Oktoberfest Party Ideas for Your Restaurant

Oktoberfest is commonly recognized as a time to eat, drink, and be merry. This German festival is increasing in popularity all over the world, and it is a great opportunity for your restaurant to bring in customers as summer turns to fall. Hosting an Oktoberfest party is about more than pairing beer with food, however. Keep reading to learn about the history of this celebration, see our suggestions for party planning, and check out our sample Oktoberfest menu.

What is Oktoberfest?

Oktoberfest is a festival that originated in Munich, a city located in a region of Germany called Bavaria. This festival generally lasts just over two weeks, taking place from mid-September to the first week in October.

The first Oktoberfest was held from October 12th through 17th in 1810. It was a marriage celebration for the Bavarian crown prince, Ludwig, and Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen. The festival was open to the public of Munich and continued each year to foster community. Eventually, Oktoberfest was elongated and moved earlier into September to take advantage of the warmer weather.

Oktoberfest Celebrations Around the World

Oktoberfest Celebrations

While the biggest Oktoberfest celebration remains in Munich, with over 6 million people attending annually, cities around the world have adopted this festival as a way to welcome the changing season. Some of the biggest Oktoberfest fairs in the United States are in Tulsa, Oklahoma; Cincinnati, Ohio; Fredericksburg, Texas; and Reading, Pennsylvania.

Oktoberfest Party Ideas

If you want to bring Oktoberfest to your restaurant, check out these ideas to help plan your event.

Start with Excitement

Germany’s Oktoberfest can’t begin until the mayor of Munich taps a ceremonial keg of beer and proclaims “O’Zapft is!” or “It's tapped!” Beginning with the same sort of spectacle builds guests’ anticipation of your event.

Make Your Decor Festive

Make sure you get your Oktoberfest party supplies in the customary color scheme. Traditionally, Oktoberfest decor features a blue and white checkered pattern as seen on the flag of Bavaria. Decorate your tables with this classic combination, and switch out your usual napkins for black, red, and gold to represent the German flag for added flair.

Play Music

While many people associate Oktoberfest with old-fashioned Oompah music played by brass instruments and accordions, Germany’s modern Oktoberfest plays music ranging from folk to top 40 hits. For your restaurant's celebration, play whatever genre is best to get your crowd ready for the festivities.

Oktoberfest Party Menu

Serving authentic German foods is an integral part to any Oktoberfest celebration. Check out our suggestions for your Oktoberfest party food.

Soft pretzels

Starters

  • Soft pretzels: As one of the most widely recognizable German foods, soft pretzels are a great way to start your Oktoberfest meal. Serve them with German mustard to complete this appetizer.

  • Cheese plates: Pair German cheeses like limburger, muenster, and butterkase with pumpernickel or rye bread.

Entrees

  • Sausages: For this classic main course, try serving bratwurst, bierwurst, or weisswurst with crusty rolls.

  • Schnitzel: This dish is made of pounded pork, veal, or turkey cutlets that are coated in breadcrumbs before frying.

  • Roast chicken: Each year, thousands of rotisserie-roasted chickens are eaten at Oktoberfest in Munich. If you don’t have a rotisserie, oven-roasted chicken is a great alternative.

Side Dishes

Spaetzle
  • Sauerkraut: This traditional German side is made of finely cut cabbage that has been fermented. Make your own if you want a fresher, more pungent flavor.

  • Potato salad: German-style potato salad is made using red potatoes, bacon, and mustard for richness.

  • Spaetzle: Similarly to pasta, you can make spaetzle from dough that is cut into small pieces and boiled.

Desserts

  • Apple strudel: This sweet dish contains apple slices, spices, and nuts that are rolled in pastry and baked until crispy.

  • Plum knodel: To make these dessert dumplings, plums are wrapped in a dough that is made from potatoes and flour, and then they are boiled and rolled in bread crumbs.

Beverages

  • Beer: As the cornerstone beverage of this festival, beer is a must-have for your Oktoberfest party menu. For added festivity, limit your offerings to German imports or bready and dark beers that are perfect for fall.

  • Orange Cola: Mimic a popular German soft drink by mixing equal parts of cola and orange soda.

