|For new business owners, specifically restaurant owners, purchasing the right equipment can be pretty overwhelming. Even those with excessive funds seem to have a hard time knowing where to begin if they don't consult with a professional first. The common misconception is that all restaurants have the same equipment, but prepare different foods. This couldn't be more wrong. Here's a simple guide to purchasing commercial restaurant equipment and supplies for your new business.|
Figure Out Your BudgetThere's no point in coming up with a list of supplies before knowing what your budget for supplies is. New business owners often look at their total budget and don't break it up for different purposes: land/property, licenses, equipment, smallwares, décor, contractors, employees, furniture, landscaping, taxes, utilities, and the list goes on. Make very specific budgets and figure out where you can spend your money. This way you know whether you should buy a $4,000 commercial range or a $1,300 range.
Figure Out Your MenuVenues that prepare fried foods and those that prepare sushi are going to have completely different equipment. The venue that serves fried foods will need multiple freezers and fryers, but the sushi restaurant will needs refrigerated sushi display cases and undercounter fridges. The first business will need to purchase food baskets and ramekins, and the latter will need chopsticks, soy sauce bottles, and very specific dinnerware.
Ask Your ChefThe most knowledgeable people in the foodservice industry are chefs. They know everything about food, equipment, brands, staffing, schedules, and the like. Your best bet would be to consult with your executive chef before making any big purchases for your business. They can help you decide the layout of your kitchen based on efficiency, outlet localities, and sanitary purposes. If your restaurant or your supplies don't meet local standards, they will let you know.
Must-Have Kitchen Equipment
Monthly Archives: February 2010
At Mission Restaurant Supply, we're always bringing you new products from all of the most recommended brands. Our new line of Panasonic Commercial Microwaves has us pretty excited though. Panasonic delivers great quality, dependability, and warranties with their products. Mission Restaurant Supply stocks several different varieties of commercial microwaves and we're here to assist you with your purchase should you have any questions. Here are a few steps to figure out which microwave you should purchase for your home or business.
Step 1: Determine the microwave's purpose.
Why are you purchasing a commercial microwave? Is it for a restaurant or other commercial venue, or for home use? Even if you need a microwave for your home, commercial microwaves are the way to go. They usually have a larger capacity and are more high-powered than standard models. Because there are so many different sizes and varieties of microwaves, you need to figure out how much traffic will be in your kitchen. If you purchase one for your home, you may want something that has memory buttons on it. For commercial use, you might want something with a dial so that employees can quickly and easily set the time without having to search for a specific button.
Step 2: Determine the microwave's future location.
Where do you plan on putting your microwave? As mentioned before, commercial microwaves come in a variety of sizes and you have to figure out how much space you will need to make for one. If you plan on mounting the microwave, you'll also need to invest in a specialized shelf for it. For commercial use, you probably need to place it in a high traffic area so that your employees have easy access to it. Placing it right inside the kitchen door or near your beverage station is usually the best option.
Step 3: Decide what features you want the microwave to have.
For high volume usage, commercial models with a dial are usually the most convenient for employees. Microwaves tend to take a beating in restaurants, but fortunately Panasonic has made strong, long-lasting models to withstand the constant usage. For home use, consider purchasing a microwave that has specific buttons and memory capabilities. You may even want one that comes with removable shelves so that you can heat more than one or two items at a time.
Step 4: Research your warranty options.
Most shoppers don't consider manufacturer warranties unless they are buying large appliances. The good news is that Panasonic offers warranties on select commercial microwaves that are good for parts and labor. You can be rest assured that your microwave purchase will be easy and risk-free.
(Bonus) Step 5: Shop at Mission Restaurant Supply for the LOWEST prices on microwaves!
Here's what some of our customers had to say about their Panasonic purchases:
*****That's the way they all should be!
Reviewer: Chuck (Port Hadlock, WA) "You don't need to be a programmer to run this thing. No computer here, just a timer the way they used to make them." (model #NE-1024)
*****Great microwave for our office
Reviewer: John (Scottsdale, Arizona) "I've been very satisfied with this commercial microwave. I thought about buying a regular one, but then realized this was the better option because of the heavy traffic in our office." (model #NE-1054)
*****What a deal!
Reviewer: Jeff (San Diego, CA) "I bought one of these microwaves for my diner and I can't believe how inexpensive it was. I've searched all over the internet and haven't come across a better price. It's extremely easy for my staff to use and I haven't had any trouble with it." (model #NE-1024)
For more information about products or warranties, please feel free to contact us!
