Product Spotlight

Hot Dog Steamers, Rollers, Broilers: Which is the Best?

Here’s to the hot dog; an American classic synonymous with baseball and summer. With opening week upon us, we’ve decided to take a closer look at the hot dog and the equipment necessary to serve the best sausage around.

Whether you’re a hot dog cart veteran or opening your first concession stand, it’s important to know the difference between hot dog steamers, rollers and broilers when you’re choosing your equipment.

Hot Dog Steamers are convenient because they are capable of cooking hot dogs and steaming buns simultaneously, producing juicy sausages and fluffy, melt-in-your-mouth buns. Steamers range in capacity from 130-230 hot dogs at a time. Most steamers are Stainless Steel and disassemble easily to make cleaning a snap.

Hot Dog Roller Grills are what you’ll typically see at sporting events, gas stations and convenience stores. They’re versatile – allowing you to cook hot dogs, brats, even taquitos – and popular (really, who doesn’t love grilled food?). Rollers spin the hot dogs for even cooking; producing a slightly blackened, crispy hot dog with the snap that New York City dogs are known for.

Hot Dog Broilers rely on the temperature of the interior compartment to cook your hot dogs as they rotate around the heat source. Broilers, also known as rotisseries, are available in cradle designs (something like a Ferris Wheel for your sausages) and spikes, where hot dogs are kept on individual spits as they cook. As an added bonus, broilers can cook over 50 hot dogs at once and generally include a bun warming compartment – helping you reduce cost and increase productivity.

Commercial Dishwasher Maintenance

It’s a Saturday night and your restaurant is full to capacity. Dishes of your perfectly executed creations are being delivered to eagerly awaiting customers. Wine glasses and mixed drinks are being enjoyed by all. Yep, it’s every restaurateurs dream until, UH-OH your Commercial Dishwasher decides to just stop working. That dream is now your worst nightmare come true.

So what can you do to prevent a Commercial Dishwasher breakdown? Like all of your commercial equipment, proper maintenance will improve its performance and extends the machines life expectancy. Keep in mind, a well-maintained Dishwasher will last up to 20 years. Below are several maintenance steps that you can take to care for your Commercial Dishwasher.

Read Your Owner’s Manual: Before you clean, maintain or service any equipment, always read the provided Owner’s Manual or look it up online.

Prescrapping Procedures: Even the best Commercial Dishwasher is not a food disposal. Make sure that your employees are thoroughly removing food debris before placing them in the Dishwasher. Failing to do so will clog the filter.

Clean the Filter: Check the filter regularly. If you see food particles and gunk on the filter, the flow of water will be blocked causing dishes to be poorly cleaned. A clogged filter will also prevent water from draining. To avoid these issues:

  1. Clean the filter every 20 cycles or more often if you are using the Dishwasher for heavy cleaning.
  2. Never beat the filter against anything to dislodge particles. Instead, remove the filters and clean them with a brush under running water or use a toothpick to clear out stuck food.
  3. After cleaning, make sure to re-install the filter (believe us- people forget to re-install more often than you think).

Thoroughly Clean Inside: This needs to be done daily.

  1. Turn off On-Off push button and the main water valve.
  2. Remove the overflow tube from the wash tank to empty the water. To do so, turn off the On-Off push button, and press Drain Pump push button until all the water has been completely emptied.
  3. Remove the spray arms loosening the fixing screws, and thoroughly clean the nozzles and cleaning and rinsing arms under running water.
  4. Reassemble all parts and refit the spray arms in their seats, fixing them with the relative screws.
  5. Clean the tank thoroughly. Do not use bleach or chlorine based detergents, or use metal brushes or corrosive products, which can damage the machine

Rinse-Aid: Just like with your dishwasher at home, Commercial Dishwashers require rinse-aid to prevent streaks and spots on your flatware and glasses. Insufficient rinse aid will also cause dishes and glasses to not dry completely. Check rinse-aid levels every morning. You can increase or decrease the amount of rinse-aid being released during each cycle by adjusting the screw on the dispenser.

Tank Water: To avoid poorly cleaned dishes, replace the tank water by refilling the tank at least every 20 wash cycles, or twice a day. Tank water left in the machine from the day before may also cause the machine to stop and draw water.

End of the Day Routine: At the end of the day, leave the dishwasher door open to allow the machine to air out.

Annual Routine: Have a qualified technician inspect the machine to clean the solenoid valve filter, remove scale from the heating elements, check the tightness of the seals,  check condition and/or wear of the components, and check operation of the dispensers.

Vitamix Mix’n Machine A Favorite for Frozen Treats

Everyone knows that nothing beats a Vitamix when creating smoothies, salsas, spreads, and, well, just about anything else!

