• Q&A with Alto-Shaam Chef Robert Simmelink

    Not all kitchen equipment is created equal. While some brands cater to accessibility through low prices, others pour innovation, technology, and resources into making their products state of the art. Alto-Shaam, with its highly innovative combi ovens, Cook & Hold ovens and renowned Halo Heat technology, embodies the latter end of this spectrum. We sat down with the brand’s Executive Chef Robert Simmelink, whose been working with Alto-Shaam for twenty-one years, to learn more about how the product line can save you money in the long term while boosting efficiency in the present. Here he answers some commonly asked questions.

    Blast Chillers: Only For Large Commercial Kitchens?

    Despite popular belief, blast chillers can be useful in kitchens of all sizes, not just large commissaries and other high volume applications. “The whole key to the blast chiller is it cools the food so fast that it locks in the flavor and freshness,” said Chef Simmelink. He recommends that kitchens large and small fill their combi ovens with food product -- such as rice -- every few days, and rethermalize them later. Rethermalizing takes half the time as cooking, and because the blast chiller locks in freshness, sticking it back in the combi oven makes it taste flavorful and fresh. “It takes the pressure off the kitchen,” he said. 

    The Cook & Hold Oven is known for many things, one of which is its ability to roast meats with high yield. What else should we know about the oven?

     The Alto-Shaam team strives to show consumers different applications of the most popular products, such as the famed Cook & Hold Oven. “That oven should never be sitting empty,” said Chef Simmelink adding, “You can proof bread, braise stews and shanks. We even make stocks inside the oven overnight so you don’t tie up the burner and run the hood all night.” As the name suggests, Cook and Holds aren’t just for cooking – they’re also for holding. “A Cook and Hold can hold a roast rare for 24 hours without it overcooking,” said Chef Simmelink. Its technology allows for precision holding at food safe temperatures so you can spend your time focused elsewhere. (Did you know Alto-Shaam also has a Cook & Hold Smoker Oven?)

    What’s The Difference Between Holding Cabinets and Warming Drawers?

    Warming Drawers and Holding Cabinets are both back of the house holding applications. People often gravitate towards warming drawers versus a traditional holding cabinet if they have a small amount of product to hold. In that case, warming drawers can be conveniently built into a station. For larger amounts of storage, Alto-Shaam’s holding cabinets are the answer. Two compartment holding cabinets allow you to hold different kinds of food at their respective holding temperatures -- like red meat and turkey for example.

    What’s the Difference Between a Soup Well and a Hot Well?

    The only difference is the shape. Hot Wells are based off of a steam table pan, while Soup Wells or Kettles generally hold somewhere between 7 and 11 quarts of food. These products, which are seen in applications ranging from food courts to super market delis, and universities, are catered to cook and also hold. Both use the same Cook & Hold technology, surrounding the food product with gentle radiant Halo Heat, which allows the food to hold longer.

    How is the Alto-Shaam Convection Oven Different From Others Out There? 

    According to Chef Simmelink, there are two main talking points. First, the distinct Alto-Shaam airflow across the entire oven cavity provides even cooking, eliminating the need to turn pans throughout the cooking process. Second is the durability that’s built into it during construction. “Convection ovens get beat up,” said Chef Simmelink adding that despite the rigorous commercial use, theirs is built to last. Features such as doors that open simultaneously and heavy-duty handles are but a few of the many quality attributes that help Alto-Shaam endure.

  • How Long Will It Keep?

    Need a refresher on food storage and refrigeration? Our handy dandy infographic will get you up to speed on the best food safety practices for storing and refrigerating foods. 

  • A Guide To Kitchen Thermometers


    One of a chef's greatest tools can fit right in the palm of their hand or clip straight onto an apron pocket. Thermometers are a case study of simple efficiency and their place in the kitchen is indisputable. These significant tools manage myriad temperatures in the back of the house - be it the storage temperature of your food or the actual temperature of food before it's plated and served to a customer. Temperature is key to food safety as bacteria grows furtively all around us - including in the food we eat. Controlling bacteria levels comes down to controlling food temperature, and having thermometers on hand encourages the constant use and maintenance of food safety practices. In today's market, thermometers are available in all shapes, sizes, and levels of technology. In this guide you will find a basic break down of the most commonly used thermometers in the kitchen landscape.

