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Author Archives: Heather Hartley

Fly-Bye Floor Drain

Bar Maid’s Fly-Bye drain trap seal reduces risks associated with the spread of COVID-19

by Carla Landi

Bar Maid’s Fly-Bye Drain Trap Seal provides a solution to a critical COVID health risk in foodservice operations.  As you implement thorough cleaning procedures and risk prevention initiatives in your operation, be sure to check your drains.   There are two apparent things that give everybody the impression of “not sanitary.” They are foul odors and bugs, both of which are often found in floor drains. Bacteria and viruses can also be found in floor drains and while they may not be visible, are hazards to be addressed after corona-virus.


SARS-CoV-2, the corona-virus that causes COVID-19, may be transmitted through plumbing systems

The World Health Organization found that floor drains were a conduit for aerosolized virus to travel between apartment units and contributed to a super-spreading event of SARS-CoV infection in 20031.


SARS-CoV-2 has been detected in some patients diagnosed with COVID-19. After a February 2020 investigation into a similar spreading event of this coronavirus between residents living in a Hong Kong high-rise, health officials suspect malfunction of the interconnected plumbing system allowed the corona-virus to spread between apartment units.


According to a study in the journal Lancet Global Health, the interconnectedness of the wastewater plumbing network can facilitate exposure to SARS-CoV-2 within, or even between, buildings.2 This is of particular concern in high-risk transmission settings such as hospitals and healthcare facilities, hotels and multi-family residential operators, cruise lines, schools, high-traffic facilities and commercial businesses such as restaurants.


One thing is for sure. everyone will be looking for ways to improve sanitation and prevent contamination. They will be looking for products that help keep staff, patrons, and themselves safe.

Bar Maid’s FLY-BYE Drain Trap Seal is cost-effective, and with four sizes available the product is easily installed in virtually any floor drain. Multiple approvals and certifications, including HACCP, make it a great control measure for addressing hazards from floor drains. This product is already used in thousands of independent and chain restaurants, hotels, hospitals and stadiums. Click here for more information. You can also visit


Going forward, initiatives to control health risks will include a multi-pronged approach. The FLY-BYE Drain Trap Seal should be part of that strategy.  Stay safe!



1World Health Organization. (2003). Consensus document on the epidemiology of severe acute respiratory syndrome (‎SARS)‎. World Health Organization.


2Gormley, M., Aspray, T. J., & Kelly, D. A. (2020). COVID-19: mitigating transmission via wastewater plumbing systems. Lancet Global Health.

Healthy Company Culture

Why Is Establishing A Healthy Company Culture Such A Crucial Part Of Business? Check Out A Few Benefits:

Hiring new talent: A healthy company culture gives your restaurant a competitive advantage when it comes to attracting new talent. Happy employees can become your strongest recruitment resource; when they tell others how much they love working in your restaurant, others will naturally apply for positions!

Retention and Loyalty: A healthy company culture breeds happy employees! When people enjoy going to work each day, they are far more likely to stay with their employer. Companies that invest in making their employees feel valued will notice their team is more productive, more motivated, and more willing to step up to help with projects that are not part of their regular duties.

Less Stress: Creating a healthy company culture is the top way to reduce workplace stress. When employees feel free to voice their concerns or feelings without fear and feel their feedback is addressed quickly and positively, they are less likely to feel frustrated and anxious.

Healthy Company Culture

Now that you understand how important it is to foster a healthy, positive culture in your restaurant, let’s talk about the steps you can take to ensure your workforce is full of happy, dedicated employees that are empowered to do their jobs well and communicate effectively with their team members!

Determine the Current Culture

Before you can figure out what you want your culture to look like, you must take an objective, honest look at what the culture looks like now. Depending on the level of trust your employees have in management, this could be as simple as sending out a survey to get feedback from employees to determine what they think the organization is doing well and what needs work. Unfortunately, if trust is broken, these answers may not be honest, as employees may feel they will be retaliated against if they share their real thoughts. It will be essential to review internal issues that have come up and read non-verbal cues of employees during daily operations in those cases. If you feel there may be trust issues, those issues need to be addressed first and foremost, as efforts to boost the company culture may be fruitless without laying that solid foundation.

