Posted by Tara Stanton
In the restaurant business, the little things no one else thinks about often turn into a major managerial decision. From what kind of hot sauce to serve, to the brand of mustard you carry, the fear of a wildly unhappy customer lurks behind each decision.
One of those decisions that must be made is what kind of ice to serve. Do you offer cubes, crushed or some kind of fancy-shaped ice with a flower frozen in the middle of it? With all of these options to sort through, we’ll try to steer you in the direction that’s right for your business.
Cubed vs. crushed ice
Some people prefer crushed or flaked ice, arguing that it will cool your drink more quickly, which is true. Crushed ice will also melt more quickly, though, diluting your guest’s drink and turning their Coke, Old-Fashioned or whatever it is they’re drinking into an unenjoyable watery concoction. Cubed ice, on the other hand, may be the best “all-purpose” ice, whether the cubes are square or crescent shaped.
Adventures with ice
A lot of restaurants and bars have been experimenting with serving different-shaped ice cubes in their cocktails. One popular alternative is the ice block, which is essentially a giant ice cube, about 2″x2”. Most often served in a tumbler, an ice block provides a very neat and clean look to everything from a Mojito to a classic whiskey on the rocks.
Others have begun to make festive ice cubes that have flowers or pieces of fruit, even herbs, frozen in the middle. Needless to say, these cubes don’t come out of the under-counter ice maker. They can take some time to prepare, but if done properly, the novelty can really add to the presentation value, all while giving your drinks a little extra flavor or panache. All things considered, this is one way a small detail like ice cubes can have a noticeable impact on your guests’ dining experience.
If you need help determining what type and size ice machine you need for your operation, contact your TriMark representative.
Food safety is paramount in any foodservice facility. Here are a few key numbers that can help you keep your customers safe from the evils of hazardous food. please be aware however, every local municipality and their local codes prevail, this is only a guide.
Temperature Danger Zone
- The number one rule is keep hot foods hot, and cold food cold!
- Temperature danger zone is between 41°F – 140°F
- Bring hazardous food through this temperature range as quickly as possible
- Even when cooling food, the faster the better
Holding Hot Foods
- Maintain hot food at a temperature of 140°F or above
- Specialized hot holding equipment can make this an easy task in any foodservice operation
- No need to kill the roast, properly cooked roasts may be held at 130°F or above
- Specialized equipment called retherms, are designed to reheat foods quickly and safely
- Reheating food that has been previously cooked in-house and will be held for service must reach an internal temperature of at least 165°F for 15 seconds
- Reheating food that was made in a food processing plant, opened in your facility, with the intent to be held for service must reach a temperature of 140°F
- Reheat all food rapidly in less than a two hour period of time
- Foods that have been cooked and cooled properly can be served at any temperature just as long as it is served immediately
Always use an accurate food thermometer to make sure foods are cooked to and held at a safe temperature.
It’s already a fast pace world, and it’s only going to get faster. Energy drinks and grab and go food items have been flying off the shelves in Convenience Stores these recent years, it’s time you start your Hot Food Program and get some of those profits for yourself. Continue reading “Foodservice – Begining a C-Store Hot Food Program”
It’s not just about nobs and switches these days, even though some people would prefer it that way. Foodservice equipment manufacturers have brought us some pretty out of this world technology, such as dazzling touch screens that can control every aspect of a cook cycle while utilizing Wi-Fi to report live HACCP data to a headquarters for review. But who needs all of these bells and whistles, what happened to just applying temperature to food? Well depending on your operation, and the size of your company / franchise, eliminating even the smallest step from an employee or Critical Control Point can save millions of dollars at year end. Continue reading “Foodservice Equipment – Controls”
The primary advantage to an FWE cook and hold oven is the low and controlled temperatures. This technology helps dramatically reduce loss in many roasted meats. This reduction improves yields allowing for more servings thus increased revenue. As much as an additional serving or two of prime rib can be saved with one of these cook and hold ovens. This is money back into the pocket, just with a quick equipment upgrade.
To achieve this increase in yield, the food product must come up to temperature at a slower pace. A drawback that chefs face with most low-temperature cooking is the loss to the dark, crisp, caramelized outside of meat products. FWE’s engineering team have worked hard to find that perfect balance of gentle air flow, and even heat distribution, that allows for the Maillard effect to be achieved in a low-temperature environment, giving that desired flavor and texture that many chefs want.
Easy Beef Wellington
I come from a Food Network generation that first heard of a Beef Wellington through the angry lips of the celebrity chef, Gordon Ramsay. Beef tenderloin wrapped in a puff pastry? Yes, please! However, Mr. Ramsay sure did make it known to everyone just how easy this recipe can be to mess up. Or so we thought.
I happen to like things to be easy. I like to buy a couple of fillets of beef tenderloin, a roll of puff pastry, a few shallots, and some button mushrooms and be on my way to a “fancy” dinner.
The big difference that I do, and this is nothing new, I’m not a culinary pioneer on this, but I like to wrap individual servings rather than one large sliced to order roast. Google Beef Wellington, and most of what you will see a full tenderloin presentation. Why make it more difficult than it needs to be right?