Burkett Lends Helping Hand to Local Organization

Mom's House ToledoMom’s House, a non-profit childcare center in Toledo, OH that helps low-income, single moms graduate from high school, technical school and college, was recently burglarized and suffered more than $10,000 worth of damages.

The organization strives to positively influence the lives of two generations through education for both parent and child

Among the items stolen were appliances in the organization’s kitchen.

When Burkett Account Representative Nathan Beucler heard about the news, he said he knew he had to do something.

“Being that the burglars stole commercial cooking equipment, I knew I could help, so I reached out to our vendors that night.”

Panasonic 1054FSesco Food Service Equipment immediately responded to Nathan’s request and agreed to help donate a Panasonic 1054F commercial grade microwave.

“We are happy to help out an organization in their time of need, especially one like Mom’s House that means so much to their community,” said Ken Barr, territory manager at Sesco.

Although damages and losses totaled more than $10,000, Mom’s House Executive Director Christina Rodriguez said insurance claims only covered about 30-40% of the cost for the commercial kitchen appliances due to their age.

“Burkett has been amazing to us,” Rodriguez said. “They made the process so easy. That means the world to us because our bottom line and our budget are critical to us as a nonprofit. Every little bit helps.”

Burkett annually gives away more than $10,000 in monies, goods, and services to charities around the region.

“Mom’s House is a great charitable organization that does a good thing for families,” Beucler said. “I felt that I could try to give back, whether it be free products, discounted products and/or personalized service and delivery of what they needed.”

Rodriguez said she was impressed by the donation and even more so by Beucler personally delivering and installing the microwave at Mom’s House.

“They say it takes a village to raise a child, well, it also takes a village to support us so that we can better serve families and help raise children,” Rodriguez said. “Burkett is part of our village and we really appreciate it.”

How to Make a Successful Street Food Business in 3 Easy Steps

Whether it’s a stand, a truck, or a pop-up shop, the street food business is rolling. Whether as a side hobby or a full time job, there’s no reason you can’t get in on the action. And it can all be done in three easy steps. Yes, really!

Step One: Do your research

You will need to know what’s what when it comes to financing your operation, getting the proper permits and choosing the right location. Keep the following information in mind when getting your business started:

  • Financing: Though a food truck business will be significantly easier to finance than a brick-and-mortar establishment, you will still need to invest a good chunk of change into your food truck. Consider what kind of equipment you’ll need, and whether you’ll be able to make everything on-site or if you will need use of a kitchen. A great option for cash-strapped entrepreneurs is to rent or buy a used truck.
  • Permits: Sometimes you’ll need them, sometimes you won’t. It depends on what city you choose, and you will have to make sure that you aren’t breaking any rules or you could get slapped with a hefty fine. Here are the types of permits/licenses that you might need:
  1. Vending license: Most cities require that you obtain a vending or business license in order to start your business. There are some rare exceptions, such as in Florida where you do not need a license to sell pre-packaged food.
  2. Zoning permit: A zoning permit may be necessary depending on your location and how long you plan to be parked. If you plan to park with a group of trucks, sometimes a special zoning permit is needed for this as well.
  3. Health inspection: You will need to have your truck inspected by the health department to ensure that you are in compliance with local health laws.
  • Location: You’ll want to look into the existing market research on your city to find whether it is a good idea to open up a food truck business there. Cities like Los Angeles and New York are already fairly saturated with food trucks, so if possible it might be a better strategy to choose a mid-sized city where there is not as much competition. If you do decide to brave the streets of the big cities, make sure that your menu offers something unique and exciting to attract customers.
  • Parking: Most cities will have regulations that prevent parking in certain commercial districts or within a certain distance from brick-and-mortar establishments. Check the rules regarding parking near public parks and in residential districts in order to avoid tickets and run-ins with law enforcement. Choose a parking spot that works for your demographic. You might want to set up shop in a fixed location or, as is popular, let your Twitter followers know where you’ll be from day to day. It is also a good idea to talk to local business owners about setting up shop in their parking lots, which could help draw a decent lunch crowd and introduce your product to new customers.

