|At Mission Restaurant Supply we have a lot of love for our customers. Every individual in our company is dedicated to our community and to each other. That's why we decided that we wanted to feature chefs around the country that we have had the honor of getting to know on a personal level and that we believe have truly influenced the foodservice industry in a very positive way. These individuals are pioneers in the kitchen and beyond. They are not only determined to deliver an incredible experience, but also dedicated to the well being of their guests and staff.|
We thought it would only be appropriate to feature Chef Boatman and his team at Silo Elevated Cuisine for our very first Chef Feature. Never have we found a more humble man or group of 'culinarians' (they refuse to use the terms "executive chef" and "cooks" in their kitchen). Their 'culinarians' are dedicated to making dishes that are delicious and breathtaking all while working closely together and learning from one another. "I believe my values and work ethic have influenced my staff well," says Boatman, "I do not ask them to do anything that I am not doing or will not do with them." Chef Boatman said that his favorite part of the job is the creative aspect and his unlimited ability to influence his staff. "We lead trends, not follow them." That statement couldn't be more accurate. Silo Elevated Cuisine's menu has a wide variety of options, from duck spring rolls and Black Angus beef lettuce wraps to Chilean sea bass and chicken fried oysters over pasta. They never cease to amaze.
Boatman believes that a chef has to remember how they got to where they are and how they are going to anticipate the needs and tastes of their guests. To him, the best way to do that by changing products frequently to make sure that everything is high quality. "Our goal is a true dining experience," he says, "In today's world everyone goes out to eat, but an 'experience' is being able to have a great meal, great service, and great entertainment all in one place. We back this up with staff and the best quality product."
Not only are Chef Boatman and his crew focused on excellence in the work place, they are also devoted to their community. The team at Silo helps raise money for the SA YES Foundation, which provides school supplies and scholarships to low income students in the San Antonio and South Texas areas. They also take part in other educational programs that benefit culinary students. When asked what he would suggest to other restaurant chefs and managers, Chef Boatman replied, "Today we have taken a few steps back in time. Right now we are having to be more productive than we ever have with these economic times. Hire the right people and move on the ones that do not fit your values. It is better to have a quality team than a team on quantity." If you would like to visit Silo Elevated Cuisine or learn more about the venue, please visit their site at: http://www.siloelevatedcuisine.com/
Thank you to Chef Boatman and his amazing team for their time and efforts. If you know of a chef that you would like to see featured, please contact us at: email@example.com (210) 354-0690 ext. 243
It's common knowledge that the economy hurt businesses of all kinds, particularly the restaurant industry. Going out to eat or out for drinks is a luxury that most of us had taken for granted until we became short on money. Some restaurants however, managed to stay afloat during tough economical times. Their key strategy? Stay in touch with the clientele. The easiest way to keep guests coming back (even when money is tight) is by making them happy and letting them know that your management or corporate team is listening. How do you do that? Easy - comment cards. There are a number of things you should be asking your guests when they visit you and once they leave. Guests that have a great time in your restaurant love giving reviews, but guests that had a terrible time love it even more. The goal is to make everyone happy and to get guests to come back. Here are a few things you should be keeping track of on a regular basis.
Wait TimeThis is absolutely crucial to how well your venue does. Wait time in the valet loop, on the phone for to-go orders, at the host stand, in the bar, and at the table should be minimal. Nothing annoys a hungry guest more than waiting longer than necessary, especially when it's very obvious that it could be prevented. - Questions to ask: Would you like the first available table (smoking or non)? Would you like to sit in the bar area (if seating is first come, first serve)? Would you like your soup/salad out first or with the meal? Are you going to want another glass of ____ with your entrée?
GreetingsIt's not uncommon that some of your staff won't want to work on a Friday or Saturday night, but their expression and tone shouldn't advertise that. Making sure that your staff understands that guests can read even the smallest gestures will likely make them more aware of their interactions with guests, and they will ultimately make more money for themselves and your venue. - Questions to ask: Is there anything I can get you while you're waiting? Would you like a chair while you wait? Would you like a menu to look at until your table is ready?
Bar ServiceIf you're fortunate enough to have a busy venue, then you're already doing something right. However, making sure that your bar staff works quickly and efficiently will help to guarantee continued business. Guests are easily annoyed if they don't get a drink fast enough or if their bill isn't presented to them before their table is ready. - Questions to ask: Are you going to be having any more beverages at the bar? Were you satisfied with your drink selection? Can I suggest a beverage to go with your meal?
CleanlinessGuests want to dine in a fashion where they feel like they are being taken care, and that doesn't mean they just want quick service. Making sure their dining area is clear of clutter, spot-free, and organized can make their experience more memorable. Just make sure not to neglect other parts of your restaurant, such as the waiting area and restroom. These are the first and last two places that most people see in your venue and you would be surprised at what an impact the cleanliness of these two areas can have on your guests' experience. - Questions to ask: How would you rate the organization and cleanliness of the restaurant? How was the presentation of our venue?
Manager PresenceOther than fixing mistakes as soon as they happen, a manager should make an appearance at the table almost immediately and preferably with a great solution. However, managers shouldn't only make themselves available when there's a problem. The more often a good manager communicates with his or her guests, the more likely those guests are to return and give a good review. - Questions to ask: Would you like to let the manager know about your great experience? How often do you dine with us? Would you like for me to have my manager come over with a customer appreciation coupon?
