Category Archives: Bar, Catering and Restaurant Guides

Beer and Baseball: The Quintessential Pair

Beer and baseball have been hand in hand since it’s introduction into the ballparks in the early 1900s. Craft beer has also witnessed a recent boom in popularity at the ballparks, keeping on par with current trends. Baseball season has just begun, so it’s important to have the right products on hand to keep your cold beer flowing throughout the hot, summer months!

Beer Dispensing Equipment

First off, you need to have the right equipment to ensure your beers are properly poured and at the right temperature. There are several different kinds of beer dispensers, so it really comes down to the type of space you have for your beer!

Direct draw dispensers have beer columns that have a continuous source of cold air throughout, which reduces foaming and creates the perfect pour. Most direct draw dispensers have drip trays for easy cleaning – crucial for a busy ballpark! The interior of the cabinets feature a stainless steel floor and galvanized steel walls. Direct draw dispensers can hold one keg all the way up to five, so you can have a great selection of cold brew for your customers.

If you don’t want to deal with kegs, and are looking to serve up bottled beer, back bar coolers are the way to go. These coolers feature a lighted LED interior so you can show off your wide selection of beer. Most back bar coolers are offered with a Black vinyl or stainless steel exterior, with a stainless steel countertop and interior floor.

Beer Glasses: Which One Should I Choose?

Not all beer glasses are created equal! Beer glasses are carefully designed to accommodate different styles of beer, so it’s important to have the proper barware at your ballpark! Using Libbey®’s Beer Master Guide, here are the proper glasses for each type of beer.

Pilsner Beer Glass Pilsners: Pilsner glasses are created for well, pilsners! This glass showcases the beer’s color, clarity and carbonation. The conical shape starting at the bottom helps maintain the beer’s head, while the narrow design allows the aroma to reach your nose.
Giant Beer Glass Giant Beer: These glasses have a tall stature with a hourglass shape, which provides pleasing presentation for wheat ales and pale lagers. Designed for draft beer service, these glasses feature a rounded top that holds a generous amount of foam.
Pub Beer Glass Pub Glasses: Pub glasses look like your standard pint glass but with a curved top. Classic ales, such as IPA, pale ale, brown ale or stout go perfectly with these glasses. Pub glasses offer a traditional yet brilliant beer presentation.
Tulip Beer Glass Tulip Stems: Ideal for presenting lambic and saison styled beer. The shape is well-suited for fruity beers too!
Belgian Beer Glass Belgian: The rounded bowl of Belgian beer glasses allows for a subtle warming of the beer via heat transfer from the hand. The inward tapering top captures aromas, enhancing the tasting experience.
Steins and Mugs Steins and Mugs: These glasses are usually very large and durable, making them ideal for proper serving of Oktoberfest and dark German lagers.
Stemware Stemware: Stemware isn’t just for win! These glasses give off an upscale presentation of ales and lagers.

Shop Central

Although baseball season has already began, we can get you the products you need in a timely manner! Looking for beer dispensing equipment? Click here! Looking for special beer glasses? Head on over here! If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact a Product Consultant at 800-215-9293 or chat with them live!

Featured image courtesy of Libbey

KitchenAid Commercial

Upgrade to a Commercial KitchenAid Mixer for Your Kitchen

KitchenAid® Goes Commercial

KitchenAid launched their iconic stand mixer in 1919 and it has been a staple in kitchens ever since. Food services in particular have trusted their KitchenAid mixers simply for their love of the product and the brand, but for years, could only the residential models.

That is no longer the case thanks to their commercial line of products.

KitchenAid commercial has been available for a few years and hopes to grow their selection to serve restaurants, food services and commercial kitchens all over.

Commercial KitchenAid MixerThe Commercial KitchenAid Mixer

The commercial KitchenAid mixer is everything kitchens have loved for decades, but now is built to accommodate the every day use and abuse of a food service operation.

“Now the brand you grew up using can grow with your business,” KitchenAid Commercial said. “KitchenAid commercial equipment is NSF certified. Add in our longest lasting motors to date and dishwasher safe, solid stainless-steel attachments, and you have everything you need to power your passion.”