Step Two: Make it a snack-tivity

Food isn’t just something to eat, it’s something to do. This is a tenet to keep in mind, especially if you want to appeal to millennials, who can get bored easily. This demographic is accustomed to a constant flux of information and when that flow stops they look around and ask, “Now what?” Tap into that sentiment, provide a few moments of entertainment for your customers and you’ll hit gold. How? Here are a few ideas:

  • Offer something fresh and new: You should have an original or specialized menu idea that sets you apart and draws attention. This is especially important if you are in a city that already has a number of other mobile vendors. Trucks that use organic, locally-sourced ingredients are popular, as are trucks that cater to the multi-ethnic sensibilities of the millennial generation. This is the recipe for success for Kogi, the Los Angeles-based Korean barbeque taco truck. Kogi has almost 150,000 followers on Twitter and attracts customers willing to wait in line for 45 minutes before getting their food. You can also post a special online daily, weekly, or however often your menu choices change. Keep it fresh and you’ll keep them coming back for more.
  • Change your location: Your customers, once they know how delicious your unique menu offerings are, will be excited to see what exotic new location you’ll be parking in each day. Utilize Facebook and Twitter to let them know where to find you. Perhaps you’ll bring them to a part of town they’ve never been to before, and perhaps they will discover something else that’s new and exciting while they’re trying out your new daily special.
  • Make friends with other food trucks: If you can arrange to park together, you will find that you can draw quite a crowd. Play music, hand out blankets for picnics, put your laptop on a chair and play episodes of a popular show that your target audience likes every Wednesday. Be creative! If you are less like a food court and more like a travelling party, customers will be more than willing to line up and wait.

Step Three: Branch out

No one says the only way to make money with a food truck is by selling food out of it. If you have a brick-and-mortar establishment, adding a food truck can help boost sales and increase visibility. Whatever your situation, there are plenty of profitable ways to use your food truck:

  • Bring your product to events: Many food truck businesses see increased sales by catering office lunches, bar/bat mitzvahs and even weddings. Heck, you can even stage your own events. How about a scavenger hunt that leads your customers to the truck’s latest location? Food truck patrons have shown that they are willing to put in the extra effort if there is an exciting reward waiting for them.
  • Sell more than just lunch: Have a special sauce that your customers just can’t get enough of? Try selling it online or at a local grocery store. Loyal patrons also might enjoy a t-shirt or a tote bag, especially if your truck sports a snazzy design.

When it comes to the modern food truck, the sky really is the limit. With some delicious food and little creativity you are sure to draw a crowd and see your profits soar.

What to Buy Before Opening a Restaurant

New Restaurant EquipmentFor restaurant owners just starting out, the search for the right equipment and supplies can be daunting. Figuring out exactly what you need is a difficult task. For any restaurant, there will be a long list of equipment and supplies that need to be procured before even opening, and that list is different for each person and each restaurant.

Determining What Equipment You Need

The equipment you need will largely depend on your menu and your restaurant concept. However, here are a few general guidelines to follow when you first make up the list of equipment you want to purchase:

Limit yourself. When deciding how much equipment you need, the key is to limit your equipment. Evaluate your menu to determine the fewest pieces of equipment that are needed to produce all of the dishes. For example, if you own a sandwich shop, your absolutely essential equipment needs might be limited to a commercial refrigeratorsrefrigerated prep tablesice machines and meat slicers.

Add strategic extras. The list of essential equipment should be your basis for purchasing. However, if you have extra room in the kitchen and enough extra capital, you can purchase extra pieces: for example, a commercial food processor or cheesemelter. While this equipment may not be a necessity, it can reduce the kitchen labor required to produce your menu, enhance the final taste or appearance of the food or make your kitchen more flexible in case you need to change your menu in the future.

Does slightly imperfect sound perfect to you? 
Shop Burkett’s Scratch and Dent Clearance section today!

