All posts filed under “Commercial Ovens

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Making the Transition from Food Truck to Brick and Mortar Location

Chef Grills Bacon On a Food Truck

Food trucks are a great, economical way to get your business started on a budget.  Many brick and mortar restaurants envy food trucks their low overhead, mobility, and ability to go to customers vs waiting for customers to come to them.

However, at some point, every food truck may consider expanding their operations to a brick and mortar store.  Once you have a proven concept at hand, you can increase your profit margins drastically by adding chairs – and a liquor license! – to your operation.  However – there are still important things to consider before taking the plunge:

Location – a food truck can easily go from place to place.  Some cities, such as Austin, TX, will even allow food trucks to semi-permanently park on land – thereby rendering the operation extremely cheap from a rent perspective.  A restaurant is, of course, static by nature.  So location is key.  Even a couple miles distance in a city can be the difference between high foot traffic and almost no foot traffic.  Although a solid menu and marketing plan will certainly boost your customer base – as well as the reputation you’ve built through your food truck business – choosing a desirable, high traffic location will certainly help.

Finance – a new restaurant build out can easily cost a quarter of a million dollars – or more.  Where is this capital coming from?  Chances are, you will need a partner with deep pockets or a hefty loan in order to turn your restaurant into reality.  In addition to the opening costs, it’s important to consider how long you will be in operation before turning a profit.  Average, six to twelve months are needed before a restaurant turns a profit (although again – see above – a good marketing plan, good location, and good reputation can drastically increase that).

Vibe – food trucks are, almost by definition, hip and cool places.  Restaurants can have many different atmospheres, and it’s a great time to sit down and brand your business appropriately when your’re creating your restaurant plan.  Are you more upscale?  Chic?  Minimalist?  Family oriented?  Traditional?  All of these are great things to consider with your architect and general contractor as you make the plunge from food truck to brick and mortar.

Equipment – this is last on our list but perhaps the most important piece of all!  Your restaurant will need: ovens, shelves, refrigerators, ice machines, pots and pans, knives, cutting boards, the list goes on and on.  Chances are a good part of your food truck may be used in the new spot, but it may make sense to keep the food truck for mobile/catering operations and to sustain your existing business and start from scratch.  No matter your choice – trust RestaurantSupply.com for the best possible deals from the best brands and shop with us first when outfitting your new restaurant.

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Conveyor Oven or Impinger Oven?

What do you use to cook your favorite pizzas? Are you a conveyor oven person, or would you rather use an impinger oven? We’ll let you make the choice on that one.

Conveyor ovens have a standard heat source. They differ from the convection ovens in that they don’t have fans to push the air toward what’s in the chamber. This is known as radiant heating.

Impinger ovens take matters into their own hands and use fans to circulate the air and aim the hot air right at the food that’s being cooked. In this case, the impinger eliminates all cold air ‘halos’ which prevent the food from being cooked.

As to which one of the pizza ovens will do the best in your restaurant, that remains to be seen. The ovens themselves are perfect for breads and other pastries because they go through the unit at specific times. It’s a true drag and drop sort of process.

Impinger ovens are better suited for the high volume runs. If you’ve got a lot that you need cooked readily and accurately, then impinger ovens are the ones which will make the most dent in the mountain of work.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re interested in an impinger oven or a conveyor oven, as long as the food is properly cooked. Which do you prefer?

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Tips for a Commercial Microwave

Sometimes using a commercial microwave is very similar to using the microwave at home – just on a bigger scale. What are some of the things that you can do to get a better meal out of a commercial microwave?

  • Let your food sit on the counter for a bit. Most of the time, if you’ve tossed your food into the refrigerator or freezer, it’s rock solid. Let it warm up a bit before you put it into the microwave to heat it up.
  • Cook the food in intervals. Cooking food for too long is a common thing with commercial microwaves.
  • Put a little extra water in when reheating rice and pasta. Take a few moments to add a little moisture to it, else you’ll end up with something that’s dried out and rather yucky. We’ve gotten some great results from our pasta.
  • Leave fries out of the microwave. Honestly, leaving fries out of the microwave will make them a much better pick. If you’re wanting to reheat those, the best thing is to put them in the oven for a time.

What are some of your favorites when it comes to using the microwave? Are the foods at your restaurant microwavable? We’d love to know.

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Bad Blood From Restaurant After Bad Review

What happens when a restaurant treats its customers poorly? Is it slanderous when it’s telling the truth? What happens when someone’s poor review gets lambasted throughout a Facebook page? One woman is discovering the consequences of voicing her opinion about a restaurant in social media.

Is running the commercial ovens putting you so far behind in your restaurant that you need to make people stand around to get seating? That was one of the issues that a lady and her family had. The kitchen was delayed, so this family apparently had to stand around and wait to be seated, even though there were seats already available.

The woman posted about her outrage at having to wait for seating on the company’s Facebook page. It would have remained there, except that a blogger picked up the story and started to talk about it. From there, it started getting out of hand. What happened, though, was unexpected.

The people started coming down on the lady who wrote the review. She was flamed in public with hate and bile, all because she was giving her opinion. She and her family are afraid of the retribution from restaurant goers – as she’s gotten hundreds of comments on the post now.

This is definitely a dual-edged sword. On the one hand, the review was negative and it’s on the restaurant’s site. On the other hand, the person who wrote it is receiving the attention of countless anonymous people. Where do you stand?

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Do you Use a Food Delivery Service?

The longer that your Moffat convection oven runs, the more money that it brings into the restaurant. Have you considered offering delivery for your delicious food? There are a few restaurant delivery services out there which will be more than happy to take over those services for you.

UberEats and AmazonPrime are offering food delivery for their customers, but at a prime price. They are asking for 30% of the check to deliver the food to hungry patrons. The charges passed on to the customer are usually $5. So, they’re in a dilemma. Do restaurants raise the price to account for the delivery services or do they eat the cost?

The biggest issue here is convenience. To keep those Moffat convection ovens running, there needs to be people demanding that it happens. Are lunchgoers willing to pay the additional price to have the convenience of food delivered to their door? Is this something which should only be offered to a few, or should it be opened up to the crowd?

That is what the UberEats and Amazon Prime folks are wrestling with right now. While it can be done, will the move to delivery services be cost effective, or should someone else take their place?