like for your restaurant and write it down”.  Once you have established what level of service you expect, you can work on ways to do it better and faster. This is an important and often skipped, first step.

Once you have your service levels defined, it is important that you provide your team with the proper equipment.  Simple things like making sure you have enough silverware, dishes and basic inventory items all the way up to making sure your cooking equipment, dishwashers and refrigeration are working properly and have the proper capacity for your needs.  This can all shave time off of everyday tasks and have a large impact on your speed of service.

Now that you know your service targets and your equipment is operational, it’s time to spend some time on the human side. According to delaget.com, restaurant owners should “prioritize training” and “schedule the right people for the right roles”.  The more comfortable people are with your systems and processes, the more accurately they will perform, which in turn increases your speed of service.  A training program should include the following:

  1. Practice in the POS system
  2. Role playing and menu overview
  3. Time job shadowing a more experienced team member.

Conclusion:

There are many factors that impact the speed of service at your restaurant, and not all can be planned for.  However, if you take some time and implement the tips above you will find your speed of service won’t suffer when you get an unexpected rush or find yourself short staffed!

Bite Me Monday: Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Bites

Well it’s Monday again, just like clockwork.  But there is no need to just slog through the day. Chocolate peanut butter banana bites from delish.com  are they perfect way to take a drab Monday and add some smiles!  We’ve got this easy recipe along with which supplies you’ll need below, or you can watch the video tutorial here!

Supplies Needed: Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Bites

Ingredients

  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2/3 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 2 teaspoons coconut oil
  • 2 bananas, sliced into 1″ rounds
  • Flaky sea salt

Instructions

  1. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, heat chocolate in 30 second intervals until melted.  Heat peanut butter for 15 seconds in microwave or until runny.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix chocolate and coconut oil until combined.
  4. Into small baking cups, add teaspoon-sized scoops of chocolate.  Top with a slice of banana, a teaspoon-sized scoop of peanut butter, and another scoop of chocolate.  Repeat until you have used up all of  your banana slices.  Top with a pinch of sea salt.
  5. Place tray in freezer for 2 hours, or until frozen.  Serve.

Notes

Author: delish.com                                                                                                                                         Prep time: 10 min.                                                                                                                                         Total Time: 2 hrs. 10 mins.

Enjoy! Check back next week for another bite worthy recipe!

Bite Me Monday: Homemade Mounds Bars

It’s time to bite back at Monday with this week’s Bite Me Monday recipe! This week we’ve got an easy to make treat that does not require a heap of ingredients or tons of equipment; Homemade Mounds Bars from Handle the Heat with Tessa Arias.  Monday doesn’t have to be a drag, take a bite out of it and smile!

Supplies Needed: Homemade Mounds Bars

  1. 8 X 8 inch baking pan
  2. Mixing bowl
  3. Small microwave safe bowl
  4. Rubber Spatula
  5. A fork

Ingredients

  • 3 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 teaspoon flaked sea salt
  • 2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 10 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted

Instructions

Line an 8×8-inch baking pan with parchment paper or tin foil. Spray with nonstick spray.

In a medium bowl mix together the coconut, salt, and condensed milk until combined. Press mixture into prepared pan and spread into an even layer with a rubber spatula. Freeze for 15 minutes, or until slightly hardened.

In a small microwave-safe bowl melt the chocolate in 15-second bursts in the microwave, stirring between every burst, until smooth.

Remove coconut mixture from pan. Cut into 1-inch bars. Dip the coconut bars in the chocolate, turning to coat with a fork. Let excess drip before placing on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Place mounds bars in fridge until chocolate has set. Bars can be kept in the fridge for up to 4 days

Enjoy! Check back next week for another bite worthy recipe!

Foodservice Industry Week in Brief: August 4, 2017

It’s Friday, which means it’s time for Central’s Week in Brief; with the latest foodservice industry news, Central blogs and promotions!

Week In Brief: Industry News

  1. Restaurant News: Applebee’s in Texas Announce ‘Buy 1, Provide 1’ Initiative to Help Local Food Banks Feed its Neighbors in Need
  2. Nation’s Restaurant News: Pizza Hut Launches Loyalty Program; KFC Brings back the Real Colonel.
  3. Nation’s Restaurant News: Delivery Gives Denny’s a 2Q Boost
  4. Forbes: What Makes a Restaurant ‘Hot” and why Should you Care?
  5. Toast Tab: 75 Great Restaurant Ideas to Create an Unforgettable Concept
  6. Delish: It’s Official, Your Kitchen Sponge is Gross and Microwaving it Doesn’t Make a Difference.
  7. ACSI: Sit-Down Restaurants Lose to Fast Food in Customer Satisfaction
  8. Eater: The 18 Hottest Restaurants in LA Right Now, August 2017
  9. The Spruce: Table Manners and Dining Etiquette
  10. Bon Appetit: Migas are the Best “Crumbs” You’ll Ever Eat for Breakfast

Week In Brief: Central Blogs

Central Promos

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

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

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Restaurant Sustainability: Best Practices

Today’s restaurant goers care more than ever about where their food comes from, responsible business practices and social responsibility.  In short, they care about restaurant sustainability and they speak with their wallets.  Sustainable practices are not only good for the environment, they can also save you money.  With this in mind, we took some time to scour the web for the easiest ways to improve restaurant sustainability and have aggregated the best ones for you!

