Drone delivering pizza

Food Delivery By Drones?

We live in the age of technology and progression. And with that comes exciting new advancements in various industries, including Foodservice.

I’m sure you’re aware of what flying drones are. They’ve really taken over…in drones.

Picture this; You just walked into your house upon completing your brutal 9-5 + 1.5-hour commute. It was especially rough today because Karen from billing accidentally left out a 0 while importing your sales order, and someone ate your leftover meatloaf that you CLEARLY labeled with your name. You drop your keys on the floor and walk towards the kitchen. You open the fridge and freezer, and then it hits you like a freight train; You forgot to defrost the chicken. And you can practically play hockey with that ground beef. You’re starving at this point, and you’ve already eaten enough Lean Cuisine meals to kill a horse. So naturally, you’re left with one reasonable option…

…have you not figured it out yet? It’s take-out. Delivery. Direct to your door. The good grub.

Well, sure. You COULD go out and get something, but you’re already tired. And if you already had prior knowledge of this, you would have picked food up on the way home. So it’s time to pick up that laptop, tablet, or phone and get orderin’.

But you’re not alone. Not by a long shot. In 2015, reports showed that an estimated 2.5 Million online food orders were placed daily.

Let that soak in for a second.

2.5 Million.

That’s a whole lotta chow, and that’s not counting call-ins to those restaurants. And we’re willing to bet that number has at least doubled since then. With the convenience of mobile food ordering, it’s hard to resist the urge. Restaurateurs have quickly taken notice to the growing trend, and have tailored their delivery services accordingly.

So, what does this have to do with drones?

Due to the increasingly high food delivery demands restaurant owners face, they need all the help they can get. And since drones are designed to cover wide distances at relatively fast speeds, this seems like a logical choice for delivery purposes. In fact, big faces in business such as Uber are already working on food-delivery programs involving drones. WE HAVE THE TECHNOLOGY.

Let’s weight the pros and cons of drone delivery:

The Pros of Drone Delivery

  • Customers want their food yesterday. Offering a drone delivery service that gets this done in a speedy fashion will boost customer satisfaction and overall efficiency.
  • You won’t need to spend thousands on your marketing. The drones will speak for themselves. Everyone will view you as a progressive and advanced company.
  • Considering that a majority of food deliveries aren’t huge to begin with, this will not significantly impact your drone’s carrying ability. You also won’t have to worry nearly as much about resources when traveling to a customer’s location.
  • There will be less of a need for drivers, reducing your cost and freeing up employees to handle other important tasks. Keeping your restaurant running smoothly is always priority, and with the addition of drone delivery, it will be much simpler.

Similar to everything in life, there are its cons:

The Cons of Drone Delivery

  • Drones come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. For the most part, however, they can be relatively pricey. And seeing as how you need the drone to support heavier weight, a larger model may be needed.
  • Bigger companies have the necessary resources readily available to test out the drone’s stability, weight limitations, and distance coverage. Smaller businesses may not be able to swing this as easily.
  • Since this technology is relatively new, usage and regulations are still being developed. Any laws that apply to the flying of drones must be carefully observed. A good deal of research prior to the purchase of one would be beneficial.
  • Minor and major malfunctions can easily create a hassle on something so new and advanced. Technical problems can result in costly repairs and downtime.

It’s clear that we’re headed towards fully integrated drone delivery services. What now seems like a dream will soon become a reality and a normal business practice. Experimenting with drone technology now can help you plan for a new type of customer service experience.

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Foodservice Trends For 2019

With a new year on the horizon, we are excited to see the changes in the Foodservice industry. Here are some foodservice trends being speculated for 2019:

Levantine Cuisine

Israeli cuisine has gained more eyes (and stomachs) in the past couple of years. This has led to flavor experimentation from Israel’s neighboring countries. Syria, Turkey, and Lebanon influence can be found in an abundance in independent eateries. Ingredients including schmaltz and urfa and sauces such as labneh and tahini are being used in new, innovative ways.

Natural Enhancements

“Functional food” is already a trend, but in the new year, there will be greater expansion. Natural enhancements to help with bodily functions will become commonplace to those who request it. This may include using ingredients such as collagen and cannabis to enhance brain function, beauty, and mental health.

Sensory In Social Media

Sites like Instagram and Facebook have changed the way the food industry shares its work. Tailoring content specifically for social media has become necessary in today’s technology-based society. And with the integration of custom stories and live video, this tech trend has reached a new level. Curating quality video content is key to staying relevant and being successful. In 2019, videos will include visual effects like color-changing cocktails and candy-popping audio enhancements. Menus will also most likely be adapting to this change in some fashion.

Going Green(er)

Plant-based dining has always been a thing, but it’s not just about staying away from meat; It encourages a “greener” approach to life. For example, a recent green initiative has restaurants banning plastic straws in an effort to eliminate waste. In addition, compostable food packaging is now a priority to foodservice operators. This eco-friendly push continues through third-party industry policies banning meat consumption and encouraging employees not to eat it when going out.

