Gear Up for Grilling Season at the WEBstaurantStore

The leaves have returned to the trees and the mercury keeps rising, banishing any doubt that grilling season is finally upon us. Here at the WEBstaurantStore, we make it easier and more affordable than ever to incorporate freshly-grilled items into your summer menu, or to pick up some useful supplies to keep your grills clean and workers safe!

We offer a wide selection of portable outdoor grills in gas, charcoal, and wood burning configurations with features like additional smoker boxes and gas / charcoal combinations! Try using a towable outdoor grill to bring the smoky goodness of grilled food to any catered event, festival, carnival, or other outdoor function. Or pick up one of our large 60" stainless steel open top charcoal grills from Backyard Pro to service your country club, fire department, or barbecue restaurant!

Check out our huge supply of outdoor grill accessories for basting brushes, marinade injectors, gas hoses and hookups, propane caddies, grill covers, wind guards, hoods, and more! We even carry rotisserie spits, replacement cooking grates, wheels, and warming racks so you can customize your grill to your exact specifications! And remember to keep a good stock of wood and charcoal for all your grilling and smoking needs! With natural wood lump charcoal, briquettes, as well as hickory, mesquite, and cherry wood logs and chips, we've got you covered when it comes to non-gas fuels.

What would a barbecue be without the barbecue sauce? Our assortment of bulk packed condiments features everything from tangy barbecue sauce and Franks Red Hot sauce to classic condiments like ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, and even steak sauce! Be sure to pick up some kosher dill pickles to balance out the sweet and spicy barbecue with some briny sourness. No matter what you're grilling up, we've got the perfect sauces, condiments, and sides to go along with it!

There's no better time of the year than grilling season to remember the importance of having the right fire extinguisher for your business. Being able to distinguish between Class A, B, C, and K fires, and having the ability to combat them could prevent serious property damage, or even personal injury and death. Luckily for you, we carry rechargeable fire extinguishers suitable to combat any type of fire and keep your kitchen, employees, and customers safe!

Don't forget to check out our guide on how to season and clean your grill grates, as well as our great selection of grill cleaners and scrapers to keep your grates from rusting and food from sticking. Also, take a look at the top 5 grilling mistakes you're probably making to correct those bad habits and start turning out delicious, irresistible product today!

Posted in: Restaurant Equipment | By Brandon Lesko

Get Your Restaurant Ready for Cinco de Mayo

With Cinco de Mayo right around the corner, it’s time for parades, Mexican food, and of course, ice cold margaritas! Although often confused with Mexico’s day of Independence (actually September 16), Cinco de Mayo is celebrated more widely in the United States than it is in Mexico.

The day itself commemorates the unlikely victory of Mexican troops over French invaders at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. Mexican-American citizens in the United States, as well as American Civil War troops began celebrating the date with speeches, bull fights, banquets, and more to commemorate the spirit of the victory.

Today, we still celebrate Cinco de Mayo with traditional Mexican foods, Mexican folk dancing, mariachi music, parades, parties, drinking, and more in most major cities across the United States. To get your business ready for this big, nationwide event, you'll need to make sure you have enough food supplies and the right equipment to serve your customers and keep up with demand!

Our wide range of Mexican restaurant supplies includes everything you'll need to keep patrons well-fed including a wide selection of spices, beans, baking supplies, and vegetables. From bar equipment like blenders and bar caddies to tortilla presses and taco servers, we're sure to have what you require to have a successful Cinco de Mayo!

No matter how good the food is, most adults will agree that Cinco de Mayo is synonymous with margaritas. The first step in making a great margarita is to make sure you've got the right bar blender to handle a high amount of volume while churning out consistently smooth, blended drinks. Check out these commercial blender reviews to find the right bar blender for making perfect margaritas!

Once you've got the ice down to perfection, try mixing in one of our delicious, signature margarita mixes to keep your customers wanting more! Also, don't forget about rimming salt to garnish one of our elegant margarita glasses. Or, if you're worried about breakage, try using one of our equally pleasing disposable plastic margarita glasses!

