Guides

All Guides for Restaurant Equipment and Supplies

  • Ice Making 101

    Hoshizaki is one of the world's largest manufacturers of commercial ice equipment. Here are Mission Restaurant Supply, Hoshizaki is a brand that we continue to be enthusiastic about for its dependability, sustainability, and reliability. Watch this video from the brand's corporate website to become more acquainted with their products and company credentials: WATCH THIS VIDEO To browse through our whole selection of Hoshizaki ice equipment and refrigeration, click here.
  • Party Planning on a Budget

    Party planning is always a blast...until you look at your budget. It seems impossible to plan the perfect event without a little extra cash to spend. No matter what kind of budget you have, planning a great get together with friends and loved ones can easily be done by utilizing your current resources and making smart purchases. Here is a simply guide to staying within budget for your big bash! Recycle The first step in party planning is to figure out what you already have. It is likely that you have disposable dinnerware and silverware somewhere in your pantry. You most likely also have plenty of glassware. However, if you're running a little low you should probably consider buying more disposables for your upcoming event. You don't have to worry about guests breaking your glassware or using multiple plates. Plus, when you have lots of guests the cost of supplies goes down significantly. You also might want to try scrounging through your scraps of material and paper to see if you can make your own unique decorations. Check out Buzzle.com's easy guide to Homemade Party Decorations. Find Bargains Avoid the stores that there specifically for party supplies. Not only do they mark up all of their items, they know that you will spend the money once inside their venue. Instead, visit your local dollar stores and flea markets. They have simple party favors, decorations, and snack foods. Consider making your own food instead of having the event catered. You can purchase your own quality chafing dishes to use numerous times and you can allow your guests to prepare their own party favorites. Just make sure to inform guests of your theme (if you have one) and let them know that you will be providing everything else. Check out our blog entry on Simple, Delicious Hors D'oeuvre. Determine Your "Must-Haves" Is champagne really a must-have? What about linens? If you can cut out some of your "must-haves" for a more simply done event you can greatly cut back on your spending. Instead of champagne, buy prosecco. Instead of linens, buy paper tablecloths. If the point of your event is for guests to mingle and be laidback, then allow yourself to feel that away about the event while planning it. Remember the milestone that you're celebrating and why you're celebrating it. The party shouldn't be about the superficial details, but about the individual or event that brought you all together in the first place. For more information on simple party planning, check out these featured sites:
  • Chef in Training

    Foodies all over the country are taking their love of cooking one step further lately. It seems as though an interest in cooking and baking at home has changed into a whole new career choice. But what do you get a chef in training as a gift? Are there certain tools or brands to look out for? What items will they need that most people don't already have at home? We've put together a quick guide on items to buy for that future celebrity chef. Still have questions? Email us! Chef's Knives Most home chefs don't know the different between paring knives and deboning knives or fish knives and steak knives. Don't worry - you're not alone. Your foodie friends will likely know the difference though between types of knives and what brands hold up best. Some of the best brands of knives for future (or current) chefs are Mundial, Forschner and Jaccard. All three brands are extremely durable and easy to find. To save the hassle of searching for certain types of knives, try purchasing a knife set. Not only do the cases it make it easier to transport the knives from one location to another, but the set include all of the essential pieces that any foodie would love to own. Measurers Measuring spoons and cups are an absolute must when it comes to being a pro in the kitchen. Buy your favorite up and coming chef a nice set of each. Nice Pans Professional chefs use only the best pans when they cook because they know that timing and quality are their two top priorities in foodservice. You can't chance poorly cooked food or extremely long cook times when a happy customer means more money coming into your venue in the long run. Alegacy makes some of the best sauté pans for restaurant use. They are durable and easy to clean. Lincoln and Alegacy both make outstanding non-stick pans as well. Just make sure to check out our guide on how to care for non-stick pans in our blog. Chef Coats & Textiles One of the most popular gifts that our customers love to get their favorite chefs is the monogrammed chef coats. Choose your color and style, and depending on the quantity we can give you a quote on how much it will cost to put a name on it. We also have a wide variety of aprons, chef hats and other textiles. Want more ideas on what kind of gift you should get for your favorite foodie? Email us! We're happy to assist you with your purchase.
  • Caring for Non-Stick Cookware

