Is Your Back-of-House Holiday Ready?

We recently wrote about preparing your front of house for the holidays. Now it’s time to ramp up the back of house for the upcoming season of eating, drinking, and merriment.

Larger food inventories, more new employees, and a faster holiday pace have the potential to whip up a perfect storm in any foodservice operation. We’re here to help you prevent that and keep things running smoothly to maximize profitability.

As you’re preparing for the most successful holiday season possible, here are a few questions to consider.

Can your kitchen staff quickly find ingredients in the walk-in?

If your team are taking extra time searching for ingredients or rearranging containers in your walk-in, Cambro has recently introduced a game-changing, yet simple solution.

The Camshelving Universal Storage Rack customizes your PremiumElements, or Basics Plus Camshelving to organize your storage space to keep up with the holiday pace and save precious time year-round. Add up to 4 panels per shelf (2 starter kits) to optimize your storage space while providing easy access to food pans, sheet pans, dough boxes, and food boxes without having to touch or move other containers on the shelf.

Each 2-panel set can hold four 2″ or 4″ deep full-size food pans with flat lids, two 3″ or 6″ deep half-size food boxes with lids, four 3″ deep half-size food boxes without lids, seven 18″ x 26″ sheet pans or trays, or four 3″ deep pizza dough boxes. Each panel has 7 rails spaced 2″ apart, and panels easily install and adjust to adapt to your menu’s changing needs.

Learn how to customize your own Camshelving Universal Storage Rack with the Camshelving Universal Storage Rack System Planning and Buying Guide.

Do you have proper containers to safely store additional food inventory?

Food is expensive. Plastic wraps, foils, and non-commercial grade containers can’t properly protect it. While disposable storage materials seem inexpensive on the front end, they can cost more in reduced shelf life and waste.

Seal Covers by Cambro are a proven solution for extending shelf life up to 3 days more than storing with plastic wrap or foil. 

With an inner seal that fits snugly against Cambro Camwear and Translucent Food PansSeal Covers keep out air, moisture, and other contaminants that break down food and cause premature spoilage. 

Flexible yet strong enough for stable stacking, these durable covers save space and protect against cross-contamination at the same time.

To ensure that food that goes in first gets used first, Dissolvable StoreSafe Labels by Cambro make it a lot easier to manage a FIFO inventory system to reduce waste while serving the freshest food possible.

StoreSafe labels completely dissolve in the dishwasher or after 30 seconds under running water, leaving no sticky residue behind.

For a reusable labeling system, Cambro StoreSafe Endure Food Identification Labels adhere to any polycarbonate food pan or container and stay securely affixed through 300 commercial dishwasher cycles. 

If you plan to re-use labeled containers for different contents, use with a grease pencil or wax marker so markings can be scrubbed off and changed. 

Are your knives sharp enough?

Dull knife blades cause fatigue, damage food, and slow prep. An easy to use and easy to clean electric sharpener can make all the difference.

The Edlund 401 Electric Knife Sharpener has a precision guidance system to maintain a perfect edge on knives from 3⁄16 of an inch to cleaver blades. 

An ABS plastic knife guide makes this tool easy to easy to use by allowing the knife heel to be inserted closer to the stone to maximize the sharpening area.

Does your culinary team have tools for holiday plating?

A whimsical brushstroke of vibrantly colored sauce or well-placed sprig of herbs enhances holiday presentation with seasonal colors and textures. Chefs take great pride in beautiful presentation, and guests love it, photograph it, and post it.

Brushes, wedges, tongs, and spoons by Mercer Culinary can be used separately or together for your culinary team to create an endless array of designs to impress your guests. With a variety of styles, sizes, and shapes—sold separately or in complete sets—these refined instruments are designed to help make each plate festive and memorable.

The Mercer 8-piece Plating Set comes with everything you need to create attractive presentations. 

The set comes with a heavy-duty roll for organized storage and hassle-free transport. 

The Mercer 6-piece Silicone Brush Set features color-coded brush heads and tips for easy identification of brush style. Handles are tapered and textured for comfort and smooth control. 

This 480°F heat-tolerant, dishwasher safe set also comes with a heavy-duty roll for easy storage and transport.

Does your kitchen have adequate hot holding capability?

Cooking and holding in advance of busy periods is an ideal way to maintain excellent service and turn tables, provided that holding equipment maintains proper temperature, texture, and flavor.

To help you support brisk holiday business while maintaining just-cooked quality for all your guests, the FWE Universal Heated Holding Cabinet model UHS-12 keeps food fresh and hot for hours. 

The patented Humi-Temp heat and humidity system gently circulates hot, moist air throughout the interior of the cabinet for consistent temperatures. 

This versatile cabinet holds 18″ x 26″ sheet pans or GN food pans on fully adjustable tray slides. Controls are on the front of the cabinet, so they’re easy to read and set.

Need supplemental holding fast? FWE’s Quick Ship Program offers over 20 models that ship within 24 hours of ordering. Click here for details or contact us for help.

For more specialized holding ideas, see Keep Food Hot Without Sacrificing Quality and Simple Fixes for Keeping Plated Food Hot.

Is your dishwasher’s rinse water hot enough?

It’s forecast to be a cold winter, and it’s officially cold, flu, and virus season. To effectively clean and destroy bacteria and harmful microorganisms, commercial dishwasher rinse water temperature needs to be 180°F, according to the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF).

If your low or high-temp dishwasher’s final rinse water is below 180°F but all else is working fine, a booster water heater can be a cost-effective way to ensure your wares are fully sanitized and prevent any unpleasant surprises or downtime during an already stressful season.

Hatco dishwasher water heater boosters connect with any low or high-temp dishwasher to elevate the temperature of the final rinse water to 180°F. 

Offered in 18 different sizes, Hatco boosters supply the volume of hot water needed for most makes, models, and sizes of dish machine. 

They also provide the valuable, time-saving benefits of effective removal of food residue and rapid self-drying for sparkling clean and spotless wares. 

We wish you a smooth and successful holiday season, and we’re here to help you get equipped back-of-house, front-of-house, and for catering and delivery. 

Contact us any time!