    Meat Thermometers:

    When cooking poultry or meat, it's important to have a meat thermometer on hand to gauge internal temperatures and the thoroughness of cooking. These thermometers, which generally have a long 5 to 8 inch probe and smaller temperature ranges, are often inserted into meat prior to cooking and left inside throughout the cooking process. Serving an undercooked chicken or piece of meat to a customer is one way to pass foodborne illnesses on to your patrons. Having a dependable meat thermometer is an added precaution to make sure you don't do this. Meat thermometers ultimately allow you to measure whether your meat is cooked through, meaning that the temperature is high enough to have killed off harmful bacteria. Texture and color alone aren't enough to determine whether a piece of meat is "done;" with the use of a meat thermometer you can rest assured you're serving meat that is both safe and delicious.

    Pocket Thermometers:

    These lightweight thermometers are carried by chefs to quickly check the temperatures of everything from casseroles to meat dishes. Outfitted with a thin probe, pocket thermometers allow you to quickly pierce and penetrate the interior of the dish. Many times, pocket thermometers come with plastic sleeves to protect the probe from germs and cross contamination.

    Oven Thermometers:

    Oven thermometers are usually constructed of stainless steel or other heat resistant materials given the high temperatures they're exposed to daily. These units are designed to measure the temperature of the oven's cooking cavity, and the faces often have enlarged, bold numbers and colored cooking zones for quick easy reading. While some models stand on the floor of the cavity, others hang from inside the oven, and some can do both, like this Comark model.

    Deep Fry Thermometers:

    Similar to oven thermometers, deep fry thermometers have high temperature ranges to upwards of 600ºF. Deep Fry Thermometers allow you to closely monitor the temperature of your oil prior to frying chicken, fish, or something in between. Doing so ensures that food isn't saturated or burned from overheated oil.

    Refrigerator and Freezer Thermometers:

    Refrigerator and Freezer Thermometers are essential tools for your cold storage units, ensuring food is being held at the right temperatures. Though most refrigeration units have digital temperature readings on them, having a back up thermometer inside the cooler gives you added security and backup precision. Our simple, lightweight options hang conveniently inside the refrigerator or freezer and are a low cost solution for all commercial applications.

    Candy Thermometers:

    Candy Thermometers help end users who are making homemade candies and other sweets using melted chocolate, caramel, and sugar. These simple thermometers monitor heat and keep sugary substances from burning. They generally have high temperature ranges with long probes.

    Specialty Thermometers:

    Specialty Thermometers are a bit different than your standard analog or digital counterparts as they can use infrared lasers to monitor temperatures amongst other technical tools. Our selection online takes all the guesswork out of cooking thanks to their quick, precise temperature readings!

  • Storing Food Properly to Ensure Food Safety In Your Commercial Kitchen

    In the foodservice industry, there are many stages through which a food item travels until it’s on the fork or spoon of a customer. In order to maintain the quality, taste, and (most importantly) safety of the final product, it’s imperative that restaurants preserve the food during every step of the way. Last week, we discussed a few guidelines to remember when receiving food in your kitchen. Once the food is in your kitchen, it could sit there for hours, days, or weeks depending on the demand of the ingredient and frequency of use. Storing food properly maximizes its shelf life and protects it from contamination until it is ready to be prepared. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when storing food in your commercial kitchen.

    Enforce the “First In, First Out” Rule

    Commonly referred to as FIFO, this rule helps ensure both the safety and quality of every ingredient. Although this may seem like common sense, with new foods constantly entering and leaving a commercial kitchen, it’s easy to lose track. It’s helpful to have an organized system in place to make sure that older foods are used up before newer ones.

    Whenever you receive a new shipment of food, arrange the newer foods behind the older food so that all of the older food is used first. Labeling is your best friend here. As we mentioned in last week’s post about safely receiving foods, make a habit out of labeling every item that comes into your kitchen with the delivery date. Without a proper FIFO system in place, older foods that aren’t easily accessible could go bad by the time you find them – which puts the food surrounding it at risk for spoiling.

