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Red Moon Buyers Guide – Microwave Ovens

By | Appliances, Buyers Guides

Microwave Ovens – All you need to know

Microwave ovens are a hugely important part of every professional kitchen. As a standard microwave-only oven they can perform essential functions such as safely re-heating frozen or chilled food, which is at the heart of many menus in informal dining restaurants and pubs or in room-service for hotels.

Manufacturers group commercial microwaves into four power bands.

Light Duty

  • The oven will have a power ranging between 900 watts and 1100 watts. This is suitable for use where demands are light, such as a café, satellite kitchen or petrol filling station.

Medium Duty

  • A power rating of 1100 to 1500 watts, proportionately more robustly built than a light-duty oven and suitable for restaurants where the microwave is only in occasional use, busy cafes, pubs or leisure centres.

Heavy Duty

  • Powered from 1500 to 1900 watts and the most popular power range used in catering. Suitable for busy pubs, hotels, busy restaurants or staff catering. Built to withstand hard and heavy use.

Extra Heavy Duty

  • These are usually where large quantities of food are needed to be reheated quickly rather than just individual portions. They can take up to a full gastronorm tray. While all other power bands are connected to a 13amp socket, this very heavy duty oven will need hard wiring into the mains.While the general rule is the high the wattage the faster the food will be heated, much beyond 2000 watts and food risks being burned on the outside before it is heated on the inside.

Where they get much more versatile in when they become a combination microwave oven. The combination is the addition of convection hot air and a grill. This transforms a simple re-heating cabinet into a multi-function cooking oven. Jacket potatoes can be softened then crisped, pastry dishes can be reheated and crisped, in fact almost all of the functions of a standard oven can be performed in the combination microwave oven. The main limitation is of load capacity and the absence of steam in a standard-size microwave oven. Although it is possible to buy a combi-oven which incorporates microwave energy.

A general rule of thumb is that microwave only is for re-heating, combination microwave ovens are for reheating and primary cooking.

There is a minority view among caterers that all microwave ovens are the same, the only difference between commercial ovens and domestic ovens being the power and price. This is completely untrue. There are clear cooking, construction and food safety differences between microwave ovens designed for domestic use and those designed for the professional kitchen.

Domestic microwave ovens are often low power, which means they will take far longer to reheat, defrost or cook food than a commercial oven. While domestic ovens have a power rating from 600 watts to 900 watts, commercial microwave ovens can be up to 2000 watts. The term watts is a unit of measurement for the heating power of a microwave oven.

The device which produces the energy waves which heat food in a microwave oven is called a magnetron. Domestic microwave ovens usually just have a single magnetron while commercial microwave ovens usually have two magnetrons which are built to a higher specification, making them faster, more efficient and longer lasting.

A commercial build microwave oven is built to withstand hard use every day, while a domestic is designed to be used just a couple of times a day, which repeated use of a domestic microwave oven can lead to a loss of power with the associated food safety risks.

Microwave energy needs to be evenly spread around the oven cavity to ensure that all parts of the food inside are safely heated. Where chilled or frozen food is not thoroughly heated, harmful bacteria within the food is unlikely to be killed, risking food poisoning. Many domestic microwave ovens use simple turntables to try to distribute the microwave heat, while commercial microwave ovens have sophisticated heat mixing systems in the oven cavity.

The casing of most domestic microwave ovens is painted mild steel which will chip, corrode and cause food safety hazards. Most professional microwave oven have casings made with hard-wearing stainless steel which is easy to keep clean and will not corrode. Commercial microwave oven are likely to have far more sophisticated cooking programmes, often push-button pre-sets, so staff can reheat properly and easily every time. The oven cavity size on a commercial microwave is usually based around the gastronorm system, making it easier to accommodate industry standard sized food dishes.

Most commercial microwave ovens have a cavity space of ½ gastronorm, but they are also available in 2/3 gastronorm and full-size gastronorm.

This buyers guide will hopefully have helped make your decision on which is best for you, but if you need any further guidance please do not hesitate to call the Sales Team on 01254 824265.

Beating the January Slump

By | Buyers Guides

Empty Restaurant

 

Happy New Year from the team at Red Moon! Whilst the Christmas holiday period typically brings in a bumper turnover across many catering and hospitality businesses, we often hear that this busy period often declines massively across at the start of the new year, where many bars, pubs, restaurants and cafs see a decline in footfall and turnover.

