Restaurant Owners: The One Thing You MUST Do Now To Stop Losing Customers

Now, admittedly, between your daily responsibilities and your employee’s lack of enthusiasm, I know that it is not always easy to stay excited about training and many employees really only hear, “This is how we do things here,” “Know your menu inside and out,” “Be on time.” and “The customer is always right.” (OK, I simplified. But generally the training we offer servers can only be classified as procedural.) How do you take your training further and create a team of customer engagement specialist and put your sales and restaurant on auto pilot?

Easy. (Well perhaps a little effort will be needed since you are not a sales training expert like me. Hint hint.) Here is one method that you might try:

Based on discovery, I start training to each employee’s weakness. For example is Mike always late because of school? Is Mary usually trying to leave early because of her kids? Is Sarah a frustrated artist and ordinarily the one stirring up trouble or finding problems that don’t exist? Believe it or not, knowing what drives your employees outside of work is of utmost importance inside of work.

Now train your employees to over-deliver customer service, customer experiences, customer engagement, surpass sales goals, create referral, repeat clientele and reduce your employee turnover based on what your employees are trying to “get from their” jobs. Now that is NOT your typical procedural training.

Try training instead to Mary’s desire to get home early and with more energy.

Show Mary how to network in the neighborhood on her way to work, where she shops and talks with other moms anyway. Train her that telling everyone where she works and to come in early will actually get her out early and remembering customer’s names and preferences will save her miles of walking to tables.

You can incentivize her networking efforts so she can “Hook them Up” with V.I.P. service (Maybe moving them to a window table, buying them an appetizer or bringing the chef to their table or offering them off the menu items and introductions to the manager etc… ) Teach her that handing out business cards with her name written on and the best times to come to the restaurant for V.I.P. treatment (Early, when the restaurant isn’t at capacity) will actually get her out of the restaurant earlier and with more money because they are referral customers and she has more time to up-sell these guests.

Coach her that if she to creates an early seating of referral customers she will already be halfway out the door and home with her kids. Teach her that if she goes a step further and makes them “regular” customers she will already know their preferences and save her trips to her tables. She can skip trips to her tables and give that energy to her children simply by remembering a customer’s name and what he ordered.

You will actually be training Mary yo create customer experiences just by refocusing her attention from selling or taking orders to getting and remembering names.

You save Mary miles of walking when she can simply by say, “Good morning Bob! Are you having the usual?” from anywhere in the restaurant. (Once it grows to a great customer / employee relationship, Mary won’t even need to use words!)

More importantly you just trained someone to create amazing customer service instead of training them how to do your business.

Customer service sales training helps inspire your employees to want to create more customers and sales. Want to up-sell engagement as well as food and beverages and want to create extraordinary customer experiences. Try more customer service training and watch your team come together to create more sales, more profits and more customers.

Learn all the tips and tricks of amazing customer engagement and new staff motivation. Visit my profile for details. Your employees will stop waiting for customers to come in, stop settling for 20% tips and start utilizing the millions of dollars in assets you’ve given them to woo customers in during off-peak hours. We’ll help them see how much time, money and energy is slipping through their fingers every second of the day that their chairs are not filled and they are not creating amazing customer experiences.

Why Do People Start Restaurants?

Starting a restaurant has to be one of the most difficult businesses people consistently decide to open. Like most things with global customers, everyone thinks they’ve got the next great idea when it comes to starting a restaurant.

While a lot of articles will tell you that opening a restaurant is not for the timid, the fact is that with the right amount of persistence, you can do it. Here are the top five reasons that people decide to start their own restaurant:

1. They grew up in a family run restaurant

Just like how a coal miners son more often than not became a coal miner, or a an actor’s daughter decides to give it a go, having watched a parent or grandparent run their own restaurant gives people the skill sets and belief in themselves that they too will be successful. Nothing like seeing the same guy who can’t figure out that Internet Explorer is a terrible browser successfully run a Fine Dining French cuisine to give you the confidence to start your own.

2. They’ve already made a lot of money

The whims of the rich can be extravagant. And while not all of them can put their names on skyscrapers (looking at you Trump), they can live out their dream to have a steakhouse where friends and frenemies alike come to envy the perks of owning your own restaurant.

