Ideas and tips for your everyday living, dining, eating out, decor, events, restaurant, foodservice business, and many more.
Years ago, I worked in the kitchen of a retirement home, where we were responsible for preparing and serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner for all the residents. There were about 100 residents living there at the time, so we were constantly required to produce great amounts of food in a short amount of time. For breakfast, we couldn’t have done it without the JT2-H conveyor toaster from Belleco. With the ability to toast at a rate of 550 slices per hour, we could have two slices of toast available for each resident in roughly 20 minutes.
With the ability to toast so much bread in such a short period of time, the JT2-H from Belleco was one of the most important appliances in our kitchen. Without it, toasting 200 slices of bread would be feasibly impossible. This conveyor toaster made life in the kitchen far easier. One simply placed untoasted bread on the conveyor belt on the top of the machine, and in seconds, a perfectly browned slice of toast would slide out from the bottom.
With independently controlled heat settings for the top and bottom, the operator can control exactly how much or how little the bread is toasted at any given time. The stainless steel construction of the JT2-H makes this durable appliance a good fit in any commercial kitchen as it can handle the burden of consistent use, and is resistant to wear and tear. The JT2-H was also designed so the exterior remains cool to the touch while the machine operates. This is helpful as users do not need to worry about burning themselves on an a hot machine.
Belleco’s JT2-H is incredibly simple to use, and does not require much energy to operate. It is not just capable of toasting bread either. The JT2-H will capably toast bagels, waffles, buns as well as many other food products. As the temperature can be easily adjusted, the heat can be set to achieve the perfect, crispy, golden brown texture that everyone loves. In the café or coffee shop, any one of Belleco’s reliable conveyor toasters will be a great fit. Consider the JT2-H conveyor toaster that toasts up to 550 pieces of bread per hour if your kitchen must toast a lot of bread in a short period of time.
In the foodservice industry, good service is incredibly important. People choose their favorite restaurants and bars largely based on the environment and the ambiance of the establishment. Having a good, welcoming staff goes a long way in keeping customers happy and returning, but one thing that should never be underestimated is the quality of your food. It doesn’t matter what your restaurant provides- from liverwurst to lobster, hot dogs to high quality steaks- what matters is how much care and effort is put into preparing each dish, and how you turn the simplest, run of the mill dish into your own creative concoction.
When I speak of good food, I’m talking about food incomparable to anything you’ve ever eaten- food that makes your mouth water when you think about it (I wouldn’t be writing this article if the following dishes were not that good). The two most memorable dishes I ever ate were quite different. One was a lobster stew from a tiny restaurant on the Massachusetts shore. The other was a beef stroganoff plate from an upscale restaurant in Connecticut. The lobster stew was rich, creamy, and featured what seemed like a never-ending amount of fresh lobster, which was cooked to perfection. A cup of this stew could be made into a meal, and it was offered for only $4.99. The stroganoff was a simple dish, but the pasta was prepared al dente, and complemented the beef perfectly. The beef flaked apart with the stroke of a fork, and was filled with juice and immense, intense flavor. These two dishes still make my mouth water with the thought of them.
These are the types of lasting impressions your establishment should strive to create among your patrons. Whenever I have friends travelling in the vicinity of these two locations, I make sure I recommend these dishes to them. Word of mouth has an overpowering effect on people. In two days, I had five new people raving over the lobster stew, exclaiming it was one of the most amazing stews they had ever tasted. If there is one drawback to falling in love with one dish on the menu, it is that your horizons become limited, and you become less likely to try additional items.
The quality of the food on your customers’ plates is one of the best ways to keep your customers happy and returning. Plates do not have to be large, but no matter the size, they should not feature any empty space. When plates like these get placed in front of customers, they are left with the feeling that something may be missing, or that they were cheated out of a standard portion size. Consistency matters from customer to customer as well. Overall though, more attention should be paid to the quality of the dish rather than the quantity of food on the plate.
Remember, sometimes no feedback from customers is the best feedback. When people go out to eat with high expectations, they deserve their expectations to be met- from the service, to the food on their plates. In my experiences, I have found that guests are far more likely to complain about an inadequate dish than they are to compliment a good one, and with the prevalence of internet review websites, the pressure has never been greater on restaurant owners to provide the best service and most importantly, the best food possible. In the grand scheme of things, your restaurant must strive for perfection, leaving a lasting impression in the minds of every one of your customers. At RestaurantSupply.net, we have the tools, appliances, and cookware to make your restaurant the most successful and memorable one in town.
If there’s one thing customers love, it’s a good discount. Having and promoting specials, as well as a good happy hour will separate your bar or restaurant from the competition, and will help generate further interest in your establishment. With so many competitors in the restaurant world, it is important to do as much as possible to leave a lasting impression in the minds of your guests. Offering a quality happy hour entices people to gather at your place every day after work, often the busiest time of day for most bars and restaurants. By creating specials that only occur in a certain time frame each day, you can also boost sales during a slower time of day. There are many other factors to consider when creating your bar’s specials and happy hour.
Your drink specials should be more popular with the clientele in your area. If your bar draws a lot of college students or you have a younger following, discounted drafts or “buy one get one” specials are a great way to draw people in. Students that attend schools with prominent athletic programs also tend to seek out the best specials that occur during game time. On the opposite side of the coin, if you own a martini bar in New York or Los Angeles, it would behoove you to offer a discount on your more popular martinis. If you offered a discount on a beer at this location, few customers would bat an eye. You may even put off customers who may view you as shrewd or cheap.
While many bars realize success by offering their most popular drinks and menu items at discounted rates, there will inevitably be those who do not find something they like. The more options and choices you can offer, the better your results will be. Social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter are also great ways to interact directly with your customers. At the last bar I worked, we had a “High Five” Poll, where customers could vote on the five beers or menu items they wanted to receive for half price, beginning at five o’clock. The special would then run for the midweek, Monday through Friday, and in the meantime, voting would open for next week’s specials. It was a great way to receive input from our customers and make them feel more involved in the deal making process.
Food or Drink
This can be a bit problematic for some establishments. Currently, there are 18 states that do not let you offer daily specials on beer or alcohol. Massachusetts law for example, does not allow prices to be reduced for any timeframe less than one week. (I suggested to a bartending colleague in Boston that they offer weekly specials instead, but I do not recall if this was prohibited as well). These states can benefit greatly from a discounted food menu. Specifically, appetizers offer a great way to encourage customers and friends to gather and share meals. One of my favorite restaurants in Hyannis, Massachusetts offers half price tapas every day during happy hour (and all night Tuesday!), and I make it a point to visit them as often as possible.
What You Do Best
This seems like a no-brainer, but I still find some establishments that offer the strangest items for their specials or happy hour deals. If I’m going out for Mexican food during happy hour, I don’t expect to see Irish Coffees on the special menu, nor should they be. You want to keep your specials consistent with what your restaurant is known for. If you offer fresh, organic burgers and people have come to love your bar for it, perhaps you can offer a slider sampler, with smaller offerings of your more popular burgers. Happy hour is a chance for your customers to experiment and try new items that they may be hesitant to otherwise.
By offering unique deals and specials on a daily or weekly basis, your business will remain at the forefront of your customers’ hearts and minds. When word gets out about how much you appreciate your customers, they will in turn tell friends of their quality experiences. Word of mouth (even if it is more ‘word of blog’, or ‘word of tweet’ nowadays) still has a great influence on people and their decisions. Providing a positive experience that is talked about after your customers have left will provide even better results in the future. Remember, be creative, original, and find ways to distinguish your establishment from the competition.