Be sure to keep your bar stocked with plenty of other drink mixes, garnishes, and bar juices like lime juice. And don't forget about the beer drinkers! Take a look at our beer dispensers and bottle coolers to make sure you've got plenty of cool refreshing Mexican beers on tap or in the fridge. Follow some of this advice and you're guaranteed to have a successful and profitable Cinco de Mayo at your establishment!

Posted in: Bar Supplies | By Brandon Lesko

Revisions to NYC Restaurant Inspection Rules to Reduce Fines by 25 Percent

Restaurateurs in New York City, one of the world’s busiest and most competitive food markets, can look forward to a reduction in NYC Health Department fines and a relaxation of restaurant inspection rules effective this year. According to a New York City Council press release from March 21, 2014, “Under the new rules, which include fixed penalties, restaurants will see a further reduction of 25 percent in fines, returning to pre-grading levels despite more frequent inspections.”

The controversial letter grading and restaurant inspection system, initiated under the previous Bloomberg administration, drew fire from the majority of NYC restaurant owners for its vague standards and hefty fines for relatively small offenses.

Top-scoring, "A" Letter Grade

Although the letter grading system has led to improved food safety practices, with a decrease in Salmonella cases of 14 percent between 2010 and 2013, as well as a decrease in critical violations by 20 percent in the past two years, the strict inspection penalties and appeals process often times left restaurant owners in the dark and out-of-pocket.

As outlined by the New York City Council, “In addition to the reduced fines and penalty-free inspections, the collaboration between the City Council and the Health Department will make the entire inspection process more transparent and inclusive of small business owners.”

That transparency and inclusiveness will involve the ability for restaurant owners to schedule a “consultative, ungraded and penalty-free inspection” for advice on how to meet and maintain food safety at their business before the next inspection. New changes also feature an updated appeals process that would give owners the chance to avoid financial penalties for scoring below an “A” if certain violations are thrown out during the appeal, whereas before, owners had to pay around $400 for violations, even if some were later overturned.

There is no denying that the letter grading inspection system has worked to bring greater food safety practice to NYC restaurants. Of the 24,000 estimated restaurants inspected in 2013, 88 percent of those received an “A” grade with the number of “B” and “C” grades in steady decline since the program's introduction. According to a Baruch College survey, 88 percent of New Yorkers use the grading system to determine where they’ll eat, with 76 percent of those people feeling more confident eating in “A” graded establishments. This new effort by the New York City Council and Health Department should help uphold those safety standards while providing some financial relief to restaurant owners.

For more information on how to keep your restaurant clean and in compliance with food safety regulations, check out these articles on Food Safety Temperatures, Food Allergies, Food Allergies in Restaurants, and Food Allergy Safety Products.

Posted in: Food Safety Supplies | By Brandon Lesko

Check Out Our New Recipes Section For Delicious, Inexpensive Meal Options

Looking for a quick, low-cost way to make delicious foods that will increase your profits, save you money, and have customers lining up for more? Recently, The WEBstaurant Store launched a new “Recipes” section to their website that makes cooking tasty, inexpensive meal options easier than ever. Just follow these few simple steps and you’ll be making great food, and even greater profit, in no time!

Simply visit the bulk recipes section of our website and use the recipe filter (pictured left) in order to select a recipe that's right for you. Narrow your results by selecting the difficulty of the recipe, cost per serving, or category of food.

Clicking on the recipe of your choice takes you to a page (pictured at bottom) that lists the cooking instructions as well as a list of ingredients with the ability to add them right to your cart! We also make it possible to print and switch between batch sizes with the click of a button.

At the moment we offer 12 mouth-watering soup recipes that cost as little as 20 cents per 7 oz. serving and range from chicken corn soup and New England clam chowder to three bean soup and vegetarian chili! We also have entree recipes for signature mac and cheese and chicken and waffles that only cost 57 cents per serving.