3. They’ve worked in the restaurant industry

Much like having grown up in a restaurant family, working in one as a waiter or manager gives you a good base of understanding to venture out on your own. While getting capital is far harder for these folks than the group above, these are the people who will tough through the grit to opening their own concept. Studies have shown that this group is also better equipped to handle the long hours and constant customer complaints as they have been living with it for most of their adult careers.

4. They have giant hearts

These are the same sort of people who get into teaching or social work because they want to share their love and make a difference. While opening a restaurant can seem less altruistic than say building orphanages in the Sudan, these entrepreneurs just want to put a smile on as many faces as they can. Remember how Monica from Friends just loved hosting the gang over at her place? This group loves the idea of cooking and making people happy.

5. They have giant egos

Speaking of Monica, remember how she always had to be in charge? Ya that’s a thing to. With opening any business on your own, there has to be an almost unshakeable belief that you’re the right person to do this. Which is why some restaurant owners have the stereotype of being the most egotistical people on the planet. And while this can be annoying to those with more modesty, the fact is that this group is able to ignore the overwhelming odds and advice and force the world to accept that what they have to offer is necessary.

Bill Parks works for My Owner Box, a company that walks people through how to start a restaurant.

Five Tips for Buying Restaurant Booths and Tables

The restaurant business is full of questions. Is Pepsi alright? Soup or salad? Cup or bowl? Wheat, white, or rye? Booth or tables? If you’re a restaurant owner, that last question is especially important, since customers’ choice of seating at your restaurant is every bit as important to them as their steak being done medium-rare or having extra napkins on hand when they’ve ordered gyros.

Research and anecdotal evidence suggests that preference for booths or tables for restaurant seating are relatively evenly split. If you don’t have or haven’t considered booths, there are some compelling reasons that you should. Families — especially families with children — tend to like booth seating because it helps to keep their kids corralled. Couples enjoy the sense of intimacy that comes with sitting in a booth. Some folks, especially if they’re the type who like to talk business, read, or write while they eat, appreciate the relative privacy of a booth.

Most restaurants will need a mix of booths and tables. With rare exceptions, tables serve a practical purpose. After all, you can’t just move booths if you have a leaky ceiling, an unexpected party of twelve, or if you’re accommodating a customer with mobility issues. With all their benefits, you’ll still need to take a few things into consideration when deciding how to incorporate booths into your seating.

Consider the size of your establishment: For some establishments like manufactured diners, with their mix of booth and counter seating, tables simply aren’t practical. For most diners and restaurants, from fast casual to formal, a mix is both necessary and desirable, since customers’ seating preferences can change based on the number of people in their party, their relationship to those people, and the purpose of their visit (business versus pleasure). You’ll also want to be mindful of where your seating is situated relative to windows, HVAC vents, baseboards or radiators, and even certain elements of your decor. If lines of sight are important — whether you’re operating a dinner theater, sports bar, or comedy club — be mindful of those as well.

Consider traffic patterns: There are a few considerations here. You’ll want to pay attention to how your customers interact with your space. Is there enough room for them to move comfortably through the dining area? Can they remove their coats without elbowing fellow diners or accidentally knocking over someone else’s shrimp cocktail? Is the area ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant? And think about your servers’ needs. Seating should leave them with ample room to move among tables, sparing enough space to move if they need to dodge a running toddler, a dropped plate, or a customer getting up from the table. There is, admittedly, a balancing act here: you need to maximize square footage to maximize profits, but you should also ensure the comfort and safety of guests and staff. Thinking about that now will spare you headaches later.

Consider the type of booth: Here, we suggest thinking about how the booth fits into the style and space of your establishment. Remember that booths that are wider will give your customers more elbow room and comfort. Seat height can also be varied depending on the degree to which you want to create privacy. Seat depth, as well as the length and width of the table, should also be taken into account. This will seem like a balancing act, and it is. After all, you’re trying to ensure a maximum of customer comfort in a limited amount of space.

Consider materials and cost: First, figure out what’s best for your restaurant. The formica seating and tabletops that are just the right fit if you’re slinging burgers isn’t going to give the same first impression if you’re doing fast casual Mexican, and neither of those approaches will sit well with the patrons of an upscale steak house. Once you’ve settled on a style, decide on your budget, leaving yourself enough room to tack on some additional money if you find a booth setup that’s perfect but costs slightly more than anticipated.

