Foodservice Industry Week in Brief: June 23, 2017

Friday has arrived, which means its time for our Foodservice Industry Week in Brief, Central blogs and promotions!

Foodservice Industry News

  1. National Restaurant Association: Cranking up the Heat on Summer Jobs Programs
  2. National Restaurant Association: 5 Food Trends to put on Your Menu
  3. restaurantnews.com: Del Taco’s Favorite Carnitas Return for a Limited Time
  4. restaurantbusinessonline.com: Sustainability Without the Strain
  5. CNBC: McDonald’s Hits All-Time High as Wall Street cheers replacement of cashiers with kiosks
  6. CNBC: Ikea aims to halve food waste at its restaurants by mid-2020
  7. Eater: 8 Dining Trends That Will Define 2017
  8. RockBot: The 10 Best Bar Games for Your Pub
  9. The Caterer: Blast Chillers: Why They are Indispensable in Commercial Kitchens
  10. HuffPost: 63 Hearty Vegetarian Recipes That’ll Fill You Right Up

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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Restaurant Technology: What’s Coming?

Technology is evolving faster and faster each year.  If you are not keeping up with the latest, your restaurant could suffer.  Read on to discover the restaurant technology that is trending in 2017 and the potential benefits of getting on board!

Restaurant Technology: What are the Potential Benefits?

Digital Menu Boards

According to restaurantbusinessonline.com, digital menu boards are finding their way into more and more restaurants.  There are many good reasons to use these new digital boards, including:

  1. Digital menu boards are appealing to the eye.  Restaurants can use high resolution images of their offerings, and entice customers to buy.
  2. Provides the ability to update all the menu boards simultaneously with changes going live immediately.
  3. Offers more flexibility to showcase regular or limited time/seasonal offerings.

Kiosks

Also from restaurantbusinessonline.com, ordering kiosks are becoming more and more popular in fast and fast-casual restaurants.  This trend does not show any signs of slowing as customers recognize the benefits as well.  Among the top benefits are:

  1. Reduction in labor costs.  No need to have a staff member take orders or run a cash register.
  2. Offer customers a better ordering experience.  Guests are able to customize their orders and there is less risk of miscommunication.  Order accuracy can be improved.
  3. Higher check averages due to ability to customize and upselling opportunities.
  4. “Frequency lift”- people come more often because the experience has been made easier

Online and Mobile Ordering

Online and mobile ordering is gaining traction according to an article by toasttab.com.  Today’s customers seek convenience wherever they can find it, and many are finding it here.  See why below:

  1. Customers can see all of the menu options at once
  2. Bill is immediately updated as items are added and removed
  3. Free up staff members to take care of more crucial tasks
  4. Provides the ability to for customers to place their order from anywhere at any time.
  5. Better channel for upselling than the phone.  Photos of food items are more enticing.

Mobile Apps and Payment

Along with online and mobile ordering, mobile apps and payment are becoming more popular as people try to save time, according to toasttab.com.  The top benefits are listed below:

  1.  Mobile apps tend to be more user-intuitive than online ordering pages
  2.  App-based loyalty programs are more engaging and do not get lost like the old stamp cards of the past
  3. Good channel to notify customers about new deals, coupons, menu items, events, and etc..
  4. Allows for a convenient way for customers to place and cancel reservations.  Does not take up staff time
  5. Mobile payment is faster than paying in cash and way faster than the chip cards
  6. Mobile card readers on the tables speed up payment process and free up tables

Now that you know the latest restaurant technology and benefits, its time to get on board! But, before you jump headlong into any of these new technologies, consider the following from restobiz.com: “Since new features and technology are evolving so quickly, restaurant owners should choose technology that is regularly updated at no additional charge and that can be integrated with other programs such as accounting or scheduling”  You don’t want your technology choices to paint you into a corner!