With more recipes and food categories like appetizers and desserts coming soon, there's never been a better time to master these simple catering and bulk food recipes! Also, be sure to check out our site for all your bulk consumable and spice needs!

Posted in: Consumables | By Brandon Lesko

First PA Tavern Gambling License Issued

Pull-tab game of chance

Residents across the state of Pennsylvania could soon be playing pull-tab games and entering raffles and drawings at their local bar or tavern. On March 5, 2013, the PA Liquor Control Board issued the first license for a tavern in the state to operate small games of chance under 2013’s Act 90, which made such games legal.

Midway Tavern, located in Adams County, PA, will be the very first bar to obtain a tavern gambling license after the owners pay the $2,000 approval fee. That’s on top of a $2,000 application and investigation fee for a combined minimum total of $4,000. Annual renewal cost is $1,000.

Though the initial cost may seem high, bar owners get to keep 35% of their net revenue from ticket and game sales, with 60% being collected by the state and an additional 5% by the host municipality. Of the 6,000 businesses statewide that are eligible to apply for these new licenses there have been 10 applicants since they began taking them on January 27, only 5 of which have currently been accepted.

Under Act 90, PA tavern and bar owners would be able to conduct pull-tab games, daily drawings, and charity raffles. No single game can pay out more than $2,000 and no establishment is allowed to pay out more than $35,000 over a consecutive seven day period. Raffles are limited to one per month.

Many bar owners appear to be daunted by the FBI background check required during the application process, non-refundable application fees, and the high tax rate on profits, but others are hopeful that as time goes on, the state will work with them to make the application process a little less intimidating.

As with all new programs and laws, there are growing pains. Analysts still expect about 2,000 bar owners to apply for and receive licenses, based on a similar law and circumstances in Indiana. As bar owners begin to weigh the costs and benefits of a gaming license, more are expected to apply.

If you happen to be a bar owner that already has a gaming license, be sure to check out our great selection of pull tab ticket games of chance, punch board games of chance, jar ticket games of chance, and raffle tickets.

For more specific information on Act 90 and how it applies to your Pennsylvania bar, see this information sheet or go to the PA Liquor Control Board's website to learn how to apply for your gaming license.

Posted in: Bar Supplies | By Brandon Lesko

WebstaurantStore Featured in Google's Annual Economic Impact Report

This week, WebstaurantStore was highlighted in the annual Google Economic Impact Report. WebstaurantStore was among 47,000 Pennsylvania businesses that have employed Google's wide range of e-commerce tools to help grow their online operations.

Charlie Garber (left) and Dave Groff (right) of WebstaurantStore

In the report, Google claims it helped provide $111 billion of economic activity nationwide to businesses, website publishers, and non-profits in 2013, while providing benefits to 1.5 million businesses in the form of Google's advertising tools like AdWords and AdSense.

According to Charlie Garber, Vice President of Marketing and Development at Webstaurant, “A huge chunk of our budget goes to Google every month. With that, we are able to reach a significantly greater number of people than if we didn't use the advertising piece.”

Programs like AdWords aren't the only tools helping businesses grow. Other programs like Google Webmaster Tools and Google Analytics provide valuable insights into site improvements, performance data, and tracking metrics.

“[Google] Analytics has really allowed us to keep tabs on where we are growing, why we are growing … and keep a good finger on the pulse of our website,” says Dave Groff, President of WebstaurantStore.

In Pennsylvania alone, Google reports that it has spurred $2.8 billion in economic activity and provided $6.2 million in free advertising through the Google Ad Grants program. With 97% of internet users going online to search for their local products and services, expect these numbers to keep rising in the future.

To see how your state has benefited from Google over the past year, check out the report for yourself.