So long gone are the days of having to frequently replace a residential mixer for your business, it’s time to upgrade to a commercial unit! If you are ever unsure the model is commercial or not, just look for the orange cord.

Features include:

  • 1.3 HP motor that handles over eight pounds of dough with ease
  • PowerCore® technology to deliver consistent power with less heat buildup for long lasting performance
  • Solid, stainless steel commercial-grade beater, dough hook and 11-wire whip come standard and are dishwasher safe
  • Available with or without stainless steel bowl guard
  • J-style handle for easy stacking and hanging
  • Two year replacement warranty

Want to Win One?

To spread the news about the commercial KitchenAid mixer, Central Restaurant Products is giving one away! Simply visit http://bit.ly/crp-springbakecrp for details and to sign up.

Representation of the Lombardi Trophy on display at the Indianapolis Super Bowl Village in 2012

Taking Advantage of those Super Events in your Town

The mayor of 2015 Superbowl host city Glendale, Arizona says the city expects to lose money hosting the game this year. There is, however, a group that stands to be rolling in the green after this week – the area hotels, attractions and of course bars and restaurants! How much depends on the planning, promotion and execution at those businesses.

Big Events are Big Opportunities

The 2015 Super Bowl is expected to bring over 500,000 people into the Phoenix area for a three-day-party. Although many have spent thousands of dollars already on travel and tickets to the big game, they are still looking to party the week away with even more money spent on food, drinks and memorabilia. Wouldn’t you and your bar or restaurant love to be on the receiving end of some of that cash?

If you’re an establishment in the Phoenix area, hopefully all your planning is complete and your plan is paying off. What if you are in San Francisco, Houston or Minneapolis – all future sites of the big game? How about cities where future editions of NCAA basketball tournaments (like Central’s hometown Indianapolis), All-Star Games or PGA golf events are planned? It’s time for you to start thinking about how to take full advantage of  this potential traffic and revenue windfalls.

Planning, Planing, Planing

Indianapolis Institution St. Elmo's Steakhouse uses the 2012 Super Bowl Village to promote and sell it's world famous shrimp cocktail.

Indianapolis Institution St. Elmo’s Steakhouse uses the 2012 Super Bowl Village to promote and sell it’s world famous shrimp cocktail.

Most events like a Super Bowl, Final Four or PGA golf event are announced years in advance. The official announcement is your cue to start your personal planning. A major event is a great opportunity for nearly limitless revenue – but only if your facilities, staff and supplies are ready for the rush. Some issues to think about in the months prior to the event:

  • Are your facilities ready? Is seating maximized? Kitchen or bar equipment ready for overuse? Can you take the potential revenue from those two or three days and invest it into remodeling projects that will not only benefit your place for years to come but also help you cope with the event rush?
  • Staffing? To take care of hundreds of customers at once, you’ll need to ensure every hand is on deck. For ‘super’ events, you may need additional help. Look to your restaurant peers outside of the hotzone to loan you experienced employees for the event. Just remember to think about their lodging as well. Travel and parking will be an issue, so an innovative solution may be to ask your current employees to consider hosting employees at their own house.
  • Have enough of the right supplies? Plan with your suppliers well in advance to ensure you have everything you need to make it through the event. You might consider paring down your menu – concentrating on your signature dishes. You’ll likely need additional storage space as well. Talk with your restaurant peers to share staple supplies or storage space. Your suppliers may have the resources to loan refrigerated trucks for storage on or near your site. And if you are using items faster than predicted, talk with your suppliers early for the best chance of restocking before its too late.

Maximize Your Marketing

Bud Light buys out an entire hotel to rebrand it during Indianapolis' 2012 Super Bowl.

Bud Light buys out an entire hotel to re-brand it during Indianapolis’ 2012 Super Bowl.

With a major event, thousands (maybe even hundreds of thousands) of tourists will inundate your town. While there will likely be enough traffic to fill every restaurant and bar, it’s better to be in demand. Ensure everyone thinks of your place first by maximizing your marketing prior to and during the events.

