Showing posts with label checklist. Show all posts
Showing posts with label checklist. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Commercial Kitchen Walkthrough with Rapids Wholesale

commercial restaurant kitchen equipment
Kirkwood kitchen equipped by Rapids Wholesale

Ever have this happen?  It’s the middle of the afternoon, and the second largest party you've ever booked is due to arrive in just a few hours.  You’ve been up all night prepping and organizing.  You’ve gone over every little detail, down to the stupidest little thing, dozens of times in your head.  Tonight’s performance has played over and over in your mind -- at the expense of sleep.  But it’s your kitchen, your name on the menu, and you live for this. 

Sweat on the brow and a tickle in the stomach is par for the course on a day like today.  And then, a sudden calm comes over you.  Confidence builds as you realize you are ready now!  You got this, it’s a lock!  You’ve given the line staff the pep talk.  Morale and energy is high!  All the training and preparation has brought you to this exact moment.  Your well oiled machine is on autopilot!  It’s go time, and then . . . “hey boss! range won’t light?!?”

Reliability and Consistency.  Think about those two words, and how, in this moment, they will determine your overall Quality.  As you scramble to become operational, you are cutting into the precious little time you need to make tonight Perfection.

When you get a spare second, before the next big thing, look at your kitchen.  Take a good long look at YOUR kitchen.  Do it when you are all alone.  Look at the fryers, the range, the ovens.  Look at the slicers, the processors and mixers.  Look at the sinks and the warmers and even the darn hoods.  Is everything working right?  Is everything ready?  I offer you this: your staff will say everything is A-OK to avoid the degreaser bottle.  The tape (don’t deny it) may hold another week if it has to.  Just remember whose name is printed in the menu.  Is it worth it?

You need to make sure your kitchen is geared up properly for the rush, and we can help.  Equipping you and keeping you running is what WE do.  We’ve been doing it since 1936, and we do it well!  We have everything you need and an experienced support staff on stand-by.  Stories like this one are told daily around here.  Many of us have found ourselves standing, alone in our own kitchen, preparing.

Check out this video from our YouTube page that shows you what we carry for your kitchen and how to order it.  And as you watch it, think about your kitchen.  Think about your current model and condition of the gear you see on the screen.  Then ask yourself, "is it ready for the rush?"

We’ve heard just about every kitchen horror story there is here.  Don't get yourself stuck in a pinch. These things are often preventable with a little foresight.  For bigger operations with multiple locations, we can even offer you a “one call” resolution to any potential kitchen catastrophes or facility failures with our in-house affiliates Chain Restaurant Solutions.  These folks are lifesavers.  Here are just a few of the companies that agree and take advantage of our expertise!

chain restaurant solutions

Do you have any kitchen catastrophes or front-house fumbles to share?  We'd love to here them!  Leave them in the comments below!


Monday, March 11, 2013

Thoughts on St. Patrick’s Day Liquor, Big Gingers and Irish Car Bombs!

Big Ginger in Collins Glass

Ok folks, we’re getting a bit closer to St. Patrick’s day and now it’s crunch time on ordering your bar supplies.  In the last story we went over proper Irish beer to stock.  If you missed it, go back HERE!  If you caught it . . . let’s move on to spirits, and the supplies you need to quench the forthcoming thirst!

There are few things Irish folk enjoy more than a cold pint.  Many would agree there is but one alternative or compliment to the beloved beverage . . . Whiskey!  As with beer sales, your whiskey sales will likely see a HUGE increase this St. Patrick’s day, especially those distilleries that call Ireland home.  

Leading the pack of Irish distilleries by distributing an amazing 32 million bottles a year throughout the world is the widely recognized Jameson brand, according to the wikipedia.  In the same article, we learn that John Jameson (actually a Scottish dude) established his distillery in Dublin way back in 1780.  Nowadays, Pernod Richard (a French company), owns the brand.   It's distilled in Cork, but vatting still takes place in Dublin and they pump out more than a million gallons a year.

Now get this!  There is a pub in Minneapolis called The Local that holds the world’s record for the largest amount of Jameson served averaging well over 20 bottles a day!  Wow.  Just . . . wow!  Apparently, their signature drink, the Big Ginger, was responsible for much of this unbelievable Jameson consumption.  

A Big Ginger is super easy to make.  Grab a Collins glass like the ones found here.  Fill it with cube or half dice ice.  Add two shots of an Irish whiskey.   Fill the rest of the glass with ginger ale, and garnish with lemon and lime wedges from your condiment dispenser.  

Condiment Dispenser from Rapids Wholesale

The Big Ginger is a hugely popular drink in the twin cities, not surprisingly due to the influence of one incredible Irish born personality, Kieran Folliard.  He is the founder of The Local, The Liffey, Cooper, and Kieran’s Irish Pubs scattered throughout the metropolis.  Not only have these pubs garnished their own individual success, but they became the testing grounds for his next endeavor . . . 2Gingers Irish Whiskey.  Folliard committed to creating his very own Irish Whiskey.

