Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Manitowoc Indigo Commercial Ice Maker Technology Training Review

manitowoc indigo
Manitowoc Training at Rapids Wholesale

Here at Rapids Wholesale, we had the honor of receiving some sage advice and wisdom from the area's leading authority in all things ice-related, Gene Lind, territory manager for Don Stevens, LLC and an expert in Manitowoc ice makers.  Gene walked us through the super cool technology behind the Manitowoc Indigo Series Ice Makers.  These commercial ice machines feature LCD displays that will communicate the results of it's intelligent diagnostic monitoring system to you and your staff.

Here is our product spotlight video of the Indigo series ice makers from Manitowoc on our YouTube page.

Check out the highlights of Gene's presentation in this video.  Below it, we'll go over some of the key points and tools he's talking about!

These Indigo machines feature a 16-line by 4-line LCD display screen that alerts the user on the condition of the equipment.  This gives you the ability to monitor it's status and set reminders for scheduled maintenance and cleaning.

Service Technicians will have the ability to upload machine status to a USB thumb drive for analysis.  

The menu is easy to navigate and provides users with pertinent data like machine status as well as serial numbers and production functions.  The menu can be displayed in different languages as well.  

Manitowoc Indigo Display Demo CLICK HERE!

For a "live" demonstration of the Indigos menu Navigation CLICK HERE and select the DEMO tab.

Through the menu on the Indigo machines, users get to select the clarity of their ice, also.  If you select a clearer cube setting, the machine will cycle and purge more water to obtain a clean, clear cube.  This is beneficial to businesses where plating and appearance is very important, and definately useful for those involved in food and beverage photography who prefer shooting natural ingredients.

Indigo machines can be password protected to deter staff and residents or guests from disabling the machine or adjusting the reminders.  I can just see it now: the stock boy fiddling with the cleaning schedules to get out of dirty work, ha!

Here is a video that shows how to clean the machines.

Indigo machines can be outfitted with the Automatic Cleaning System or AUCS for hands off, pre-programmed cleaning.  Cleaner and sanitizer bottles are hooked to the machine, and when it comes time for cleaning, the process is automated.  Other reminders can be programmed to alert you when to change the air filter and water filters.

The LuminIce feature is also available on the Indigo line, which prevents yeast and bacterial growth in the food zone of the machines.  This is an important feature for any restaraunt or other establishment that has a bakery.  LuminIce will keep the unit cleaner for longer periods of time using UV light to kill off bacterial growth.

Another neat feature for lower volume restaurants and especially for hotels and motels is the ability to set a timer for production times.  Using the timer will allow you to set the machine to idle production during the overnight hours not to disturb sleeping guests!

To figure out what size machine you will need for your establishment, you can use this handy ICE MACHINE CALCULATOR and then order yours HERE!

Here is a cleaning check list if you already own one!

manitowoc indigo
Manitowoc Cleaning Checklist


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!