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Burkett is Moving!

Attention Burkett Customers! We have a lot of exciting things going on within our company, and we’re finally ready to start sharing the news with you: WE ARE MOVING!

Construction

We are finishing construction now and can’t wait to invite you in to our new building.

Yes, we have moved our entire operation from our beloved location in Toledo to a fresh, newly updated facility in Perrysburg.  Our new facility is almost 100 years younger, with freshly renovated offices, new equipment refurbishing facilities, and a brand new showroom.  Although we loved the home we fostered on Council St, it was time for a change.  And with change comes opportunity, specifically the opportunity to expand as a business and serve our customers better.

Warehouse

Our custom photo studio is designed to give you the best possible view of our used products.

Equipment Refurbishing

Our brand new service department is designed to clean, repair and maintain our industry leading used equipment.

We’ve upgraded to a newly designed showroom with our customers in mind.  Now you can view our new and used equipment in one area for an easier shopping experience.  In addition to increased showroom space, the building is built to handle high volume shipping with more docks for faster shipping.  This new location is close to several major freeways, making it more accessible for incoming and outgoing deliveries.

Showroom

Our newly built restaurant equipment and supply showroom is being designed with the restauranteur and the serious home cook in mind.

Although we are eager to start business in our new space, it is hard to say goodbye to our Council St residence. Burkett Restaurant Equipment has spent 29 years in the downtown area, it’s a part of our history that we don’t take for granted. During that time, we fostered valuable relationships with neighboring businesses and loved being a part of that local community. The area served us well, but our growing business needed room to expand. Thank you for allowing us to serve you from our Council Street Showroom. We look forward to being an even stronger partner at our new and improved Perrysburg location.

Our new showroom will be open starting April 11th, 2016 at 28740 Glenwood Rd. Perrysburg, OH 43551. Hope to see you there soon!

Host a Wine Tasting on Valentine’s Day

cheesy_wineValentine’s Day is a busy night for most restaurants and bars. If you’re looking for a way to move beyond the traditional dinner and heart-shaped tasty cake, intoxicate your guests with love and wine. Okay, don’t really intoxicate them with wine…but go forth with the love part. Organizing a wine tasting in your restaurant takes some time to plan, but a successful event can bring in continued business long afterwards. You can host a wine tasting any time during the year, but a Valentine’s Day wine tasting sets a great atmosphere of romance and fun, a recipe for success.

In my opinion, the best days to organize a wine tasting are Friday and Saturday when people can relax and not have to worry about going to work tomorrow morning. This makes 2014 your year since February 14th falls on a Friday!

When you decide to host a wine tasting, you should start by thinking about your typical guests’ drinking habits. Most people drink more when they eat a meal, so you could start after lunch or around dinner time. For Valentine’s Day in particular, I suggest an evening event scheduled with dinner reservations. Print off formal invitations, or market the event on your social media networks to get the word out. You can also hire a Sommelier or work in tandem with your wine distributor if you prefer to have an expert on hand to answer any guest questions.

Keep in mind that the tasting area will likely be crowded so make it practical. Avoid overly perfumed flowers and candles that could mix with the smell of the wine. A nice arrangement of glasses and plated grapes and assorted cheeses are enough.  Don’t forget to stock up on wine glasses. Nothing will ruin a restaurant wine tasting faster than lack of wine glasses. So, if you are serving six wines, that is six glasses per guest. If you have 50 guests, you will need 300 wine glasses for the evening. You may need to buy an extra case or two of glasses.

Finally, create a little ambiance for the evening: have music playing softly in the background, cover the tables with crisp linens, and display cards with the nights wine list. Ready to start planning? Check out Burkett’s wine accessories here. Happy Valentine’s Day!

New Products from the Brands you Love!

Whoa! We hope you like selection because Burkett is on a mission to be your one stop shop for all of your restaurant equipment and supplies needs. We are working hard behind the scenes to get the latest and greatest products up on our website. The result? A ton of new stuff! You will be shopping from dusk ’till dawn when you see what we have added. Take a look at this list of new products from the brands you love:

  1. Ice-O-Matic Items
  2. New InSinkErator Products
  3. Almost 90 new Advance Tabco Products including: Hand Sinks, Drop-in Sinks, Wall Mounted Shelves, Stainless-Steel Work Tables, and Enclosed Base Work Tables
  4. New Bakers Pride Inventory
  5. Blodgett Items
  6. Pitco Items
  7. New T&S Brass Inventory

Log on to www.Burkett.com today and shop our newest arrivals!

How to Clean and Maintain your Commercial Ice Cream Machine

There are two things I love: England and ice cream. They fairly go hand in hand considering former British Prime Minister, Margret Thatcher, helped create soft serve ice cream during her time as a food scientist.  I like my ice cream smooth and creamy, no hard frozen chunks of toppings for me to crack a tooth on. Enter the underdog of summer treats – soft serve ice cream.

I know most people prefer hand-dipped ice cream because it offers a larger selection of flavors. However, I’ll argue that when done right, a cone filled with sweet creamy vanilla beats any fancy flavor you can think of. Plus, I think you get more ice cream with soft serve.

Enough about me; how do you guarantee you’re doing the soft serve thing right? Regular cleaning and maintenance of your commercial ice cream machines, that’s how!  Regular cleaning and sanitization of ice cream machines helps ensure food safety. One drop of that heavenly mix will create a haven for bacterial growth. Before you start, research local health codes for cleaning commercial ice cream machines. Most will require a daily or twice weekly disassemble and clean. After that, follow these four simple steps for cleaning and maintaining your machine. The result? Sweet, smooth ice cream worth of The Iron Lady.

Completely empty the machine: Start by emptying any unused mix from the freezing chamber. Wipe out any impacted ice cream that has hardened out of reach of the scraping blades. Ensure that there is a clear pathway for water to pass through the machine completely.  Flush it a few times until the water comes out clear.

Take it apart: Get out your owner’s manual and locate all of the parts that are suggested for removal when cleaning. Completely disassemble the ice cream maker, removing any detachable parts that come in contact with the ice cream. Commercial machines have dispensing handles and tips that come in contact with fingers and ice cream regularly. These tips and handles should also be disassembled and removed during every cleaning session.

Soak + Scrub: Pour a mixture of hot soapy water into the freezing chamber of your machine. Many ice cream makers now come with a wash cycle setting; run this if your ice cream maker includes this feature. If it does not, a kitchen scrub brush with a handle is recommended to clean all of the inner moving parts. Once finished, drain your machine of all soapy water and flush it again with clean hot water to remove all traces of soap. Next, place all of the parts into a tub of more hot soapy water. Add a tablespoon or so of bleach to kill any remaining bacteria and allow the parts to soak for 30 minutes, or until the water has cooled. Rinse all parts in clean water and allow them to dry on clean towels.

Reassemble : Finally, wipe down your machine and parts with a clean, dry towel and reassemble your machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Additional best practices for ice cream machine maintenance include keeping the condenser coil clean. If the coil has a buildup of grease and dirt, you’ll need to use a degreaser and then wash the coil off. When you wash the coils of your commercial ice cream machine, be sure to cover the condenser fan motor and any other electrical components that might get sprayed. Note if the coil has a build-up of dry dust and lint. The best way to clean that is to wash it thoroughly with water. Also, open the side and back panels of your commercial ice cream machine and inspect the inside for debris.

Finally, check the drive belts and make sure they’re in good condition and adjusted to the correct tension, and make sure the drive pulleys are aligned correctly. You might want to keep spare tune up parts like o rings, seals, gaskets, food-safe lubricant, sleeves, bushings, and beater blades. These things will wear out and will need to be changed every three to six months.

Cinco de Mayo in Style with Burkett Restaurant Equipment!

Dust off your margarita pitcher; it’s almost time for Cinco de Mayo!

I don’t know a single person that doesn’t enjoy Mexican food and drinks or indulging on the 5th of May, so I’ve compiled a short list of tips to help you celebrate Cinco de Mayo in Burkett Restaurant Equipment style.

Is doesn’t take much to set the mood for a fiesta. Hang up your favorite papel picado and get out your Latin inspired table top items for instant ambiance.

 

What better way to get in the Cinco de Mayo mood than with a pitcher of margaritas? Really, there isn’t a better way. Here’s my favorite recipe:

1 can frozen limeade from concentrate

6 oz your favorite tequila

2 oz triple sec

Throw all ingredients in a blender with crushed ice and blend away to bliss. Don’t forget the margarita rimmer for salt and sugar.

 

 

Keep it authentic by serving your salsa, queso and guacamole in molcajete bowls or melamine salsa dishes.

 

Surely no Cinco de Mayo celebration can be considered complete without fajitas. Keep your tortillas warm and tasting great in tortilla servers.

 

Finally, set out your Mexican wedding cookies (seriously, they are SO good), turn on the salsa music and shake your maracas into the night, it’s Cinco de Mayo people!

Looking for more inspiration? Check out Burkett Restaurant Equipment’s Pinterest page.

