June 2016 WebstaurantStore Coupon Code Update Savings on Mason jar mugs, sheet pans, ketchup packets and more!Read More
Making the Original Sazerac with the Horse Inn We met with Benjamin Hash, bar manager at the Horse Inn, to learn how to make a Sazerac. Read on to learn about the history of Louisiana’s official cocktail and to see a video of how to make it!Read More
How to Name Your Restaurant Naming your restaurant is one of the most important decisions when opening a business. Make the right choice with these 6 methods for picking a good name!Read More
What Restaurants Need to Know About New Refrigerant Regulations If your business uses a refrigerator or freezer, it’s important to be knowledgable of refrigerant rules and regulations. Check out this post for information and links to the latest information you need to know!Read More
4th of July Menu Ideas Since many people go on travel or gather with family and friends with the 4th of July, your restaurant or bar may not be as crowded. To help draw in customers, consider offering these patriotic menu ideas!Read More
In the Kitchen with Greg and Larry: Get to Know the Chefs at WebstaurantStore Check out our interviews with Chefs Larry Williams and Greg Lieberman, who both work hard to prepare delicious meals for nearly 250 employees at WebstaurantStore!Read More
Everything You Need to Know About Hard Cider Ever wondered where hard cider originated, how it's brewed, or how to properly store and serve it? Check out this post to learn everything you need to know about hard cider.Read More
If you’ve noticed customers sharing meals, ordering lunch-sized portions for dinner, or going with a simple soup and salad combo instead of an actual entree, then it might be time to rethink your restaurant portion sizes. If your portions are like a majority of restaurants’ serving sizes in the United States, then they most likely exceed the USDA’s recommendations for fat, saturated fat, sodium, and calories per meal. So, in order to help retain your customers who are trying to lead healthier lifestyles, it’s important to offer more reasonable portions. Plus, offering smaller portions can have many benefits for your restaurant.
With the amount of diet plans, healthy lifestyle campaigns, and calorie counting smart phone applications present in today's society, it's no wonder so many people are trying to change their lifestyles. So, as your customers put more focus on what they're putting into their bodies, they start to cut out unhealthy options – and for many, that means eating out. For individuals who still enjoy the social aspect of going out to eat, that may mean they decide to split a meal with a friend or just order the house salad, which lowers your restaurant’s profits. Ultimately, once consumers stop eating out as often or altogether, restaurants start to suffer.
Before you start decreasing your portion sizes, it's important to understand how this can positively impact your restaurant. While it may seem that offering smaller portions will lower your profits, especially since you'll have to adjust your prices to match the serving sizes, there are actually many benefits. In fact, there are many sports bars that offer half-size appetizers, restaurants that serve half sandwiches, and diners that prepare smaller versions of their breakfast platters.
Check out the list below that goes over how offering smaller portions can benefit your business:
While it may seem easy to start cutting down the sizes of your entrees, it’s something that has to be done tactfully. For example, if your dedicated customers notice that their favorite pasta dish is now half the size but the same price, they’re not going to react positively. However, if you follow some of the tips listed below, then you'll be able to successfully offer smaller portion sizes so that your business and customers benefit.
Offering smaller restaurant portion sizes can be a great practice for your business. Consider reducing the serving sizes of all of your entrees, or test it out by simply adding a lighter fare section to your menu. Your budget and health-conscious customers are sure to thank you.
Mother's Day may be a month away, but it's never too early to begin thinking about how your customers will want to honor their mothers and grandmothers. Regardless of whether patrons choose to celebrate at brunch, lunch, dinner, or anywhere in between, a mimosa is always a delicious and refreshing drink choice. For 5 unique mimosa recipes to serve on Mother's Day (or any day), check out the video and directions below.
When planning your Mother's Day brunch or dinner menu, make sure to add a few different kinds of mimosas to your menu. These cocktails are delicious, refreshing, and sure to hit the spot on Mom's special day.
Since its inception in 1970, Earth Day has brought about a global environmental movement, raising public awareness on important issues including pollution, deforestation, and the growing need for clean energy. With April 22nd rapidly approaching, you may be wondering what you as a restaurant owner can do to help. With these five eco-friendly restaurant tips, you can get your restaurant in line with the green movement, feel better about your carbon footprint, and advertise to customers that your restaurant cares about the earth.
When organic waste rots in landfills, it produces methane gas, a contributor to ozone depletion and global warming. Composting allows organic waste to be safely turned into fertile soil that can be used for a variety of purposes, including landscaping, farming, and gardening. By composting your restaurant’s waste in-house or using an external service, you will save on trash pickups while simultaneously helping to save the ozone layer.
There are a variety of ways to reduce waste in restaurant kitchens. Try giving your kitchen a waste audit and assessing your strengths and weaknesses. Get in touch with your suppliers and make sure that you’re getting the exact amount of fresh food that you need. If you notice that customers have trouble finishing a particular dish, try reducing the portion size.
Energy conservation can make a huge difference in both your environmental footprint and your cost of operations. Restaurant kitchens use large, energy-burning appliances all day long, and while some of that is unavoidable, there are plenty of ways to reduce the amount of wasted energy in your establishment. From broader measures like replacing your appliances with ENERGY STAR® certified products, to easy fixes like turning off lights when a room isn’t being used, these changes can make a big difference.
In casual and take-out establishments, disposable paper, plastic, and foam products are used daily. To keep the environmental damage to a minimum without changing your entire business model, try using biodegradable paper products like these eco-friendly plastic cups, straws, and take-out containers. Unlike the changes you make in the kitchen, customers will come in contact with your environmental efforts firsthand, making this a great opportunity to market to your eco-conscious patrons.
By using local sources either seasonally or year round, you will help your community, the environment, and maybe even your wallet. If your food comes from your backyard, it takes less energy to get to you than if it comes from halfway across the country. Establish a relationship with farmers and suppliers in your area and see the difference you can make!
Earth Day isn’t about one person saving the world singlehandedly. It’s about global collaboration in an effort to keep the land we live on as clean and healthy as possible. As a restaurant owner, there are many opportunities to make a difference. Try implementing any number of these tips in honor of Earth Day. You'll be able to combine both the benefits of marketing yourself as an eco-friendly restaurant owner with the positive feeling of helping to preserve the planet we all share.
While sous vide may seem like a high tech method of cooking, it's actually an effortless way to prepare your sides and entrees. Simply put, sous vide cooking is placing food that’s been sealed in airtight containers or vacuum packaging bags in a warm, circulating water bath that heats up to, and remains at, a consistent temperature.
While this approach does involve owning some equipment that you may not already have in your kitchen, like a vacuum packaging machine and an immersion circulator, it’s benefits can outweigh the costs. The biggest benefit is that it is nearly impossible to overcook your food, so you can set it and forget it while you work on other items on your prep list.
Since sous vide allows no moisture to escape the food, it's primarily used to cook meats like chicken and steak. But what if you wanted to use sous vide to cook other kinds of food? Check out the list below for 10 foods that you may not have known you can cook sous vide.
Believe it or not, everyone’s favorite carb-filled breakfast item can be baked in a sous vide circulator. Preparing biscuits sous vide style also creates a moister product compared to traditional baking methods. While this innovative cooking approach usually utilizes plastic bags, this recipe uses canning jars.
Everyone has their recipe for the "best" French fry, but if you enjoy making them with a crispy outside and a fluffy inside, then it’s time you tried to sous vide them. While this method does add an extra step before the frying process, it will help to prevent your potatoes from falling apart before you place them in your fryer.
Do your guests prefer scrambled or poached eggs with their breakfast? Well, with sous vide it doesn’t matter because you can do both. This approach can also be used to create hard boiled eggs, which are perfect for delis that specialize in egg salads or restaurants that make leafy cobb salads. Best of all, since you don’t have to focus on your eggs after you’ve placed them in your circulator, you won’t have to spend time monitoring them.
Sometimes sausage can get burnt on the outside and be undercooked on the inside. But when you prepare it sous vide style, you’ll be able to create a juicy piece of sausage that is both fully cooked and not burnt. Should you find that your guests miss the grill marks on this piece of meat, then you can always finish it on the grill or in a pan.
Since corn is normally boiled in water, this food may not be as big of a surprise. Unlike boiling or steaming, cooking corn sous vide doesn't place this veggie in direct contact with water, so its nutrients and delicious flavors are retained. This approach also allows you to pack multiple ears into just one vacuum packaging bag, making it easier to prepare more at one time.
In order to make creme brulee properly, you have to take it out of the oven at just the right moment. Since sous vide makes it nearly impossible to over or undercook, you can create the perfect creme brulee each time. You can still use souffle dishes for serving purposes, so your guests will never know that you didn’t cook it in the oven. To get the delicious burnt topping, you can either use a butane torch or a broiler.
Whether you’ve over or undercooked it, salmon (like many of the foods on this list) can be a bit tricky to cook. But with a sous vide circulator, you will no longer have to stress. Not only does this approach provide you with a perfectly juicy and flaky piece of salmon, but it will turn out firmer and more pink than traditional cooking methods. Since the moisture is locked into the vacuum packaging bag, your salmon also won't lose any of its size.
