Summer Cocktails to Cool You Off

They don’t call them the dog days of summer for nothing….it’s HOT out there! The good news is that fall is around the corner, but until then, here are some refreshing summer cocktails sure to keep you cool!

Summer Sangria with Watermelon and Pineapple

Nothing says summer better than ice cold watermelon. And pineapple has natural anti-inflammatory properties, so it’s a great excuse to sooth aching muscles!

Image from whattheforkfoodblog.com

Piña Colada Pineapple Cups

Let’s be honest, all drinks should be served in pineapples.

Image from Delish.com

Porch Crawler

Lemonade, beer, and vodka? Okay, we get the name now. That’s quite a punch!

Image from thebittenword.com

Chili Lime Mango Margaritas

A sexy blend of spicy and fruity, this drink has us feeling many emotions.

Image from Dana at minimalistbaker.com

Strawberry Lemon Mojitos

This sweet and sour libation will have you asking for “mo’.”

Image from Wendell T. Webber, foodandwine.com

Peach Cobbler Martini

Dessert and a cocktail all in one. Yum!

Image from thechicsite.com

 

Tuesday Tip: Temperatures for Storing and Serving Wine

When it comes to wine, one of the most asked questions is in regards to temperature. Serving wines at the wrong temperature can mute some of the flavors of the wine, denying the customer of the full potential of the wine. Avoid this by following these guidelines from Wine Spectator:

  • There are two temperatures you should worry about: Storage temperature and Serving temperature.
  • Ideal storage temperature for both reds and whites is between 45°F and 65°F, with 55°F being the “perfect temperature.” This allows some wines to age and develop a richer body.
  • Serving temperature will depend on the wine.
    • Light dry white wines, rosés, and sparkling wines should be served at 40°F to 50°F to preserve their freshness and fruitiness
    • Full-bodied white wines and light, fruity reds should be served at 50°F to 60°F.
    • Full-bodied red wines and Ports should be served at 60°F to 65°F, just cooler than room temperature.

For restaurants and bars, an easy way to accurately store wine at the correct temperatures would be to invest in a wine refrigerator. There are models offering single or dual temps, in a variety of capacity options. This can also be a home option as well, but only if you keep enough wines around to warrant it. The benefits of wine refrigerators are that they keep a consistent temperature, dual temp models allow you to keep both reds and whites in the same place at different temperatures!

Photo via Visual hunt

 

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 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 CentralRestaurant.com 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!

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YouTube

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.

Types

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

Construction

Polycarbonate

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

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

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
Recipe and Image from Renee's Kitchen Adventures

Bite Me Monday: S’mores Krispie Treats

Mondays can be tough. You enjoyed a great weekend and now it’s back to the hustle and grind! Give yourself something to look forward to tonight with a new 15-minute, easy and delicious recipe. Take a bite out of S’mores Krispie Treats from Renee’s Kitchen Adventures!

Supplies Needed

This is one of my favorite dessert recipes because it is so quick, easy, and delicious! Central is here to make it even easier! Here’s exactly what supplies you’ll need:

 

Ingredients

3 TBS unsalted butter

pinch of salt
5 cups mini marshmallows, divided
6 – 7 cups Graham cereal pieces
3 – 1.55 oz. Hershey’s® Milk chocolate bars, broken into pips

Instructions

Spray a 9″ x 13″ pan with cooking spray. In a large stock pot, melt the butter and salt over medium heat. Once it is melted, add 4 cups of the mini marshmallows and stir until they are completely melted.
Take mixture off heat and add in the cereal and stir. Add in the extra cup of mini marshmallows and stir to just combine.
Working quickly, pour half the mixture into the prepared pan and press down then top with half the Hershey’s pips. Pour the rest of the mixture onto the chocolate and press down then top with the rest of the chocolate.
Allow to sit at room temperature for several hours to set up OR place in refrigerator for about an hour.
Remove from pan and cut into bars.
Yield: 24 servings
Prep Time: 00 hrs. 10 mins.
Cook time: 00 hrs. 05 mins.
Total time: 15 mins.

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.

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

Twitter

Instagram

Pinterest

Google+

YouTube