Try before you buy: There are a few key things to look for when you’re making your buying decision. Build quality is front of mind for most people, and for good reason; you’re in business for the long term, and your seating should be right there with you. Consider the dimensions of the booth relative to the size of your restaurant and (let’s be honest) the size of your diners. A feeling of privacy is good; feeling like you’ll need a can opener to get out of the booth isn’t. Also make sure that the booth is deep enough to comfortably sit back in, but not so deep that your shorter customers’ feet dangle above the floor.

If all of this sounds like a lot to consider, that’s because it is. Just like your customers, we know you have questions. We also know that those questions are a lot more pressing than, “Beets, peas, or creamed corn?” You’re concerned with attracting customers, ensuring that they’re happy while they dine with you, and — perhaps most importantly — making sure they come back, preferably with friends and family in tow… all of that while keeping an eye on payroll, expenses, suppliers, and so much more. We’ve been there, and we know the headaches that accompany the rewards of the business. If you have questions about booth seating, restaurant furniture, or restaurant supplies, call us. We can listen, and more importantly, we can help.

Tom Chuong enjoys reading and writing for the restaurant industry. He’s currently working on projects for Seating Expert Inc., a restaurant booths manufacturer in New Jersey. They can also customize furniture for restaurants, bars, hotels, and government agency.

The Pros and Cons of Owning and Operating a Restaurant

All of us have dreams about the kind of career that we want to have. For some of us, it’s working at a Fortune 500 company. For others, it’s working from home. And still for others, it’s owning our own business.

If you happen to fall into the third category and your desire has always been to own and operate your own restaurant, then you’ve come to the right article. That’s because below, we are going to share with you some of the pros and cons that come with being the owner of a restaurant so that you know what comes with running that kind of business below:

PRO: People are always going to want to eat out. One of the best things about owning a restaurant is that it provides plenty of job security. That’s because people eat on a daily basis and sometimes they want the convenience of going to a restaurant in order to do it.

CON: Many restaurants close their doors within the first year of opening them. Something that you should think about is the fact that according to many reports, a lot of restaurants only remain open within a year. There are a few reasons why this is the case. Some restaurants are located near some pretty stiff competition. Some restaurants do not have a menu that customers find to be impressive enough to patron regularly. And some restaurants simply underestimate how much it costs to run a restaurant.

PRO: It’s a great way to establish yourself within the community. Grocery stores, cleaners and restaurants these are just three things that establish themselves as a part of the community and that’s a really good thing. Businesses bring in money and money is what helps to keep communities thriving.

CON: There tends to be a lot of turnover with staff. The reason why you need to get a really good restaurant manager is because you want to get someone who will keep your staff happy. When it comes to a lot of restaurants, being that the pay is not always as much as employees would like and scheduling can become a real challenge, sometimes that results in a high turnover rate. And when you’re spending time training new staff, that tends to slow down productivity.

PRO: You can build your own dream. If you were to ask My National Grocers about one of the benefits that come with starting a restaurant, one of the things they would probably say is that there is nothing more satisfying than having a dream and being able to see it fulfilled. By far, that is one of the best things about owning and operating a restaurant.

CON: Restaurants can be a hard business to operate. There’s no doubt about it. Owning a restaurant is hard work. It’s demanding, it’s challenging and the hours are long usually seven days a week. So, you definitely need to think about how much time, effort and energy it will require of you before going into the restaurant field before opening one up.

For more information on the restaurant industry, visit http://fruitnfood.com/category/resturant/

Are You The Reason For Your Bad Customer Service In Restaurants?

How to Get Consistently Good Service At A Restaurant

Does Your Favorite Restaurant Drop The Ball When It Comes To Superior Customer Service?

Does it seem that you rarely get great customer service or fail to get it consistently?

Well you may be surprised to learn that you are part of the problem.

When it comes to customer service, good restaurants pay close attention to methodology, training and delivery. They constantly strive to consistently over deliver and yet it seems customer service is the customer’s number one complaint.

When it comes to customer service, good restaurants pay close attention to methodology, training and delivery. They constantly strive to consistently over deliver and yet it seems customer service is the number one complaint. Why?

The problem is rarely enthusiasm, waiters are eager to do a good job.. at least at the onset, but often times the many, various and often the peculiar needs of others can overwhelm even the cheeriest and most capable of employees and push them to the brink of a nervous breakdown nightly.

The obvious answer is of course, “get another job.” The glib sentiment of besmirched customers who leave loose change, nasty notes and scathing social media reviews in the wake of perceived inattentive service.