Determining What Supplies You Need

Most commercial kitchens need basic kitchen utensils on hand, such as scoops, spoons and spatulas. Often, fledgling restaurant owners overlook purchasing these necessities until the last minute, so before opening, be sure to consider even the smallest things you will need.

Speed up your kitchen. Purchase handy food prep supplies, like vegetable cutters and slicers for high volume produce. Commercial kitchen tools like these can help increase your workers’ productivity.

Stock up for storage. The last thing you want to do is overlook your storage requirements. Every restaurant will need food storage and shelving to hold its supplies. Many full-service restaurants will also require food service carts to help move supplies from one area of the kitchen to another.

Do not overlook the tabletop. Every restaurant will need smallwares. Quick-service establishments will need disposable restaurant supplies, while full-service restaurants will need reusable dinnerware and drinkware. Most restaurants will also need other supplies for their tabletop, like condiment containerstabletop signs and food baskets.

Remember food safety supplies. Gloves, pot holdershairnets and thermometers are easy to overlook, but they include essential items that any commercial kitchen needs to meet strict health codes and keep workers and customers safe.

Finding the Right Equipment and Supplies

Every restaurant is different and therefore has different equipment requirements. Using a buying guide or speaking directly with an expert will empower you to make the best possible decisions when purchasing equipment.

Think about going green. Purchasing eco-friendly restaurant equipment and supplies is a good way to help the environment and attract customers at the same time. It will also help you save a significant amount of money on your utility bills.

Consider used or discounted equipment. On a tight budget? You may want to look into buying used equipment or equipment that is cosmetically damaged. Although there is some risk involved, for some restaurant operations, this is a viable option. Check out this blog post on the pros and cons of used restaurant equipment.

Finding a Good Dealer

You can often get a better deal if you choose one restaurant supply dealer and stick with it. Since you order all of your supplies from one business, you are likely to receive a discount. To find a dealer that is right for you, you must first consider your priorities. Usually, your priorities will include one or more of the following:

  • Price. While a local dealer may offer excellent pricing, usually the least expensive products can be found online. However, the cheapest online dealers usually offer low prices but lack the customer care services and expertise that can be found with higher-priced online or brick-and-mortar dealers.
  • Expertise. Speak directly with salespeople to determine their level of expertise. If the salespeople seem to be experts at making a sales pitch, rather than having knowledge about the actual products they are selling, it may be time to find another dealer.
  • Customer Service. When buying expensive equipment, any restaurant owner should make sure that their dealer offers superior customer service. Without good customer care, if you receive damaged equipment or your equipment does not live up to your expectations for any reason, you may be stuck with it.
  • Installation. One of the major advantages of buying from a local restaurant equipment dealer is that they will often provide you with equipment installation, for a fee. If you buy your equipment online or at an auction, you are less likely to find installation included in the package. However, some online dealers, such as www.Burkett.com, will help you find someone to install the equipment.

When looking for a good dealer, it is also important to look into the following:

  • Shipping costs
  • Return policies
  • Parts availability

Finding the right equipment and supplies at a good price from a reasonable dealer is a major aspect of opening a restaurant. If you do not have the right supplies from the right dealer, it will end up hurting your bottom line in the long run. Be sure to carefully consider your equipment and supply needs, as well as your choice of dealer, before you begin to purchase.

Top Commercial Ice Machines for Healthcare Facilities

In a healthcare facility, ice is used for specific tasks including post-operative use, dietary needs and treatment to reduce swelling and inflammation. For each of these tasks, ice needs to be readily available within an easy to use and easy to maintain unit. Let’s take a look at the best ice machines for healthcare facilities.

Residential Care, Hospitals and Doctor’s Offices: Countertop Nugget Ice Machine and Dispenser

For busy doctor’s offices or hallways within hospitals and residential care facilities, nothing beats the convenience of dependable countertop ice machines and dispensers. With this type of commercial ice machine within reach, medical staff can retrieve ice quickly and within close proximity to treatment areas.