Sous vide cooking isn’t just for food; you can use this innovative method for creating delicious, savory (or sweet) dressing or marinades for your signature entrees and sides. While some people will tell you that the biggest downfall of sous vide is that it can take longer to cook food, infused oils prove that wrong. As opposed to waiting a few days for all the flavors of your oil to infuse, this recipe only takes a couple of hours.
Looking to cut down on prep time? Since creating yogurt sous vide is faster than other options, it will give you plenty of time to handle other items on your to-do list. This approach is great for coffee shops and cafes that want to offer their own yogurt, as well as restaurants that specialize in making thick and savory yogurt-based sauces.
Similar to corn, carrots are another vegetable that lose most of their flavor and nutrients when cooked directly in water. But, when you prepare them sous vide style, the carrot cells don’t break down, so all of their flavor stays in the carrot. To add a little extra flavor, try making these sous vide honey-glazed carrots.
While sous vide equipment can be expensive, it does allow you to just drop your food in a water bath and focus on other kitchen tasks. So, whether you're already a sous vide master or just ordered your first sous vide machine, this approach is to sure help you consistently create your delicious signature meals and sides.
First used in ancient China, cast iron cookware has been a staple in kitchens around the world for thousands of years. Despite the benefits of cast iron, some chefs still shy away due to the many myths surrounding it. So, we’re here to dispel those myths with the top 10 reasons why you should be cooking with cast iron as well as some tips to make sure you get the best results.
When you season cast iron, the fat in the oil polymerizes, forming a hard, smooth non-stick surface for cooking. Because of this, you can use less oil when you cook with a well-seasoned cast iron pan. Not only does this allow you to make lower fat dishes, but it also means less oil is wasted, improving your restaurant’s bottom line.
Cast iron is one of the best materials for heat retention due to the density of the metal. While it is known for creating hot spots in the pan, you can avoid this for the most part by preheating it in the oven or on your range (if you rotate it to evenly distribute the heat). The high heat is perfect for foods like steak that need to be seared, and will create a beautiful browning effect.
One great feature of cast iron cookware is that you can use it both on the stovetop and in the oven. This is perfect for when you need to keep a dish warm before it goes out to your customer, or for when you need to finish off a dish. It also saves your staff from having to wash more than one piece of cookware.
Non-stick cookware has risen in popularity over the last few decades because of its ease-of-use, but the non-stick surface is very delicate, which can be a problem in a commercial kitchen. With a properly-seasoned cast iron piece, you can use metal utensils without fear of losing that seasoned coating. You also won’t have to worry about potentially dangerous chemicals leeching into your food when you cook with cast iron.
Cast iron cookware is unique because it actually gets better the more you use it. The oil that you use to cook with acts to strengthen the pan’s seasoning, so the more you use your pan, the better the non-stick surface becomes.
Because the process of creating cast iron cookware is relatively simple, it tends to be very affordable. Not to mention, it will virtually last forever, unlike non-stick pans that you might have to replace every few years.
Despite the fact that many people fear cleaning their cast iron cookware, it isn’t rocket science. How do you clean a cast iron skillet or pot? Simply scrub any dried on food with a firm brush, water, and kosher salt (if extra abrasion is needed). Next, dry with a paper towel and place it on the range at low heat to fully remove any traces of water. When your pan is completely dry, simply wipe it down with a paper towel soaked in your seasoning oil. Now your pan should be ready to go for next time!
One of the great features of cast iron is the fact that you can use it with any heat source, including electric, gas, and even induction. You can also use cast iron on a glass top range, but be careful not to drag the cookware across the glass. This is also the perfect cookware for emergency situations because you can use it over an open flame without it warping.
Cast iron cookware is often referred to as the workhorse of the kitchen, and this couldn’t be more true. With proper care and seasoning, you can deep fry, braise, roast, and bake in your cast iron cookware. Here are a few recipes to get you started.
There’s a reason you hear of people who are still using their great-grandmother’s cast iron skillet. Even if you don’t treat it well, you should never need to buy new cast iron cookware. If it rusts, cast iron can be restored to usable condition with a little elbow grease. Find out how to restore an old cast iron skillet here.
While cast iron is very versatile, there are a few things that you shouldn’t do with your cast iron cookware if you want to keep it in great shape for years to come.
Cast iron cookware can be intimidating to use, especially if it’s your first time. If you find that you still can’t get your cast iron skillet or dutch oven to cook the way you want it to, try troubleshooting. Finally, don’t be afraid to re-season often, especially with new equipment. Once you get the hang of using it, your cast iron cookware just might become a favorite in your kitchen.
If you're ready to start cooking but don't have any cast iron cookware yet, check out our selection below: