Yay or Nay: What Can You Cook in a Carbon Steel Pan?
One of the most significant reasons for professional and home chefs’ preference for carbon steel cookware is its versatility. It can be used in a stove or on top of an open flame, on an induction burner, under a boiler and also in a pizza oven, and many more. The most important step when using carbon steel cookware is to properly season it to build up the non-stick coating which occurs during seasoning.
Which Foods Can You Cook in Your Carbon Steel Pan?
You can cook many things in a carbon steel pan, such as perfect rice, hundreds of Chinese wok recipes, or a nice crust on a pizza. After it is properly seasoned you can also cook more delicate items such as fish, eggs, or even pancakes. But it is important to remember that acidic ingredients can cause trouble for your carbon steel pan. If you want to add tomatoes, that is all right. But if you want to add vinegar or citrus-based sauces to your dish, carbon steel pans are not ideal because acidic foods negatively affect the pan’s seasoning.
There are a variety of carbon steel pans to choose from including a professional flat bottom carbon steel wok, round bottom woks, and French carbon steel pans to name a few. But all of them need to be seasoned.
There are many reasons to season your carbon steel pan for cooking purposes:
Due to moisture and humidity, a carbon steel pan will rust, but a properly seasoned pan will be protected from rusting.
Seasoning protects your pan from rusting by consistently providing a water barrier.
It also enhances the performance of the pan and gives it a non-stick surface that you can only find in Teflon-type coatings in the modern world.
When your carbon steel pan is seasoned correctly, you can cook pancakes, eggs, crepes, and even traditional recipes like omelets.
Sometimes you will see while cleaning your pan that burned food residues won’t come off, and due to half-oxidized particles of oil, uneven bumps appear on the pan. To remove these hard particles, follow these steps:
Add a thin layer of salt to the pan and heat it.
Then scrub it with a wooden spatula or paper towel. The salt helps to clean all the lingering particles and food residue.
After that, wash the pan with warm water to remove the salt.
Then dry it with paper towels.
Heat the pan briefly over an open burner to evaporate any water residue.
Lastly, add a thin layer of oil to your pan and rub it gently.
5 Steps You Need to Remember
Your carbon steel pan comes with a coating of beeswax. Before using the pan, you have to remove it using hot water, a little soap, and a paper towel.
Set the temperature gradually in the oven as this material heats up fast.
Follow the acidic rules that are similarly applicable to cast iron pans.
Only hand-wash since the dishwasher can remove the seasoning.
How to Start the Cooking Process?
Here are a few rules one needs to follow for the best outcome in your cooking experience:
First, Try to Avoid the Preparation of Delicate Food
Your carbon steel pan takes some time to properly build up its non-stick pattern to function as a versatile cookware. So, it is very important at first to avoid cooking delicate dishes like fish or eggs since you will not be able to cook them properly, and the products will stick to the surface.
Start with fatty proteins, such as steak or bacon. Once you know that the coating on your carbon steel pan’s surface is made, then you can begin your experimentation with more delicate foods and you will not be disappointed.
Always Preheat Your Pan
Before starting the cooking process, you need to make sure that your ingredients are kept at room temperature for almost half an hour because cooking with fridge-cold ingredients can increase the probability of thermal shock which is not at all good for your new pan.
Always preheat your pan for two to three minutes at a medium to low temperature and after the pan has gotten gradually hot, add butter or oil.
Have a Look at the Heat
One of the best features that carbon steel pans have is that they can take temperatures up to 1,200 degrees F. If you do some high-heat cooking, you can utilize this characteristic of these pans. But carbon steel pans heat up quickly and may not require these extremely high temperatures. Many experts recommend that cooking over medium heat is the best as it helps avoid burned food and can yield the most crispy proteins.
After You’ve Done the Cooking, Clean up the Pan
Though it is not directly linked to cooking, you also need to consider proper cleaning as an important factor. Cleaning your carbon steel cookware properly will maintain its seasoned surface and durability long into the future.
Do You Worry About the Safety of Your Carbon Steel Pan?
Carbon steel cookware is not a new thing, but in recent years it has gained so much popularity among professional chefs, and more than ever, it is becoming popular among home cooks. It functions similarly to a non-stick pan, but it doesn’t have that Teflon non-stick layer that some people are concerned with.
As the main components of this pan are iron and carbon, you need not be worried about its safety because these are not harmful chemicals that can cause health issues. So, you can cook good, nutritious food any time.
If you want to learn more about what you can cook in a carbon steel pan and find some recipes regarding this, visit Yosukata professional flat bottom carbon steel wok, where you can get all the details about carbon steel woks and pans.
How Restaurant Owners Can Make the Most of Enterprise Asset Management
As a restaurant manager, you’re tasked with making your venture as profitable as possible. It’s a tough task in such a risky and low-margin business, but it can be done. A lot of your success will hinge on how well you manage the assets in your restaurant. That’s why a lot of restaurant managers have started using Enterprise Asset Management to help them stay on top of their assets and get the most out of them. These systems are a good way to help you avoid certain risks, stay on top of asset life cycles and warranties, and minimize those operating costs. Here’s how you can use enterprise asset management in your business.
What Is Enterprise Asset Management?
Firstly, what is an enterprise asset management system? Also known as an EAM, it’s a system that allows you to keep track of all the assets in your business. In a restaurant, that’s a lot of different assets. It includes everything from food & beverage inventory to the cooking equipment to the tables and chairs in the front of the house.