Nugget ice is ideal for healthcare facilities as it is easy to chew, easy to mold and slow to melt, making it the best choice for dietary needs and ice packs. The dispenser mechanism speeds up the process for retrieving ice and minimizes the risk of cross-contamination. Ideally, healthcare facilities should look for countertop ice machine dispensers with touch-free controls. This type of control dispenses ice when a cup or other receptacle is sensed under the chute. Some dispensing ice machines are constructed with a built-in water dispenser as well.

Burkett Recommends: The Scotsman 260 Lb Air Cooled Nugget Style Wall Mount Ice Machine/Dispenser

Emergency Rooms and Laboratories: Undercounter Ice Machines

An Undercounter Ice Machine is a self-contained ice maker with an attached storage bin. This type of ice machine is designed to fit under countertop areas and provide quick access to ice without getting in the way of the fast-paced environment of an emergency room. Undercounter ice machines are also ideal for laboratories as they leave valuable countertop areas free for charts and documents.

Undercounter ice machines are available for every style of ice. However, flake, nugget and cube ice are most often used in ER’s and laboratory settings. Flake ice is perfect for sculpting into therapeutic ice molds, cube ice is very slow to melt and nugget ice offers a chewable texture for patients. When shopping for an undercounter ice machine, be sure to measure the total space available, which includes height, depth and width. Also, consider how the bin door opens.

Ice-O-Matic ICEU150HA Burkett Recommends: The Ice-O-Matic 185 Lb Self-Contained Half Cube Ice Machine

Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine: Flake Ice Machine and Bin Combination

Flake ice is perfect for filling or molding ice packs for therapeutic use. Shopping for a flake ice machine and a separate bin can be confusing and time-consuming. We suggest purchasing an ice machine and bin combination unit that is already matched up and ready to install. The full-size floor model combination units are perfect for physical therapy and sports medicine clinics as they provide a large volume of ice on a daily basis.

When shopping for a combination flake ice machine and storage bin unit, be sure to note the daily yield of ice produced as well as the bin’s total storage capacity.

Burkett Recommends: The Manitowoc 205 Lb Flake Ice Machine with Storage Bin

Find the right ice machine for your healthcare facility and keep your patients happy and healthy. With the right specifications in place, you can have a quiet, efficient and dependable ice machine for years to come.

Introducing SEAGATE Commercial Products


As one of the leading distributors of restaurant equipment and supplies, Burkett’s catalog includes more than 100 of the top brands in food service. We are proud to introduce our latest brand offering, which is a Burkett exclusive and available starting on July 1.

SEAGATE RefrigerationWith SEAGATE Commercial Products, you’ll get quality commercial kitchen equipment that is affordably priced and ready to go, right out of the box. Choose from pizza prep tables, sandwich prep tables, reach-in commercial refrigerators and freezers, restaurant ranges, and commercial fryers.

SEAGATE Commercial Products have been specifically designed for customers that are seeking quality workmanship at an affordable price point.

All SEAGATE products come pre-assembled and are ready to go right out of the box. What does that mean exactly? That means when you get your brand new SEAGATE reach-in refrigerator and open the doors you won’t find any casters or other parts inside to assemble. Everything comes already factory installed on the units. SEAGATE makes it simple.

SEAGATE CookingSEAGATE is redefining the standard for our industry and we couldn’t be more excited to offer it. That’s why you’ll enjoy free same-day shipping on all SEAGATE equipment. Equipment will be in stock and ready to ship July 1 from our warehouse in Perrysburg, OH. Your customers have come to rely on you for consistency and you’ve come to rely on your products for reliability and durability. With SEAGATE, you get a reliable and competitively priced piece of equipment that can handle the rigors of any commercial kitchen that can help you deliver the consistency your customers crave  When you can get value without compromising quality, it means a great deal.

SEAGATE restaurant equipment is available exclusively from Burkett Restaurant Equipment & Supplies and is available for sale now by phone, online, or in our showroom store. Free same day delivery starting on July 1. Check out the full SEAGATE lineup at www.burkett.com/brand/SEAGATE.

