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How to Use a Chafing Dish

How to Use a Chafing Dish

Whether you’re starting a buffet or catering business, chafing dishes ensure your culinary creations stay at the perfect temperature. With their sleek designs and polished finishes, chafing dishes add a touch of elegance to your presentation, elevating the aesthetic appeal of your hot food display. We teach you how to set up and use chafing dishes so you can maximize these essential pieces of catering equipment.

What Is a Chafing Dish?

Chafing dishes are specially designed containers that keep food warm during service. They typically consist of a frame, a water pan, a food pan, and a cover. The water pan is filled with hot water, which creates a gentle and even heat source to keep the food at a safe and desirable serving temperature. There are a wide variety of chafing dishes, allowing you to choose a model that accommodates your soups, main courses, coffee, and desserts.

Chafing Dish Tutorial Video

Check out our video tutorial to learn how to use a chafing dish:

What Do I Need to Use a Chafing Dish?

To use a chafing dish, you’ll need the following items:

  • Chafing Dish - They come in a variety of materials such as stainless steel, copper, and silver plated. Most models will include a food pan, water pan, cover, and fuel holders. The water pan helps to distribute heat evenly and prevents the food from drying out. Fill it about 1 inch deep for the best results.
  • Fuel - Chafing dishes typically use a fuel source, such as gel fuel or canned heat, to keep the food warm. Stock up on chafer fuel to ensure uninterrupted service throughout your event.
  • Serving Utensils - Don't forget to have a set of serving utensils on hand for guests to help themselves to the delectable offerings in your chafing dish. From ladles to tongs, having the right tools will make serving a breeze.

Steps to Set Up a Chafer Dish With Pictures

We provide a step-by-step guide to how to use your chafing dish. Before beginning, read through the user’s manual your chafing dish manufacturer provided and follow all recommendations.

  • 1.

    Place the water pan in the chafing dish frame.

  • 2.

    Add 1 inch of hot water.

  • 3.

    Place fuel in the fuel holder.

  • 4.

    Light the fuel.

  • 5.

    Warm for 20 minutes.

  • 6.

    Add hot food.

  • 7.

    Cover to keep warm.

Chafer Dish Safety Tips

Follow these chafer dish safety tips to create a safe and enjoyable dining experience for your guests. Remember, prioritizing safety not only protects your guests but also prevents any potential accidents or mishaps that could impact your event. With proper care and attention, you can confidently serve your delicious dishes without any worries.

  • Use a stable surface. Before you start using a chafer dish, place it on a sturdy and level surface. This will prevent any accidental tipping or spilling of hot food and liquids. Avoid placing it near the edge of a table where it may be more prone to accidents.
  • Use fuel safely. Most chafer dishes use fuel to keep the food warm. When using fuel, ensure that you follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully. Always use a chafer dish fuel holder specifically designed for that purpose. Avoid overfilling the fuel holder and keep it away from any flammable materials to prevent fires.
  • Handle with care. Chafer dishes get hot, so it's important to handle them with caution. Use oven mitts or heat-resistant gloves when touching any part of the chafer dish, particularly the lid and the frame. Remind your staff to be mindful of the hot surfaces and to avoid touching them directly.
  • Keep children and pets away. If you’re catering a child-friendly event or serving your food in an outdoor area where pets are welcome, it's crucial to keep children and animals away from the chafer dish area. The hot surfaces and open flames can cause serious burns if not handled properly. Consider setting up a physical barrier or assigning staff to monitor the area to ensure everyone's safety.
  • Regularly check for hazards. Throughout your event, periodically inspect the chafer dishes for any potential hazards. Look for loose or damaged parts, such as handles, hinges, or fuel holders. If you notice any issues, immediately remove the chafer dish from service and replace it with a safe and functional one.
  • Practice proper food handling. While chafer dishes are excellent for keeping food warm, it's essential to maintain proper food handling practices. Ensure that the food is cooked thoroughly before placing it in the chafer dish. Use separate utensils for each dish to avoid cross-contamination. Additionally, regularly monitor the food temperature to ensure it stays within the safe range.

Chafing dishes are a versatile and essential tool for any commercial kitchen or catering business. They are designed to keep food warm and presentable, making them perfect for buffet-style events or large gatherings. Whether you are hosting a wedding, a corporate event, or a holiday party, investing in a chafing dish is a smart choice that will impress your guests and elevate your food service.

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Restaurant Receiving Procedures

Restaurant Receiving Procedures

Establishing a strong receiving procedure for food deliveries is vital for a successful restaurant operation. In addition to purchasing from approved suppliers, following the correct receiving practices ensures the safety and quality of the food you serve. Mistakes during the receiving process can lead to food waste, financial losses, and customer dissatisfaction. This comprehensive guide will go over what should be done once a delivery arrives, from inspecting to rejecting items. Click below to learn about restaurant receiving procedures: Tools for Receiving Receiving Inspection Checklist How to Check Food Temperatures for Receiving Restaurant Receiving FAQ Tools for Receiving Food Having the right tools on-hand for your food deliveries is essential to ensure the smooth and efficient flow of goods into your establishment. Designate a specific area in your restaurant for receiving shipments. This area should be clean, well-lit, and well-ventilated. It should also be equipped with shelves or racks to store received items temporarily. By taking the time to organize and equip your receiving area, you can streamline the process and minimize errors. Here are some tools that should be provided to your staff when receiving and inspecting food: Scales: Make sure to have a reliable scale in your receiving area. Accurate weighing of incoming items is crucial for inventory control and cost management. Thermometers: Maintaining proper food temperatures is vital for food safety. Provide your staff with food thermometers to check the temperature of perishable items upon arrival. Box cutters and scissors: These tools are essential for opening packages and inspecting goods. Make sure your receiving area is equipped with a sufficient number of box cutters and scissors. Train your staff on how to properly use box cutters to prevent hand injuries. Gloves and hairnets: To maintain sanitary conditions during the receiving process, provide your staff with disposable gloves and hairnets if necessary. This will help prevent cross-contamination and ensure food safety. Receiving Inspection Checklist There are various things to look out for when receiving a food delivery, including the vehicle, food quality, and temperatures. Deliveries should be received when your staff has enough time to inspect them and should be accepted by employees trained in food handling and receiving procedures. Use this checklist as a guide during the receiving process on what to check for when a delivery arrives and when to approve and reject items. Inspect the Vehicle The receiving process starts with a visual inspection of the food delivery truck. This step ensures that the products you receive are not compromised during the transportation process, ultimately safeguarding the quality and safety of the food you serve to your customers. If there are any problems during your inspection, reject the delivery. Here are a few key points to keep in mind during this process: Check for signs of temperature abuse: Make sure refrigerated or frozen items are stored in their designated compartments and their temperature is within the safe range. Look out for signs of thawing, such as condensation or ice crystals, as these could indicate temperature abuse during transportation. Look for signs of contamination: Inspecting the vehicle also involves examining the overall cleanliness and condition of the delivery truck. Ensure the interior is well-maintained and free from visible signs of dirt, pests, or other contaminants. Pay attention to the storage areas where the food products are kept, as these should be clean, organized, and free from any potential sources of contamination. Inspect Food Quality By implementing a thorough food quality check during the receiving process, you can maintain high food safety standards and ensure that only the freshest ingredients make their way into your dishes. Here are some important things to look for when checking the quality of your incoming food: Ice crystals on frozen food: Ice crystals are usually a sign of time-temperature abuse and can indicate that the product has thawed and refrozen. It is best to reject any frozen items that exhibit this characteristic. You should also reject frozen items with fluid or water stains on the packaging or case bottoms. Strange or abnormal color or smell: Pay attention to the color and smell of your food products. Any strange or abnormal coloration, such as discoloration or browning, can be a sign of spoilage. Similarly, any unusual or unpleasant odors can indicate that the product is no longer fresh. In such cases, the affected items should be rejected. Strange or abnormal texture: Visually inspect the texture of meat, poultry, and fish. Reject items that are slimy, sticky, or dry as well as items that have soft flesh that leaves an imprint when you touch it. Moisture on Dry Goods: Even dry goods can be susceptible to moisture, which can lead to mold growth and spoilage. When receiving dry goods, such as flour, rice, or cereal, check for any signs of moisture, including clumping, unusual textures, or water stains on the packaging. Reject any items that show such signs, as they may contain mold or other contaminants. Mold: Mold growth is a common issue that can affect various food products. When receiving perishable items, such as fruits, vegetables, or bread, carefully inspect them for any visible signs of mold. Mold can range in color, from green and blue to white or black. If you discover mold on any products, it is imperative to reject them to avoid potential health hazards. Inspect the Temperature One crucial step in the restaurant receiving process is checking the temperature of perishable and potentially hazardous foods upon delivery. This is especially important for foods more susceptible to bacterial growth and spoilage due to temperature fluctuations. Measure the temperature of perishable items using a food thermometer to ensure that they are delivered within safe temperature ranges. If a shipment of food is received in the danger zone, it should be rejected and returned to the supplier. Perishable items that must be inspected include: Cold TCS foods: Meat, poultry, dairy, and egg products are all TCS foods that must arrive at or below 41 degrees Fahrenheit (5 Celcius) to ensure their freshness and safety. Live shellfish: Live shellfish, such as clams, mussels, and oysters, should be received at a temperature of 45 degrees Fahrenheit (7 Celcius) or lower. The shellfish should be cooled to 41 degrees Fahrenheit (5 Celcius) or lower within four hours of receiving it. Shucked shellfish: If you're receiving shucked shellfish, like oysters or scallops, it's important to ensure they are delivered at a temperature of 45 degrees Fahrenheit (7 Celcius) or lower. The shellfish should be cooled to 41 degrees Fahrenheit (5 Celcius) or lower within four hours of receiving it. Shell eggs: Shell eggs, which are just fresh eggs in the shell, should be received at an air temperature of 45 degrees Fahrenheit (7 Celcius) or lower. This temperature range is a crucial part of egg food safety to prevent the growth of Salmonella, a common bacteria found in eggs. Milk: Dairy-based milk should be received at a temperature of 45 degrees Fahrenheit (7 Celcius) or lower. Hot TCS food: Any hot TCS food, such as cooked meats, soups, or sauces, should be received at a temperature of 135 degrees Fahrenheit (57 Celcius) or higher. Frozen food: Frozen food items, including vegetables, meats, or pre-made meals, should be frozen solid when received. They should be received and stored at a temperature of 0 degrees Fahrenheit (-18 Celcius) or lower. This temperature range helps to maintain the integrity of the frozen products, ensuring they remain safe and free from freezer burn. Inspect Packaging Another crucial step in your receiving procedures is to check the items' packaging. Properly inspecting the packaging ensures that the products you receive are in good condition and safe for use. Here are a few key factors to consider when checking the packaging: Check for signs of damage: Carefully examine the packaging for any signs of damage, including tears, punctures, or holes. Packaging, whether it contains food or non-food items, should be intact and clean. If it is not, reject the item and address the issue immediately with the delivery driver or supplier. Reject cans with missing labels, bulging ends, rust, or severe dents. Items packaged in a reduced-oxygen environment that are bloated or leaking, items with broken cartons or seals, and items that appear to be tampered with or repackaged should also be rejected. Check for liquids: Reject any items that are leaking, damp, or have water stains as this indicates the packaging was wet at some point. Check for signs of pests: Pests, such as rodents or insects, can cause significant damage to your food supply and contaminate your products. Check for any signs of pest infestation, including chew marks, droppings, or live insects. If you notice any indications of pests, it is important to reject the entire shipment to prevent contamination in your restaurant. Check expiration dates: The date should be clearly labeled on an item’s packaging. Expired items or items past their use-by date should never be accepted, as they may pose health risks to your customers. It is important to rotate your stock accordingly to prevent the use of expired products and reduce food waste. Check Documents One important aspect that cannot be overlooked in your receiving procedure is the checking of documents. These documents serve as crucial records of the items being delivered and help ensure the quality and safety of the ingredients used in your establishment. Below we’ve highlighted some key documents to check for every delivery as well as specific documents to check for certain types of products. Invoice: The invoice is the most basic document that accompanies any food delivery. It provides a detailed breakdown of the items ordered, their quantities, and their prices. By cross-checking the invoice with the actual items received, you can ensure that you are being billed correctly and that you have received all the items you ordered. Shellfish with Shellstock Tags: When receiving shellfish, it is important to check for shellstock tags. These tags provide information about the source of the shellfish, including when and where they were harvested. By verifying the tags, you can ensure that the shellfish meets the necessary safety standards and has been properly handled. Raw or Partially Cooked Fish: Fish that will be consumed raw or partially cooked must indicate that it was frozen correctly before being received. This information is vital because proper freezing kills parasites that may be present in the fish. This will help ensure that you are receiving fish that meets food safety standards and is safe for consumption. Farm-Raised Fish: Farm-raised fish have become increasingly popular in the restaurant industry. When receiving farm-raised fish, check the documentation to ensure it was raised to FDA standards. How to Check Food Temperatures for Receiving Now that you know the temperatures to receive perishable foods, you may wonder what the proper method of taking these temperatures is. Utilize a thermometer during receiving to ensure food items are at the appropriate temperature. In case you're unsure of how to use one, we will guide you on the precise locations to insert it for the most accurate reading. Meat, poultry, and fish: Insert the thermometer stem or probe into the thickest part of the food (usually the center). Reduced-oxygen packaging (ROP), MAP, vacuum-packed, sous vide, and frozen food: Insert the thermometer probe or stem between two packages, being careful not to puncture either package. If the package allows, you can fold it around the stem or probe. Other packaged food: Open the package and insert the thermometer stem or probe into the food. Fully submerse the sensor area into the food and be careful not to touch the packaging to ensure an accurate reading. Restaurant Receiving FAQ If you're still looking for answers, check out some common restaurant receiving questions below: Which Items Should Be Stored First? When receiving a food delivery, cold foods should be put away and stored first. This is to prevent the foods from lingering at hazardous temperatures and reduce the risk of foodborne pathogens. What If I Need to Reject an Item? If a food item fails to meet your standards during the inspection, separate it from the accepted items and tell the delivery driver what is wrong with it. Log the rejected item on your receiving report and adjust your invoice accordingly. When Are Key Drop Deliveries Allowed? Key drop deliveries are a convenient way for restaurants to receive deliveries when they are closed or unable to be present at the time of delivery. Key drop deliveries must be inspected once a manager or food hander arrives at the operation and must meet the following criteria to be accepted: Items are stored correctly as refrigerated, frozen, or dry goods and maintain the required temperatures. Items are not contaminated and are protected from contamination. Items are honestly presented. Back to Top Effective receiving procedures are essential for any restaurant looking to streamline operations, maintain quality control, and optimize inventory management. By implementing a systematic approach to receiving deliveries, you can ensure accuracy, efficiency, and cost savings while also fostering strong supplier relationships and demonstrating compliance.

How to Melt Chocolate

How to Melt Chocolate

Whether you own a candy store, bakery, restaurant, or catering business, knowing how to properly melt chocolate is essential for creating delectable desserts, coating fruits, or decorating pastries. There are three common methods for melting chocolate: on the stove, with a chocolate melter, and in the microwave. We’ll walk you through each method to help you achieve professional and eye-catching results. Shop All Melting Chocolate Click below to learn more about chocolate melting methods: Melting Chocolate on the Stove Melting Chocolate With a Chocolate Melter Melting Chocolate in the Microwave How to Temper Chocolate Best Chocolate for Melting Choosing the right type of chocolate is crucial for achieving the perfect consistency and flavor when melting chocolate. The best chocolate for melting is a couverture type which features a high percentage of cocoa butter. Couverture chocolate contains at least 32 percent cocoa butter, higher than that of baking or eating chocolate, which allows the chocolate to melt smoothly and evenly. It is ideal when working with strawberries, cookies, cakes, or creating molded candies due to its smooth texture and rich taste. Top-quality semisweet and bittersweet chocolates are also excellent choices for melting, as they often meet the high percentage of cocoa butter required and have a balanced sweetness. For convenience and ease of melting, chocolate chips are the ideal size. They are designed to melt quickly and evenly, making them a popular choice for bakers and chocolatiers. If you prefer using chocolate bars, it is recommended to chop them into smaller pieces before melting. This ensures that the chocolate melts at a consistent rate and prevents any clumps or chunks from forming. Best Way to Melt Chocolate There are a few methods you can use when melting chocolate. To achieve the most consistent and desirable result, the best practice is to use a double boiler or chocolate melter. You can use a microwave if you’re short on time, but this method requires more care to keep the chocolate from burning. Chocolate is very prone to scorching and seizing, so it is important to warm it gently regardless of the method you choose. We’ll walk you through the chocolate melting methods so you can pick which one works best for you. How to Melt Chocolate on the Stove Melting chocolate on the stove is a popular method used by professional chefs and commercial bakers to achieve smooth and perfectly melted chocolate. This method requires a saucepan and bowl or double boiler, a specialized pan with two compartments, which provides gentle heat through steam. Follow these steps to learn how to melt chocolate in a double boiler: Add water: Fill the bottom compartment of the double boiler or a saucepan with water, making sure it is about 1/3 full, and place it over low heat. Place bowl over pan: Set the top compartment of a double boiler over the water-filled pan. If you don't have a double boiler, you can create one by placing a heat-proof bowl on top of a saucepan filled with water, making sure the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl. Add chocolate: Place chopped chocolate or chocolate chips in the top compartment or heat-proof bowl and set it over the simmering water. The steam generated from the water gently heats the chocolate, ensuring a gradual and controlled melting process. Stir occasionally: With a heat-proof spatula, stir the chocolate gently as it melts. Avoid using a wooden spoon, as any trapped moisture can cause the chocolate to seize (become grainy and thick). Monitor the temperature: To ensure you don't overheat the chocolate, use a candy thermometer to monitor the temperature. The ideal temperature for melting chocolate is between 104 and 113 degrees Fahrenheit depending on the type of chocolate. Remove the chocolate from the heat source when it reaches the desired temperature. Stir and cool: Once the chocolate has mostly melted, remove it from the heat and continue stirring until it is smooth and glossy. This process helps to melt the remaining chocolate and cool it gradually to prevent it from overheating and scorching. How to Melt Chocolate With a Chocolate Melter For large-scale chocolate melting, commercial kitchens often rely on chocolate melters. These specialized appliances are designed to melt chocolate quickly and efficiently. Chocolate melters typically feature a stainless steel basin or a removable insert that holds the chocolate. The basin is heated through electric or induction technology, maintaining a consistent temperature range ideal for melting, holding, and tempering chocolate. Some melters also come with adjustable thermostats and timers for precise control over the melting process. Refer to the user manual of your chocolate melter to achieve the best results. For most units, you can use the following steps: Prepare the chocolate melter: Make sure your chocolate melter is clean and dry. Any moisture or residue can affect the texture and quality of the melted chocolate. Set temperature controls: Plug in the chocolate melter and set it to the desired temperature. Allow the melter to preheat for a few minutes. Prep the chocolate: While the melter is preheating, prepare your chocolate for melting. Use a sharp knife to chop the chocolate into small, uniform pieces, or use chocolate chips. Melt the chocolate: Add the chopped chocolate to the melter's container or basin. Make sure not to overfill it, as chocolate expands when melted. If a lid is provided, close the lid to retain the heat and prevent any moisture from entering. Stir the chocolate: After a few minutes, open the melter and gently stir the chocolate using a heat-resistant spatula or spoon. Scrape the sides and bottom of the melter to prevent any chocolate from burning or sticking. Monitor the temperature: As the chocolate melts, monitor its temperature using a candy thermometer or a digital thermometer. Ideally, the temperature should be around 110 and 120 degrees Fahrenheit for dark chocolate, and between 104 and 115 degrees Fahrenheit for milk and white chocolate. Set to “keep warm”: Once the chocolate has melted to a smooth and fluid consistency, you can reduce the heat or switch the melter to its "keep warm" setting. This will maintain the chocolate's temperature and prevent it from solidifying. How to Melt Chocolate in the Microwave If you’re short on time, melting chocolate in the microwave can be a convenient option. This method requires careful attention as chocolate can easily overheat and become scorched or grainy. To prevent overheating, it's essential to stir the chocolate thoroughly after each heating interval until it is smooth and fully melted. We’ll guide you through the steps on how to melt chocolate in the microwave: Prep the chocolate: To ensure even melting, break the chocolate into smaller pieces. This will help the chocolate melt more quickly and evenly in the microwave. Microwave in short bursts: Place the chocolate pieces in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 30 seconds. After each interval, remove the bowl from the microwave and stir the chocolate with a dry spoon or spatula. Reduce the intervals: Repeat until the chocolate is almost completely melted. As the chocolate melts, reduce the microwave time to 15-second intervals to avoid overheating. Stir until smooth: Once the chocolate is almost melted, continue stirring until it becomes smooth and glossy. The residual heat will help melt any remaining chocolate pieces. Use immediately: Once the chocolate is melted, it is ready to be used in your desired commercial application. It will begin to harden as it cools, so you’ll want to use it immediately. Melting Chocolate Tips When it comes to melting chocolate for commercial applications, there are a few essential tips and techniques to keep in mind. By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your chocolate melts smoothly and is ready for use in your culinary creations. Avoid Contact With Water: One of the most important rules when melting chocolate is to avoid any contact with water. Even a small amount of water can cause the chocolate to seize, resulting in a grainy and lumpy texture. Make sure that your utensils, bowls, and work surface are completely dry before you begin melting the chocolate. Use Small Chunks or Chips: To facilitate even melting, it is recommended to chop your chocolate into small chunks or use chocolate chips. Smaller pieces of chocolate will melt more quickly and evenly, reducing the risk of overheating or burning. This is particularly important when using larger quantities of chocolate. Use Heat-Safe Utensils: When melting chocolate, it is crucial to use heat-safe utensils that can withstand high temperatures without melting or warping. Opt for tools such as heat-resistant spatulas or silicone spatulas that can handle the heat of the melting process. Avoid using wooden spoons, as they can retain moisture and affect the texture of the chocolate. Melt on Low Heat: To prevent scorching or burning the chocolate, it is best to use low heat during the melting process. Whether you choose to use a double boiler or a microwave, gentle heat ensures that the chocolate melts slowly and evenly. Avoid using high heat, as it can cause the chocolate to become grainy or develop a burnt taste. Chocolate Melting vs Tempering Two common techniques are often confused regarding preparing chocolate: melting and tempering. While both methods involve heating chocolate, they serve different purposes and yield different results. The difference between melting and tempering chocolate is that melting chocolate is the process of heating it until it reaches a liquid state while tempering chocolate involves heating and cooling chocolate to specific temperatures to stabilize its fat crystals. Tempering chocolate is a more precise and controlled process. It helps give the chocolate a glossy appearance, a smooth texture, and a snap when broken. Tempering is commonly used when making chocolates, truffles, and other confections, as well as for coating fruits, nuts, or cookies. If a glossy sheen and snap are not required for your recipe, you can skip the tempering step when melting chocolate. How to Temper Chocolate Tempering chocolate can help you achieve a smooth and glossy finish for your chocolate creations. We’ll guide you through the steps of tempering chocolate through the seeding method: Melt the chocolate: Start by chopping and melting 2/3 of your chocolate using a double boiler, chocolate melting machine, or microwave. Check the Temperature: Once the chocolate is melted, it's time to check its temperature. Different types of chocolate have different tempering ranges, so it's important to know the specific temperature range for the chocolate you're using. Aim for temperatures between 110 and 120 degrees Fahrenheit for dark chocolate, and between 104 and 115 degrees Fahrenheit for milk and white chocolate. Seed the Chocolate: Remove the chocolate from the heat and add the remaining 1/3 of the unmelted chocolate into the melted chocolate. This introduces stable crystals into the melted chocolate and encourages a smooth and glossy finish. Stir and Cool: Stir continuously until the temperature drops to the desired range, usually between 86 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit for dark chocolate, and 87 degrees Fahrenheit for milk and white chocolate. Tabling Method (Alternative): Instead of seeding the chocolate, some chocolatiers will use the tabling method and pour the melted chocolate onto a cold marble slab. The melted chocolate is scraped and turned until it cools to 78 degrees Fahrenheit. It is then returned to the bowl to be heated to 86 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit for dark chocolate, or 87 degrees Fahrenheit for milk and white chocolate. Test the Tempered Chocolate: To ensure that your chocolate is properly tempered, perform a simple test. Dip a spoon or a knife into the chocolate and set it aside for a few minutes. If the chocolate sets with a smooth and shiny appearance, it is properly tempered. If it appears dull or has streaks, it may need further tempering. Chocolate Melting FAQs We address some of the most common questions about melting chocolate below: How to Melt Chocolate Chips Melting chocolate chips is an essential skill for bakers, pastry chefs, and anyone looking to add a touch of decadence to their desserts. Chocolate chips are the perfect size for melting chocolate quickly and evenly. Use these methods to melt chocolate chips: Double Boiler Method: Use a double boiler or a heat-proof bowl and saucepan to simmer water. Add the desired amount of chocolate chips to the top bowl. Stir the chocolate continuously with a rubber spatula as it melts. The steam from the simmering water will gently heat the bowl, melting the chocolate without scorching it. Once the chocolate chips have completely melted and become smooth, you can remove the bowl from the heat source and use the melted chocolate as desired. Chocolate Melter: To melt chocolate chips using a chocolate melter, simply place the desired amount of chocolate chips into the machine's melting pot. Set the temperature according to the manufacturer's instructions and allow the machine to do its work. The chocolate melter will maintain a consistent temperature, preventing the chocolate from overheating or burning. Microwave Method: Place the desired amount of chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave the chocolate in short bursts of 15 to 20 seconds on medium power, stirring the chocolate after each interval. This slow and steady approach helps to prevent overheating and ensures that the chocolate melts evenly. Melting Chocolate Brands Stock on reliable chocolate brands to achieve professional-looking results for your menu. Here are some of the best melting chocolate brands for your business: Cacao Barry Melting Chocolate Callebaut Melting Chocolate Godiva Melting Chocolates Guittard Melting Chocolate Regal Foods Melting Chocolate Republica del Cacao Melting Chocolate Valrhona Melting Chocolate Wilton Chocolate Pro Melting Wafers Understanding different methods for melting chocolate is crucial for achieving the desired consistency and quality in your commercial kitchen. Whether you choose to melt chocolate on the stove, with a chocolate melter, or in the microwave, each method offers its own advantages in terms of control, efficiency, and convenience. By selecting the appropriate method based on your specific needs and available equipment, you can ensure that your melted chocolate is perfectly smooth and ready for all your culinary creations like these ruby chocolate truffles.