Mix'n MachineBut did you know that Vitamix also carries Ice Cream Agitator machines called the Mix’n Machines. Perfect for mixing candy bits with ice cream, creamy milkshakes, and more, this product will perform perfectly every time!

The Mix’n Machine easily mixes candy, cookies, or fruit with ice cream or frozen yogurt for exciting, creative, and highly profitable mixed-in treats and shakes. Depending on your business needs, the Mix’n Machine can be placed on a counter or mounted to a wall.  The smart product design includes:

  • Brushless induction motor for durable and consistent speed regardless of blend thickness
  • Protective, removable splash guard for easy cleaning
  • Variety of efficient agitator options allows you to mix both hard and soft ice cream and yogurt

Vitamix also offers the Mix’n Machine Advance, the industry’s leading frozen treat mixer. It can incorporate candy, cookies, and other hard-to-mix ingredients into hard or soft serve ice cream or yogurt to easily expand your menu options. The Advance is the perfect option for high volume establishments. The smart product design on the Mix’n Machine includes:

  • 6 optimized programs that allows you to customize your dessert options while still delivering consistency from location to location
  • Easy to use pulse control to quickly refresh desserts
  • Automatic shut-off and end-of-cycle indicator light to improve ease-of-use and eliminate wasted ingredients
  • Cup activated lever with a smart delay for simple one-handed operation
  • Variety of agitator options

Vitamix engineers their products for outstanding durability and convenience, making it a favorite in the frozen treat market. Each machine includes a Mix’n Machine with 10 removable/reusable agitators. Like other Vitamix products, this machine comes with a standard 3-Year Limited Warranty on parts and labor on the full unit.

What Kind of Blender Does Starbucks Use?

Vitamix 36019Very often, we are asked by customers, “What kind of blender does Starbucks use? That’s the blender we want!”

For years, Starbucks used a Blendtec blender, but the coffee giant eventually switched over to Vitamix, which created a blender specifically for Starbucks’ needs. Today, you’ll see the 48-ounce Vitamix Blending Station Advance, better known as “The Quiet One,” in nearly every Starbucks you go to around the world.

The quietest machine on the market, it is the ultimate blender with unparalleled sound reduction, as well as exceptional beverage blending. These features improved speed of service with users rarely have to reblend a drink.

The Quiet One’s smart product design means that because of its advanced vibration dampening technology, this blender it is up to 18 decibels quieter than the competition. This is 4 times quieter than the competition and creates a much more enjoyable atmosphere for customers, whether waiting in line or enjoying coffee and company at a table. The magnetically designed floating sound enclosure is dramatically easier to clean and disassemble since there are no screws involved.

Like most Vitamix blenders, The Quiet One has variable speed control and automatic shut-off, providing the user flexibility in creating endless recipes. Designed specifically with coffeehouses and high-end bars in mind,  it features:

6 programmable buttons

34 optimized programs

Powerful 3-horsepower output motor

Air management design for reduced noise, improved reliability, and reduced down time.

The blending container is also uniquely designed for faster, smoother pouring and a long lasting blade life. What does this mean Vitamix customers, whether at Starbucks or anywhere else? Time and cost savings, along with improved customer experience. The container’s double-sealed bearing also provides improved wash-ability, extending life of the blade assembly. Also, superior keypad sealing and one piece circuit board provide improved reliability.

It was made for Starbucks but you can now bring it to your own coffeeshop, restaurant, bar, or even you home kitchen. Shop our complete selection of Vitamix blenders now and get free same-day shipping on all Vitamix blender, including the marvel of engineering you see in the video below.

Vitamix Blender Care Tips

Ensure your Vitamix Blender continues to perform for years to come by regularly checking on the functionality of the main components of your machine. Like with any blender, three parts of the Vitamix are most susceptible to going bad if not properly cared for.

  • Blade Agitator… Slowly rotate the blade assembly by hand to ensure it turns smoothly with some resistance. Replace the blade assembly if the following occur:
  1. Washer failure or oil leaking.
  2. Seal failure/visibile seal indents due to worn socket.
  3. Seal gone / visible ball bearings.
  4. Rounded teeth due to removing container while running.
  • Centering Pad… Check every 5 months to make sure that your pad is laying flat on the base. Replace the centering pad if the following occurs:
  1. Tearing at container posts due to banging on counter or improper cleaning of centering pad (caused by placing pad in dishwasher or using improper cleaning or sanitizing products).
  • Drive Socket… Check the condition of your drive socket every 3-4 months to ensure that the “teeth” are sharp. Replace drive socket if the following occurs: 
  1. Worn teeth due to removing container while running.
  2. Worn grooves due to placing container on motor base without centering pad or touching container while machine is running.
  3. Cracking at setscrew due to overtightened screw or a foreign object in the container.
  4. Drive socket or blade assembly needs to be replaced.

