Monthly archives of “January 2015

Deep Fried
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5 Crazy Uses For Your Empura Deep Fryer

Having an Empura deep fryer on hand opens up the possibilities for a world of culinary delights.  If you can get batter around it, then you can deep fry it, right?  We’ve gathered together a list of some of the oddest deep-fried delights for your eating pleasure.

State fairs are the best places that you can go to find people who are pushing the boundaries in deep-fried fare.

  1. Deep fried butter can be found at the State Fair of Texas.  Who would have thought that you could take butter, wrap it with a breading and deep fry it?
  2. Deep fried beer

If you can package the liquid, you can put it into the deep fryer.  While that’s most likely not the motto of the people who run State Fairs, it certainly should be.

  1. Deep fried samoas

Take your traditional Girl Scout cookies and then rev it up a notch by tossing them into the deep fryer.  There’s nothing that supports the campaign to expand your waistline better than adding hundreds of calories to an already decadent treat.

  1. Deep fried picnic on a stick

This wouldn’t have been so bad had there not been some double dipping on the chicken. This treat combines fried chicken, tater tots, and pickles on a skewer.  Then they’re breaded and deep fried.

  1. Deep fried scorpion

Yes, scorpions. People are flocking to these in the Arizona state fair. Wonderful scorpions are taken and deep fried to absolute perfection in an Empura deep fryer, if you’re brave enough.

If you’ve got some fair food to share or are thinking about putting some of these wonderful meals in your restaurant, we’d love to know about it.  Tell us about your Empura deep fryer adventures.

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Salamander
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4 Uses for Your Baker’s Pride Salamander

The Baker’s Pride Salamander caramelizes, broils, browns, melts, and heats anything that you put within it up to amazing temperatures.  The salamander is the go-to tool of toasting chefs everywhere. Insert your hot lizard jokes here!

How you can use the salamander

Toasting sandwiches

Some members of our staff are madly in love with toasted ham and swiss sandwiches on crusty French bread.  To get that light toasting and the cheese melted, it only takes a little time in the Salamander to get it just right.

Quick and easy quesadillas

Purists might say that quesadillas should only be cooked on the griddle, but we know for a fact that they can be crafted inside the Salamander.

Pizza

There’s nothing like a good slice of pizza when you’re having a lazy sort of day.  The Salamander can take your pizza and give the cheese an almost unnatural goodness while still keeping the crush fresh and delightful.  While we’d never suggest the ‘in the box’ pizza for your restaurant, it might be great for something off the clock and casual.

Grilling steaks

All the wonders and delights of grilled and broiled steak without the hassle of getting flames and smoke all over everywhere.  Put your steak into the Baker’s Pride Salamander and watch it go to town.  Now, we know that it’s hard to screw up good old fashioned meat, but try Salamanders; they make the steaks interesting.

There are so many things that you can use the Salamander for in your commercial kitchen.  If you don’t have one, or your use it simply as a cheesemelter, you’re missing out on the wide range of goodies that can be subject to the lizard’s flame.

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Health Inspection Part 2
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How to Prepare for a Health Inspection pt 2

Today, we’re continuing the conversation about preparing for a health inspection.  Yesterday, we mentioned that the first impressions of your restaurant count, that hand washing was essential, and that keeping food within proper temperatures is extremely important.

Let’s extend the conversation today by talking about preparedness within the workplace.

  • Record keeping

Where a lot of places fail is in the ability to have accurate records on hand to show to the inspector.  They want to make sure that you are keeping up with the guidelines, but many restaurants are woefully underprepared when their time comes

  • Test the employees

Talk to the employees about food safety procedures and quiz them while they’re working.  Ask them if they’re keeping the right tasks and educate them if it happens that they’re not following the rules.  Health code violations are serious business.

  • Cleaning supplies

Make sure that there are no sponges used to clean the bathroom, as sponges harbor bacteria.  Have separate wiping cloths so that cross-contamination doesn’t happen.

It is possible for every restaurant to get an A on their health inspection.  All it takes is having the right restaurant supplies on hand and a willingness to make sure that you are providing the best to your customers.

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Health Inspector
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How to Prepare for a Health Inspection

Food safety procedures are part and parcel of the restaurant game.  Your customers must be confident that they won’t become ill upon eating your tasty treats.  One way to ensure that your restaurant is upholding its end of the bargain is to have regular health inspections.

Health inspections aren’t scheduled, which means that your restaurant needs to be prepared at any time.  One thing that more proactive restaurants do is have mock inspections where the restaurant is inspected by the managers.

How to you prepare for a health inspection?

Preparing for a health inspection is much like being prepared for a pop quiz in school.  Having the general information will help you do well, but being spot on will help you do even better.

  • First impressions count

While the health inspector is more concerned about what’s going on in the kitchen, it’s still quite important to get their perspective of the restaurant as they’re walking in.  As restaurant owners and managers, we get very tunnelvisioned, and the outside perspective will do people good.

  • Talk about hand washing

When it comes to food safety, hand washing is one of the easiest ways to eliminate the germs which can develop on our hands.  Following that up with a sanitizer adds a little extra insurance.

  • Temperatures

When you read about health inspection violations from any city, some of the most common violations that you’ll see revolve around improper temperatures.  These types of issues are sometimes tricky to solve, as they require repairs, but are definitely solvable.

We’ll talk a little more about preparing for health inspections in our post tomorrow, where we’ll talk about what you can do as well as offering up some resources.  Stay tuned.

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Waiter in Restaurant
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Pros and Cons of Non-Tipping Restaurant

Just because it’s been done since the inception of the industry doesn’t mean that the system is right, just, or equitable.  Every American restaurant-goer has been trained to treat the tip as part of every restaurant meal, but there’s at least one restaurant who’s changing the system.

A restaurant in Philly, the Girard Brasserie and Bruncherie, has given up the tip system to treat all of their employees like office workers. People are given a reasonable hourly wage, health insurance, sick time, and vacation days.

The system that’s in place right now has tipped worker’s wages set at $2.13 an hour, a figure which hasn’t changed in over 25 years.  When the restaurant kept track of the tips, they found their average worker was paid around $8.25 an hour.

There are pros and cons to the system.

Pros:

  • On ‘off’ days, workers are still guaranteed a reasonable wage.  Getting people to work days and nights in this restaurant might not be like pulling teeth.
  • Health insurance was previously not offered to tipped employees.  Having health insurance available keeps workers healthy and able to work.
  • Paid sick leave wasn’t offered to tipped employees.  Now workers don’t have to fear as much loss if they’re sick.

Cons:

  • Tipped employees have the potential to make quite a lot more than the state mandated wage.  At the more expensive restaurants, the mandatory 10-20% can yield up to $20-30 an hour for a busy night.
  • The prices of dishes at this restaurant have been changed to reflect the offering of health insurance, paid sick days, and vacation time.

When running a restaurant, there are several factors to consider, including restaurant supplies, labor costs, and more.  The jury’s still out on whether this system will take hold and revolutionize the industry, but it seems to be working out well.

No-Tip Restaurant Offers Food For Thought On Pay, Benefits

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