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Author Archives: Heather Hartley

4 Essential Tips for Commercial Kitchen Compliance

A commercial kitchen is always busy with food preparation activities. Regulators require the space to be compliant with Federal and State regulations to reduce cross-contamination and enhance safety. Those policies can have an impact on various aspects of your food business.

Here are the top compliance requirements for a new commercial kitchen you’ll need to consider.

1. Stainless Steel Surfaces for the Kitchen

A commercial kitchen design should include stainless steel. Stainless steel is non-porous and does not absorb moisture. Therefore, it is the ideal choice of material for its ability to contain microbial growth. Stainless steel surfaces are mandatory if your food service is going to be processing meat. You can get the right grade of the metallic table from a new appliance restaurant supply service. Restaurants may also use stainless steel for backsplashes, exhaust canopies, sinks, and counters. These surfaces are easy to clean and maintain, and you can clear blemishes and stains with a damp cloth.

2. Compatible Sinks

You will also require ceramic or stainless steel sinks to comply with regulations. Ceramic has similar characteristics as stainless steel for food processing. It resists stains, and it is easy to clean with a damp cloth. Ceramic is also a durable option for a busy kitchen. The sink must also have non-manual taps, which are either automatic or pedal-controlled. There should be separate sections for meat and vegetables to prevent cross-contamination.

3. Temperature Sanitation

A professional dishwasher is essential for any commercial kitchen. There are different types of heavy-duty dishwashers you can get from your new appliance restaurant supply service. The most significant feature of a commercial dishwasher is temperature sanitization. A high-temperature version will kill microorganisms with temperatures of 150 to 160 Fahrenheit. Low-temperature equipment will mainly use detergents to clean. The type you choose will depend on the design of your commercial kitchen. A high-temperature dishwasher may take up more space and consume more energy. On the other hand, low-temp versions could leave stains on your cutlery.

4. Safe Kitchen Layouts

The efficiency of your workflow can have an impact on output as well as safety. Regulations require the restaurant kitchen design to have a layout that facilitates easy movement and reduces accidents. You can enhance the flow of work by carefully mapping the activities.

An area with high-traffic ought to have rubber floor mats to minimize slipping hazards. To avoid collisions, you may have to set aside two-way routes to facilitate ease of movement. There are several floor plans you can adopt, depending on the nature of your service. Some of the layouts include Galley, Assembly-line, and the open kitchen layout, among others.

You will require a wide range of equipment from a new appliance restaurant supply service. Your needs will depend on your area of specialization. You ought to have a grasp of the State laws in your region before making any commitments. Besides the regulations, consider other factors such as efficiency and aesthetics before buying kitchen appliances.


5 Things You Shouldn’t Ignore When Choosing Commercial Kitchen Equipment

The growth of the food industry has led to an increase in demand for commercial kitchen equipment. However, when you’re new to the foodservice industry, it can be tricky to determine which pieces of commercial kitchen equipment your business will need. Fortunately, we’ve compiled a list of five key things you shouldn’t ignore when looking for commercial kitchen equipment of your own. Read on to learn more.

1. Kitchen Design and Style

Understanding the design of your commercial kitchen will help you determine which appliances you should buy. Consider the layout of your countertops, the specifications of your exhaust hood, and other important features regarding your kitchen’s layout. A commercial kitchen designer can provide expert advice based on your needs and style.

2. Public Safety Requirements

The public health department has set a standard for equipment used in all commercial kitchens to ensure safety is not compromised. There are specific laws that set the standard of the materials used for the construction of food preparation points. You need to be familiar with all these legal requirements regarding commercial kitchens to avoid buying kitchen equipment that does not meet these standards.

3. Cost

When you’re a new business, you want to be sure you’re not going over budget when you’re looking for new commercial kitchen equipment. Fortunately, with the proper research, you can buy quality and affordable commercial kitchen appliances. The initial cost of kitchen equipment may be high but, provided it meets your specific needs and is durable, it is a good investment.

