Visible Evidence of Cleanliness is Key for Restaurant Success

 

COVID-19 has had a significant impact on the restaurant and foodservice industry. With a loss of more than$25 billion in sales and 3 million jobs in the first month of the coronavirus shutdown, businesses must find the proper roadmap to re-open their restaurants in a way that makes customers and employees feel safe.

While takeout and delivery are still popular options, restrictions are starting to lift on dining, and many people are ready to revisit restaurants in person. This is a pivotal moment for every restaurant because they must have a plan for how they are going to keep their restaurant safe and clean while staying true to their brand values.

Customers want to see cleanliness and sanitation procedures implemented so they can feel safe at their favorite restaurants. Plus, when restaurants show that they care about their customers through policies and safety measures, they can build brand trust and loyalty with customers. Here are some of the new expectations that customers will have moving forward.

Have a Cleaning Schedule

Part of the trust-building process includes following proper sanitation processes and keeping everything visibly clean. By creating a cleaning schedule, restaurants can ensure that they’re maintaining the standards they set for their brand.

While it should be common to clean a table after every customer, these schedules can also include hourly wipe-downs of shared areas. In the kitchen, it’s essential to ensure every food surface is cleaned after four hours or every time it’s used and before moving on to a new food product. Keeping a cleaning schedule helps everyone stay sanitary and safe in a restaurant environment.

Keep Cleaning Supplies in Sight

Besides cleaning each table and labeling them as clean, providing guests with various sanitary supplies is a great way to show that a restaurant cares. This could include anything from hand sanitizer and masks to gloves and disposable napkins. By providing this to each guest, it’s allowing customers to choose their level of comfort and sanitize to meet their needs.

Keep Dinnerware Sparkling Clean

One tremendous concern that frequently stops customers from eating out is considering how clean the cutlery, plates, and cups are in the restaurant they choose. While you can choose to invest in single-use silverware and dishes, it can have some significant downsides. It might not fit your brand if you’re a higher-end restaurant, it’s expensive to have to order supplies consistently, and it’s not very eco-friendly.

Instead, you need to invest in a way to keep your dishes sparkling clean and free of any type of bacteria by using the Tiger Carbon Remover Powder. The FOG tank will altogether remove any carbon, grease, oils, or fats from the kitchenware, delivering a clean shine every time.

Create Clear Signs

People want visible proof that cleanliness is enforced in your establishment. This could include adding a “masks required” sign to the front of your door, COVID safety guidelines on the tables, Floor markings for social distancing, or any other procedures you have in place to keep your business clean.

For example, suppose you’re using the FOG Tank. In that case, you can print out an information sheet to post on your business’s window that includes the logo, temperature information that states 185 degrees is used to disinfect and make each dish bacteria-free, and how there is 100% sanitation after taking items out of the tank. Plus, its constructed from 304-grade stainless steel and is fully insulated. 

Additionally, the FOG Tank is UL Listed can improve food safety by ensuring that all wares are sanitized. There is no reliance on the operator, and it is in compliance with NSF and FDA Food Code Standards. Customers want to know what you’re doing to protect yourself and your community before choosing to spend money at your business, and posting signage is the perfect way to do it.

Provide Open Spaces

The new trend in dining is to space it out and keep it clean. Instead of focusing solely on indoor dining, there is a rise in the popularity of outdoor dining. This is especially helpful for restaurants that do not have much indoor room to begin with, especially when local restrictions have put capacities in place for indoor spaces. 

It’s essential to create a comfortable environment where customers feel safe enough to take off their masks, and by providing outdoor space, you’re doing just that. Make sure to keep your outdoor space clean, especially in environments that are make-shift outdoor dining, like parking lots or sidewalks.

Technology Increase

The increased use of technology can be a crucial component of visible evidence of your cleanliness procedures. For example, instead of printing out disposable menus, or handing over re-usable menus to your customers, offer a QR code so everyone can view the menu without having to touch something shared with others.

You can go a step further by allowing payment across various applications like Cashapp or Venmo. You can offer to send digital receipts versus physical receipts or clean credit cards between use. However you decide to use technology, it’s important to use systems that help your customers stay safe by limiting touch in your business.

Use Cleaning Supplies Properly

Just because you have the cleaning supplies doesn’t mean that you’re using them correctly. It’s essential to create the right concentration of sanitizer and water to keep your space clean. Use a test kit to ensure the concentration is correct and a thermometer to ensure the solution is warm enough to kill germs. Ensure that any object you choose to sanitize sits between 5-30 seconds, depending on the sanitizer and the object’s size. Change the solution as you notice it becomes dirty and ensure as a restaurant that you commit to staying clean instead of letting it fall to the wayside when you’re busy.

As the restaurant industry works to bounce back and people start to show up to your business, it’s essential to already have a plan formulated to keep your business, employees, and customers safe. Deliver confidence through your service, cleanliness, and signage. It’s your duty to protect those who work for or choose to support your business. Addressing these needs and adapting will help your business thrive as the economy continues to re-open.