  • Apfelschorle: Provide guests with another non-alcoholic option by combining equal parts of apple juice and sparkling water.


Hosting an Oktoberfest celebration at your restaurant allows you to be creative with temporary decor and menu items. When you bring this German festival to your establishment, you can also attract new customers who are looking to partake in seasonal events. Before you start looking for German recipes, refer to this blog for tips on how to celebrate Oktoberfest in your restaurant.

Posted in: Seasonal | By Christine Potts

What Is a Jelly Roll Pan?

Have you ever prepared ingredients for a rolled cake, only to realize that you don’t have the jelly roll pan that the recipe calls for? Keeping your commercial kitchen stocked with the right types of cake pans can be tricky when there are dozens of varieties available. You may be tempted to substitute the required jelly roll pan for another option that is already in your stock, but most recipes call for specific pans to help your baked goods turn out as delicious as possible. To find out what a jelly roll pan is, what it’s used for, and how it got its name, keep reading.

What Is a Jelly Roll Pan, and What Can I Use It For?

A jelly roll pan is a type of sheet pan that is designed to make thin sponge or sheet cakes that are sturdy enough to coat with creme, jelly, or other fillings and roll into a cylinder shape. They are often used in recipes for popular cakes like pumpkin rolls, yule logs, and their namesake, jelly rolls.These pans can be made from a variety of materials, but you can most commonly find aluminum or aluminized steel jelly roll pans.

What Are the Dimensions of a Jelly Roll Pan?

Most 1/4 size jelly roll pans measure approximately 9" by 13" and 1" deep. Additionally, some 1/2 size jelly roll pans can be 12” by 17” and 1” deep. They are usually a bit smaller than half sheet pans, which tend to be 13” by 18” and around 1” deep.

What Can I Use as a Jelly Roll Pan Substitute?

Jelly Roll Example

While it is best to use a jelly roll pan if your recipe calls for it, a half sheet pan is a similar option. This being said, the size of a jelly roll pan is ideal for rolled cake recipes because its length and width are narrower than a half sheet pan, but it is just as deep. In many cases, recipes instruct you to fill your jelly roll pan almost to its brim with batter. That way, your cake comes out just about an inch tall and will be substantial enough to hold generous amounts of filling. Using a half sheet pan in place of a jelly roll pan could produce a thin cake that cracks when filled or even burns in the oven.

What Else Can I Use a Jelly Roll Pan for?

Jelly roll pans are not only useful for making rolled cakes. Their lipped edge makes them great for roasting vegetables, and they can even be used for baking cookies. Because they are smaller than half sheet pans, they are also easier to put in your dishwasher and store when you are finished.


While jelly roll pans look similar to baking sheets, using a half sheet pan instead of a jelly roll pan could ruin your cake. A jelly roll pan's unique dimensions are perfect for giving your sponge or sheet cakes the structural integrity they need in order to stay together after filling and rolling. With a jelly roll pan on hand, you can make its namesake treat without worrying about cracking, crumbling, or burning.

Posted in: Kitchen & Cooking Tips | Bakeries | By Christine Potts

Top Products for National Food Safety Education Month

Did you know that September is National Food Safety Education Month? Maintaining an establishment that complies with food safety requirements not only allows you to keep guests happy and healthy, but it can also help your business avoid potential lawsuits and bad publicity. Be sure to check out our inventory of food safety supplies, which includes allergen-safe items, sanitizing chemicals, first aid products, disposable supplies, and much more. Keep reading for a list of the top ten products every business needs in order to pass health inspections and maintain their compliance with food safety standards.


Food Safety Books
Food Safety Books from $9.49

1. Food Safety Books

Looking for a little light reading? We offer food safety books that cover food preservation, hazard analysis and critical control points (HACCP), sanitation, and more.

Food Safety Disposables
Food Safety Disposables from $2.26

2. Food Safety Disposables

From disposable apparel and food thermometers to day of the week dots and product labels, our inventory of food safety disposables will help keep your restaurant sanitary.

Food Handling Instructions
Food Handling Instructions from $3.15

3. Food Handling Instructions

Food safe handling instruction labels help you educate your customers on how to safely handle their purchases after they leave your business and are perfect for delis, butcher shops, and grocery stores.