Customers have often overspent and over indulged across December and this can often leave purse strings and waistlines pretty tight come the start of the new year. That doesnt mean a massive drop off is guaranteed though – with a bit of clever planning we can flip these concerns around and create some brilliant promotions to entice more people through the door. Here are some of our favourite ideas:

 

Focus On the Healthy Options

healthy food

With diets, gym rushes and dry January in full effect, highlight some of the healthier areas of your food or drinks menu, as well as add some January specials to really help your customers keep up with their new years resolutions.

Trending healthy food and drink ideas this year look like they could include:

 

Hawaiian Poke Bowls (Sushi ingredients in a bowl)

Vegetable breads

Fermented foods like kimchi (great for the gut)

Meat alternatives (think tofu, tempeh, and other meaty soy based ingredients)

 

Discounting

This one seems obvious, but its also one of the most effective and shouldnt be overlooked! One of the most commonly seen strategies across many bars and restaurants is the use of discount promotions. For restaurants, half price food is par for the course this year, with restaurants like Brasserie Blanc, Scene Dining, and Banyan all offering a massive 50% off. Other bar and pub chains such as Weatherspoons are also heavily promoting discounts with their Regular January Sale.

 

Extra tip! Make your promotion exclusively available when people sign up to your mailing list and promote to them later in the year.

 

Upselling

Once you’ve got extra footfall through the door, why not start upselling? Add additional extras onto any discount deals that you are running and maybe place some bigger, higher value portions on your menu for anyone thats done with all this healthy January nonsense!

 

Redesigning and Cosmetic Improvements

New Restaurant Design

A change of ambience and a fresh look for your establishment can really help create renewed interest in your brand and gives you a great opportunity to shout about your business changes. New seating, bar furniture, crockery, and cutlery can all help switch up the mood and influence more people to check out your new appearance. Stuck for ideas? Why not give Red Moon a call on 01254 824265 and see how we can help.

 

Additional Marketing Drive

Go in heavy on your marketing and make people know that you’re open and ready for business!

A combination of email and social advertising alongside traditional press and flyering could give your customers the reminder they need to pull up a pew. Combine this with some exclusive discounts and you’ve got a recipe for a great January.

 

Focus On Efficiency

Efficient Kitchen

You could start focusing on how you could get more out of your business processes. You could cut back on certain expenses or find alternate suppliers or increase the efficiency of your kitchen or bar and make sure your customers are served more quickly. Maybe you could upgrade your refrigeration capacity and save your staff from playing tetris with the fridge contents? Saved time means saved money!

 

Limited Time Events & Menus

burger

A winter themed event or menu could be just what you need to attract a bit of extra attention and pry customers away from their sofas. Do something a bit different to your usual fare as well as your competitors and really stand out from the crowd. You could introduce a healthy food or mocktail menu or you could go in completely the opposite direction and declare your venue a healthy January free zone! Maybe theres no point in having healthy new years resolutions if you’re only going to break them anyway?

We hope some of these tips can help point you in the right direction to making sure you and your business have a great January and an amazing year ahead! Remember to check out our massive range of bar, kitchen, caf and restaurant wares online, or give us a call if you’ve got any ideas or plans you’d like to discuss with us!

Red Moon Buyers Guide – Commercial Toasters

By | Appliances, Buyers Guides

Picking the Right Commercial Toaster

It does not matter what size your establishment is, whether you are a busy coffee shop or a large breakfast buffet, this guide will help you pick the perfect commercial toaster for you.

You need to ask yourself a number of questions so that you choose the right one for you; do you want a ‘Pop-Up’ Toaster, a Conveyor Toaster or a Sandwich Toaster?

Pop-Up Toaster

  • What do you want to toast? These are great for bread; check the thickness of your bread that you want to toast as there are different slot sizes.
  • How much do you want to toast? They vary from 60 to 200 slices per hour and also from 4 slots right through to 12 slots per toaster.
  • How much space will they take? The Pop-Up is perfect for where space is limited; they vary from 280 – 740mm wide to 210 – 340mm deep.
  • What electrical requirements do I need? Most use a 13 amp plug, but some of the larger ones will need hard-wiring so bear this in mind if you need to move the toaster around.

Conveyor Toaster

  • What do you want to toast? These will toast bread, muffins and buns.
  • How much do you want to toast? They vary from 360 to 1,000 slices per hour.
  • How much space will they take? These can vary from 370 – 410mm wide to 470 – 750mm deep.
  • What electrical requirements do I need? Most use 220-240V single phase electric.