True Transparency

Having complete transparency is vital in business (and in life), but do you really receive complete transparency from a business? The foodservice consumer of tomorrow will expect brands to be 100% transparent with not only pricing, corporate ongoings, and workplace ethics, but also with their stance on environmental causes and the welfare of animals. We are especially happy with this one. I think we all deserve the truth.

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Why An Efficient Restaurant Kitchen Design Is Important

In the restaurant industry, things must carefully be planned out. A well-designed kitchen layout, bar, and floor plan is paramount to your success as an establishment. When we talk about designs, one might think solely about the visual appearance. Seems natural. But functionality is the name of the game here.

Restaurant Brand & Concept

Coming up with your establishment’s brand identity is most certainly difficult these days. With such an oversaturation in foodservice niches, it can be overwhelming to try and choose a unique concept. However, there are a few questions you can ask yourself to make the process a little easier:

  • What message are you trying to convey?
  • Do you want customers to feel a specific way?
  • Which design trends do you want to follow?
  • How are you going to compliment the menu with your atmosphere?

Restaurant Layout Design

The layout and design of a commerical kitchen are not done simply for aesthetic purposes. In order for your business to look the part and function properly it needs to adhere to a series of layout guidelines.

  • What total space are you working with?
  • Is your layout space up to code?
  • What equipment needs to fit in?
  • Is there room for flexibility?

Efficient and Economical Kitchen Design

Your customers will see your restaurant as a reflection of what to expect as far as service goes. Having and efficient restaurant layout and design that meets your economical goals should be key:

  • Are your employees able to work in a quick and orderly fashion?
  • How about your equipment? Is it cost-effective for what you need to accomplish?
  • Are costs being carefully monitored and reduced where need be?
  • Is energy-efficiency a priority?

Once you’ve answered all these questions, you’re well on your way to realizing your vision, and owning/operating a successful foodservice establishment!

If you are looking to open your own restaurant or searching for renovations, we’ve got you covered. Get a free quote today!

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Avoiding Food Allergies In Your Restaurant

Allergies are not fun. And some allergic reactions can be life-threatening. When owning a restaurant, food allergies should be a serious consideration. With hundreds of customers coming in and out of your establishment, you would never know who has a food allergy just by looking at them. While anyone can have an allergy to anything, there are a few select products that are more likely to cause a reaction than others. The top allergens are peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish, fish, eggs, wheat, cow’s milk, and soy.

But it’s not as cut-and-dry as “Oh, so they just can’t drink milk or eat a peanut!” Food allergens can be hidden within ingredients. Also, it’s important to realize that different food types can be categorized in specific food allergen groups. Here is a list of the common foods containing each allergen;

Peanuts

Peanuts can be found as whole pieces, peanut butter, mixed nuts, peanut oil, lupine, and more.

Tree nuts

Tree nut allergens include a wide array of nuts, including almond, pecan, cashew, pistachio, macadamia, walnut, and many more. Some unlikely sources of these nuts include flavored coffees, cereals, crackers, marzipan, nut butters, pesto, cold cuts, ice creams, baked goods, as well as certain alcoholic beverages like gin and amaretto.

Shellfish

Shrimp, lobster, crab, prawns, crawfish, and krill are the main ones.

Fish

This list can be expansive, but the major ones include tuna, salmon, swordfish, haddock, halibut.

Eggs

Eggs, while easy to spot in whole, are also found in salad dressings, mayonnaise, ice cream, and many baked goods.

Wheat

Wheat can be found in bread, pasta, flour, crackers, cereals, wheat grass, and many more items. Other unexpected sources include beer, soy sauce, and breaded foods.

Cow’s milk

Cow’s milk can mainly be found in milk, butter, cream, and cheese.

Soy

Tofu, soybeans, soy sauce, miso, tamari, and other ingredients containing soybean oil.

Equipment Procurement

Vulcan’s New FastBatch™ Braising Pan Technology

Introducing Vulcan’s New FastBatch™ Braising Pan Technology  

Vulcan FastBatch Technology

It’s every enterprising, bottom line-conscious restaurant owner’s dream: For food to cook faster without sacrificing the end result. That dream is now a reality thanks to Vulcan. Here’s a closer look at the game-changing VE Series electric braising pan featuring FastBatch™ heating technology, the embodiment of the innovation with which the Vulcan name has long been synonymous.

Heat Faster, Serve Sooner

Steaming Food

Imagine if your kitchen staff could reduce boil times during the lunch rush or on a busy Saturday night. That’s exactly what you get with Vulcan’s VE Series electric braising pans featuring FastBatch™ heating technology.

How does it work, exactly? By increasing the efficiency of heat transfer between elements and the cooking plate, thereby reducing boil times by up to 20 percent. Which begs the question: What do you have to sacrifice in order to save time? With Vulcan, the answer is an emphatic “nothing,” thanks to a multitude of mindful design features aimed at promoting both productivity and consummate food quality every time.