    Meat Belongs in the Bottom of Your Freezer or Refrigerator

    You may think that storing your meat in a sealed container is enough to keep it from contaminating your other cold storage items. However, it is always best to store any meat as low as possible just in case of leak. Dripping meat juices are the last thing you want lingering in your refrigerator or freezer.

    Use Clear, Air-Tight Containers

    Exposure to air will usually expedite the process of spoiling food. Keep all of your foods in air-tight containers that will seal freshness in and keep air out. While you could use food pans and lids for this purpose, clear food storage boxes are recommended as they allow you to see exactly what food is inside. If you do use a container that is not clear, be sure to label it to maintain both food safety and efficiency in your kitchen.

    Store Food Off the Floor

    According to the 2009 FDA Food Code, all foods in a commercial kitchen must be stored at least six inches above the floor. Some cities enforce the rule even further in their health codes, requiring a minimum height of 12 inches. By keeping food off the floor, you eliminate the risk of water or dust polluting the food. Dunnage racks and keg racks are both great for storing food above floor level.

    Keep Your Kitchen Clean and Organized

    As we mentioned previously, using racks and shelving units help keep your food off of the floor and away from contaminants. However, similar to refrigerators, overcrowding them or leaving them unorganized is counterproductive. Maintain a certain order on all of your commercial shelving units.

    Also, be sure that your kitchen is spotless at all times. Floors, refrigerator shelves, and shelving units all need to be cleaned frequently in order to keep away dust, bacteria, and dirt.

    Check Your Refrigerator Thermometer FrequentlyRefrigerator Thermometer

    While the main function of a refrigerator is to keep foods fresh and safe for consumption, this only works if it is producing the right temperature. Get your staff into the habit of checking the refrigerator thermometers at least once a day to make sure that they are working properly. Just a few degrees above the normal temperature could spoil the food in a refrigerator.

    Don’t Stuff Refrigeration Units

    One way to make sure that your freezers and refrigerators maintain a safe temperature is to avoid overloading them with too many foods. With too many items stacked on the shelves, your refrigerator will need to work extra hard to keep the temperature low. This can increase the temperature in certain areas that are not receiving enough cool air, and could even cause your refrigerator to completely stop working – both of which create unsafe cool storage conditions for your food.

    In Doubt? Throw It Out.

    At any stage of food handling – whether it’s receiving, storage, or preparation – if you ever feel unsure about the safety of a food item, get it out of your kitchen as soon as possible. If the food is indeed spoiled, keeping it could lead to the contamination of surrounding items and puts your patrons at risk for food poisoning. If you’re ever in doubt, simply throw it out.

  • Receiving Food | National Food Safety Month

    Every September, the foodservice industry celebrates National Food Safety Month. Everyone knows there's no easier way to lose customer loyalty than being the culprit of a patron's food borne illness. Because restaurant kitchens breed team environments, it's important for everyone, from the executive chef to the dishwashers and porters, to be educated on proper food safety.  Doing so not only keeps the restaurant up to code but also maintains a high quality standard for the business, not to mention a strong reputation. In  honor of National Food Safety Month, we will be posting a series of educational blog posts pertaining to all aspects of food safety, from receiving food to storing it, serving it, and the many steps in between.

    Screen shot 2015-08-26 at 9.09.32 PM Photos courtesy of www.foodsafetymonth.com

    Food safety education isn't just for professional chefs either. In fact, everyone can benefit from food safety knowledge because we all eat and handle food, therefore we're all at risk for the same illnesses and repercussions. Some of the upcoming blogs will feature helpful information for both residential and commercial cooks, while others will pertain more to the professional industry. This year's Food Safety Awareness theme is "Let it Flow," which focuses on the flow of food in restaurants. Knowing some basic rules will definitely help kick start your food safety practice. This blog begins with "Receiving" food. Here are a few tips.

    What Temperature Should Food Be Received At?

    This question is dependent on the kinds of food you're receiving, though most potentially hazardous foods should be received at 41ºF or lower. Below are a few exceptions.

    • Live Shellfish, Shucked Shellfish, and Milk: Should be received at an air temperature of 45ºF or lower then cooled to 41ºF or lower within 4 hours.
    • Eggs: Should be received at an air temperature of 45ºF or lower.
    • Frozen Food: Should be frozen solid when received.

