Friday, June 28, 2013

Perfect Product Fast, No Hoods or Microwaves Necessary: Ovention Matchbox Countertop Oven

Pepperoni pizza. Paninis. Chocolate chip cookies, chicken, cheesy bread, and chewy brownies. People love baked favorites like these. Now, imagine serving them at lightning-fast speeds, without using microwaves. With the Ovention Matchbox countertop oven, now you can! Here at the Marion location of Rapids Wholesale, we saw the evidence with our own eyes — on a bus, no less, where Ovention Sales Rep Aaron Ulmer and Midwest Professional Rep Chris Merritt offered product knowledge, and prepared us a fast, mobile feast.

As Merritt and Ulmer demonstrated, the Ovention Matchbox can be used as a portable convection oven, a conveyor pizza oven, or an outdoor oven for mobile carts — making it one of the best and most versatile countertop ovens. It stands at just below 21 inches tall and 62 inches wide, with a depth of 35 inches. And the technology built into this convenient, mini oven gives it some unique powers.

For starters, the Ovention Matchbox is safe for ventless operation. That’s right — no hood required. This is true thanks its catalytic filtration system, the same technology used to filter emissions from cars. The filtration limits the Matchbox’s output of smoke, grease, and other vapors. It can’t handle fatty raw proteins, like bacon, but it’s good to go for most anything else! 

This includes offering a high-variety, quick-service menu without sacrificing quality. The cabinet design of the Ovention Matchbox, another of its highly unique features, makes this possible. The Matchbox comes with two self-loading compartments that shuffle into and out of the heated chamber on their own. While your product is baking, this chamber stays shut. No energy or heat can escape, unlike a conveyor oven. The result? Lower energy bills, and a 3-minute bake-time for pizzas.

Check out this video of the Matchbox Oven in Action from Rapids' YouTube Channel!

More on the Ovention Matchbox Commercial Oven

Inside the Ovention Matchbox’s chamber, a variety of products can bake one after the next. You program your own recipes based on variables including temperature, timing, and upper and lower air velocity. Adjustable velocity is key, as this is what allows Ovention Matchbox to produce perfect crispy-crust pizza at one moment, then chewy deep dish the next.

And there’s almost no wait to change temperatures for different products. This sets the Matchbox in a class above most countertop pizza ovens and portable convection ovens.

The Ovention Matchbox is also ridiculously easy to operate. Once you preset up to 1,000 recipes, a touch screen on the front allows users queue up the perfect formula for each product at the touch of a button. It can also display the wait time for customers.

As Midwest Professional Rep Chris Merritt emphasized, the Ovention can work wonders in a multitude of venues. It’s an obvious choice for mobile carts and convenience stores. But it’s also great for businesses or institutions providing a limited late-night menu after shutting down the kitchen. 

If your business could benefit from the Ovention Matchbox’s many talents, or if you’re looking for more information on this countertop oven’s capabilities, don’t hesitate to give us a call at 1-800-472-7431 or jump on Rapids Online Chat! One of our sales reps will be happy to go over specs, shipping, pricing, and anything else you may need to know.

Written by Holly Hines

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The “Eyeballing Method” Vs. The Portion Scale: Why Food Portion Control is Key

Edlund Scales at Rapids Wholesale
Portion Scales at
If you’d like to save money and improve your menu simultaneously, you may want to take advantage of our current sale on an inexpensive tool to help with both goals: a portion scale. You may be thinking: why should I spend on portion control tools? My staff can eyeball the correct portions, right?

Unfortunately, that may not be the case. Using an “eyeballing system” could end up costing you. Inexact portioning can lead to several negative consequences, including over-use of costly ingredients, funny-tasting food, food with an unappealing appearance, and a growing number of unsatisfied customers. An Edlund scale may be the best way to avoid these issues. Allow me to illustrate.

Basic Kitchen Arithmetic and Portion Control Scales

Let’s start with a little math. As an example, say you own a deli, and your deli serves 100 turkey sandwiches a day. A typically-portioned turkey sandwich needs roughly 2 ounces of turkey. But, let’s say your kitchen has no portion scale, and the staff isn’t great at eyeballing. They may ere on the heavy side when it comes to turkey; let’s say an extra ounce per sandwich. If half your total sandwiches are made with 3 instead of 2 ounces, you spend on 50 unnecessary ounces of turkey a day. In a week? About 22 pounds. And in a month? That’s almost 100 lbs. of turkey. Never-mind the ham, roast beef, cheese, and other products you serve. These numbers are just examples, but you get the picture. Small amounts add up.

Now you may be thinking: I don’t want to skimp on serving sizes for my customers, either. And this is true. However, to provide a perfect sandwich, you need perfectly-portioned ingredients. The ratio of cheddar to ham or provolone to roast beef can make a difference. Once you find the right balance taste-wise and budget-wise, make sure your staff has the tools to stick to it.