  • Find a sponsor! In Phoenix this year, sponsors ranging from Rolling Stone to DirecTV are basically throwing money around to sponsor public and VIP parties. While some will be held in hotel ballrooms or temporary facilities, there could be an opportunity to host some big names at your own place through a buy-out or cooperative event.
  • Get on the list! When a city hosts a major event, they’re really looking to sell the city as a tourism destination. The goal is to impress the event visitors (so they return later) and attract new visitors (through TV and media coverage). Many compile visitors guides for distribution to visitors. Get in touch with the cities host committee and get your business noticed.
  • Be Aggressive, but be compliant. In many cases, use of the official event logos or names is heavily regulated. Reach out to the host committee for more information and availability of licenses to use official assets. Your city may also impose special rules for the event that may require additional licensing.

 Central is Your Partner to Profits

Your Central Restaurant product consultants are here to help you whether you are upgrading, remodeling or replacing. We’ve worked with other restaurants, bars and hospitality businesses to plan for taking the fullest advantage of the major events. Our full line of equipment and supplies make us your one-stop for your restaurant. From cooking equipment to refrigeration and bar supplies, our brands, variety and competitive pricing is just what you’ve been looking for. Shop online, give us a call at 800-215-9293 or chat with us online today!

 

storage shelving 101

Update and Organize Your Storage Areas for 2015

Storage and Shelving

How is your storage area holding up. Does it work for you? Or do you spend more time working around your current shelving situation? In the new year take some time to think about your current situation. Which areas are cold? Which areas are warm? Do you need something that’s mobile? How much can you REALLY put on a shelf without it breaking?

Shelving 101: The Basics

Before we go into some nitty gritty organization ideas, let’s cover the basics. What better way to cover the easy stuff than by a nice diagram, right? When choosing what kind of shelving you even need, check out this buying guide for all the options you can find at Central.

storage shelving basics

Click to make larger or pin to your organization board on Pinterest!

Weight Capacities: Don’t Over Do It

You might not realize you have a problem with how much you are putting on a shelf until the day it breaks…which will not be a good day. Upon buying new shelving, find the capacity details. Keep in mind this number is for the entire shelving unit (unless otherwise specified) so you will need to make sure that number stays evenly distributed on each of the shelves.

So, for instance, if you have a three shelf unit with a 300 pound capacity, you can put 100 pounds on each of the shelves. The same thing applies to carts. Obviously you won’t have time to weigh out everything you are putting on your shelves, but just be conscious. It will prevent bowing in the middle, or worse….

Can Racks: Stop Struggling to Reach the Last Two!

Did you know there is a much easier solution for your #5 or #10 cans other than placing them on a shelf that requires ninja-esque skills to get once inventory is running low? Can racks are great because they are low to the ground and many come on an incline which keep cans in easy reach. Choose a rack with casters for easy mobility around the kitchen or storage area.

Security Shelving: Keep it Locked

Need to keep certain items secure? Now you can! Well, security storage isn’t new, but can be new for your business if you need it. Security shelves have all the same features and benefits of traditional shelving, except the fact that items aren’t easily accessible and have a padlock hasp.

wall storage solutionsWall Shelving: Everything Needed in One Place

Wouldn’t it be nice if your most used utensils could be right in your work station? That’s where wall storage comes in because there are many work areas where traditional storage just will not work.

With wall storage solutions, you can keep it basic with wall shelves, which are great for solid items such as containers, boxes, etc. Or, you can step it up a notch and create a full wall storage solution to hold pots, pans, serving utensils, paper towels, etc. In fact, the wall storage systems at Central (Metro or Value Series) have accessories such as #10 can holder cylinders, utensil holders, bottle drying hooks, tray drying racks, “J” hooks and lid holders. Customize for you! Afterall, new year, new you! …well new storage station for you. You get the idea.

Let Central Help

Honestly, this blog has only hit the tip of the iceberg when it comes to getting the most out of your storage space. Contact a Central product consultant at 800-215-9293 for help or browse CentralRestaurant.com. You can also find buying guides for storage and more too!

kitchenaid gift ideas

12 Kitchen Holiday Gift Ideas For The Chefs and Foodies in Your Life

Gift Ideas

Have you started your holiday shopping gift list yet? Now that the holiday season is upon us, you may be wondering what to buy the chef in the family, friend who enjoys cooking or possibly a coworker you work with in the restaurant industry. While Central primarily sells commercial kitchen equipment and supplies, many items we sell anyone can use!