Define the Desired Culture

Once you have an honest understanding of your culture and how your employees view it, you can begin creating the blueprint that will guide your company culture. Think about what words you’d like your employees to use when talking about your company. How would they describe your leadership team? What do you want communication to look like within your organization? How can you empower your team to do their best work and grow with your organization?

Set Clear Expectations

Once your leadership team has a clear idea of what your culture should look like, it’s time to share your plan with your team! Remember, if there is a lack of trust, your employees might be skeptical of the outcome. It is essential that the leadership team “walks the walk” every single day, demonstrating the values and actions in each interaction with the team. Make expectations clear, and encourage your employees to share ideas that might help further team satisfaction. Encourage positivity and express gratitude often. When employees see management making these efforts, they are much more likely to hop on board!

Foster Positive Connections

The more connected your team feels, the better your culture will be! Positive workplace relationships are so important; a company with a great culture can crumble if there are strained relationships between coworkers.  When leadership shows excellent listening skills when an employee brings up an issue they’re having with another employee and goes out of their way to ensure all issues are addressed positively, employees will be less likely to feel resentment towards one another. Encouraging healthy communication and planning team-building events that allow your team to enjoy one another’s company in a relaxed setting are great ways to promote these connections!

Measure Progress and Recognize Changes

When you focus on improving your company culture and lead by example, you will notice a happier, more productive workforce over time. The more frequently you measure your culture’s growth, the better! Consider discussing your culture quarterly, and make it an activity that is woven into your everyday operations. Talk with employees to find out if their views on the company are changing. Take note of the number of issues you’re addressing with employees. Pay close attention to the way your team is communicating. Think about how interactions have changed since you began working to change the culture. Are more people coming to you with ideas or concerns? Are fewer employees reporting feeling overworked or undervalued? Have you had to mediate less issues between team members? Has employee retention increased? What feedback have you gotten during exit interviews? Be sure you recognize employees when they act in ways that align with the culture you’re working to build. Give praise openly and show your team you value and appreciate them often. So much of your measurables will come from your employees, so take your cues from them!

When you put as much effort into creating a standout company culture as you do creating wonderful experiences for your guests, your operations will run more smoothly. The investment you make in your culture, and ultimately your people, will pay off in spades when you have a restaurant full of happy employees that love coming to work each day. That focus on culture will quickly spill over into the customer experience when your team members work together to ensure your guests receive top-notch service while enjoying your standout food and drinks!


By: Kim Lorang

In any company, creating and maintaining a healthy culture is the key to employee retention and happiness. One might argue that this is even more important in restaurants, where team members often work long shifts and truly depend on one another to provide exceptional service to customers.

A positive, healthy culture where employees feel respected, valued, and encouraged to share their feedback without fear of retaliation is truly the backbone of a happy workforce!

Check out a few eye-opening stats on how company culture truly shapes an organization, from a study done by

restaurant culture

New Food Storage


Carlisle recently introduced their new Carlisle Squares™ food storage containers. These containers maximize storage space while providing the added features foodservice professionals love. They are available in clear polycarbonate or opaque polyethylene. The color-coded liter and quart markings match the color-coded lids for quick product identification and to keep food organized and separated for sanitary storage. The lids snap on and keep contents contained without spilling and have hanging holes for sanitary drying and hanging storage. Turn to a square storage system to keep your kitchen neat and organized!

New Food Storage

If you’re looking to upgrade your food storage system with containers that stack well and have all the features to give you peace of mind in your operation, you need to check these out.

Carlisle Squares



Centerline™ by Traulsen introduces a line of simple, affordable refrigeration equipment for operations that demand quality and reliability without the need for advanced technology features or capabilities. In July 2020, Traulsen announced the addition of Centerline™ Reach-In Refrigerators and Freezers, Prep Tables, and Compact Undercounter Refrigerators and Freezers to their line-up. Traulsen’s goal behind Centerline™ is to provide independent and midsize foodservice operations with new options.