Just checking these three components on a regular bases and making sure to properly use your Vitamix Blender will extend its performance. If you need to replace any of these parts, please contact our Sales Consultants for assistance. 1-800-828-8564.

5 Tips for Properly Using a Vitamix Blender

When you spend good money for a reliable blender like a Vitamix Blender, taking special care of it will ensure that it lasts as long as possible.

  1. NEVER BANG THE CONTAINER… Do not bang the container against a surface as this will cause the sharp cracks in the bottom of the container to rip the container posts.
  2. TURN OFF THE MACHINE BEFORE REMOVING CONTAINER… Do not remove or place the container on the base while the machine is running. This will wear down the blade assembly and damage the drive socket.
  3. DO NOT SHAKE OR RATTLE MACHINE WHILE IN USE… We’ve all done it- shake the blender machine to make the contents blend smoother and faster. However, doing this is a big NO-NO! Doing so will damage the blade assembly and the ‘teeth’ on the drive socket.
  4. DO NOT PLACE FOREIGN ITEMS IN THE CONTAINER WHILE BLENDING… This can cause the blade to chip and lead to personal injury.
  5. NEVER OVERFILL THE CONTAINER… Overfilling sets the off the Thermal Protector and your machine will shut off. Turn the power OFF, take the container off of the base and wait for the motor to cool down. Your mixture may be too thick or you may process the ingredients too long at a LOW speed setting. If you detect a burning odor, add more liquid to your mixture or lessen the load. You should also check the condition of your container bearing assembly.

The Vita-Prep… This One is for Food!

With the ability to chop, grind, puree or blend dense ingredients at the exact speed, the Vita-Prep offers unparalleled commercial kitchen versatility. That’s right, the Vita-Prep’s 2 peak output HP motor allows you to whip up amazing guacamole, salsa, bisque’s and more with the simple flick of a button. Variable speed control also allows for flexibility and creativity while maintaining the integrity of your ingredients and a patented accelerator tool allows for easy control and processing of dense ingredients.

Vitamix also offers the Vita-Prep 3. From chopping delicate ingredients to blending tough purees this food preparation machine  is the only tool you’re kitchen will need to perfectly chop, grind and blend it all. The Vita-Prep 3 contains an advanced cooling fan for optimum reliability during peak hours of operation so that you do not burn out your motor.

The third food preparation blender is the Vitamix XL Variable Speed. Maximize your kitchen’s possibilities with this heavy-duty unit, that will reduce prep-time, improve staff efficiency and allow you to expand your menu capabilities. Its large blending capacity, allows for up to 24 8 oz. servings in a

Vitamix XL Variable Speed

Warranties are always important selling points when investing in expensive commercial equipment. The Vita-Prep and XL comes with a standard three-year limited warranty on motor and base parts and a one-year limited warranty on parts and labor of the full unit.

Vita-Prep Features & Benefits

  • 2 HP Variable speed
  • 2.0 liter high-impact container
  • Polycarbonate container with wet blade
  • 54 page recipe and technique guide.

Vita-Prep 3 Features & Benefits

  • 3 HP Variable speed
  • (2.0 liter) high-impact container
  • Polycarbonate container w/ wet blade
  • 54 page recipe and technique guide
Vitamix XL Variable Speed Features & Benefits
  • 4.2 peak output HP.
  • Extra large 1.5 gal. container with lid
  • Extra blending capacity for both hot and cold ingredients.
  • Pulse function and variable speed control allows for flexibility and creativity.

When volume, consistency and quality are essential, Vita-Prep is perfect in even the busiest of kitchens.

Why Buy Vitamix?

Our Sales Consultants are often asked by customers “Why should I purchase a pricey Vitamix Blender as opposed to a less expensive one?”

Here are just a few of the top reasons why Vitamix’s value exceeds its initial expense.

  • Name Brand Recognition…  Making high-quality blenders for over 90 years, Vitamix  is a world leader in foodservice blending products. Their machine can be found in 90% of coffee shops and 87% of smoothie shops.
  • Lowest Total Cost of Ownership…  While more expensive to purchase than other blenders, Vitamix has the lowest total cost of ownership. Their products are built to outperform and outlast any other blender on the market. With proper maintenance, couplings, blades, the motor and other parts have a longer life expectancy and are also less expensive to repair.
  • Quality of Blend… Unlike other blenders, Vitamix’s specifically designed ice blades, the container design, and motor horsepower offers a thorough blend the first time every time.
  • Not Just a Drink Blender… While known for their beverage blenders, the Vita-Prep can handle thick, tough food ingredients,

    Vita-Prep 64oz Food Blender

    producing a quality blend each time. With a variable speed for perfect purèes, savory soups and delicious frozen treats. The Vita-Prep 3 is a must in kitchens where volume and quality are key ingredients to a successful back-of-the-house.