You’ll typically use an EAM through a dedicated software system, and this is what will help you track what assets you have, who’s using them, who to call for servicing/repairs, and when they need to be maintained or replaced. With all that data at hand, you’ll be able to predict any future expenditures, and when you’ll need to make those maintenance checks.
An EAM can also track perishable assets (food inventory is considered an asset), so you’ll know what’s going in and out of your kitchen. As such, a good EAM will help you track every single asset you have, and ensure that there’s seldom ever downtime thanks to breakdowns, issues with supply, and so on. There are a lot of options for EAM system so take your time to evaluate which one works best for your needs.
Key Features of an EAM System
There are several different features of an EAM that will give you what you need for asset management:
Work management: Maintenance is key to keeping everything running smoothly in your restaurant. That of course means maintaining all your kitchen equipment, but you’ll also need to manage every other asset in your business. For example, you’ll need a functioning HVAC and ANSUL system, so keeping on top of the maintenance for them is crucial. An EAM will help you track when maintenance is needed, and book inspections and repair work before anything breaks down.
Inventory management: To book and get that maintenance done, you’ll need to know which items need maintenance right now. You can use barcodes, RFID, and other tools to track the location of each asset, who’s using it, and its condition. You’ll then be able to get maintenance done before a full breakdown.
Supply chain management: Using an EAM will help you stay on top of your supply chain. You can use it to help you secure parts, perishable assets and more, so you’ll always be prepared.
Shelf life management: The perishable items in your restaurant are going to have a limited shelf life, and with an EAM system it’s easier to ensure all those assets are used before they expire. You can use the system to effectively use the First In, First Out (FIFO) method, so you’ll minimize food waste.
Analytics: As you’re using an EAM, you’ll have access to a lot of data about your restaurant’s assets. That enables you to make more informed decisions about your asset management and improve efficiency as a result.
The Benefits of Using an EAM
You have already read plenty of the advantages of using an EAM in your business. Here are some more benefits that you’ll be able to reap:
Get the most out of assets
Use the FIFO method
Comply with safety regulations
Offer better customer experience
Prevent some future issues
The Future and Potential Challenges of EAM
The restaurant business has changed a lot in recent years, largely thanks to COVID-19. As such, there is a need for businesses to change too in order to survive.
Having an EAM helps you manage a restaurant and lower your labor costs, taking pressure off the staff you have. Many businesses have already benefited from it.
There are several trends that are rising alongside EAM. The Internet of Things helps with tracking data on each asset, and augmented reality can present info on any asset for remote experts. Because of these benefits, we’re going to see more changes as time goes on.
EAMs are making restaurant management that little bit easier, thanks to the fact they offer a simpler way of managing assets. Everything is in one place for you, and you can take action on assets before breakdowns or shortages occur. You can understand why a lot of restaurant managers are already using them.
meez – Stop Playing Guessing Games and Start Costing Recipes Accurately
From spreadsheets and word docs, to ERP software and scrappy back of napkin math, every food and beverage business does recipe costing differently.
However, the common thread between them all is inefficiency.
There simply hasn’t been an easy way to control a restaurant’s bottom line without compromising something else, whether it’s time, energy or creativity. This was true even before kitchen staples like poultry and eggs faced historic price hikes.
So what is a chef or restaurant operator to do? Read on to learn how to cost recipes faster and more accurately—that’s what. Plus, you’ll get the low down on meez, the professional recipe tool that calculates recipe and ingredient costs for you.
What is recipe costing and why is it important?
Recipe costing is the process of determining what all the ingredients on a plate actually cost you. By properly keeping tabs on all recipe costs, you are able to get a better picture of overall business costs and optimize spending for profitability.
The last thing you want is for the true cost of your ingredients to be eating into your profit margin. At the same time, you don’t want to price dishes so high that no one will want to order them. Or, spend hours costing every new dish down to the penny.
To help you cost recipes more accurately, we asked our culinary team at meez what you should factor in. Below is a consolidation of tips they’ve learned firsthand working in professional kitchens.
1. Always Bake In Your Yields
To figure out the true cost of a menu item, first you must account for shrinkage, waste, trim, and any fabrication (prep actions) done to an ingredient. It’s rare that it will always have a 100% yield.
For example, your invoice might say it costs you $1.24/lb for an onion. But after peeling and slicing it, 15% ends up in the compost or garbage. Your final yield percentage could be 85%, which means the sliced onion that goes into the recipe actually costs you $1.45/lb.
To cost your recipe accurately, make sure you always account for loss due to prep actions. Otherwise, your recipe might end up being way more expensive than you thought.
How meez helps:
meez has yield % built into prep actions for over 800 ingredients. The tool has a fundamental understanding of what peeling, dicing, slicing, and other prep actions do to an ingredient and will automatically change how ingredient costs are calculated.
2. Have Proper Unit Conversions
How you buy a product is not the same as how you cook it. If you don’t record ingredient quantities in measurable units, you will not know how much actually goes into a recipe. It might sound obvious, but most measurements need to be weight or volume-based like grams, cups and milliliters unless you buy them by the piece like an edible flower.
Stay away from variable measurements like a “case of chicken bones” unless you define what this means. Your go-to vendor could easily change things up. If you just say “one case of chicken bones” is needed for a stock recipe, one week that could mean 30-lbs of bones and the next it could be 45-lbs depending on who you are ordering from.
In this scenario, you’ll never know the true cost of the dish because the ingredient quantities could change from one batch to the next.
How meez helps:
With meez, you can create custom units of measure to define vague ingredient measurements. For example, if you buy a “block” of cream cheese, you can create a custom unit of measure called “block=8-oz” that equals 8-ounces. With this customization, even if you scale up or down a recipe, ingredient costs are calculated accurately.
3. Be Specific About Your Process
If you want to cost your recipes accurately, you need to write down your prep actions in the recipe itself. Instead of just saying ¼ a cup of purple carrots, you want to say sliced purple carrot, diced purple carrot or whatever else impacts your yield percentage.
To save yourself even more time, consider measuring and capturing yields during your recipe R&D process. It will be easier to experiment and change ingredient quantities that match up with your food costing goals this way.
How meez helps:
Because meez’s food cost calculator is connected directly to the recipe, if you make updates to the quantity of an ingredient during R&D, the change will be reflected automatically in the total cost. This feature can help you understand how your food cost % changes as you adjust a dish’s ingredients or sell price.
In the restaurant world, costing a recipe doesn’t mean simply tacking on a couple dollars after pricing protein to account for vegetables and starch. Or, just keeping track of your inventory and calling it a day. Every time you have a new invoice, you should look at costs and make adjustments.
If food costs aren’t being tracked properly, your food cost percentage will be off. This means your menu prices will be off too. If your star salmon dish is underprice by $0.25 on the menu, this can quickly add up to tens of thousands of dollars in lost revenue per year. And that’s for just one dish alone.
To get total visibility into your recipe and ingredient costs, without doing all the math yourself, your best bet is to work with meez. Our professional recipe tool addresses all the unique challenges of food costing mentioned above.
With meez, you can know the true cost of a recipe by:
Everyone has experienced frustration with a menu at some point. Picture it: you get seated and handed a menu several pages long, with unclear descriptions and distracting fluff. Or maybe the menu is so short and vague that you can’t figure out what the kitchen is actually serving you or even what kind of restaurant you’re in. Good menu design can help your guests avoid this frustration and make it easy for them to kick back and enjoy the experience. If you want to design your menu like a pro, settle in for a crash course in great menu design.
Benefits of Good Menu Design
Ideally, a good menu design should be attractive, approachable, and something that doesn’t require your guests to think about. Ordering off a menu should be as easy as possible. Think of it like breathing; no thought goes into taking breaths. Reading your menu should be the same, and by making it a breeze to move through the menu, you can also build a few extra benefits for your restaurant.
Your Food Can Sell Itself
Quality menu design makes your food jump off the page and into the minds of your diners. There are two popular approaches here: minimalism and description.
Minimalism is a trend that has grown in popularity over the past several years, with menu items typically including a dish’s title (often simply the featured ingredient) and a short list of ingredients to accompany it.
The minimalist approach brings with it a mystique that is useful in selling your food. Guests will be intrigued by how elements are combined, and this will provide your service staff the chance to speak about the items in more detail. Most of the time, this is highly effective in convincing guests to try out new dishes.
The description approach is the opposite of the minimalist, with the details laid out lovingly underneath each dish’s name. While this cuts out the middleman work your server might be doing, it can also have some drawbacks. Highlighted ingredients might get lost in the lengthier description, where a server might be able to focus more adequately on that. Additionally, technical jargon about cooking might not land with your guests – even some terms that restaurant folks find a little rote might go over the heads of your diners.
If you use the description approach to menu writing, just be careful not to get too wordy. “Grilled 14 oz center-cut New York steak with garlic roasted red potatoes” is good. But “Try our fabulous, world-famous char-grilled center-cut genuine 14 oz New York Strip steak served with golden brown oven-roasted red potatoes laced with tenderly sauteed garlic” is overkill and makes the item hard to decipher.
Make Your Guests Feel At Home
One of the key advantages of a well-designed menu is the way it subtly creates a sense of comfort. The experience of dining in a restaurant is often intended to stimulate multiple senses; the lighting, aesthetics, music, scents, and so on can captivate the mind, but they can also prove a little overwhelming. But an easy-to-navigate menu can serve as something of an anchor for your guests. If the menu is easy to move through, diners can make decisions quickly without experiencing choice paralysis. The less time they spend deciding about dinner options, the more they can enjoy it, and the better their overall experience.
Your Menu Can Be An Elevator Pitch
A well-designed menu also serves as a vehicle for conveying your restaurant’s concept without explicitly stating it. If, for example, your restaurant serves Mexican food but focuses on street tacos, your menu can communicate this focus using its design and layout. Simply center the section on street tacos so that the eye is naturally drawn to it, and maybe enlarge it a little, so it controls the space of the menu. With this center section dominating the menu’s design, your guests will automatically infer that tacos are your specialty and therefore they should try them.
Features of a Well-Designed Menu
So what does a well-designed menu look like? There’s no fixed answer to that question, but there are a few key components that every menu designer should consider.
Your guests have to be able to read the menu, after all! There are a few considerations to make sure your menu is approachable to the eye:
Font Choice There’s no shame in bringing a visually attractive or fun font to your menu, but make sure to choose something easy to read! You don’t want your guests to waste time or get frustrated trying to understand what they’re trying to read. Pick an attractive font, but make sure you choose one that is legible, first and foremost.
Space If your menu components are too cramped or crowded, it will be difficult for guests to direct their focus. Don’t shy away from utilizing negative space to control your guests’ attention. Blank areas on your menu are a great way to ensure it doesn’t become overwhelming to read, making choosing menu items easier.
