Allergies: a restaurant’s worst nightmare. The last thing you want to happen at your restaurant is to accidentally serve a guest with a food that has either been contaminated with an allergen, or the ingredient has not been removed by the chefs. To prevent this, here are some ways that a commercial kitchen can prevent the spread of allergens and potentially save a life.

Identify Common Allergens

The first thing you’ll want to do is to go over your menu and identify the foods that contain common allergens. It is crucial that all team members who are present in the kitchen at all times are aware of these allergens so they can pay close attention to them and make sure they aren’t meant to be in any of the foods that they’re not supposed to be in. Some common allergies that you will find in most kitchens are:

  • Dairy Products
  • Peanuts
  • Soy
  • Wheat
  • Fish (especially shellfish like mussels and clams)

Avoid Cross Contamination

This is in FoodSafe 101. Never use the same surface when preparing different types of food. Not only is it unhealthy and unsanitary, but there is the risk of allergens crossing over into foods if the chefs are not careful. Cleanse and sanitize every workstation, cutting board, utensil, and any other used equipment before using it again for a different dish. This should be done anyways, regardless if the tool has come into contact with a common allergen as it practices safe food handling and drastically reduces, if not eliminates, the chance of harmful bacteria getting into the food.

Educate Staff

As mentioned above, it is imperative that every staff member who is present in the kitchen and employed by the restaurant is made aware of these safety concerns. Team meetings, helpful posters around the kitchen, colour-coded items, and many more techniques can be used to ensure a safe workspace and preventing an allergy emergency in the future. Those who work at the front of the house should also be aware of allergens so they are able to inform their guests of foods which may not be suitable for them.

Whatever method you happen to use to keep your restaurant safe, Babak Food Equipment is here to provide you with the tools that you need for a healthy kitchen. All of our products are of the highest quality and, when taken care of properly, will help drive your restaurant to success.

So, you want to open a restaurant? That’s great! With a solid business plan in place, you’re sure to succeed, but before opening up your doors to the public, it’s important to make sure that you have everything your kitchen needs in order for things to run as smoothly as possible. After all, your kitchen is the center of your business and missing a crucial piece of equipment could prove to be disastrous. Here’s a quick list of everything you need in order to run a successful restaurant.

1. Freezers And Refrigerators

You need somewhere to store all your food as you likely won’t run out of all of it within the first day. Even if you do, food cannot just sit out in the open while you wait for someone to place an order. Refrigerating items preserves the quality and freshness of the food, and keeps it within Food-Safe standards.

2. Food Preparation Counters

Stainless steel is your best option here when it comes to counters and prep tables! The material is sturdy and can withstand a lot of things that your kitchen will go through on a daily basis such as the cleaning materials used in most commercial kitchens.

For your cutting surfaces, choose wooden cutting boards. They may be more expensive and harder to clean than your traditional plastic ones, but can last longer and don’t have the risk of harbouring bacteria in the knife grooves.

3. Slicers

There are two main kinds of slicers and depending on the kind of restaurant you operate and your unique needs, you’ll have to choose between: manual and electric. If your need for slicing is low, choose manual as you won’t have to use it as often. If your restaurant experiences a high volume of customers or involves quite a lot of cutting of meats, cheeses, and other foods which require slicing, an electric slicer may be the best choice for you.

4. Mixers

Just like the slicer, you’ll want to pick a mixer that suits your restaurant’s needs. Restaurants that focus on pizzas, bagels, and other heavy dough objects will want to choose a spiral mixer. These mixers operate at fast speeds and are able to mix 50-600 pounds of dough at a time. This option is also good if your restaurant has a high volume of customers.

For lower mixing speeds and smaller quantities, there’s the planetary mixer. This mixer is the best choice for you if you need something a bit more versatile in your kitchen as it can mix anything from mashed potatoes to whipped cream. These mixers also come in a countertop version for those who need more floor space.

5. Ranges

Nearly all restaurants have one of these in their arsenal and come in a couple of different options as well: electric and gas.

If you need to change the temperature quickly, choose gas. Electric ranges have the same cooking capabilities, albeit not as timely as their gas counterparts, but are easier to clean and maintain.

6. Ovens

If you’ve bought a range for your kitchen, more than likely it came with an oven attached as well, but it’s important to know exactly what kind of oven it is as it may not benefit your business. Bakeries and other restaurants that focus heavily on baked goods may want to consider purchasing a range that has a convection oven setting. This setting circulates hot air around the food and is exceptionally useful for making pies, cookies, as well as toasting and roasting various savory items.

For foods such as cakes and breads, a regular oven will get the job done just fine.

7. Sinks

From being used for washing foods before prepping them or ending the day with washing dishes, a sink is absolutely essential for your restaurant business. Health officials from different places have different requirements on what kind of sink you need, so be sure to check before you make your purchase. Most restaurants will have a triple-sink wash station with a commercial dishwashing unit attached to the side.

Here at Babak Food Equipment, we can proudly say that we’re Vancouver’s #1 choice when it comes to kitchen equipment. If you need it, we have it. Our location in Vancouver has hundreds of products available to you to help your business run as smoothly as possible. Each month, we’ll be highlighting one of our items, giving you a little insight into how each one operates, and how it can benefit you.

This month, we’ll be talking about one of our new products: the MW7500 Aluminum Point of Sale (POS) machine.

For any business who has a location where customers can come in, browse, and potentially walk away with a product, they need a POS machine. For those who are not familiar, a point of sale machine is a business term for a cash register, but it also functions as much more than that. POS machines not only store cash away safely, but they also update the inventory when something is sold, can help process returns and exchanges, and generate sales reports.

The MW7500 Aluminum Point of Sale machine does all of these and more while keeping a sleek and modern design to fit in with society’s evolving tastes. The MW7500 also sports a 10” touch screen, supports Bluetooth, wifi, and multiple languages, and has a stunning resolution of 1366*768. The back of the MW7500 also has an additional screen where customers can view their order as you process it, allowing them to change and/or modify it as needed.

As mentioned above, the MW7500 has multiple functions that don’t always involve a purchasing exchange between business and customer. The MW7500 also has the capabilities of keeping track of staff’s login and logout records, their individual sales records, and keeping a record of previous customer sales history and info.

For food-related businesses, the MW7500 is able to process combo meals, table ordering, over-the-phone ordering, and has take-out and dine-in options.

Additional options are available to you through the software, but these are the most prominant ones. For a complete list of specs and functionalities, contact Babak Food Equipment by dialing 604-566-9747 or by emailing us at info@babakfoodeqipment.com.