  • Vitamix 48oz Blending Station

    Noise Management… Load blenders can be a turn off for many customers. “The Quiet One” by Vitamix is the quietest blender on the market and used at international coffee shops like Starbucks. Other Vitamix Blenders come with a noise reducing cover for improved customer experience.

  • Custom Programmability and Support… Nothing is worse for a customer than when they go back to a restaurant for their favorite drink only to have the consistency far different than the last time they had it. With a Vitamix, you’ll have consistent drinks even if you have more than one location.
  • Outstanding Warranty… Vitamix offers a 3 years parts and 1 year labor warranty on all commercial blenders, that does NOT include cycle count.

So if you are looking for a high quality commercial blender with exceptional customer support and warranty program, in our educated opinion, Vitamix is a high contender.

What’s a Vitamix Blender?

We might think that Vitamix Blenders are the coolest kitchen gadget to grace this fine Earth, but surprisingly not everyone knows what a Vitamix Blender is. So here’s a little history and information to familiarize you with Vitamix.

Vitamix 5028 BarBoss Professional Bar Blender

Vitamix Mix’n Machine

In 1937 W.G. “Papa” Barnard developed the first Vitamix Blender. Twelve years later Papa Barnard took his invention to a TV studio to create the first infomercial. The commercial ran for several years which helped make Vitamix a household name. The company’s main goal continues to be giving people a machine that does more than just blend. Today, the company makes 3 different types of blenders to appeal to the wide variety of businesses- a Beverage/Bar Blender, a Food Preparation Blender and Mix’n Frozen Treat Machine. Each machine also comes with different options and there is a commercial as well as residential line.

Although considered a high end product, Vitamix is definitely an amazing blending machine and worth the investment.

How to Start a Home Bakery Business

You  have grandma’s best dessert recipes. You’ve spent the last decade making cakes, cupcakes, cookies, and other treats for every school and church function. Your baked goods are always the first to sell out and everyone tells you “Wow! That’s delicious! You should really sell these!” You smile and thank them but are not sure how to set up a store front bakery. Well it’s time to take that plunge!

Below are several steps that will help you start your own Home Bakery Business.

  1. What’s in a Name… EVERYTHING! Come up with a unique business name.
    • Make sure that it is unique and that a website URL is available for it. The last thing you want is to come up with a great name, only to realize it’s so common that it will be difficult to create a website for it with a unique URL.
  2. Paperwork Time…Visit your city’s licensing bureau to get all the paperwork in order.
    • You’ll also need to set up an inspection by the Health Department to certify that your home bakery is legal.
    • Insurance will also be needed to protect you and your business in the event that a customer sues you. (Hopefully this never happens, but well you never know these days!)
  3. And You’ll be Serving…Create your scrumptious menu.
    • Will you be specializing in only cupcakes or cookies or will you offer various desserts? What flavors or designs will you have? Or perhaps you’ll allow customers to create their own flavors and custom designs.
    • Regardless of what you decide, knowing what goods you’ll be creating will help you purchase the correct equipment and supplies.
  4. Making a Profit…After setting up your menu, determine your prices and make sure that you can turn a profit after paying for supplies and other expenses such as insurance, advertising, and delivery expenses.
    • We highly recommend that you shop around for the best prices for your flour, eggs, milk, and other common staples. Having a fixed cost on these will help you better gauge where you should set your prices.
    • Check out your competition and make sure your prices are aligned especially if you’re offering similar products.
  5. Supplying Your KitchenCall or visit a restaurant equipment distributor that has knowledgeable consultants who can assist you in purchasing the right equipment and supplies.
    • Since you’re working from home and won’t have a storefront to stock, you are not going to need all the heavy equipment that a traditional bakery would need.
    • Make sure to get plenty of extra spatulas, mixing bowls, and baking pans.
  6. YooHoo! Anyone Out There…Since you won’t have a storefront for people to see, how do you plan on reaching new customers?
    • Create a website, a Facebook Page, and Twitter account for starters. Take lots of pictures and post them for the world to see.
    • Let all your friends and family know what you’re up to and have them help you spread the word.
    • Another great idea is to sponsor a donation event in your community. A couple dozen donated cupcakes will go a long way to spreading your company’s name and delicious food to your area.
  7. Organization is the Key to Success… Keep good records of your expenses, your sales and of course your customers. A few extra steps will make your life a whole lot easier later.

Did you start your business in your kitchen? Tell us about your experience below!

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