Parking Lot Maintenance

Parking Lot Maintenance

Parking lots are an essential component of any commercial property, providing a safe and convenient area for customers to park their vehicles while they shop at your business. Over time, parking lots can deteriorate due to environmental factors such as sunlight, surface water, oil leakage, and repeated contact with heavy vehicles. Whether you’re just starting a restaurant or have operated your business for several years, maintaining your parking lot is important to preserve an attractive appearance and safe parking for customers. Discover the basic elements of parking lot maintenance, and the tasks you must complete to ensure customers have a clean and secure location to park. Shop All Parking Lot Signs & Posts Use these links to learn more about different aspects of parking lot maintenance: What Is Parking Lot Maintenance? Parking Lot Repairs Parking Lot Cleaning Parts of a Parking Lot What Makes a Good Parking Lot? What Is Parking Lot Maintenance? Parking lot maintenance is upkeep intended to extend the lifespan of a parking area. Maintaining a functional parking lot involves repairing problems as they arise, as well as completing regular cleaning. Undergoing regular parking lot maintenance will keep your parking area visually appealing and ensure that the vicinity is safe for customers and their vehicles. Parking Lot Repairs Parking lot repairs involve fixing damage to your parking lot that can threaten the safety of customers and their vehicles. Over time, asphalt ages, which can result in cracks and potholes. Your parking lot may be further harmed by water damage and oxidation, leading to an unappealing and unsafe parking area. Ensure your parking area is fully repaired and maintained by addressing some of the most common problems parking lots face: 1. Water Damage Over time, water seeps into pavement through cracks, causing significant damage. Even more damage can occur if water freezes and expands, leading to further cracking and deterioration. To help prevent water damage ensure that water drains are clear of any debris they may prevent drainage. You may also want to install extra drains to siphon out excess water. 2. Cracks Cracks occur due to the natural aging process, heavy traffic, and freeze-thaw cycles. If not repaired quickly, cracks expand and lead to more damage to your parking lot. To repair cracks apply specialized crack fillers and sealants to the affected area. 3. Potholes Potholes form when water seeps into the pavement and weakens the underlying layers. Repairing potholes is one of the more difficult forms of parking lot maintenance, as you may need to apply extensive repairs for a complete fix. To ensure a pothole is completely repaired remove the damaged area, compact the sub-base, and apply new asphalt or concrete. 4. Uneven Depressions Uneven depressions form due to poor parking lot planning and heavy-vehicle traffic. These depressions collect water, creating a breeding ground for pests like mosquitos and causing further damage to the pavement. To repair uneven depressions, the affected area is typically milled or stripped, and new asphalt or concrete is applied to level the surface. 5. Oxidation Oxidation is a natural process that occurs over time and causes the parking lot surface to fade and lose its original color. This not only affects the aesthetic appeal of the parking lot but also makes it more susceptible to other forms of damage, such as water infiltration. To restore the appearance and protect the pavement, a sealcoat can be applied. Sealcoating creates a protective layer that helps prevent oxidation, UV damage, and water penetration. Parking Lot Cleaning Keeping your parking lot clean and well-maintained is essential for creating a positive impression on your customers and ensuring their safety. Regular parking lot cleaning not only enhances the appearance of your business but also helps to prevent accidents and maintain the longevity of your parking lot. Make the most out of your parking lot by undergoing regular maintenance and cleaning such as: Clearing Debris Debris such as leaves, trash, and dirt can accumulate and not only makes your parking lot look unkempt but also poses a safety hazard. Fallen leaves and trash can become slippery when wet, increasing the risk of slips and falls. Additionally, debris can clog drains, leading to water pooling and potential damage to the parking lot surface. Regularly scheduling debris clearing as part of your parking lot maintenance routine will help keep your lot clean and safe for both pedestrians and vehicles. Snow Removal During the winter months, snow and ice create hazardous conditions in your parking lot, making it difficult for customers to access your business safely. Proper snow removal is crucial to ensure the uninterrupted flow of traffic and reduce the risk of accidents. Investing in snow removal equipment and supplies, such as snow blowers and ice melt, will enable you to efficiently and effectively remove snow from your parking lot. It is important to prepare for winter weather and have a plan in place for snow removal, including designated areas for snow storage and a clear schedule for when and how snow will be removed. Sweeping Regular sweeping of your parking lot is essential to remove dirt, dust, and other small debris that can accumulate over time. Using a reliable parking lot sweeper or a push broom with stiff bristles will effectively remove dirt and debris from the surface. Pay particular attention to corners, edges, and areas around landscaping features or structures, as these are often prone to debris buildup. Regular sweeping, along with debris clearing, should be included in your parking lot maintenance routine to ensure a clean and well-maintained parking lot. Parking Lot Maintenance Costs Maintaining a well-kept parking lot is essential for businesses to create a positive first impression and ensure the safety of their customers and employees. However, it's important to understand the various costs associated with parking lot maintenance to effectively budget for these expenses. Consider the following costs when preparing to undergo parking lot maintenance: Repainting - Repainting parking lines is necessary to ensure proper parking space allocation, traffic flow, and compliance with ADA regulations. Although the cost varies depending on factors such as the quality of paint and the complexity of the parking lines, repainting services usually cost between $0.15 and $0.25 per square foot. Resealing - Resealing a parking lot is an important maintenance task that helps protect the asphalt surface from the damaging effects of sunlight, water, and chemicals. On average, businesses can expect to spend between $0.15 and $0.25 per square foot for resealing services. Sweeping & Cleaning - Regular sweeping and cleaning of a parking lot is crucial for maintaining its appearance and preventing the buildup of debris, leaves, and trash. The cost of professional parking lot sweeping services typically ranges from $50 to $150 per sweep, depending on the size of the lot and the frequency of service. Parts of a Parking Lot By understanding the various parts of a parking lot, businesses can effectively maintain and optimize their parking facilities. Quality parking lots usually include a variety of areas, signs, and features that make the parking experience as convenient as possible for customers. Discover the main areas you should focus on when planning your parking lot maintenance: Flow Control - Flow control refers to the organization and management of traffic flow within the parking lot. This includes the design and layout of the parking spaces, as well as the installation of directional signage and pavement markings. Safety Features - Safety features are items designed to reduce the threat of vehicle accidents occurring in a parking lot. Some examples of parking lot safety features include speed bumps, traffic signs, and reflective pavement markings. Some examples of parking lot safety features include speed bumps, traffic signs, and reflective pavement markings. ADA Compliance - ADA compliance involves providing accessible parking spaces and features for individuals with disabilities. This includes the installation of designated handicap-accessible parking spaces as well as accessible routes and curb ramps to provide easy access for individuals with disabilities. Walkways - Walkways should be well-maintained and clearly marked to provide safe and convenient pedestrian access. Properly designed and maintained walkways help to prevent accidents and ensure that customers can safely navigate the parking lot on foot. What Makes a Good Parking Lot? Whether it's a retail store, restaurant, or office building, a well-designed and well-maintained parking lot can enhance the overall experience for both customers and employees. There are several qualities that make a great parking lot, all of which revolve around safe and convenient parking for customers. Discover the features your parking lot needs to have in order to best serve your customers: Efficiency - A well-organized layout and design can maximize the number of parking spaces available, ensuring that customers and employees can easily find a spot to park their vehicles. Safety - Parking lots should prioritize the safety of their users by implementing proper lighting, clear signage, and well-defined pedestrian walkways. As an owner of a commercial parking lot, you must reduce the risk of accidents and collisions as much as possible. Proximity - Good parking lots should be conveniently located near the entrance of the establishment, minimizing the distance customers must travel from their vehicles to the building. The convenience of a close parking lot can significantly impact customer satisfaction and can even influence their decision to visit a particular establishment. Aesthetic - A well-maintained parking lot with clean lines, fresh paint, and properly maintained landscaping can enhance the overall appearance of a property. A visually appealing parking lot signals to customers that the business cares about its image and attention to detail, which can positively influence their perception of the establishment as a whole. As a business owner, taking care of your parking lot is an essential aspect of maintaining a professional image and ensuring the safety of your customers and employees. From cleaning and sweeping to seal coating and striping, there are various parking lot maintenance tasks that you should consider for your business. Inspecting your parking lot regularly and addressing any issues promptly, avoids potential hazards and liability concerns. By prioritizing parking lot maintenance, you can create a positive first impression for your business and ultimately increase customer satisfaction.

Restaurant Management View More


Calculating and Reducing Restaurant Labor Costs

Opening a restaurant can be an exciting prospect and also a challenging financial endeavor. In a time when supply chain shortages are prevalent and employee turnover rates are high, you'll need to be able to calculate your restaurant's labor costs and adjust your budget accordingly to remain cost-effective. We'll walk you through the different ways of calculating labor costs and provide methods of reducing those costs to help you make the most of your finances. What Are Labor Costs? In a restaurant, labor cost is the total amount of money that is devoted toward paying employees. This is not limited to salaries but also includes taxes and benefits. You’ll need to gather the following numbers to calculate your labor costs: Salary and Hourly Wages Overtime Amount Employee Benefits Amount Given in Bonuses Payroll Taxes Time Off (Vacation and Sick Days) How to Calculate Labor Cost In Your Restaurant To calculate restaurant labor costs, you’ll need to add together all of the funds that go into the wages and benefits of your employees. It can feel overwhelming at first when managing the number, but you can track your labor cost on a quarterly, monthly, or weekly basis to make it more digestible. Follow the steps below to learn how to determine labor costs for your business: Split out your employees with the same pay rates into a spreadsheet. Write down names, pay rates, and number of hours worked in one month. Be sure to include the amount paid toward overtime, bonuses, and payroll taxes as well. Multiply their hourly rate by the hours worked to find each employee’s labor cost. For salaried workers, divide their yearly salary by 12 to find their labor cost per month. Add all of those numbers together to find your total labor costs for one month. To determine labor costs for the year, add each month's labor costs together. How to Calculate Labor Cost Percentage Once you have added up your labor costs, you can use that number to determine your restaurant’s labor cost percentage out of your total revenue. Calculate your restaurant's annual revenue by adding up your total sales before taxes for the year. Take the total labor cost and divide it by your total revenue. Multiply your answer by 100 to figure out your restaurant's labor cost percentage. Labor Cost Percentage = Total Labor Costs / Total Revenue (Pre-tax) x 100 Average Labor Cost for Restaurant The average labor cost percentage for restaurants is between 25% - 35%, with quick service businesses usually seeing around 25% and fine dining establishments seeing closer to 35%. Restaurants should be aiming for a labor cost under 30%. Slow business seasons, employee turnover, and in-house food production elements, like elaborate food plating which involve more service time, can contribute to higher percentages. How to Reduce Labor Costs in a Restaurant Employee labor costs can be one of your biggest expenses as a restaurant owner. Luckily there are ways to mitigate this price tag. Try these techniques to reduce labor costs: 1. Optimize Your Restaurant Scheduling Make the most of the staffing force you have by optimizing your restaurant work schedule. Schedule veterans and rookies together so newer staff members can learn on shift and not be overwhelmed. On your slowest business days, create a lighter schedule to prevent overstaffing. Implement split shifts so employee shifts are in two parts and breaks fall during lulls in service. Avoid overtime as much as possible. Overtime pay is usually time and a half, so you’ll want to manage work schedules to prevent employees from needing to stay longer than necessary. Use scheduling software that collects data to generate predictions for an optimized schedule based on peek traffic times. Offer attendance bonuses to reduce absences and encourage staff to arrive promptly for their shifts. 2. Train Your Restaurant Staff A major part of keeping your labor costs down is training your staff to do their jobs well to make the most of their time on the clock. Thoroughly and regularly train staff. This may involve retraining staff to sharpen skills and remind everyone of proper procedures. Create an employee handbook detailing expectations and responsibilities that your staff can refer back to. Cross-train staff on other positions, like training servers to be hosts/hostesses or food runners, so they can fill in if necessary. This adds flexibility to your scheduling and reduces hiccups in service if someone needs to call out. Train servers on sidework tasks. Create a clear rotation and schedule for when these tasks should be performed. Be sure to keep tip regulations in mind when creating these expectations. Prioritize a positive work culture to improve employee retention rates. Labor costs increase every time you need to train a new staff member. Make an effort to keep your best employees. 3. Invest in Restaurant Technology Technology has become an essential tool in the foodservice industry and can help you lower your labor costs. Invest in a POS system that can integrate with your scheduling tool to track trends and manage shifts accordingly. Offer mobile ordering options like kiosks at your front counter, booths, and tables to free up server time and reduce order errors. Provide your servers with handheld mobile tablets to enter order and process payment to save them the time of having to walk to and from a POS station. Upgrade to smart kitchen equipment to reduce effort and errors in the kitchen while improving consistency between orders. Utilize third-party food delivery apps like UberEats, Grubhub, and Postmates to free up your staff to perform essential tasks in your kitchen. Many of these apps also offer data software to help you track trends and adjust your menu and shift schedules accordingly. Choosing how and where to make cuts that help reduce your labor costs can be a difficult decision for restaurant owners, but there are ways to lower your costs without firing employees. By training your staff, optimizing schedules, and integrating technology in your restaurant, you can cut costs in the long run and increase revenue.


How Much Does It Cost to Start a Restaurant?

Opening a restaurant is your dream, but is it something you can afford? Don't give up if you're intimidated. Just like any big investment, most people require financial assistance in the form of a bank loan to afford the startup costs. We'll help you weed through the individual costs of starting a restaurant so you can create a reasonable budget and acquire the funding you need. Learn more about the costs you may accrue when opening a restaurant: Security Deposit Costs Construction Costs Equipment Costs Furniture and Tableware Costs POS System Costs Food Inventory Costs Licensing Costs Marketing Costs Salaries and Wages Costs New Business Startup Resources How Much Does It Cost to Open a Restaurant? Starting a restaurant can cost anywhere from $180,000 to $800,000, with various factors influencing the final bill. The average cost of opening a restaurant is $275,000 or $3,046 per cover for a leased space, according to a recent survey. This number jumps to $425,000 or $3,734 per cover with an added land purchase. Numbers like this can be slightly deceiving because there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. The cost of your restaurant will be affected by a number of factors, including the location of your business, your restaurant concept, and whether you choose to lease or buy your space. Restaurant Startup Costs Before you come up with a final number and apply for a restaurant startup loan, familiarize yourself with the types of expenses you need to account for in your budget to calculate the cost of opening a restaurant. We’ll provide you with an average restaurant startup costs breakdown as well as some ways you can reduce your spending. 1. Security Deposit or Down Payment Securing the property for your restaurant will be one of your major expenses. If you plan to buy the location outright, you’ll need a down payment of 10% of the property value to secure your loan. The cost of real estate varies greatly by location but when it comes to restaurants, a great location is key. If you choose a poor location because it’s less expensive, your business may end up suffering in the long run. Down Payment for Loan: $12,500-$40,000 How to Save on Security Deposit Costs: Choose to lease a commercial space instead of buying and you’ll only be responsible for a security deposit and first month’s rent. Try renting space in a food hall to test out your restaurant concept. The cost of renting a booth will be much less than leasing an entire space. Consider buying a food truck instead of making a land or building purchase. Test your menu with a ghost kitchen to gain a following and save up before investing in a brick and mortar location. 2. Construction or Renovation Whether you are making improvements to an existing building or starting from scratch, construction costs will be one of your greatest expenses. Utility costs, such as water, gas, and electricity, can add up quickly and usually range from $1,000 to $2,500 a month for a ~4,000 square foot establishment. Making your restaurant ADA accessible from the start may also add $10,000 to $30,000 to the bill, but can save you on legal fees down the line. The extent of your construction and renovations will determine your total cost. Construction Cost: $140,000-$350,000 How to Save on Construction Costs: Purchase an existing commercial space and convert it to a restaurant instead of investing in a new build. Buy an existing restaurant that’s already outfitted with plumbing and HVAC to save time and money. 3. Kitchen Equipment Foodservice equipment will be your next biggest expense. Not only do you need cooking equipment like ranges, flat top grills, and charbroilers, you also need refrigeration units to store your food items and warewashing equipment to keep your dinnerware clean. If your restaurant has a bar, you’ll need to invest in a tap system, liquor displays, and underbar organization. Don’t forget all of the pots, pans, and utensils required to make your menu items. Equipment Cost: $75,000-$115,000 How to Save on Equipment Costs: Leasing your restaurant equipment instead of buying it outright can help to free up more of your initial budget. Buy used equipment instead of new. Check out Scratch and Dent merchandise with minor superficial damage that has no effect on its operation. Shop All Restaurant Equipment 4. Furniture and Tableware Your furniture and tableware budget is tied directly to your restaurant concept. If you plan to open an upscale restaurant with a complex menu, you’ll most likely want to invest in high-end furniture and elegant china dinnerware. On the other hand, if you have a simple menu and casual concept, your furnishings and tableware will probably be more economical. Either way, you’ll need enough dinnerware, glassware, and flatware to serve all of your guests on your busiest shift. Furniture and Tableware Cost: $20,000-$80,000 How to Save on Furniture and Tableware Costs: Skip the tablecloths and invest in attractive tabletops instead. You’ll save money in your budget and you’ll benefit from reducing your water usage on laundering linens. Keep an eye out for restaurants that are closing. Many business owners are happy to sell their inventory and you might get a good deal on fixtures and dinnerware. Shop All Restaurant Furniture Shop All Restaurant Tableware 5. POS System A POS system will be beneficial to your restaurant in many ways. Not only does it streamline the ordering process, point of sale technology helps with inventory management, employee management, and sales reporting. Your POS package should include front-of-house stations with touchscreen monitors, receipt printers, and credit card scanners. Back-of-house components include kitchen displays or ticket printers. POS systems from Toast include mobile features like tableside ordering and payment, which help automate processes and free up time for your staff. POS System Cost: $12,500-$20,000 How to Save on POS System Costs: Compare quotes from POS system providers to get the best deal for your business. Be conservative. There are many features and accessories you can add onto your POS system package, but you can save money by going with a basic system. You can always add onto your package in the future. Don't be afraid to negotiate. If you're buying a POS package, ask if the vendor will throw in training sessions free of charge. 6. Initial Food Inventory Your initial food inventory cost will be greater than daily or weekly replenishment because you’ll need to include non-perishable items. Condiments, spices, oils, and coffee are just a few of the items you’ll need to build up your staple inventory. These ingredients will last you a long time before they need to be replaced, especially if you buy in bulk. To come up with an initial food cost projection, start by analyzing your menu and pricing out each ingredient. Food and Beverages Cost: $5,000-$25,000 How to Save on Food and Beverages Costs: Test out your menu items and weigh each ingredient. You’ll be able to come up with the most accurate projection by knowing exactly how much of each item you need. Buy in bulk. You’ll get the best deals on non-perishables by buying wholesale. Shop All Restaurant Consumables 7. Licensing Running a restaurant requires several types of licenses before you ever open your doors. You’ll want to get a head start on this step because it can be a lengthy process. Liquor licenses in particular can be quite costly depending on your location and whether you live in a quota or non-quota state. Quota states only issue a limited number of licenses which can drive the cost up immensely. You will also want to set aside capital and contingency funding that could cover at least six months of downtime should an emergency or low sales occur. Business License Cost: $50-$400 Liquor License Cost: $300-$400,000 Certificate of Occupancy Cost: $100 Foodservice License Cost: $100-$1000 Health Permit Cost: $50-$1000 Sign Permit Cost: $20-$50 Insurance Cost: $1000-$10,000 annually How to Save on Licensing Costs: There’s no way around the fees for most permits. However, you can choose to skip the liquor and stick with beer and wine only. This will lower the cost of your liquor license fees. 8. Marketing Getting the word out about your new restaurant is crucial. You'll have to set aside part of your budget for your initial marketing plan and grand opening. The cost for marketing is going to vary greatly depending on what outlets you choose and whether you hire an ad agency. With hiring a PR agency, you can expect the cost to be around 3%-6% of your sales. Marketing Cost: $6,000-$30,000 How to Save on Marketing Costs: You can reduce your marketing cost considerably by utilizing free advertising through social media channels like Twitter and Instagram. Instead of paying for a website, make a free Facebook page. Make a listing for your restaurant on Google My Business. It's free and allows you to share all the important info about your business like your location, hours, and website. 9. Salaries As you begin to hire your staff, keep in mind that paid training is customary for new employees. Wages and salaries will come into play in the months and weeks leading up to your opening day. Depending on your staff requirements, this cost will vary greatly. Salaries and Wages Cost: Varies How to Save on Salaries and Wages Costs: Instead of hiring all of your staff at the same time, hire as needed. If you have six months until your opening day, you don't need a full staff on board yet. This will cut down on the wages you have to pay out. It's easy to forget about your own salary when you're accounting for so many other costs. Many restaurant owners don't pay themselves until the business starts turning a profit. New Business Startup Resources Looking to start up a new business other than a restaurant? Check out some of our "how-to" resources to get your business idea off the ground. How Much Does it Cost to Open a Bar? How to Start a Food Truck How to Start a Coffee Shop How to Open a Pizza Shop How to Start an Ice Cream Shop How to Start a Donut Shop How to Start a Brewery How to Start a Buffet There are many different types of restaurants and each of them has a unique budget requirement. Thankfully, no matter what type of restaurant you choose to open, you can still turn a profit and be successful. Remember to follow our money-saving tips and you'll avoid falling into the trap of overspending. <aside class="pquote"> <blockquote> The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice. Please refer to our Content Policy for more details. </blockquote> </aside>


Fine Dining Etiquette for Servers

Fine dining restaurants are known for delivering the highest level of customer service. Guests expect elegant ambiance, upscale table settings, and a menu with higher price points. They also expect servers to uphold fine dining etiquette. We’ve made a guide of fine dining etiquette tips to help new servers provide their guests with the most professional service possible. Click any of the server etiquette tips below to learn more about fine dining rules: Preparing for Service Formal Table Settings Service Etiquette Cutlery Etiquette How to Serve Wine Clearing the Table Grooming and Behavior Tableside Service Etiquette FAQs Server Etiquette Tips Fine dining can be intimidating and mysterious to the uninitiated. Other styles of serving customers are usually picked up intuitively, but many aspects of fine dining are dictated by rules and traditions that must be learned. Whether you're new to the restaurant industry or you've been serving for many years, our list of fine dining server tips is an excellent introduction to the world of fine dining service and etiquette. 1. Preparing for Service Before dinner service begins, the dining room must be put in order. Mise en place is a kitchen term that translates to "put into place", but it's also used in fine dining to describe the act of preparing dining tables, flatware, and tableware for service. With every detail accounted for, dinner service can be performed smoothly and without interruption. Fine dining servers should begin their shift by attending to the following tasks: Tableware - Each piece of tableware used for service should be inspected for chips, irregularities, and cleanliness. Flatware, glassware, and any silver pieces should be polished to remove water spots. While polishing, cotton gloves can be worn to eliminate fingerprints. Mise en Place Stations - A mise en place station is a server station set up with all items needed for service. Additional flatware, drinkware, or servingware needed for meal courses is stored at the station where it can be quickly retrieved. It's the server's responsibility to prepare the mise en place station before guests arrive. Dining Tables - Dining tables should be wiped down, inspected for wobbly legs, and arranged according to guest reservations. A special cloth called a molleton cloth is placed on the table prior to laying the tablecloth to muffle the sound of dishes and glassware being placed on the table. Lighting - Light all candles and mood lighting before dinner service begins. 2. Formal Table Settings The type of table setting you use helps set the tone for service. As soon as guests are seated, they know the service will be excellent if they see an impeccable table setting. As a fine dining server, you should be very familiar with formal table settings so you can set the table yourself or add finishing touches before your guests arrive. Number of Pieces - Only set the table with the dinnerware pieces and utensils that will be used during the dinner. This may be up to twenty pieces for a full course meal. Linens - All linens should be freshly laundered and wrinkle free. Place a cloth napkin to the left of the salad fork or directly on the dinner plate. Drape the tablecloth over the table so the overhang length is equal on all sides. Flatware - Forks always go to the left, while knives and spoons are on the right. Follow this simple rule to place the cutlery in the correct order: the utensils are always placed in order of use, beginning from the outside in. Place the dessert spoon and dessert knife above the dinner plate. Glassware - Glasses are placed to the upper right of the dinner plate. The water glass is first, followed by a white wine glass, a red wine glass, champagne flute, and sherry glass. If tea or coffee is being served, place a teacup and saucer to the right of the spoons and knives. Use Symmetry - Use symmetry to make sure the table setting is balanced. If needed, a ruler comes in handy to measure distances between the pieces so that every setting at the table is identical. Avoid Fingerprints - Hold glassware and flatware by the stem to minimize the appearance of fingerprints. Better yet, wear white server gloves when handling all dinnerware. 3. Proper Etiquette for Service The style of serving used in formal dining represents the highest level of hospitality. It elevates the guest experience and makes fine dining a memorable event. A great fine dining server will be detail-oriented, observant, and intuitive. Anticipating the needs of guests while remaining unobtrusive is the key to providing the best service possible. Present the Menu and Drink List - As the guests are seated, present each diner with the menu and wine list. Do not hand off the menus in a rush. Match the pace of the table and present the menus after each individual is comfortably seated. Describe the Evening's Specials - Observe the table and wait for the right moment to describe the evening's specials. Speak clearly and describe each dish in detail, pausing to answer any specific questions. This is also a good time to inquire about possible dietary restrictions. Additional Tableware - After the guests have ordered, you may need to prepare additional items for each course. For example, orders of fish will require a fish knife and fork. An order of freshly shucked oysters will require an oyster fork. Deliver any required cutlery, tableware, or condiments to the table shortly before the course is served. Open Hand Service - Many formal restaurants practice the open hand service method, which requires that a server's arms are never to be crossed in front of a guest. If serving from the right side of a guest, use the right arm. Use the left arm when serving from the left. This prevents the active arm from reaching across a guest. Each fine dining establishment has a preferred side for serving, so make sure to follow the specific guidelines of your manager. Control the Pace - As a fine dining server, you must be able to read the table and match the pace of your guests. Every guest prefers a different pace, and it's your job to determine their needs through verbal clues and body language. For example, if all the guests are seated with napkins on their laps and they looking expectantly around, they are most likely ready to hear the specials. If everyone at the table is enjoying their coffee and the guests are deep in conversation, they are probably not ready for the check. 4. Cutlery Etiquette Resting cutlery etiquette is a method of non-verbal communication used in formal dining service. The guest places their flatware on the dinner plate in a certain position to signal their needs to the server. The benefit of understanding cutlery etiquette is the server can meet the guest's needs without interrupting the table's conversation. Ready for the Next Dish - To signal that the guest is finished with their plate and ready for the next dish, the knife and fork are placed in the shape of a cross on the plate. It's customary to wait until all guests are finished with their dish before clearing the plates. Pause - If a guest needs to get up from the table but doesn't want their plate removed, they can use their flatware to indicate they are taking a pause. In this case, the knife and fork are placed on top of the plate in the shape of an inverted V. Food Was Excellent - If a guest wants to show their appreciation for the dish, they will place their knife and fork on top of the plate in a horizontal position with the blade and tines facing to the right. Finished with Meal - To indicate that the meal is over, the guest will place the knife and fork side by side in a vertical position on top of their plate. When all guests are finished, it's a good time to present the dessert list and take a coffee order. Unhappy with Dish - If the guests is unhappy with their dish, they will place the knife and fork in the shape of an inverted V with the knife inside the tines of the fork. No server wants to see this, but if it does happen, address the situation immediately. 5. How to Serve Wine Proper wine service is essential to the art of fine dining. Instead of relying on a bartender to supply the wine, fine dining servers perform the wine service at the table, following the appropriate steps in the correct order. Impress any wine enthusiast with your meticulous service by following these guidelines: Know How to Use a Wine Key - Using a wine key, or corkscrew, is not that difficult, but you should be able to swiftly open a bottle in the air with no hiccups. Practice using the corkscrew wine opener at home so that you can open bottles with confidence. Bring All Items at Once - Bring everything you need for the service in one trip. You’ll need the wine bottle, a wine glass for every guest, a wine bucket with ice for chilled wines, and your corkscrew. Present the Wine - Standard wine service requires that you present the wine bottle to confirm the selection is correct. Hold the wine bottle towards the guest who ordered it and state the name of the wine. Once the guest approves, you can begin the service. Sampling - After uncorking the bottle, place the cork in front of the guest who ordered it, wet side up. Pour a small sample for the guest and wait patiently as they nose it, swirl it, and sip it. Once approved, you can begin pouring for the table. Pouring - Pouring should be performed clockwise around the table, beginning with all ladies first, and ending with the guest who ordered the bottle. Hands Off - Once the service has started, you should never touch the wine glasses on the table as you pour. If a guest signals that they do not wish to have wine, discreetly remove the glass at the end of the wine service. 6. Clearing the Table The method for clearing away dishes from the table is just as important as serving. A table that’s cluttered with dishes and cutlery is distracting to the guests and takes away from the experience. For impeccable fine dining service, follow our guidelines for clearing the table: Wait for All Guests to Finish - Traditionally, you should wait for all guests to finish the course before clearing. Flatware placed in a cross position or straight up and down on the plate is a signal that the guest is finished. The guest may also place their napkin on the table to indicate they are finished. Remove Used Flatware - When clearing the plates, also remove any used flatware. The server mise en place station should be set up with the additional flatware you’ll need for the next courses. Remove Condiments - Clear away any condiments that will not be used during the next course. Clear From the Right - Always clear from the guest’s right side and follow a clockwise order around the table. Don’t Stack Dishes - Stacking dishes while clearing may seem like an innocent time-saver, but it’s a no-no in fine dining. Instead, remove each plate from the table individually and stack it on a tray out of direct sight. Crumb the Table - De-crumbing the table is a sign of superior hospitality. Use a hand-held tool, called a table crumber, to swipe table crumbs onto a small plate. This can be performed between courses as needed. The key to crumbing is to make your presence known without interfering with guests’ movements or conversation. 7. Grooming and Etiquette Server grooming and behavior must be flawless in a fine dining setting. Whenever in view of guests, servers should carry themselves with professionalism and poise. Uniforms - Server uniforms should be spotless and neatly pressed. If servers supply their own white shirts, they should meet the restaurant standard for color and style. A shirt that is slightly off-white might appear yellow or dingy compared to the rest of the staff. Grooming - Hair should be neatly styled and pulled back from the face. Hands should be well-groomed with nails trimmed short. Avoid wearing cologne or perfume that may be distracting to guests. Jewelry should also be removed during service. Posture - Always exhibit proper posture. Do not slouch, cross your arms, or put your hands in your pockets. No Informal Conversation - Do not engage in informal conversations with guests or within the earshot of guests. No Touching - Never touch a guest. The open hand method of serving makes it easier to serve guests without accidentally touching them with your arm. Refrain from touching your own uniform, face, or hair. If you have to make adjustments to your apron, do it out of sight. No Pointing - Never point or gesture towards a guest. If a guest asks for the location of the restroom, do not point. Instead, gesture with an open hand to guide them in the right direction. No Eating and Drinking - Never eat, drink, or chew gum in front of guests. Do not keep employee drinks at the server station. Follow your manager’s specific protocols for staff meal or meal allowances. 8. Types of Table Service There are several types of table service in fine dining. Each type of service has rules and traditions that make it unique. French Service - French service is considered one of the most lavish forms of service in fine dining. The two styles of French service are cart French service and banquet French service. Using the cart method, servers prepare dishes tableside for guests on a cart called a gueridon. Each guest is served from the right. With banquet service, the food is prepared in the kitchen and served from a platter onto each guest’s plate from the left. Russian Service - Just like French cart service, dishes are prepared by servers at the tableside in Russian service. Dishes are arranged on attractive silver platters and delivered to the table from the guest’s left side. Guests pass the platters and serve themselves. American Style Service - American style fine dining service is a common form of dining in which dishes are cooked and plated in the kitchen before being served to the guest’s right. There are some American style restaurants that follow the “serve from the left, clear from the right” method, so make sure to follow your manager's specific guidelines for service. Butler Service - During butler service, the server presents a tray of menu items and guests are invited to serve themselves from the tray. This is the type of service often used at catered events to pass hors d’ oeuvres. English - Commonly found in private dining rooms, English style service features a server individually serving each guest from a large platter, starting with the host. This style stems from English manor houses where the head of the house would do the carving, and then servants would distribute the portions. Fine Dining Service FAQs Fine dining service rules are based on longstanding traditions, but each restaurant may have their own interpretation for service. Below are some common topics of confusion related to fine dining: Which Side Do You Serve From? In most American service, pre-plated courses are served from the right and cleared from the right. Beverages are poured to the right, because glasses are located to the right of the guest. Other types of service, like Russian service, dictate that the guest is served to the left. Each fine dining restaurant has its own protocols for serving, whether it's to the right or left. The most important fine dining rule is to use open hand service and never cross your arm in front of a guest. What Is Open Hand Service? Open hand service is a method of placing items on a dining table without ever reaching across a guest. To perform this type of serving, always use the right arm to serve at the guest's right side, and the left arm to serve at the guest's left side. If you were to use the opposite arm, the awkward motion would result in your elbow pointing towards the guest. Should You Serve Ladies First? Traditionally, ladies are served first during every step of fine dining service, but there is a new school of thought that considers this an outdated practice. The best course of action is to follow the guidelines set by your front-of-house manager. If serving ladies first, it's common to begin with the oldest lady present and move clockwise around the table. Then another lap is required to serve the gentlemen. If this isn't your restaurant's protocol, a good practice is to use seat numbers as your guide. Should Servers Be Clean Shaven? Many fine dining establishments will require servers to be clean shaven. However, a number of the older traditions and rules of service have loosened over time. Facial hair may be acceptable to some fine dining restaurants, as long as it is neatly trimmed and groomed. Fine dining servers carry a lot of responsibility, but the rewards for providing superior service are many. Higher price points and wine service produce a larger tab, which results in a larger gratuity for the server. Employees who pride themselves in their ability to provide outstanding hospitality can find job satisfaction in a fine dining role. Use our tips as a starting point to begin your journey in fine dining service.


How to Reduce Food Costs In Your Restaurant

According to the USDA, 30 to 40% of all food produced in the U.S. is wasted, which ends up costing approximately $161 billion every year. One of the biggest contributors to the food waste problem is the restaurant industry, and all of that waste can hurt your bottom line. By setting goals for your restaurant and making some small changes such as taking inventory, changing your food orders, and using your food creatively, you can have a major impact on your profit margin. How to Control Food Cost Reducing food costs and waste starts with tracking and monitoring the food coming into your restaurant. Many restaurants order food in bulk shipments, but it can be difficult to use all of that food before it spoils. To reduce spoilage, here are some steps you can take: 1. Calculate Your Food Costs Calculating food costs in a restaurant can be a time-consuming task, but staying on budget with your finances could help you save time, money, and food in the long run. Some things to take into consideration when calculating a food cost percentage are your inventory, the cost of goods sold (COGS), and food cost percentage. These factors can help you stay on budget and track your profit and loss statement. How to Calculate Food Cost Percentage The best way to calculate your actual food cost is to take your COGS divided by your food sales, multiplied by 100. This will you give you a result as a percentage. Food Cost Formula: (Cost of Goods Sold / Food Sales) x 100 = Food Cost Percentage A healthy food cost percentage is between 25 and 35 percent, but do not fret if your percentage is higher than this. If you are spending more on food, you may not be spending as much on labor or rent – which all evens out in the end. 2. Be Consistent When Calculating Inventory When calculating your inventory, you should be tracking this at a consistent time of the day. For example, it is best to calculate your inventory at the beginning or end of each day. This helps you keep your numbers consistent when calculating inventory and your food cost percentage. When a food order arrives, you should always inspect the delivery’s contents to ensure that you are not accepting food (and therefore, paying for it) that is past its prime or damaged and unusable. Checking inventory regularly can give you an idea of how and at what rate your food is being used or wasted. For example, if you notice that you have salami that is going unused and spoiling, change your food order to a lesser amount to reduce food waste. Conversely, if you’re running out of mozzarella cheese before your dinner service even starts, you need to increase your food order. 3. Work with Your Food Suppliers Once you have an idea of how much food your restaurant uses at a given time, you can work with your suppliers to lower your food costs. If possible, shop around and see what competing suppliers are willing to offer you. If you have a good relationship with your current supplier, ask them for a discount or to match prices with their competitors. Another option would be to work out a plan where you buy in bulk but have the order sent in several shipments, rather than all at once. Ordering food in bulk can be cost-effective, but it can lead to food spoiling, which negates any money you would have saved by buying in bulk. Having your shipments sent in several installments ensures that you’re always serving fresh food, reduces the amount of food wasted, and saves you money. 4. Join a Group Purchasing Organization If you’re unable to work out a deal with your supplier to buy in bulk, consider joining a group purchasing organization. Group purchasing organizations pool the resources of many small restaurants together to get the best quality goods while keeping costs low. The combined capital of many individual restaurants is significant, which gives the organization considerable leverage when bargaining with suppliers, ensuring that you’re getting a good deal. When purchasing food, there is also the option to cut out the middleman and go straight to the source: local farms and farmers markets. Many times, food that is shipped from across the country is picked before it’s fully ripe and flash-frozen, which can hurt the taste. Buying food locally ensures that you’re getting the freshest products possible while also supporting your local economy. 5. Manage Your Food Orders When it comes to food orders, the harder you’re willing to work, the more you can save. Below are some ideas on how to save money, while also making quality food. Offer a limited menu. By limiting your menu, you can cut the number of ingredients you need in your kitchen. Not only can this help reduce food costs and food waste, but it's ideal when adapting your menu for takeout service. Take extra time to do the prep work yourself. For example, buying a chicken that is already deboned, skinned, and portioned is going to be more expensive than just buying whole chickens. Keep track of food prices and how they can affect your shopping list. For example, a drought in California would affect the avocado harvest, so it probably wouldn’t be the best time to introduce guacamole to your menu. Utilize seasonal food to save money on produce. Seasonal food depends on your location, so check out your local farmers market to see what’s fresh and to find inspiration for new recipes. Be aware of food specifications with your produce. In the U.S., food is inspected and sorted into grades (especially beef!) depending on its quality, freshness, and appearance. Many times the differences between top grades are purely cosmetic. For example, there is very little difference between No. 1 and No. 2 avocados, so by ordering the No. 2 option, you can lower your food costs without sacrificing taste. 6. Implement Restaurant Portion Control Controlling food portions is an excellent way to reduce waste. Monitor how much food is being thrown away. If your customers can’t finish a dish consistently, the portion is too big. Use restaurant portion control tools like portion scales and portion spoons to serve the proper amount of food to your customers. There are also many benefits to serving smaller portions besides just decreasing food costs, such as being able to create more fine-tuned meals and diversifying your offerings. 7. Use the First In, First Out (FIFO) Method The first in, first out method is pretty straightforward: use the first ingredients that you put into your pantries and refrigerators first. This forces you to use the oldest food first and ensures you’re always stocked with fresh ingredients. It also helps prevent food from expiring without being used. 8. Utilize Your Daily Specials Daily specials can be an effective tool for reducing waste in your kitchen. When you notice food that has been in your pantry for a while, come up with a recipe that features or uses that ingredient, and add it to your daily special list. You can also train front-of-house staff to encourage customers to try the daily special, allowing you to clear out your stock while also making a profit. 9. Keep Your Staff Informed It is important that your staff knows the price of your food and how their actions can affect your bottom line. During the food prep process, there can be a lot of unnecessary waste. The cost of that waste, while it may seem insignificant at the time, can compound to become a major loss. So if your staff is knowledgeable about how much the food costs and how to utilize it properly, they will be more careful when preparing food and portioning dishes. 10. Create a Profitable Menu Your menu is the best marketing tool you have, and good menu engineering can convince your customers to buy more food, equaling less waste. Menu engineering is strategically designing your menu with psychological techniques to construct it in the most effective way. A menu redesign might be just what you need to convince your customers to order from each section on your menu. Tips on How to Reduce Food Waste In the cooking process, some by-products and food waste are inevitable, but some chefs are finding creative and innovative ways to incorporate those by-products into their dishes. Here are a few ideas for using leftovers wisely and reducing food waste. Save vegetable scraps like onion skins, carrot peels, and mushroom stalks for making homemade vegetable stock. Don't throw away that stale bread. You can use it to make a lot of different things like croutons, breadcrumbs, and bread pudding. Shred up roasted chicken and turkey the following day and use the meat in a soup or stew. Craft breweries and brewpubs can use extra grain from brewing beer to make homemade granola. You can also donate it to local farms as feed for livestock. Use leftovers and older ingredients for making staff meals. The food is still safe to eat, but it might be slightly beyond the standard for what you would serve to customers. This way, you can treat your staff while saving money. If you can't find a use for your leftovers, take them to your local shelter or food bank. Charitable food donations are tax-deductible, allowing you to get rid of excess inventory, save on your taxes, and help your local community, all in one. Food waste can have a huge impact on the bottom line of your restaurant. But through negotiating with suppliers, buying locally, serving reasonable portion sizes with restaurant portion control tools, and using your ingredients creatively, you can reduce food costs in your restaurant. <aside class="pquote"> <blockquote> The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice. Please refer to our Content Policy for more details. </blockquote> </aside>


Overhead Cost for Small Businesses

Whether you own a restaurant, bar, or catering company, overhead costs are one of the greatest expenses you'll pay to run your small business. By tracking and looking for cost-saving opportunities in your overhead, you can lower expenses and become more profitable. We'll teach you about the different types of overhead expenses and how your business can lower these to increase your profit margin and produce more revenue. Click below to learn more about overhead cost for your business: What Is Overhead Cost? Overhead Examples How to Calculate Overhead How to Reduce Overhead Costs What Is Overhead Cost? Overhead cost is any expense you incur while running your business that isn't the result of manufacturing a product or providing a service. You may hear overhead referred to as overhead costs or just overheads. An easy way to remember what overhead means is to think of it as the expenses that keep the lights on and the roof "over your head". If you closed your business for a week and didn't sell any products or services, you would still pay overhead expenses like rent and utilities for your building. So what types of expenses are not included in overhead? Your business overhead does not include the cost of raw materials that go into making products or the salaries of employees involved in selling your products or services. For businesses in the foodservice or hospitality industries, food cost and labor cost (except for administration or accounting) are not included in overhead. Overhead Cost Examples Each industry has its own types of overhead, but these are common overhead expenses most businesses pay: Rent or Mortgage - The rent or mortgage payment that you make every month is most likely your largest overhead cost. Utilities - The cost of utilities like electricity, water, gas, internet service, and sewer are the next biggest overhead expenses. Insurance - Any type of insurance that you pay to protect your business is considered part of overhead costs. Permits and Licenses - The cost of your business permits and licenses is considered an overhead expense. Property Taxes - Your property taxes are part of overhead cost. Certain Salaries - The salaries of employees like admins, accountants, and legal counsel are included in overhead. Types of Overhead Overhead can be divided into three different categories - fixed, variable, and semi-fixed. Learn more about these expenses below: Fixed Overhead - Fixed overhead expenses do not change over time. No matter how well your business is doing, fixed overhead cost stays the same. Rent and insurance are examples of fixed overhead expenses. Variable Overhead - Variable overhead cost increases as business increases. As a result of doing more business, you may need to perform more equipment maintenance. The cost for equipment repairs falls under variable overhead. Semi-Variable Overhead - Semi-variable expenses are costs with a base sum that doesn't change, combined with extra cost that increases as you do more business. Utilities are an example of semi-variable overhead. How to Calculate Overhead Typically, overhead is calculated monthly, but you can also calculate your overhead costs per day, week, or year. Once you add up overhead costs, you can make comparisons and take action to reduce those expenses and save money. 1. Create a List of Your Expenses To calculate your overhead for the month, first draw up a comprehensive list of your expenses. This list should include rent, taxes, utilities, equipment, administrative supplies, maintenance, and advertising. Add up all costs to calculate your total overhead costs for the month. 2. Calculate Overhead Percentage Overhead can be represented as a percentage that compares total overhead expenses to total sales. To calculate overhead percentage, use the following formula: Overhead / Total Monthly Sales x 100 = Overhead as a Percentage of Sales Average overhead percentage varies by industry, with some businesses operating on the high end of the spectrum and some operating with a very lean overhead percentage. For restaurants, an overhead percentage of 35% is considered typical. Retail businesses, on the other hand, operate closer to a 20% to 25% overhead percentage. Regardless of your profitability, it is important to track your overhead costs regularly. Many expenses, like rent and salaries, are constant and will not fluctuate much over time, but some costs, such as utilities, repairs, and advertising, can change greatly in a short amount of time. Tracking your restaurant overhead costs each month can give you a better picture of how your business is doing. Back to Top How to Reduce Overhead Costs Many of the expenses that factor into a business's costs are fixed expenditures, but there are some actions you can take to reduce overhead costs. Taking steps like negotiating with suppliers and landlords or buying energy-efficient equipment can have a big impact on your bottom line. To reduce your business overhead cost, take the following steps: 1. Renegotiate Your Lease If you’re on a month-to-month lease, talk to your landlord about renegotiating your restaurant lease contract. Your business is a steady stream of income for your landlord, so they may be able to make a deal with you, especially if you commit to staying there for a while. 2. Sublease Your Restaurant Space Subleasing your kitchen space is becoming a more popular and available option nowadays. After work hours or early in the morning, you can rent out your location as a commissary kitchen to other businesses, like food trucks and catering companies, that need a space for food prep. 3. Share with a Pop-Up Try renting your space part-time to pop-up restaurants. Pop-up restaurants are establishments that operate temporarily in parks, galleries, warehouses, and even private homes. These restaurants use social media to promote themselves, and many chefs use pop-up restaurants to hone their skills, find potential investors, and gauge interest in opening a full-time operation. Because pop-up restaurants operate in non-typical locations, many times they need to borrow kitchen space from another restaurant or operation to prepare their food, which you can offer during your off hours. 4. Save on Equipment and Supplies Equipment is a major investment for restaurant owners and makes up a large part of your overhead cost. Look for an online equipment supplier that provides benefits like membership discounts or free shipping on commercial equipment. The Webstaurant Rewards® Visa Business Card offers rewards on each WebstaurantStore purchase to help you save even more. Check out more tips that will help you save on the cost of your restaurant equipment: Purchase Newer Models - Replacing old appliances with newer models can save on repair costs as well as your utility bill because many new appliances have energy-saving features. Choose Energy-Efficient Models - While energy-efficient appliances may be more expensive than standard equipment, the money you will save on utilities over time will make up for the discrepancy. Pick from the Scratch and Dent Section - The Scratch and Dent outlet features new equipment sold at discounted prices because of minor scratches or dents. The damage doesn't affect performance and customers won’t see any superficial flaws on your back-of-house equipment. Consider Combination Ovens - Combi ovens have three unique cooking modes - convection, steam, and a combination of the two, which allow you to cook a variety of dishes all in one appliance. Because combi ovens have so many cooking options, you can replace several costly appliances with one purchase. 5. Lower Your Utility Bills Using energy-saving appliances is an excellent way to save on utilities, but there are some other steps you can take to cut your bill even more. Turn off lights in areas that aren’t being used. You can further reduce your electric bill by using energy-efficient lighting, like LED light bulbs. Buy equipment like pre-rinse spray valves and faucet aerators that reduce the amount of water you use at your dishwashing station. Only give your customers water if they request it. One or two wasted glasses of water may not seem like a lot, but compound that over the span of a month and it can add up to a substantial amount. Don’t overstock your fridges and walk-in coolers. These appliances work by circulating cool air, and if the fridge is too full, the air can't circulate. This forces the machine to work harder to maintain the cool temperature, costing you more money. Turn off your dishwasher at night. Many high-temp dishwashers have a water tank with built-in heating elements that keep the water hot at all times. 6. Use Social Media Marketing Advertising cost is part of your overhead expenses, so using free marketing techniques helps to free up more capital. Social media is an excellent mobile media marketing tool for reaching a wider audience. With sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, you can post pictures and videos of your delicious food to entice people into your restaurant. Social media allows you to inform customers of new menu items, daily specials, and upcoming events at your restaurant. When you interact with your customers and reply to their questions, you are reaching out to all of their followers and connections, potentially bringing in new business. Back to Top Overhead costs can eat away a substantial amount of your profits each month, but managing your expenses is possible, and it can help you boost profits. The most important thing to keep in mind to drive down your overhead costs is to consistently monitor and track your spending while keeping an eye out for cost-saving opportunities.