    When it comes to buying new products for your commercial or residential kitchen, there is one "go-to" that makes the cut every time: Non-Stick Cookware. Non-stick cookware is a revolutionary addition to the foodservice industry and has transformed the way we cook. Though these items are generally more expensive than your normal cookware products, they are regarded as favorites because they make cooking a breeze, less oil is needed in the process, and clean-up is a carefree task. However, with every piece of non-stick cookware you purchase there are a few important things that need to be remembered. No Metal Utensils One of the biggest things to remember when cooking with your non-stick pans is to avoid using metal utensils. Why? This is because metal can easily nick the coating and scratch up the surface, damaging your pan and causing flaking and rusting over time. Pieces that flake off can contaminate your food and be detrimental to your health if consumed. So remember not to use metal utensils with your non-stick products; opt for silicone, rubber, plastic, or wooden utensils instead! Be Careful When Cleaning Never stick a searing hot, non-stick product directly into a sink of lukewarm water. You run the risk of warping the coating, which in turn hinders proper heat distribution. Let your pan cool completely before washing and it will last much longer. It is also best to wash and dry your non-stick cookware by hand instead of in a dishwasher. The strong chemical detergents that make up a dishwasher's cycle are too harsh and can damage the coating that makes these products so desirable. Try using warm water, mild soap, a soft sponge and a cloth to properly clean and care for these items. Avoid Extreme Temperatures Interestingly, most non-stick cookware is not compatible with high heat temperatures (400 degrees or higher). It is crafted to work optimally with a low to medium heat. If you want to prolong the lifespan of your non-stick cookware, make sure not to blast the pan with intense heat. If you want cooking at home or in your commercial kitchen to be more enjoyable remember to invest in quality products and to take care of them accordingly. If you have any further questions on how to care for your non-stick products or any other kitchen items, email us for more information!
  • Holiday Table Settings

    Believe it or not, the holidays are just around the corner. What better way to celebrate the season than to gather over a big meal with your family and friends? Some of the things that make this time of year so special are all the traditions; the decadent feast, sitting around the table with your loved ones, enjoying the sights and sounds. At Mission, we have a wide variety of options to help you put together the perfect holiday table setting for your family. Our quick guide below will help you find everything you need! Step 1: Find a Tablecloth That Fits Your Needs At Mission, we have a large assortment of holiday tablecloths to choose from. Our selection ranges from Autumn-inspired prints to Christmas patterns, from your basic solids to wacky prints. Each one is made to order according to your specifications and can be shipped to you in as little as three business days! Step 2: Picture Perfect Lighting Every party planner knows that lighting is one of the most important finishing touches to an event. Purchasing candles and votives are a great way to add character to your holiday table setting. We have a large selection of Hollowick candles in a variety of colors and finishes that will add just the right amount of finesse to your party. These ruby-jewel toned votives would be a nice addition for your upcoming holiday party. If you prefer a simple, neutral look these clear, frosted votives would be a great choice! View our whole assortment of Hollowick candles. Step 3: Place Settings Finding the right glassware and dinnerware for your table is a must. If you are hosting a more formal get together it would be wise to invest in some China. We have your basic white china, off-white china, and a large variety of colored china. Some of the bold colors that we offer are saffron, cinnabar, cobalt, and cilantro. Looking for something a little more inexpensive and still gorgeous? We highly recommend our melamine dinnerware, which is a durable, quality product that restaurants around the world rely on. The Venetian Melamine pattern is top pick and would be perfect for your holiday event! We also have a huge selection of wine and champagne glasses that would be a great addition to any holiday table setting. Not a big fan of wine? Don't worry! We have an enormous selection of specialty glassware that is sure to please your holiday guests. Don't forget that flatware! Holiday meals mean more courses, more mouths to feed, and less time to wash dishes! You might consider buying more flatware so that you know you have enough to get through dessert. At Mission, we stock a number of different styles from your most basic Derby or Windsor flatware to the more detailed Illustra style. Click here to view all of our stainless steel flatware. We hope all these suggestions have helped you in planning your holiday party. If you feel this guide has helped you we would love to see the table setting you came up with! Feel free to send in your photos of your holiday meal and we'll send you a little gift! On behalf of everyone here at Mission Restaurant Supply we'd like to wish you all a very safe and happy holiday season!
  • Surviving the Holiday Rush

