Newest Trend in Restaurants … Tapas?

A few days ago while trying to come up with our weekly blog ideas, I posed a question. What really is new in restaurant equipment? Everything that people have bought previous has been what everyone else has bought consistently for many years. Dyanne Scherb, our Sales Associate,  mentioned that several people have inquired about equipment for a tapas bar or restaurant.  I was curious.  As a world traveller and one who lived in Spain for a year, it was amazing to me that such an interest was brewing over this centuries old idea. I was intrigued. Unfortunately, the concept that was being tossed around wasn’t nearly what I was talking about. Hence the debate…

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Tapas seem to becoming more of an interest around town. Many people are coming in an asking about Tapas and do we know anything about them. The General notion, here,  was that tapas were just smaller servings of food that people can order and eat, much like the american appetizer. So basically they wanted to open an appetizer restaurant.

This seemed so wrong to me. Going out for tapas in Spain was more about the wine than the food. It was meant to be a meal but as a courtesy from the bar to enjoy with your drink. It was something with which to be hospitable to your patrons.

The owners didn’t slave all day over the stove trying to prepare these tapas either. It was whatever they had left over in the fridge. They could be anything from deli type meats, last night’s meal, cold Spanish tortilla, and olives and other anti-paste type treats. Every once in a while, you’d find a bar/ restaurant that served gourmet tapas. But its hard to really distinguish one from the other in Spain for the most part because they served both and had tables and the bar area. Except for the really affluent places like English pubs and American Chain restaurants in Valencia, where I lived.

I once had tapas in the afternoon with my friends. I was the first time I ever had a drink. I was stuffed and drunk, my host mother was so upset. Not that I was drunk but that I couldn’t eat any of the food she prepared for me. I felt bad. I didn’t know they were going to give some much FREE Food and that it would be delicious. Lesson learned.

If someone is going to create a tapas place it should be in that same spirit. A tapas place is not a family place. It is more mature. Like buying a glass of wine. You wouldn’t be having beer and tapas, generally although I’m sure some do. The tapas generally were free. There were some you would have to pay for but not as a rule.

There are a few restaurants and functions that are doing tapas well. They are Places like Salinas  in New York where it is a standard in the menu section. The next questions was, can tapas be translated to any food type/ cuisine?

At first I didn’t think it could be translated into other cuisines. Especially, since, it is a Spanish cuisine. But, if you applied the general idea, yeah. It could be done in any cuisine but I don’t think you could call it tapas. Anyway then it got me to thinking like what kinds of things would you buy for a tapas restaurant. Like what would you need, as far as restaurant equipment is concerned.  Small plates, back bar equipment, maybe a wine cellar and a food prep table for all the small dish ingredients, etc.  The possibilities are endless… What do you think? Let us know @WholesaleFoodEQ #tapas

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Summer 2013 :o)

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Summer is here and we at Wholesale Food Equipment want to wish everybody a happy summer but also remind you of some warm weather tips and tools you may need. It’s going to be hot this year and there is no reason you should not take full advantage of this great weather to come.

If you haven’t gotten them already, start stacking up on your sundae dishes, bowls and ice cream soda glasses. Ice cream and frozen treats will definitely be on the menu this summer.  Also look to stay stocked with Iced-Tea glasses and spoons.

Check your ice machines, freezers and refrigerators to make sure they are at the right temperature.  Check to see if doors are closing properly, or that any parts needed for proper refrigeration are ordered before repairs are made.

Mixed drinks will be all the rage as the thermometer rises to record breaking temperatures. Check your blenders to see if they are in working order. Or buy a new one or two if you are just opening.

Make sure your kitchen staff looks the part. Replace your chefs wear, it has been a long winter.  Aprons, chef jackets and shirts should be crisp and clean this summer to give your restaurant/ hotel a fresh, fun look.

And above all have fun and stay cool.