More questions to consider:- How would you rate your...appetizer? Beverage/alcoholic beverage? Salad or soup? Entrée? Dessert? Overall meal? Assistance in selecting menu items? - What was your favorite food item? - How was the overall presentation of the food? - What was your favorite part of your experience? - Would you recommend us to others? - How can we improve our business/service? - Do you plan to return? For more information about restaurant management, foodservice industry tips, or questions about our products please feel free to email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
Mission Restaurant Supply is a proud sponsor of Cocina de las Americas: 2010 Paella Cook-off Presented by H-E-B. This event is a charity event and proceeds will go toward scholarships for culinary students at CIA San Antonio.
What to Look Forward To
Chefs from all over the country and Latin America will be participating in an "Iron Chef" style competition at the Pearl Brewery on March 14, 2010.
Guests at the event will get to try the famous Spanish dish of paella, as well as hams and cheeses from Spain, delicious wines, and a number of different tapas that will be made by San Antonio chefs and CIA San Antonio students. Those in attendance will also be able to enjoy live music and entertainment during the event.
"I'm honored that my friends and fellow chefs from around the country and Latin America will join me in bringing a level of culinary prestige to San Antonio and highlight not only its rich culinary landscape but the CIA's newest campus," said Chef Johnny, executive chef of True Flavors. "...one of my goals has been to develop a culinary event that will benefit aspiring local chefs who face touch social and economic hardships."
Ticket SalesTickets for the event will be sold online for $40 (21+) and $20 (21 and under). Tickets will also be sold at the door for $50 each.
Chefs Competing in Cook-OffLocal chefs
- Bruce Auden (Auden's Kitchen & Biga on the Banks) - James Sanchez (Acenar) - Jason Dady (Bin 555) - Andrew Weissman (il Sogno) - Josh Cross (Oloroso) - Renee Fernandez (Azuca)
- Roberto Santibanez (Truly Mexican, NYC) - Waldy Malouf (Beacon Restaurant, NYC) - Rick Moonen (Mandalay Bay, NV) - Jhojans Priego (Villarica, Veracruz, MX) - Ben Ford (Fords Filling Station, LA) - Jeffery Axell (Grand Hyatt, TX) - Smoky Waters (Taco Cabana, TX) - Brian West (Las Ramblas, TX) - Jeff Balfour (Hotel Valencia, TX)
Hope to see you there! Come support the culinary community and students of San Antonio!
What: 2010 Paella Cook-Off Presented by H-E-B
When: March 14, 2010, 11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Where: Pearl Brewery
Price: $40 (21+ presale), $20 (21 and under presale), & $50/person at the door
Directions to the Pearl Brewery here: http://www.pearlbrewery.com/pages/location.html
More information about CIA San Antonio: http://www.ciachef.edu/sanantonio/
Hosting events at your home is a great deal of fun, but it can also be much more stressful than you imagined. As long as you're prepared with the right kitchen and catering equipment (and perhaps some assistance) you will be able to effortlessly entertain your guests.
Make Sure You Have the BasicsMost of us already have the basic supplies needed to host a party, but there's always something that we seem to forget. It's likely that you already have serving spoons, forks, and platters, but have you ever thought about getting tongs and nicer trays for presentation? Purchasing dressier serving utensils and platters is an inexpensive way to take your party up a notch. Also make sure that you have a blender for frozen drinks (either alcoholic or non-alcoholic) and a crock pot or roaster for preparing slow-cooked, easy meals.
Sitting Down for a MealNothing is worse than not having matching dinnerware, flatware or glassware at a dinner party. Purchasing dinnerware for a large gathering can get pricey, but the good thing is that you can reuse your plates and silverware for years to come and you can even sell some of it if you feel like you don't need it anymore. At Mission Restaurant Supply, we have more than ten different color options for our dinnerware and numerous sizes, shapes, and prices. Don't forget to make sure that your glassware is fitted for the occasion as well. Look into purchasing numerous beverage glasses and wine glasses, and maybe consider stocking champagne glasses for special occasions. If you want to save a little money, you can even purchase plastic glasses and plates.
Keeping It Hot & FreshGuests will usually want another helping of your food, especially if you're a great cook, and they should be welcome to it! Making sure that the food stays hot and fresh can be tricky if you don't have numerous crock pots or oven space. An easy solution to this problem is to provide chafing dishes so that the quality of your food is just as impressive as when it was first prepared. Chafing dishes are extremely easy to use and clean. All you have to do is fill it with the bottom of the dish with warm water, light a chafer candle (or fuel cell) below it, and place your pans of food into the chafing dish.
If you want the best entertainment for your guests, then you definitely need to check out some of these cool items:
If You Insist...
- Margarita machine: one of the hottest commodities at blow-out bashes. They come in a number of different sizes and they are super easy to clean.
- Popcorn machine: these are great for kids or themed parties. Providing a popcorn machine is a simple way to add a little flair to any event.
- Chocolate fountain: an incredible addition to special events that adds another little touch of class.
Did You Know That at Mission Restaurant Supply...?
- Serving spoons can either be perforated or non-perforated, plastic or stainless steel.
- Platters come in more than 10 different colors and numerous different sizes.
- Tongs come in more than 10 different colors and styles.
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
- Ice Makers
- Food Mixers
- Electric Food Prep
- Food Warmers
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?