Monthly Archives: April 2016

May Food Holidays


May is two days away which means new promotions for your restaurant. Use food holidays to increase sales, build creative promotions, and boost customer engagement. Bookmark or print this list in order to keep up with the latest May food holidays and keep your customers happy:

May 1 • National Chocolate Parfait Day
May 2 • National Chocolate Mousse Day
May 3 • National Chocolate Custard Day & National Raspberry Tart Day
May 4 • National Homebrew Day & National Hoagie Day
May 5 • National Enchilada Day
May 6 • National Crepe Suzette Day
May 7 • National Roast Leg of Lamb Day
May 8 • National Coconut Cream Pie Day
May 9 • National Shrimp Day
May 10 • National Liver and Onions Day
May 11 • National “Eat What You Want” Day
May 12 • National Nutty Fudge Day
May 13 • National Apple Pie Day, National Fruit Cocktail Day & National Hummus Day
May 14 • National Buttermilk Biscuit Day
May 15 • National Chocolate Chip Day
May 16 • National Barbecue Day
May 17 • National Cherry Cobbler Day
May 18 • National Cheese Soufflé Day & I love Reese’s Day
May 19 • National Devil’s Food Cake Day
May 20 • National Pick Strawberries Day
May 21 • National Strawberries and Cream Day
May 22 • National Vanilla Pudding Day
May 23 • National Taffy Day
May 24 • National Escargot Day
May 25 • National Wine Day
May 26 • National Blueberry Cheesecake Day & National Cherry Dessert Day
May 27 • National Grape Popsicle Day
May 28 • National Brisket Day
May 29 • National Biscuit Day
May 30 • National Mint Julep Day
May 31 • National Macaroon Day

Exploring the World of Commercial Mixers


If you plan on adding new menu items this summer, now is the time to invest in a new commercial mixer from Instawares. Commercial mixers are a necessity for any kitchen but you may not know what kind to order. Use this buying guide to help make your decision easy:

There are two types of mixers:

Planetary Mixers
Planetary mixers are an excellent choice for general purpose mixing. The agitator moves in a circle while the mixing bowl stays in place. These mixers have a variety of attachments that can whip, blend, mix, and stir a variety of ingredient combinations that have moisture. This is the mixer you want if you have a variety of mixtures versus just dough. Many of these models also have a power drive that can operate accessories like vegetable cutters, adding versatility to your kitchen.

Spiral Mixers
A spiral mixer has an agitator that spins in place as the bowl revolves during the mixing process. They are commonly used for gently kneading bread dough, allowing for desired gluten development. Spiral mixers are a common fixture in pizzerias and bakery operations.

Things to consider before you buy:

What are you going to be mixing?
This is important because it will help identify the capabilities and power you need. For example, if you are mixing a lot of dough then you will need a more powerful machine than one that’s only used to whip icing. A good way to determine how much power you need is to calculate the mixture’s absorption percentage. To do this, simply take the pounds of water needed and divide that by the pounds of flour. The lower the absorption rate, the more difficult the dough will be to mix, and the more power you’ll need. Here’s a breakdown:

Standard Duty (⅓ to ½ HP): whipped cream, cake batter, egg whites
Medium Duty (¾ to 1½ HP): heavy dough/batter
Heavy Duty (Higher than 1½ HP): high volume bakeries, pizzerias

Drivers also play a part in the power of the mixer. Gear driven mixers tend to be more powerful, longer-lasting, but more expensive to repair. Belt drivers allow for a full range of speed options, but tend to wear out quickly even though they are less expensive to repair.

How much are you going to be mixing?
Be sure to consider all possible uses for your new mixer, and keep in mind the future growth of your business. Mixers are usually specified by their bowl capacity and come in a variety of sizes, the smallest in the 5 qt. range and extending to 200 qt. and beyond.

What attachments will you need?
Don’t overlook attachments because these will increase the usefulness of your mixer. There are a lot of accessories and attachments to improve efficiency such as:

Mixing bowls

Dough hooks


Wire whips

Mixer Tables

Tips to Manage Your Food Costs


Every food service operation aims to maximize profits and customer satisfaction. However, some believe that as one factor rises, the other falls – but this does not have to be the case. Use these tips to manage your food costs and keep your margins high:

All food service operations must make plans (and stick with them) in order to be successful. Planning ahead is not always easy, but it is necessary in the restaurant industry. A budget must be established before any further planning can be done. Once you have a budget in place, you can focus on building or re-evaluating your menu. Examine your menu and evaluate the food costs of each dish. If the costs are too high and the dish is not selling, consider removing it from your menu. Once you have established a menu and pricing, plan out your food orders. Consistently order the same food products and make notes about things that you run out of and products that go to waste. After a few weeks, re-evaluate your food order and make changes as necessary.

Teach your employees to care about eliminating food wastes and maximizing profits. Show them how food costs can impact their paychecks, and they will be on board with your plan. Require the kitchen staff to take inventory regularly and hold them accountable for their actions.

Food quality is a major factor in controlling food costs. If customers consistently come into your restaurant and send dishes back because they are too cold, tastes bad, or aren’t cooked correctly, then you are essentially throwing money away. Use our new San Jamar resource to find products and tips on ways to store food properly and maximize efficiency in your food service operation.

Reduce Waste
Pay attention to the dishes coming back to the kitchen. If you consistently see a lot of food coming back and going to waste, your portion sizes may be too large. Also, ask your servers if they spend a lot of time boxing up food to take home – that could be another sign that your portions are too large. If you consistently see these two factors, decrease your portions and consider lowering menu prices. Controlling portion sizes will help to reduce waste and keep your food costs in check.