-Wholesale Food Equipmentt

Why You Should By A New Commercial Fryer

Here at wholesale food equipment we get a lot of customers who like to buy used equipment. Used equipment can be great buy for any restaurant or commercial establishment, especially when you are in a tight budget crunch. The lower price point can be a huge deciding factor when making major purchases. Many businesses purchase used equipment to outfit their food service business and cut startup costs.

Americans, we love fried food. No one wants to admit it but we do. This makes creating a restaurant that sells fried foods a no brainer. And with that comes the need to buy a commercial fryer and not just one. Many restaurant owners want to stretch their dollar as far as it can take them. We understand, who doesn’t want to get more for less.

As great as cutting your costs is, when looking for a commercial fryer, more is definitely more. Let us give you some honest advice, if you can afford it get a new one. It is a fact of life that fryers will break down. Fryers can cost a lot to get fixed. And unfortunately, fryers can only be fixed so many times. A new tank can far outweigh the price of buying a new fryer. The average fryer runs around $800.00 brand new. The cost to replace a fryer tank alone can cost up to $1200.00. That is more than the brand new fryer sticker price.

There is probably a reason why the fryer is being sold used. Don’t get us wrong, if the history of the items is known, used equipment can be a valuable asset. Used equipment is not bad. In fact, most used equipment is very good. However, if you are in the market for a commercial restaurant fryer please buy new and save yourself the headache. Buying a commercial fryer new will save you a lot of time and agony in the long run. Please, trust us on this one.

HOW TO SHOP AT A RESTAURANT EQUIPMENT & SUPPLY STORE

You may be wondering why we are writing about how to shop in a restaurant store. It seems simple enough to do, right? You want to purchase something for your restaurant. So you go to the store to look for what you want to buy and get it. However, purchasing items as a new or infrequent customer may not be as seamless as one might think. When you are going to buy from a restaurant store there is some preparation involved.

Know what you are looking for…

You would be surprised how many people, when they go shopping, forget what they came to buy. Just as with going grocery shopping, you need to write down the things you want to buy. Or have an idea of which piece of equipment you want to buy, how many do you need, and the accessories that may need to accompany it.

Know how much you are willing to pay

What is your bottom line? How much do you want to spend. Do research first. Check online, look-up brand name companies and see who is near your location. Check out amazon.com or EBay.com. Check out our website even to see what are the price ranges of the item you want. Get an idea, first, of how much it should cost.

Give yourself time to get what you are looking to purchase

Unlike consumer products, commercial items may often be customized. Or the company may hold a monopoly in a specific product area, which can make some items much more expensive. Often, many items are not currently in stock and may have to be ordered. The delivery time can be anything from three days to three weeks.

Be nice to the help

Oftentimes store employees are aware of deals that may be going on with manufacturers and can pass that information on to you. They also are the guardians of the secret sales present within the store. Being nasty, crass or impatient often will not help you get the best deal.

Take accurate measurements of your space and the items you want to place in your space

This is self-explanatory. This industry lives and dies by measurements. If an item is too big or too small, it’s a bust. You don’t need it and we often are stuck holding it until we can find another buyer. While most stores are knowledgeable about their wares, we don’t know what size you really need unless you tell us or we measure it ourselves.

Know when you should need the pieces and when it is too late to get it

Give a cushion date. Don’t waste our time and we won’t waste yours. We are here to help you succeed, ultimately. Allow enough time for mishaps. Natural disasters happen, out-of-stock happens, and discontinued items happen all the time. Plan for it. Be realistic. Which brings us to the next point…

Have a back-up plan

Make an alternate plan. We know you like what you picked out but things happen all the time. Many items run out of stock or become discontinued often.

Last but not least

Have an appropriate method of payment that works at the time of purchase, like cash or credit. Many orders are large purchase amounts, they sometimes add up into the tens of thousands of dollars. Check with your bank before you make the purchase and let them know that you intend to make a sizable purchase from the restaurant supply store so your order does not get held up in an approval war. Image