Likewise, looks make a difference to the typical customer’s eye. If your meat portions look small compared to the bread you’re using, customers may go into the meal assuming it won’t fill them up. And if the portions really are too small, they’ll definitely leave hungry. After ordering a sandwich that’s thin in the middle, a first-time customer may not return, no matter how great the taste. Food portion control and an Edlund scale can help you create balanced-looking dishes to please customers’ eyes and stomachs.
The flip-side of that coin is that some people seek to avoid over-filling. Healthy diets are trendy, and portion control is a big part of any diet. Many restaurants offer particular menu items portioned to fit into customers’ healthy lifestyles. Customers counting calories and watching what they eat have their eyes peeled for portion sizes. Make sure the healthy section of your menu won’t disappoint them.

Food portion control is an easy way to keep all the above-mentioned customers appeased. It enhances both taste and presentation, and equips staff to produce quality products quickly and confidently. And, right now, Rapids is making the choice even more obvious by offering a great sale on select Edlund scales while supplies last! To take advantage of this deal, check out Rapids E-Newsletter Deals, and be sure to sign up for it on to receive these offers first, or a call a Rapids rep at 1-800-472-7431!

Written by Holly Hines

Monday, June 10, 2013

Star Light, Star Bright: Star Panini Grills, Star Roller Grills, and Stainless Steel Griddles at

Star Commercial Kitchen Equipment at
Star Commercial Kitchen Equipment

A recent presentation left Rapids Wholesale reps “Starry-eyed” — particularly when it comes to commercial Panini grills, hot dog roller grills, and commercial charbroilers and griddles. Lorne G. Deacon, regional sales manager of Star Manufacturing , paid Rapids reps in Marion a visit this month to shed light on some high-demand equipment for restaurants, sandwich shops, convenience stores, and other businesses.
Deacon’s spotlight fell on some new features of Star’s Ultra-Max line, which includes heavy duty griddles, charbroilers, hot plates, and other related restaurant-grade equipment. In addition, Deacon delved into hotdog and sandwich grilling options. To learn more, take a peek at the videos and information below — and, as always, give us a call at 1-800-472-7431 if you still have questions!

Ultra-Max: Commercial Charbroilers, Griddles, and Hot Plates

Star has added some updates to its Ultra-Max line — including the twinkle of added stainless steel griddle components. Deacon said they’ve done away with thermal plastic knobs , replacing them out with stainless steel ones. Star has also upgraded the warranty on Ultra-Max units like this 36" gas griddle or this 36" commercial charbroiler to three years!
Ultra-Max griddles — among the best griddles you’ll find — come with a 1” thick chrome plate that holds heat, decreases energy expenses, and reduces clean-up time. The charbroilers come with adjustable grates and steel drip deflectors that steer grease away from the water pan. Star also does hot plates, like this gas unit. These units boast a flat top, making it easier to move pans from one burner to the next. As Deacon said, “we have an offering in every single countertop space, we feel.” 

Ultra-Max Product Spotlight Video

Star-Max and Ultra-Max Technology Upgrades Detailed Video

Star Hot Dog Roller Grills

Summer, the season of hot dogs, is on the horizon. Customers can load them with chili, or squirt on some ketchup. They can enjoy them on-the-go, at a carnival, or outside at the park under the June sky — but first, you’ve got to grill them.
Star roller grills are designed to show off your product. Built with a slight slant, hot dogs and brats roll in easy view, tempting passers-by. Rapids carries models with both standard non-stick and Duratec advanced non-stick rollers. Our roller grill lineup includes models for 35 or 40 dogs, with an optional a bun warmer.

Star Rollergrill Products Spotlight

Pro-Max Commercial Panini Grills and Sandwich Grills

Who wants a cold sandwich when they could have a warm, toasty one? One-by-one, sandwich shops and other restaurants are catching on to the allure of melt-y, cheesy heated sandwiches. If you’re looking to get on board with this trend, or to increase your production of these popular offerings, a Star sandwich or Panini grill may be your best bet.
For flexibility when it comes to sandwich and Panini grill recipes, you may want to try the Grill Express. This versatile grill can handle a skinny quesadilla, a packed 3” sandwich , and most anything in-between. It comes equipped with two cast iron plates, offering excellent heat distribution.
If you’re focusing on Paninis, we offer both cast iron and aluminum ribbed Star models. These come with a removable grease drawer, and an accurate thermostat rated between 175° and 450°F.

Star Panini Grills Product Spotlight Video

To order any of these units, check out the Rapids Wholesale website, or call a rep at 1-800-472-7431!

Written by Holly Hines.