    Why Does Food Need To Be Received at these temperatures?

    Three words: "The Danger Zone." These three words probably ring a bell, and rightfully so! The Danger Zone is the temperature bracket (41ºF to 135ºF) where bacteria grows most quickly on food. Leaving food out in these temperatures can cause bacteria to double in as little as twenty minutes. Therefore, there is urgency in making sure food is at the proper temperature when it's received and then promptly stored.

    What Should Be Done Upon Delivery?

    When food arrives at the establishment, there is a checklist to be aware of. When food is in transit there is an increased opportunity for items to shuffle around and for cross contamination to occur. Knowing this, it's important that whoever is receiving the shipment inspects it thoroughly. Here are the common questions to ask and the things to look for when receiving a shipment. Should any of these not adhere, you have the right to refuse the delivery.

    • Are the food containers in good condition? Check for any damage as they can often crush or tear in transit, thereby leaking and potentially cross contaminating.
    • Are the temperatures where they should be? It's important to check them with a sanitized thermometer before signing for the delivery. These pocket thermometers do the trick.
    • If you're receiving canned goods, make sure they're not swollen anywhere as this may be a sign of product spoiling or damage.
    • Mark the delivery date on food products before storing away.
    • Are the delivery vehicles in good, clean condition?
    • Are frozen foods completely frozen? Make sure there is no thawing occuring upon delivery.
    • Lastly, does the supplier deliver product on a timely schedule? It's important that food is stored away quickly after it's received to keep food held at the right storage temperature. Hold your suppliers accountable to the scheduled delivery time.

    These are some of the most important tips for receiving food product.
  • Cleaning Your Vulcan Charbroiler

    cleaning your vulcan charbroilerIn a restaurant kitchen, charbroilers are an excellent way to sear beautiful brand marks and impart a light smoky flavor onto proteins, fish and vegetables.

    However, to achieve consistent brand marks and the best release of product off of the cooking grid, routine cleaning and “dressing” of the top surface of the cooking grid with a light coat of oil (typically with vegetable oil but any variety of oil will do) are recommended. Charbroilers typically have cast iron or stainless steel grates.

    To dress the cooking grate, make a “jelly roll” out of a kitchen towel by folding it in thirds, rolling tightly and tying with butcher’s twine. The final roll should be about 4-5” long and about 2 ½-3”in diameter. Keep this roll in a 1/9th size pan next to the broiler filled with a small amount of vegetable oil. Wipe the cooking grates to remove any debris and then, using tongs, grab the roll and sweep the grates, coating lightly with oil. Repeat as necessary or after each product drop.

    At close of service when it is time to clean the unit, allow charbroiler to run on max for ten minutes and then turn off all sections. Wipe the cooking grids and allow the unit to cool completely before attempting to clean. Once the unit is cool, remove the cooking grids and set aside. Clean places where fat, grease or food may have accumulated. Deflector trays and crumb trays should be emptied and cleaned regularly.

    If cooking grids are heavily soiled or show a large amount of carbonization, they can be soaked in a commercial degreasing solution as necessary. If de-greasing is required, carefully remove top grates and submerge in cleaning solution. Rinse completely with clear water and dry before returning to the unit. Do not drop cooking grids, as it may cause damage and may require replacement.

    About Vulcan Restaurant Equipment

    Vulcan, a division of ITW Food Equipment Group LLC, is a leading manufacturer of cooking equipment in the U.S. with a broad line of products including ranges, convection and combi ovens, fryers, griddles, charbroilers, steamers, braising pans, kettles and heated holding cabinets.  Vulcan sells both to the foodservice and food retail end-user segments, including chain and independent restaurants, hospitals, assisted living facilities, nursing homes, K-12 schools, colleges/universities, hotels, casinos, recreation, corrections, and grocery stores.

    We Know Vulcan Equipment - Mission Restaurant Supply

    Mission Restaurant Supply is proud to offer a wide selection of premier restaurant equipment brands such as Vulcan out of our several showrooms in Austin, Corpus Christi, Dallas, Fort Worth, McAllen and San Antonio, as well as on our online to the rest of the nation. Our team of experts is knowledgeable and well-versed in foodservice equipment, including charbroilers, and can help you make an informed decision when it comes to selecting one for your business. No matter type of equipment you choose, we'll tell you everything there is to know about maintenance, cleaning, and making it last for years. Visit us today to see if a Vulcan Charbroiler is the right fit for you and your restaurant.

