SugarCreek: Brandworthy Food Solutions

When It Comes to Sous Vide, Accept No Substitute

Posted by Alan Riney

Oct 28, 2016 11:30:00 AM

The complicated inverse relationship between time and flavor in quick service has spurred a number of kitchen innovations — like the conveyor-belt oven or new freezing techniques — that have been perfected over the years. With an audience of hungry customers who are low on time, but still toting high expectations, prep staff is having to work harder than ever to make their QSR chains stand out today.

Like most procurement and counter-delivered solutions in the fast food industry, for every true innovation, there's a host of pretenders to the throne, particularly when new and exciting trends emerge. Sous vide is one of those breakout game-changers, but restaurant managers must be wary. If you’re not getting the real deal, you risk falling short on both sides of the counter.

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Topics: Food Service, Supply Chain, QSR

2 Great Ways to Bring Your Restaurant Operations Up to Speed

Posted by Frank Barcelona

Oct 28, 2016 11:30:00 AM

In fast food restaurant operations, speed is everything. Customers make nearly instantaneous decisions — a long line at the drive-thru or walk-up window can mean the difference between a hungry customer pulling in or driving on to a competitor.

Menu items can’t take a lot of assembly time. Cook-to-order times can’t be very long. Asking customers to pull ahead and wait for their order to be brought out to them doesn’t work well — running orders slows down drive-thru times, and longer waits discourage repeat business. At the same time, modern consumers want fresh food prepared with premium ingredients. They want to be able to customize their orders. And they want their food at an affordable price.

So how can your QSR company stay ahead? How can it meet so many seemingly contradictory consumer demands? How can it be all things to all customers?

Let’s look at 2 strategies your restaurant could employ to speed up service, while meeting diners’ demands for fresh and inexpensive fare.

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Topics: Food Service, Innovation, Technology

Overcoming the Challenge of Managing Untested Kitchen Staff

Posted by Craig Fissel

Oct 24, 2016 11:30:00 AM

The path from your ingredient supply chain to your customer's plate is a winding one, with plenty of obstacles to overcome along the way. Balancing flavor profiles, designing an appealing menu, keeping both raw ingredients and finished dishes at the optimal temperatures — all that translates to a lot on your plate. If your kitchen is a well-oiled machine, your staff is the fuel that keeps it running, and many managers are so caught up with keeping issues like these at bay that they neglect the performance of that fuel. From sanitary best practices to sous vide, your employees should be able to handle it all without breaking a sweat, but what happens if untested staff is your only resource? There are three guidelines you'll need to incorporate into your operational approach.

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Topics: Food Safety, Food Service

2 Restaurant Operations Objectives You Should Be Focusing On

Posted by Olga Bitsakis

Oct 21, 2016 11:30:00 AM

The very heart of a restaurant, regardless of market segment, comes down to two things: maintaining momentum and pleasing customers. Restaurant operations staff should consider these the primary goals at every single level of planning and implementation. Essentially, if it doesn't keep the restaurant moving forward or make customers happy, or if it does one at the detriment of the other, it should read as a signal that it’s time to stop, assess and fix. If moves that don't serve these goals are pushed through anyway, the negative impact on your success and restaurant safety procedure adoption isn't far behind.

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Topics: Food Safety, Food Service

New Protein Choices Complicate Food Handling Practices

Posted by Jim Coughlin

Oct 17, 2016 11:30:00 AM

As customer demands for menu complexity continue to grow, the restaurant industry is struggling to implement store-level safety and handling procedures at the same speed. While the presence of meat on a fast casual or fast food menu was once the sole responsibility of the freezer and deep fryer, new ingredient options — including fresh, organic and local protein choices — have necessitated a crash course in potential food problems ranging from the supply chain to the prep counter. While an abundance of caution can needlessly drive up costs in many aspects of menu-planning, when it comes to protein sourcing and handling, it's an investment that definitely pays off.

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Topics: Food Safety, Food Service

Streamline Kitchen Operations With Sous Vide and Other New Technology

Posted by Jami Edgington

Oct 14, 2016 11:30:00 AM

The equipment you buy, the ingredients you source and even the energy your kitchen consumes all have an impact on both your bottom line and the efficiency of your operation. You can streamline your kitchen operations in a variety of ways, from making the most of the latest in appliance technology and ensuring that your pieces “talk” with each other and share data to eliminating complexity in your menu items — without sacrificing customer experience or end quality.

Some of the latest innovations in technology can be tailored to seamlessly integrate into a QSR or casual dining kitchen, while others are specifically designed with the industry in mind.

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Topics: Sous Vide, Food Service, QSR

3 Kitchen Management Practices You Can Ditch

Posted by Chris Dixon

Oct 10, 2016 11:30:00 AM

Some of the biggest time and money wasters for QSR managers actually seem pretty benign, but paying attention to training, targeting food safety and getting a handle on your purchasing procedures can help you run your location as efficiently as possible.

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Topics: Food Service, QSR

Sous Vide Can Be Your Secret Weapon in the Fast Food Breakfast Wars

Posted by Steve Shutte

Oct 7, 2016 11:30:00 AM

Want to serve up perfectly prepared, slow-cooked brisket sandwiches or meaty, flavorful breakfast tacos to your customers during the morning rush? The tenderness and flavor that come from hours of slow cooking may sound like a pipe dream, but Ready-to-Eat (RTE) sous vide proteins can give you an edge when it comes to breakfast. With more fast food locations than ever catching on to the breakfast trend — and the most significant (and sometimes only) area of growth coming in the morning hours — offering quality proteins in the morning can give your brand a much-needed edge.

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Topics: Sous Vide, Food Service, QSR, Breakfast

Why Sous Vide Proteins Are the Best Choice for the Fast Food Industry

Posted by Alan Riney

Oct 3, 2016 11:30:00 AM

French is not normally a language that enters into the QSR menu conception and delivery process — unless, of course, you happen to be stopping by a location in Canada or France. Often associated with fine dining, and the high prep costs that come with it, protein preparations like sous vide are an unlikely source of inspiration for an industry bent on speed and consistency.

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Topics: Sous Vide, Food Service, QSR

4 Things Every Quick Service Restaurants Should Look for in a Breakfast Meat Supplier

Posted by Olga Bitsakis

Sep 30, 2016 11:30:00 AM

Looking to take advantage of the hot quick service breakfast market? You need a reliable vendor to supply your fast food restaurant with the breakfast meat it needs. But what should a QSR supply chain manager or chef look for in a breakfast meat supplier? Are there common characteristics that you could use to narrow the field and find the right vendor partner?

Today, let’s examine 4 things quick service restaurants should require of a breakfast meat supplier —  before they sign a vending contract.

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Topics: Food Service, Supply Chain, QSR, Breakfast