    The minute Halloween is over the holiday rush begins for most foodservice venues. The volume picks up and the special requests come flying into the kitchen. The money is fantastic, but the chaos can sometimes feel unbearable. So how do you prep for the holidays in the foodservice industry? Here are a couple of tips to get you through the next few weeks. Overestimate Your Potential Volume There's nothing worse than being unprepared, running out of food or beverages, or not turning your tables fast enough. Stock up, stay organized, and motivate your staff to move faster.
    • To turn tables a little quicker, get appetizers and salads out right away. Suggest dishes to guests to help them speed up the order process. Also, have your dessert platters visible to guests early so that deciding on a dessert is easier.
    • Stock up on everything! You are guaranteed to sell more food and alcohol at your venue, but don't forget about take-out. To-go sells increase substantially during the holidays and you will need extra disposables.
    Streamline One thing that your entire staff needs to understand during the holidays is that streamlining and teamwork are key.
    • Try pairing up your servers so that they help one another with their busy sections during the holidays. Some restaurants already do this and it works beautifully. Your servers will feel better knowing that they have another team member looking out for them and your customers will have the peace of mind of knowing that they will be well taken care of.
    • Offer dishes are that easier to prepare during the holidays. By making foods that are quick to prep your key selling point you'll turn tables and keep your guests happy.
    Maximize Your Gift Card Sells A lot of foodservice venues don't realize the impact that gift card sales can have on their overall sales during the holidays. Maximize your gift cards sales by trying one of the ideas below.
    • Allow your customers to buy gift cards online. Not only does this make the process of obtaining a gift card easier for your customers, it also saves your staff the time it takes to activate each individual card.
    • Offer a free gift with the purchase of a gift card. A lot of venues have caught on to the trend of offering a free $5 card with the purchase of a $20 or $25 gift card. And you know what? It works for them. Large venues like Logan's, Bravo! Cucina Italiana, and Chili's have seen great success with this promotion for several years now.
    Have a question about this blog post or have something to add? Let us know! Feel free to contact us at info@missionrs.com Photo courtesy of SpaceFilmLocations.com.au
  • Purchasing Frozen Drink Machines for Your Business

    Frozen beverages, both alcoholic and nonalcoholic, are one of the most profitable items you can offer in your venue. The cost is low, the return is high, and the maintenance is a piece of cake. So what machine should you invest in for your business? What size frozen beverage machine would best suit the volume of customers that you have? At Mission Restaurant Supply, we want to make sure that you have all of the resources you need to make smart purchases for your business. The user guide posted below for our Frosty Factory frozen beverage machines is yet another resource that we provide for our customers. Check out the chart below to see serving sizes and intervals to see which machine you should purchase for your venue. Still not sure which Frosty Factory machine is best for your business? Feel free to call us (800-319-0690) or email us with your questions.
    Model
    10 oz serving every 12 oz serving every 16 oz serving every Max. oz per serving
    217A each cylinder 60 68 90 36
    117A 35 43 56 36
    115R-1 13 15 20 70
    115R-2 each cylinder 20 26 35 70
    115R-3 each cylinder 28 34 45 70
    215R-1 each cylinder 20 26 35 70
    215F each cylinder 20 26 35 70
    127A 23 30 38 70
    137A 30 35 45 120
    232W 13 15 20 120
    235R-1 13 15 20 120
    235R-2 each cylinder 20 26 35 120
    235R-3 each cylinder 28 34 45 120
    237A 30 34 45 70
    289A 12 14 18 170
    238W 8 10 13 170
    Please note: It takes 3-5 seconds to pour a 16 oz frozen drink. Pouring 4 drinks can take as little as 12 seconds! Take me to the Frosty Factory Frozen Drink Machines! *Not all models listed above are listed on the Mission Restaurant Supply website. If you do not see a model on our site that you would like to order simply contact us with your information and we will email you information on how to complete a special order. Thank you for your purchase!
  • Microwave Buying Guide