Buyers Guide: Choosing the Best Commercial Slicer

Deciding which food slicer to purchase for your food service establishment can be confusing. Let Burkett Restaurant Equipment help make it a little easier. Before you shop, do your homework. Commercial slicers make the task of slicing meat, cheese, and other foods fast and easy. They’re typically electric and are used to slice large quantities of food; so knowing what kind of food you plan to slice is just as important as knowing how much food you plan to slice.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Horsepower
    A slicer’s horsepower is a good indicator of what foods it can handle and how much power is transferred to the blade. If you need to slice large volumes and require consistent thickness, you will want to look for an electric slicer with a lot of horsepower, allowing you to slice large amounts of meat, cheese, or other foods at one time. While a deli slicer is often equipped with a large blade and can slice limited amounts of cheese, they are not suitable for slicing frozen items. Look for heavy-duty deli slicers that are capable of slicing any amount of meat, cheese or frozen products over a longer duration.
  • Dimensions
    Make sure you select a slicer with a blade that fits the product you’re slicing. The volume of food you’re slicing, as well as its size, is a key factor for choosing a slicer. Also, check the size of the carriage, the shelf that holds your meat/cheese in place, to ensure the slicer accommodates your products. Smaller, light-duty slicers equipped with 10-inch blades and are best suited establishments that anticipate using their slicers for only an hour a day. If you’re slicing higher volumes, you’ll require a slicer with a 12- to 14-inch blade.
  • Operation Automatic vs. Manual
    Most heavy-duty commercial slicers are equipped operate automatically, saving your staff from the pushing and pulling your food across the blade. As an added bonus, automatic slicers can be left unattended, allowing your employees to complete other tasks while the slicer works. Manual slicers are labor-intensive, and not recommended for high-volume restaurants and delis.

Ready to start shopping? Burkett Restaurant equipment offers slicers made by BerkelGlobe and others..

Four Hot Cocktail Trends for 2013

I found myself in a precarious position this weekend while celebrating a friend’s birthday. I was at a loss for what drink to order. I venture from the grape so infrequently that I spent a good five minutes staring blankly at the bartender and another 10 minutes scavenging for a drink menu and asking my friends what to order.

As an old friend pointed out to me, things have changed since I was a young lady. Kids these days are no longer tossing back Washington Apples and Lemon Drops. They’ve been replaced by flavored vodkas and…well, flavored vodkas. Never one to fall behind, I had to know, what’s on trend for 2013?

Craft Beers and Microbrews “Everybody is drinking Belgian Quads now. St. Bernardus ABT 12 is one of our tops sellers” said Haley Sabin of World of Beer, St. Mary’s. Inspired by the Trappist brewers of Belgium, a Quadrupel is a Belgian style ale with a bold flavor and a high ABV. “Don’t forget to serve it in a Trappist glass” adds Sabin. The beer is brewed in a monastery by monks. The required glass (which resembles a chalice) works well with the complex abbey ales.

Food Inspired Cocktails According to Chad Gensler, a local bartender in Toledo, food inspired cocktails are also on trend. “Shots and drinks that taste like different types of food seem to be a fan favorite” says Gensler. “Particularly the breakfast shot (Jamison, butterscotch schnapps and a chaser of orange juice), it tastes like pancakes.”

Rum Yep, it’s making a comeback. “RumChata has been a favorite with the ladies” adds Gensler. RumChata is a cream liqueur that is made from a blend of five-time distilled Caribbean rums with Wisconsin dairy cream and flavored with cinnamon, vanilla, and other flavors. “You can mix RumChata with Loopy vodka to make it taste like fruit loops. Or mix it with honey-infused whiskey to make a nice little Honey Nut Cheerios cocktail” said Mr. Gensler.

Rum will also be featured in the always-popular daiquiris this year. Of course, these aren’t the daiquiris of spring break’s past; gone are those frozen, overly-sweet concoctions.  In 2013 you’ll see more “dressed-down” daiquiris that often consist of no more than three ingredients. Stick around, I’ll be making some in a later blog post.

Shrubs Finally, drinking vinegars, or “shrubs” are having their moment in the sun. In the days before electricity, and refrigeration, fruits like strawberries and blackberries were mixed with sugar and vinegar as a way to preserve the fruit. The addition of alcohol to extend that preservation was a delicious surprise. Shrubs are on the rise again and they’re surprisingly versatile. For those teetotalers out there, alcohol isn’t required to make a shrub the perfect pick me up for a hot summer day. You’ll find a great tutorial for making shrubs at home here.

NAPICS 2013: A Recap

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This weekend Burkett Restaurant Equipment was at the North America Pizza & Ice Cream Show. Sunday and Monday, eight Burkett Restaurant Equipment representatives spent time walking the Columbus Convention Center, meeting vendors, watching demonstrations, testing the latest wares, and tasting some of the best pizza and ice cream around.

NAPICS 2013 had plenty to show off. Our staff appreciated the smaller vibe this year; it offered more time for in-depth conversations with vendors and visitors, and the chance to view all 175 of the exhibits more than once. NAPICS is a great show for both new and veteran pizzerias and ice cream shops. It’s a great way to learn about the industries’ newest POS systems, food and beverage, novelty items, and equipment suppliers. Check out some of our pictures from the weekend below:

 

Is Valentine’s Day a Friend or Foe?