Toledo institution Tony Packo’s chooses Burkett for newest location

Tony Packo’s has been serving authentic Hungarian food in the Toledo, OH area since 1932. Tony Packo’s offers a delicious menu with everything from Sweet Hot Pickles to the signature Packo’s Chili Hot Dog. The restaurant has become world famous thanks to numerous references on television and the many celebrity signings of the “Packo’s Bun.”

There are some very unique restaurants in Toledo, OH that are must-try for anyone who visits the city. Tony Packo’s is among those places thanks to some amazing history.

For the opening of its 5th location at 5822 Alexis Road in Sylvania, OH, Tony Packo’s chose to work with the Business Development team at Burkett Restaurant Equipment & Supplies for a complete build from design all the way through to installation. Burkett and Packo’s employees and other Packo’s friends and family members, got to see the fruits of their labor during a soft opening on May 23. Check out the pictures below and if you’re ever in the area, be sure to stop by after their grand opening on May 27. Congratulations, Tony Packo’s! Toledo has always been our home and it was an honor to work on a project for one of the city’s great icons!

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Burkett Announces New Saturday Hours for Showroom Store

You, our customers, have spoken and we have listened.

That’s why, beginning this Saturday, May 5, we are opening our store earlier. The new Saturday hours for our Perrysburg, OH showroom and inside sales team will be from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Opening an hour earlier allows our customers greater flexibility to shop earlier so they can get what they need for the day and be back in their restaurants before the busy lunch rush.

As a thank you to our customers, and in celebration of these new hours of operation, the first 10 customers will receive a gift card to a major retailer or restaurant, with a qualified purchase.

Monday through Friday store hours remain the same, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the showroom, 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the phone and in live chat.

We look forward to seeing you inside our showroom store, online at www.burkett.com or by phone at 419-242-7377. New hours, same Burkett. Exceptional service. Every customer. Every time.

5 Reasons Why Ice-O-Matic’s Elevation Series Takes Ice Machines to the Next Level

Refreshingly simple innovation was needed in the ice machine category, enter the Elevation Series from Ice-O-Matic. The CIM models replace previous models that began with ICE. Ice-O-Matic believes in this evolution of the ice machine with Elevation, and here’s 5 reasons why:

Ice Machines Designed To Simplify Life

The new and groundbreaking Elevation Series from Ice-O-Matic is designed to simplify life. The cube ice machines are easy to clean, easy to service, simple to operate, and environmentally responsible without sacrificing productivity. The Elevation Series provides clean, dependable ice from an astonishingly user-friendly and energy-efficient machine.

Environment Stewardship, One Cube At A Time

The Elevation Series is an enhancement and re-commitment from Ice-O-Matic to be responsible environmental partners. Like you and your customers, everyone at Ice-O-Matic takes environmental stewardship seriously. In their Colorado factory, they recycle everything from oil to scrap metal to light bulbs. In the field, they have partnered with the American Forests and Global ReLeaf Initiative, which allows IOM to offset our carbon footprint by 40%. In Elevation Series ice machines, BPA-free plastics are used, parts are recyclable, and digital controls rigorously monitor energy use. The entire Elevation Series meets or exceeds 2018 Department of Energy regulations.

Dual Exhaust. Limitless Installations

Exclusive, groundbreaking technology offers a completely unique solution to the problem of hot-air discharge clearance: Dual Exhaust. Standard on every Elevation Series unit, it’s built to accommodate both top-air discharge and side-air discharge. Regardless of airflow requirements, the Elevation Series adapts to your needs and make sure you get the most from your space. Since every Elevation machine is designed to provide both side- and top-air discharge, there is no need to stock additional inventory.

Save Time, Money, and Calls to Your Technician

We all know what a headache servicing your ice machine can be. Whether it’s long wait times, expensive onsite calls from technicians, or difficulty finding experts in rural areas, a broken ice machine breaks the bank. That’s why Ice-O-Matic designed the new Elevation Series ice machines to be the easiest to service yet. The plug-and-play design requires minimal installation; plus, it makes servicing a breeze. In fact, the Elevation Series is so intuitive, the operator can often keep the machine operational without calling a service technician. Universal Smart Harness™ control board makes servicing machines elementary.