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How to Start a Coffee Roasting Business

House-roasted beans are becoming a fixture in local coffee shops. Taking single origin beans from far-flung locales and roasting them yourself is the perfect example of the glocalization movement. Glocalization is the call to adapt global and international products to the local contexts where they’re used and sold. But are roasting businesses just the latest coffee trend? Buzz aside, roasting coffee beans in-house allows cafes to offer superior beverages and diversify their sales by offering their roasts a la carte or as a part of a coffee subscription service. Whether you’re operating a coffee shop and want to add house-roasted beans to your wheelhouse, or you’re wondering what it takes to roast coffee beans professionally, we guide you through the steps of starting a coffee roasting business. Shop All Coffee Roasters Use these links to jump to the step of starting a coffee roasting business that interests you: Coffee Education Branding Business Plan Startup Costs Licenses and Permits Insurance Location Supplies Website Advertising How to Roast Coffee Beans Professionally 60% of coffee consumed in the U.S. is from the specialty coffee market, making fresh and sustainable coffee beans an excellent opportunity for entrepreneurs. Roasting coffee beans professionally takes more than choosing the types of coffee roasts you want to make. You must acquire equipment, business permits, and marketing strategies. Implement these steps to start roasting coffee beans professionally. 1. Coffee Education Before starting a coffee roasting business, you should have foundational coffee knowledge. From brewing with a French press to an espresso machine, master brewing methods so you can test your coffee beans with each. Consider investing in professional cupping and roasting courses. The Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) offers a sensory skill module that helps new roasters identify green and roasted coffee defects and flavor characteristics. If you want thorough knowledge, the SCA’s comprehensive coffee skills education program is right for you. Beyond coffee coursework, taking marketing classes allows you to handle promotion yourself. This makes starting a coffee roasting business more affordable since you won’t have to pay marketing professionals high salaries. The more skills you develop before starting your coffee roasting business, the fewer roles you’ll have to outsource. Once your business is off the ground, you can bring on these staff members to lighten your load. 2. Develop Your Coffee Brand Having a clear and definable brand for your coffee roastery attracts and retains customers. Branding is the process of communicating your values, mission, personality, and identity. It should be evident in your customer service, packaging, marketing, and products. For example, if you roast fair trade coffee beans, your branding should reflect your dedication to ethical and sustainable sourcing. Including information about your brand on your coffee roasting website and packaging is a great way to help like-minded patrons connect with your brand. One branding idea is to focus your coffee roasting business identity on coffee tourism. Just like wine enthusiasts travel to destinations renowned for their wine production, many coffee enthusiasts are visiting countries where coffee is grown. Your state-side coffee roasting business can tap into the coffee tourism trend by offering multiple single origin roasts from other countries. Provide information on the country the beans came from, photos of the coffee farm, and curated snack pairing kits for a coffee stay-cation experience. 3. Write a Coffee Roasting Business Plan Having a thorough business plan is a vital step in roasting coffee professionally. It acts as a roadmap for your new business, consolidating your goals and strategies so you can convert them into action steps. A business plan will help you secure funding for your coffee roasting business because it proves to investors that you know how to make your business succeed. Your coffee roasting business plan should include the followings: Executive Summary - The executive summary provides a brief overview of all of the information included in your business plan. You will need to write it last after you have the rest of the information. Company Description - Your company description expands on the specific strategies and projections provided in your executive summary. Concept and Products - Explain what concepts you have chosen for your coffee roasting business, which types of roasts you’ll sell, and any subscription services you plan to offer. Management and Ownership Structure - Discuss what type of ownership your coffee roasting business will have and explain its managerial structure. Employee and Staffing Needs - Outline how many employees you’ll need to operate your coffee roasting business, and which positions you must fill. Marketing and Competitor Analysis - Identify a target market and complete a comprehensive analysis of your competitors. Then highlight potential competitive advantages. Advertising and Marketing Strategies - List potential advertising and marketing methods that will entice customers and establish brand loyalty. Financial Projection and Summary - Outline sales projections, perform a break-even analysis, and list potential expenses. For an in-depth guide to writing business plans, check out our restaurant business plan guide. Back to Top 4. Raise Coffee Roasting Startup Costs While not as expensive as opening a coffee shop, starting a coffee roasting business still requires capital. A Specialty Coffee Association study determined that on average, a roaster wholesaler and retailer business owner will need $120,000 to cover startup costs. Discover the basic elements you must pay for when starting a coffee roasting business. Location Down Payment - The great thing about a coffee roasting business is you can operate out of your home with the proper licenses and permits in most states. If you’re adding a roasting business to your coffee house, you can make room for your roasting machine without purchasing additional space. However, if these aren’t options for you, you must purchase or rent a location to roast your coffee beans. If purchasing your location, you’ll likely take out a loan to help cover the expense. Expect to make a down payment of around 15-20%. Property Renovations/Construction Costs - Whether you’re purchasing a location or operating from home, be prepared to spend money on renovations. Many states allow entrepreneurs to roast coffee from home as long as the part of their home where they will roast the coffee meets state-specific criteria. Expect renovations to bring your space up to your local health department’s standards. Coffee Roasting Equipment - Your primary cost will be the commercial coffee roaster. A commercial coffee roaster can cost anywhere from $20,000 to $150,000. While you may not require a large unit when you first start out, we recommend purchasing the largest and best roaster you can afford. As the most essential element of your new business, you don’t want to quickly outgrow or wear out your coffee roaster. Coffee Roasting Supplies Inventory - You must factor in the costs of green bean sourcing, packaging, and shipping supplies into your startup costs. As you test and develop your roasts, be prepared for a large amount of initial green bean waste. Employee Wages - You may be able to handle much of the coffee roasting process yourself when you first start out. However, if you plan to run a larger operation, you’ll need employees and staff. With the rise of staffing shortages, be prepared to pay fair wages. Advertising - An advertising budget is needed to run marketing campaigns and attract new customers. Permits and Licensing - Coffee roasting businesses require several permits and licenses, many of which come with fees. POS System - A POS system streamlines the ordering process, inventory management, and sales reporting. Website - Creating a website where patrons can order coffee beans is essential to your success. Provide information about your supply chain, products, and brand, so customers see your value. 5. Get Business Licenses, Permits, and Certifications To start a coffee roasting business, there are several licenses, permits, and certifications you must acquire. We break down the official standards you must meet to roast coffee beans professionally. EPA Requirements - Since volatile organic compounds and harmful particulate matter are released during the roasting process, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in many states requires roasters to have Air Permits if they roast high volumes annually. Check your local EPA requirements to see if an Air Permit is required for your coffee roasting business. FDA Requirements - According to the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), any facility that manufactures, processes, packages, or holds food for consumption must register through the FDA Food Facility Registration page and allow the agency to inspect the food facility. Local and State Requirements - Most states have laws and regulations over the sale of food products enforced by local health departments. If your production is under a certain volume or you sell your roasts under home cottage laws, many states allow you to roast and sell coffee beans from any location with little health department oversight. Most cottage laws do not allow you to sell food online. However, other states require professional coffee roasters to use a commercial-grade kitchen and require random health department inspections. Check your local and state requirements to make sure you’re in compliance. General Business License - While some states require a general business license or permit to roast coffee beans for sale, these licenses are usually found at the city level. Check your local requirements. Form a Business Entity - You must select a legal entity that defines how your coffee roasting business is organized. You have four options: proprietorship, partnership, corporation, and Limited Liability Company (LLC). Business Name Registration - Many states require owners to register their business name. The process of registering your business name varies by state and the type of business entity you chose. Employee Identification Number - Before you can hire staff, you must get a nine-digit employee identification number. Every business in the United States has a unique employee identification number. Sales Tax Permit or Business Number - A state sales tax permit (aka business tax number or tax ID number) may be required to sell roasted coffee beans. If necessary, you’ll create an account number with your state’s taxing agency so they can collect and remix the sales tax. Resale Certificate - A resale certificate (aka seller’s permit) allows you to purchase inventory that will be resold to customers tax-free. When a business owner has a seller’s permit, they won’t pay the sales tax to the vendor they purchase their inventory from. The sales tax is charged to the end-user of the product instead. Occupancy Certification - Most cities will require your coffee roasting business to have a Certificate of Occupancy (CO) before operating out of a commercial building. It is usually offered by the city and county. Before you receive the CO, the building must comply with zoning regulations, building codes, and any additional local requirements. If you’re operating your coffee roastery from your home, you may need to obtain a home occupation permit. Check your local laws and regulations to make sure you’re in compliance. What Is Fair Trade Certification? The Fair Trade certification confirms that a product’s social, economic, and environmental aspects of production comply with Fairtrade Standards for Producers and Traders. As a coffee roasting business, it’s worth obtaining a Fair Trade certification, proving to your clients that your coffee promotes fair pay and ethical treatment of the producer groups in developing countries that exported your green coffee beans. Consumers are willing to pay approximately 3.62% higher premium for Fair Trade Certified coffee, so having a Fair Trade certification can earn you greater profits in the long run. It also sets your coffee roasting business apart from competitors, and it can earn customer loyalty from patrons who appreciate your efforts to promote an equitable global economy. 6. Invest in Business Insurance Insuring your coffee roasting business protects against workplace injuries, property damage, and claims of product liability. General liability insurance is the best insurance for most coffee-roasting businesses. The average coffee roaster spends between $500 and $1,200 to have general liability coverage for $1 million. Your location, number of employees, deductible, general aggregate limit, and per-occurrence limit will determine the price of your general liability policy. Some providers may offer a discount on your general liability policy if you purchase it as a part of a business owner’s policy (BOP). Back to Top 7. Secure a Location for Your Coffee Roastery You must find a space large enough to accommodate your coffee roasting equipment and provide enough room for you to safely roast, package, and ship your coffee beans. If you’re a micro roaster, you won’t require a large commercial space to operate your coffee roasting business. As long as cottage laws in your area allow it, an up-to-code basement or garage will work as a location for a small roasting business. As your business grows, you may require a larger space. There are commissaries that allow you to pay for timed access to commercial roasters. This allows you to complete large orders without having to invest in your own commercial space. 8. Purchase Coffee Roasting Supplies It’s time to purchase the coffee roasting equipment and supplies you’ll need to start roasting coffee and selling it to customers. We’ve rounded up the essential supplies required to start your coffee roasting business. Coffee Roaster - There is a wide range of coffee roasters on the market, but most small roasting businesses can start with a 5 kg capacity classic drum roaster. Choose a model that is compatible with helpful roasting software for the best outcome. Unroasted Coffee Beans - Having a steady supply of green beans you can roast will be essential to your business. Decide whether you want to focus on a particular region of origin or offer blends of different beans. Coffee Bags - Branded coffee bags build brand identity, but if you don’t have the funds when you first start out, purchase flavor-conserving, wholesale recyclable coffee bags. Your first customers will care more about the quality of your product and the sustainability of your packaging than a cool design. Bag Sealer - A reliable bag sealer allows you to seal your roasted coffee inside your bags so it can be sold to customers. We recommend choosing an automatic bag sealer that adds the roasting date to the bags. Sample Roaster - A small sample roaster allows you to test your roasts and judge their quality without wasting all your green coffee beans on a large batch if it doesn’t turn out well. Bean Trier - A bean trier is an instrument that pulls a sample of beans from a coffee roaster so you can view their shade and smell their aroma. It is a long tool shaped like a wand with a hollow shaft that has a slot in it. Roasters insert the bean tier into the beans, rotate it, and collect coffee into the shaft. Roasters can then place the bean trier under a spotlight to evaluate the roast shade. Spotlight - To accurately determine the color of your roast, mount a spotlight with a full-spectrum bulb above your bean trier. Color Meter - For true color accuracy, invest in a color meter. A color meter analyzes the degree of roast, allowing you to create a consistent product. Moisture Reader - A moisture reader reveals how coffee was prepared, how its quality might alter over time, and how it will respond inside the roaster. Scales - You will use scales to weigh green coffee before roasting it, ground coffee before taste testing, and roasted coffee beans before packaging them for your customers. You’ll need a scale with a high weight capacity and a large weighing platter. Look for a unit that is accurate to 0.1g. Coffee Grinder - You’ll need a reliable grinder with adjustable grind settings so you can test your roasts in every grind size. Coffee Brewer - You must have a brewer to test your roasted beans with. Pour over and French press brewers are popular choices. Make sure you can test the method your core customers will likely use. Coffee Roasting Software - There is a lot of wonderful software to help you roast coffee. For the new roaster, Artisan is an excellent choice. It’s free, open-source software compatible with over 30 types of roasting machines and over 50 associated devices. For advanced roasters willing to pay for their software, Cropster is a comprehensive tool that helps roasters with monitoring their inventory, production, planning, quality control, and manage the buying and selling of green coffee online. Cleaning Supplies - You'll need to maintain a tidy space and thoroughly clean your equipment. Safety Equipment - Protect against injury by providing safety supplies. Help reduce the risk of fires by adding a water line with a spray head and an accessible valve. Shipping Supplies - If you plan to run an e-commerce coffee roasting business, purchase shipping supplies so you can fulfill customers’ orders. 9. Create a Website for Your Coffee Roasting Business Having a navigable website is essential to your success. Make sure your product pages offer ample information to guide people. Use descriptive words so customers understand each roast’s flavor profile. Consider offering interactive quizzes to help patrons find a roast they’ll like. Your coffee roasting website should reveal who you are as a brand and guide patrons to purchases. Provide information on your sustainability efforts and on where you source your beans. According to a Label Insight survey, 94% percent of consumers are more loyal to brands that provide supply chain transparency. Lastly, make it easy for customers to subscribe to loyalty programs and email lists from your website. 10. Advertise Your Coffee Roasting Business You can have the best brand, premium products, and incredible customer service, but if no one knows about your business, your efforts will fall flat. Creating a social media presence is crucial to marketing your coffee roasting businesses. Each social media platform favors a different type of content. Optimize your content for each platform by following best practices for Instagram and learning how to create engaging videos for TikTok. If you have a cottage food roasting business, get involved with your local farmer’s market scene. Don’t hesitate to make in-person connections with local gourmet grocers and coffee houses to advertise your roasts. Back to Top Thanks to its comparatively low startup costs, launching a coffee roasting business is a wonderful opportunity for entrepreneurial coffee enthusiasts. Whether you’re a coffee shop owner interested in gaining a competitive edge or a coffee roasting hobbyist looking for a new career, refer back to our guide to start your own coffee roasting business.


Types of Coffee Drinks

If you have ever been to a cafe or coffee shop, you know the drink menu is often overwhelming. As a coffee shop owner, there are so many types of coffee drinks you can offer your customers that it's difficult to understand the difference between them. We explored the most popular coffee drinks and their recipes so you can get familiar with them and keep up with current coffee trends. Click the following link to check out our printable coffee drinks chart. Use these links to jump ahead and find out how your favorite coffee drink is made. Espresso Double Espresso Red Eye Black Eye Americano Long Black Macchiato Long Macchiato Cortado Breve Cappuccino Flat White Cafe Latte Mocha Vienna Affogato Cafe au Lait Iced Coffee Brewing Styles Compared Not all coffee is brewed in the same way. Different brewing styles can cause changes in the flavor and strength of the drink. Here are just a few brewing styles that you may incorporate in your shop: Drip Brew Ground coffee is added to a brew basket and placed in an automatic coffee machine for this brewing style. Gravity is used to pass water through the grounds, resulting in a traditional cup of coffee. Pour Over This brewing style is achieved by pouring boiling water slowly through coffee grounds as they sit in a filter basket. The coffee then drips into a single cup, resulting in a potent brew. Cold Brew For cold brew, coarsely ground coffee is placed in room temperature water and allowed to steep for an extended period of time. This results in a less bitter, highly caffeinated brew. Espresso To achieve an espresso brew, you'll need an espresso or cappuccino machine. These machines pass pressurized hot water through a filter containing dark roasted finely ground coffee beans. The force of the water produces a highly concentrated coffee shot. This is the method most commonly used for the base of coffee drinks. Ristretto Brewed in a similar method to the espresso, pressurized water is passed through the coffee grounds. However, you would use half the amount of water. The shorter brewing cycle creates a more concentrated and darker shot of espresso. Shop All Coffee Supplies 6 Classic Coffee Drinks VideoLearn how to make 6 of the most common types of coffee drinks with our video: <iframe scrolling="no" width="392" height="226" src="/v/?num=13265&amp;width=600&amp;height=500&amp;embed=1" frameborder="0"></iframe> Different Coffee Drinks Most types of coffee drinks comprise three common ingredients: espresso, steamed milk, and foam. Additional toppings can be added to each coffee type based on your customers’ unique preferences. The following are just some of the coffee drink definitions and possible cup pairings you may consider adding to your coffee shop menu. It’s important to note that drink ratios may vary from coffee shop to coffee shop. Espresso The espresso, also known as a short black, is approximately 1 oz. of highly concentrated coffee. Although simple in appearance, it can be difficult to master. Ratio: 1 shot of espresso Cup: 2-4 oz. Espresso Cup Double Espresso A double espresso may also be listed as doppio, which is the Italian word for double. This drink is highly concentrated and strong. Ratio: 2 shots of espresso Cup: 3-4 oz. Demitasse Cup Red Eye The red eye's purpose is to add a boost of caffeine to your standard cup of coffee. Ratio: 1 shot of espresso + 6 oz. of drip-brewed coffee Cup: 8 oz. Coffee Mug Black Eye The black eye is just the doubled version of the red eye and is very high in caffeine. Ratio: 2 shots of espresso + 6 oz. of drip-brewed coffee Cup: 8-10 oz. Coffee Mug Americano Americanos are popular breakfast drinks and thought to have originated during World War II. Soldiers would add water to their coffee to extend their rations farther. The water dilutes the espresso while still maintaining a high level of caffeine. Ratio: 1 shot of espresso + 3 oz. of hot water Cup: 5-6 oz. Glass Coffee Mug Long Black The long black is a similar coffee drink to the americano, but it originated in New Zealand and Australia. It generally has more crema than an americano. Ratio: 2 shots of espresso + 3 oz. of hot water Cup: 6-8 oz. Glass Coffee Mug Back to Top Macchiato The word macchiato means mark or stain. This is in reference to the mark that steamed milk leaves on the surface of the espresso as it is dashed into the drink. Flavoring syrups are often added to the drink according to customer preference. Ratio: 1 shot of espresso + 1 to 2 teaspoons of steamed milk Cup: 3 oz. Glass Espresso Cup Long Macchiato Often confused with a standard macchiato, the long macchiato is a taller version and will usually be identifiable by its distinct layers of coffee and steamed milk. Ratio: 2 shots of espresso + 2 to 4 teaspoons of steamed milk Cup: 5 oz. Rocks Glass Cortado The cortado takes the macchiato one step further by evenly balancing the espresso with warm milk in order to reduce the acidity. Ratio: 1 shot of espresso + 1 oz. of warm milk + 1 cm of foam Cup: 5 oz. Rocks Glass Breve The breve provides a decadent twist on the average espresso, adding steamed half-and-half to create a rich and creamy texture. Ratio: 1 shot of espresso + 3 oz. of steamed half-and-half + 1 cm of foam Cup: 5-7 oz. Low Cup Cappuccino This creamy coffee drink is usually consumed at breakfast time in Italy and is loved in the United States as well. It is usually associated with indulgence and comfort because of its thick foam layer and additional flavorings that can be added to it. Ratio: 1-2 shots of espresso + 2 oz. of steamed milk + 2 oz. of foamed milk + sprinkling of chocolate powder (optional) Cup: 6-8 oz. Cappuccino Mug Flat White A flat white also originates from New Zealand and Australia and is very similar to a cappuccino but lacks the foam layer and chocolate powder. To keep the drink creamy rather than frothy, steamed milk from the bottom of the jug is used instead of from the top. Ratio: 1 shot of espresso + 4 oz. of steamed milk Cup: 6 oz. Glass Tumbler Back to Top Cafe Latte Cafe lattes are considered an introductory coffee drink since the acidity and bitterness of coffee are cut by the amount of milk in the beverage. Flavoring syrups are often added to the latte for those who enjoy sweeter drinks. Ratio: 1 shot of espresso + 8-10 oz. of steamed milk + 1 cm of foam Cup: 6-9 oz. Coffee Mug Mocha The mocha is considered a coffee and hot chocolate hybrid. The chocolate powder or syrup gives it a rich and creamy flavor and cuts the acidity of the espresso. Ratio: 1 shot of espresso + 1-2 oz. of chocolate syrup/powder + 1-3 oz. of steamed milk + 2-3 cm of foam or whipped cream Cup: 6-8 oz. Irish Coffee Mug Vienna There are a few variations on the Vienna, but one of the most common is made with two ingredients: espresso and whipped cream. The whipped cream takes the place of milk and sugar to provide a creamy texture. Ratio: 1-2 shots of espresso + 2 oz. of whipped cream Cup: 4-5 oz. Espresso Mug Affogato Affogatos are more for a dessert coffee than a drink you would find at a cafe, but they can add a fun twist to your coffee menu. They are made by pouring a shot of espresso over a scoop of vanilla ice cream to create a sweet after-meal treat. Ratio: 1-2 shots of espresso + 1 scoop of vanilla ice cream Cup: 5-7 oz. Dessert Dish Cafe au Lait The cafe au lait is typically made with French press coffee instead of an espresso shot to bring out the different flavors in the coffee. It is then paired with scalded milk instead of steamed milk and poured at a 50/50 ratio. Ratio: 5 oz. French press coffee + 5 oz. scalded milk Cup: 12 oz. Coffee Mug Iced Coffee Iced coffees become very popular in the summertime in the United States. The recipes do have some variance, with some locations choosing to interchange milk with water in the recipe. Often, different flavoring syrups will be added per the preference of the customer. You can even top it off with some cold foam. Ratio: 2 oz. drip coffee or espresso + 4 oz. of ice + 4-6 oz of milk or water + flavoring syrup to taste Cup: 14 oz. Mixing Glass Back to Top Being familiar with different types of coffee drinks allows you to cater to even more customers and improve your coffee service. Providing this information where customers can see it can help them make confident decisions about their coffee order and properly kick-start their day. If you truly want to elevate your coffee drink menu, start roasting your coffee in-house for the freshest flavor. Coffee Drinks Chart Printable Version Back to Top


Coffee Brewing Methods

Java, Joe, liquid energy, and brew are just some of the terms used to describe one of the world’s most highly consumed beverages - coffee. Did you know different coffee brewing methods affect the taste and aroma of your coffees? Understanding the types of brewing methods helps you choose the right coffee equipment for your business and improves your staff’s knowledge and success! Shop All Coffee Shop Equipment Click below to learn about different ways to make coffee: Drip Coffee French Press Coffee Espresso Machine Coffee Pourover Coffee Cold Brew Coffee Ways to Make Coffee Once coffee beans have been harvested and roasted, it’s time to convert them into a liquid. Understanding the different brewing methods is essential when running a successful cafe since each technique produces a different flavor, brew time, and caffeine level for your customers’ favorite drinks. 1. Drip Coffee Coffee that comes from a drip coffee maker is brewed through a filter containing the ground, coarse coffee beans as boiling water is “dripped” on top. The filter leaves behind the ground coffee beans as liquid passes through and into a decanter or coffee pot that is then used for serving. Making drip coffee takes more time compared to using an espresso machine since hot water is in contact with the ground coffee beans for a longer period. When comparing drip coffee to pressed, drip coffee can produce coffee in a faster amount of time since water doesn't need to be steeped. How to Use a Drip Coffee Maker Drip coffee makers are easy to use and don't require the mastering of any skills, which makes them ideal for busy diners and restaurants. Just follow the simple instructions below and make sure the decanter is in place before you brew! Place a new coffee filter in the drip coffee maker. Add ground coffee beans to the filter in a ratio of 2 tablespoons to every cup of water. Add filtered water to the reservoir container. Program the machine to brew at a certain time, or press the brew button to start working immediately. 2. French Press Coffee French pressed coffee is intended to be consumed immediately after brewing. Some coffee drinkers believe that making french press coffee produces a beverage that contains a stronger flavor compared to a drip coffee machine since it allows the oils from the ground coffee beans to mix with the water. A french press features a cylindrical glass carafe with a mesh filter inside which separates the ground coffee from the hot water. When it’s time to pour and serve, a lever is pushed down which strains and separates the coffee grounds from the brewed coffee, leaving the grounds on the bottom and liquid coffee above the filter. Before brewing with a french press coffee maker, coffee should be ground to a medium or coarse grind to obtain the best flavor possible. This also prevents any grounds from passing through the filter. A benefit of using a french press compared to a drip coffee maker is that you’re able to regulate the temperature of the water so your beans reach the maximum potential flavor possible when brewing. Also, filters aren’t needed since a pressing screen is used at the very end to separate the grounds from the liquid coffee. How to Use a French Press Follow these steps to make french press coffee: Add ground coffee to the bottom of the french press carafe. Use a ratio of 1 tablespoon ground coffee to 4 oz. of water. Bring water to a boil (about 195 degrees Fahrenheit) and add to the french press carafe. Stir to mix with the coffee grounds. Place the lid and filter on top of the press and steep 90 seconds to 4 minutes depending on your desired flavor. The longer you let your coffee steep, the stronger the flavor will be. Press down on the french press “plunger” with a firm, yet slow motion to strain the beans from the liquid brew. 3. Espresso Machine Coffee Besides the method of brewing, another difference between dripped, french pressed coffee, and espresso is the texture and size of the types of coffee grounds used. Espresso beans are ground much finer than drip and french pressed coffee and resemble the consistency of powdered sugar, which are then brewed using an espresso machine. The ground coffee beans are placed into a portafilter, which is the handled part of an espresso machine that attaches to the machine’s gasket. Next, the brewing process begins when water is pressurized through the beans to produce a liquid. Espresso machines are designed to force a small amount of hot water through the coffee grounds at a very fast speed, and a single shot of espresso can take as little as 20 seconds to brew. Espresso is stronger in taste than other brewing methods. It also has a creamier mouthfeel because a small layer of froth, called crema, is produced during brewing. How to Use An Espresso Machine Follow these steps to use an espresso machine: Grind coffee beans to a consistency of powdered sugar. Pour filtered water into the espresso machine’s water chamber. Use 1 oz. of water for every shot of espresso desired. Add espresso grounds to the portafilter. Use a tamping tool to pack the grounds into the portafilter. Place an espresso cup underneath the espresso machine’s spout to catch the liquid. Place the portafilter into its holder and lock into position. Press the “start” button and espresso will be extracted in as little as 20 seconds. 4. Pourover Coffee The pourover coffee method is a slow, careful technique that requires steady hand pouring. It’s not efficient for large volumes of coffee, but it’s the best method for showing off the flavor and aroma of small-batch single origin roasts. To perform the pourover brewing method, you'll need coffee grounds, paper filters, a gooseneck water kettle, and a pourover dripper. Drippers are funnel-shaped vessels that hold the filter. Some pourover drippers have a carafe that collects the freshly brewed coffee, and some drippers are meant to be placed over a coffee mug. Follow these steps to make coffee with the manual pourover method: How to Make Pourover Coffee Boil filtered water and transfer it to a kettle with a gooseneck spout. A long, skinny spout makes it easier to control the pour. Place the coffee filter into the dripper funnel and rinse it with hot water. Grind your coffee beans to medium or medium-fine and add the desired amount to the filter. Pour a small amount of water over the grounds and let them sit for 30 to 40 seconds. This is called blooming the beans and it releases any carbon dioxide in the grounds. After blooming the grounds, start pouring water over the coffee very slowly. Use a circular motion and make sure to saturate all grounds. It takes about three minutes for the brewing process to be complete. <iframe scrolling="no" width="392" height="226" src="/v/?num=9911&amp;width=600&amp;height=500&amp;embed=1" frameborder="0"></iframe> 5. Cold Brew Coffee The process for making cold brew coffee is a lot different than standard brewing. First of all, the coffee is steeped in cold or room temperature water instead of hot water. The steeping process itself lasts for an extended period, usually overnight. This style of brewing produces coffee that’s highly concentrated with higher amounts of caffeine than drip coffee. Cold brew coffee has become popular for several reasons. It has a smoother taste with less acidity and bitterness than drip coffee. You can also make it in large batches that keep in the refrigerator for periods up to two weeks. This is useful for coffee shops and cafes that sell large volumes of coffee. If you want to learn how to make your own cold brew, check out our large batch cold brew recipe guide. We’ll walk you through each step, from grinding to storage. Whether you run a busy coffee shop, bakery, bistro, or diner, understanding the various coffee brewing techniques is essential to running a successful coffee service. Now that you understand the various methods of brewing coffee, you can create a wide variety of coffee drinks ranging from cappuccinos and lattes to breves and mochas. With this basic knowledge, you and your staff will be able to adequately determine which type of coffee and technique is best suited for your business, as well as your customers’ needs.


How to Clean a Coffee Pot

Coffee is one of the most popular beverages in the world. Serving coffee through a decanter or airpot allows you to provide large amounts of coffee at once for your guests, but after multiple uses, minerals and oil build up and can leave a residue. Not only does it look unsightly, but it can also lead to bad-tasting drinks. To keep your coffee tasting great, you need to thoroughly clean out your coffee pots, dispensers, and other coffee shop equipment. Just follow these instructions and you can get back to making rich, delicious coffee for your customers. How to Clean a Coffee Pot Video To maintain a clean and organized coffee service, watch our video below on how to clean a coffee pot. <iframe width="560" height="315" src="/v/?num=3744&amp;width=560&amp;height=315&amp;embed=1" frameborder="0"></iframe> How to Clean a Coffee Decanter and Coffee Airpot Cleaning your coffee decanters and airpots may be difficult due to their unusual size and shape. So, we broke down the process into easy steps, ensuring that you can get your decanters and airpots perfectly clean. How to Clean a Coffee Decanter 1.Shake the liquid coffee pot cleaner. 2.Add 3-4 squirts of solution into your dirty decanter. 3.Fill the decanter about halfway with hot water. 4.Scrub the inside with a decanter brush. 5.Rinse the solution from the decanter. You may need to fill the pot with hot water multiple times to completely rinse the pot clean. 6.Dry your clean decanter. How to Clean an Airpot 1.Shake the liquid coffee pot cleaner. 2.Remove the stem assembly. 3.Add 3-4 squirts of solution into your dirty airpot. 4.Add hot water to the airpot. 5.Scrub the inside with a carafe brush. 6.Replace the stem assembly and close the lid. 7.Run the solution-water mixture through the stem assembly by pressing the button the way you would dispense coffee. Do this until the airpot is empty. 8.Remove the stem assembly and rinse the airpot out with hot water. You may need to fill the pot with hot water multiple times to rinse it completely. 9.Use a small cleaning brush to scrub inside the stem. 10.Using a scouring pad and some coffee pot cleaning solution, scrub the outside of the stem until the residue is gone. 11.Run the stem under hot water to rinse it. 12.Replace the stem assembly and close the lid. Keeping your coffee pots clean is an integral part of maximizing proper hygiene in your coffee shop or cafe. Follow these step-by-step instructions when cleaning and sanitizing coffee decanters and coffee airpots so all of your coffee roasts maintain their intended flavor and aroma.


