All posts filed under “Restaurant Equipment

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Ramen Noodles and Poke Bowls – the Latest Food Trends to Explore!

Ramen and Poke, oh my!  These fun fast casual food concepts are popping up all over the place and with good reason – they are delicious, colorful, and easy to execute with high price margins on the food costs.  Plus, neither ramen or poke is anywhere near a ‘new’ food concept – both have deep cultural roots and have been enjoyed for generations in the respective areas they originated in.  If you’re looking for a new restaurant concept to try, consider one of these two options.  Here’s a little more info on both:

Asian Miso ramen noodles with egg, tofu, pork and enoki in bowl on blue marble table.

Ramen: originating in Japan, a classic ramen bowl involves Chinese wheat noodles, a killer broth, and a variety of savory (delicious) toppings.  The ramen craze in Japan originated in 1910, with the first stand along ramen shop opening at that time.  It took, granted, several decades for this classic, easy to execute, and delectable noodle dish to take off in the USA, but it’s now a fast growing industry, with trendy eateries popping up in major cities on the east coast, west coast, and everywhere in between.  Broth is key – essential – to a good ramen bowl – so perfect yours, and then work on a  variety of ingredients which will please a variety of palates and lifestyle restrictions.  Remember to cater to vegetarians with both vegetarian broth and completely separate prep space in order to increase your marketability.

Hawaiian tuna poke bowl with seaweed, avocado, red cabbage, radishes and black sesame seeds

Poke: from the far East to the far West, Poke Bowls hail from Hawaii.  A very simple preparation involves marinating raw fish in a soy sauce marinade, and then creating a ‘bowl’ with various rice and vegetable toppings.  This trend is newer, even, then ramen and appeals very easily to a health conscious consumer, especially if the bowl is prepared with brown rice.  Different types of fish can be used, and because the fish is marinated, cheaper cuts can also be employed.

Want to try out these concepts but not sure how they will do in your neighborhood?  Consider a pop up to gauge interest and also run the kitchen for a night and see how your staff does with either/or concept – or perhaps even a hybrid of both!


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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 for the best possible deals from the best brands and shop with us first when outfitting your new restaurant.

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Ever Hear of the TroughVeyor?

There are only a few restaurants out there that serve patrons in the thousands every lunch period, but institutions like schools, prisons, and hospitals do it all the time. They’re responsible for quickly serving large groups of people and cleaning up everything that’s left on the plate. That’s one of the reasons that the Savajor 300-TVR TroughVeyor disposer system exists.

Speed is of the utmost importance when cleaning food waste from plates. It’s necessary to get to the next one and prepare the shift for the next thousand plates or so. The troughveyor system gives workers a trough to rinse and remove the food waste that is still on the plates and bowls. Everything is water tight.

The pumps are designed to keep the water flowing, and the trough sends the food waste to the disposer. It only uses 7 gallons of water a minute to do such a vital job. The machine has a silverware trap, something perfectly designed in case a fork or a spoon gets through when doing the initial cleaning. This disposer system is well worth it for those institutional settings that need speed to succeed.

When you need to dispose of a lot of food waste, consider purchasing a TroughVeyor for your facility.

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Chocolate Dipping Machine Used at Universal Studios

Oompa loompa indeed! We know that the Matfer Choco 10 Chocolate Dipping machine will last a long time at the new Universal Studios Willy Wonka inspired chocolate factory. It will be a sticky-sweet delight for everyone.

This restaurant, Toothsome, will be based on a “19th century inspired Steampunk chocolate factory, complete with towering smoke stacks, funky gadgetry, and staff wearing unique Steampunk fashion.” What a better wonderland to play with, releasing your pure imagination?

The drink creations appear to be best suited to that world of fantasy, dripping with chocolate and chocolate sauce. We’re looking forward to the way that the dipping chocolate will flow free in Orlando’s streets.

And, what better than a sweets shop for park goers? Visitors don’t have to pony up the park fee to go inside and explore this new wonderland that’s about to open. Again, what an awesome way to use one of the Matfer Choco 10 Chocolate dipping machines (we don’t know if they’re using them, but we’re sure that they should. )

So, what crazy chocolate drinks has your restaurant come up with? Chocolate, with its reputation of soothing the savage beast, helping people feel wonderful after a long day at work, and more. We’d love to see what you have come up with.

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Advantages of Vacuum Packing Machines

Meat, veggies, and fruits start going bad from the moment that they are picked or processed. There’s only so long that they stay alive, and that shelf life is something critical to pay attention to when you’re planning meals for the week. You can prolong that life by using a Berkel vacuum pack machine.

The vacuum pack machine allows you to take advantage of those sales and special deals that your suppliers might offer you. You may, for example, get a killer deal on kiwi, and have something in mind, but it’s going to take a few minutes to get around to – enter the vacuum packing.

What about the sauce that you want to stow away for another day? The 350D seal bar vacuum packer can do the trick. It’s made to keep the bacteria out and the freshness in. This is what chefs have been waiting for – something that keeps the food tasting fresh.

The chamber and outside are easy to clean, the machine is easy to program, too. What about developing an additional revenue stream? How many times have you been asked if they can have the recipe for your sauce? This piece of equipment has so much potential in your kitchen.