Ice is Food Too, That’s Why Sanitation Really Matters

Ice is food. Not only does the cleanliness of your machine impact the taste and smell of ice, but it also has serious consequences for the health and safety of your customers. An improperly maintained ice machine carries the risk of foodbourne illnesses. IOM recognizes how crucial it is to keep your machine sanitary, and your business safe, so it designed the Elevation Series to be easier to clean and stay cleaner longer. The seamless food zone is sealed from all mechanical hardware, meaning nothing contaminates the area where ice is produced. When it’s time to clean and sanitize your machine, the Food Zone is smooth and crevice-free for thorough, long-lasting sanitation. Plastic Food Zone eliminates hard-to-clean nooks and crannies, allowing for effortless operator wipe-down and easy, long-lasting sanitation. Smart LED light indicates when cleaning is required, and the unit features one-touch cleaning with sanitizing and de-liming. Features BPA-free snap-in/snap-out dishwasher-safe components.

Check out our full line of Ice-O-Matic products and take your ice machines to the next level with the Elevation Series from Ice-O-Matic at Burkett!

Burkett is now a proud sponsor of the U.S. Pizza Team

Burkett knows pizza like dough knows marinara, like cheese knows pepperoni, like, well, you get the idea, Burkett knows pizza really well.
We also know a winning team when we see one.
That’s why we are excited to announce that we are now sponsors of the U.S. Pizza Team.
You might ask yourself, wait, the United States has a pizza team?
The short answer is yes!
The long answer is that the U.S. Pizza Team was founded in 2000 with the goal of bringing competition and excitement to the pizza industry. Since its formation, the U.S. Pizza Team has participated in international events all over the globe, highlighted by the World Pizza Championship in Parma, Italy. Ranging from culinary masters to dough tossing phenoms, the Pizza Team renews the passion of those in the industry year after year.
“USPT brings together America’s best pizza professionals, who are awesome ambassadors of our great country and this great industry,” said Jameel Burkett, the company’s president. “We’re proud to partner with the U.S. Pizza Team and look forward to years of continued success.”
The team is captained by Michael LaMarca, owner of Master Pizza.
Members of the U.S. Pizza Team, as well as Burkett and thousands of others in the pizza industry will be part of the International Pizza Expo, March 19-22 in Las Vegas.
Check out the video below to see members of the USPT in action at the Mid-America Restaurant Expo earlier this year.

International Pizza Expo is the Largest Gathering of Pizza Professionals

The International Pizza Expo dubs itself The Largest Pizza Show in the World.

It’s the place to be for pizza professionals.

For good reason.

Now in its 34th year, the trade show features more than 7,000 attendees and 500 exhibitors.

On March 19-22, they’ll all descend on the Las Vegas Convention Center in Nevada. We are excited to announce that, for the first time, Burkett Restaurant Equipment & Supplies will be among the exhibitors.

At Burkett, we know pizza. From independent restaurants to regional and national chains, pizza is the No. 1 business type we serve. If you’re at the Expo, stop by Booth #2104 and we’ll tell you why. Or ask places like Marco’s Pizza, Pizza Fire, and Master Pizza, owned by U.S. Pizza Team Captain Michael LaMarca, and they too can tell you why they’ve chosen to make Burkett their one-stop shop for all their pizza equipment and supply needs.

With an estimated $43 billion in annual sales, it’s easy to see why the pizza restaurant industry is popular right now. With the help of our veteran team of business development experts, we can help you with everything from concept to build to completion and beyond.

We are looking forward to 90 keynote addresses to choose from, the seminars, and watching the International Pizza Challenge — with Pizza Maker of the Year finals — and the World Pizza Games.

This is our first time at the expo but from what we are told carbs and calories will not be counted.

We also look forward to reconnecting with old customers and meeting new ones. Schedule an appointment with us at the Expo via this link or call Burkett Business Development Manager Travis Lusky at 419-720-8194.

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