Having some experience in the restaurant industry, it is far easier for me to see, understand and forgive the missteps of total strangers who’ve been assigned to anticipate my every whim, but others may not be as astute or even care that the new hostess has just seated my server two new tables in back to back and my order is going to take longer now as a result. While my busy server is greeting and taking drink orders for fourteen new people, she doesn’t see that the other servers have no tables but I do. New hostess error, vendetta, planning for a larger party later at the currently seated tables? We may never know. I am simply aware that I can’t get things as fast as before.

It doesn’t help matters that the chef is in a bad mood, has been known to passively aggressive loose tickets or throw knives and the new table of eight is asking to substitute virtually every ingredient for every other ingredient. I can see beads of sweat reminiscent of the movie “Airplane” materializing on my server’s forehead as she invasions the chefs angry face as he reads the new novel she wrote at the POS terminal while I patiently (Not really) wait to ask for another beer. In the blink of an eye things were not as customer friendly and it was all the fault of the evil hostess who dared to seat additional guests once I had arrived.

Why should I wait for my beer? Constantly looking away from my handsome boyfriend to see if I could catch my waitress’s eye. Nope. She was writing War & Peace, double and triple checking everything for any error that might send “Wolfgang *uck” into a knife throwing rage. This while one of her co-workers chattered on in her ear, trying to make her slip up, as she waited for her turn on the computer. Why should I have to wait? I had no substitutions. No “squeaky door” emergencies that send servers looking for managers because “the air conditioner is blowing near me.” Or “The music is so loud by my table. I can’t even here.” I didn’t have kids that needed “french fries IMMEDIATELY! No, don’t even take our drink order, just put the order for french fries in and come back.” That’s two trips by the way for those of you who think their server is not doing their “job” for you, often there are doing it twice for someone else. Twice due to poor planning when it came to their “Little Chukies” dietary needs. Why should I wait for my beer because you didn’t pack a Lunchable for your little angel who is emptying all the sugar packets? Why is there no Heineken for me because of a condom shortage four years ago? Why If Chucky needs food or will go into a diabetic coma should my server do her job twice because of it? Because that is reality. This is the world we live in and it is special. Special order, special situation, special diet, special occasion friendly and if we are going to reap the rewards of switching menu items, feeding cranky kids, not freezing under an air-conditioning vent at some point in our own lives then we have to make allowances for the fact that others may be experiencing those moments right now as you dine.

That being said, how many times have you dined at a restaurant and loved the food but failed to get good service and never went back? Why would you have to? There are always new great restaurants to try so even though the food was spectacular; your server never brought the extra lemon wedge you asked for after she brought mustard for your friend (Two trips which cost another table time getting her beer by the way.) and didn’t smile when you had to remind her so why go back? Better to just get on the internet and write directly to her manager through an anonymous, scathing Yelp review which results in an employee review, new found job resentment and domino effect passive aggressive behavior for all subsequent customers. Customers who will vow never to return because their waitress didn’t smile when they asked for a wedge of lemon as she delivered mustard to their friend and didn’t smile again when they reminded her that she “forgot” the lemon.

Why go back? Why do things differently? Well you are reading this because this which has become standard isn’t working for you. You want better customer service. Well here is how you can get it:

Think for a moment that this way which has become standard really isn’t working for anyone. Not the customers who get treated like an afterthought, not the waiters who don’t know how nice you are and not the restaurants who never see you (or your wallet) again.

If you can see how the “standard” doesn’t work then you can see your part in its solution at least in as much as it applies to you.

Here is one solution which won’t require much effort on your part but will net you big results in the end: become recognized. It is the only way you can get great, personalized, consistently great service and it’s easier to accomplish than you think. Otherwise you are merely an anonymous person your waiter hopes to get a tip from.

First choose a restaurant you have been before or plan to make your regular “go-to” for great service. If you’ve been there before you know the lay of the land and know where you would like to sit and where you would prefer not to sit. If you haven’t been there and are choosing new place you would like to make your regular spot for great customer service then go on-line to look for pictures of the dining room and locate where you would prefer to sit.

Next call your “go-to” for a reservation.