Food Grade Chemicals
Food Grade Chemicals from $3.69

4. Food Grade Chemicals

USDA-approved food grade lubricants are designed to keep kitchen equipment that comes into contact with food operating quietly and efficiently without making customers sick.

Color-Coded Cutting Boards
Color-Coded Cutting Boards from $13.65

5. Color-Coded Cutting Boards

Purchase color-coded cutting board sets in a variety of shades to avoid cross-contamination in your foodservice establishment. Many of these kits also include charts to help your employees keep track of which cutting board they should be using.

Ice Scoop Holders
Ice Scoop Holders from $1.46

6. Ice Scoop Holders

These handy products can be clipped to the side of your ice bins or mounted to the wall and are intended to keep your ice scoop (and the germs that may live on it) out of the ice used in your customers' drinks.

NSF Listed Knife Stations
NSF Listed Knife Stations from $15.50

7. NSF Listed Knife Stations

NSF Listed knife stations are more sanitary than magnetic bars and stainless steel or wooden blocks because they're dishwasher safe. In addition to keeping knives clean and away from contaminants, their closed design also helps keep your staff safe.

NSF Listed Meat Thermometers
NSF Listed Meat Thermometers from $1.95

8. NSF Listed Meat Thermometers

NSF Listed meat thermometers are waterproof, so you can easily sanitize them after use. Some options even include a cover to keep the thermometer safe from dirt and other contaminants.

Color-Coded Sanitizing Pails
Color-Coded Sanitizing Pails from $2.03

9. Color-Coded Sanitizing Pails

These sanitizing pails come in a variety of colors to help your employees distinguish between the different areas of your restaurant (kitchen, bathroom, dining room, etc.) each pail is supposed to be used in.

Disposable Gloves
Disposable Gloves from $3.89

10. Disposable Gloves

Last but certainly not least are disposable foodservice gloves. These easy-to-use products are ideal for food handling and preparation, but your staff can also use them for janitorial tasks.


Whether you're breaking down meat at your butcher shop, cleaning your restaurant's bathrooms, or maintaining your kitchen equipment, observing proper food safety protocol is essential to the daily operation of any foodservice business. Doing so will not only help you pass health inspections and keep your establishment running smoothly, but it can also help you impress customers and drum up new business. September is National Food Safety Education Month, so now is the perfect time to stock up on the top ten food safety items mentioned above!

Posted in: Cleaning Tips | Food Safety | Management & Operation | By Nora Fulmer

Feast of Thrones: a Game of Thrones Inspired Meal

If you're like me, you can't get enough of Game of Thrones, whether that's the book series or TV show on HBO. We have some big Game of Thrones fans here at Web, so we worked together to come up with this delectable eight-course meal inspired by the show to help us pass the time until season 8 comes out. Each course is inspired by a different character and is representative of their personality or experiences. So, put your Valyrian steel sword down, grab a glass of wine, and take a seat because at the Feast of Thrones, you always walk away full.

Wild Berry Parfait

game of thrones food
Bran Stark

HBO

We start our meal with a light parfait with wild berries, inspired by Bran Stark. During the show, Bran has spent a lot of time in the godswood, a grove of trees considered sacred by the Starks and people in the North of Westeros. This parfait is made with the wild berries that are sure to grow around the edge of the grove. Although these berries come from the godswood, the light, sweet, and slightly tart flavor of this parfait is sure to please both the old gods and the new. Make your parfait offering even more appealing by serving it in this authentic stone mug.

Arugula Salad with Yellow Nasturtium Petals

game of thrones party food
Olenna Tyrell

HBO

For our second course, we have an arugula salad with bright yellow nasturtium flower petals. This dish comes to you courtesy of House Tyrell and their matriarch, Olenna Tyrell, the Queen of Thorns. The sigil of House Tyrell is a bright yellow rose, which we've replaced in this dish with edible yellow nasturtium petals to add color and vibrancy to the salad. Additionally, just like the Tyrells, underneath the beautiful exterior of this salad is a spicy and peppery flavor that will knock your socks off. And make sure to serve this salad in a stoneware bowl that is as cold and beautiful as the Tyrells.