A recent Zagat Valentine’s Day Survey found 43% of couples are planning on going out to dinner to celebrate, with an average expected bill of $142.11. Those are big figures. What’s bigger you ask? I’ll tell you; the number of blog posts and articles encouraging people to stay home for Valentine’s Day. So I ask, Valentine’s Day: friend or foe?

It’s a double-edge sword to be sure. That kind of business has to be a bright spot in the post-holiday spending hiatus most people seem to take. Then again, have you ever worked in a restaurant on Valentine’s Day?

Imagine half of the people in the city you live in going to dinner on one night. Now imagine that all of those people are going to want to have drinks, appetizers, savor their meals, and top it off with a decadent dessert. Instead of encouraging your staff to turn those tables, you’re balancing the fine line of giving each couple a great Valentine’s Day dining experience while being mindful of reservation times and waiting patrons.

As a former waitress, I know how daunting Valentine’s Day can be. The tips from that night are almost worth the hassle. Trying to give each couple a romantic, intimate night out while also being attentive and giving them great service…decidedly not worth that hassle. Now do it all over again, 20 more times (with a smile, of course).

With all that said, when the night is over it’s a great feeling. You’ve given people a special night that they will remember and share with their friends and family. You experienced firsthand the magic that happens behind the scenes in an efficient kitchen. You can cross it off your list, “I survived the Valentine’s Day rush!”

So you tell me, is all this hype about avoiding crowds and restaurants true for you? Or do you live for the nights when the stream of people filing into your restaurant seems non-stop? Better yet, if you wrote a Valentine’s Day survival guide, what tips would you give to fellow restaurant owners and employees?

What is NSF International?

ImageIf you have commercial grade kitchen equipment and supplies, you’ve probably seen the NSF logo on many of your products. But do you know what it means to have an NSF certified product? Not to be confused with the National Science Foundation, the foodservice related NSF does not stand for anything today, although in the past this acronym stood for the National Sanitation Foundation.

What is NSF International?  NSF International is a not-for-profit organization that inspects and tests a variety of products to ensure that they meet adequate standards of safety. “Manufacturers, regulators and consumers alike look to NSF International for the development of public health standards and certification that help protect the world’s food, water, health and consumer products.” (NSF, About Us)

What is NSF Certification? A Product that is certified or listed means that NSF has determined that a tested product meets NSF’s standards of safety. It is only after a product is certified, that a manufacturer is allowed to use the NSF Mark.

What does it mean to have an NSF product? Products stamped with an NSF logo have been put through rigorous testing to ensure that they are safe. These products are also guaranteed to be accepted by state and local regulatory agencies (i.e. health inspectors). Keep in mind also that NSF Certification is not a one-time activity. Tests are periodically performed on a product to ensure that it continues to meet the standards after its initial certification.

Are all commercial kitchen supplies NSF approved? No. Certain items must be certified to pass health inspections, such as Refrigerators, Ice Machines, and Freezers. Other items that need to be thoroughly sanitized such as Countertops, Prep Tables. Make sure to check with your insurance provider to see what products they require to be NSF certified, as they may not cover damages caused by a non-certified product.

What commercial products are NSF certified? Many of the items that you find in your restaurants kitchen are NSF certified. This list includes

  • Warewashing Equipment, Detergent and Chemical Feeders for Commercial Spray-Type Dishwashing Machines
  • Ice Machines,  Automatic Ice Making Equipment
  • Refrigerators, Storage Freezers, Dispensing Freezers
  • Cooking, Rethermalization and Powered Hot Food Holding and Transport Equipment, Mobile Food Carts
  • Water Heaters, Hot Water Supply Boilers, and Heat Recovery Equipment
  • Commercial Powered Food Preparation Equipment
  • Refuse Processors and Processing Systems
  • Manual Food and Beverage Dispensing Equipment, Commercial Bulk Milk Dispensing Equipment, Vending Machines For Food and Beverages
  • Thermoplastic Refuse Containers, Air Curtains for Entranceways in Food and Food Service Establishments
  • High Pressure Decorative Laminates for Surfacing Food Service Equipment
  • Dinnerware, Oven Mitts Used in Commercial Food Service
  • Food Equipment, Food Equipment Materials,  Supplemental Flooring, Special Purpose Food Equipment and Devices,
  • Disposable Food Contact Gloves
  • Code of Practice on Cleanability of Commercial Food Equipment Used in the Retail and Catering Sector

Does NSF offer classes to train my employees? Yes. NSF offers over 50 classes such as Food Equipment Sanitation Certification and Kitchen Products Certification. If you have over 6 people who need to be trained, NSF provides cost-effective onsite training. They also offer customized programs. For more information, contact NSF directly: training@nsf.org

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