  • Save Time, Labor and Money With Pacojet

    Be it chocolate, watches or something in between, Switzerland has long been associated with quality, so it’s only fitting that the country is also home to Pacojet, one of the foodservice industry’s most respected, quality manufacturers. Saber Rejbe is the Executive Pastry Chef at Advanced Gourmet and Pacojet in Greensboro, North Carolina. Below we learn a little more about him and the product line that is used in over 40,000 kitchens worldwide.

    Chef Saber Rejbi of Advanced Gourmet and Pacojet. Chef Saber Rejbi of Advanced Gourmet and Pacojet.


    Chef Saber Rejbe is a Parisian native who went to pastry school in France before working for many fine dining restaurants and five star hotels - such as the esteemed Hotel Crillon - in the City of Light. It was in these venues that he got his start using Pacojet. “I can probably say I’ve been using Pacojet every day for the last 8 years,” he said adding, “I seem to discover a new way of using the Pacojet every day.”  As a professional chef in his own right, Saber firmly believes that the Pacojet will inspires chefs to create new tastes, sensations, and signature dishes for every course, while improving the bottom line in restaurants of all sizes.


    Pacotizing enables chefs to 'micro-purée' fresh and deep-frozen foods into ice creams, sorbets, soups, sauces and ultra-light mousses -- all without thawing. It’s a unique process of spinning a food product at a high speed of 2,000 rpm. This shaves an ultra fine layer off the frozen product with each revolution, creating a fine, creamy serving in just 20 seconds! 

    Pacotizing 101 Pacotizing 101


    In a nutshell, the Pacojet 2 (PJ2) is an upgraded version of the Pacojet 1 (PJ1). The PJ1 is 22 years old and after years of listening to chefs around the world, the company has added some exciting new features in the PJ2. One such new feature is the interactive touch screen complete with illustrated, intuitive icons with more customization options.  (BONUS: The PJ2 also comes with an international recipe book complete with 75 basic recipes and 50 recipes from a fan club of chefs using Pacojet around the world!) 

    The Pacojet is a complete system that will allow you to create any type of frozen application (sweet/savory/raw/vegan) but it will also work as a superior machine for processing fresh food and whipping.

    • Frozen Applications: For frozen foods such as ice cream or sorbet, simply fill the beaker to the fill line with your ingredients and a liquid, cover with the lid, and let it freeze for 24 hours using a regular freezer (see illustration above) or 3 hours with a blast freezer. The Pacojet 2 also has an overfill rescue function that senses and recovers overfilled beaker contents automatically without the need to thaw. Freezing the beaker locks in freshness and aromas. Attach the blade with the splash guard to the Pacojet. When the beaker is frozen solid, remove the lid and attach the beaker using the beaker holder to the Pacojet, then choose the number of servings or portions you desire or pacotize the whole beaker without thawing! It’s quick and simple. As soon as the pacotizing is complete, remove the beaker and your product is ready-to-serve, while retaining the most intense flavors, natural colors and vital nutrients. If you have leftover frozen product in the beakers, simply flatten the product and put the lid back on and return to the freezer for future use.
    • Non-Frozen Applications: The Coupe Set attachments enable the Pacojet to be used as a cutter, mincer, mixer, blender or whipper to process foodstuffs in their fresh state without having to freeze them first. Fish, meat, herbs, fruits, vegetables and spices or cream, egg whites, milk, etc. are simply filled into a Pacojet beaker (if desired, together with other ingredients and seasonings) and processed directly using the appropriate attachment for the texture desired. Then press start! 
    Before (bottom) and After (top) Pacotizing Before (bottom) and After (top) Pacotizing


    The Pacojet has three tiers to choose from, with the only major difference being the quantity of accessories that comes with each of them.

    • The Basic System comes with the Pacojet Machine, a Pacotizing Blade, a Spray Guard, 2 Beakers and Lids, 1 Outer Protective Beaker, 1 Chrome Spatula, 1 Recipe Book and 1 Cleaning Kit.

