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Selecting The Food Tray for Your Cafeteria

by kenzie on April 22, 2014

Often, we focus on the food being served, but in the food industry, it is also important to consider the plate or tray on which the food is being served on. If you are running a cafeteria, your choice of cafeteria tray will have a considerable impact on how appetizing the food being served will look.  With Lionsdeal, there is a wide range of plastic food trays that meets your requirements and budget.

Here are some things to consider when choosing your serving or cafeteria trays:

-          Design. What kind of food will be served? Will you be serving plated dishes or portion sizes? These are the designs you can choose from:

-          Compartment trays. The tray is divided into sections so as to prevent one food from mixing with the others in the tray. It also makes it easier to serve portion sizes. This means you will no longer need separate plates and sauces. You can serve the appetizer, main entrée, side dishes and dessert all in one easy-to-carry tray! Compartment trays also make cafeteria operations more efficient as you have less types of dinnerware to clean, wash and dry. There are also compartment trays that provide space for the flatware as well as condiments such as soy sauce or ketchup.

-          Flat trays. These are ideal for cafeterias or quick-serve restaurants where people order plated food from the counter, where a variety of plated dishes are sold. You can also consider getting trays that are trapezoidal in shape to make more space at the tabletops.

-          Durability. Cafeteria trays should be made for wear. After all, these trays are used and reused several times a day, depending on the number of meals served. Cafeteria trays are usually made from polypropylene plastic or stainless steel. There are also fiberglass versions but these may have limited designs. You should also check the temperature range the tray can handle without breaking or melting to ensure that the tray is safe for very hot foods and for going through the dishwasher.

-          Size. When deciding on the size of your cafeteria trays, you have to look at the following factors:

-          Your customers. Who will be using the trays? If you are serving children, can they easily carry the tray without them spilling its contents?

-          Number and type of food served. If your cafeteria is serving a number of dishes in one meal, also determine the number of compartments you will need.

-          Storage and dishwashing equipment. Will the food tray fit in your dish rack and can it be effectively washed in your industrial dishwasher? The trays should also be small enough to be carried through doorways.

-          Compliance with industry safety standards. Since you will be using these trays to serve food, ensure that these are safe and are in compliance with industry standards. Check whether the product meets NSF standards. NSF is an independent accreditation organization that sets standards for food service equipment.

-          Color. The available colors for the trays are not just so that they will match with your color scheme. You can also use various colors to color-code how you serve your food. For instance, you can choose one color for gluten-free meals or another color for vegan meals.

Aside from cafeteria trays, Lionsdeal is your source for wholesale restaurant supplies and equipment.

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Getting Your New Restaurant Equipped

by kenzie on April 15, 2014

Are you starting a new restaurant? One of the very first things you need to do is to complete your restaurant supplies and equipment checklist. When you are in the market for wholesale restaurant equipment, you should consider the following factors:

-          Your menu. Go through each of the items in your menu to see how you will be storing the ingredients, preparing the dishes and serving them. During your walk-through of the preparation of the items in your menu, you should also determine the volume of the menu items you are expected to prepare. This way, you can look at the specifications of the equipment to see which one will work best for your requirements. Remember, you will need to cook multiple servings of a certain menu item at any one time. You can also check to see how various equipment can multi-task in cooking various ingredients.

-          Kitchen and restaurant space and layout. How much space do you have available in your kitchen? Where are the gas pipe, electrical outlets and water pipe located? How about the available ventilation system? How much space do I have for all the equipment? This will be an important factor as you decide on the specification and layout of your kitchen. Otherwise, you may need to relocate the utility outlets.

-          Compliance with codes and standards. Check to see how the piece of restaurant equipment complies with the local government’s health and safety codes. Imagine the extra cost and delay associated with buying a piece of equipment that does not meet your local codes and standards.

-          Ease of use. How easy would it be for your kitchen staff to use the equipment and clean it? During busy times when everyone in the kitchen is busy and will need to attend to various tasks, the equipment should make it easy for the staff to go about the preparation and cooking process.

-          Budget. Of course, you will also need to have your budget in mind as you are planning your purchases. You will need to balance the type and quality of equipment you want with the finances you have. Sticking to your budget is important, especially since you are just starting your business. You can buy equipment according to your limited budget and upgrade as the business grows.

Here are the major types of equipment in your checklist:

-          Storage equipment. This will safely store your ingredients to ensure that your ingredients are fresh and safe for consumption. This will also prevent future problems connected with food spoilage or food poisoning. Storage equipment includes appliances such as refrigerators, freezers and walk-in coolers.

-          Production and cooking equipment. This is what you will use to prepare and cook the food. This will largely depend on the items on your menu. This includes equipment such as stoves, fryers, ovens, steamers and broilers. This can also include your cookware, kitchen utensils and other food preparation tools.

-          Food service equipment. How will you be presenting and serving the food to your customers? Your checklist for this category will include serving trays, flatware and dinnerware. If you plan to serve your food buffet-style, you will need to invest in buffet supplies such as charger plates and chafers.

-          Restaurant furniture. Aside from the requisite tables and chairs, you will need other furniture such as restaurant décor, high chairs for young children, banquet tables, bar stools, menu displays and waitress stations.

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Equipment You Need to Make Gourmet Pizza At Home

April 8, 2014

Is your family passionate about pizza? Of course, you can always put your favorite pizza places on speed dial. However, if you do this often enough, this may make a huge dent on your wallet. Another option is to invest in pizza pans and other pizza-preparing equipment so that your family can enjoy making your […]

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10 Party Must-Haves for Your Home

April 2, 2014

Do you take pleasure in being a host and seeing your loved ones and friends having a great time at your parties? Do you see yourself doing a lot of entertaining in the next months? Here are some items you can consider investing in to make your hosting responsibilities more manageable and enjoyable: -          Chafers. […]

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The Essential Baking Equipment List

March 24, 2014

Are you a budding baker planning to start baking as a hobby? Are you just starting to equip the baking section of your restaurant? It is good to sit down and determine the kind of wholesale restaurant supplies and equipment you need to equip your kitchen. When you go to a reputable wholesale kitchen equipment […]

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Restaurant Quality Control for Safe Dining

March 17, 2014

When it comes to the food industry, it is up to the restaurateur or manager to ensure that the food served is not only delicious but also safe for consumption. The safety of the food can be compromised by the presence of contaminants. Contamination can come from physical means (spoiled ingredients, dirt, fallen hair or […]

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It’s a Wrap: Paper and Foil Staples for Your Commercial Kitchen

March 10, 2014

These are the three staples in your wholesale restaurant supply list: aluminum foil, parchment paper and wax paper. These are versatile kitchen supplies you can use to bake, cook, seal and store. These are also useful when dealing with takeout orders. Here are a few handy tips when using these three restaurant supplies: Wax Paper. […]

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Choosing the Right Condiment Dispensers and Stand

March 3, 2014

What is a hotdog without the requisite pickles, ketchup and mustard? For those serving dim sum, noodles and broths, there are also sauces and spices that add flavor and excitement to the dishes. However, not all customers like the same kinds of condiments at the same amounts. Some like to boogie with the salt and […]

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Tools for Sushi Making

February 24, 2014

Who says you have to eat out to have your fill of your favorite sushi? With a few kitchen supplies you can order from Lionsdeal – your wholesale restaurant supply online store, you can start your own sushi adventures in the comfort of your home. Here are some kitchen equipment you will need: -          Rice […]

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Using Induction Cookers for Your Restaurant

February 17, 2014

Is induction cooking a viable alternative to the tried and tested stove, wok range or griddle? Some restaurateurs think so. Actually, induction cooking has been around for quite some time. However, it is not as widely accepted in the country because there is wariness about how it works exactly. What is induction cooking? Induction cooking […]

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