4. Energy Efficiency

Depending on the number of people you’re serving every day, you could be using a lot of energy. For instance, U.S. schools alone serve approximately 4.9 billion lunches a year. To help cut energy costs and reduce your carbon footprint, make sure to invest in energy-saving kitchen appliances.

5. Future-proof

It is important to always be on the lookout for new trends regarding energy consumption when buying commercial kitchen equipment. Equip yourself with knowledge on current and emerging trends in the commercial kitchen world to avoid buying obsolete and less efficient equipment. Conducting thorough and regular research in the restaurant business will help discover new, energy-efficient appliances.

Buying commercial kitchen equipment will be a breeze if you keep the above factors in mind. Remember to consult a kitchen designer in case you find it challenging to make an informed decision. Contact us today if you are looking to buy energy-efficient commercial kitchen appliances.


VULCAN FLEXIBLE ENDURANCE RANGES

VULCAN FLEXIBLE ENDURANCE RANGES

By Carla Landi

Vulcan Endurance Ranges are known for quality and performance. But, do you know all the features and customization options they provide to cater to your specific operation?

 

Flexible Endurance Ranges offer more than 300 different range configurations allowing operators to create the ultimate cooking station for their menu and workflow. Foodservice professionals can construct a cook line with the number of burners they desire and mix and match with manual or thermostatic griddles, charbroilers, convection, and standard ovens, and even add refrigerated drawer bases for the most efficient workflow. The ability to create a custom cooking station from 12” to 72” can make all the difference in busy foodservice kitchens.

 

Vulcan’s flash tube pilot system provides a single pilot between two burners to protect the pilot from going out from spills or boil-overs. Fewer pilots reduce energy consumption, saving an average of more than $300 a year for a six-burner range. That’s just one of the many benefits that Vulcan Endurance Ranges bring to foodservice operations. Watch the video where the owner of Bang Bang Burger illustrates how Vulcan improved his operation.

 


6 Signs That Indicate It’s Time to Replace Commercial Kitchen Equipment

Setting up a restaurant can be a huge investment. In most cases, the food service equipment will quickly gobble up a considerable chunk of the budget. That is why every commercial kitchen needs a strict maintenance protocol to ensure that they extend the lifespan of this equipment.

However, repeated daily use of the kitchen equipment will eventually result in wear and tear. How will an owner know when to contact the food service equipment company for replacement? Here are six signs that show its time to replace your equipment.

1. Safety Risks

Safety should be a top priority for any restaurant. Aging appliances may come with massive risk on the safety of the staff and other physical assets. Commercial kitchen managers need to identify equipment that is no longer safe to operate. For example, faulty electric appliances have a higher chance of short-circuiting, which may result in a fire. Be wary of bare wires, missing switches, malfunctioning buttons, and flue gas build-up. Call in the food service equipment company to find a replacement for the aged appliance.

2. Rising Maintenance Costs

Commercial kitchens and restaurants run for long periods at a time. Frequent breakdowns of specific worn-out equipment can be costly for the business. It may reach a point where maintenance costs outweigh the price of acquiring new appliances. A good rule of thumb is to start considering a replacement when the repairs exceed 50% of the new cafeteria equipment value.

3. Unavailability of Spare Parts

Restaurants may start to find it increasingly difficult to source parts for some of the older model equipment. Outdated appliances may lack replacement parts, which may prolong the downtime. Replacing the old models with new modern equipment may eliminate the problem. Remember that in most cases, new technologies are also more energy-efficient.

4. Skyrocketing Utility Bills

As commercial kitchen appliances depreciate over time, they may consume more power than before. The restaurant equipment typically consumes up to twice as much energy as the average commercial space. Old and failing appliances may cause your utility bills to shoot. A food service equipment company can source kitchen appliances that are energy-efficient for your restaurant. Replacing the faulty cafeteria ice machine and other old equipment can cut energy costs by up to 25%.