Here’s what Traulsen has to say about it, “It is important for our customers to know that the great food they create will be kept at safe temperatures until they can serve it to their guests,” said Traulsen Vice President and General Manager Brian Casserilla.  “We continuously listen and learn from our customers and channel partners so we can deliver equipment options to address end users’ unique needs while staying true to Traulsen’s legacy of quality and reliability.  Our selection of Centerline™ refrigeration products meets those needs that can vary from kitchen to kitchen based on menu, volume, and operations.  Centerline™ keeps things simple and reliable to deliver the best value and quality for their investment and the best food for their customers.”


Centerline™ is perfect for operations where budget is a priority, without compromising durability, performance, or reliability. Watch the video to see what ReU Juicery has to say about Centerline™

Right Safety Measures for Correctional Facilities Kitchen Designs Are Critical

There is a 15-item prison checklist from the Federal Bureau of Prisons that has to be adhered to so kosher meals can be ‘religiously certified’. This is just one challenge a correctional facility kitchen has to face. Every day, there are potential behavior problems from abusive diners that have the potential to ruin the flow of a correctional facilities kitchen. There is a high level of danger that could cause bodily harm since inmates are often employed. The safest correctional facilities kitchen design needs to be in place to protect everyone working within the space. The only way this can be accomplished is by using a correctional facilities kitchen contractor.

Correctional Facilities Kitchen Design Takes a Special Layout

Many security measures need to be put into place for a kitchen in a correctional facility. For example, blind corners need to be eliminated so there is always a clear line of sight directly in the kitchen. There shouldn’t be any space between appliances so inmates cannot step out of sight or hide. This calls for a top correctional facilities kitchen design that ensures all inmates working can be closely monitored. There shouldn’t be any space for hiding objects or stashing food either. All of this and more can be discussed with a contractor that can ensure the kitchen in a correctional facility is as safe and streamlined as possible.

Correctional Facilities Need Food Service Equipment That’s Modified

An expert food service equipment company understands that a correctional facility needs a certain type of foodservice equipment. That’s why they provide equipment and kitchen appliances in ‘correction packages’. Civilian appliance models have been modified to specifically fit into kitchens in correctional facilities. Some of the differences include appliances being more durable and decreasing the amount of detachable and movable parts. More caution is taken in creating kitchen equipment since something simple could easily be transformed into a weapon.

Correctional facilities kitchen design contractors know how to find suitable equipment from top manufacturers that know how to think and plot like a prisoner working in a kitchen. Products should be tested over and over considering prisoners have nothing but time on their hands, so creative measures have to be taken when designing equipment for a correctional facility kitchen.

Design Specialists Know Safe Correctional Facility Kitchen Designs Are in the Details

It is said that the devil is in the details, and nothing could be truer when it comes to the design of a correctional facility kitchen. Even the smallest details can cause the biggest, life-threatening problems. Working in a jail or prison environment is stressful enough as it is. Prison kitchen designs should be covered by contractors with years of experience so they can positively plan an efficient and safe correctional facilities kitchen design for your facility.

Kitchen Designs Need to Keep Up With Health and Safety Standards

Not only does the kitchen equipment need to be robust for long use, but it also needs to be able to maintain health and NSF regulations continuously. The same goes for kitchen designs. Kitchen design for a correctional facility should be durable, safe, and provide the ability to be used with optimal productivity. That takes designs that not only fit your floorplan but also your budget.

Most Prisons Require Custom Work

In order to fully meet your needs, correctional facilities kitchen designs can work within your specific floorplan. Equipment can be customized so you get tamper-proof designs that fully fit the needs of your kitchen. A ‘prison package’ can be designed specifically for a correctional facility with top priorities being security and safety while meeting all codes and regulations. Using the services offered by skilled designers means that you get a design created from scratch for comprehensive floorplans, detailed drawings, written specifications, and rough-in locations so you can view a thoroughly planned design. You are guaranteed to receive cost-effective solutions that perfectly fit your budget. Get a quote for superb correctional facility kitchen designs to get started.