Stainless steel microwave controls, close up

Tuesday Tip: Clean Your Microwave Oven

Don’t spend another minute cooking in or looking at a dirty microwave!  A dirty microwave can leave lingering tastes, pose sanitation and health issues, and just look nasty.  While it is best to remove stains and food splatter as soon as it occurs, who has time for that?!  Chances are you will need to do some heavier cleaning from time to time.  Although you may not enjoy the task, your customers, guests, and/or family will thank you.  Read on to learn some microwave cleaning “do’s and don’ts”.  Delay no longer!  Clean your microwave!

Clean Your Microwave: DO

  1. Unplug the microwave from the power supply before performing maintenance or cleaning.
  2. Sweep out any crumbs/loose debris.  We don’t want to make mud!
  3. Use mild dishwashing liquid and a damp cloth, scrubber sponge, or paper towel.
  4. For tough spots, you can use a plastic scouring pad with mild dishwashing liquid.
  5. Baking soda and water can be used to remove any lingering odors.
  6. Change your air filters.  Dirty air filters collect grease.

Clean Your Microwave: DO NOT

  1. Use foil or other metal objects.  Metal in a microwave equals danger!  Can cause a fire!
  2. Turn the machine on while there are cleaning products inside.
  3. Spray household air-fresheners as these can stay behind and contaminate food.
  4. Use commercial oven or abrasive cleaners.
  5. Use sharp utensils on oven walls.
  6. Spray cleaners directly onto the control panel.

Now that you know the basic do’s and don’ts, get in your kitchen and clean your microwave! Still have questions about proper procedure for your microwave oven, consult your owner’s manual.

Need a new microwave altogether?  Let us help!  Central has a wide variety of microwave ovens to fit your needs.  Visit our website to see what we have to offer.  If you still have questions you can call a knowledgeable product consultant at 1-800-215-9293 or  live chat  with one.  Call today!

Week in Brief: June 16, 2017

Foodservice Industry Week in Brief: June 16, 2017

Happy Friday! Can you believe it is mid-June?! Time to catch up on the latest foodservice industry news and Central blogs and promotions!

Industry News

  1. Restaurant Hospitality: How restaurants promote just-for-Dad specials
  2. Eater: Why Root Beer and Burger Chain A&W Is Planning a Comeback
  3. Nation’s Restaurant News: Noodles & Co. Considers Name Change
  4. NPR The Salt: To Protect Fruit Crops, Scientists Are Putting Them Into A Deep Freeze
  5. QSR Magazine: 61 of America’s Most Innovative Menu Items
  6. QSR Web: Infographic – How Online Reviews Can Make or Break Your Brand
  7. Food Republic: 12 Sweet Ways to Use Strawberries, Now In Season!
  8. Fast Casual: 5 Ways to get Your Customers To Download Your App
  9. QSR Magazine: Buffalo Wild Wings’ Quick-Service Concept is Coming Soon
  10. NPR the Salt: This Art Group Installs Pick-Your-Own Fruit Parks Around Los Angeles

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

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Instagram

Pinterest

Google+

YouTube

10 Recipes For A Top-Notch 4th of July

It’s almost that time of year again! Time to celebrate another birthday of the one and only U-S-of-A! The 4th of July is spent with family, friends, fireworks, and of course lots and lots of food. We took a vote, and we are all in favor of eating all of the desserts. All of them.

So, in the spirit of the holiday, we gathered some of the best lookin’ desserts, drinks, and snacks that we could find to help you celebrate our freedom. (Note: red, white and blue is a definite theme in these delicious recipes and we LOVE it!)

In need of some equipment and supplies for your restaurant or home to make some treats? We have you covered! From bakery equipment and supplies, and cake decorating supplies to cooking utensils and food prep bowl, Central has what you need!

  1. Red Velvet Cupcakes

2. 4th of July Firecracker Jell-O Cups

3. Red, White and Blue M&M’s Cookie Bar

4. Patriotic Oreo Pops

5. Triple Berry Frozen Smoothies

6. Patriotic Popsicles

7. 4th of July Brownie Bites

8. American Flag S’mores Dip

9. Red, White and Blue Strawberry Shortcake

10. Paula Deen’s Apple Pie

Because can you celebrate America without Apple pie? I mean really.