Pandemic Surprises Food Industry – Food Trucks are Growing

 

With curfews, lockdowns, and an ever-present public health crisis, those in the food industry face a tricky business landscape. Finding a balance between keeping customers feeling safe, making a profit, and following local guidelines can be challenging and even detrimental to many businesses.

However, exciting discovery in the Pandemic era is the popularity and profit made in the food truck business. In fact, some food trucks are doing even better than they were pre-pandemic. As food trucks already offer outdoor dining and encourage social distancing, it’s easy to see why customers continue to choose this food option. Here are a few ways that food trucks are staying ahead during COVID-19.

Outdoor Dining is a Hot Trend

The premise behind food trucks is that there is no physical indoor seating location to visit. Instead, you need to approach a window to order and will be served the food from the same window once it’s ready, really limiting the amount of interaction. Most food trucks only offer a few tables or benches that are naturally spaced apart because most people order food and leave once they receive it instead of sticking around.

As regulations become trickier to manage with capacity limits, food trucks don’t necessarily need to worry or change their process significantly. It’s easier for food trucks to stay open and follow proper sanitation procedures. This allows the business to run as usual and gain even more business from surrounding restaurants that cannot accommodate their typical capacity of visitors.

Smaller Appliances = Less Expensive

Compared to the costs of opening a regular restaurant, a food truck has a lot less overhead. Since there is less space, there is no need for oversized equipment. In fact, most restaurants use smaller, most efficient appliances, such as the FOG Tank, which is designed to clean your dishes in a space as small as 28 inches wide by 33 inches tall and can be customized to fit your specific food truck layout. Additionally, the FOG Tank is UL Listed can improve food safety by ensuring that all wares are sanitized. There is no reliance on the operator, and it is in compliance with NSF and FDA Food Code Standards.

Along with smaller and more efficient appliances, food trucks do not need to pay for staff, indoor seating, or decorations. Plus, fixed costs like rent, electricity, and water are a lot lower for a mobile food truck. While it doesn’t mean the food truck business is easier, it does make it simpler to adapt to the ever-changing industry.

Catering Gigs

Even though the pandemic is not over, events, business meetings, birthdays, and office parties are still happening, and they need food. One of the cleanest and safest ways to offer catering is through a food truck. It’s easy to transport food in a safe and clean environment to the destination that the catering will happen, which means fewer hands and settings interacting with the food.

Plus, unlike restaurants that usually require kitchen space to heat up or set-up their food, you’ll be able to keep it all in one place. This reduces the possibility of cross-contamination or having to enter an unsanitary environment to cook food. It protects both customers and employees from getting sick while still making a profit and providing stellar service.

Online Ordering

An advantage of food trucks is the ability to process a large number of online orders. In restaurants, it can be hard to keep up with to-go orders or eliminate them completely, depending on how busy your restaurant becomes. In the pandemic, customers feel safer ordering take out and eating in an environment that feels clean to them.

Food trucks are the perfect set-up for take-out because they already do it on a daily basis. Food trucks allow ordering through the front window, phone call, or through an online website, streamlining the ordering and payment methods to have less physical interaction.

Easy to Change Menu

When restaurants create a menu, customers expect that the same items will be consistently offered. However, with a food truck, menus can be a little more flexible, allowing owners to change and experiment with new food options. Food truck owners can offer specials to see if a new dish works and gain customer feedback before allowing it to become a permanent menu item. Food trucks can even adjust their menu seasonally to keep up with produce or food products offered in bulk. By purchasing seasonally, it helps keep food costs to a minimum.

Free Advertising

Most restaurants have to spend a fortune creating advertising and brand awareness, especially when many people are not eating out. However, since food trucks can move locations, they’re essentially acting as a billboard to attract business. As a food truck moves around town, it allows customers to learn about the business. Usually, food trucks contain their menu and social media links right on the side of the vehicle so anyone who passes by can open it up on their mobile device. Plus, it helps to build brand recognition and familiarity the more that customers see the name as they’re driving around town.

Perfect Location

Some areas have different or more strict restrictions than others. Guidelines can be set by the state, city, or even county restrictions. It can impact the time businesses are allowed to open and close, along with capacity limits. If, for some reason, one location doesn’t work due to restrictions or popularity, it’s easy for a food truck to move to a new place to find new customers. This allows food truck owners to test out multiple locations at different times of the day to see where they get the most business and what local laws work the best for them. Some food trucks even change location mid-day, using one for the lunch rush and one for dinner.

Easy to Follow Sanitation Guidelines

The biggest concern during coronavirus is how to keep restaurants clean according to city guidelines and customers’ preferences. With such a small space available inside a food truck, it’s easy for owners to sanitize between customers by wiping down all surfaces and providing almost entirely contact-free orders.