Less Is More There’s nothing wrong with describing an item in some detail, but keep your descriptions short and focused. Lengthy and bloated item descriptions can become walls of unapproachable text very quickly. Descriptions should only exist to make your guests’ mouths water; you should edit out any text that doesn’t serve that purpose.
Layout is an incredibly effective tool in your arsenal when designing your menu. There are a couple of crucial components to a layout that you should consider:
Direction Consider how your ideal dining experience is supposed to progress. Is there a strict order of courses? Are items intended for individuals, or is the meal supposed to be served family style? Having this intention in place when laying out your menu is enormously helpful. If you group items based on their intended location in the meal (appetizers, salads, mains, etc.), your guests have a clear path to progress, removing some guesswork from dining.
Grouping If you serve your entrees with side dishes or pairings, your guest shouldn’t have to go hunting for them. Create a small box next to the main entree sections that contains these accompanying items so that making these choices can happen all at once. Guests enjoy feeling like they have a plan for approaching their meals, and tools like this can give them that sense of comfort.
While not mandatory for most menus, including allergen indicators on your design can be hugely helpful for your guests and staff. You can accent dishes that don’t include common allergens like gluten, nuts, or dairy with discrete signifiers (a small “GF” next to gluten-free items, for example). You can also extend this treatment to plant-based dishes for vegan or vegetarian diners or include a signifier to show that dishes are halal. It’s important not to overdo it with signifiers; while the information is important, you must also consider how your menu will look. But having them present can save your guests the trouble of asking what they can and can’t eat and save your servers the trouble of explaining the same in great detail.
Go Forth And Create with MustHaveMenus
All of this might seem like a lot of information to sort through, but once you’re in the thick of designing your menu, it will be easy to see how these principles apply. By using MustHaveMenus, a service that offers more than 20,000 design templates for restaurant owners, you will be able to quickly and effectively design your menu with minimal stress.
What Does MustHaveMenus Have to Offer?
MustHaveMenus is a DIY menu design service that makes it easier (and cheaper) for restaurants to design high-quality menus. However, that isn’t all they offer. When you delve into their selection of templates, you’ll find flyers, sandwich boards, table tents, and templates for every type of menu you can imagine. Additionally, MustHaveMenus also provides QR codes, online menus, and more to round out their service.
To learn more about MustHaveMenus, check out their website and schedule a free demo.
The Key to Developing an Efficient Restaurant Inventory Management System
It’s complicated and time-consuming to track your restaurant inventory with spreadsheets. A restaurant inventory management system automates these manual processes and boosts your efficiency. It’s the same as how call center software boosts call center operational efficiency.
This post will explore the restaurant inventory management system, why you need one, and how to develop a system that suits your needs.
What Is a Restaurant Inventory Management System and Why Do You Need One?
A restaurant inventory management system is a software tool that helps restaurants manage their food stock. Unlike spreadsheets, this software tracks inventory levels and purchase orders automatically. An inventory management system has many benefits, including:
Reduce stock shrinkage and overstocking: with detailed analytics and forecasting your orders can be made in line with seasonal changes to your business. For example, if you know that the Christmas period is going to be busy, you can easily compare average usage to ensure that you have the additional stock in place. On the other hand, if you know the month of January tends to be much quieter, you can alter your orders to reflect this and avoid overstocking.
Increase profit margins and control costs: an inventory management system will provide you with detailed financial reporting so you can better price your menu in line with your costs. You can also identify exactly which menu items are losers and make changes to save you money.
Save time and reduce human error: many repetitive tasks such as placing orders and generating bills can be automated, saving you valuable time and reducing the possibility of human error.
Generate accurate bills and POs with one click: gone are the days of manually placing orders and generating bills. With an inventory management system much of this process can be automated to increase efficiency and accuracy.
Reduce food waste: Through improved forecasting and inventory management you can more accurately predict the quantity of ingredients you will need. You can also set alerts to keep track of expiry dates, helping to ensure that less food goes to waste.
Accurately track allergen and nutritional information: in order to answer questions from your customers and provide accurate information on your menus you need to be fully informed of all allergen and nutritional information. An inventory management system will help you keep detailed records of all your dishes and the ingredients they contain.
What Features Should a Restaurant Inventory Management System have?
The features you choose for your inventory management system depend on what you want to do with it. But there are a few must-have features, such as:
Update inventory ingredients and menu items. Add ingredients and menu items and update quantities with barcode scanning.
Recipes. Create recipes from existing inventory along with accurate pricing.
Notifications. Get real-time alerts of low stock levels and supplier price rises.
Vendor management. Manage vendors, track credits, create POs and receipts, and send them electronically.
Analytics and reports. Track analytics like stock levels, sales, procurement, and profitability.
Integrations. Integrate with business software like your employee management system, POS system, or payment software.
The best way to ensure your restaurant management system meets your needs is to build one yourself. But before you launch into the world of software development, let’s look at the pros and cons of this approach.
Only pay for features you need
Scale the software as your business grows
Control your data at all times
Don’t buy extra hardware or software
Don’t pay monthly fees
Development takes time
Custom software can be expensive to build
How to Choose a Ready-Made System
If you decide to buy a ready-made system, there are a few questions you should ask:
How large is your business? One small restaurant has less complex needs than a large restaurant chain.
Do you have other software like a POS system? If you do, your inventory management system should integrate with it.
What features does it have? Will you use them?
How much does it cost? Only pay for features you’ll use.
Is it cloud-based or on-premises? Cloud-based systems are ideal for managing inventory from several devices or locations.
Managing your inventory is an essential part of running a restaurant. A restaurant inventory management system can help you optimize stock levels and reduce costs.
To develop an efficient inventory management system, you can either build your own or buy ready-made software. In either case, you need to look at your business needs and decide what’s best for you.
Jenna Bunnell – Senior Manager, Content Marketing, Dialpad
Jenna Bunnell is the Senior Manager for Content Marketing at Dialpad. Dialpad Cloud Phone Service provides valuable call details and the best team communication tools for business owners and sales representatives. She is driven and passionate about communicating a brand’s design sensibility and visualizing how content can be presented in creative and comprehensive ways. Jenna has written for other domains such as MacSecurity and CEO Blog Nation. Here is her LinkedIn.
Chef’s clothing is among the most iconic and instantly recognizable forms of uniforms out there. You certainly won’t get mistaken for someone working in any other industry while wearing it. Yet, with all the changes that have occurred in the restaurant industry, is it still necessary to wear a uniform when working as a chef? Not only is the answer a resounding yes, but it’s also crucial that you choose a top-quality one for yourself or your staff. Read on to find out why.
A professional kitchen can be a surprisingly risky place to work, with sharp knives, open flames, hot liquids, and lots of people moving around in a rush. A chef’s uniform can’t eliminate these dangers, but it can provide some measure of protection to people working in this environment. Generally, the clothing is made from durable fabric that can shield you from scalding steam or splashes of hot grease or boiling water, as well as hinder a blade from catching your skin. On a less critical level, a chef’s uniform also keeps the clothing you wear beneath it free from messy stains and unsightly splatters.
Beyond being key for safety, a good chef’s uniform ensures that you or your staff are comfortable while working. A kitchen quickly becomes hot and stuffy during a busy shift, so wearing clothing made from breathable and moisture-wicking material will go a long way toward keeping people cool. You should never underestimate the importance of happy employees because being in a good mood makes people more productive, creative, and willing to help other staff members or go the extra mile for a customer. In turn, this will make your restaurant a more pleasant place for both staff and diners to be in.
If you want to attract customers and ensure that they keep returning to your restaurant, it’s important to maintain an air of professionalism, and you certainly won’t do that if your chefs are cooking in jeans and an old t-shirt. This is especially important for places that have an open kitchen or where cooking staff interact with diners. Having all of your employees wear a sleek and pristine uniform shows that you’re a quality establishment which people can trust and that you’ve hired the very best chefs to cook for you. That’s not to say that your uniforms must be boring or generic though. For example, you can get personalized chef aprons here and let people showcase a little more personality.
Food hygiene is one of the most important considerations when you run a restaurant, and the uniform your chefs wear plays a big part in it. For instance, the classic double-breasted chef’s jacket allows for quickly putting a clean side of the jacket forward while covering any contaminants that have gathered on their clothing from getting onto the food. Similarly, accessories such as hair nets and hats ensure maximum cleanliness in the kitchen. This is vital for your brand’s reputation, as customers are sure to kick up a fuss and leave you a bad review if they find hair or fabric fibers in their meal. Even just the look of a clean, crisp chef’s uniform is reassuring to diners that your kitchen takes hygiene seriously.
Tales of a Bridezilla: A Caterer’s Worst Nightmare
As joyous as weddings are, they often present uniquely disastrous situations for wedding caterers and those behind the scenes.
Allergic reactions, miscommunications, and botched attempts at veganism are just some of the surprisingly common predicaments an unfortunate wedding caterer may find themselves responsible for. Any experienced wedding caterer will know how quickly things can go wrong—and as a result, how swiftly even the most elegant of brides can turn into a terrifying bridezilla.
Weddings are monumental affairs, with stakes so high that tension-fueled errors are nearly inescapable. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to prepare for and resolve them with grace.
In this post, we’ll look at some common wedding caterer catastrophes and how you can prevent them from spoiling both your own and the happy couple’s big day.
4 Common Wedding Catering Problems To Look Out For
Without proper planning, there’s no short supply of wedding catering disasters waiting to happen.
Food is often the last thing on a bride’s mind, which is why full responsibility and preparation are so important for caterers to undertake.
Here are four of the most common wedding catering disasters to be wary of:
1. Misunderstood Dietary Needs
On top of guests who may have serious nut, egg, dairy, shellfish or other allergies, you’ve got vegans, gluten-free followers, and people who won’t consume refined sugar—just to name a few. Misunderstood dietary needs can ruin a wedding and even lead to hospitalization.
If someone suffers an allergic reaction or just consumes something outside of their diet because of catering negligence, you’ve got a potential lawsuit on your hands. Not to mention rather justifiable vitriol from the families and guests present.
2. Insufficient Food Supplies
The last thing a bride wants to have to do on her special day is to explain to her guests that they won’t be getting any dinner. If a caterer isn’t privy to the correct headcount at a wedding, it may lead to some very disappointed guests, and as a result, a very upset bride and groom.
3. Cold Food
Weddings are often vulnerable to delays and mishaps which draw out the event to be longer than originally expected. Food that’s prepared for a 1 PM lunch may sit for an hour or two before guests even sit down, leading to an unappetizingly cold meal at 2 PM.
If a caterer doesn’t account for some time delays, it will negatively impact the food quality. Wedding food should always be fresh, warm, and prepared within very close proximity to consumption.
4. Late or Tardy Service
In contrast to cold, stale food, food not yet prepared or too few staff who are unable to prepare and serve it on time present the opposite problem. By the time guests have sat through a ceremony, some speeches, and possibly several venue changes, the last thing they want to do is wait for their food.
