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If you are in the catering business, having portable catering equipment can help you expand your catering capabilities. Rather than doing all your cooking in your commercial kitchen, you can now cook up dishes on site. Indeed, some dishes are better tasting if they are cooked just before they are about to be eaten. And taste is a very important factor in the success of your catering business. With some equipment, serving also becomes safer and easier as well.

Invest in these portable wholesale kitchen equipment, which will also allow you to offer more for your clients:

-          Cooking carts. Do you have a cooking for an event located in the beach? In a countryside garden? Wow your clients with hot dishes right off the pan. Even if there is an available stove at the catering site, it may not be enough to accommodate the requirements of cooking a number of dishes and have it ready to serve at a given time. A cooking cart can help solve a caterer’s dilemma by providing additional cooking equipment. You can also use this to provide cooking stations during a party where pasta, stir-fried food and other quick-cooking dishes can be prepared as the guests order them. Cooking carts are designed for onsite cooking and are equipped with one or two stovetops (that can come with gas-powered or induction versions). Some cart also comes with storage space where you can keep ingredients and cooking tools.

-          Outdoor grills. Whet your clients’ appetite with the smell of juicy and sizzling meat on the grill. An outdoor grill is a piece of equipment when doing catering jobs for outdoor pool parties and other informal events. Another more portable version of the outdoor grill is the tailgate grill, which is excellent if you only have limited space in your van or truck.

-          Portable gas stoves, induction ranges or hot plates.  For added cooktops during an outdoor catering job, you can choose from among a portable gas stove, an induction range or a hot plate. However, take note that these are mostly for cooking limited quantity. You also need to insure that you have the necessary fuel or electrical connections. You may also need some tabletops to hold these portable cooking devices – check whether the catering venue can provide you with the necessary tables or space.

-          Portable hot or cold food table. Rather than using three or four chafing dishes, keep food hot using a mobile hot food table or serve cold salads and cold desserts using a mobile cold food table. There are perfect for catered events such as buffets and salad bars, especially when these are located outdoors. The portability of the table allows more flexibility in setting up the layout of a buffet. Some food tables come with a sneeze guard for extra safety.

-          Portable bar. Who says clients can enjoy their favourite drinks only at the bar? Bring the bar to where the clients are and mix up and serve cold beverages using a portable bar. These are wheeled bars that have insulated compartments for your drinks. Portable bars also come with a variety of features and amenities, including pre- and post-mixed systems, soda gun, ice bins and cold plates.

-          Mobile ice bath. Another way of serving drinks is to let the guests choose from the available beverages. These can be placed in a mobile ice bath, where these are kept refreshingly cold.

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Restaurant Storage Basics: Shelving 101

by kenzie on February 23, 2015

Shelves are an important piece of restaurant equipment. These enable restaurants to make wiser and more efficient use of your kitchen and storage area’s limited space. However, a restaurant also needs to have policies and procedures in place to safeguard various areas of the restaurant’s operations.

This will make the storage and kitchen area safer for kitchenstaff (who do have to feel the fear of having the shelf topple onto them because it was improperly stacked with ingredients and wholesale kitchenware). Plus, with organized shelf spaces, employees do not have to waste precious time digging into or looking for what they need in terms of ingredients and prep tools. Proper storage also prevents the contamination of ingredients, making it safer for customers.

Here are some tips to help you with your shelving requirements:

-          Select quality shelving. When in the market for shelves for your storeroom, be on the lookout for shelves that have the following qualities – mesh surfaces (which are easier to clean), metal shelves that are covered with rust-proof coating or shelves that are resistant to mildew, bacteria and mold. Your choice of shelving will also depend on the overall environment of your storage area.  Zinc or chrome shelves are great for arid temperatures while epoxy shelves work best for humid environments. There are also shelving material that come with a moisture elimination system, which makes them ideal for busy and wet areas such as the food prep area.

-          Choose shelves based on the items you want to store. To maximize your storage space, you can get a combination of wall and freestanding shelving. There are also wall storage systems specially designed for pots and pans, cans or kitchen utensils. For items that need an added level of security (mostly to prevent theft and pilferage), you can get padlocked shelving units. Get dunnage for heavy duty storage requirements – these can carry up to 3,000 pounds, depending on how you set them up.

-           Consider customizable shelving. This help you adjust your shelves based on the items you are storing. For instance, you can double up shelf space for smaller items such as salt and pepper shakers with s-hooks and split sleeves.  Customizable shelving enable you to also adjust shelf height for taller items.

-          Create a storage system. Have a storage system for your kitchenware, as well as for your ingredients so that everyone knows which item should be stored in which space. Organize your shelves with the use of labels, shelf dividers and color coded baskets.

-          Provide guidelines for storing items. The staff should be informed about stacking and storage principles. Note down the weight capacities of the shelves. Also note that this will vary depending on the length of the shelves and the distance in between the supporting beams. When storing cans, bottles and other items, the weight should be evenly distributed across the shelves. The heavier items should be at the bottom of the shelves. Ideally, all the items should be within arm’s reach to prevent the shelves from toppling. The staff should also regularly check to see whether the shelves are still level, with the legs firmly deposited on the ground.

-          Practice the FIFO method. To minimize loss associated with expired items, all new items should be placed at the back, based on the First in – First out method.

-          Schedule regular cleaning for the shelves. Prevent vermin and insects from making your shelves their home by doing regular clean-ups.

 

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Developing an Appealing Menu (That Makes Money, Too!)

February 16, 2015

Your menu is central to your restaurant business. This is the primary product (aside from an ambiance or experience) your restaurant offers to its customers. The menu is a product of careful research – you do not simply piece together some personal favorites and offer this to the public. Like the central cog in the […]

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Beefing Up Your Catering Business

February 9, 2015

As with all businesses, the challenge is to continue to constantly improve and innovate or face the risk of losing out on customers. As a business owner, you need to be aware of the trends and to regularly review your catering business operations to see areas for growth or change. -          Provide choices through theme-based […]

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A Quick Buying Guide for Restaurant Smallware

February 2, 2015

When you set-up your restaurant, your initial budget does not just go towards the purchase of major kitchen equipment. You also have to allocate for smallware. These are wholesale restaurant supplies that you may need in a considerable quantity, not just for the kitchen, but for serving customers, as well as for other areas of […]

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Restaurant Management 101: Safe Food Storage

January 17, 2015

The commercial kitchen is a busy place, producing meals for diners and guests.  Volumes of raw food and ingredients pass through the kitchen – from the delivery truck to the storage room, to the kitchen and lastly, to the plates of happy and satisfied customers. With the volume involved, it is necessary to ensure that […]

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Holding a Birthday Party in Your Child’s School

January 12, 2015

Your child requests to have a party at school so that he gets to invite all his classmates. With a little careful planning, you can ensure that your child has an enjoyable party with his friends. Here are some of the things you can consider when planning your child’s birthday party at school: -          Contact […]

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Choosing Take Out Disposables for Your Restaurant

January 7, 2015

Doggy bags and take out containers are just par for the course in a restaurant. This means your dishes are so good, customers can’t help but want to take them home! Actually, take out and delivery can be a great source of income for the restaurant. However, you need to choose the right disposables to […]

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Baking Tips for Better Results

January 2, 2015

Even after the holiday season’s flurry of activities has died down, you can still keep your home or commercial kitchen busy with baked goodies – moist cakes, pies with flaky crusts or cookies that are deliciously chewy. But baking has its share of potential fails and mistakes. But take heart, these mistakes can actually be […]

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Stocking Stuffers for the Kitchen

December 16, 2014

Do you have friends who love to cook? Then you already know what to give them – kitchenware! It does not have to be heavy on the budget, just simple things you could stuff in their stockings. However, when shopping for kitchen equipment to be given as gifts, always bear in mind that it should […]

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