Outdated School Cafeteria Refrigerators Negatively Impact School Districts and Students

Some schools have outdated equipment such as inefficient refrigerators, outdated ovens, and more in their kitchens. This makes it difficult for even the best staff to store and prepare fresh, healthy foods. You want and need students to be healthy and well-fed so they can do their best in school. A lot of children depend on school meals to feed them whey they don’t have enough food at home. What does this mean for your school? It’s time to look into a new school cafeteria refrigerator.

Is Your School Missing the Proper Cafeteria Equipment?

When should you start when it’s time to replace outdated food service equipment such as a school cafeteria refrigerator? A food service equipment company is a great place to start. They have the school cafeteria refrigerator you need with the ability to provide more than one unit. You can also speak with them about other kitchen equipment as well as an updated school kitchen design that will improve the efficiency of the cafeteria.

Why rely on a commercial cooking equipment company? Over the past five years until 2019, the manufacturing industry for commercial cooking equipment has only grown producing an industry revenue that has increased from 2.2% to $3.7 billion annually. Innovative equipment works more efficiently using better technology. A food service equipment company offers the exact type of equipment you need to bring your school’s kitchen up to date.

What Does a New School Cafeteria Refrigerator Have to Do with Kitchen Designs?

Kids love going to the cafeteria for lunch. It tends to be their favorite part of school. Great lunches are made in school cafeterias that have been designed to flow efficiently, and that can only happen with the right appliances. It may not seem like it, but a school cafeteria refrigerator can make or break a kitchen. First, the kitchen needs to be designed to make it easy to get to the refrigerator without upsetting other tasks or interrupting the flow of food preparation. Consider having your school’s kitchen design overhauled to enhance all of your cooking needs.

Excellent School Lunches Are Prepared with Top School Kitchen Appliances

Commercial kitchen appliances are ideal for school cafeterias. They are more robust and tend to have newer technology that most outdated appliances in school cafeterias now. Does your cafeteria staff struggle to produce bulk meals? They need the right cafeteria equipment to get them through the lunch crunch and more. It takes trusted appliances to truly aid your staff in providing healthy meals to students.

Your School Cafeteria Is Feeding the Future

New refrigeration appliances are a step forward in helping your school make smart food decisions. When your kitchen staff has the best resources, tackling challenges such as meal patterns and safe food handling just get easier, more streamlined, and efficient. Being able to cook large meals for many students means meals will stack up quickly. Without the best cafeteria refrigerators in place you risk wasting food that doesn’t stay cool enough and needs to be tossed into the trash well before it’s date of freshness has been reached. You would be tossing more money in the garbage in the long run versus purchasing new refrigerators that help you increase the number of meals made while providing the cold reserve needed to make those meals.

Get Equipment from Some of the Best Vendors

You need equipment that the best vendors can provide for your school. Speak with a friendly commercial kitchen equipment company that can give you the information need to choose the right equipment for your foodservice requirements. They are more than happy to help make a great impact and improve your school cafeteria.


7 Costly Mistakes to Avoid When Shopping For Commercial Grade Kitchen Equipment

Food service equipment gobbles up a significant portion of a restaurant or cafeteria start-up budget. Buying the wrong commercial grade restaurant supply may have huge financial implications in the form of repairs and replacements. No investor wants to spend their money on costly maintenance even before your new business is off the ground. Take a look at some common mistakes done during the purchase of commercial kitchen equipment and how to avoid them.

1. Lack of Proper Research

Commercial grade restaurant supply is a huge investment. Most customers tend to skimp on research for the right appliances that they require. Failure to understand their exact cafeteria needs results in the purchase of wrong equipment that does not meet their capacity and energy requirements. Conduct due diligence on the different brands and makes available. Choose kitchen appliances that fit into your business model.

2. Failure to obtain the Right Material

Commercial kitchens are ever busy, with some running for hours on end. School cafeterias serve over 4.9 billion lunches annually, serving more food than the nation’s largest restaurant chains combined. You may need to purchase genuine grade materials that can withstand the wear and tear of daily use. The material affects the durability of the equipment, as well as the quality of food served.

3. Not Paying Attention to Energy Efficiency

Commercial grade kitchen appliances consume at least six times more power than domestic equipment. Cutting corners to purchase cheaper devices with low energy efficiency rating may become costly in the long run. Energy-efficient equipment can reduce your energy bills by up to 25%, boosting your bottom line. A little more investment upfront may have a long-term effect on future savings.

4. Purchasing the Wrong Equipment Size

Shopping for your commercial grade restaurant supply is an exciting adventure, and you may easily get carried away on finding the perfect equipment. It can be frustrating to realize later that the appliances cannot fit within your floor plan. Always take measurements of your kitchen layout before heading out to shop.

5. Focusing Solely On Pricing

While the total cost of the cafeteria equipment will influence your choices, it should not be the principal factor. Overlooking quality equipment for cheaper options may prove to be costly in the long run. Do not worry about going for high-grade kitchenware that will help you sustain food quality and capacity.

6. Ignoring Warranties

Commercial kitchen appliances operate for long shifts at a time, and are prone to normal wear and tear effects. Warranty agreements for your equipment may help cover costs for repairs and routine maintenance. Regular inspections may significantly increase the life of your appliances.

7. Failure to Inspect Upon Delivery

While your kitchen equipment purchases should arrive whole, it’s not unheard of for damages to occur during delivery. While accepting your new equipment, make sure you check the condition of the appliance before installing it in your kitchen space. You may have a challenge returning the said appliance if you note the dents and damages later on.

Buying commercial grade restaurant supplies is a considerable investment for any food service business. Finding the right appliances is key to the success of the restaurant. Take time in selecting the right equipment and avoid mistakes that may burn your fingers in the long run.

6 Must-Ask Questions When Selecting Commercial Kitchen Equipment

Starting a catering business is an exciting experience that can also be overwhelming. Part of the necessary installations is the restaurant exhaust hoods meant to provide proper ventilation for your kitchen.

Did you know that as of 2016, the number of inmates in federal and state prisons stood at 2,162,400? These correctional facilities have unique kitchen designs that must abide by the set regulations. Whether it is a correctional facility or any other commercial kitchen space, the appliances must meet the conditions discussed below.

Can Your Cafeteria Equipment Cope With Emerging Trends?

The food and catering industry in the U.S. has changed dramatically over the last few years. The changes have been brought by the emergence of new dietary requirements as well as food intolerances.

Today’s kitchen environments must, therefore, be structured in a way that cross-contamination doesn’t occur. Part of these unique designs is the installation of restaurant exhaust hoods for extra ventilation in your kitchen.

Does Your Commercial Kitchen Design Meet Local Building and Health Codes?

Rules governing the food industry vary depending on your location. How close to one another are your sets of equipment? How about the positioning of the commercial kitchen equipment in relation to the exit of the facility?

Take time to review the existing local codes of operations. Consequently, you can contact the nearest restaurant supply stores and be guided on what works best for your situation.

Failure to comply with the set regulations will attract hefty fines. You will also be required to redo your kitchen design and incorporate all the important features such as the restaurant exhaust hoods.

How Future-Proof Are These Appliances?

With the drastic changes being witnessed in the food industry, kitchen appliances need to be future-proof. As your commercial kitchen grows, the appliances should advance with you to facilitate new kitchen activities.

Contact your local restaurant equipment company and seek guidance on the kitchen appliances that will serve you several years down the line. Are there new designs coming out soon? In case there are, you would rather wait instead of buying obsolete equipment.

Will the Equipment Fit in Your Space?

Measuring the available space sounds obvious, but it is important to ensure that your equipment properly fits in the designated area. Commercial kitchen equipment such as the deep fryers could consume lots of space, which makes it necessary to plan your layout before making any purchase.

Having the measurements will help you determine the exact areas to fix the restaurant exhaust hoods, among other appliances. It also allows you to concentrate on the quality of the appliances and not the size.

Have You Factored in Water and Energy Efficiency?

In typical cases, you are likely to concentrate on the upfront cost and forget the aspect of lifetime cost. The direct opposite applies when dealing with commercial kitchen appliances.

Commercial kitchens consume two times more energy per square foot compared to other commercial spaces. However, using energy-efficient appliances can cut power bills by over 20%.

Water is the other crucial resource that, if not well-managed, the utility bills will keep soaring. Get in touch with your local restaurant equipment company and inquire about water and energy-efficient appliances.

How Safe Is the Equipment and How Easy It Is to Use?

Always go for kitchen appliances that are easy to install and use. Equipment sets that are easy to maintain and those that offer optimum performance with minimal effort are the best for your commercial kitchen.

In modern-day kitchens, safety trumps style. Identify cafeteria equipment that can anticipate danger and force you to act before it gets worse. Some appliances will also detect excess voltage and signal you to regulate or self-regulate.

The safety measures taken should also reflect in the quality of air around the kitchen. The best way to ensure sufficient air circulation and proper ventilation is through the installation of restaurant exhaust hoods.

Final Word

Choosing the right catering equipment comes with extra benefits for your firm. Apart from quality, they are easy to use and will require minimal maintenance. Use the questions above as a guide when buying commercial kitchen appliances. If you are looking for commercial kitchen equipment for your new venture, contact us today.

How to Choose the Right Commercial Kitchen Exhaust Hood

The exhaust hood is the heart of any commercial kitchen’s ventilation system. The range hood manages airflow by removing smoke, steam, soot, heat and grease vapors out of the kitchen area. The commercial kitchen exhaust hood not only protects your staff from excessive heat but also helps the cooking area remain clean. Poorly ventilated kitchens accumulate heat and humidity that support the growth of harmful bacteria and mold. To avoid this, follow these tips to find the right exhaust hood for your commercial kitchen.

1. Regulatory Compliance

The National Fire Protection Association sets the standards for commercial kitchen appliance use through the National Fire Code (NFC.)It is essential to find an exhaust hood that complies with the set national, state and local codes for commercial kitchens. Ensure that you are well acquainted with the necessary regulations.

2. Type 1 vs. Type 2

Type 1 exhaust hood systems are also known as grease hoods as they expel greasy vapors from the kitchen. The exhaust vent systems are installed above commercial grease or smoke-producing appliances such as deep fryers, boilers, barbeques and griddles. Type 2 exhaust hoods expel steam vapors and heat from non-grease appliances such as coffee machines, general ovens and commercial dishwashers.

3. Hood Exhaust Rate

It is a mathematical calculation that indicates the amount of air expelled by the vent. The rate is measured in cubic feet per meter (CFM.) The design and engineering of your exhaust hood determine the rate. Additionally, the amount of heat, smoke, vapor and grease fumes produced in your commercial kitchen should dictate the exhaust system you buy.

4. Fire Suppression Systems

Most municipal fire codes demand that exhaust hoods have a fire fail safe installed. The system connects to tanks that store fire suppression agents, which through a series of pipes put out fires through the attached sprinklers. Ensure you comply with the local fire codes on exhaust hoods’ fire suppression systems.

5. Hood Size and Design

Exhaust hood systems come in different designs that not only determine their aesthetic appeal but also affect their performance. Your exhaust vent system can be a proximal hood, wall-mounted hood or an island hood. The unique arrangement of your commercial kitchen equipment also determines the size of the exhaust hood. The NFC recommends a six-inch overhang to capture the entire zone of the cooking area.

6. Ventilation Design

Properly installed exhaust hood systems determine the balance of air expelled and pushed in. The hood system comprises of a range hood vent, an exhaust fan and a make-up air fan. The exhaust fan pushes the contaminated air and fumes out of the building while the make-up air fan replenishes the expelled air, attaining a balanced air pressure. Ensure your exhaust hood system meets the standards set for sufficient ventilation.

7. Hood Accessories

Every commercial exhaust hood system requires vents and ducts that channel the air to exhaust and make-up air fans. The tubes may require a curb where they emerge on the roof or wall. The number of bends may affect the effectiveness of your exhaust system. Some hoods may contain lights that illuminate the cooking area. Ensure the lights are compliant with the set ordinances.

Choosing the right commercial kitchen exhaust hood is one of the most important restaurant equipment purchases you can make. The tips above will guide you to an exhaust hood system that meets your needs. For more information, visit our website today.

For More Information

Phone: 910-484-1128

Fax: 910-484-0576


Thompson & Little
933 Robeson Street
Fayetteville, NC 28305