Coffee Grind Size Chart

The perfect cup of coffee starts with the perfect grind. Just like there are multiple types of coffee roasts, there are multiple grind consistencies and methods. Our comprehensive coffee grinding guide outlines everything you need to know about grinding coffee beans. Shop All Commercial Coffee Grinders Click below to learn everything you need to know about grinding coffee: Different Coffee Grinds Coffee Grind Size Chart Types of Coffee Grinders How to Store Ground Coffee Coffee Extraction Explained Types of Coffee Grinds Discover the types of coffee grinds baristas prepare and how how they brew each one. After learning about the different coffee grinds and their extraction rate, use our coffee maker guide to pick the best brewing equipment for your business. 1. Extra Coarse Ground Coffee Extra coarse ground coffee has the consistency of peppercorns and takes a long time to release its flavor. Slow brewing methods such as cold brewing work best for extra-coarse ground coffee. Extra Coarse Ground Coffee Uses: Cold Brew Cowboy Coffee Extraction Rate: Extremely Slow 2. Coarse Ground Coffee Coarse ground coffee has the consistency of sea salt and requires extended brew times. Grinding coarse coffee keeps a lot of the bean intact, preserving its flavor/aroma. Q Graders prefer coarse ground coffee for coffee cupping. Coffee cupping is the professional process of observing the flavors and aromas in brewed coffee. The Coffee Quality Institute licenses Q Graders to weigh coffee against the Specialty Coffee Association's methods and practices. Coarse coffee grounds supply the richness coffee cupping requires. Coarse Ground Coffee Uses: French Press Percolators Cupping/Tasting Extraction Rate: Very Slow 3. Medium-Coarse Ground Coffee Medium-coarse ground coffee has the consistency of rough sand. Slow immersion ensures full saturation when using medium-coarse ground coffee. Medium-Coarse Ground Coffee Uses: Immersion Brewers Batch Brewers Extraction Rate: Slow 4. Medium Ground Coffee Medium coffee grounds resemble regular sand. Their middle-of-the-road consistency rarely leads to either over or under extraction. Grinding medium-ground coffee beans is the least involved way to achieve a delicious cup of coffee. While its flavor payoff is lower than other grind consistencies, medium ground coffee is a good option for restaurants that do not specialize in coffee but want to offer delicious coffee that enhances their menu. Medium Ground Coffee Uses: Drip Brewers with Flat Bottom Filters Single-Serve Brewers Vacuum Brewers Stovetop Brewers Extraction Rate: Moderate 5. Medium-Fine Ground Coffee Between the sand consistency of medium ground coffee and the sugar consistency of fine ground coffee lies medium-fine ground coffee. This coffee grind consistency is ideal for pour-over coffee brewing. Once you master the pour-over method, medium-fine grounds produce perfectly extracted cups of coffee. Medium-Fine Ground Coffee Uses: Pour Over Brewers Drip Brewers with Cone Shaped Filters Extraction Rate: Slightly Faster Than Medium 6. Fine Ground Coffee Your fine ground coffee should look and feel like sugar. Fine coffee grounds work best with brewing methods where the grounds briefly contact water. Otherwise, you end up with an over-extracted final product. The best grind consistency for espresso is fine grinding. Espresso machines build up pressure that forces water through finely-ground coffee. Fine Ground Coffee Uses: Espresso Machines Extraction Rate: Fast 7. Extra Fine Ground Coffee Extra fine ground coffee should be the consistency of powdered sugar. Few types of coffee require extra-fine coffee grounds, so the extra-fine grind isn’t usually achievable with commercial coffee grinders. If you know you’ll need this coffee grind consistency, make sure you choose a grinder that produces extra-fine coffee grounds. Extra Fine Ground Coffee Uses: Turkish Coffee Arabic Coffee Extraction Rate: Very Fast Back to Top Coffee Grind Chart Knowing the different grind sizes helps you brew rich and smooth coffee drinks. It also helps entrepreneurs choose equipment when they're starting a coffee shop. Use this coffee grind chart to find the right grind size for your brewing method. Coffee Grind Size Chart PDF Types of Coffee Grinders Coffee grinders and espresso grinders are essential items on any coffee shop equipment checklist. There are four main types of coffee grinders: burr, blade, roller, and pounding. We explain how each type of coffee grinder works below. Burr Coffee Grinders - Burr coffee grinders crush coffee beans between two wheels or conical grinding elements without adding frictional heat (which cooks the coffee beans). This releases the coffee bean oils, so they are easy to extract during the brewing process. The coffee ground in a burr coffee grinder is uniform which leads to even extraction. Most units allow you to move the abrasive wheels/cones closer or further apart to adjust your grind size. Conical burr models produce even less friction heat and preserve more coffee bean aroma than disc grinders, but they are more expensive. Blade Coffee Grinders - Blade coffee grinders chop coffee beans with a high-speed blade/propeller whirling between 20,000 to 30,000 RPM. This method often produces uneven coffee grounds which makes proper extraction challenging. A blade coffee grinder adds friction heat to coffee beans, reducing their flavor quality before brewing. In general, blade coffee grinders aren’t your best option for producing high-quality cups of coffee. Roller Coffee Grinders - Roller coffee grinders pass coffee beans through two corrugated rollers which produce inconsistent coffee grounds. Varied coffee grind sizes tend to create acidic and bitter cups of coffee. Roller coffee grinders expose the coffee beans to a lot of frictional heat, stripping them of their aroma. Pounding Coffee Grinders - Pounding coffee grinders create a fine coffee powder by pounding the beans with a mortar and pestle. Very few coffee beverages require a pounding coffee grinder, but it is necessary for making Turkish and Arabic coffee. Back to Top How to Store Ground Coffee For optimum freshness, store ground coffee in a nontransparent, airtight container. Place the container of ground coffee on a pantry shelf away from heat, light, and moisture. Storing Coffee in the Freezer Storing Future-Use Coffee Beans in the Freezer - You can store whole coffee beans in the freezer for up to a month if you do not use/disturb them within that period. Before freezing your coffee beans, divide them into small portions in airtight bags. Defrost frozen coffee beans on a shelf away from heat, light, and moisture. Grind and brew your coffee beans within two weeks of thawing them. Storing Daily-Use Coffee Beans in the Freezer - Never store the coffee you use daily in the freezer. When you store daily-use coffee in the freezer, you expose it to fluctuating temperatures, which produce moisture. Moisture changes the cell structure of coffee and damages its aroma and flavor. How Long Does Coffee Last? Whole coffee beans stay fresh for two to three weeks before their quality and flavor reduce. Pre-ground coffee holds its peak freshness for approximately 30 minutes. Coffee beans are the seeds of small cherries that grow on coffee plants, so you should approach coffee bean freshness with the same mindset you would any other plant product. Just like you wouldn’t cut pineapple and serve it to guests three months later, you shouldn’t grind coffee and serve it to guests months later either. Back to Top What Is Coffee Extraction? Coffee extraction occurs during the brewing process. It is the art of diffusing coffee beans' natural coffee solubles into water. Desirable coffee solubles include lipids, carbohydrates, melanoidins, caffeine, and acids. If too few coffee solubles permeate the water, the brew’s flavor is weak. However, if the solubles over-saturate the water, the brewed coffee will taste bitter. The ideal coffee bean extraction percentage lies between 18-22%. How to achieve ideal extraction varies by the size of your coffee grounds. The more intact your coffee beans are, the slower their extraction rate is. This is neither good nor bad, you just need to match your brewing method with your grind size. Choosing the wrong grind size for your coffee brewing method will ruin your beans and yield either under or over extracted cups of coffee. Here are the coffee extraction terms you need to know: Balanced Extraction tastes rich with balanced acidity and offers a velvety palatal sensation. It is easy to achieve a balanced extraction when your coffee grounds are uniform. Under-Extracted Coffee tastes sour and tangy because it doesn’t have enough coffee solubles. Over-Extracted Coffee tastes bitter because it has an overpowering amount of coffee solubles. What Makes Coffee Bitter? Over-extraction makes coffee bitter. When coffee beans are ground too fine for their brewing method, brewed too long, or are steeped in scalding water, the coffee grounds over-extract, lose their flavor, and yield bitter cups of coffee. In contrast, under-extracted coffee is sour, salty, and acidic tasting. How to Make Coffee Taste Good The secret to making coffee taste good is having symmetrical coffee grounds, water between 195- and 205-degrees Fahrenheit, and the appropriate brew time for your brewing method. Check out our troubleshooting advice and transform your bitter or sour-tasting coffee into delicious beverages. How to Fix Bitter Coffee Use coarser coffee grounds Raise the water temperature Reduce the brew time How to Fix Sour Coffee Use finer coffee grounds Lower the water temperature Extend the brew time Back to Top You don't need an expensive coffee maker to serve a delicious cup of coffee. Grinding your coffee beans is the least expensive way to achieve balanced extraction and delight guests with smooth and rich cups of coffee. Reference back to our coffee grind chart to achieve the right coffee grind consistency for your brewing method.

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How to Become a Certified Cicerone®

If you're familiar with sommeliers, the experts who help choose the perfect wine to complement meals, then you may be interested to know that the beer world has an equivalent. Allow us to introduce you to the Cicerone®, a certified expert in every type of beer. Cicerones® can achieve certification at four different levels, each showcasing their expertise and passion for beer. For bartenders and brewers, obtaining a Cicerone® certification offers valuable insights into the beverage industry and demonstrates professionalism in discussing and handling products. Operators can also benefit from these certifications by using them as a tool to assess potential hires or as a training resource, eliminating the need to create one internally. Explore the role of a Cicerone® and the requirements for each of the four levels of certification. What Is a Cicerone®? A Cicerone® is an expert in the brewing, selection, pairing, and serving of all varieties of beer. This title is earned through a certification process that involves both written and tasting examinations as well as a required demonstration of beer pairing expertise. It is the equivalent position to a sommelier in the wine industry. What Does a Cicerone® Do? A Cicerone® makes beer pairing suggestions, serves beer to customers, and is responsible for ensuring beer is stored and handled properly. The Cicerone® knows the proper temperatures and conditions for all beer styles and is trusted with keeping a beer garden or restaurant’s brews in their best condition. How to Pronounce Cicerone® Cicerone® is pronounced sis-uh-rohn. Cicerone® Levels There are four levels of certification in the Cicerone® Certification Program, ranging from Certified Beer Server® to Master Cicerone®. In the table below, we provide information on the certification requirements and benefits of each level. Level 1: Certified Beer Server® The Cicerone Certified Beer Server® exam assesses one’s ability to clean beer glassware, pour properly, and ensure beer hasn’t been ruined by improper handling. Holding this certification proves you know how to showcase a beer as its brewer intended. Certified Beer Server® Exam Prerequisites: None How to Take the Certified Beer Server® Exam: Register online and purchase the exam from the “My Account” page Certified Beer Server® Exam Cost: $69, two attempts provided per payment What You’ll Learn Below is an overview of what you’ll learn and be tested on to become a Certified Beer Server®. See the Certified Beer Server® syllabus for specific information. The terminology of beer, including important flavor descriptors and popular beer varieties Expertise in beer service, including the proper techniques for preparing glasses and pouring draft and bottled beers The primary ways beer flavor can deteriorate after leaving the brewery and effective methods for preventing these issues Certified Beer Server® Exam Format Online only 60 multiple-choice questions 75% required passing grade In addition to the exam, test takers must pass a short quiz about the Cicerone® program Level 2: Certified Cicerone® Everyone from bartenders to brewery executives benefits from the Certified Cicerone® designation. The certification signifies professional knowledge and crucial tasting abilities in the field of beer. To obtain this certification, you must pass both a written and tasting exam. Certified Cicerone® Prerequisites: Must be 21 years or older and have passed the Certified Beer Server® exam Certified Cicerone® Written Exam Cost: $225 Certified Cicerone® Tasting/Demonstration Exam Cost: $175 How to Take the Certified Cicerone® Exam: Register online and view the Cicerone® exam schedule to find a test near you and sign up through the My Account page What You’ll Learn Below is an overview of what you’ll learn and be tested on to become a certified Cicerone®. See Certified Cicerone® Syllabus for specific information. Extensive knowledge of beer storage, service, and styles as well as relative knowledge of beer history The ability to identify flawed beers How to make appropriate beer pairings Certified Cicerone® Exam Format In-person only Written exam with short answer and essay questions Tasting and demonstration component 80% required passing grade overall, with at least 70% for the tasting portion Level 3: Advanced Cicerone® The third level of certification is the Advanced Cicerone®. Passing this exam proves your expertise in beer, sensory skills, and ability to use advanced beer vocabulary in both industry and consumer-facing applications. Advanced Cicerone® Prerequisites: Must be 21 years or older and have passed the Certified Cicerone® exam. Must pass both written and tasting sections within three years. Advanced Cicerone® Written Exam Cost: $425 Advanced Cicerone® Tasting/Demonstration Exam Cost: $375 How to Take the Certified Advanced Cicerone® Exam: Register online and view the Advanced Cicerone® exam schedule to find a test near you and sign up through the My Account page What You'll Learn Below is an overview of what you’ll learn and be tested on to become a certified Advanced Cicerone®. See Certified Advanced Cicerone® Syllabus for specific information. Expert knowledge of brewing, beer, and beer service issues Theoretical and hands-on knowledge of draft systems Thorough knowledge of beer styles and beer and food pairings The ability to identify the beer flavor compounds listed on the syllabus by taste using AROXA™ flavor standards Advanced Cicerone® Exam Format Two in-person oral examinations plus in-person tasting panels The written portion is online and remotely proctored (a limited number of in-person written exams are available) 80% required passing grade overall, with at least 75% for the tasting portion Level 4: Master Cicerone® The Master Cicerone® certification is the highest level of certification. This prestigious certification acknowledges an unparalleled comprehension of brewing techniques, beer varieties, and the art of pairing. It combines exceptional tasting skills with extensive knowledge of the vast landscape of commercial beers. Master Cicerone® Prerequisites: Must be 21 years or older and have passed the Advanced Cicerone® exam. How to Take the Master Cicerone® Exam: Register online; exams are given once a year in the United States Master Cicerone® Test Cost: $995 What You’ll Learn Below is an overview of what you’ll learn and be tested on to become a Master Cicerone®. See the Master Cicerone® syllabus for specific information. “Encyclopedic knowledge” of all brewing, beer, and beer service issues Theoretical and hands-on knowledge of draft systems Thorough knowledge of beer styles and experience collaborating with chefs to create beer and food pairings Master Cicerone® Exam Format In-person only 2-day exam with multiple written, oral, and tasting components 85% required passing grade overall Which Level of Cicerone® Certification Is Right for You? Depending on the type of establishment you’d like to work in, your certification goals may vary. Earning a Certified Beer Server® is helpful when working in casual bars and restaurants, but working towards the title of Master Cicerone® makes sense for bartenders working in upscale environments and brewers. When considering certifications, it is important to think about the financial investment involved. For example, before becoming an Advanced Cicerone™, you should consider if there are job opportunities that can offset the cost of the certification. Check if there are high-level Cicerone® positions available in your area before investing. If not, you may need to consider relocating or asking if there is room to create a position for yourself. Since becoming a Master Cicerone® takes time, you can make these decisions while working towards the certifications. Cicerone® Exam Group Discount for Businesses The Cicerone® Certification Program offers discounted group exam rates for companies that produce and serve beer. Businesses can take advantage of individual training for staff or on-site training by a Cicerone® representative. Your employees then take their Certified Beer Server exams® individually online. This is a great option for any restaurant, brewery, or foodservice establishment that deals with the handling, manufacturing, or serving of beer. How to Prepare for the Cicerone ® Exam Whether you're studying for a Master Cicerone® certification or wondering how to become Cicerone Certified Beer Server®, there is a large amount of information to absorb and put to use. Thankfully, the Cicerone Certification Program® has plenty of tools and resources you can take advantage of or purchase to help get you ready for your exam. Beginners can make preparing for their Certified Beer Server® exam easier by taking the BeerSavvy® optional paid course before taking the test. This program teaches you the information found on the exam and is available online as an e-learning program as well as in person. For the Master Cicerone® exam, the Cicerone® Certification Program suggests the following in addition to studying their free resources: Taste a wide range of beer styles, and be familiar enough with their flavors to describe them in great detail Practice recognizing when a beer is flawed by using off-flavor kits and training Travel to beer-producing areas (particularly in Europe) to learn more about the brewing process Brew alone or with partners to gain hands-on experience Know the proper beer glass types for serving Practice beer and food pairing, especially in collaboration with chefs Becoming a Certified Cicerone® is a great investment for individuals seeking careers in all parts of the beer industry. With these certifications, you can prove your knowledge of beer and make yourself an attractive candidate for positions in breweries, restaurants, tap rooms, and more.


A Guide to Corkscrew Wine Openers

Corkscrews and wine openers are necessary tools for any foodservice establishment that serves bottles of wine. Manufacturers design different types of corkscrews to open particular corks and handle high-volume applications. In this guide, we'll go over the types of wine openers and the important fac


How to Create the Best Bar Food Menu

Creating a bar menu with the best bar foods is daunting, especially considering your guests' taste preferences. Some customers enjoy a classic basket of fries, while others seek more unique food experiences. As you formulate the perfect bar food menu, include traditional bar food alongside creative menu items to appeal to all customers. We compiled some of our favorite bar food ideas and valuable tips to help you create the best bar food menu that will please any hungry customer. Classic Bar Food Among the changing bar trends in the industry, some of the best classic bar foods remain the same. Below are some common bar menu ideas to satisfy your customers and maximize your profits. French fries Onion rings Nachos Wings or boneless wings Mozzarella sticks Quesadillas Burger sliders Artichoke dip Roasted cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, or other roasted vegetable assortment There's always room on your menu for more classics. Add a regional or local favorite that your customers will love, like Philly cheesesteaks or Chicago-style hot dogs. Either way, you've started your bar food menu off right by including some classic options. Bar Snacks and Appetizers Offering bar snacks and bar appetizers is a great way to entice customers to order food and stay at your establishment longer. These options are typically finger foods in small portions, making them easy to pass around the table. An app platter or sampler with multiple snacks allows customers to sample your menu and order more of their favorites. Additionally, bar appetizers encourage customers to order food spontaneously, which increases your revenue. Here are a few of our favorite bar snacks and appetizers to add to your menu: Chips with house-made salsa or guacamole Popcorn Soft pretzels Jalapeno poppers Fried pickles Coconut shrimp Potato skins Chicken fingers Pepperoni rolls Flatbread Bar Menu Ideas In addition to the classics, you can (and should) show off your unique recipes. If you can't think of new bar food ideas, try developing a fresh take on the classics above or form new concepts. If you are opening a new bar or are looking to reinvigorate your bar food menu, take some inspiration from some of the hottest spots in major cities: Cheese fries with cheddar, Gouda, and chives: By including unique ingredients like Gouda cheese and chives, one establishment in NYC offers an upscale, new twist on a favorite bar food. Roasted portobello with artichoke-truffle mousse and parmesan: This unique item originating in Miami combines complementary flavors and hearty finishing touches that create a fulfilling bar snack. Cheesecake eggrolls: Most of us might be accustomed to savory eggrolls, but a bar in Los Angeles offers a rare version with this sweet snack sure to entice late-night guests. House-made sausage plate: This plate from Chicago features seasonal accompaniments to go with the sausage. Try creating your own version to offer guests a variety of one type of food, like a cheese board, or make a platter that includes an assortment of house specialties. Restaurants and bars can differentiate themselves with more intricate or aesthetically pleasing dishes that include exotic ingredients or combine uncommon flavors. By offering your guests something different, you can create a memorable experience for guests so they will look forward to returning. Best Bar Food and Drink Pairings The best bar food typically pairs well with the drinks served at your bar. When creating your bar food menu, it's always a good idea to consider foods that complement your drink selection. You can also use your drink selection as inspiration to come up with bar menu ideas. Beer: A great versatile choice that pairs well with carbs, red meats, and heavier food, beer pairs well with spicy food, chocolate desserts, and Mexican food. However, light beers pair better with different foods than dark beers, so be careful when recommending pairings to customers. Cocktails: Your bartender can tailor signature cocktails to accent certain dishes, such as a specialty margarita to pair with nachos or quesadillas. Wine: Since many wine and food pairings are well known, cater your menu to accommodate your best-selling wines. White wines are great with seafood and poultry, while red wines often complement pasta and red meat. However, food can significantly alter the taste of the wine, so be sure to understand how your food and wine offerings interact when recommending pairings to guests. Bar Food Menu Prices Pricing your bar menu can be tricky if you serve food ranging from cheap, easy-to-make options to more complex items that might cost more and require more labor. Below are some suggestions for pricing your bar food menu. Classic Bar Food Has a High Profit Margin Traditional bar food, such as french fries, onion rings, and wings, can be made cheaply. You can find inexpensive bulk bar food that is quick to make and does not require much labor. This option makes your classic bar food excellent to feature on your menu by keeping your food affordable for virtually every customer, and you can turn a handsome profit even with low prices. Scale Your Bar Food Prices Based on Labor For foods that are more complicated and require more prep work than simple batches of fries or quick burgers, you should adjust the pricing accordingly to turn over a profit while meeting the budgets of your customer base. Keep Track of Customer Demand for Your Bar Food One innovative option for pricing your bar food menu is to gauge prices by keeping track of customer demand for specific items. You can raise the price of food and drink with high demands while lowering other menu options, mimicking the supply and demand mechanisms that affect the stock market. If you're shooting for a more practical angle, you can check out some user-friendly formulas that teach you how to price items on your menu according to your restaurant's needs and parameters. That way, you can satisfy your customers' appetites and wallets while maintaining healthy profit margins for your business. Whether you operate a high-end, sophisticated bar or a laid-back pub, offering an outstanding bar food menu is crucial to your success. The ideal bar food selection should include both traditional favorites and creative, original dishes from your kitchen to ensure a diverse range of options. Additionally, setting appropriate prices on your menu will not only please your customers but also contribute to the success and growth of your business.


How Much Beer Is In a Keg?

Whether you've just opened a bar, own a catering business, or want to serve beer at a backyard barbeque, kegs are a convenient option for providing drinks to a crowd. They are a crucial tool in the world of commercial beverage service, allowing you to serve large quantities of beer without using individual bottles or cans. There are several different keg sizes, and if you aren't familiar with them it can be difficult to identify which size fits your needs. We’ll introduce the different keg types and their capacities below. Click any of the links below to skip to the keg information that most interests you: What Is a Keg? Types of Kegs How to Fill a Keg How to Clean a Keg Beer Keg FAQ What Is a Keg? A keg is a container designed to hold and serve large quantities of beer, cider, and other alcoholic or carbonated drinks. These containers are typically cylindrical in shape and come in various sizes. Most kegs are pressurized, preventing carbon dioxide leakage and keeping their contents carbonated. Due to their capacity and portability, kegs lend themselves to a wide range of settings including local bars, wedding receptions, and music festivals. Types of Kegs There are many different keg styles, but they all serve the same purpose: to keep your favorite brew fresh. We’ll walk you through the different types of kegs and how much beer they hold below. It's important to note that these figures are approximate and may vary slightly depending on the specific dimensions and design of the keg. 1. Half Barrel Keg A half-barrel keg, sometimes called a full keg, is the most widely used and commonly distributed keg. It is the largest type of keg and lends itself large-scale events or operations. The half-barrel keg is compatible with most commercial draft systems, making it easy to integrate into your existing setup. Its standard dimensions allow for seamless installation and replacement, ensuring a smooth operation for your business. How Many Beers In a Half Keg? Capacity of a half barrel keg: 15.5 gallons Pints in a half barrel keg: 124 pints Bottles in a half barrel keg: 165 bottles 2. Quarter Barrel Keg Also known as a pony keg or stubby quarter keg, this compact keg is designed for occasions when a full-sized keg is not necessary. They lend themselves to medium-sized businesses or events. One of the advantages of a quarter barrel keg is its footprint. It has the same circumference as a half keg but is only half the height, making it much easier to maneuver and store. How Many Beers In a Quarter Barrel Keg? Capacity of a quarter barrel keg: 7.75 gallons Pints in a quarter barrel keg: 62 pints Bottles in a quarter barrel keg: 82 bottles 3. Slim Quarter Keg Slim quarter kegs are a smaller footprint version of a standard quarter keg. While a regular quarter keg holds the same amount of beer, the slim version offers a space-saving solution for those tight on storage space. One of the main advantages of a slim quarter keg is its ability to fit into smaller refrigerators or kegerators. It's the perfect option for businesses that want to offer an expanded drink selection. How Many Beers In a Slim Quarter Keg? Capacity of a slim quarter keg: 7.75 gallons Pints in a slim quarter keg: 62 pints Bottles in a slim quarter keg: 82 bottles 4. Sixth Barrel Keg Also known as a sixtel keg or log keg, the sixth barrel keg is often used in microbreweries. They are the ideal choice for those looking to offer a variety of beers on tap without taking up too much space. With its small footprint, the sixth barrel keg can easily fit into various types of kegerators. How Many Beers In a Sixth Barrel Keg? Capacity of a sixth barrel keg: 5.2 gallons Pints in a sixth barrel keg: 41 pints Bottles in a sixth barrel keg: 55 bottles 5. Cornelius Keg Also known as the homebrew keg, the Cornelius keg was first utilized by the soft drink industry before quickly being adopted by breweries. These kegs are perfect for those who prefer to brew smaller quantities of beer and experiment with different recipes. The reduced quantity of beer in a Cornelius keg makes it easier to handle and store. Whether you're a home brewer looking to share your creations with friends and family or you're a brewery owner seeking to expand your tap beer options, the Cornelius keg provides a convenient solution. How Many Beers In a Cornelius Keg? Capacity of a Cornelius keg: 5 gallons Pints in a Cornelius keg: 40 pints Bottles in a Cornelius keg: 53 bottles 6. Mini Keg A mini keg is the smallest type of commercial keg. Sometimes called bubba kegs, mini kegs are easy to transport thanks to their compact size and lightweight construction. Whether you're catering a small event or sampling your newest brew, these kegs are the ideal vessel for storing small quantities of beer. Mini kegs are frequently used with mini kegerators, ensuring your brew is always at the correct temperature. How Many Beers In a Mini Keg? Capacity of a mini keg: 1.32 gallons Pints in a mini keg: 10 pints Bottles in a mini keg: 14 bottles How to Fill a Keg If you’re new to the brewing industry, filling a keg might be a confusing process. To transfer beer from your fermenter to your keg, follow these steps: Prepare keg: Sanitize the keg before filling it and place it on a balanced scale. This allows you to measure its contents as it is filled. Attach hose: Connect the coupler of your keg to the fermenter with a hose. This will be used to transfer beer between the two vessels. Close shutoffs: Close both shutoffs on the coupler and ensure the hose is securely attached to prevent any leaks or spills during the filling process Flush yeast and sediment: Remove any yeast or debris that may have settled in the racking arm by flushing it out. Once the racking arm is flushed, connect the coupler to the sanitized keg, ensuring a tight and secure fit. Fill the keg: Open the liquid shutoff valve on the coupler. Be careful not to open it fully, as this may release too much gas at once. Slowly and steadily fill the keg, ensuring it reaches approximately 95-98% full. Leaving a small amount of headspace inside the keg allows it to absorb any pressure changes without causing issues. Finish filling: Once the keg is almost full, close the gas shutoff valve to stop the flow. Wait until the beer stops flowing completely before disconnecting the coupler to minimize spills or waste. Counter-Pressure Filling Large-scale commercial breweries rely on counter-pressure filling to fill their kegs. This process involves a series of valve operations and pressurization, facilitating faster filling while simultaneously preventing oxygen absorption and product loss. It gives the operator complete control over the atmosphere inside the keg during the filling process, resulting in a high-quality product that retains its freshness for longer. How to Clean a Keg Cleaning a keg is essential for maintaining the quality and taste of your beer. Whether you're a bar owner or a homebrewer, it’s important to know how to clean a keg the right way. We’ll walk you through the process below: Depressurize the keg: For safety reasons, release any remaining pressure from the keg before you begin cleaning. Remove keg spear: The keg spear is the component that allows you to tap into the keg. To clean the keg thoroughly, remove the spear by unscrewing it or using a specialized keg spear removal tool. Rinse: Rinse the keg with warm water to remove any residual beer or debris. Add cleaning solution: Choose a high-quality keg cleaning solution and follow the manufacturer's instructions to determine the correct amount to use. Add the cleaning solution to the keg, and then fill it with hot water to activate the cleaning solution and break down any remaining residue. Let the solution sit: Let the cleaning solution sit in the keg for 10-15 minutes to dissolve any stubborn deposits and eliminate bacteria or other contaminants. Dry and rinse: Drain the keg and rinse it thoroughly with clean water. This will remove any traces of the cleaning solution and ensure that no residue remains. Sanitize: Eliminate any remaining bacteria with a second batch of cleaning solution. After a few minutes, drain the keg and rinse it one final time with clean water. Reinstall spear: Once the keg is thoroughly cleaned and sanitized, reattach the keg spear. Before you add your beer, it's important to purge the keg with carbon dioxide to remove any oxygen that may have entered during the cleaning process. This will help to preserve the flavor and freshness of your beer. Beer Keg FAQ We’ll answer some of the most common questions about beer kegs below. How Long Does a Keg Last? Pasteurized draft beer, heated to kill off bacteria or yeast, will generally last 3 to 4 months in a keg. Unpasteurized draft beer, which retains its live yeast, typically lasts 6 to 8 weeks. Proper storage is the key to making your beer last as long as possible. Kegs should be kept refrigerated at all times to maintain the quality of the beer inside. Warm temperatures can speed up the aging process and cause the beer to become flat and stale. It's important to note that the countdown for a keg's shelf life begins when it is first filled at the brewery, not when you purchase it. When serving draft beer at a party or event, check the keg's packaging and verify when it was filled. What Are Beer Kegs Made Of? The two most common keg materials are stainless steel and aluminum. Continue reading to learn about both types and what sets them apart. Stainless steel beer kegs: Stainless steel kegs are known for their durability. They feature excellent insulating properties, allowing you to keep beer cold for long periods. Aluminum beer kegs: One of the main advantages of aluminum kegs is that they preserve the taste of the beer better than other materials. These kegs are also lighter than their stainless steel counterparts, making them easier to transport. Back to Top Kegs are a valuable tool for any establishment that serves alcoholic beverages, and it's essential to make sure you choose the right one. By selecting the proper-sized beer keg, you can ensure that you always have enough of your signature beverages to satisfy customers.


Beer and Food Pairing Guide

With so many different types of beer and even seasonal styles to take into account, it can be difficult to come up with good pairings for every beer on your restaurant or bar's beer list. Creating an excellent beer and food pairing menu can result in a siginifcant boost to your profits. Keep reading to learn how to describe the taste of beer, some guidelines for beer and food pairings, and what beers go with what foods. Shop All Beer Glasses Use the links below to jump to the specific type of beer or section you're interested in: Beer Pairing Guidelines Food and Beer Pairing Examples Light Lagers Wheat Beers IPAs Amber Ales Dark Lagers Brown Ales Porters Stouts Beer Pairing Tutorial Check out our video guide to the basics of creating a great beer and food pairing. <iframe scrolling="no" width="392" height="226" src="/v/?num=13693&amp;width=600&amp;height=500&amp;embed=1" frameborder="0"></iframe> Definition of Tastes in Beer When describing the taste of beer, there are a few buzzwords that you'll come across again and again. Here are some general definitions to help you understand how the flavors in beer are typically described: Hops: Many times people use "hoppiness" to describe how bitter a beer tastes, but not all hoppy beers are bitter. The taste of a hoppy beer depends on when the hops are added in the brewing process. The earlier the hops are added, the more bitter the beer. Hops themselves have a versatile flavor and aroma that can enhance flowery and fruity flavors in the beer. Bitter: Bitterness is a distinct flavor profile found in many types of beer, although the amount of bitterness varies between the styles of beer. Many breweries rate how bitter a beer is with an IBU number. IBU stands for International Bitterness Units, and the higher the IBU, the stronger the bitterness. Malt: Malt comes from the barley grain, and it is usually roasted before it is added to the brew. Roasting barley gives the beer a nutty flavor and a toasty aroma. Plus, during the roasting process, the sugars in the barley caramelize, bringing out a slightly sweet, caramel taste. Dark: While it may seem more like a description of the color, dark can also be used to describe how a beer tastes. Dark beers are made with malt grain that is roasted until it reaches a dark color. Dark beers are typically roasted longer than malty beers, giving them a richer and heavier taste. The malt's nutty, caramel flavor turns to darker notes of chocolate and coffee with a longer roast time. Light: Light beer is usually known for having a clean and crisp taste that is refreshing. Typically, light beers don't have a strong flavor and aren't very bitter or hoppy. Additionally, most light beers also have a low alcohol content. 4 Guidelines for Food and Beer Pairing There aren't many hard rules when it comes to making beer and food pairings as there aren't many flavors that clash with beer. That being said, if you want to get the most out of your beer pairing and enhance the flavor of the food on your bar's menu, try to keep these guidelines in mind: Contrast: To make an ideal pairing by contrast, you want to pick a beer or dish that has one strong, dominant flavor, such as sweet, rich, or oily. You want a dish that has a distinct taste that can shine through without being overpowered. An example of a good contrast pairing is oysters and stout. Oysters have a strong, briny flavor that can stand up to the rich texture and chocolatey notes of the stout. Complement: Complementing flavors is one of the simplest ways to make a delicious food and beer pairing. Match rich foods with beers that have a heavy and rich flavor, like stouts or porters. Pair light-tasting salads and fish with light beers or wheat beers with desserts like fruit tarts. Cleanse: You can also use your beer as a palate cleanser. This type of beer pairing is ideal for dishes that have strong or overpowering flavors, like spicy Indian food or fatty fried food. For example, you can use the cool and refreshing flavor of light beer to wash down the heat of Korean fried chicken. This pairing also works in the opposite way, and you can use fatty foods, such as french fries or nuts, to cut through the bitterness of an IPA. Avoid Overpowering Flavors: Keep in mind the levels of flavor in your food and beer. Many medium and dark beers have a rich and powerful flavor that can overpower certain types of food. For example, you wouldn't want to pair salmon with a pint of Guinness because the flavor of the beer will completely cover the taste of the fish. How to Pair Beer Based on Style The different types of beer vary greatly in their color, alcohol content, taste, and mouthfeel, so if you want to make a good pairing, you must first understand the different styles of beer. Below, we've included a table that you can reference to make a quick pairing. You can also read on for a more in-depth guide on how to pair beer and food based on style. Light lagers: Spicy food, burgers, salads Wheat beers: Spicy food and fruity desserts India pale ales (IPAs): Steak, barbecue, and Mexican food Amber ales: Pizza, fried food, smoked pork Dark lagers: Pizza, burgers, hearty stews Brown ales: Sausage, sushi, fish Porters: Seafood, coffee-flavored desserts, game meats Stouts: Chocolate desserts, shellfish, Mexican food These are only general pairing ideas, so if you want to create new and unique beer and food pairings, you'll need to fully understand the flavor profiles of each type of beer. Light Lagers Light lagers are among the palest type of beer, and they are well known for their crisp and refreshing taste. Most light lagers do not have a strong flavor, and they are rarely hoppy or bitter. This style of beer is one of the most popular in the United States, and many well-known brands fall under this category. Light Lager Food Pairings: Because light lagers have such a refreshing flavor, they're ideal for pairing with spicy dishes, but you can pair these beers with just about any type of food. Here are some ideal beer and food pairing options for light lagers you can try: Buffalo wings (bone-in or boneless) French fries Hot dogs Noodles Fried fish Wheat Beers Wheat beers are brewed with a mixture of wheat and barley grains, which gives the beer smoother texture and lighter carbonation than other styles. The wheat itself doesn't add much flavor, so many brewers add citrus and other fruity flavorings to the beer. Wheat Beer Food Pairings: Wheat beers are very versatile, and you can pair them with a number of foods. Here are some ideal food pairings for wheat beers: Buffalo wings Spicy noodles Salads Fruit tarts Pastries India Pale Ales India pale ales, better known as IPAs, are one of the most popular styles of beer in the craft brewing scene today. Typically, IPAs have a medium amber color and feature a very bitter flavor. To make the bitterness more palatable, many brewers add citrus or herbal tones to the beer. In addition to standard IPAs, there are also double IPAs, which are made with even more hops and have a strong bitter flavor. IPA Food Pairings: Because of the sheer variety of IPAs on the market, there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to food pairings. But, here are a few general food and beer pairings that work for all types of IPAs: Barbecue ribs Curry French fries Steak Burritos Fajitas Amber Ales Amber ales are characterized by medium mouthfeel and colors that range from amber to a deep reddish-gold. These beers have strong flavors of malt, and there are notes of sweet caramel that complement the roasted malt taste. But, these beers do not have an overpoweringly sweet flavor, and many amber ales have a dry and crisp finish. Although the flavor from the hops isn't strong, they give these beers a light and flowery aroma. Amber Ale Food Pairings: Due to the dry and crisp finish, amber ales are excellent beers for cleansing your palate. So, here are a few ideal food pairings for amber ales: Barbecue pulled pork Jerk chicken Pizza Brisket Dark Lagers There are several types of lager, and dark lagers have a distinct taste. This style of beer is made with roasted malts, and many times they have caramel syrup added to sweeten the beer. The roasted malts give the beer a nutty flavor, and the caramel provides a slight hint of sweetness, although it's not overpowering. Dark Lager Food Pairings: Dark lagers are popular in Europe, and they're an excellent complement to hearty traditional European dishes. Here are some examples of ideal pairings to go with dark lagers: Sausage Goulash Bangers and mash Burgers Pizza Brown Ales Brown ales aren't as hoppy or bitter as other medium-colored beers, and instead they have hints of chocolate and coffee similar to stouts and porters. Additionally, English varieties of brown ales usually have a dry and nutty flavor. Beer afficionados and craft brewers tend to turn their noses up at brown ales because they lack the extreme flavors and hoppiness that is fashionable nowadays, but these are tasty beers that pair well with many different foods. Brown Ale Food Pairings: Brown ales are a versatile option when it comes to food and beer pairings, and they are famous for pairing well with just about anything. That being said, here are a few dishes that complement the rich chocolate and nutty flavors in brown ales: Sausage Roast pork Barbecue Fish Sushi Porters Porters originated in London, and the original variety were dark and strong, making them popular with the working class. Today, porters are milder and come in a variety of styles and flavors, but they kept their signature dark color, toasty aroma, and roasted flavor. Porters are made with roasted brown malts that give the beer strong notes of chocolate, caramel, and coffee. Although both porters and stouts are thick and silky, porters have a crisper finish than stouts. Porter Food Pairings: Porters have a rich and deep flavor, so it is best to pair them with foods that have similar taste and texture. Here are a few examples of dishes that pair well with porters: Lobster Crab Mexican mole Barbecue Rabbit, venison, and game meats Stouts Stouts are best known for their black color and dark, roasted flavor that is similar to porters. Despite their appearance, stouts are not necessarily high in alcohol content, bitterness, or flavor, and there are many mild, well-rounded types of stout. This style of beer is usually characterized by strong hints of chocolate and coffee as well as a silky smooth consistency. Stouts Food Pairings: Because stouts have a chocolatey flavor and relatively low alcohol content, they are the perfect pairing for many kinds of desserts. Here are some examples of the best foods to pair with stouts: Chocolate truffles Chocolate mousse Lobster Barbecue Shellfish Adding food and beer pairings to your menu can help enhance the flavor of your dishes and bring in more profits. To make the best beer pairings possible, it is important to understand which flavors work well together. Once you understand the flavor profiles in beer, you can make delicious and interesting beer pairings that will accentuate the flavors of both your food and beer. You can also bring out the best flavors in your beer by choosing the right beer glass for each type.

Eco-Friendly Tips View More


Green Disposable Dinnerware Guide

As more loyal customers are demanding a smaller carbon footprint from their favorite chain or local restaurant, the foodservice industry is focusing heavily on going green. Running a sustainable and eco-friendly establishment is a new standard, not just a distinguishing niche for marketing. Whether


Sustainable Seafood for Restaurants

Whether it’s related to food sourcing or disposal methods, sustainability has been at the forefront of foodservice trends and concerns in recent years. One of the primary focuses of the sustainability movement is the health of our oceans and marine life. Over 50% of American consumers identified that sustainable seafood is important to them and that they would pay more for it to help the environment. If your seafood restaurant is looking for greener practices, we’ve collected some seafood sustainability tips that your business can incorporate into your menu this year. Shop All Seafood Click any of the links below to learn more about the sustainable seafood: Sustainability Defined Most Popular Seafood Unsustainable Fishing Methods How to Serve a Sustainable Seafood Benefits of Offering Sustainable Seafood What Is Sustainable Seafood? Sustainable seafood is any fish or shellfish that is caught for consumption in a way that doesn’t threaten its ecosystem or the stability of the species. The way the fish is raised, harvested, or wild-caught must be renewable and cannot jeopardize the future population of that particular species. The fishing method also cannot over-pollute the environment in which the species lives. Popular Seafood Seafood is a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins A, B, and D, which makes it a staple on various menus around the world. Even with the nutritional benefits, most Americans only enjoy 5-10 varieties of seafood, which can lead to overfishing of those species and unsustainable harvesting practices. Below are the most popular seafood varieties consumed by the global population: Salmon Shrimp Tuna Crab Alaskan Pollock Tilapia Clams Unsustainable Fishing Practices Fish are harvested for foodservice markets using two distinct methods: wild caught fishing and aquaculture. Both methods can have negative impacts on the environment if not regulated and improved. Without instilling sustainable practices, fisheries are expected to collapse as early as 2050. It is important to take these practices under consideration when selecting seafood types and suppliers for your restaurant. Wild Caught Fishing Wild caught fishing can easily turn unsustainable when companies are overfishing and producing bycatch on their fishing lines and nets. Keep reading for more information on how wild caught fishing can damage the environment and how it can be made more sustainable. Overfishing - Overfishing occurs when mature fish are collected from the ocean faster than the population can reproduce. This can lead to the extinction of a wildly occurring fish population and put pressure on fish hatcheries to make up for the loss to keep up with demand. Bycatch - The term bycatch classifies marine life that is unintentionally caught on fishing lines and in fishing nets along with the target species. Bycatch may include dolphins, sea turtles, sharks, other fish species, and even the wrong size of the target species. If bycatch is not removed from the nets, the animals can die, making open-sea fishing unsustainable to the environment. Wild caught fishing produces about 7 million tons of bycatch a year, with most of a fisherman's catch being bycatch instead of the target fish. Ghost Nets - Ghost nets are fishing nets that are either lost or left behind by fishing boats. The nets continue to trap and entangle sea creatures as they float in the ocean, causing unnecessary loss of life. It is estimated that there are currently 640,000 tons of ghost fishing nets polluting our oceans. Can Wild-Caught Fish Be Sustainable? Although wild caught fishing can be damaging to the ecosystem, there are actions fishermen can take to make the practice more sustainable. To reduce overfishing, fishing companies can follow organizations that research and regulate fish populations to learn which species they should avoid in that season or location. To reduce bycatch, fishing companies can choose selective fishing practices like harpooning, hook and line fishing, and certain traps over bottom trawls and long lines. To reduce ghost nets, fishing companies should try to keep track of their fishing nets and attempt to retrieve them if they come loose. They can also choose fishing gear contact information and tag identifiers so that they can be traced back to the owner if lost. Ocean cleanup organizations also work hard to remove ghost nets from the ocean and recycle them. Aquaculture (Farm-Raised Fish) While many believe that farmed fish provide the most eco-friendly seafood option, this is not always true. Although aquaculture is a great way to boost fish supplies, it can turn unsustainable quickly if not done correctly. Waste - Farm-raised fish produce a considerable amount of waste, including uneaten feed and excrement that can build up in their enclosures or pollute the habitat in which they are raised. This can lead to increased nitrogen levels, toxic algae blooms, and disease in the fish population if not filtered correctly. Chemical Usage - Some aquacultures use certain chemical hormones as growth enhancers, like methyltestosterone, that increase the size and growth rate of a fish population. This changes the genetics of the fish and can have harmful effects on humans, like liver toxicity, when the fish is consumed. Unsustainable Feed Ingredients - If aquaculture farmers are using wild-caught forage fish to feed their farm-raised fish, then they are depleting the population from the natural ecosystem and causing other species to suffer. If aquaculture fish are put on an entirely plant-based diet, then fisheries must consider the carbon footprint caused by land farming. Containment Issues - Fish that are raised in an aquaculture system are genetically different from those in the wild. If a farm-raised fish escapes from its enclosure, it can end up reproducing and mutating the wild population, which will upset the natural ecosystem. Can Farm-Raised Fish Be Sustainable? With some modifications and effort, fish farms can become a sustainable option for the future of seafood. To reduce waste pollution, companies should take advantage of natural filtration methods like using seaweed and bivalves to reduce the waste that is able to run downstream. They should also implement thorough filtration and waste disposal plans for their facility. To reduce chemical usage, fish farms should use biosecurity management methods and early diagnosis to detect changes and diseases in the fish population. They should also avoid using antibiotics as a grown enhancer that can mutate the genetics of the fish. To reduce the use of unsustainable feed ingredients, fish farmers can switch to natural and balanced fish feed made with microalgae, seaweed, insects, microbes, nuts, and some forage fish. To reduce containment issues, companies keep their fish separate from the wild ecosystem, by using secure enclosures and regularly checking their enclosures and nets for damage. Back to Top How to Run a Sustainable Seafood Restaurant Most customers will associate locally sourced products with sustainability, but that isn't always the case for fish and other seafood. Seafood sustainability comes down to how the fish was raised and harvested, along with the proximity of the water source. We’ve prepared a list of actions you can take to ensure that your seafood restaurant works towards becoming a more sustainable business. Through sourcing and menu changes, you can reduce your impact on our oceans. 1. Look For Sustainable Suppliers When choosing a supplier for your seafood restaurant, you’ll want to pick one that prioritizes sustainability with its product. To narrow down your choices, ask suppliers the following questions to ensure that they are taking the appropriate measure to provide eco-friendly seafood options: Are they part of a trusted sustainability certification program? What is their preferred fishing method? What sustainability practices are they using in that method? If wild-caught, how do they reduce bycatch? What research are they doing to choose which species and location to target without greatly impacting the fish population? If farm-raised, what do they feed their fish? How do they treat disease? How do they handle the waste that is produced? What are their sustainability goals and how can you help them achieve those goals? You’ll want to select a supplier who is transparent about their fishing practices and sustainability goals, and one that is familiar with current fishing policies so you can in turn serve your customers environmentally friendly seafood options. You can also look up fishers and suppliers on ocean advocate websites like and Marine Stewardship Council to see how they rank. 2. Make Menu Changes A major factor in becoming a restaurant with sustainable seafood is making menu changes. Choosing seafood options that are less in demand than traditional selections is a great way to reduce your environmental impact. Below are some ways that you can make your seafood menu more environmentally friendly: Serve Trash Fish Invasive and unpopular fish species, also known as “trash fish”, provide a great alternative to species like salmon, tuna, and swordfish that are being overfished. Here are some trash fish alternatives you can choose that would still be delicious on a menu: Pollock Triggerfish Lionfish Sheepshead Fish Sea Robin Whiting Mackerel Anchovies Sardines You can use the Seafood Watch website or phone app to plug in a popular seafood species that may be in a critical situation and find more sustainable and abundant alternatives to replace it with on your menu. Serve Seasonal Fish Just like vegetables have a growing season, fish populations also fluctuate with seasons and location. The sites Seafood Watch and can give you an understanding of which species are thriving during the current season and which are depleted based on your region so you can easily make sustainable menu adjustments. For example, the Pacific salmon season begins in the spring on the West Coast. Striped bass is in abundance on the East Coast during the summer, while albacore tuna is in season during the summer on the West Coast. Peconic bay scallop season begins in the fall on the East Coast and winter is a great time for Dungeness crabs on the West Coast. Serve Vegan Alternatives You can expand your seafood menu by offering seafood options that aren't made with fish at all. If you’re looking to become vegan-friendly or make more sustainable choices, vegan seafood is a great substitute for your restaurant. Vegan seafood is made to imitate the look, taste, and texture of fish by using all plant-based ingredients. You can find vegan salmon and tuna sashimi, shrimp, and calamari made with natural ingredients like tapioca starch and kelp or seaweed extract. 3. Check for Fish Certification Labels When Shopping When looking for high-quality and sustainable stock for your seafood restaurant, it's important to look for sustainable seafood certifications on packaging or display cases. Eco-certified seafood labels mean that the product was raised or caught in eco-friendly and sustainable conditions that meet the standards required by the certification. You can list these logos on your menu next to certified ingredients as a selling point for customers. Keep reading to become familiar with the leading seafood certifications in the foodservice industry. Sustainable Seafood Certifications The following are some of the top sustainable fish certifications to look for when picking seafood products for your restaurant. ASC Certified - The Aquaculture Stewardship Council certification provides strict guidelines for farm-raised seafood that are socially and environmentally responsible. GLOBALG.A.P. Certified - The Global Good Agricultural Practices certification has strict criteria for animal welfare, legal compliance, environmental care, and supply chain transparency in aquaculture settings. RSPCA Assured - The assured certification by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals indicates that a salmon or trout product was raised in aquaculture according to their high standards for animal welfare and humane treatment. Quality Trout UK Assured - The assured certification by Quality Trout UK guarantees that a trout product was raised and harvested following the high standards of the program to ensure humane treatment in trout aquaculture settings. Friend of the Sea Certified - The Friend of the Sea certification ensures that fisheries and aquaculture upheld the proper treatment of a species and used responsible fishing practices to protect natural resources. Marine Stewardship Council Certified - The Marine Stewardship Council certification provides benchmarks for wild-caught fisheries to meet that ensure their catch is traceable and sustainable. You can find some seafood products that do not fall under a particular sustainable certification, but rather are broadly recognized as eco-friendly alternatives, including muscles, clams, and kelp. These options are used for their restorative aquacultural effects on marine ecosystems, such as providing natural water filtration. By adding them to your menu, your business helps support sustainable efforts indirectly. 4. Work with Your Neighbors to Find Sustainable Options If you’re striving to take steps towards offering sustainable seafood, it can be very helpful to ask your neighboring restaurant owners for advice and potentially work together to reach a common goal. Here are some seafood sustainability questions you can ask other restaurants: Do they use sustainable seafood suppliers? Which suppliers? Are they part of any sustainable seafood organizations or fishery programs? Would they be interested in joining together to reach purchase volumes with sustainable suppliers? Are they familiar with any additional actions you could take or local organizations you can join to reach your sustainability goal? 5. Share Your Efforts with Your Customers As food trends progress, it is clear that customers are attracted to sustainable choices. Approximately 50% of consumers say they will support sustainable seafood options if they are available, and they are even willing to pay more for them. A great way to boost your sustainability efforts is by being open and transparent with your customers about your menu choices and suppliers. By listing a menu option as “sustainably sourced seafood”, customers will be more likely to order it and help you boost your bottom line to continue financing your sustainable goals. Train your servers to be able to answer questions on where and how your fish and seafood options were sourced and what efforts your business is taking to be more environmentally friendly to our oceans. List the sustainable certifications of your ingredients to help your customers easily identify eco-friendly meal options. Benefits of Serving Sustainable Seafood Offering sustainable seafood in your restaurant can bring positive impacts to your business and the environment. Here are some of the benefits of serving sustainable fish on your menu: Customers are looking for sustainable choices and will pay more for them Decreased pollution on land and in the oceans Healthier fish population in the oceans to support the food chain Reduced risk of species extinction Back to Top By choosing sustainable options for your restaurant, you can be part of the movement to provide a safer and healthier planet for generations to come. Use this guide to incorporate sustainable seafood in your recipes and support ocean health with your business. <aside class="pquote"> <blockquote> The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice. Please refer to our Content Policy for more details. </blockquote> </aside>


Ways to Reduce Food Waste in Your Restaurant

Running a foodservice operation requires a lot of thinking. You have to order ingredients on time, balance your finances, and manage your staff amidst a world of other concerns. As important as it is to consider what food you’re making, it’s equally important to think about what happens to food that’s left uneaten. According to Feeding America, America produces an estimated 72 billion tons of food waste each year. How to Reduce Food Waste in Your Restaurant If you're looking for food waste solutions and how to reduce restaurant food waste in your establishment, follow the steps below to get started: Click any of the tips below to read the section that interests you: Conduct a Food Waste Audit Seek Food Waste Solutions Use Alternative Waste Disposal Options Schedule Regular Check-Ins to Monitor Food Waste 1. Conduct a Food Waste Audit A food waste audit is identifying where your operation's food waste comes from, so you can then find ways to reduce your restaurant's food waste. The first step to reducing food waste is to find out exactly how much you’re wasting and what kind of waste your establishment is producing. How to Conduct a Food Waste Audit There are two main factors to take into account as you track your food waste. You need to consider how much food is being wasted and how many people are coming through your restaurant. By gathering data for both of these variables, you can get a better sense of what your biggest source of waste is. 1. Food log system Provide your staff with a simple sheet of paper where they can keep track of what's being thrown out, why it's being thrown out, and how much is wasted. As an alternative, there are waste tracking systems like Leanpath that use a specially designed scale with a touch screen terminal and computer software to track how much food you're throwing out without the hassle of a pencil and paper. Also, be sure to keep a second log system for post-consumer waste, or what food customers pay for but don’t eat. This type of food waste is much more difficult to control because, ultimately, if that toddler at table 3 doesn't want the broccoli that was ordered for them, odds are good that you're going to get it back, untouched, when they leave. Still, it's well worth evaluating what is being thrown out and how much this amounts to. Gathering as much data as feasibly possible will only help you when it comes time to evaluate the results and make changes to how your operation handles restaurant food waste. 2. Traffic log system Another common tool that many restaurants use is a daily log of how much traffic the restaurant received and what the weather was like. For example, a log may show that 280 guests were served on the Friday before Christmas and the weather was 50 degrees and sunny. While this data may not seem useful right away, it’s immensely helpful when it comes to planning for the following year’s customer volume. If chefs can get a baseline of how much traffic to expect, based on the previous year’s findings, they will have a better sense of how much food to order. As years go by, this data becomes more and more valuable because the trends become clearer. Many POS systems feature daily log capabilities, so it’s definitely something to look for when you choose a POS for your business. Back to Top 2. Seek Food Waste Solutions Once you know what’s being wasted, talk to your staff and try to think of ways to improve. What are the biggest contributors to food waste in your kitchen? Why are specific items thrown out? These are the questions that should be in the back of your mind as you look at the data. An easy way to think about the next steps is to break up your waste types into three categories: Pre-consumer waste - food that doesn’t even leave the kitchen Post-consumer waste - food that’s purchased by a customer, but not eaten Disposables - things like paper goods, plastic utensils, and packaging Next, consider the following options and determine which ways make the most sense to implement as solutions to each type of waste: Ways to Reduce Pre-Consumer Food Waste Pre-consumer waste is the area where you likely have the most opportunity for positive change because there are many factors within your control when it comes to ordering, storing, and prepping your ingredients as well as how you handle surplus ingredients. Evaluate inventory - If you find that food sits around too long in storage, make sure you’re not ordering too much. Maximize shelf life - If ingredients you need are going bad before you have a chance to use them, make sure perishables are being properly stored so that you’re not wasting ingredients before they are even cooked. Find ways of repurposing ingredients - Try making day-old bread into croutons, or put leftover turkey meat into a soup. Similarly, an innovative chef will be able to transform excess ingredients into a daily special. There are also a lot of great ways to use overripe fruit before it goes bad. Train staff to reduce food waste - Make sure your staff knows how much ingredients cost. Train them to treat each ingredient as if they bought it with their own money. Training staff on proper storage techniques such as how to flash freeze food will be a big help in reducing food waste. Proper preparation techniques also help to reduce the waste of perfectly good food. Keep your stock organized - Make sure that your perishables are getting used promptly by developing a refrigerator rotation system. Many restaurants call this the "first in, first out," system, or more commonly known as FIFO. Use stickers with the packaging date clearly written, or "Use First" written in large letters to help staff to recognize exactly which products need to be used quickly to prevent spoilage. Offer staff meals - If there’s just a small amount of ingredients left that won’t be enough for another dinner service, you can give it to your staff for free. Feeding your staff raises morale and prevents good food from being thrown away. Consider donating food - If you have items that are still safe for consumption but, for one reason or another, can’t be used, a local food bank may appreciate your contribution to feeding people in your community. Programs like Feeding America make it easy to put those unsellable leftovers to good use. Food banks will sometimes even come to your establishment and pick up food for free, and you can claim these charitable donations on your tax return. Food scraps can be used for animal feed - Many local farmers will provide low-cost or free pick up for food scraps, which can be fed to hogs or other animals. If you go this route, you will want to make sure you are following any local, state, or federal regulations on what can and can't be used for animal feed. It presents another chance to help out the local economy while cutting back on your food waste at the same time. The EPA offers a guide covering some additional ways to do this. Ways to Reduce Post-Consumer Waste There’s not much you can do with the food once it’s left your kitchen, but you can make sure that you’re presenting guests with the necessary information and proper portion sizes, so your customers know what to expect and can eat until they are comfortably full. Monitor portion sizes - If your portions are too big for customers to finish, try a portion scale or some portion spoons to make sure that your customers are getting an appropriate amount of food. Standardizing recipes is one way of ensuring that every member of your staff is plating the same amount of food every time. Manage customer expectations - Guests will be less likely to send a dish back if it’s been completely and accurately described on the menu. Make sure your wait staff can explain every item on the menu and answer any questions that guests may have. Track the popularity of each dish - If certain menu items are unpopular, you might want to consider adjusting the recipe or removing it from the menu. Encourage guests to take their food home with them - This is standard practice at most restaurants. Make sure you keep a variety of disposable containers on hand, so guests can take home whatever they can’t finish. Disposable Alternatives While the use of disposables aids in reducing food waste in restaurants, they are inherently designed to be thrown away, so be mindful of which disposables you choose and try to think of ways around using them whenever possible. Set Up Customer Incentives - If you own a cafe or convenience store, you can set up a discount for customers who bring their to-go mugs. Try Compostable Products - If there’s absolutely no way around using disposable items, try to choose items that are biodegradable whenever possible. Shop All Eco-Friendly Disposables Back to Top 3. Use Alternative Waste Disposal Options Consider alternative ways of disposing of your waste that doesn’t bury food, plastics, cans, and cardboard in a landfill. Composting - If you are fortunate enough to have space, you can compost on-site. If you don't have the space to run a composting program, finding a composter to take your scraps can still be more a cost-effective alternative to the traditional disposal methods. Essentially all you have to do is separate compost-worthy material from the regular "garbage". Composting centers are still gaining ground and therefore not as widespread as traditional landfills, but resources like make it easy to find a site near you. If composting sounds like a real possibility for managing restaurant food waste at your establishment, you can find out all the details in our article all about restaurant composting. Recycling - Recycling is a simple way to deal with plastic, cardboard, and glass waste that cannot be avoided, and many restaurants already implement it to reduce their environmental footprints. For more details about recycling, refer to our restaurant recycling article. Back to Top 4. Schedule Regular Check-Ins to Monitor Food Waste It’s important to assess your food waste regularly so that you can constantly monitor trends and implement any changes that may be necessary. No matter how delicious your recipe is, certain dishes can sometimes simply fall out of fashion as customers seek different, newer options. Staff members may move on, so you’ll have new employees to train and manage. There are so many factors that may contribute to increased waste within your carefully thought-out system, so checking in on them is just part of the process of reducing food waste in your restaurant. Back to Top Making Alternative Waste Disposal Work For You There can be many benefits to using alternative waste disposal methods, both environmental and financial. However, not every method will be a good fit for every restaurant. Luckily, the EPA offers handy tools for monitoring food waste management that can give you an idea of how cost-effective some of the above methods to reduce food waste can be and which ones could be a good fit for your business. What Does it Mean to Be a Zero-Waste Restaurant? A zero-waste restaurant means that a restaurant does not produce any trash or food waste that has to be taken to a landfill. There are few zero-waste restaurants around the world, but many food businesses are taking steps to implement zero-waste practices to minimize their carbon footprint on the world and embrace a completely eco-friendly ethos. Even if your business seems to have a good handle on its production of food waste, it's never a bad idea to dive a little deeper into how much restaurant food waste you produce daily. If your waste production turns out to be more than you thought, try taking some simple steps to better monitor and minimize your waste production. Your community, your planet, and your wallet will thank you for reducing food waste.


Compact Fluorescent Light (CFL) F.A.Q.'s

If you have questions about the benefits of Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs, how to use them, and how to dispose of CFL light bulbs, check out our FAQs below. We also have helpful tips on how to choose the right CFL bulb and how ENERGY STAR rated CFLs can save you money. Use the links below to jump


Top 10 Energy Conservation Tips for Restaurants

Reducing your restaurant's overall energy consumption not only lowers your utility costs, it's also better for the environment. Many food service professionals have been adopting energy conservation methods for the past decade and have drastically cut their energy use and expenses. Here, we've outlined energy conservation tips that will reduce your water and electricity use. 10 Energy Conservation Methods It can be easier than you think to reduce energy consumption in your kitchen with our energy-saving methods! Here are our top 10 tips for conserving energy in your business. Click any of the links below to read more about our energy-conservation tips: Energy Efficient Equipment Equipment Maintenance Reduce Water Consumption Efficient Lighting Decrease Heat Usage Reduce Ambient Temperature Shut Down Idle Equipment Efficient Kitchen Layout Train Your Staff Contact Your Utility Company 1. Use Energy Efficient Equipment Commercial equipment contributes a great deal to your restaurant's energy consumption, but your restaurant equipment doesn't have to guzzle resources. Many manufacturers offer equipment that uses a fraction of the energy of their other models, and switching to those designs could save your business thousands of dollars per year. High-Efficiency Fryers - Upgrading your deep fryer to an energy-efficient model will not only save you money on utilities, but it will save you money on fryer oil as well. New high-efficiency fryer models experience less scorching which extends the life of your oil. High-Efficiency Dish Machines - Using an Energy Star certified dish machine can save an average of $1,500 annually when compared to a standard model. Energy Star Rebates - Not only does Energy Star certified equipment use much less energy than standard equipment, but it might also qualify you for a rebate. Incentives and rebates vary depending on your location, so make sure to check the Energy Star website. 2. Perform Equipment Maintenance If you don't keep your equipment clean or service it regularly, it's probably working harder than it needs to be. There are a few simple preventative tasks you can perform on your own to increase your energy savings and extend the life of your equipment. Refrigerator Condenser Coils - The condenser coils on your refrigeration units become clogged with dust over time, which insulates the coils and prevents them from expelling heat. The result is that your unit has to work much harder to reach food-safe temperatures. Keeping your coils clean provides a major boost to the efficiency of your unit. Water Filters - Water filtration systems prevent calcification and mineral deposits in any equipment that connects to a water line. By replacing your water filters at the appropriate time, you ensure that scale buildup doesn't clog the internal components of your equipment and affect the efficiency of the unit. 3. Reduce Water Consumption Restaurants require large amounts of water to sustain operations. Thankfully, there are some simple ways to reduce water consumption in your restaurant and lower your water bill. Use Low-Flow Spray Valves - Replace your pre-rinse spray valves with newer models that have lower GPM (gallons per minute) ratings. These low-flow spray valves are easy to replace and use much less water than older spray valves. Install Low-Flow Aerators - Your hand-washing sinks don't need to have a high GPM flow rating. Consider using low-flow aerators or flow regulators that limit the amount of water flowing out of the faucet and lower the GPM to save you money. Repair Leaky Faucets - Over time, the drips from a single leaky faucet add up. Instead of wasting water and money, repair your faucets with new components. Many new faucet parts feature a cartridge design so you can swap them out quickly without calling a plumber. 4. Use Energy-Efficient Lighting By switching out incandescent light bulbs with energy-efficient lighting, you can drastically lower your lighting electricity costs. Not only will you save on your utility costs, but you'll also help the environment by conserving energy and lowering greenhouse emissions. LED Bulbs - LED bulbs use less electricity and last up to 10 times longer than a standard incandescent bulb. CFL Bulbs - Not quite as energy efficient as LEDs, CFL bulbs are still 4 times more efficient than standard incandescent bulbs. They produce more light than LEDs so they work well to light up large areas in your restaurant. 5. Decrease Heat Usage Look for little ways to decrease the heat usage in your restaurant like using less hot water or preventing your employees from making changes to the temperature settings on your thermostat. Invest in a Smart Thermostat - Smart thermostats can be programmed remotely to optimize energy use. Many are also tamper-resistant to prevent unauthorized adjustments. Lower Water Temps on Your Dish Machine - Mandatory dishwashing temperatures in the food service industry are around 140 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the NRA. Double-check the requirements for your area, then optimize your water temperature so you don't use water that's hotter than it needs to be. Unheated Hand Dryers - Energy-efficient hand dryers that rely on forced air instead of heated air can use up to 80% less energy than a standard hand dryer. Back to Top 6. Reduce Ambient Temperatures in Your Kitchen When the ambient temperatures in your kitchen are too high, your refrigeration equipment works extra hard to keep foods chilled. By keeping ambient heat to a minimum, you can ensure the most efficient operation of your reach-ins and coolers. Use Induction Equipment - Induction cooking equipment works without the use of a flame or burner. They transfer heat directly to your cookware while the surrounding air stays cool. Kitchen Exhaust Hoods - Use condensate hoods above your dish machines and steam equipment to help remove hot air from your kitchen. Use LEDs - Make sure to use LED lightbulbs in your kitchen and prep areas because they don't emit as much heat as incandescent bulbs. 7. Shut Down Idle Equipment Conserving energy can be as easy as turning off a light switch. This may sound simple, but countless restaurants waste hundreds of dollars a month because they leave idle equipment running. Use a Startup/Shutdown Schedule - Take the time to observe when your equipment units are being used the most and create a schedule for starting up and shutting down. During downtime, turn off the range or the fryer and begin preheating again when business picks up. Lighting Timers - Use timers for your outdoor lighting, or even try solar-powered outdoor lights that can charge themselves. Smart Controls - Investing in equipment with smart control technology allows you to start up your appliances remotely. 8. Make Your Kitchen Layout More Efficient The layout of your kitchen can directly affect the efficiency of your equipment. There are a couple of basic rules to keep in mind that will ensure your appliances are operating at peak performance. Breathing Space - Your refrigeration equipment needs room to breathe and expel hot air as part of the cooling process. Without proper ventilation space around the unit, it uses more energy to stay cool. Separate Heating and Cooling Equipment - If you place your oven next to your ice machine, the ambient air will be hotter and the ice machine won't operate efficiently. 9. Train Staff to Follow Energy-Efficient Protocols Besides buying energy-efficient equipment, cutting your costs rests on your shoulders and those of your staff members. To be successful with your new plan, your team must understand your guidelines. Outline Your Protocol - Make sure to highlight your energy-saving protocols in your employee handbook and all training sessions with new employees to get them started on the right foot. Post Reminders - Without a visual queue, it can be hard to remember every guideline. Post reminders above your sink, next to your light switches, and anywhere else in your kitchen that will help your employees follow your protocols. 10. Contact Your Utility Company If you've followed all of the previous steps and you're still not seeing any effect on your utility bills, try contacting your utility company directly. They can provide you with an assessment of how much energy you use, as well as how much it's costing you. Once you have that information, you can set realistic goals for your business and begin implementing a serious energy conservation plan. Back to Top While some restaurant owners may see energy conservation as an obstacle or a nuisance, the benefits of going green include lower expenses, a market for earth-loving customers, and a positive feeling about giving back to the environment. There are many things about owning a business that you probably can't control, like the cost of your location, your water and electricity provider, or your utility expenses. Nevertheless, you can control your usage of heat, lighting, and water to an extent. By using these tips, you'll start to see measurable benefits that will help your restaurant reduce waste and save money. Earth-conscious customers will appreciate your dedication to conserving energy, and the environment will, too!


Types of Eco-Friendly Food Packaging

As businesses seek to reduce their environmental impact, eliminating waste from plastics used in take-out and grab-and-go is one significant way food service establishments can go green. Eco-friendly disposables are a recyclable replacement for single-use Styrofoam containers and plastic bags, makin

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What Is a Charger Plate?

A charger plate is a large, decorative plate that acts as a base for other dinnerware. Also known as service plates, under plates, or chop plates, charger plates are purely ornamental and aren't safe for direct food contact. They create attractive table presentations at weddings, corporate parties, and banquets, making them an essential item on catering supplies checklists for formal events. They're also a key feature at fine dining establishments. From how to use a charger plate to the different types of charger plates available, we explain everything you need to know about service plates. Shop All Charger Plates Skip ahead to the charger plate information that interests you: What Is a Charger Plate Used For? How to Use Charger Plates How to Set a Table with Charger Plates Types of Charger Plates Charger Plate Materials Charger Plate FAQ What Is a Charger Plate Used For? Charger plates serve both aesthetic and practical purposes. Visually, charger plates provide elegance and enhance table decor. Practically, they protect the table and tablecloth from becoming dirty during service and help retain heat in dinnerware. Fine dining establishments use charger plates to serve full-course meals by presenting each course in a separate bowl or plate atop the charger. Discover the classic and creative uses for charger plates below. Use charger plates as a base for dinnerware. Charger plates retain heat in dinnerware, so placing your bowls of soup and dinner plates atop them preserves food temperature. Charger plates protect tables and tablecloths. Use charger plates as a tray or platter to pass around small appetizers or desserts, but make sure to place a doily or linen napkin on top of the charger so food isn't resting atop it. Group pillar candles together atop charger plates to create elegant centerpieces. Use charger plates as color bases for floral centerpieces. How to Use a Charger Plate Since charger plates are used as decorative table pieces in upscale settings, there are certain formalities that you should follow when you use service plates. Follow these fine dining etiquette rules when using charger plates at your upscale catered event, wedding, white tablecloth restaurant, or dinner party: Prepare in advance. Charger plates should be dressed and ready when guests arrive. Follow proper placement guidelines. For perfect alignment, place charger plates 1 inch away from the bottom edge of the table. Avoid direct food contact. Never serve food directly on top of a charger plate, unless it is coated in a food-safe material. Wait for guests to finish eating. Chargers are always removed from the table after all guests are finished eating the main entree. Chargers should then be taken away with the dinner plate still on top, as this clears the table and leaves it ready for dessert to be served. How to Set a Table with Charger Plates Follow the instruction below to properly set a table with charger plates. Choose a charger plate. Select a charger plate that complements the decor of your dining table and adds visual interest to your event’s overall feel. Take into consideration the other tabletop elements that will be placed directly beside the charger plates. Set the table. Place a charger at each guest's place setting. Chargers should be 2 feet from one another to give guests enough elbow room. Set it on top of the tablecloth or placemat, in between the arranged flatware, and below the beverage glasses. Coordinate table accessories. Align menu cards, napkins with napkin rings, or name cards in the middle of the charger plate for use before the dinner service. Serve your guests. When you serve each course, place soup bowls, salad plates, and dinner entrees directly on top of the charger. Clean your charger plate: After each course, charger plates should be wiped clean or replaced to maintain the purity of the table. Back to Top Types of Charger Plates Charger plates come in many different sizes, styles, and materials. When it comes to picking the right charger plate for your dining area, there are a few common features to consider. Check out the different types of charger plates below to decide which service plate style works best for you. Dishwasher-Safe Charger Plates - Opt for dishwasher-safe charger plates for faster clean-up at the end of service. Environmentally Friendly Charger Plates - Choosing eco-friendly charger plates made from sustainable materials makes a positive impact on the environment. Interestingly Shaped Charger Plates - Charger plates are available in a variety of shapes, allowing you to find the best shape for your table. Charger Plate Materials WebstaurantStore features charger plates in a variety of materials, including the ones listed below. You may use the links directly below the images to navigate to our selection of chargers in that particular material. Acrylic Metal Faux Wood Glass Melamine Plastic Porcelain Rattan Stainless Steel Charger Plate FAQ We answer frequently asked questions about charger plates below. Why Is It Called a Charger Plate? The term charger plate is derived from the Old English word chargeour which describes any method of carrying heavy items. Chargoeur plates, the early ancestors of modern charger plates, became popular between 1274 and 1325 in England. The Latin root of the word chargoeur is carricane, meaning “to load". The original chargoeur plates were much larger than the ones you’ll see in restaurants today; they were used to carry whole roasted pigs to the tables. As this is no longer a common fine dining practice, charger plates have evolved with the times to accommodate elegant plated service. Why Are Charger Plates Not Safe for Food? Most charger plates are not safe for food because they have decorative coatings and paints that aren’t safe to eat off. Toxins from the decorative paints can seep into food and pose health hazards. If you want to serve food directly off your charger plate, choose service plates that specifically say they are safe for food contact. Are Charger Plates Out of Style? While fine dining isn’t as popular as it used to be, charger plates themselves are not out of style. On any occasion where caterers and restaurants want to create an elegant table setting, charger plates are useful tools. They’re still a key feature of fine dining, banquets, and weddings. Do You Use Chargers with Placemats? Yes, you can use chargers with placemats. When you set your table, place the charger plate atop your placemat beneath the beverage glassware, sandwiched between the arranged flatware. However, you don't have to use a placemat with a service plate and can place the charger directly on the tablecloth. Whether you use a placemat or not, always arrange your charger plates 2 feet from each other to provide guests with ample elbow space. Do You Use Charger Plates for Buffet? Charger plates prevent tables from looking bare at buffets. Your guests will likely grab a plate at the buffet line, so dressing your table with the charger plate in advance creates an elegant presentation at each place setting. Make sure guests understand the chargers are not their actual plates and they must not eat off of them. Back to Top Whether you're hosting a formal get-together, catering a wedding, or planning a reunion, charger plates are an important part of bringing a table together. No matter what formal event you're planning, use the information above to adhere to the proper use, etiquette, and presentation of charger plates.


Folding Table Buying Guide

Coming in a variety of materials, shapes, and sizes, folding tables are great for indoor or outdoor events, banquets, parties, or even healthcare and institutional use. Thanks to their foldable designs, they offer a way to transform empty rooms into dining areas or lecture halls in minutes and maxim


Different Types of Table Skirting

Table skirting can transform any table from dreary and drab to tidy and professional! Whether you're setting up for a business event or giving out free samples to showcase your products, table skirts are a great way to improve the overall look of your display.


Chafing Fuels Guide

Chafing fuels are an essential component for any catering or buffet setup, providing a reliable and efficient heat source to keep food warm and ready to serve. These fuels are specifically designed to be used with chafing dishes, which are commonly used in hotels, restaurants, and catering events. C


Free Catering Invoice Templates

When it comes to running a successful catering business, organization is key. One essential element of keeping your business organized is having a well-designed catering invoice. A catering invoice not only helps you keep track of your orders and payments, but it also serves as a professional document that showcases your business. Catering Invoice Template An essential document to any catering business, a catering invoice provides clients with a detailed breakdown of services and expenses, while explicitly stating the payment conditions. To help you get a head start, we've created a catering invoice that you can download for use! Choose from blue, gray, green, and yellow invoice templates to match your aesthetic. Simply click to download. Parts of a Catering Invoice Understanding the different components of a catering invoice is crucial for both caterers and clients, as it ensures clear communication, transparent financial transactions, and effective record-keeping. This section will delve into the key parts of a catering invoice so you can provide a seamless catering experience to your customers. 1. Client Contact Information The client contact information section of a catering invoice captures vital details such as the client's name, address, phone number, and email. Additionally, the date the invoice was issued, invoice number, and customer ID (if applicable) should be entered for future ease of reference. 2. Company Contact Information The company contact information section includes essential details about your business, including your name, address, phone number, email, and the salesperson your clients will be working with. This information ensures effective communication with your clients and helps maintain a clear line of contact throughout the catering process. 3. Event Details The event details section of a catering invoice outlines crucial information about the event, including the type of job you've accepted (for example, "Catered Wedding"), date, time, location, and specific instructions or requests provided by the client. It should also include the payment terms and payment due date. 4. Ordered Services The ordered services section provides a comprehensive breakdown of the charged services and associated costs so you can be fully transparent with your clients. Fill out the table by listing each menu or service item ordered along with the quantity, unit price, and subtotal for each item. This section should also list applicable local or state taxes, gratuities, and additional fees like transportation costs and overage fees for longer service hours. It provides a clear understanding of the financial obligations beyond the base cost of the catering services. 5. Amount Due The amount due section outlines the total payment owed by the client. This section consolidates all the expenses, including the base cost, any local and state taxes, service charges, and any other applicable fees. By clearly stating the total amount due, clients can easily understand their financial obligations and make timely payments. To ensure a smooth financial transaction, it is a good idea to set up payment installments with your clients and have the invoice paid prior to the time of service. If last-minute charges occur, such as overtime fees, additional products and services ordered, or damages, an updated invoice with an outstanding balance can be sent over to the client. 6. Terms and Conditions Be sure to provide a separate sheet that includes your catering terms and conditions. Info should include your liability insurance, the final date that a client can make changes to the guest count or menu, and payment information. Make it clear to your client when their initial deposit is due, the refundable amount (in the event of cancellation), and when the final payment is due. Additionally, you should outline your cancellation policy and decide whether or not a client will receive a refund if they cancel by a specific date. Catering Invoice Pricing Considerations Determining the right pricing structure requires careful evaluation of various factors to ensure that costs are covered while remaining competitive in the market. From ingredient costs and labor expenses to customer demand, we will explore the key pricing considerations that caterers must take into account when setting prices. 1. Service and Staffing Cost Be sure to consider the cost of service at your catered event. This includes the number of servers, bussers, bartenders, and other wait staff needed. This will vary depending on what type of service is being provided. Examples include buffet service, tray-passed appetizers, sit-down service, and various other dining events. The type of dishware you use can also affect the cost when it comes to hiring dishwashers after events. You'll have to decide if you'd rather invest in reusable dinnerware or stick with disposable plastic dinnerware to save on labor costs. 2. Menu and Beverage Cost Include the complete breakdown of the catering menu that the client will receive at their event. This will prevent disputes in pricing down the road. If you are a multi-faceted catering company and handle a variety of event types, consider creating menu templates for specific occasions (holiday parties, wedding ceremonies, birthdays, concerts). It can be tricky to offer alcohol service at events if you have not yet acquired your liquor license. Licensing rules vary by state, so consider filing for one-day permits for beer and wine. Or, partner with an establishment that has an on-premise license and will extend the license to your catered event if you share profits with them. 3. Equipment Cost When pricing a catered event, it is crucial to take into account the associated equipment costs. The specific equipment and supplies needed for an event can vary widely depending on factors such as the menu, guest count, and venue requirements. This may include items such as chafing dishes, serving trays, beverage dispensers, cutlery, glassware, linens, and specialized cooking or food preparation equipment. Some events may also necessitate the use of additional items like tables, chairs, tents, or audiovisual equipment. Assess whether your business owns the required equipment or if it needs to be rented or purchased specifically for the event. 4. Miscellaneous Below are several more factors that contribute to the overall catering costs and need to be considered when planning an event. Minimum and Maximum Guest Count - The guest count directly impacts the quantity of food and resources required so you will need to decide the minimum count you can cater to for profitability as well as the maximum count your company can effectively serve. Cost Per Person - The cost per person, which accounts for both adults and children, determines the base pricing structure. Overage Fees - Overtime fees may apply if the service hours extend beyond the agreed-upon time frame. Hours of Work - The hours of work put in by the catering staff contribute to labor expenses. Upcharging for Holidays and Seasonally Busy Times - You may want to increase your service fees during holidays and peak seasons to accommodate increased demand. Venue Cost - Will the event space be provided by the client, or are you expected to provide the location? Travel Expenses - Travel expenses, including gas money and necessary food-holding equipment, should be factored in when calculating the overall catering expenses. A catering invoice goes beyond being a simple financial document and serves as a powerful communication and organizational tool. A professionally crafted catering invoice provides clients with transparency, clarity, and trust in the services provided. By clearly outlining the services, costs, and payment terms, it helps prevent disputes and misunderstandings. Moreover, an invoice serves as valuable documentation for financial record-keeping and facilitates efficient bookkeeping.

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How to Set Up a Warehouse

If you've outgrown your current space, starting your own warehouse could be the next logical step in storing and selling your company’s products online. Or it could be a profitable new venture to create a warehouse and rent out your space to other businesses. No matter what your business goals are, setting up a warehouse from scratch requires some careful planning. The layout and allocation of your space need to be mapped out early on. We’ve created this warehouse layout guide to help you set up any type of warehouse for maximum efficiency. Shop All Industrial Supplies Click below to learn more about basic warehouse design: Inbound Loading Dock Receiving Storage and Putaway Picking Shipping Outbound Loading Dock Other Warehouse Spaces Common Warehouse Layouts Warehouse Layout Before you being laying out the schematic of your warehouse, you should be familiar with the essential functions of a fulfillment center and the equipment used to handle materials. Goods come in, they get put away in storage, and they get picked for shipping. To make this happen, the goods flow from one section of the warehouse to the next. Your warehouse setup will be the most successful if you provide space for the following locations: 1. Inbound Loading Dock The loading dock, also called a receiving dock or loading bay, is the entry point where inbound trucks deliver goods to your warehouse. On the exterior of the building, a large parking area provides room for trucks to back up to the building. The dock floor is built to be flush with the truck beds so workers inside the building can enter the trailer with forklifts and pallet jacks. Loading Dock Layout Tips The parking area outside the dock should provide enough room for the largest trucks to turn around and back up to the loading bay. Dock height should be based on the bed height of the most common delivery vehicle used. Consider the number of pallets you'll be unloading during peak delivery times and allocate space for the goods and the loading dock equipment. 2. Receiving The receiving process begins as soon as goods are unloaded on the dock. Shipments are inspected, invoices are checked, and permanent storage locations are assigned for each item. By allocating a holding space for these tasks to be performed, you avoid bottlenecks when multiple shipments arrive at once. A successful receiving area should be located right next to the inbound loading dock. You’ll need space for pallets and boxes to be unloaded and a temporary space for receiving tasks to be performed. The receiving manager needs a home base to work from, which might include a permanent desk with outlets for a computer and room for filing cabinets if you use paper invoices. Receiving Area Layout Tips You can make your receiving process more efficient by including space for temporary holding locations where goods can be staged before putaway. Allow space for performing a thorough quality control check before goods are put in storage. Catching any defects or damage now will help you in the long run. 3. Storage and Putaway Most of the square footage in your warehouse will be dedicated to storage space. When you look at your warehouse space in terms of cubic feet, your storage area should take up between 22% to 27% of the total warehouse space. That percentage may sound small, but it’s because cubic feet accounts for all the vertical space in between the floor and ceiling, not just floor space. For maximum efficiency, you’ll need to take advantage of the clear height of your warehouse. What Is Clear Height in a Warehouse? Clear height is the maximum usable vertical space in your warehouse where goods can be stored. The clear height in your building will be lower than the ceiling height and must account for sprinkler systems or ductwork. Storage Area Layout Tips Take advantage of the available clear height by using pallet racks and industrial shelving to store goods vertically. Using warehouse management system software helps you to maximize your storage space and assign locations. Aisles in your storage area need to be wide enough to accommodate pallet jacks (4' to 5' wide) and/or forklifts (12' to 13' wide) Don't forget to install the proper lighting in your storage area so that goods are visible to order pickers. 4. Picking Picking is the process of retrieving goods from storage to fulfill customer orders. The warehouse employees that perform this task are called pickers. Your picking area is the home base for order pickers — it's the place where they receive their list of items and where they bring orders that are fulfilled. Picking should be located very close to the storage area and may even share some square footage. The picking area should have enough room to store picking equipment like forklifts and pallet jacks. You'll also need space for the picking manager's desk and computers for accessing the warehouse management system. Picking Area Layout Tips Add space in your layout for roller conveyors to carry fulfilled orders from picking to shipping. If your warehouse is small and you don't store items on pallets, shopping carts and shopping baskets can be used to collect smaller items during picking. 5. Shipping After orders have been picked, they are sent to the shipping and packaging area to be boxed up for fulfillment. The shipping area should be close to your storage and picking locations so that goods flow efficiently from one area to the next. Make space in your shipping area for shipping stations — work tables that are set up with all the shipping supplies your workers need to package goods. Shipping Area Layout Tips Besides shipping stations and packing tables, you’ll need space to store your backup inventory of shipping boxes and supplies. It can be helpful to add space for order staging, or organizing shipments by carrier so they are ready to be loaded onto outbound trucks. 6. Outbound Loading Dock The outbound loading dock is the end of the line for your products. It's the exit point where goods are loaded onto trucks for shipping. Just like the inbound loading bay, the outbound bay area should be the same height as the truck beds that back up to the dock. Pallets that are staged in the shipping area can be quickly moved onto trucks and then onto their final destination. Creating two loading bays (inbound and outbound) in your warehouse is necessary for a couple of reasons. For efficiency, goods should always be flowing forward in your warehouse. If you use the same dock for shipping and receiving, you will have goods moving both ways, which creates space issues and confusion. You also have to consider the truck yard and how many trucks are coming and going from your warehouse. Separating the inbound and outbound traffic helps alleviate bottlenecks. Outbound Loading Dock Layout Tips Include plans for proper ventilation on your loading dock because idling trucks create a lot of exhaust fumes. Organizing outbound shipments by carrier type helps to make shipping more efficient. Provide enough space for your outbound loading equipment like pallet wrap machines, pallet jacks, and dock ramps. Other Warehouse Spaces There are other warehouse spaces you'll need to include in your building layout. These locations aren't related to the product cycle but are necessary for business operations. Returns No one wants to think about their products being returned, but it's a fact of life that returns will happen, and they need to be processed the right way. A separate space for processing returns helps to keep those items segregated from the other products in your warehouse. Returns require their own receiving, inspection, and putaway process. Offices In smaller warehouses environments where you are the owner and operations manager all-in-one, you might not need a dedicated office space. Sometimes a desk on the floor of the warehouse or a mezzanine will do. But in other cases, where you have a diversified team of managers and supervisors, it's useful to have office spaces for conducting phone calls, meetings, and administrative duties. Breakrooms Your employees need a place to take breaks, eat their lunch, and store their personal belongings. Designing a space for your workers to unwind when they are off the clock is important for job satisfaction and employee retention. Restrooms Restrooms are essential for any business. You'll need to base the number of restrooms in your warehouse on the size of your workforce. If you have under 15 employees, one restroom might be sufficient. OSHA provides guidance on their restroom and sanitation requirements page. Maintenance and Parts Outside of the storage space needed to hold your products, you'll need a space to store all the parts and replacements that keep your warehouse running. Items like lightbulbs, hardware for industrial equipment, and tools for performing maintenance should all have an organized home in your warehouse. Types of Warehouse Layouts If you are building a warehouse from the ground up, there are three popular layouts that you can rely on when you plan your schematic. These designs all feature a universal rule — keep the inbound and outbound docks separated. U-Shaped Warehouse U-shaped warehouses are very common. The layout is similar to a semi-circle, with the inbound loading dock on one side and the outbound dock on the opposite side. Storage and picking are usually stationed in the center. Products are delivered on one side of the U and flow in one direction to the other side. I-Shaped Warehouse In the I-shaped layout, also called a through-flow layout, the warehouse is shaped like a large rectangle. The inbound dock is positioned at one end of the rectangle with the outbound dock on the opposite side. Storage is located in the middle of the rectangle. L-Shaped Warehouse The L-shaped warehouse also positions the inbound and outbound docks on opposite sides. The flow of traffic and goods move from one side of the L to the far side, with storage located in the "corner". With the increase of consumer online ordering and e-commerce fulfillment, warehouse space has become very valuable. If your business is outgrowing a garage or stock room, it might be time to think about building your own warehouse space to store and distribute goods. Keep all the essential warehouse functions in mind when you create a layout and don't forget to account for future growth.


Types of Casters

Whether you are replacing existing casters or looking to add casters as an accessory to equipment, this guide will take you through the types of caster mounts, styles, and wheel materials to help you determine which type of caster best fits your needs.Shop All Casters


Generator Buying Guide

Food spoils when the refrigerator won't cool, chefs can't cook when the oven won't heat, and power tools are useless when you're off the grid. Whether electrical access is unavailable or the power goes out in your building, you need a way to keep things running. That's where generators come into pla


How to Use a Fire Extinguisher

A fire extinguisher is an essential fire safety tool to keep in any workplace. For the safety of your employees and guests, it is required by law for any commercial business to keep a fire extinguisher readily available. Many states even require employees to be trained to use one. Below, we’ll investigate the different parts of a fire extinguisher, how to properly use one, and how to properly clean up fire extinguisher residue. Shop All Fire Extinguishers Click any of the links below to jump to the fire extinguisher tips you need: Fire Extinguisher Parts How to Properly Use a Fire Extinguisher Cleaning Fire Extinguisher Residue Cleaning Dry Chemical Fire Extinguisher Residue Cleaning Wet Chemical Fire Extinguisher Residue Cleaning Dry Powder Fire Extinguisher Residue Fire Extinguisher Video If you've never used a fire extinguisher before, watch the video below for a step-by-step guide on how to use one properly: <iframe scrolling="no" width="392" height="226" src="/v/?num=11949&amp;width=600&amp;height=500&amp;embed=1" frameborder="0"></iframe> Parts of a Fire Extinguisher Although there are different types of fire extinguishers, most share the same general design. To fully understand how to use a fire extinguisher, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the different parts, what they do, and how they work with one another. Below, we’ll introduce the eight different parts of a fire extinguisher and what they are used for: Safety pin: The safety pin is a key part of the fire extinguisher. It is inserted into the valve to prevent accidental discharge and must be removed before attempting to use your fire extinguisher. Discharge lever: The discharge lever is what allows you to operate the fire extinguisher. After removing the safety pin, this lever can be pushed to use the fire extinguisher. Carrying handle: As its name suggests, the carrying handle allows you to carry and transport the fire extinguisher. Pressure gauge: A pressure gauge displays the pressure inside a fire extinguisher’s canister. If the pressure is too low, your extinguisher will not operate correctly. Pickup tube: Sometimes referred to as a discharge hose, a pickup tube is what allows an extinguishing agent to travel from the tank to the nozzle. Gas canister: The gas canister stores expellant, which is released when one pulls the nozzle. It propels the extinguishing agent out of the fire extinguisher. Extinguishing agent: An extinguishing agent is a chemical substance stored within the fire extinguisher’s tank. It is expelled from the nozzle to quickly put out fires. Discharge nozzle: A discharge nozzle is located on the end of a fire extinguisher’s hose and is what the extinguishing agent is dispersed through. Back to Top Fire Extinguisher Instructions When using a fire extinguisher, there is a simple technique to help you remember the proper instructions to put out a fire. The PASS technique is a four-step method that walks the user through exactly how to properly use a fire extinguisher. We'll break down each step of the fire extinguisher PASS system and how it can help you correctly use a fire extinguisher: PASS Technique Pull: To use your fire extinguisher, pull the safety pin and release the locking mechanism. Be sure to point the nozzle away from yourself and others. Aim: Once you've pulled the pin, aim your fire extinguisher at the base of the fire. This ensures that you are extinguishing the fire at the source. Squeeze: To begin putting out the fire, squeeze the lever of your fire extinguisher slowly and evenly to ensure the expellant is dispersed correctly. Sweep: While aiming at the base of the fire, sweep the nozzle from side to side to ensure you extinguish the fire evenly. How to Clean Fire Extinguisher Residue Hopefully, you never encounter a situation in which you need to use a fire extinguisher in your workplace. In the unfortunate event that you do, it’s important to know not just how to use a fire extinguisher, but how to clean up after using one. Before you begin cleaning fire extinguisher residue, consider the following factors: Residue type: There are three main types of fire extinguisher residue: dry chemical residue, wet chemical residue, and dry powder residue. Each requires specific clean-up methods. Check the label of your fire extinguisher to see what expellant type it uses to prepare appropriately. Safety concerns: Although fire extinguisher residues are typically considered to be non-toxic, exposure to residue can sometimes result in irritated eyes or skin. Remember to have safety equipment on hand and take the appropriate steps to limit contact with residue after it’s been used. How to Clean Dry Chemical Fire Extinguisher Residue Dry chemical fire extinguishers, such as ABC fire extinguishers, put out fires by covering them with a layer of dust that separates the fire from oxygen in the air. Their powder is corrosive, meaning that it will damage metal surfaces and even electronics if left in place. To protect yourself from these chemicals, consider wearing appropriate PPE like dust masks, gloves, and eye protection. To clean up after using a dry chemical fire extinguisher, follow the steps below: Remove excess residue: Using a vacuum or broom, remove as much of the excess residue as you can. Mix cleaning solution: The solution you use depends on the type of residue left over. For silicone-based residue, use a solution of 50% isopropyl alcohol and 50% warm water. For sodium bicarbonate or potassium bicarbonate residue, use a solution of 98% hot water and 2% vinegar. For monoammonium based residue, use a solution of hot water and baking soda. Spray: Using your cleaning solution, spray the area to remove any leftover residue. Let the solution settle: No matter what solution you have to use, be sure to let it settle for five minutes. Giving the solution time to settle ensures that the area is properly cleaned. Wash and rinse: Using soap and water, clean the area once more to ensure any remnants are removed. How to Clean Wet Chemical Fire Extinguisher Residue Wet chemical fire extinguishers are commonly used to extinguish fires that occur while cooking. In particular, they are effective at combatting grease fires caused by oils and fats. For safety reasons, be sure to protect your hands, eyes, and mouth while cleaning wet chemical fire extinguisher residue. To effectively clean up after using this type of extinguisher, adhere to the steps below: Disable fuel: Turn off all fuel sources connected to cooking equipment that might be in the vicinity. Scrub: Using a sponge or cloth, scrub the area with hot water and soap. Rinse: After scrubbing, rinse the affected area thoroughly. How to Clean Up Dry Powder Fire Extinguisher Residue A dry powder fire extinguisher is typically used to extinguish fires stemming from combustible metals, often found in warehouses or factories. As you clean, remember to protect your hands and eyes as you clean up residue from this type of extinguisher. To best clean up after using a dry powder extinguisher, follow these steps: Remove powder: Using a vacuum cleaner or brush, remove as much excess powder as you can. Dispose of powder: Place the powder you’ve removed in a plastic bag, sealing it afterward. Dispose of the bag in the trash. Wash: Using a damp cloth, clean up any remaining residue on the affected surface. Back to Top Knowing how to use a fire extinguisher is an essential skill for anyone working in the foodservice or hospitality industry. By familiarizing yourself with the different parts of a fire extinguisher, the PASS method, and the varying ways that you can clean up fire extinguisher residue, you'll be able to prepare for emergencies that might occur in the workplace. Check out our fire extinguisher reviews to find the right one for your business. <aside class="pquote"> <blockquote> The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice. Please refer to our Content Policy for more details. </blockquote> </aside>


How to Install Casters on a Work Table

Kitchen work tables are an essential piece of equipment in foodservice establishments, and chefs use them to perform a variety of food prep tasks. While work tables provide an excellent space for kitchen prep, it's difficult to clean beneath a stationary table. That's where casters come in! It's easy to install casters onto a stainless steel work table with a short tutorial. We'll teach you how to install Regency swivel stem casters onto the legs of your stainless steel work table. Shop All Casters Installing Casters Video Check out our casters video tutorial to learn how to install casters on your kitchen prep table. We'll walk you through the steps to installing Regency swivel stem casters on your work table legs. <iframe scrolling="no" width="392" height="226" src="/v/?num=5126&amp;width=600&amp;height=500&amp;embed=1" frameborder="0"></iframe> What Are Casters? Casters are wheels that install on the legs of your work tables or other pieces of equipment to make them mobile. Many casters are also outfitted with brakes, so you can hold your work table in one place during use, and then release the brakes and move it when necessary. Why Should You Use Casters? Installing casters on your work tables, work benches, and other pieces of equipment is useful because you can easily move the products around when cleaning. This ensures that you don't miss any spots beneath your tables or behind your pieces of equipment. While you can move equipment that doesn't have casters, it's heavy and difficult, and there is a chance you can scratch your floors, making installing casters the ideal option. How To Choose the Right Casters Many work tables and equipment stands are compatible with a type of caster called a stem caster. Instead of being mounted with a plate and screws, stem casters fit inside the hollow legs of the work table. To find the right casters, match up the stem diameter with the leg diameter. Most tables and casters will have a 1 1/2” or 1 5/8” diameter. For other types of equipment, like shelving units and work carts, the stem may have a more narrow diameter. Make sure to review compatibility info when pairing casters with your equipment. How to Install Casters Here is a step-by-step guide on how to install casters on your work tables. 1.Flip your table over onto a blanket or box to prevent the surface from getting scratched. Then, use an Allen wrench to remove the legs from the work table. 2.Use a broom handle to pop the feet off your table's legs. 3.Turn the nut on top of your caster, which will expand a plastic piece, giving you a tight fit inside the leg. Turn the nut until you find the right thickness for your work table. 4.Once you've found the right setting, loosen it slightly and insert the caster into the leg of your table. 5.Then, using a wrench or pair of pliers, tighten the screw on the bottom of the caster to expand the plastic piece and create a snug and secure fit. 6.Reassemble your table by placing the legs into the tabletop gussets and then tightening the screws with an Allen wrench to secure them in place. 7.Flip your table back over and you're done. By following these simple steps you can easily install casters on your work tables in a few minutes. Work tables are common pieces of equipment in foodservice, and you can find them in restaurants, diners, cafeterias, and other kitchens all over the world. And, adding casters to these products makes them mobile, making it easier to clean your floors and walls and ensuring you don't miss any dirt or grime.


Emergency Supplies List For Businesses

A part of overall restaurant safety is to ensure that you have a business disaster plan in place to help protect your employees and customers in the event of an emergency. Whether it's a fire, an extended power outage, or a natural disaster, having the proper emergency supplies available can sometimes impact survival. Being properly prepared can even affect the overall success of your business after the emergency has passed. We have created an emergency supplies checklist to help your business prepare for unpredictable circumstances. Shop All Emergency Supplies Click below for a downloadable emergency preparedness supplies checklist: Download our Emergency Supplies Checklist PDF Emergency Supplies The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), a division of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, urges business owners to stock up on appropriate emergency supplies along with assembling a survival kit for their workplace in order to keep employees safe. You’ll want items that can alert you of emergencies when they happen, as well as items that can get the attention of rescue teams if necessary. Having a list of emergency supplies for survival available can help you prepare before a crisis occurs. Emergency Lighting Exit Signs Building Map with Clearly Marked Exits Fire Extinguishers Smoke Alarms Portable Gas Stoves Chafing Dish Fuel Commercial Generators Flashlights Light Sticks Flares Whistle Spare Cell Phone Spare Keys Portable Hand-Cranked or Battery-Powered Radio (with access to weather alerts from the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration) First Aid Supplies First aid items are an essential part of any survival kit checklist. Having the ability to treat minor injuries during a crisis can help keep your employees safe and calm. While standard first aid kits don’t require an AED (automated external defibrillator), keeping one on-hand could save someone's life if a cardiac emergency arises. You may also ask your employees to bring a few days worth of their daily prescription medications that they can secure in their desks in case they are unable to leave the premises in the event of an emergency. Sturdy First Aid Bag or Case Sterile Gauze Pads Alcohol Wipes Bandages Sterile Gloves Antiseptic Lotion Burn Ointment Pain Reliever and Fever Reducers Antihistamines Thermometer Scissors Tweezes Eye Wash Solution Food and Water During some weather-related emergencies, it is possible that roads may not be clear or safe for the people in your establishment to head home. This makes stocking up on food and water vital to disaster planning. When putting together your disaster supplies list, be sure to add enough water to provide one gallon per person for at least 3 days. Choose non-perishable food items that have a long shelf life and are high in energy. Along with non-perishable food items, your food stores should include options that do not require cooking and that will not induce thirst. Plan to provide food for your present employees and customers for 3 days. You’ll want to keep your emergency food supplies separate from your restaurant’s daily food stock in the organization of your storeroom. Be sure to also stock up on disposable plates and utensils for your employees to use as part of your emergency food supply list. Bottled Water Canned Vegetables Canned and Dried Fruits Canned and Jerky Meats Grains and Beans Rice Nuts Peanut Butter Jams and Jellies Cereal Bars Tools Be sure to stock up on a variety of tools for your business so you can perform emergency tasks, such as repairing damaged items, shutting off water and gas valves, or cutting away at obstructive metal. Wrenches Pliers Multi-Tool Pocket Knives Hammers Nails Crowbar Scissors Duct Tape Rope or Bungee Cords Matches and Lighters Plastic Tarps Light Bulbs Batteries Chargers Water Filters Water Purification Tablets Chlorine Bleach and an Eye Dropper (use 16 drops of unscented bleach to purify one gallon of water) Safety Apparel To keep your employees safe during a crisis, it’s important to have some safety gear stored away that can protect them from debris and other environmental elements. You may ask employees to keep some apparel, such as a pair of sturdy shoes and an extra jacket, at the office as part of your business emergency preparedness plan. Hard Hats Protective Safety Glasses Respirators and Dust Masks (a cotton t-shirt over the mouth and nose can also be used for air filtration in dusty conditions) Protective Clothing Gloves Sturdy Boots Thermal Blankets Rain Ponchos Sleeping Bags Storage Supplies Once you have your emergency items together, you will want to store them in a cool dry place. Invest in some storage supplies that can protect your items when they are not in use and make them easy to find. Be sure to let all of your employees know ahead of time where the disaster supplies are located. You can also keep a pen, pencil, and permanent marker with these items to easily make notes on bins and bags. Ingredient Bins Bulk Food Storage Containers Seismic Shelving Units Plastic Freezer Bags Contractor Trash Bags Hygiene Supplies Maintaining sanitary conditions during a crisis situation can help prevent the spread of disease and sickness. Prepare for emergency situations where people are stranded in your building by having some spare hygiene supplies available. Hand Soap Antibacterial Wipes Moist Towelettes Paper Towels Toilet Paper Garbage Bags Disinfectant Sprays Hand Sanitizer Tooth Brushes Tooth Paste Feminine Products Company Documents Quickly recover after a disaster by keeping copies of vital company documents in a fireproof and waterproof portable box. Be sure to archive them digitally at an offsite location as well. Store some additional paper with these items in the event that notes need to be written down during an emergency situation. Bank Statement Insurance Policies Tax Returns Employee ID Information Client Files Emergency Contact Numbers Building Maps Maps of Local Area Keeping Your Disaster Preparedness Supplies Ready After you have collected your disaster preparedness supplies, you’ll need to create a schedule for maintaining it to ensure that the items are not expired if an emergency does occur. Follow these tips to guarantee that your kit is ready for action when needed. Update water bottles and food items every 6 months Regularly inspect first aid items for approaching expiration dates Rotate out sanitation materials once a year Check batteries for a charge, replace any dead batteries Turn on radios, light sticks, and other electronic to ensure they still work Add supplies to your kit as you hire new employees to properly accommodate all of your team members in a crisis. The best way to ensure that your emergency supplies kit is useful is to provide your employees with the proper safety training. Review your business emergency preparedness plan with them every six months, schedule regular drills, and assign out roles and responsibilities for each person to perform during a crisis. It is important for employees to know the location of your survival supplies, what is in the kit, and how to use the items. Refer to this emergency supplies list to get your business closer to being prepared for any disaster situation that may come your way.

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