Posted in: Restaurant Equipment | By Brandon Lesko

Make Your Restaurant Menu Stand Out on Google

Some recent tweaks to Google search just might boost your restaurant's online presence! Search Engine Land reports that Google has started to show menus in search results when online users look for a restaurant and add "menu" to their inquiry. What does this mean for your restaurant? That it's time for you to post your menu! A reported 80% of consumers want to see a menu before they pick a restaurant. Don't lose the chance to attract customers by failing to provide one! Less than 50% of independent restaurants have a website, and of the ones that do, only 40% show their menu online. Posting your menu gives you the edge over competitors.


1. Submit your menu to sites like AllMenus.com and MenuPages.com.

This is particularly helpful if your website is new or doesn't receive a lot of traffic. Posting your menu to a larger, higher-ranking website could help boost your online presence, and in turn help to improve search results for your restaurant.

2. Sign up for a free listing on Google Places.

This gives you better control over what information Google presents to searchers about your business. It also ensures that customers are viewing the right contact info, hours, and even photos of your restaurant to help them choose their dining destination. A Places page will even help your business show up on Google Maps if someone is searching for you locally!

3. Don't make customers download your menu.

If your menu is set up as PDF, it's time to change that format. Not only is it annoying to download, but it may even be impossible to view on a mobile device. Don't risk losing a customer just because of an inaccessible menu. Add your menu directly to your website page, and make sure that it's easy to spot.

4. Improve your existing website.

Before you improve your online menu, make these simple search-engine friendly changes to your website. If you don't have a website, get building!

  • Avoid using Flash-based websites. Flash is not always search-engine friendly, and not supported by all mobile phones and iPads.
  • Add specific phrases that will help you stand out from local competition. Try verbiage like Best Burgers in Philadelphia!, Most hip happy hour in Hoboken, NJ!, and Voted Chicago's Best Italian Restaurant on Zagat.
  • Give users the info they want: a quick impression of your restaurant, your menu and prices, your location, and contact info should they wish to make a reservation.
  • Include the info above on your social media sites as well (Facebook, Instagram, Yelp, etc.). Be sure to include a link to your website on all of these accounts to help direct customers back to your restaurant's home page.

5. Play up menu psychology.

Removing the dollar signs from menu prices is a proven method to help increase sales. And don't forget that images can speak louder than words - especially to a hungry patron! Include several professional looking images on your menu to help catch customer attention. Adding an image also ensures that a thumbnail pic will show up on Facebook when you post a link to your menu. To learn more about menu sales psychology, check out this article on Menu Design Theories.

Posted in: Company Information | By Kim O'Brien

Food Facts to Celebrate 50 Years of Beatlemania

It was February 9, 1964 when The Beatles gave their first live U.S. television performance on The Ed Sullivan Show, initiating fandom known as "Beatlemania" that still runs strong 50 years later. To celebrate here at the WEBstaurant Store, I dug up some food facts and lyrics embedded in songs written by the British Fab Four. While tunes like Strawberry Fields make obvious reference to food (and, well, other ingestible substances iconic to the sixties), some are not quite as detectable.

Image Credit: The Beatles Recreated with Breakfast Food, by http://www.ifood.tv/

1. Yesterday… Scrambled Eggs?

When Paul McCartney first penned Yesterday, he used the working line "Scrambled Eggs" as a substitute lyric until settling on the now-iconic song title. You can hear a parody of the song performed by Sir Paul himself on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.

2. Strawberry Fields

The 1967 hit Strawberry Fields Forever was inspired by John Lennon's childhood memory of playing in the garden of "Strawberry Field," an orphanage in Liverpool, England. New York City's Strawberry Fields is now a living memorial to the late Lennon that serves as a meditative spot in Central Park.

3. A Taste of Honey

Foods mentioned in Beatles songs include: cornflakes, eggs, honey, marshmallows, octopus, peppers, pies, strawberries, truffles, and turkey.