Late service leaves a very poor impression on guests, and can quickly turn the atmosphere of even the most beautiful wedding sour. If a bridezilla is lying dormant within the blushing bride, tardy, irresponsible service will wake it up.
5 Solutions To Remember
Despite the many traps waiting to snap up unsuspecting caterers, there are certain tactics you can use to ensure they never have an opportunity to arise.
With the right attitude towards planning, preparation, and communication, you can successfully avoid e en the worst disasters.
Here are four solutions to the above-listed problems that every wedding caterer should have in their arsenal:
1. Thorough Communication
When it comes to catering for a wedding, we can not emphasize enough the importance of clear, thorough communication. Caterers need to know all about the big day, and even aspects like the color scheme and flowers are important considerations. But the biggest concern is allergens and dietary requirements. The only way to avoid serving your bride and her party food that could cause harm or go against their diet is to discuss their needs at length well before you develop the menu.
Make sure to collect information on every allergen and diet-restricted guest who is attending, and prepare accordingly. Be ruthless in your commitment to exactitude. And don’t forget to label every hors d’oeuvre on the table with their respective contaminants if this is a concern.
2. Meticulous Inventory
The only way to prevent a stock shortage is to take a “more is more” approach to inventory. Most caterers and banquet events have a standard of about a 10% to 15% allowance for additional guests above and beyond the guaranteed number. Be sure to discuss this with the bride and wedding organizer and make it emphatically clear that you will only have enough food for this number of people.
Impromptu, unlisted invites often get sent out, and brides are notorious for making last-minute changes to their guest list. Leftover food is a much smaller problem than insufficient portions. If there is substantial food left over after the meal, it can get donated to staff, a nearby shelter, or simply given to the bride and groom’s family. Just be sure to include the extra food costs in your budget and the final bill.
3. Backup Burners
Because despite a schedule, one can never truly know when the guests will be ready to eat. In the event of a delayed ceremony or a fainting groom, the food must have a way to stay warm and fresh until everyone is ready to sit down and tuck in. Even great plating won’t make up for ice-cold food.
Backup burners should be a staple for any caterer, but this is especially true for weddings. Portable burners are easy to travel with, simple to set up, and well worth the cost for the value they bring to just about any catering job. Hot meals equal happy clients.
4. Trained Employees on Standby
Having several reliable staff trained and ready to go is essential for a successful wedding meal. Hiring a few extras in case of a rush might seem unnecessary, but the value and efficiency they bring are certainly worth the effort.
Make sure your employees are all professional, prepared, and well-trained to prevent avoidable hiccups and ensure that you’re delivering smooth service to expectant guests.
At the end of the day, all a bride and her guests want is to be fed well, and on time. With enough preparation, proactivity, and attention to detail, it’s possible to elude even the most monstrous of bridezillas.
If you are thinking about opening a small bakery or starting an online pastry shop, you might be asking yourself: Do I need a pastry chef certification? While getting a formal education is not a strict necessity, a certificate has many advantages that can launch your career and ensure you succeed. Please read on to learn more about the importance of pastry certification and the benefits that come with it.
The world of baking is full of small details and technicalities. The secret to delicious cookies and other baked goods is not only in the ingredients but the skills of the chefs and the minor details they pay attention to in perfecting their craft. You need to learn these skills and techniques if you are serious about baking. The question is if you will master them with the help of certified teachers, or from blog posts and trial and error.
If you decide to learn by yourself, you have to count on your dedication and commitment, which can be harder than it sounds without a well-educated tutor to guide you. You may think that you will dedicate all your free time to learning these techniques, but you will probably need someone to push and motivate you.
Learning by yourself can also be very risky and time-consuming. Many of the available tutorials are not created by expert pastry chefs, and not all of them give you the correct information. It is also tricky to know where to start and where to go from there. On the other hand, a curriculum created by trained professionals is laid out in such a way to make the most of your time and give you the correct information so you can become a successful pastry chef.
Benefits of Getting a Pastry Certification
Learning accurate techniques in a time-efficient manner is not the only perk of attending a formal pastry course. You do not have to go to the top culinary schools in the world to get a certificate. A credible local school will do the job and give you a pastry chef certification that has numerous benefits. Let’s look at some of these benefits.
Learn All the Skills You Need
Formal training and pastry certification will give you a more expansive skill set and prepare you thoroughly for your future business. Some of the topics you can expect to learn in most pastry programs include:
Food safety and sanitation
Food preparation fundamentals
Baking techniques like laminated doughs, cookies, pies, and custards
Cake baking and decoration
Plating and pastry arts
Learn the Science Behind the Techniques and Build Good Habits
Pastry schools not only teach you the necessary techniques but the scientific reasons behind them. Once you learn why you have to rest your dough for a certain period, mix specific ingredients, or bake at a particular temperature, you are less likely to make a mistake. Even if something goes wrong and the result does not turn out as you expected, you can use your knowledge and find the source of the problem to prevent it from happening in the future. Applying what you learn correctly under the supervision of instructors will also lead to you building good habits that you will practice for the rest of your culinary career.
Starting in the baking business does not require you to have a pastry certification. However, if you are a beginner and plan on getting employed, it will be harder for you to do so without something to show to prove your knowledge. A pastry certificate can go a long way toward making your chef’s resume shine. It can set you up for success by proving to the employers that you have the necessary basic skills and discipline to thrive in this business.
A pastry chef certificate is beneficial even if you plan to start your own business. It can show potential investors that you know what you are doing and can grow a successful business.
