By Suzy Biever
The WEBstaurant Store celebrates its monthly birthday lunch!
Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday dear…everybody…happy birthday to you!
Rather than throw a birthday party with balloons and confetti, sing the birthday song, and turn off all of the lights to blow out the candles, The WEBstaurant Store celebrates its employees' birthdays a different way. Once a month, a birthday lunch is held in honor of those whose birthday has fallen within the past month. The entire office is invited to bring in a covered dish and enjoy their coworkers' company as we celebrate.
This time, though, we've done something different. This time, it was the birthday celebrants who helped to make the food for the monthly lunch. Employees whose birthday fell in January and February were invited down to the test kitchen of The WEBstaurant Store, where corporate chef Matt Schuler gave them a cooking lesson. They learned some new recipes, some cooking tips, and gained valuable information on the products we sell by working with them firsthand.
And what was on this month's menu? This month the birthday celebrants made…
This tradition of cooking classes combined with birthday lunches may be a new one, but it's a delicious one too! The menu and food got great reviews from all who attended, and now it's time to look ahead to what next month will bring!
By Emily Gertenbach
A wooden cutting board from The WEBstaurant Store is a great addition to any commercial kitchen, and with the right care your board can last you many years. In the video below, corporate chef Matt Schuler demonstrates how to properly season and protect your wooden cutting board using Emmet’s Elixir wood conditioner!
Seasoning your wooden cutting boards with oil is an important step in preserving board quality. Oil acts as both a protectant and a conditioner to maintain a lustrous appearance and help prohibit warping and cracking. Some people try using olive or vegetable oil on wooden cutting boards; however, these oils can go rancid after they are absorbed into the wood. Emmet’s Elixir is an NSF Listed blend of food grade mineral oil and other anti-microbial oils that create a protective seal on wood, help to stunt bacterial growth, and do not turn rancid. And, remember - water is a wooden cutting board's worst enemy! Boards should never be soaked in water for a long period of time. Wash, rinse, and dry your boards immediately to reduce the chance they will warp or crack.
When purchasing a new board, it is advisable to season your board from the very beginning. If you have an older board, though, it’s not too late to begin seasoning and protecting the wood. Simply follow our video’s easy instructions and enjoy using your wooden cutting boards for a long time to come!
By Suzy Biever
Highlights from the trip!
While snow and sleet were falling at the home office of The WEBstaurant Store in Lititz, PA, our 65 employee representatives were in sunny Florida taking part in the 2013 NAFEM Show. On Friday and Saturday morning, they entered the Orange County Convention Center two hours early at 8 a.m. and started the day off with vendor meetings. The rest of the day was devoted to walking the floor, watching demonstrations, and meeting vendors, such as Bunn and Nemco, in order to learn more about the products we sell and better serve our customers.
Besides meeting with vendors that we deal with on a daily basis, our staff also searched for new vendors and new products that we currently do not carry. The food service industry is a diverse and growing business, and The WEBstaurant Store is always looking for new products to add so that we can grow along with it! At the NAFEM Show, our employees were able to preview products that haven't even hit the market yet and learn about the hottest trends for 2013.
Our staff returned from Florida full of information to help make The WEBstaurant Store the best that it can be, and excited to see what next year's NAFEM Show will bring!
By Kim O'Brien
Greetings From Sunny Orlando, Florida!
The WEBstaurant Store has more than 65 representatives at this year's NAFEM Show, which kicked off today at the Orange County Convention Center in Florida. We'll be touring over 760,000 square feet of the best foodservice equipment and supplies that exhibitors have to offer, with more than 500 exhibitors total!
Take a sneak peek at the WEBstaurant crew in action! We'll be spending the rest of the weekend scoping out brand new products and meeting with manufacturers to deliver our customers the very best in restaurant equipment.
The North American Association of Food Equipment Manufacturers (NAFEM) is a trade association of more than 560 foodservice equipment and supplies manufacturers that provide products for food preparation, cooking, storage and table service.
Check out www.thenafemshow.org for more NAFEM Show details!
By Ethan Gibble
Many busy streets in America are home to a smattering of fast food establishments, each offering travelers a quick bite to eat while they dart from place to place. Spreading beyond the commuter passageways of America, fast food is prevalent in many other countries as well, as our increasingly hurried world rushes through the day. Yet the hurried, hungry masses can also be rather discerning about what they want to eat, creating the need for a wide variety of quick meal options. From traditional burgers and fries to café-style sandwiches and Mexican fare, fast food is available in many different incarnations to attract customers. Even traditional burgers-and-fries establishments are offering a larger – and healthier – variety of meal options to draw in customers. Take a look at our interactive graphic below for a peek at what today’s fast food market looks like, and see the companies that consumers are increasingly turning to for a fast, affordable meal.Embed this image on your site:
Sources: QSR Magazine, The QSR 50
By Kim O'BrienWho says a day at the office has to be all work and no play? This week, WEBstaurant Store employees wore themed outfits for our official Spirit Week 2013. Monday began with a blast from the past, as we donned apparel from the swinging 60's, grunge 90's era, and beyond for Decades Day. We followed up with favorite Sports Team Day, College Gear Day, and Pajama Day.
Today's theme, you ask? WEBstaurant Store pride! Some showed up in facepaint and even tutus in hopes of winning votes for "best dressed"… but one employee took the theme a step further by actually wearing one of our kitchen products! Check out the video below to watch Emily using her "eartensils" at lunch. Who says plastic flatware can't be functional and fashionable?
By Steven Ziegler
They say that saving money is making money; so how do you save the most at WEBstaurantStore.com? So many folks use us for smallwares, equipment, and catering supplies, but many restaurateurs save even more money by using us for their everyday items. Now, if you’ve ever added a single box of take outs, toilet paper, or trash liners to your cart on our site, you might be put off by the shipping. Even with our low pricing, when you add shipping on a single large or heavy box, sometimes it doesn’t work out. That really isn't the way to buy those everyday supplies from us. The way to do it is to stock up. Go through your regular list of products that you order weekly and add it to your cart. The per-item shipping charges go way down when you order larger quantities. When added to our already low prices, you’ll see how you can save a great deal of money off of your food service supplier or even your warehouse club. Unlike the warehouse clubs, we deliver to your door and we don’t have lines.
February’s coupon code is for an everyday item that is used heavily this time of year: hot cups. Our Choice hot cups look great and are much less expensive than the other brands. Compare for yourself! And then after you compare our regular pricing, take 10% off after you apply this month’s coupon code. Here is the link: Choice Hot Cups.
Our Coupon Code for February 2013: 10% off of cases of Choice Hot cups: hotcup10
And if you want a bit more on how to save on shipping at The WEBstaurant Store, here is a little video that we put together:
By Kim O'BrienShadow or no shadow, the approach of Groundhog Day reminds us that winter's chill will remain for another few months. What will also be sticking around? This season's superbug, the flu. As of Friday, the flu was still prevalent in 49 states (Maine was the exception) and high in 26 states and New York City.
Luckily, The WEBstaurant Store has the products to ward off germs for the rest of winter (and beyond!) Check out our cleaning wipes and Noble Chemical Disinfectant to knock out germs with a single swipe or spray. Our line of Kutol hand soaps offers alcohol-free formulas to clean hands without harsh, skin-drying effects. We even offer a free EZ foam soap dispenser with the purchase of two cases of Kutol foaming hand soap! Just use the coupon code EZGY (for gray dispenser) or EZBK (for black dispenser).
While we can't prevent the flu, our corporate chef Matt Schuler has shared two soup recipes to help you make it to March. His classic Chicken Noodle Soup recipe is great for someone enduring influenza, while his Chicken Sausage, Garlic, & Kale Soup recipe contains immunity-boosting ingredients. "These recipes are not guaranteed to cure or prevent the flu, but are good for the soul," notes Schuler.
Chicken Noodle Soup
Serves 6 to 8 (with leftovers for tomorrow!)
- 4 qts. homemade chicken stock or low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 3/4 lb. cleaned whole chicken
- 2 cups diced scrubbed carrots
- 1 cup diced onion
- 2 cups diced celery
- 2 Tbsp. minced fresh parsley
- 1 Tbsp. minced fresh thyme
- 1/2 pound (8 oz.) medium egg noodles
Directions:1. In a large pot, combine broth and chicken. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 40 minutes, or until juices run clear (clear juice indicates that the chicken is fully cooked). Remove chicken from pot and set aside until cool enough to handle. Strain broth. Note: Chicken and broth may be prepared to this point a day ahead and refrigerated.
2. Return broth to pot and bring to a boil. Add carrots, onions, and celery. Simmer until vegetables are tender (approx. 20 minutes).
3. Shred meat from chicken, discarding skin and bones. Tear into small pieces. Add chicken meat back into pot along with herbs and noodles. Increase heat to medium-high and continue to cook until noodles are just tender (approx. 6 to 8 minutes). Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper.
