New Website and FOG Tank at the National Restaurant Association Show

New Website and FOG Tank at the National Restaurant Association Show 

We are excited to introduce our brand new website, which features new videos, before and after photos, and product details that will help you learn more about the FOG Tank. The FOG Tank is a fully insulated and thermostatically controlled stainless steel soak tank that safely and easily removes fat, oil, grease, and carbon build-up from your metal cookware and kitchen equipment. We invite you to visit our site and learn more about how the FOG Tank could help you save money, increase staff productivity, and reduce your carbon footprint.


 

If you’d rather learn more about the FOG Tank in person, we urge you to attend the National Restaurant Association’s NRA Show 2014 from May 17-20 at McCormick Place in Chicago. The NRA show is a chance for restaurant owners, kitchen managers, and other food service industry professionals to meet with the biggest restaurant suppliers. FOG Tank will have a booth at the show, and we will have knowledgeable staff members standing by to teach you more about how the FOG Tank can help make your business more efficient and profitable. They can also teach you more about our 1 Week Risk Free Trial, or help you choose whether a renting plan or outright purchase makes more sense for your company. 

We hope you enjoy our new site. Stay tuned for more events and updates from FOG Tank, and if you have any questions, feel free to get in touch with us by filling out the form on our Contact Us page. 

FOG Tank Meets Top Chef Fabio Viviani

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FOG Tank Meets Top Chef Fabio Viviani 

We had a great time at the 2014 National Restaurant Association Show in Chicago! It was wonderful to speak to all of the chefs, restaurant owners, and managers that stopped by our booth. We also got a special surprise when we were able to meet Chef Fabio Viviani, who you may recognize from Season 5 of Top Chef.


 

Fabio is an Italian chef and restaurateur and just published his second cookbook, Fabio’s Italian Kitchen, last year. Kelly enjoyed talking to him and discussing some of the challenges that chefs face in busy kitchens. 

Although it was great meeting celebrity chefs like Fabio, we value all of our customers equally, from the smallest single location restaurants to big chains. We’d like to extend a big thank you to everyone who came by our booth this year. We love our product and there’s nothing better than getting to share that with others. For those who weren’t able to make it to the show, or who couldn’t make it to our booth, we’d love to talk to you more about the FOG Tank! Drop us a line on our Contact and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have. 

We hope you enjoy your Memorial Day Weekend! 

7 tips for cleaning commercial kitchen floors

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7 tips for cleaning commercial kitchen floors

We can help you clean all of your kitchen equipment, but to have a truly clean kitchen you can’t forget about the floor. Read on for some advice from restaurant-hospitality.com.

Energy is low by the time your back-of-the-house staffers reach the end of a long shift, often causing routine kitchen clean-up tasks to be performed with less enthusiasm than they deserve. That’s why it’s important that operators periodically check to ensure that employees pay attention and adhere to best practices when performing these tasks.


The issue, says cleaning equipment manufacturer Powr-Flite’s Mike Englund, is that foodservice floors must be hygienically maintained to protect the health of restaurant patrons as well as to meet health codes and regulations. It’s a high standard in a tough environment, and Englund offers these tips that can help operators meet it:

1. Before cleaning foodservice floors, make sure floor drains are unobstructed and working properly.

2. Foodservice floors, which are typically quarry or ceramic, should be sealed with a low- or anti-slip coating to foster proper sanitation and reduce the possibility of a slip-and-fall accident.

3. All floor care work should be performed before food handling/processing equipment is cleaned; this helps prevent floor soils and debris from becoming airborne and landing on workstations or equipment.

4. If using mops and buckets, they should be cleaned/changed daily.  Soiled mops and buckets can spread contaminants across the floor, increasing contamination concerns.

5. A squeegee should be used to move moisture into floor drains for quicker drying.

6. A 175-rpm buffer should be used at least once per week, or daily if necessary, to loosen soils, grease and oil that may build up on floors. Use a blue or green scrubbing pad along with a 17-inch or 20-inch floor machine; a smaller machine can better maneuver in and around counters and cooking areas in a foodservice kitchen.

7. Mops, buckets, squeegees, chemicals and all floor care equipment should be stored off the ground on shelves or racks. This helps keep the equipment clean and deters pests.

Pay attention to how your clean-up personnel handle your kitchen mats, too.

“Many foodservice kitchens now use approved antifatigue mats to help prevent slip-and-fall accidents and worker fatigue,” says Englund. “It’s very important that mats be cleaned and sanitized at closing, allowing them to air dry before the facility reopens.”

 

To find out more about how we can help you get your kitchen equipment clean, visit our benefits page.

 

Is Your Restaurant’s Spotless Kitchen Really Clean?

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Let’s be honest, just because your restaurant’s kitchen looks clean, doesn’t mean that it IS clean.

One of the tedious aspects of fighting illness-causing germs and bacteria is that you can’t see these invisible but formidable enemies. They lurk in your produce, spread like wildfire, and attack when and where you’re most vulnerable. But don’t worry, you can and will defeat them. With a little bit of know-how and a practical mindset, you can take your restaurant’s kitchen back.


 

Know your enemy.

US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published a report indicating that two million Americans become infected with anti-biotic resistant bacteria, annually. One of the ways you can minimize infection, or contamination around your restaurant’s kitchen, is by being aware of where bacteria comes from and how it spreads. Raw eggs, different types of meat and poultry, even fruit and vegetables that most of us assume are safe to eat, can be contaminated with dangerous pathogens. Furthermore, placing contaminated items on restaurant kitchen counters, and other surfaces, allows these pathogens to spread around your establishment and on to your consumers.

Here are some of your restaurant kitchen’s worst offenders –

Salmonella: A common group of bacteria that is most dangerous during the summer months. It is usually found in beef, poultry, milk, and eggs. If consumed symptoms will develop within 12-72 hours and could include a high fever, abdominal pain, headaches, and severe diarrhea.

Escherichia coli: This bacteria is often found in undercooked beef, raw milk, and contaminated water. It lives in human intestines, as well as those of farm animals like cows, goats, and sheep. If ingested, it can cause severe infection and brutal symptoms that include stomach pain, heavy vomiting, and severe diarrhea that can last up to 10 days.

Listeria monocytogenes: This type of bacteria is found in soil, water, various raw and processed foods, as well as unpasteurized milk. Unlike other germs, Listeria is incredibly dangerous because it can grow and spread in cold temperatures. It affects older adults, pregnant women, infants, and individuals with weakened immune systems. Symptoms consist of high fever, muscle aches, and diverse gastrointestinal issues.

Noroviruses: These viruses cause gastroenteritis, an illness characterized by inflammation of the stomach and intestines. This is what is usually referred to as the stomach flu. Found in contaminated foods and beverages, these viruses can also thrive on various surfaces, such as those in your restaurant’s kitchen, and spread through contact.

While it may now seem like your restaurant’s kitchen is a hotbed for bacteria, you can do something about it. Always wash your hands before and after handling food. Replace sponges in the restaurant’s kitchen every two week, as it contains lots of bacteria, mold, and yeast. Always keep fridge temps under 40F, but remember that bacteria can still grow there. Never use the same cutting board for meat and fish, and fruit and vegetables. And most importantly, wash all dishes within two hours of eating. Of course, you can always invest in an incredible piece of technology like Fog Tank and not worry about that last part, but we’ll leave that up to you. 

 

The Perfect 4th of July Burger

The Perfect 4th of July Burger

Back in 1776, the United States of America declared its independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain on July 4th. Today, Independence Day is a nationwide holiday typically associated with fireworks, parades, family reunions, concerts, carnivals, beverages and food. Lots and lots of food.

According to Heavy, Americans put down an astonishing 150 million hotdogs and some 750 million pounds of chicken during the holiday season. While Oklahoma State University reports that we consume 25 billion pounds of burgers a year. Needless to say this is mind boggling amount of meat. Yet, veganism and vegetarianism are being increasingly adopted by a growing number of Americans.

So, we’ve decided to compile the three best Fourth of July burger recipes we’ve found for all of your various pallets.

For the Meat Lovers:


This Perfect Burger recipe is brought to you by Bobby Flay.

Here’s what you’ll need:

          1 ½ pounds ground chuck, a cut of beef that’s part of the sub-primal cut known as the chuck (80% lean) or ground turkey (90% lean)

          Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

          1 ½ tablespoons of canola oil

          4 slices of your preferred cheese

          And, of course, 4 hamburger buns, split. If you want to toast them, more power to you!

Here’s what you’ll do:

Take the meat and divide it into 4 equal portions, try to make them about 6 ounces each. Then, form loose patties, making a deep depression with your thumb in the middle. Season both sides with salt and pepper. Brush the burgers with oil and then grill to your preference, and add cheese.

For the Vegetarian Burger Warriors:

This Chick Pea Burger recipe is brought to you by Martha Stewart.

Here’s what you’ll need:

          1 can (15 ounces) of chickpeas, drained and rinsed

          4 scallion, trimmed

          2 slices of white sandwich bread

          1/3 cup of unsalted peanuts or almonds

          ½ teaspoon of ground cumin

          1 tablespoon of fresh ginger, chopped

          Coarse salt and ground pepper

          1 large egg

          Olive Oil

          1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard

          1/3 cup of mayonnaise

          Whole-wheat English muffins and lettuce, to serve with the burgers

Here’s what you’ll do:

Combine chickpeas, scallions, bread, peanuts or almonds, cumin, and ginger in a food processor, and season with salt and pepper. When you see that the contents are roughly chopped, remove half of the mixture to a bowl, and add an egg to the food processor. Process until you have a smooth mixture, and mix in with the contents you took out. Form four patties, brush each side with oil, and then grill to your preference. Serve the burgers on English muffins with lettuce, mustard, and mayo.

For the Vegan Burger Aficionados:

This incredible Beet Burger recipe is brought to you by Versa Stick.

Here’s what you’ll need:

          1 teaspoon of butter

          ½ finely diced yellow onion

          2 finely diced cloves of garlic

          2 peeled and finely diced roasted beets

          1 rinsed, drained and mashed can of black eyed peas

          1 egg

          1/4 cup chickpea flour

          2 tablespoons of chipotle BBQ sauce

          1 tablespoon of yellow mustard

          2 tablespoons of Bragg’s Liquid Aminos

          1 Tablespoon of cider vinegar

          1 teaspoon of ground cumin

          1 tablespoon of dried basil

          Sea salt, aim for smoked if you can find it

          Pepper

Here’s what you’ll do:

Melt butter over medium-low heat and add onion, sautéing it until it’s translucent, then add garlic. Keep sautéing for a few more minutes, and then add diced beets and black eyed peas. Cook until the peas are soft and the beets are thoroughly heated. Add BBQ sauce, mustard, Bragg’s, vinegar, spices, salt and pepper, seasoning to taste. Allow the mixture to cool, then add the egg and chickpea flour. Puree with an immersion blender or in a food processor. Once that’s done, form the mixture into patties and grill to taste. 

How to Plan Your Restaurant Startup

How to Plan Your Restaurant Startup

 

If you love food – like, more than life itself – you may want to consider a restaurant startup.

First things first.

You have to figure out exactly what kind of establishment you want to have. While you can go in any direction you choose, generally, a fast-food or family operated restaurant startup is best for beginners. Regardless, you need to learn as much as possible about what it takes to run that type of business.


Determine a food concept.

Once you clearly formulate your idea, begin to draft the menu. This exercise will help you align your food concept with what you’ll actually be serving, although, your menu will undoubtedly change many times over until you finally solidify it. You may even play around with pricing, but it’s a little early in the game to implement the estimates.

Do your research.

You have to decide on the location of your restaurant startup, therefore, you must research zoning laws. You should also familiarize yourself with local customs and cuisine, what your competitors are serving, where you will obtain your ingredients, and how you will acquire services of special personnel if needed. Furthermore, you need to think about the kitchen equipment you’ll need for food preparation, storage, and cleaning (like Fog Tank). Clearly, there are a lot of factors to consider.

Keep researching. 

You have to be in the know about your industry. While there are tons of different trends that come and go, you must figure out what your future clients care about, as well as what’s important to you. One way to do this is to wear many hats. Try your hand at book keeping, serving, cooking, cleaning, or hosting. This will help you understand what types of responsibilities you and your staff will be taking on.

Figure out the atmosphere.

When considering the type of vibe you want in your restaurant startup, ask yourself the following questions: Do you want to create a specific ambiance? Does it align with your food concept? What kind of clientele do you want to attract? Will you feature in-house entertainment? Do you have ideas about interior design, furniture, utensils, dishware, and server uniforms?

Expand your mind.

While you can always hire a consultant or a business strategist, you should take business and accounting classes to make sure you’re on top of your game. Every successful restaurant and restaurant startup has a business savvy owner behind it; one who knows how to make smart business decisions. It is crucial that you are fully aware of what your business venture is going to cost you – rent, insurance, permit fees, as well as payroll for your employees.

Get creative.

Marketing is one of the most interesting but deceptively difficult aspects of running a successful restaurant startup. You have to know what you will do to attract and retain consumers, and grow your business. If you’re going to create a marketing plan, you should read books and attend seminars about the best ways of doing so. If not, research PR and marketing firms that can take your restaurant startup to a new level.

Make a plan.

A business plan will either make you or break you, therefore, make it as accurate as humanly possible. You will need: a comprehensive description of your concept and target consumers, an outline of your menu and potential pricing, different types of financial information – including loans, long-term income, and expenditure – a marketing plan, an employee hiring and training summary, and, of course, disaster management and exit strategies.

Register Your Restaurant Startup.

Once you have your location and venue, register your restaurant startup, and take care of licenses and permits.

Now you’re open for business! 

 


©Big Stock Photo

6 Best Food Cities and Their Restaurant Weeks

6 Best Food Cities and Their Restaurant Weeks

Ever wonder when America’s best food cities hold their restaurant weeks?

Wonder no more, we have that info for you right here! If you love to eat as much as we do, we suggest you check this out. Because different cities host a number of restaurant weeks throughout the year, we’re going to focus on the ones happening during the summer and in the fall, and yes, we’ll update the list as the time goes on.

Seattle, WA: This incredible city is known for its tasty coffee and fresher than fresh marine products. From wild caught salmon to succulent oysters, this is one of the best places to indulge in seafood. However, culinary influences from south of the border, north of the border, and across the ocean, have made Seattle one of the most eclectic food cities in the nation.


Restaurant Week,  October: There are officially two restaurant weeks in Seattle, one in April and the other in October. While the dates aren’t set in stone just yet, you can get in touch with the organizers for a preview of what’s to come.

Las Vegas, NV: – While Sin City is best known for its abundance of happening hotels and casinos, it is also rather famous for its decadent shows and delectable cuisine. That’s because this over the top metropolis has some of the best chefs in the county, like Gordon Ramsey and Nobu Matsuhisa, attracting foodies from near and far.

Restaurant WeekAugust 22-28: Happening fairly soon, Las Vegas restaurant week is going to be a seriously epic event. Considering just how many incredible chefs will be serving up something special during the anticipated food mecca, it’s hard not to get excited.

New Orleans, LA: We give you fare warning, this is a seriously food-obsessed city! Once you visit and try the deliciousness New Orleans is famous for – think gumbo, rice, dumplings, and so on – you may never be able to eat anywhere ever again. Taking inspiration from the states that surround it, Louisiana gave life to a rather unique breed of cuisine.

Restaurant Week, September 8-14: Perhaps this is one of the few restaurant weeks NOT happening in August, which is great news since there is only so much eating one person can actually do in a month. Never the less, if you can make it here you’ll thank us later, because the food really is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G.

Charleston, SC: We simply can’t talk about food cities without mentioning Charleston. It’s not only famous for its impeccable cuisine – the fried chicken and mashed potatoes are to die for – but also for its innovative approach to decorating. Setting the vibe is a big deal here, hence the extra mile makes dining that much more enjoyable.

Restaurant Week, September 3-14: Clearly one week is not enough to satisfy the food-enthusiastic locals, so they made it a week + long. Serving up all types of goodness at reasonable prices, there are few places more inviting than this super amazing event.

Boston, MA: – Bean town is known for its food and we’re not just talking about legumes here. With old-school favorites getting contemporary makeovers, and new dishes – like fried oysters and spicy curries – bringing in foodies from across the nation, Boston is where it’s at!    

Restaurant Weeks, August 17-22 & 24-29: Now known as Dine Out Boston, the bean city’s restaurant weeks are something to get excited about. Going on for two weeks in August, because apparently this is the month for discount dining, visitors can eat their hearts out.

New York City, NY: It’s not hard to see why New York is one of the absolute best food cities in America, hence the restaurant week lasts about a month. Thinking about the abundance of cultures that come together in this melting pot, this is where people go to try something new and exciting. From Thai to Malaysian, Russian to French, American to Italian, New York has everything for every palate.

Restaurant Weeks, July 21 – August 15: Top chefs from around the world come to New York in order to showcase their skills, open their restaurants, and find fame and fortune. Bringing together all types of people from all walks of life, this is one of the best times to come to the bustling metropolis for some serious deliciousness.

Now that you know the best food cities and their restaurant weeks, HaPpy FeAstiNg YoU gUyS! 


©Big Stock Photo

Equipping Your Restaurant Kitchen Like a Pro!