    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 info@missionrs.com
  • Going Green

    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?
  • Restaurant Health Codes

    If you are new to the restaurant business or have decided to open a venue, you are probably aware of most of the health codes that apply to the service industry. However, there are most likely some regulations that you weren't aware of and that you might have forgotten to abide by. Here is a simple guide to following health code regulations and what you should know before getting a visit from the inspector.

    Typical Things Inspectors Check

    Depending on your state or county, the health codes could differ slightly. Most states however, check for pretty basic things. You just need to take preemptive measures. One of the first things that anyone who enters your kitchen will notice is the cleanliness (or vice versa). Bacteria can be found anywhere and kitchen equipment that isn't cleaned properly will be covered in it from top to bottom. Make sure that all equipment is cleaned properly with the right chemicals. Food preparation and storage is another huge factor that comes into play. There are very specific guidelines about where food should be stored and what it should be stored with. - All food must be covered or wrapped and stored at the appropriate temperatures, no exceptions. - All produce must be washed thoroughly and must be kept away from raw poultry during preparation. Frozen foods must be thawed according to certain health standards. Heating and re-heating methods must follow set guidelines. - There should be minimal, if any, hand contact with prepared food. All employees must wash their hands thoroughly before handling food, must have hair pulled back, and may not eat or drink near restaurant food. - All equipment should be cleaned and sanitized throughout a shift, not just before and after. - All food and beverages must be labeled according to shelf life and may not be served after specified date. - All ingredients and food must be purchased and delivered from approved sources. They may only be used if they arrive in good condition. Good inspections are not just due to the cleanliness and presentation of your kitchen and staff. Your establishment will also be checked for rodents, other pests, foul odors, mold, overstuffed trash receptacles and the area around them, and the appearance of your restrooms.

    What to Expect from an Inspector

    Typically inspectors will arrive without warning, but they do generally come just once a year so you will have a pretty good idea of when they might stop in. When the inspector does show up, make sure to ask for their credentials and let them know that you want to follow them around the venue. Inspectors will notice your willingness to correct things if you follow them and take immediate notes about violations, and may allow you to make some changes on the spot. Once the inspection is done, ask the individual to inform your entire staff about his or her findings. This shows the inspector and your staff that the proper measures will be taken to make improvements if necessary. Make sure to sign the report, which only indicates that you received a copy, but you don't necessarily need to agree with the findings. Never offer food or other things to an inspector as a way of bribery. Never refuse an inspection because the health department is still capable of getting an inspection warrant.

    Action to Take in Case of a Citation

    No matter how careful you are there is always a possibly of missing some small detail that an inspector will surely notice. Their job is to notice those small details. You have to learn to have a very keen eye for things that are out of place or not properly taken care of. Most likely you can correct the small things that you are cited for while the inspector is still present. If the problem is taken care of immediately and appropriately, it is likely that the inspector will remove the citation. If for some reason you don't understand why you received a citation then ask. Inspectors are trained to answer any and all questions about restaurant health codes and they will be more than happy to help you understand. If you don't agree with the citation, do not say anything to the inspector because this can only stir up trouble. Sign the report and appeal the decision later.

    MORE RESOURCES:

    FDA Model Food Code (National Restaurant Association) How to Prepare for a Health Inspection (National Restaurant Association)

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