Chicken Sausage, Garlic, & Kale Soup
- 1/2 cup wheat berries
- 12 oz. diced chicken sausage (fully cooked sausage is recommended)
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 3.5 oz. shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and thinly sliced (approx. 1 cup when sliced)
- 10 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1 bunch (10 oz.) kale, stemmed and coarsely chopped
1. Soak wheat berries in large bowl of cold water overnight.
2. Sauté: Heat oil in 2 qt. saucepan over medium heat. Add mushrooms, and season with salt, if desired. Sauté mushrooms 10 minutes, or until beginning to brown. Add sausage, and sauté until brown. Add garlic, and sauté 2 minutes more. Stir in vinegar; simmer until vinegar is almost evaporated, stirring to scrape up browned bits from pan.
3. Add: Drain wheat berries, and add to mushroom mixture with vegetable broth and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 20 minutes. Add kale, and cook 10 to 20 minutes more (or until kale is tender). Season with salt and pepper, if desired.
Check out Matt Schuler's tips on prepping and storing your winter soups!
Make your own vegetable stock and control the sodium yourself. Freeze it in our standard hot microwaveable containers to keep soup stock on hand all winter!
Want to make a bigger batch and store leftovers? These heavyweight hot microwaveable containers are great for freezing leftovers and can be reheated right in the microwave.
Having trouble slicing that garlic super thin? Try out our new Etched Blade Grater! Its anti-slip grip and corrosion resistant blade will provide years of safe, convenient use!
By Christopher Zook
Creating the perfect presentation for a meal is important — dishes have to be balanced, positioned, layered, and garnished just right, and that's only for starters. But new research published in the Journal of Sensory Studies suggests that presentation is far more significant to a consumer's experience than previously thought. While a visually engaging presentation is impressive, it can also have a profound impact on what you're serving (especially beverages), right down to how it tastes.
A team of researchers from the Polytechnic University of Valencia and the University of Oxford conducted experiments with volunteers concerning the flavor of hot chocolate. Researchers gave volunteers the same hot chocolate, and each volunteer received a cup that was the same size and internal color. However, the outside color varied from cup to cup. When the researchers compared taste results, the findings were surprising.
Volunteers who drank hot chocolate out of an orange cup reported that it tasted and even smelled better than when it was served in cups of other colors. While the difference wasn't large enough to make someone love or hate the drink, it was enough to change the perception of the flavor in a measurable way. The same study also found that the color yellow emphasizes the flavor of lemons in soft drinks, beverages in cool-colored containers (like blue) more effectively quench thirst, and drinks in pink containers are considered more sugary. So the next time you look for glassware, keep in mind that color is a big deal to your customer — even if they don't realize it.
There's a reason your mouth waters when you smell something cooking — your body wants to eat whatever smells so delicious. On top of being the primary sense tied to memory, your sense of smell is also largely tied to your sense of taste. It's obviously most recognizable with fragrant food. But a big reason you can taste the subtle spices or salts used in cooking is because as you chew, you're actually forcing air through your open nasal passages, drastically increasing your ability to "taste". (This is also why things don't taste as strong when you have a cold or sinus infection.)
Flavor is commonly broken down into five basic groups: sweet, bitter, sour, salty, and umami (or "savory"). Much like how a yellow colored cup can bring out the lemony taste in a beverage, a bitter citrus fragrance can help boost it to the next level. So if you have a way to make your dish or drink more aromatic, then give it a shot, because it might be that little extra that turns your dish from "delicious" to "unforgettable".
Also, scent is definitively the sense most strongly tied to memory, so you could, in theory, literally make a dish that's unforgettable.
Touch and Taste
Believe it or not, the way something feels has a slight but noticeable impact on whether or not someone actually enjoys their beverage. According to research from Rutgers University, something as out-of-the-blue as the firmness of a container can affect a person's perception of taste.
The experiment featured mineral water served in both firm and flimsy cups, with the majority of participants preferring the water served in the firm cups. Like the hot chocolate experiment, there was no difference in the water given to any participant. Unlike the hot chocolate experiment, it turns out that not everyone is as sensitive to their sense of touch as they are to their sense of sight.
Some subjects (called "low haptics" in the study) showed a greater sensitivity to the make-up of the container, and that impacted their perception of how the water tasted. For those where touch wasn't as relevant ("high haptics"), there wasn't much of a difference.
Still, the experiment is valuable. You can easily please both your "low haptic" and "high haptic" customers by stocking more high-quality glassware and avoiding cheaper plastics. So if you have any colorful, aromatic, and firm glassware around, you should consider using it — your customers' reactions might surprise you.