How to Equip Your Restaurant Kitchen

Considering the fact that a well-stocked restaurant kitchen is essentially the lifeline of a food establishment, making sure you have the necessary equipment is absolutely crucial.

And although you’ve probably got this, we’ve put together a quick check list of what you’ll need – you know, just in case.

Work Tables: All culinary magic starts at a user-friendly work station. When determining the kind you’d like to get, decide between an old fashion wooden top station and a stainless steel work table. While there are advantages to each, stainless steel tends to be easier to take care of. Please note that work tables are different from prep tables; the latter is used to prepare raw foods and should be kept away from cooking equipment.

Check Out: Stainless Steel Work Table, Wood Top


Shelving: Once you figure out where your work table(s) is going to be standing, place everything you’ll need for the actual work nearby. This is where you have to implement a well thought out shelving strategy. To increase productivity and streamline workflow in your restaurant kitchen, everything you need should be within arm’s reach.

Check Out: Table Mounted, Wall Mounted, Wire Shelving

Countertop Equipment: Now that you have your work station and shelving figured out, it’s time tackle the countertops. 

Check Out: Crape Machines, Hot Dog Roller Grills, Hot Plates, Induction Cookers, Microwave Ovens, Rice Cookers, Rotisserie Ovens, Sandwich/Panini Grills, Toasters, Waffle Bakers

Professional Cooking Equipment: This is where you really have to be selective – one can easily get carried away and end up with too many or not enough pasta cookers, sauce pots, or hot plates, but this is something you’ll likely hone in on once the restaurant kitchen starts running.

Check Out: Fryers and Fry-Sauté Pans, Broilers, Combi and Convention Ovens, Griddle/Cheese Melters, Kettles, Pasta Cookers, Pizza Ovens, Ranges, Salamanders, Steamers, Stock Pot Stoves, Braziers, Cast Irons, Chinese Woks, Sauce Pots, Covers, Double Broilers, Steamer Baskets, Stock Pots, Prep Tables

Beverages: Restaurants typically offer a fairly large selection of beverages that range from fizzy sodas to fancy caffeinated drinks. Health oriented businesses, for example, will benefit from high-quality juice machines, while dining establishments will put drink mixers and expresso equipment to use. 

Check Out: Juice Extractors, Orange Juice Machines, Cold Beverage Dispensers (Granita and others), Espresso Equipment, Hot Cappuccino Dispensers, Hot Chocolate Dispensers, and Drink Mixers.

Dishwashers: Now, there are the traditional types of washers, and then there are the super versatile contemporary washers – like Fog Tank – that we think make a better investment. The use of green technology in your restaurant kitchen is always a good idea, so try to stick to appliances that are eco-friendly whenever possible.

Check Out: Fog Tank, Door Type and Under Counter

Food Prep: Consider how many terrible germs can spread in your restaurant kitchen. That said, never prepare meat or fish on the same surface as fruit, vegetables, or anything else that can get contaminated and lead to food poisoning. This is where the prep table comes into play. 

Check Out: Bread and Other Slicers, Blenders, Food Processors, Graters/Shredders, Hand Held and Other Mixers, Meat Grinders, Vegetable/Salad Dryers, Strainers.

Ice Makers: If you serve ice cream, caviar, oysters, or the like, you can greatly benefit from an ice making unit that is independent from your refrigerator.

Check Out: (Under Counter and Average) Cube Style and Flake Style Dispensers, Ice Storage Bins,

Refrigeration: Much like you would with other appliances, you should try to opt for green technology whenever possible. Since refrigerators are becoming more advanced and versatile, you need to figure out what type works best for you.

Check Out: Bar Refrigeration, Chef Base/Griddle Stand, Display cases, drop-in cold pan, Freezers, Merchandisers, Milk Coolers, Pizza Prep, Reach-ins, Sandwich/Salad, Under counters, Walk-In-Box, Worktops.

Warming & Holding: Whether you want to keep utensils dry, dishes warm, or food hot, warming and holding appliances are a good thing to have in our restaurant kitchen. Again, stick to green technology whenever possible.

Check Out: Heated Cabinets, Heated Display and Countertop Cases, Heater/Proffers, Overhead Food Warmers, Steam tables

Sinks: Cooking is a dirty business – you need a place to wash your hands, do the dishes, rinse various produce, clean floor mops, etc. A good sink is an essential component to your restaurant kitchen, so make sure you invest in one you like.

Check Out: Bar, Drop-in, Faucets, Hand-washing

Now, go and enjoy your newly equipped restaurant kitchen!