Start With Connections
One of the best advantages of getting a pastry certificate is the people you meet during your program. Your fellow, like-minded classmates can help you on your journey to getting a degree and even play a role in your future success as a pastry chef. Your instructors, who will most likely be professional chefs, can become lifetime friends and mentor you whenever you need help. Therefore, attending a course will give you more than just an education. It will help you build strong relationships with pastry enthusiasts in the industry and grant you access to other chefs which can be beneficial throughout your career.
Additional Certifications You Must Have to Start Your Pastry Business
A pastry diploma is not the only certification you need for opening your baking business. There are other safety-related certifications you must have to be able to run your business legally and avoid being shut down. Here are two of them.
Food Safety Certification
You must obtain a food safety certification before you open your bakery. To receive this certification, you must attend a course on general safety practices, foodborne diseases, proper storage techniques, and ingredients and equipment handling. After completing the course, you have to pass the qualifying exam to prove you are ready to run your own business safely. Without this certification, you put the lives of your customers and the overall success of your shop at risk.
Bakery Site Inspection
Getting a certificate from the Department of Health for the site of your pastry shop is also a necessary step before you start baking. Health inspectors must check the physical place where you plan on setting up shop, storing ingredients, and baking to ensure they comply with safety regulations and are at the minimum risk of spreading foodborne illnesses. If you start a baking business without this certificate, authorities will shut you down immediately.
Get Pastry-certified for a Successful Career!
Pastry chefs have thrived with and without certifications, but getting one can be a great addition to your resume. It can give you the credibility and knowledge to run a successful pastry shop. So take the first step toward obtaining a pastry certification today and ensure your long-term success!
10 Factors to Consider When Choosing Restaurant Kitchen Equipment
Most restaurant owners understand that the type and quality of the equipment in their commercial kitchen is bound to affect the quality of food they serve. What’s more? Quality equipment can help you save on energy costs and even water bills – provided you choose the right models from trusted manufacturers. While choosing restaurant kitchen equipment for your establishment might seem like a tedious task full of research and comparison, we’re here to give you some essential tips so you can select the best pieces of machinery in your commercial food business. Continue reading to know the ten most important factors to watch out for when selecting equipment for your restaurant.
1. List Out & Understand Your Kitchen’s Needs
The first step in outfitting your kitchen with the best restaurant equipment is to prepare a list of all your needs. Take into consideration what you intend to serve your customers, the number of customers you plan to serve, and the types of food you want to offer. These factors will give shape to your list and help you when choosing equipment.
2. Decide on Your Kitchen’s Design
Your commercial kitchen space and its layout are bound to determine your equipment choices and how efficiently it will perform during operations. Consult with your chefs, planners, and designers to ensure you have an elegant layout for your kitchen that helps your workers function comfortably and with speed.
3. Invest in High-Quality Equipment
Make no compromise in the quality of equipment you purchase for your kitchen. It is always advisable to invest in trustworthy commercial kitchen equipment as it helps you save money in the long term. High-quality products often come with legitimate warranties, service plans, and allow you to cut costs on utilities. The old phrase, “You get what you pay for” is especially true when purchasing restaurant equipment.
4. Consider the Kitchen Space Available to You
It’s important to measure both your kitchen area and the area occupied by each piece of equipment to help you build an organized cooking space. A cluttered and cramped kitchen with extremely large equipment will hinder your staff during work, on the other hand, small equipment incapable of handling your needs will end up slowing down work and eventually – delivery.
5. Food Safety Requirements
Verify all the equipment you purchase against the existing food safety norms in your area. Breaking health codes and food safety statutes can warrant hefty fines and sometimes even entails jail time. Do your research and consult with a legal advisor in case you’re unsure about food safety laws.
6. Value Speed & Energy Efficiency
Equipment speeds are very important when you’re running a high-volume operation. This is especially true in the case of food processors, ovens, and grills as these pieces of equipment decide the turnaround times for a good portion of your orders. It’s also extremely important to procure energy-efficient equipment. They cut down your power consumption and allow you to claim benefits for running a greener restaurant.
7. Ascertain Warranty Periods
It’s important to verify all the warranty agreements at the time of purchase to avoid incurring charges later on. It’s always wise to verify the warranty period provided by your dealership with the manufacturer so you can rest easy when you need to get your equipment serviced or repaired. Create an Excel sheet that documents all your equipment and their warranty timelines as well as contact information.
8. Make Cleaning & Maintenance an Easy Task
Cleaning and maintenance are necessary for all commercial equipment considering the nature of materials they deal with on an everyday basis. Regular cleaning and servicing ensure your equipment lasts for a long time and works in the best state. Create cleaning schedules for all machines with your restaurant manager to help distribute the task among all your staff.
9. Look for Water Saving Features
Equipment that conserves water is not only good for the environment, but it also helps you save on utility bills. Since a commercial kitchen is a very water-intensive operation, it makes both fiscal and ecological sense to cut water usage wherever possible for all business owners.
10. Understand Building, Fire, & Health Codes
It’s important to consider the building, fire, and health codes of the area your restaurant is located in. Since these statutes vary in each location, it would be wise to get in touch with the experts to understand these codes and comply with all of them when outfitting your restaurant. Non-compliance with these laws might lead to penalties and fines, so ensure both you and your staff are well-versed in all local area building, fire, and health codes.