If you have a “go to” for great sushi, a go to for great steak and a “go to” for great burgers why not add a “go to” for great service? With anything worth wild it will take some work on your end. As there are several variables at play, your mission will be to make a few of those variables as constant as possible. But this is a process and will take some effort and perhaps some extra cash on your part depending on how “recognized” you would like to be so now that you have chosen your restaurant, now its time to book your reservation. Make sure you dine early enough that your server is able to focus on you and isn’t swamped with diners. (Translation: If you are trying to become a recognized customer, don’t dine at a time when your server is so busy that he doesn’t have time to recognize you. You will be wasting your time. He will not be able to remember you.)

When you make the reservation, tell the hostess why you what your dinner will be for i.e. a date, business meeting, friends from out of town and ask the her for the best table for your needs and what that table number would be to request it in the future. (A table good for a date probably won’t be good for a business meeting and vice-versa but when you simply make a reservation there is no way of knowing which you prefer and you most certainly will be let down a certain percent of the time as a result.) You are a smart person. You are reading this page after all. How many times have you begun an evening with a table that was the complete opposite of what you wanted? How many times have you arrived to dinner during peak dining “rush hour” to find every other table taken? Well guess what? If you don’t tell your hostess you need something romantic she has no reason to hold the romantic corner table for you and will give it to the extremely persistent couple who just walked in before you. She still has a table for you after all, and that’s all you asked for. A little communication with her beforehand and she would have told dozens of couples that the table you are miserable at now was the only one she had available for them and they would have been thankful.

Instead, your night is off to a lousy start because the person on the other end of the phone was not able to read your mind. Now you are frustrated, you feel like “What is the point of a reservation!!?” things are off to a bad start with your waiter and he has absolutely no idea why.

So, you make your reservation, communicated your needs and desires with your hostess. Make sure to remember her name so you can thank her or if the table isn’t what you had in mind, you will want to use her name to request another one. Before you hang up, ask the hostess who is the best waiter and why. Some servers are more efficient and invisible, others have vast wine knowledge and others take pictures and videos etc. and make celebrations unique and special. If you just ask for the best server you won’t have a name to go with it and his style of serving may not be what you are looking for. The more you can give and get from conversations with your hostess, the better prepared your server will be. Now you arrive at the restaurant and are seated at a great table, you already know your server’s style and he already knows the theme for your dinner from what the hostess has told him and can better sense what you are looking for. Now, for something completely different: Say, “Thank you.” You will have his full attention because no one ever does it. They just take for granted that they should start telling a complete stranger what they want or that they aren’t ready to order yet or “What are your specials?” Try “*Thank you” instead. There is quite a bit of preparation that goes in to the table that you are sitting at and learning about the foods and ingredients your are going to be asking about. Your server has already been working for you long before you even arrived and it’s a nice, disarming way to start a relationship with a total stranger who’s table you are now seated at.

The rest of your dining experience should go as expected but when you are paying the check if you received everything you were expecting then tip more than usual. (I recommend 25%-30% of the total. Remember this is part of the process. You can go anywhere and have an average experience and leave an average tip but this is going to be your “go to” for great service and recognition. Here you are going to be known as above average, warranting extra attention because you are generous.)

If nothing went terribly wrong, your waiter seemed to sense your needs and desires, your personalities didn’t clash and you can see him as your regular server then thank him by asking to speak with the manager or owner. When he comes to the table make sure to tell him what a nice experience you have had and how your server really was in tune with what you wanted. Your complement will go a very long way for a server and he will really appreciate and remember you for it. Give the manager your business card and tell him why the restaurant and server is perfect for your future business dinners or get togethers. Be sure to send complements to the chef and ask for his name. Tell the manager that next time you come in you would like to meet the chef to thank him personally. Make your next reservation with the manager before you even get up from the table. Ask what table number it is or request a different one. It will be in the computer associated with your phone number every time you call. Thank your hostess by name on the way out. Thank her for taking the time to plan the perfect lunch or dinner with you and listen to what you wanted. (These things mean a lot and move you to the top of the list when it comes to priorities. Don’t abuse your recognition. Although it is effort on your end don’t mistake it for entitlement and start finger snapping or using a server’s name. There is a fine line between a “good customer” that the entire staff is happy to see and loves showering with V.I.P. perks because it is unexpected and an arrogant guest who uses the staff’s names and kindness against them to create additional work. Those guests will not be “Welcomed” for very long and all your efforts will be for nothing and you will only embarrass yourself.)