 

 

Featured image from Cute Food For Kids

 

Tuesday Tip: How Clean Is Your Water?

How Clean is Your Water?

Water is used in practically every aspect of the kitchen, including food preparation, warewashing, beverage service, basic cleaning and even some cooking functions. Normal tap water contains a number of suspended and dissolved solids, such as chlorine, bacteria, sediment, chemicals and other harmful elements. These solids can cause water to look cloudy, smell badly or taste funny, and can also affect any menu item that is prepared, washed or cooked with water!

One way to help remove these solids from water is with the use of water filters. While there are other treatment options available, water filters are the least expensive and the easiest to implement and maintain. Most importantly, they are effective—water filters offer the last line of defense between the body and the more than 2,100 known toxins that may be present in tap water!

Avoid This!

Brewer Without Water FilterBrewer With Water Filter

Here you can see the difference a water filter can make. Photos, courtesy of Bunn-O-Matic® Corporation in Springfield, IL, show a laboratory coffee hot-water reservoir after 7,000 brews (3,500 gallons or 134,247 liters) without and with a water filter.

How Can Water Filters Benefit My Commercial Kitchen?

Extend the life of your restaurant equipment

The chemicals and other impurities found in tap water can build up and corrode the metal parts of your kitchen equipment, which can increase downtime and eventually even cause the machine to stop functioning completely. Less build up means that the interior moveable parts can function in the full range they were intended to when designed.

Increase the efficiency of your restaurant equipment

Just a few thousandths of an inch of scale formation can reduce the energy efficiency of your equipment by 25% or more! In addition, scale formation can lower production times and levels, as well as prevent the machine from performing correctly. Commercial Water filters help to decrease the amount of scale buildup and keep your unit running as efficiently as possible.

Improved taste, smell and clarity of water

Because water filters block out solids, the resulting water is more clear, has a better taste and doesn’t smell badly. Using filtered water in food and drink preparation can enhance the overall flavor and aroma of the menu item. With filtered water, your diners can consume your creations without worrying about poor water quality ruining the taste!

Reduce service and maintenance costs

Maintenance calls are costly! Prevent the damage that scale formation and other deposits cause to your machines by using a water filter. While maintenance costs can be a painful hit to your expenses, full replacement of the equipment is even worse! When scale formation builds up too much, even a professional cannot reverse the damages and full replacement is the only solution.

Which Types of Restaurant Equipment Can Benefit From Water Filters?

Ice Machines

Without a water filter, you risk any of the following:

  • Scale buildup on evaporator plates can significantly increase maintenance costs
  • Excess sediment particles can clog distribution tubes and solenoid valves
  • Excess chlorine residual can cause chlorine smell and corrosion in ice bins
  • Sediment and abrasive hard particles wears down and shortens the life of pumps, valves, o-rings and seals

All Ice Machine Filters

Coffee Makers

Without a water filter, you risk any of the following:

  • Scale buildup on sensors and heating coils can significantly increase maintenance costs
  • Excess sediment can clog spray head in brew basket
  • Excess chlorine and organic residual cause bitter-tasting beverages

All Coffee Maker Filters

Steamers and Combi Ovens

Without a water filter, you risk any of the following:

  • Increased chlorine-induced corrosion
  • Limescale formation in high temperature steam application
  • Lower energy efficiency
  • Decreased life and performance of the steamer due to dirt and rust particle build-up

All Steamer/Combi Oven Filters

Foodservice Industry Week in Brief: June 9, 2017

Another week is in the books! Time to catch up on the latest foodservice industry news and Central blogs and promotions!

Industry News

  1. NPR the Salt: Want More Traditional Chinese Fare? Panda Express Says: Give Us a Try
  2. Eater: Why Haven’t American Truffles Taken Root Yet?
  3. National Restaurant Association: NRA Show 2017 is largest ever
  4. Delish: Anthony Bourdain Says This Filipino Dish Will be the Next Big Food Trend in America
  5. HuffPost Taste: The Breakfast Pizza Recipes You’ll be Dreaming About All Night Long
  6. Nation’s Restaurant News: Future of Food: Diners Will Expect an Influx of ‘New’
  7. NPR the Salt: An Illustrated Guide to Master the Elements of Cooking – Without Recipes
  8. National Restaurant Associations: Coca-Cola Pledges Record $1.5M to NRAEF
  9. Delish: If You’re A Krispy Kreme Fan, You’re About to Get Excited About this Deal
  10. Nation’s Restaurant News: Seattle Approves Tax on Sweetened Beverages 

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

Stainless Steel Faucet

Stainless Steel: What You Need to Know

If you saw our recent Tuesday Tip on the differences between stainless steel and aluminum foodservice equipment and supplies, then you’re already a little familiar with a few of the classifications of stainless steel. I wanted to take an opportunity to expand upon these classifications (five in all) and overview a few areas from series to gauges you are likely to come across when researching stainless steel equipment.

Stainless Steel Classifications

1. Austenitic

Austenitic stainless steel is a very common type as it’s one of the most weldable. It’s used for a plethora of industrial and consumer applications, and can be divided into three groups: chromium-nickel (300 series), manganese-chromium-nickel-nitrogen (200 series), and specialty alloys.

2. Ferritic

Another common type of stainless steel, ferritic steel is comprised of iron-chromium alloys. Qualities include good conductibility and formability. Some common types of ferritic steel include 409 and 405 series used in mufflers, kitchen counter and sinks, exhaust systems, etc.

3. Martensitic

Martensitic steels include series 403, 410 and 420. This steel is similar to ferritic steel, but contains more of a balance of Chromium and Nitrogen.

4. Duplex

Duplex steel has a microstructure of equal amounts of ferritic and austenitic steel and usually contains around 25% chromium and 5% nickel. Duplex steel has a high yield strength and a greater resistance to corrosion cracking, and is primarily used in chemical plants and piping applications.

5. Precipitation Hardening

This type of stainless steel is characterized by it’s ability to be hardened by a solution and aging heat treatment. These are comprised of chromium and nickel.

Stainless Steel Gauges

The gauge is the thickness of the stainless steel. The lower the number of the gauge, the thicker and more durable the stainless steel. Common types of gauges are 18, 16, and 14. A 14 gauge worktable is much less susceptible to denting than an 18 gauge table.

The gauge of many types of stainless steel equipment and supplies, most notably stainless steel flatware, will include two numbers and may read something like 18/10, 18/8, or 18/0. This refers to the percentages of chromium and nickel, respectively, in the stainless steel alloy. Unlike how the lowest gauge is thicker than the higher gauges, the higher the nickel percentage has greater resistance to rust and corrosion.

Common Stainless Steel Series

The series of stainless steel relates to the the classification of stainless steel listed above. Some common types of series you are likely to come across include 200 series, 300 series, and 400 series.

200 Series

200 series stainless steel contains 16-18% chromium, 3.5-5.5% nickel, 5.5-7.5% manganese, as well as smaller doses of sulfur, carbon, phosphorous, and nitrogen. 200 series usually refers to austenitic stainless steel, and is used in a variety of applications such as automotive parts, clamps, cookware, food service equipment, kitchen utensils, sinks, etc.

300 Series

16-18% chromium, 6-8% nickel. 300 series is also an austenitic classification of stainless steel, offering good levels of conductibility and high strength with solid corrosion and oxidation resistance. It’s used in a variety of industrial products.

400 Series

10.5-11.7% chromium and varying, but relatively low, degrees of nickel, carbon, manganese, silicon, sulfur, phosphorus and nitrogen. Contains titanium. Designed primarily for the automotive industry, in particular exhaust systems.

Have anything to add? Let us know in the comments!

You may also enjoy our blog on types of applications for stainless steel equipment.