Below we’ve compiled a list of gift ideas from CentralRestaurant.com for the chefs and foodies in your life. Some gift ideas are stand alone products while others have a mix if you wanted to package a few things together.

Best of all, if you are within driving distance to Indianapolis, you can also find all of these items in our local showroom! We are located at 7750 Georgetown Rd. Indianapolis, IN 46268. Stop by anytime Monday through Friday anytime between 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. (We are closed for Thanksgiving and Christmas, feel free to call 800-215-9293 for questions about holiday hours).

12: Bartender Set

Before getting to the cooking items, let’s start with a gift idea about drinks! Pair a few different items together such as a wine chiller, cocktail shaker, ice bucket and a bottle opener to give a variety of neat tools for drink enthusiasts.

12_Cocktail Shaker

 

11. Waring Pop-Up Toaster

Waring’s four slice pop-up toaster is a great gift idea as it is more rugged than your typical retail toaster. It can accommodate a variety of products such as bread, bagels and English muffins–and can cook up to 225 slices per hour!

kitchen gift ideas toaster
10. Pizza Pizza!

For a person to make a pizza a particular way, they must have the right tools. Pizza peels are a traditional choice that make it easy to put freshly prepared pizza into an oven. For crispy pizza, check out pizza stones or even perforated pizza pans as their holes allow for ventilation while cooking. Last, if you have a deep-dish lover, a deep dish pizza pan might be the perfect gift idea!

pizza gift ideas 9. Measuring Cups

One can never have enough measuring cups! Especially ones with an easy pour spout. And since they come in a variety of sizes yMeasuring Cups gift ideaou could include some as stocking-stuffers!

8. Utensils

Now if you want to talk about stocking-stuffer gift ideas, you can fill an entire stocking with miscellaneous utensils such as peelers, graters, zesters, ladles, tongs and more!

kitchen utensil gift ideas 7. Pots and Pans Topped with a Portable Stove

Vollrath’s Wear-Ever line of pots and pans are great because they are heavy duty and stand up to the daily use and abuse of a kitchen. Then to tie it all in, consider a portable butane stove! These are great for private functions, food trucks and more!

pots and pans gift ideas 6. Waring Blender

Waring’s NuBlend® commercial bar blender is the perfect solution to making and serving drinks in seconds.

blender gift ideas
5. Vollrath Heat ‘N Serve

You can’t go wrong with anything from Vollrath and their Heat ‘N Serve cooker/warmer is designed to rethermalize which takes a container of cooked food from a chilled state to a serve safe temperature of 165°F.

cook and warm gift idea
4. Meat Tenderizer

With a meat tenderizer, meat can be marinated quickly and flavors can be absorbed deeply. It’s a great gift for someone who enjoys cooking steaks, burgers and more.

Meat Tenderizer gift ideas
3. Thermometers and Timers

Thermometers and timers are great stocking stuffers for anyone! Cooking food for the perfect amount of time is important and it’s crucial that the internal temperature reaches food safety minimums.

stocking stuffer thermometers and timers
2. Knives and Accessories

Any chef will stress the importance of a good knife. Even better, one can never have too many knives which make them a great gift idea. To pair a few things with it, you could include a cutting board, many of which have non-slip grips and hooks for easy and sanitary storage. If you choose a wooden cutting board, or know someone has one, gift them John Boos Board Cream! It is a surface maintenance cream that will help extend the life of a wooden surface.

knife cutting board gift idea 1. Kitchenaid, Kitchenaid, Kitchenaid!

Many chefs are loyal to their Kitchenaid mixer and will be excited to know that Kitchenaid now has a commercial line for heavy duty daily use!  This addition to Kitchenaid was added a few years ago so it is fairly new. What a nice surprise for someone to have this as a gift–a stand mixer more suitable for their daily use!? And if you are going all in, be sure to check out the various attachments  (such as a meat grinder or slicer) or even Kitchenaid’s hand mixer too.

kitchenaid gift ideas
Happy shopping! Contact us at 800-215-9293 with any questions!