*If I have a really important dinner and don’t know the restaurant, when I arrive I ask the server to show me to the restroom and when we are out of sight of my guests I hand him $20 and say, “Thank you for your help in making this a special dinner tonight. My name is LeeAnne.” Then I ask his name, tell him about my needs or the theme or my guests needs so he doesn’t have to try to read my mind all night. The result is usually fantastic.

Restaurant Customers: Suggest a Customer Service Pre-Shift Meeting to your favorite restaurant and see service sky-rocket as you are greeted by name, catered to personally, your favorite items already on the table, table visits and greetings by the chef and owners with complementary surprises.

Restaurant Personnel: Double Your Reservations, Customers And Sales! Read The Book And Learn At Your Own Pace Or Schedule A $200.00 Customer Service Pre-Shift Meeting And Start Making Real Money And Massive Repeat Clientele! http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00DDG2E0C

Restaurant Owners: Do you need customer engagement and retention for your restaurant?

If you need more sales you absolutely do!

Does your restaurant staff love being at work and love your customers?

If not you need a Customer Engagement Program fast!

With my Customer Engagement Program you will double your sales and cut your employee turnover in half!

As a hospitality / customer service consultant and trainer I teach restaurant employees to see their customers, their town, their restaurant, their section, their hostess, their co-workers, their chef, their manager, the restaurant owner, the food, even the building where they work as a goldmines to help them create everything they ever dreamed of in life.

If you are tired of the “What if’s” and need to grow your business call me to create your custom tailored, customer engagement and retention employee training program.

Call me before your competition does! 1-860-248-0988

Create More Customers, Tips And Sales Fast!
Restaurant Owners/Managers/Waiters: When You Need More Money Fast You Need A Customer Engagement Program For Your Employees!

Why Does Your Restaurant Need an Insulated Food Server?

The hospitality industry is especially busy this time of the year. The holidays are here which means that many people are going on vacation. Thus they tend to go to restaurants more often. Hotels and restaurants have to stock up on various food products to keep up with the demand of the customers. Consequently, they would need more facilities to keep the food items fresh and ready to serve at the correct temperature.

I want to focus on food servers especially insulated food servers and why your restaurant would need one. How would it benefit your restaurant during the holiday season?

The Front Loader Food Server accommodates all third, half and full size standard food pans. Therefore, you can store most of your dishes in this type of kitchen unit. Any full size insert can be replaced with two half-inserts or three third-inserts so that you can maximize storage space inside this handy catering equipment. You don’t have to limit yourself to certain dish sizes when preparing your dishes.

The main benefit with Insulated Servers is that it maintains the correct serving temperatures. The food is kept at an optimal temperature constantly until it is ready to serve. You can opt for either a warm temperature or set it at a cooler temperature depending on the dish. This setting makes it a versatile kitchen equipment suited for any busy restaurant kitchen. The double end loader allows hot and cold food to be stored in two separate compartments. These compartments have wheels for ease of movement.

The Front Loader version is stackable for easy storage and convenient transporting. For a catering business, this is very useful. If you have a need for many food servers, you can purchase more than one and stack them to limit the space they take up. There are also other varieties of Food Servers available that are stackable such as the Top Loader Food Server and the Single Food Server unit. These units are suitable for small to medium sized restaurants and they are ideal as back up food storage for larger restaurants.

Insulated Food Servers are useful units of catering equipment that enable you to keep your food dishes at a constant temperature, whether it is warm or cool. You can prepare the food dishes in the morning and store them in the food server ready to serve at any time during the day at the correct temperature.

CaterWeb stocks a full range of commercial kitchen products and we even offer free demonstrations as well as hands on training if necessary. Visit our website to access our online store or alternatively we welcome you to visit our new showroom.

Please call us at 0861 CATERWEB or e-mail your inquiry to sales@caterweb.co.za so we may assist with your catering equipment requirements!

Ten Handy Buffetware Kitchen Products for the Hospitality Industry

The holiday season has arrived and if you are in the hospitality industry then you know full-well that this is your busiest time of the year. If you have not yet prepared your kitchen for this busy season, then you need to get into gear and get your kitchen in order. To assist you, I’ve compiled a list of ten buffetware kitchen products that will make your kitchen more efficient when trying to cope with the additional customers.

1. Coffee Urn. If you run a breakfast service then you should know that almost every customer demands coffee the moment they sit down. A coffee urn with the freshly prepared coffee that remains constantly heated during breakfast is a huge time saver.