    • The Advanced System comes with everything the Basic System has, but it has 6 Beakers instead of 2 and a Coupe Set. The Coupe Set comes with three additional blades for non-frozen applications: a 2-blade cutter for coarse textures (e.g. steak tartare), a 4-blade cutter for fine textures (e.g. terrines/pates), and a whipping disc (for whip cream, egg whites and milkshakes). These blades generally allow for chopping, dicing, or pureeing non frozen foods from produce to meats and fish.

    • The Super System comes with everything the Advanced System has with the addition of 4 beakers for a total of 10. It also comes with a Gold Blade which is hardened with titanium-nitride. The Super System is recommended for the chef that has never used Pacojet before. It has all the accessories – including the coupe set – to start working in any size or any kind of application.


    As simple as 1-2-3. The touch screen on the PJ2 shows a 3-step cleaning process, which Chef Saber recommends running at the end of the work day. From the screen you’ll see 3 steps: Cleaning, Sanitizing and Rinsing; each step takes just 1 minute. “If you do that you will maintain the quality of the Pacojet for many years,” he said. Additionally, all the beakers are dishwasher safe.

    The Pacojet 2 The Pacojet 2


     Pacojet is used in restaurants and fine dining institutions all over the world, yet it has also found a home in many niche markets: 

    • Catering Companies and Country Clubs: Chefs that need to travel with their equipment greatly benefit from the Pacojet. “They love using it for ice cream because they can bring the Pacojet with them to any location – just plug and play,” said Chef Saber. (The PJ2 weights 35-pounds.)
    • Bakeries: Bakeries use a lot of whipped cream. With the Pacojet you can pacotize 1 liter of whipped cream in less than 1 minute. Just put the heavy cream in the empty beaker and push start. When you come back to the unit the whipped cream will be ready for use.
    • Bars: Mixologists are also fans of the Pacojet for use in making some of their specialty cocktails, such as Granita, slushy Margaritas, Daiquiris, Pina Coladas, and more.

    • Retirement Homes: Many residents in retirement homes have difficulty swallowing, particularly with dense foods, such as meat. Chef Saber’s experience with Pacojet in retirement homes has been extraordinarily beneficial. “The chef micro-purees the meat and puts it into a mold (chicken or steak mold) and they freeze the mold,” said Chef Saber. “When the meat is frozen it keeps the shape of the mold then you cook it and it’s ready to serve,” he added. Preparing the meat this way also makes it very easy to cut.
    • Raw/ Vegan Communities: Pacojet is a popular go-to for the raw and vegan community, which is rife in states like California. Pacojet enables chefs to do more with their raw menus, even making raw ice creams and raw cheeses, to name a few. For raw ice cream, simply put nuts and coconut oil into the beaker, freeze and pacotize without heating the product. All those raw ingredients will turn into a micro-pureed, creamy ice cream that’s ready to be enjoyed.


    •  Saving Time: The Pacojet prepares individual portions (approximately 3.5 fluid ounces) in 20 seconds and a whole beaker worth of food product in less than 4 minutes! In just one hour the Pacojet will produce 15 liters of sorbet/ ice cream in 15 different flavors or 150 portions of soup in 15 varieties. Also, your staff can prepare beakers ahead of time for the entire week, and best yet, there's no need to strain, puree, or remove peels from the food product prior to pacotizing. Pacojet will pacotize cores, peels, skins and more into micro particles so there is no need to throw them away or waste your time removing them.

    • Eliminating Food Waste: Because the Pacojet has a built-in portion system it only pacotizes the amount of food you tell it to. The remainder of food stays frozen in the beaker and can be put back in the freezer for later use. All the Pacojet beakers are hygienic so no oxidation or contamination occurs. 

    • Saving Money: The Pacojet will improve your bottom line and pay for itself in less than 3 months! Check out this ROI chart:4x6 PJ Profit Card front

    • Saving Space: The Pacojet's compact countertop design (Depth Width Height: 19.7'' x 14.2'' x 7.9'') makes it great for all kitchens, though there’s no limit to the number of beakers that can be added with each unit.