1(800)319-0690 - toll free
Mission Restaurant Supply is now offering a $50 instant rebate to all customers who purchase select ENERGY STAR commercial appliances on top of the account credit that customers will receive from CPS Energy. We were very happy to hear that other companies in our area, and across the country, are taking the initiative to become more green in their business practices. Don't worry, if you aren't with CPS Energy we'll still work with you to find a company in your area that is offering a rebate or discount on your energy bills if you buy one of our thousands of Energy Star appliances. PG&E and EcoRebates are just a couple more places to check for great deals and energy bill savings. They work with companies like Mission Restaurant Supply to ensure that you purchase quality equipment that complies with energy saving regulations. Let us help you today! By the way, did you know that $300 million has been allocated to regions across the country so that our citizens will be paid back for making smart appliance purchases? The Cash for Refrigerators program doesn't start in Texas until 2010, but account credits from energy companies and rebates from Mission Restaurant Supply are already available! Additional Information - All applications for the CPS Energy account credit must be completed within 30 days of installation. - Promotion applies to electric appliances ONLY. - Offer only open to CPS Energy customers. Please allow up to 8-10 weeks for account credit to appear on account. For more information about our rebate, energy credits from CPS Energy, and an application contact us today! 1(800)319-0690 firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
Prove That Your Business is Worthwhile Customers want to know that they can rely on you to keep them happy and that going out to eat won't require any effort on their part other than the obvious ordering of the food and paying of the check. You have to show them that you are willing to do whatever it takes to make your restaurant successful and that their opinions do matter. One reason why chain restaurants do so much better than independent restaurants is because they are willing to experiment. They change their menus according to the season, upgrade décor, run amazing specials that are usually pretty different from their menu (but trendy), and ask for feedback. Once something works great, they run with it. What have you done for your customers recently? Where to Spend Your Money Most restaurant owners and managers are under the same common misunderstanding that marketing needs to be grossly amplified during certain times of the year, or day, when business is particularly slow. There couldn't be a bigger waste of marketing dollars. There's always a reason why business is slow at certain times and it's most likely because it's slow everywhere. According to Aaron Allen of RestaurantReport.com, "Marketing can't change behavior; it can only influence existing behaviors." Your marketing campaigns should be proportional to the kind of business you already get during that time. If July is usually busy for you, then make sure to continue to market July. Same goes for your happy hour or brunch. Remember the idea of keeping current clientele and bringing them back over and over again. Even if it is a slow time of year, your clientele will return if they have the money to spend. To amplify sales during slow times, make sure that your guests are getting just as good of service as when your restaurant is moving at a steady pace. Also make sure that you are spending more money on training than marketing during these times. Extremely successful companies, such as Starbucks, spend millions of dollars on training and because of this their staff is known for their consistency and perfection when it comes to service and making their products. Well trained employees will up-sell, know every detail of your product, and be able to sell it to anyone. Social Media & It's Impact on the Foodservice Industry It's no secret that restaurant and quick service venues have begun to strongly rely on social media and all of the free advertising on the web. Websites like Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, and Twitter have exploded due to their massive popularity with foodservice industry marketing reps. The good thing about SEO and social media is that it's free, but it is also a great deal of work that requires a lot of time and consistency. The major problem that a lot of restaurants have is that whoever is managing their social media outlets doesn't have much marketing experience and is bombarding their current clientele with obnoxiously repetitive messages. The keys to being successful when utilizing different social media tactics are to be creative, consistent/up-to-date, personable, and make your posts worthwhile. Respond to comments and complaints in a timely manner. Make the customer feel directly connected to you and vice-versa. More Tips on Marketing: - Focus on current clientele. When you focus on gaining only new customers, you are spending 7-10 times more than you would if you focused on increasing your current sales through repeat customers, up-selling, and increasing party sizes. Earn more money from money that has already walked in the door. - Try different tactics like bounce-backs, loyalty programs, email marketing, partnerships, event marketing, and internal merchandising. - Your marketing IS NOT working if you can't see a direct connection between your marketing and sales. - 3-6% of your sales should be dedicated to marketing. - Make sure that your menu is fluid, concise, and interesting. - Have one central message. Make sure your staff believes it and abides by it. - Test new items based on what is doing well in other places. - Encourage guests to bring more people with them the next time they visit. - Know where you stand compared to your competition and offer something that you know they can't. - Make alliances with businesses that are not direct competition. - Be consistent. Are there any topics that you would like to hear more about? Don't forget that we love feedback! Either leave a comment or email us! firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