Sandwich Toaster

  • What do you want to toast? These are usually multifunctional and will not only toast sandwiches in a cage but also bread, buns and teacakes, there are also some combi-toasters that have 2 slots for bread and another 2 slots for sandwiches/buns/teacakes, thereby saving space in having to purchase a sandwich toaster and a regular toaster.
  • How much do you want to toast? The average 4 slot sandwich toaster usually advertises about 80 rounds per hour.
  • How much space will they take? They are usually around 460-585mm wide to 210mm deep.
  • What electrical requirements do I need? Most use a 13 amp plug, but some of the larger ones will need hard-wiring so bear this in mind if you need to move the toaster around.

This buyers guide will hopefully have helped make your decision on which is best for you, but if you need any further guidance please do not hesitate to call the Sales Team on 01254 824265.

Buyers Guide to wine glasses

By | Buyers Guides

 

At Red Moon Catering Concepts we supply wine glasses in every conceivable shape and size, to the untrained buyer these are merely an extension of the table decoration. But did you know each glass was designed to match a specific wine. We’ve created a handy infographic to help pair the right wine with the right glass. You can find our full range of glassware here. To download a pdf copy to keep, simply click the image below. 

Buyers-Guide-Wine-glasses

What is a Gastronorm?

By | Appliances, Buyers Guides

A concept deriving from Switzerland in the 1900s, the gastronorm is a uniform system used to measure the maximum capacity of a given container. By using this system, chefs and other catering professionals are able to optimise the capacity and therefore the efficiency of the given working space/unit such as a commercial fridge or freezer of which they are working in/with.

A typical full-sized and standard gastronorm, 1/1, has the measurements: 530mm diameter by 325mm width. And all other sizes are either fractions or multiples of  the GN1/1 container. For example, GN1/2 would be half the size of width of the GN 1/1 resulting in the measurements: 265mm diameter by 325mm width. Alternatively, the GN2/1 would be twice as large with the measurements 530mm diameter by 650mm width and so on.  There’s also a GN2/4 which would be a ‘long-half’ sized container measuring 530mm x 162mm and GN2/8 which would be a ‘long-quarter’ sized container measuring at 325 x 132mm.

How to Chose the Right Gastronorm: Read More

Commercial Microwave Guide

By | Appliances, Buyers Guides

shutterstock_143662840Buffalo, Daewoo, Panasonic, Samsung and Sharp, all of which we supply, are some of the most renowned brands in the commercial microwave industry. And for good reason; they withstand constant, heavy duty use in the professional kitchen, performing with power and reliability each time. Whether cooking, defrosting or reheating, you’re sure to be satisfied with the results. Read More

Glasswashers – Looking After It

By | Appliances, Buyers Guides

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Glasswashers – Keep yours in tip top condition.

Glasswashers tend to be front-loading compact machines for small to moderate usage of glassware, often fitting under a counter or on a bench in a preparation area. Being compact leads to fast turnaround of soiled glasses, avoiding the need for heavy stocking levels. While they are often sited underneath the bar because of space restrictions, it is better to use the bar area for retailing rather than glasswashing. Read More

Commercial Refrigeration – Buying Guide

By | Buyers Guides, Refridgeration

Understanding Commercial Refrigeration

cc650A fridge is an insulated cabinet with an electric pump or a compressor which moves refrigerant liquid around the cooling bars. When the door is opened cold air is lost and is replaced with the warmer air of the kitchen, this triggers the pump to circulate the refrigerant liquid and cool down the refrigerator to the required temperature and keep the food safe. Read More

Commercial Outdoor Furniture – Strength And Style

By | Buyers Guides, Furniture

mz005Commercial patio furniture must withstand a large volume of traffic and exposure to the elements, while accommodating guests of varying age, height, weight and activity levels without collapsing, causing injury, or appearing worn but that is exactly what commercial outdoor furniture is designed to deliver.

Commercial furniture is designed to withstand just about anything you throw at it. Here are just a few of the features you’ll find in quality commercial outdoor furniture:

o Heavy-duty frames that won’t bend, bow or collapse
o Additional bracing to enhance frame strength
o Few or no moving parts prevents pinching or accidental folding
o No sharp edges, protruding bolts, or other hazardous hardware
o Powder-coated frames that inhibit rust, chipping or peeling
o Industrial-strength stain, UV and mildew resistant upholstery adds durability and retains colours Read More