    The new Pacojet 2 units come with a 1-year warranty on parts and labor plus a 5-year warranty on the motor. The warranty must be activated when you register the unit on www.Pacojet.com, which takes just a few minutes!


    Pacojet service is also available through Advanced Gourmet for yearly maintenance or any other service needs.


    Aside from talking with one of our specialists, Chef Saber is always willing to help you learn more about the new Pacojet 2. “Every customer is different and every customer has different requests,” he said. “We are really here to help and listen to every new project.”

    Call us at Mission at 1-800-319-0690 or contact Chef Saber at 1-877-648-7084! We're open Monday through Friday 8 AM to 6 PM Central Standard Time.

  • Accommodating Religious Dietary Restrictions in Your Restaurant

    Living in the United States, we are part of a giant melting pot of different cultures, religions, and people. This is reflected in our schools, universities, shopping malls, and your restaurant! There are several different cultures and religions that require certain dietary restrictions. The more you and your restaurant staff are familiar with these guidelines, the easier it will be to accommodate your diverse guests, and the more welcome they will feel at your restaurant. Below are some of the most common guidelines that your guests may need to follow:

    Hindu Dietary Restrictions

    • Vegetarianism (no meat)- Vegetarianism is encouraged, but not required. Hindus believe that one must have respect and compassion for all humans and animals. 
    • Non-Vegetarianism (limited meat) – Chicken and lamb are two acceptable meat options for non-vegetarian Hindus. However, consumption of beef is strictly prohibited as the cow is considered sacred to them.

    Jewish Dietary Restrictions

    • No mixing meat and dairy – It is against Jewish dietary laws to mix meat and dairy. This includes during food preparation and consumption.
    • Meat restrictions – Shellfish, pig, rabbits, and camels are strictly prohibited in any Kosher dish.
    • Slaughtering process – Meat must be slaughtered in accordance to Jewish law which means the animal  must be killed by slicing its throat and all blood must be drained.
    • Food preparation restrictions – Any utensils, dishes, or restaurant cooking equipment that have come into contact with pork products (and have not been washed) must stay clear of a meal in order for it to remain kosher. Many Jewish guests may request that their dishes are dish-washed separately than ones that contained any pork to be safe.

    Muslim Dietary Restrictions

    • No pork products –This includes bacon, lard, and gelatin. If a food preparation item such as a bowl, knife or spoon is in contact with meat product it is no longer considered Halal and cannot be used to prepare Halal food until it is thoroughly sanitized.
    • No alcohol – Preparing food with beer, wine, or other alcohol product is strictly prohibited. Many Muslim guests may request for a sauce containing wine to be cooked without the alcohol.

    By familiarizing yourself with these dietary guidelines, you will be able to accommodate guests of all different cultures and faiths and can establish a special trust with them. Trust between you and a customer can only lead to several more visits to your restaurant!

  • Success Story: Peter Piper Pizza and San Antonio Restaurant Supply

    In the restaurant business, having a partner you can trust can make all the difference. Pizza Properties, Inc., was searching for such a partner and found one in Mission Restaurant Supply.

    Pizza Properties, Inc. is a growing company that owns and operates several Burger King and Peter Piper Pizza franchises all across Texas. The organization places a great amount of control in the hands of their general managers and Area Managers as they also act as owners. This allows them to handpick the businesses they build partnerships with. As a restaurant, one of the biggest partnerships to establish is for restaurant equipment and supplies.

    The Need for a San Antonio Restaurant Equipment Dealer

    Lee Verhyen, Area Manager, supervises five Peter Piper Pizza outlets in San Antonio and neighboring communities. Pizza Properties, Inc. Area Managers like Verhyen have multi-role positions in which they must balance the day-to-day demands of each restaurant as well as completing more administrative “desk tasks”. Hence, they need establish systems and partnerships that allow them to complete the administrative work as quickly and efficiently as possible.

    This explains why Verhyen was looking for a fast and reliable restaurant supply company for all of their needs. Initially, he utilized the existing partnerships that Pizza Properties, Inc. had with two main suppliers in Chicago and El Paso. However, he soon realized that he could expedite delivery times by working with a local restaurant equipment dealer. Sure enough, he discovered our location in San Antonio.