Back of House Efficiency a Must for The Ever-Changing Restaurant Industry

Ghost Kitchens

 

Fifty-two percent of adults claim that ordering takeout or delivery is an essential part of their lifestyle. The response by many restaurants to this dramatic shift is to create ghost kitchens. Ordering from ghost kitchens has increased as the pandemic eliminated regular dining options, and people feel safer eating at home or in a public location.

What are Ghost Kitchens?

Essentially ghost kitchens are restaurants that don’t have any dining space, only a kitchen. The idea is to create food that can fulfill orders through your own delivery services or apps like DoorDash, Grubhub, or Uber Eats. Most places will either use their own restaurant kitchen or rent a kitchen at a commercially licensed facility. Once a kitchen has been contracted, restaurants will create a name for themselves, advertise their menu, and take customer orders.

There are no interactions with the customers and the kitchen because the order will always be picked up by a delivery driver, eliminating a significant customer service role restaurants provide. Location doesn’t matter if you can still deliver to popular areas. Even better, you won’t need to spend any money on furniture, wait staff, decorations or menus.

How to Find Efficiency with A Ghost Kitchen

Creating a ghost kitchen is a great way to save money and create a product that customers want. However, to see the success of your ghost kitchen, you’ll need to be able to keep up with delivery demands, especially during busy dining hours. This means you must have back-of-the-house efficiency if you want to stay in business. Here are a few ways you can ensure your back kitchen is as efficient as possible.

Save Money on Labor

One of the most expensive costs you’ll incur is your labor costs. While you’ll need staff to help in the kitchen to cook and prep food, an unnecessary expense you will incur is paying an employee to clean dishes by hand. This can be a long and tedious process that can be detrimental during busy delivery times.

The last thing you want to worry about when you have 20 orders is if your dishes are cleaned properly. A business needs to invest in a solution that saves labor cost, eliminates up to 3 hours or more per day spent scrubbing, and increases the overall kitchen’s cleanliness. A FOG Tank not only solves these issues but is timely, efficient, and delivers the cleaning results you need.

Manage Orders from One Location

Technology plays a vital role in guaranteeing you can deliver your orders correctly and quickly to your customers. You need to ensure you can take all orders from call centers, third-party delivery services, social media, mobile apps, and websites. Investing in a centralized POS system so that all orders can be connected into one system will help to prepare food faster, ensure accuracy and minimize the risk of miscommunication. Plus, all your data will be in one place, so tracking your profits and costs of goods is easier than ever.

High-Quality Packaging and Service

With a ghost kitchen, you won’t have any interaction with customers, but you still need to ensure they have a good experience so they’ll choose to order from you again. First, it’s essential that the food created can withstand long travel times. Unlike at a restaurant where food is served as soon as it’s finished, ghost kitchens will need to account for distance. Consider how long it takes from the moment you complete order to when a customer will consume it.

Choose packaging and containers that help to keep the temperature of your food consistent. If you have your own delivery drivers, ensure that insulated food bags are continually being used as an extra measure to keep food warm. 

When you receive a customer request, try to follow through as much as you can. To ensure customers are satisfied with your service and food, most businesses will include a business card or a QR code for customers to review or post about their order.

Create Operating Procedures

There need to be clear-cut procedures to create a fast turnaround time from the moment a customer orders to when it gets to their hands. Some factors can’t be controlled, such as traffic or the distance to your customer’s address. The things that can be controlled, like food prep time, availability of drivers, and accuracy in your orders, should be done as efficiently as possible. Make sure you know how long your processes should take and streamline anything you don’t need to do by hand, like choosing to use the FOG Tank instead of washing dishes by hand. Additionally, the FOG Tank is UL Listed can improve food safety by ensuring that all wares are sanitized. There is no reliance on the operator, and it is in compliance with NSF and FDA Food Code Standards.

If you don’t handle your own delivery services, make sure the online platforms that manage it have accurate menus and pricing and ensure delivery drivers know how to get to your kitchen to grab the deliveries. The more backend work you do beforehand, the faster your operations will run.

Use Social Media 

Social media is an easy way to get your kitchen noticed. Use platforms like Facebook, Instagram, or TikTok to spread the word, engage with customers and promote your brand. An easy way to get involved is to post photos of your dishes or videos documenting the creation process to entice customers to try out your food and increase interaction. Some simple social media tactics you can use are offering giveaways, advertising promotions, and directly linking a way to order in your social media bio. Make sure to follow locals in your area to gain awareness and brand recognition.

Respond to Reviews

Reviews are a critical part of any business. They can either convince others to try out your brand or discourage them from ever ordering. Both good and bad reviews need to be taken seriously by your team and answered appropriately. If someone had a bad experience, it’s essential to take the time to contact that customer and publicly post a response. This will help the upset customer find a solution to their issue and let others who read the review understand the situation.

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! 


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