Smoked Meat and Cheese Board

game of thrones themed food
Tormund Giantsbane

HBO

What meal is complete without a healthy helping of meat and cheese? A bad one, that's what. Our charcuterie board is inspired by Tormund Giantsbane and the wildlings that live north of the Wall. The meat on this board is full of smoky, salty, and savory flavors, and the soft texture and sharp flavors of the cheese provide an excellent contrast. More importantly though, meat and cheese are calorie dense, making them the perfect foods to eat before going off to fight the men of the Night's Watch. Take your charcuterie to the next level by serving it on this medieval-looking board with a sausage guillotine.

Squid Ink Pasta

game of thrones food ideas
Theon Greyjoy

HBO

Our pasta course is brought to you courtesy of Theon Greyjoy of the Iron Islands. The pasta in this dish is made with squid ink, giving it a deep black color, just like the sails on the Greyjoy ships that strike fear into the hearts of the citizens of Westeros. Surprisingly, this pasta doesn't have a strong fishy or briny flavor that a lot of seafood has. Rather it has a subtle salty taste that reminds you of the sea. You can even take this dish to the next level by adding the tender texture and fishy flavor of fresh squid. Serve this course in this stunning blue stoneware bowl to create a beautiful contrast between the black pasta and the blue stone.

Lemon Sorbet

game of thrones feast
John Snow

HBO

Next up is a light and sweet lemon sorbet to cleanse your palate and provide a sweet relief from the powerful flavors in this meal. This course is inspired by Jon Snow, half-brother of the Starks, brother of the Night's Watch, and knower of nothing. Our lemon sorbet is pure white, just like the fur of Ghost, Jon Snow's direwolf companion. The sorbet also has a light and soft texture, just like freshly fallen snow, and it washes away all the flavors of previous dishes, leaving you ready for more. Jon Snow is a simple man with simple tastes, and this rustic wooden bowl has a handmade look that is perfect for this dish.

Roasted Lamb

food from game of thrones
Daenerys Targaryen

HBO

Our main course in this meal is brought to you by the Mother of Dragons herself, Daenerys Targaryen. This lamb is roasted to tender and juicy perfection, with a crispy outside that seals in all of the juices and flavors. This dish will be loved by everyone, from the upper crust of Westeros to the nomadic Dothraki that roam the Great Grass Sea across the sea. And if you don't have a dragon on hand to roast your lamb to crispy and delicious perfection, an oven and range will work fine as a substitute. Give this course a primal look that is worthy of a Khaleesi by serving it on this dragon-themed hibachi grill.

Chocolate Cake with Gold Leaf

game of thrones themed food
Cersei Lannister

HBO

For our penultimate course, we have a chocolate cake inspired by House Lannister. This chocolate cake is opulent, elegant, and rich, making it the perfect dessert for Cersei and Jamie Lannister. Topped with a thin layer of gold leaf, this cake will remind you of the wealth and power of House Lannister. To be true to character, be sure to serve this decadent dessert with large quantities of wine while plotting the downfall of your numerous enemies. And remember, a Lannister always pays his debts. Take this dessert over the top with this opulent gold charger plate.

Gin Fizz

game of thrones foods
The Night King

HBO

We're ending our meal with a gin fizz cocktail inspired by the Night King, the leader of the White Walkers who live beyond the Wall. This drink has a light citrus flavor and a creamy, soft texture that is reminiscent of the fresh snow that constantly falls in the far North. But beware, because one too many of these strong cocktails will make you walk like a White Walker. A classic highball glass is the perfect choice for serving this nefarious cocktail.



From casual viewers of the TV show to the diehard fanatics, this eight-course feast is sure to be a hit with any Game of Thrones fan. The feast is full of delicious courses that are overflowing with flavor and pay tribute to our favorite characters from the show. Whether you're serving this meal at your restaurant or making it at home for a viewing (or re-viewing) party, this feast is just what you need to tide you over for the eternity it'll take for the final season to premiere or the sixth book to release. Because a time without Game of Thrones is dark and full of terrors.

Posted in: Recipes | Seasonal | By Richard Traylor
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