And if you are in need of some items to help with your holiday food preparations, be sure to check out our blog “Turkey Time: Having the Right Kitchen Tools Makes Thanksgiving Prep a Breeze.”

Thanksgiving Dinner Wine Pairings

Turkey is the main attraction for Thanksgiving dinner, but the wine you choose to serve at your restaurant or home can be just as important. The decision can be quite daunting with the endless wine options. When deciding on wine purchases, you have to take in account all the variables. For example; how many will be attending dinner or will be dining at your restaurant? How long will the dinner last?  White or red? There is still time to make last minute wine purchases to cater to your Thanksgiving Day guests.

 How Much to Buy

Before the decision of what wine to buy, it is important to know how much to buy. You don’t want to run out of wine before the main course!  The amount of wine your guests will drink depends on the amount of food being served.  The longer the meal, the more wine is needed. If you have appetizers before the main course you will want to account for that as well.  Keep in mind, if the meal is longer, you’ll want a wine with a lower alcohol percent.  Thanksgiving is a time when adults tend to drink more wine, and you don’t want any of your guests to have to leave early!

 What Wine to Serve

Once you have figured out how many guests you will have and the length of the meal, it is time to choose the combinations of wine you will be serving.  Better Homes and Gardens suggests serving sparkling, white and red wine throughout the meal.  A sparkling wine, like champagne, is perfect to start with as your guests arrive and are mingling with others. These help the celebration start on the right note with their light and bubbly taste.

4717565996_b8749c27ce_z

CC Image courtesy of Bar Wines by Alex Brown on Flickr

Moving to the appetizers or finger foods, white wines can be served to your guests to get their pallets ready for the main course. Serving a white wine with a lower alcohol percent would be beneficial here. Your guests will be drinking as much as they are eating. Better Homes and Garden advises to serve more fruity wines that are light, but crisp. Moscato or a Riesling would fit this description perfectly.

As the afternoon (or night) moves to the main course, red wine can be an option for your guest.  Not everyone enjoys red wine, so be sure to have enough white wine for the main course as well.  A red wine can add to the decoration of the dinner as well. It is important to choose a light red wine over a dry one. This will allow your guests to enjoy the smooth taste without the bitterness.

For dessert, it is really up to you. It also depends on the selection of desserts as well. If there is a bigger selection, wine might be too overwhelming for your guests.  Wine does not necessarily need to be part of the dessert, but having it available for the guests who want it is not a bad idea. Sweeter white wines can be served again after dessert when your guests are starting to wind down and are grazing on leftover food.

Shop Central

Whether your are hosting guests at your home or at your restaurant, keep in mind these tips while purchasing wine for a great Thanksgiving Day.  For all your wine needs from glasses to merchandisers to wine savers/stoppers, Central has you covered!  Shop online or call one of our helpful product consultants at 800-215-9293 for information about all the options available.

Serve Wine Right with Eurodib Wine Cabinets

Recent statistics from a Wine Institute/Gomberg, Fredrikson & Associates study showed that wine consumption once again rose in 2013, with total wine “consumption per resident” reaching 2.82 gallons – up 4% over 2012. While some of that may be consumed on a Thursday evening geared around a certain network’s TV lineup, more and more diners are looking to add a glass or two of vino with dinner at their favorite restaurant. If you are not lucky enough to have room for a wine cellar in your establishment’s basement – how do you ensure you are serving your reds and whites at the peak temperature and freshness? Consider a Eurodib Serving Cabinet from Central Restaurant.

Eurodib Wine Merchandisers are a Perfect Solution

Eurodib cabinets keep your wine fresh and at the right temperature

Eurodib cabinets keep your wine fresh and at the right temperature

Central recently added several new Euordib cabinets to our online assortment. Models include the 36″H undercounter MH-54DZ that is perfect for your front-of-house bar or the full-height MH-168SZ and MH-168DZ with extended capacity. All models feature a stylish black finish with stainless steel door frame. These coolers have a stylish look that will blend into any environment and can also be used as an ageing cabinet. LED lighting adds to the presentation without creating the extra heat a fluorescent bulb can introduce into the cabinet. Door locks are standard to ensure complete security.