2. Croissant Warmer. Again, as part of your breakfast service, you probably serve croissants. This delicious pastry is served best warm. But trying to reheat a croissant does not quite work, it rather dries the pastry. A croissant warmer keeps the contents at a constant temperature that is ready to serve.

3. Milk Pail Dispenser. This handy kitchen equipment allows you to store the milk ready-to-serve for use in coffee, tea or for cereals. This saves your waiters much time from running between the kitchen and the breakfast area.

4. Cereal Dispensers. Near your milk pail dispenser, it is advisable to have a set of cereal dispensers. Give your customers a variety of cereal options to choose from.

5. Sugar Bowls. Make sure that you have enough sugar bowls at your disposal. Customers will require much sugar for their coffee or tea and even for their cereals.

6. Condiment Station. If you run an elegant establishment where your customers put style first, then you will have to keep that in mind. A condiment station includes all the necessary containers in which to pour the popular condiments while having them all together on one serving station.

7. Chafing Dishes. These are necessary for a breakfast buffet service. You want to ensure that all the breakfast foods are kept warm while it is being served. While allowing customers to return for a second warm plate of breakfast.

8. Ice Bucket. An ice bucket is very useful during this warm summer season. Place an ice bucket filled with ice on your customer’s table to keep their bottle of champagne chilled.

9. Juice Dispensers. It is a good idea to have fresh juice available for your breakfast buffet. Get a few juice dispensers in which you can dispense orange juice, mango juice, and strawberry juice.

10. Trays. As trivial as this might seem, make sure that you have enough trays at the disposal of your customers. It can be frustrating when they get to the buffet area and there are no trays available.

These are the ten buffetware catering equipment that will ease your buffet breakfast service.

CaterWeb stocks a full range of commercial kitchen products and we even offer free demonstrations as well as hands on training if necessary. Visit our website to access our online store or alternatively we welcome you to visit our new showroom.

Please call us at 0861 CATERWEB or e-mail your inquiry to sales@caterweb.co.za so we may assist with your catering equipment requirements!

What Are the Benefits of Chest Freezers and Upright Freezers for Your Restaurant?

If you are a restaurant owner, you have many decisions that you need to make. You need to decide on the menu, the design of your restaurant, your commercial kitchen layout and what catering equipment will make your chef’s job more efficient. Another important decision that has to be made is that of your restaurant’s commercial refrigeration. Should you opt for a chest freezer or an upright freezer? What is the difference and benefits of the two industrial freezers?

Let’s take a look at chest freezers from a chef’s point of view.

Chest freezers have a capacity to hold large quantities of frozen foods. You will find chest freezers with a capacity of 110 litres up to 567 litres. That’s quite a variance but it shows you that whatever your frozen storage requirements, there is a chest freezer that can accommodate you. With such a large capacity option, you are able to store large quantities of meat products over a period of weeks. You can rest assured that the meat products will be just as fresh when you remove them. Then, you also need to decide on whether you would prefer a glass top chest freezer, a granite top or a solid top. If you have a need to see the contents regularly, a glass top is better. But if you are storing frozen goods for a long period of time, there is no need for this option. If you require additional kitchen surface area, then the granite top is better.

Upright freezers also have their benefits and various options available to the chef. These units take up less space in the kitchen opposed to the space that the chest freezer takes up. Upright freezers also have the option of having a solid door or a glass door for the same reason as the chest freezer. So which one you choose will depend on your requirements. These upright units have different capacities from 315 litres to 494 litres. There is more than enough room for large quantities of frozen foods. These are beneficial for storing a variety of frozen foods as you can place them on different shelves. On each shelf you can store a different category of frozen item such as vegetables on one shelf and fruit on another shelf. The added benefit with the upright version is that you can easily see what is inside due to the shelving system; as opposed to the chest freezer where you have to stack everything on top of each other. To find a particular frozen food, you’ll have to remove the ones above it and this could prove to be inconvenient.

These are the two types of catering equipment that you would need to make a decision on whether you choose the upright version or the chest version. Each has its benefits and it all depends on how you run your kitchen as to which one is better for you.

CaterWeb stocks a full range of commercial kitchen products and we even offer free demonstrations as well as hands on training if necessary. Visit our website to access our online store or alternatively we welcome you to visit our new showroom.

Please call us at 0861 CATERWEB or e-mail your inquiry to sales@caterweb.co.za so we may assist with your catering equipment requirements!