    A Fulfilling Partnership

    Although online orders were not yet available during the early years of our work together, a local restaurant equipment outlet allowed Verheyen to  quickly drop off and pick up items as needed. For years partnership has blossomed since, especially after the introduction of online ordering.

    The personal attention from their account representative, along with fair prices and convenience made us the perfect fit for Verheyen and Pizza Properties, Inc’s needs. With a trustworthy and reliable partner, the company is free to focus on making great food and delivering fantastic service.We are proud of the partnership that we have built with Verhyen and Pizza Properties, Inc. and are excited to see where the future takes us.

    Click here to read the entire Success Story.

  • Introducing Portacool™

    The Portacool Islander is designed for patios, thanks to a small footprint and tower design. The Portacool Islander is designed for patios, thanks to a small footprint and tower design.

    In the Southern United States, where the temperatures are hot almost year-round, cool air is a cause for celebration. In many trades and businesses,  having cool temperatures to work in is essential and can actually boost efficiency and productivity. Portacool™ recognized a need in the market for an economical, effective cooling system that could be used in locations and businesses of all shapes and sizes. And so they went to work designing a solution. In 1990, they created the first portable evaporative cooler. Today, 25 years later,  Portacool™ is a growing global leader with distributors in 56 countries and in all 50 U.S. states. The company is headquartered in the town of Center, Texas, roughly 20 miles west of Louisiana where the conditions are hot and humid. Their products are a favorite to industries of all types (see more below!) and investing in one brings a breath of fresh air to any working environment. Learn a little more about the brand with these commonly asked questions:

    Why Should I Buy A Portacool™ Cooler?

    For comfort, first off. If you're working in an industry or any place that is without A/C, the Portacool™ evaporative coolers are made for you, designed to keep the space surrounding cool no matter the outside temperature. Secondly, for productivity. According to a study on Portacool's website, you risk a 16.6% decrease in productivity at temperatures of 92 degrees or higher.

    What Temperatures Are Ideal For Portacool™ Coolers?

    Portacool™ units will bring the temperatures down in nearly every environment, making the conditions more cool and comfortable. However, for optimal performance, the temperature should be 85 degrees Fahrenheit or higher with a relative humidity of below 75%.

    Who Benefits?

    Just about everyone! Here are a few industries and places that use Portacool™ daily:

    1. Agriculture: Barns, Stables
    2. Aviation: Hangars, Repairs
    3. Automotive: Garages, Dealerships
    4. Military: Mess Halls, Training Areas
    5. Restaurant / Event: Outdoor Dining or Parties, Amusement Parks, Tents
    6. Home: Garages, Patios, Decks
    7. Sports Venues: Gyms, Workout Rooms
    Plus any business with warehouse facilities!

    Will It Mist?

    Unlike a misting system, these units use evaporation to emit cool air, keeping excess moisture to a minimum.

    So What Is Evaporative Cooling?

    Evaporative Cooling 101. Evaporative Cooling 101, courtesy of Portacool

    As you can see in the graphic above, evaporative cooling is essentially the cooling of air with water. This is how it works:  water is consistently spread over a cooling media (the brown figure above.) Air sifts through this media via negative fan pressure, and evaporation occurs when the air meets water. When water evaporates, the air it comes in contact with lowers in temperature. There's a cooling sensation that occurs, very much like the feeling one gets when climbing out of a swimming pool. 

    Are Chemicals Used?

    No. Unlike an air conditioner, Portacool's evaporative coolers do not use chemicals or refrigerants to cool down the air.

    How Hard Is It To Assemble?

    One of the great perks of buying a Portacool™ Cooler is that it's easy to assemble. Almost all models are ready to use straight from the box!

    What Options Do I Have?

    Lots! There are a number of models to choose from depending on your needs. The largest unit will cool up to 4,000 square feet and there are smaller units designed for smaller spaces. Models such as the heavy-duty Hurricane 3600 have a unique airflow pattern designed to reach farther distances while the Cyclone 1000's small footprint can be easily used in residential spaces.

    Should you have any questions, please don't hesitate to call us at 1-800-319-0690 from Monday through Friday 8 AM to 6 PM Central Standard Time. We look forward to helping you!

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