Restaurant Sustainability: Best Practices

  1. Source Local: According to lightspeedhq.com, “purchasing food from a local vendor or farmers’ market means that the trip to your restaurant is shorter and less gas has been used on the journey”.  In addition, this supports local farmers and suppliers, and customers view this in a positive light.
  2. Cook What’s in Season: Openforbusiness.opentable.com suggests changing your menu four times a year (once for each season) and rotating new dishes in every six weeks or so to accommodate ingredients with short growing seasons.  In addition, if you can grow it yourself, do it!
  3. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: This is a very simple way to not only cut costs, but to improve your restaurant sustainability.  According to buzztime, you can: buy kitchen and bar mats made from 100% recycled materials; recycle wood boxes, cardboard and glass bottles; and opt for beverage and takeout containers made from recycled paper or compostable materials.
  4. Recycle Fryer Oil: You may not even have to go anywhere to do this.  According to starchefs.com “there are biofuel companies across the country that will pick it up and convert it”.  The win is two-fold here.  You recycle your old oil, and you provide a cleaner source of fuel.
  5. Don’t Waste Ice: It takes energy and water to make ice, so don’t just automatically refill ice bins.  Starchefs.com suggests waiting until the bins get truly low, and only adding as much as needed to get through.

These tips are among the easiest to implement and can begin having a positive impact on your sales and reputation in the community.  Little steps add up and make a big difference over time, so keep it up!

 

Tuesday Tip: Maintain Your Grill

Ahhhh, summertime.  The days are longer, hotter, and packed full of activity; and one of the top summer activities is BBQ!  All of that summertime fun can come grinding to a halt if your grill is not in working order.  But fear not, this can all be avoided if you regularly maintain your grill.  Since there are more things that can go wrong on a gas grill, the maintenance tips provided here are for gas grills.  So read on and make sure your next BBQ is the best it can be!

Maintain Your Grill- Routine Gas Grill Maintenance Tips:

According to artofmanliness.com there are not a lot of complicated things that need to be done to maintain your grill.  Follow these simple steps and your grill will be primed and ready!

  1. Check for propane leaks.  This is as simple as rubbing soapy water along the gas line and connectors.  You will need the propane turned on to do this.  If any bubbles appear, you have a propane leak and will need to tighten your connections or replace the gas line altogether.
  2. Keep it covered! This is the easiest way to keep your grill from rusting, becoming exceedingly dirty, or just being exposed to harsh weather conditions.
  3. Keep it Clean! After each use, and while it is still hot, brush the grates with a sturdy grill brush.  After it has cooled, you can also wipe the exterior with some window cleaner.  In addition to this, a deeper cleaning should be performed once or twice a year, depending on how much you grill.

Maintain Your Grill- Deep Cleaning Tips

You’ve done a good job of keeping up with your routine maintenance, but inevitably you will need to perform deep cleaning once or twice a year.  Not sure how to begin?  planitdiy.com shows us the steps to performing a deep cleaning below.

  1. Turn off the gas and disconnect the propane tank.
  2. Remove cooking grates and burner cover bars.
  3. If your grates and/or burner bars are exceedingly rusted or pitted, it is time to replace them.  If they are in good shape, simply soak them in warm water and scrub them with a scouring pad.
  4. Remove the warming rack, replace if needed.  If not, clean in similar fashion to the grates and burner bars.
  5. Inspect the burners.  Either replace them if they are worn out, or clean them.  Make sure the burner holes are not clogged with debris.  If they are, simply poke through with a small pointy tool.
  6. Scrape inside of the grill and the hood with a putty knife.  This will get rid of that tough, built-up residue.
  7. Once it is all scraped, hit it with degreaser and let it stand for 10-15 minutes.  Rinse it out and repeat if necessary.  Let it dry completely before using.
  8. If there are any buttons or functions that no longer work, those need to be replaced.
  9. Lastly, put your grill back together and get cooking!

 

Get to Know Types of Beer Glasses

With the craft beer craze showing no sign of slowing down, it is a good idea to know the different types of beer glasses.  Beer glassware is more than a way to convey beer to your mouth, some glassware is designed for a specific purpose.  So, if you plan to hop on (no pun intended) the craft beer bandwagon, it is wise to use glassware that enhances your beer experience.  As such, we have compiled the most common types of beer glasses and their distinguishing characteristics.

Types of Beer Glasses – Common Types and Characteristics

  1. Pint Glasses – Are the most common type of beer vessel in the United States and are commonly used in restaurants.  As its name implies, this glass holds a pint (16 oz.) of beer and is a suitable choice for Ales, IPAs, Lagers, and Stouts.
  2. Beer Mugs – Mugs are sturdy, come in many sizes, and the thicker glass acts as an insulator keeping your beer cold longer.  Also, the handle does more than give you something to hold onto, it keeps your hand from warming your beer.
  3. Steins – Steins and mugs have similar shapes and handles, but there are differences.  The biggest distinction is the hinged lid that protects your beer from bugs, dirt and etc.  But, a less common distinction is that steins can and are made out of different materials like silver, stone, and wood.
  4. Tulip Glasses –  Tulip glasses enhance the aroma, flavor, and head of your beer.  Generally used with hoppy or malty beers, these glasses have a small stem with a foot and an outward curving lip atop the bowl.  Much like a snifter, the bowl at the bottom lets you swirl your beer around in a classy manner.

Now that you know a bit more about some common types of beer glasses, it’s time to hit your local pub and show off that knowledge!  Want to enjoy your drinks at home?  Central has you covered with a wide range of glassware to choose from.  Visit our website, live chat, or call        1-800-215-9293 to speak with a product consultant today!  Cheers!