More and more venues are switching over to greener practices and equipment, but it seems as though some restaurant and quick-service owners aren't sure where to start or if they can even afford it. The reality is that going green is going to cost you some money initially, but any change you make to your business will. However, changing your habits to help the environment actually saves far more money in the first year alone than you will spend altogether. Whether you plan on make a few small changes or going all-out on new equipment, you can still make a huge difference. According to PG&E's FTSC, restaurants use 500,000 kilowatt hours of electricity, 20,000 therms of natural gas, and 800,000 gallons of water, which comes out to more than 490 tons of carbon dioxide per restaurant each year. Just making one or two changes can cut back costs both monetarily and environmentally. Where Do You Start? Before looking into big expense tactics to conserving energy, take a look around your venue to see where you are being most wasteful. Most likely you are using more electricity than you really need because your appliances and lights stay on much longer than they need to be. Creating shutdown schedules and using timers on appliances or outside lights can save you huge sums of money each year. One restaurant owner in Boston even put motion sensors on the lights and fans in the restrooms so that they were only in use when someone was present, which ended up saving him $2,000 by the end of the first year. Another way to make an impact is to change to non-toxic products, such as cleaning solutions and paints. Also try using chlorine-free paper products and reusing grease for other purposes if you're not sure how to dispose of it properly. You can also try: cutting back on preheat times and cooking space, making good use of a timer, preparing food in bulk when you can, using lids to keep in heat, temporarily turning off door heaters on refrigerators and freezers, and maintaining and cleaning all of your equipment. Making Small Changes When people think of "going green" they think of recycling projects and basic conservation efforts. There are a number of ways to do both and it just takes a little creative thinking. The core idea of conservation is to use less, so do it! This means using less paper, packaging, water, electricity, Styrofoam, and harmful chemicals. Change out your current Styrofoam or plastic to-go containers, straws, and cups with paper ones and have your new menus made out of recycled products. Swap your toilets out with low-flow ones and swap your urinals with waterless models. To cut back on the emission of harmful gases, opt for locally grown produce that won't have to travel hundreds of miles to get to you. You might even want to consider having a bicycle delivery service if your business relies on a lot of outside sales. Making a Bigger Investment If you plan to make even bigger changes to your restaurant or foodservice business, there are a number of different ways that you can do so. Purchasing ENERGY STAR® appliances can be costly initially, but the savings add up very quickly. You can also get rebates from energy companies. Other things to look for are self-contained or "connectionless" appliances that use far less water, walk-in cooler curtains, and bigger hoods for ranges and fryers that collect more waste (5-6' instead of 4'). If you don't want to purchase more hoods for you kitchen, then try grouping heavy appliances together. Not only will this cut back on how much waste escapes, but it will also cut back on cooling expenses for your kitchen. Creative Ideas from Restaurant Owners & ENERGY STAR® - Use night curtains on display cases to keep in cold air and to save energy. - If you have fans, utilize them more than your AC. Researchers have found that energy use increases 4-5% every time you lower your thermostat by 1 degree. You can cut your costs by 12-15% just by raising the thermostat 3 degrees. - Offer a discount to customers on to-go orders if they bring their own Tupperware. - Compost trash to cut back on trash pick-ups costs by up to 45%. - Switching just 8 of your regular light bulbs that are used for 16 hours a day to incandescent bulbs can save you $342 annually. - Changing the defrost cycle on freezers from 70 minutes to 15 minutes saved one restaurant owner $800 annually. - Putting a special film on your windows can cut back on energy costs and make your guests more comfortable. - Installing solar panels can earn you an energy rebate depending on where you live. - A bakery owner in Battery Park City planted herbs on the roof to insulate the store and to improve air quality. - A store owner in New England wrapped the first three feet of his hot water-out pipes with insulation to conserve heat. For more tips on how to "go green" check out these sites: ENERGY STAR® NPR: Restaurants Set Sights on Going Green USA Today: Can Restaurants Go Green, Earn Green?