5. Decreased Performance

Commercial kitchen equipment may record reduced performance as the unit ages. The old unit may not handle the rigors and demands of the expanding restaurant business. You may need to bring in new appliances that can accommodate your current capacity and future needs.

6. Major Menu Changes

Most restaurants and commercial kitchen setups undergo periodic updates to their menu offerings. Significant shifts may have a huge impact on the type of equipment currently in use. You may need to replace with models that can accommodate the new kitchen demands. Cafeteria managers can get multi-function appliances from the food service equipment company. The equipment can save on space and operational costs.

Running a successful restaurant or cafeteria means keeping up with the lifespan of the various kitchen appliances. Thompson & Little is a food service equipment company that can help you replace the old and worn-out equipment in your commercial kitchen.


5 Factors to Consider When Choosing a Healthcare Kitchen Company

Consumers are demanding healthier, more nutritious food. As hospitals renovate their meal areas, they continue to turn to food service equipment companies to supply quality cafeteria equipment. Here are some factors to consider when choosing a healthcare kitchen company to remodel your commercial kitchen.

1. Quality of Products

Commercial kitchens are busy. A typical hospital cafeteria can serve up to 1,000 retail meals a day. You need to find quality kitchen equipment that can withstand the high wear and tear environment. Look for hygienic products made from safe materials that are easy to clean. A healthcare kitchen designer can guide you in choosing well-engineered products that can handle the capacity and output needed in the cafeteria.

2. Product Variety and Availability

Take time and assess all the restaurant equipment you require. Request the healthcare kitchen company you hire to provide you with a quote detailing what products are available.

You can choose from a diverse range of products, including meat slicers, meat processors, commercial ovens, walk-in freezers, food weighing scales, food wrappers, and many more. You need to research the best brands and models that will fit perfectly with the size of your kitchen.

3. Financing Options

Purchasing food service equipment requires some substantial monetary investment. However, while the total cost of the commercial kitchen appliances may influence the final purchase decision, it should not be the deciding factor. You need to go for high-grade kitchenware. Besides, the healthcare kitchen company can offer flexible financing options. You can look into a lease agreement, a monthly-repayment plan, or a loan-option with partner financiers.

4. Customer Service

It is essential to build and maintain a cordial relationship with your healthcare kitchen company. The commercial kitchen designers can help you create a floor plan for the new cafeteria. The average kitchen in the US has approximately 25 square feet of counter space. They can also provide qualified technicians that install the equipment. Proper communication with the company can ensure prompt repairs if your appliances break down. Regular maintenance may also be necessary to extend the life of the equipment.

5. Return Policy and Warranties

Someone may damage your equipment during transport and delivery to your premises. If you decide to order your appliances online, check on the return policy set by the healthcare kitchen company. You may have a challenge taking back already installed faulty equipment. It is also vital to check on the manufacturer’s warranty policy. Can the food service equipment company guarantee to honor the policy? The warranties can help reduce the cost of repairs within the agreed period.

More healthcare facilities are committing to improve the quality of food offered in their premises. One of the ways is redesigning their cafeterias, bringing in modern commercial kitchen equipment. Thompson and Little can help your hospital source for the right appliances for your restaurant.


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.

https://youtu.be/TBhy5oEI8C0

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 www.BestintheBar.com.

 

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. https://apps.who.int/iris/handle/10665/70863

 

2Gormley, M., Aspray, T. J., & Kelly, D. A. (2020). COVID-19: mitigating transmission via wastewater plumbing systems. Lancet Global Health. https://doi.org/10.1016/S2214-109X(20)30112-1


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!


HOW TO CREATE A HEALTHY COMPANY CULTURE IN YOUR RESTAURANT

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

NEW CARLISLE SQUARES FOOD STORAGE CONTAINERS

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

TRAULSEN INTRODUCES CENTERLINE™

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™


For More Information

Phone: 910-484-1128

Fax: 910-484-0576

Email: info@thompsonlittle.com

Thompson & Little
933 Robeson Street
Fayetteville, NC 28305