Equipment for a commercial kitchen is integral to the quality of offerings it puts out. Customer satisfaction and your establishment’s reputation rely on the type of equipment you use. This makes the task of choosing restaurant kitchen equipment an immensely important one as it directly impacts the success or failure of your establishment. Be sure to consult with your accountants, designers, chefs, and legal experts in addition to this list to ensure you procure the equipment best suited to your needs.
Damon Shrauner, Senior Sales Consultant and VP on B2B Sales at CKitchen, working in the foodservice equipment sector since 1994. With his expertise in market analysis, product placement, sales, and project management, he will always tell you what to do for the best of your business.
Why Restaurant Video Marketing is a Worthwhile Investment
Many restaurant owners ask why restaurants need video marketing and is it worth the investment. Making up 82% of all website traffic, online video is predicted to be the leading source of web content for 2022. It is a well-known fact that video marketing is one of the most effective ways to engage audiences and amass online traction, but how does this popular form of online marketing translate into the restaurant industry?
For years, restaurants have relied on the tantalizing visuals of food and food production to engage with the public eye. But the transition from static images or posters to refined (and highly competitive) video content leaves many restaurateurs feeling daunted and unsure of how to move forward.
Video marketing is the meeting point between evocative food visuals, trending online themes, and a foundational understanding of video technology.
These three things combined can create powerful content that draws online audiences in and compels the public to invest in your brand. Video marketing has proven to be highly effective in growing online followings, improving website traffic, attracting media attention, and gaining customer loyalty.
The statistics available on the popularity and effectiveness of video marketing means that restaurants can no longer ignore it as a method for connecting with the general public and generating high ROI.
Even though the production of video content may seem pricey or time-consuming for restauranteurs and chefs lacking experience in this area, learning the basics of video marketing opens up a world of opportunities. These opportunities can prove monumental in the building of your brand reputation.
What Makes Video Marketing So Effective?
Before we get into the technicalities of video marketing, let’s discuss its relevance to the online marketing industry and what makes it such a driving force behind customer engagement.
Video marketing uses the naturally appealing visuals of food and food preparation to tantalize viewers and generate curiosity about what the consumption experience might be like. It also uses storytelling to illustrate each step of the food production process, from original conceptualization to physical creation.
There are many different ways to go about using video marketing in the restaurant industry. Things like restaurant walkabouts, chef’s perspectives, recipe development, dish preparation, and even simple close-up shots of food all perform exceptionally well on social media platforms.
In fact, views for food and food preparation on YouTube have increased by 170% year-over-year. People eat up video content about food – and who can blame them? Food sits at the epicenter of community culture. It’s something that unites people from every corner of the globe.
If your restaurant can tap into the increasingly high demand for quality food videos, amassing a loyal, active audience both on and offline will become much easier.
What Does Great Video Marketing Look Like?
The first step is to define your marketing plan. If you don’t have a background in video content development or marketing, knowing where to start can be difficult. However, the information available on this topic is widely accessible and easier than you think. Especially with the support of online tools and tutorials.
When creating video content for your restaurant, there are four main components to keep in mind.
Content – What kind of content do you think your current followers will like the most? You could film the preparation of a popular dish, a brief interview with the chef, a foraging expedition, or a compilation video of various whips, sizzles, splatters or drizzles that gets viewers salivating.
Style – Your content style is the character and heart of your restaurant brand identity. Is your restaurant cute and quirky, or traditional and elegant? The brand identity of your chef or restaurant should always be represented in your video content.
Length – The length of your videos should be dependent on where you upload them, and why. An Instagram reel is limited to 1 minute, whereas Tik Tok allows up to 3 minutes.
Facebook’s limit is 240 minutes, and YouTube doesn’t have a limit. If you’re going to post regular, bite-sized videos, let Instagram reels and Tik Toks be your guide. Longer, more episodic videos would be best uploaded to YouTube or Facebook.
Quality – The quality of your video content should be consistently high. Online consumers are spoilt for choice when it comes to food videos, so they will direct their time elsewhere if yours does not meet their quality expectations.
One of the best ways to create high-quality video marketing content is to consume it yourself. In order to create video content that is likely to perform well, you will need to develop a strong understanding of current trends, themes, and styles present within your restaurant community.
Stand Out with Creative Ideas
Restaurants that embrace unique themes and strategies for video marketing tend to perform better over time. Here is a list of creative yet easily executed video marketing ideas to make your restaurant stand out amongst the crowd:
Tell your brand’s story
“Day in the life” vlogs
DIY popular dish instructional
Head Chef interview
Delicious close-ups compilation
When it comes down to it, your video content should make viewers hungry, excited, and curious about your restaurant’s food. The sexier, the better!
Finding and Cultivating Talent Online
There’s no shame in admitting that you either have no interest or proficiency in the art of video marketing. There is a surplus of trained and amateur professionals out there who both understand and love the process of creating high-quality restaurant video content, and hiring them is easy.
You can find thousands of accomplished freelance video marketers for hire online. Although salaries are highly dependent on experience, the average hourly pay rate for a hired video marketer is $30, and the average monthly salary ranges between $1,500 and $4,000.
If hiring somebody else is not currently possible for your restaurant marketing budget, internal training is simpler, easier, and less expensive than you might think. Through websites like the Dan Institute and Filmora, just about anyone can learn how to make visually stunning and impactful video content. VEED also has a robust free video editing tool that also has upgrades if you are willing to pay for additional features.
Video marketing is so much more than just surface-level attraction. With the right strategy in place, this visually-focused form of marketing can turn online viewers into loyal real-life customers who understand your brand mission with newfound clarity and appreciation.