The Intersection of Productivity and Performance

Restaurant Kitchen Performance

Consider the VE Series’ retractable receivable pan support, which secures pans during pan-up, but conveniently folds down when not in use. The outcome? Restaurant kitchens save money in the form of reduced spillage and waste while improving the safe handling of hot food items. No longer need it? Simply tuck it out of the way until next time.

And while sticking food is a common problem with many braising pans, the VE Series featuring FastBatch™ heating technology helps eliminate the issue thanks to a professional, even-heating, scratch-resistant cooking surface. Embossed gallon and liter markings add to the VE Series’ practicality by delivering clear capacity measurement for batch-after-batch consistency.

Your staff, meanwhile, will appreciate convenience-forward features, starting with the sealed lift mechanism and recessed hinges, which conserve floor space, facilitate tilting and lifting with ease, and make cleaning a snap. Additionally, self-locking covers with stay-cool handles improve venting control and operation to help prevent burns in the kitchen. Also guaranteed to be a staff pleaser? The VE Series’ pitcher pour front with an oversized lip and removable strainer, which smoothly directs the flow of liquids and solid contents for easy transfer with minimal mess.

With Vulcan’s FastBatch™ heating technology — now standard on all Vulcan 30- and 40-gallon electric braising pans — your most responsive and productive restaurant kitchen is waiting. What’s not waiting, however? Diners, thanks to the accelerated ticket-to-table times offered by Vulcan’s V Series commercial braising pans featuring FastBatch™ heating technology.

About Vulcan

Vulcan Restaurant Equipment Logo

Vulcan, a division of ITW Food Equipment Group LLC, is a leading manufacturer of commercial cooking equipment in the U.S. with a broad line of products including ranges, convection and combi ovens, fryers, griddles, charbroilers, steamers, braising pans, kettles and heated holding cabinets.  Vulcan sells both to the foodservice and food retail end-user segments, including chain and independent restaurants, hospitals, assisted living facilities, nursing homes, K-12 schools, colleges/universities, hotels, casinos, recreation, corrections, and grocery stores.


If you’re interested in this new FastBatch™ technology, click here to browse our stock of Vulcan braising pans.

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The Pumpkin Spice Coffee Craze

When it comes to Fall, many various thoughts may pop into your head: The leaves are coming down, it’s almost Halloween, and of course, the return of Pumpkin Spice Coffee. It’s difficult to imagine the world without it now. Seems dramatic, but seriously, can you?

History Of Pumpkin Spice

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In 2003, global titans of the coffee service industry, Starbucks, decided they wanted to expand upon their winter seasonal specialties. About ten products were tested by consumers, with Pumpkin Spice being a strong contender. Although it didn’t rank as the #1 chosen flavor, there was something special about it, something unique. And it didn’t hurt that there wasn’t much pumpkin anything going on at the time. So they decided to go with it. In the Fall that year, the new pumpkin spice latte was tested in Washington D.C. and Vancouver. Sales exceeded all expectations, with inventory even being expedited to these stores due to such high volume. The following year, every Starbucks was selling the drink. Both the company and consumers agreed that the new latte was Starbucks’ greatest seasonal beverage. More than 200 million were sold between 2003 and 2015. That’s a lot of spice. Sales increased and smiles were drawn.

Why Pumpkin Spice Is Nice

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The Pumpkin Spice Latte is most distinguishable by its aroma. A light, spicy sweetness fills your mouth and doesn’t let you forget it. The distinct scent has since been a seasonal staple in an abundance of other companies’ products, including cookies, muffins, doughnuts, yogurt, tortilla chips, and even air fresheners. It was truly a game changer, and people can’t seem to get enough of it.

So What’s Really In A Pumpkin Spice Latte?

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A Pumpkin Spice Latte contains various ingredients that blend into a smooth concoction. Here’s a list of them, courtesy of Starbucks’ website:

Milk, Pumpkin Spice Sauce [Sugar, Condensed Skim Milk, Pumpkin Puree, Contains 2% Or Less Of Fruit And Vegetable Juice For Color, Natural Flavors, Annatto, Salt, Potassium Sorbate], Brewed Espresso, Whipped Cream [Cream (Cream, Milk, Mono And Diglycerides, Carrageenan), Vanilla Syrup (Sugar, Water, Natural Flavors, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid)], Pumpkin Spice Topping [Cinnamon, Ginger, Nutmeg, Clove, Sulfiting Agents].

Back in 2015, they announced a recipe change which would include real pumpkin and the removal of any artificial coloring. The introduction of a pumpkin pie flavored sauce into the latte was one of the major changes. This sauce includes pumpkin puree, condensed skim milk, sugar, coloring, and preservative.


I think the allure of pumpkin spice coffee is that not only is it a break in traditional roasts, but the savory combination of spicy and sweet makes for a more than pleasant experience. And with Halloween growing even more popular in the past decade, the glamorization of pumpkins, I believe, is a substantial contributor to the craze. We all enjoy variety, and when something unique and different is in front of us, why pass that up?

Are you a fan of pumpkin spice? Does it stop at lattes for you? Let us know!