4. Beatle Beans

When Beatlemania broke out, fans pelted the band with Jelly Babies (the U.K. variation of jelly beans) after it was reported George Harrison liked eating them. It was later revealed that he disliked the candy, stating "I was hit in the eye once with a boiled sweet, and it's not funny."

5. A Truffle Tribute to Clapton

The White Album's Savoy Truffle was written by George Harrison as a tribute for friend and fellow musician Eric Clapton's fondness for chocolate. The title and many of the lyrics were derived from a box of Mackintosh's Good News chocolates.

Posted in: Consumables | By Kim O'Brien

Behind the Scenes: A Chilly Volunteer Day!

Sierra Club Volunteer Site

David from Customer Solutions mans
his post at the intersection.

Every month, a group of volunteers from The WEBstaurant Store forms a little 'community crew' and helps out an area charity or organization. We like to get outdoors in the summertime - but sometimes we're needed outdoors in the winter, too! Such was the case this month, when our dedicated volunteers worked outside in freezing temperatures to help the Lancaster, PA Sierra Club with their Polar Bear 5k! While "polar bear" events often involve plunging into an icy river or lake, this event kept participants on dry land - though there was no shortage of snow and chilly winds to get everyone in the "polar bear" spirit!

Parking Lot Crew

Andy from Site Maintenance, Ryan from Traffic, and
Jenell from Content wait for cars to arrive

Some of our volunteers worked the coat check indoors, while everyone else headed outside to one of the satellite parking lots to direct attendees and make sure that everyone parked in a manner that was not destructive to the park grounds. Money raised by the event will be used to improve an area in the county, like the 100 tree planting event in 2013 that was funded by the previous year's Polar Bear 5k!

Over 200 runners showed up for the early morning 5k trail run that wound through Lancaster County Central Park, which is full of trees, rivers, and wildlife in addition to normal park amenities like baseball fields, playgrounds, and a swimming pool. After the race, everyone gathered in a park pavilion to hear finish times and receive awards - there was even a category for the adorable dogs that accompanied their owners on the race!

Coat Check Crew

Content writers Jenell, Amy, and Ashley join Katie from Customer Solutions
and Product Expert Steve at the coat check station.

Posted in: Company Information | By Emily Gertenbach

California Law Requires Bartenders to Wear Gloves

Changes to the California Retail Food Code

An updated enforcement for food handlers in California has created quite a buzz among bartenders. As of January 1, a revision to the California Retail Food Code requires that gloves or utensils be used when handling any food product that will not be cooked or reheated before being served. Sure, it makes sense in the kitchen. But the law also applies to any edible items that go directly into your glass. That means bartenders, mixologists, and the like can no longer add garnishes with bare hands.

Here's what you need to know, as outlined by the California Restaurant Association:

  • Employees at retail food facilities (including mobile and temporary food facilities) will be prohibited from contacting exposed, ready-to-eat food with their bare hands unless the permit-holder obtains prior approval from the local enforcement agency.
  • The existing code required that all employees wash hands before preparing food or donning gloves. The new law will now enforce hand-washing when changing gloves.
  • The law will have a "soft" rollout in its first year. Bars and restaurants found in violation will receive a warning rather than a health code point deduction.
  • To read the law in its entirety, click here.

Stock Up Now for Great Savings!

Chances are, your bartender probably handles both drink prep and customer cash. That means they'll be switching gloves a lot to avoid potential cross contamination. Luckily, we carry bulk disposable gloves to save you the hassle of constantly restocking. In fact, buying in bulk adds up to major savings on shipping! With the opening of our new West Coast warehouse, California orders will arrive in just 1 to 2 business days. Choose from latex, poly, vinyl, or nitrile gloves to avoid landing in legal trouble. Our most popular seller is vinyl, available in powder and powder-free varieties (powder makes it easier to pull gloves on).

To determine the best type of glove for your foodservice business, click the Disposable Gloves Guide below.

Posted in: Bar Supplies | By Kim O'Brien
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