All models use a thermostatic cabinet to maintain accurate temperature, and beech wood shelves help to regulate the humidity. The MH-168SZ has a single compartment that can be adjusted between 41 and 61.4°F. Offer a variety of wine types? The MH-54DZ Undercounter and MH-168DZ models have two separate zones that allow red wines to be stored at a proper 50 to 64.4°F while you keep your white and sparkling wines at a colder 41 to 50°F. Setting and monitoring temperatures is easy with a multi-function digital control visible through the glass door.

Capacity is king too. The full height, single zone MH-168SZ can hold up to 176 bottles of wine in their proper horizontal position on 16 shelves . The 36″H undercounter model still holds up to 46 bottles on 16 shelves.

Shop at Central with Confidence

This 36"H undercounter model is great for front-of-the-house

This 36″H undercounter model is great for front-of-the-house

Still have questions? Talk with one of our knowledgeable Product Consultants by calling 800-215-9293 – or use our online chat option. We also carry a wide selection of wine glasses and stemware for every operation. And if this is your first time offering wines, our Central Restaurant blog has previously covered this topic, including the a September 2014 guide to equiping for wine season and a help with understanding everything from Stemware to Service.

 Feature image courtesy Jakub and his Foodie’s Feed.

Revamping the Traditional Pizza

In recent food industry articles, it has been argued that there is not a traditional sandwich anymore. Sandwiches are no longer just two slices of bread with some kind of filling in the middle. Has the traditional pizza joined the traditional sandwich as a food of the past? The most common toppings of cheese, pepperoni and sausage still reign supreme, but there are menus around the world that offer some interesting choices to add to a pizza pie. With the push towards revamping pizza toppings, pizzerias and restaurants have the opportunity to introduce their own innovated creations.

Creating a Masterpiece

When deciding on a new pizza creation, there are multiple factors that play a role. First, a decision has to be made of what type of sauce. Marinara or tomato may be in the top of the class, but there are other options available like Alfredo or even no sauce at all that can spice up a pizza. The sauce of the pizza can be almost anything your heart desires. After making that crucial decision, it could be a good idea to give a theme to the pizza. Many pizzerias will have pizza themes based on the city’s beloved sports team or famous actor/actress. Having a theme for the pizza will help tie all the ingrediants together and help it resonate with your customers.

The theme can help decide what vegetables will be on the pizza. With vegetables, the options are endless. Onions, green peppers , spinach and even brussel sprouts, there are no limits here. Vegetables are not always needed to make a masterpiece. Maybe it is the meat you decide you want to shine in the new pizza pie you add to your menu.  Pepperoni and sausage are not the only meats making their way onto pizzas across the country anymore. Chicken, fish and other types of seafood are becoming more prevelant as a topping choice. Check out the article 101 Best Pizzas in America by The Daily Meal, to find out more about some unique combinations making their way onto menu’s.

Pizza for Every Meal


Pizza is not just for dinner anymore, but can also make a tasty breakfast or  dessert. Breakfast pizza can be a easy way to incorporate all your favorite mornings foods together. Pizza can also make a tasty dessert. Dessert pizza can be made in the same shape as the traditional pizza.  For the base, instead of using traditional dough, you can try it out with your favorite cookie dough. The possibilities are endless with fruit toppings, candy, chocolate and more. Pillsbury has even gone as far as introducing a pizza cake recipe! Whether making it with tomato sauce, cheese and pepperoni or making it dessert style, the pizza cake is definitely a game changer!

Need Help?

Thinking about adding interesting and unique pizza creations to your menu, but unsure if you have the right equipment to do so? From insulated delivery bags, pizza dough boxes and pizza peels, Central has an assortment of products to fit your pizzeria or restaurant’s pizza needs! Check out our website or call one of our helpful Product Consultants at 800-215-9293.