In their own words, 2Gingers claims, “The award-winning spirit is smooth, malty, and slightly sweet to start, with a tingle of honey and citrus. The woody essence of this four-year-aged blend suggests caramel and vanilla to the finish.”  And I have to admit, I agree with their description.  It is a really a solid Whiskey!

2Gingers was just acquired by Beam Inc. last December, but will continue to be distilled and bottled at Kilbeggan on the River Brosna in Westmeath County, Ireland.  Kilbeggan along with New Midleton, Old Bushmills and Cooley round out the four major distilleries in Ireland.

Now, for the super cool part!  Rumor has it 2Gingers is currently outselling Jameson in the Twin Cities area and can be found in most of the upper midwest spreading like wildfire.  I was able to pick up a bottle at my favorite spirits provider (and Rapids customer) Benz Beverage Depot.   Word on the street is Mr. Folliard himself is on tour promoting his Irish success with his motto “Bring your own luck!”  And he is coming to visit my home town for St. Patrick’s Day!  

You can join Kieran, and likely me, for a Big Ginger at Cedar Rapids’ very own Mahoney’s Irish Pub St. Patrick’s Day Street Party, Saturday March 16 through the 17th.  Mahoney’s, in the Irish district, has been one of our favorite local Irish pubs and a valued customer for years!

Image courtesy of Mahoney's Pub

If you’re not in the area, or working the holiday, be sure to support the little and independent guys in your area when making your holiday plans.  There is nothing as charming and as real as the passion these guys have for their craft!

Now onto the dirty stuff, the Irish Car Bomb.  It’s a love/hate thing.  To some the name is offensive, which isn’t surprising.  But people buy it, especially on St Patrick’s day.  You need to be prepared for it and be careful, this one is tricky.

The problem isn’t the ingredients, it’s the technique.  All you need is Guinness, Bailey’s Irish Creme and an Irish Whiskey.  Unlike a lot of other bomb shots --cherry bombs, Jager bombs and saki bombs, for example-- you can’t easily get away with using a Bar Maid Bomb Cup.  The foam from the Guinness would be problematic.

So, first grab a regular pint glass or frosty mug and fill it 2/3 full of Guinness.  While the head is settling, fill a 1oz shot glass half full of Bailey’s Irish Creme.  On top of the Bailey’s, in the same shot glass, layer an Irish Whiskey.  The customer should then suspend the shot glass over the pint glass and drop IMMEDIATELY BEFORE chugging it in it’s entirety.  If dropped prematurely, or not consumed instantly, it will start to curdle.  This will stimulate a gag reflex in many, and soon you’ll be calling for the mop bucket.  Avoid this catastrophe, and be prepared!

Happy St. Paddy's!



Tuesday, February 5, 2013

So, You Want To Open A Restaurant...

So, You Want To Open A Restaurant...
Good for you! Owning and operating a restaurant or bar can be rewarding. Overcoming challenges and exploiting opportunities makes the hospitality industry an addictive environment for the right individuals. Rapids has been there for many entrepreneurs as they have considered this big step toward independence.

When it comes to the tools of the trade, smallwares are the foundation of any food service enterprise. Smart operators realize that consistency in everything from portioning to presentation to prep is important in driving repeat business. The basics such as measuring cups, tongs and spatulas help create signature consistency.

If that sounds like a lot of importance attached to a collection of plastic and metal bits and pieces, think about it this way: these are the products that will be reached for most often in any facility. A set of measuring cups will get touched more often each day than an oven handle. Portion control utensils such as spoons and ladles can mean the difference between profit and loss. Smallwares are important, their cost and acquisition should occupy an appropriate amount of planning and procurement time.

At Rapids we have a series of smallwares checklists created around several of the more popular venues. When we specify the equipment list for our design / procurement contracts we use lists just like these to make sure we don't miss anything. We think that they will make a great starting point for anyone in the planning stages of opening a restaurant, so we have made them available on our website.

When using a checklist like those listed below don't be afraid to edit and substitute. These lists are based on recommendations in type and quantity, not brand and price. Having a set of kitchen floor plan drawings along side will be helpful too. Where a list might suggest two 36" dunnage racks your floor plan might dictate that a 36" and a 48" pairing is a better fit. No pre-published equipment list can anticipate every need or desire, but our lists make for a great starting point!

Browse and download these lists, write up a lot of questions, then give the folks in our catalog sales department a call and let Rapids help you refine your needs. Or go directly to the Rapids Wholesale website and compile a sample order for budgeting purposes.

Choose the closest list type to your restaurant concept: