Restaurants always need to stock up on food ingredients in bulk quantities. For businesses in the food and beverage service sector, running out of supplies is simply not an option. This is the main reason why they value and maintain good working relationships with their wholesale food distributors. When a restaurant runs out of ingredients,
Restaurants always need to stock up on food ingredients in bulk quantities. For businesses in the food and beverage service sector, running out of supplies is simply not an option. This is the main reason why they value and maintain good working relationships with their wholesale food distributors.
When a restaurant runs out of ingredients, service will be disrupted. The establishment may even shut down for the day or night. This will, of course, impact the restaurant’s ROI and profitability, not to mention its reputation.
Storing Food Supplies in Commercial Refrigerators
Having enough food supplies, though, is different from maintaining their quality and safety. To maintain the freshness of most of their key ingredients, dining establishments need to keep them in refrigerators and freezers.
Unfortunately, not all restaurants can invest in several commercial refrigerator units as they can be really expensive and will definitely eat up a lot of space. As such, these business owners will have to make do with whatever they have to keep their ingredients fresh and safe for consumption.
For restaurant owners looking for ways to maximize their use of their refrigerators, below are six tips to follow:
1. Know the correct placement of foods in the refrigerator
Temperature and humidity vary inside the fridge. As such, certain areas are more suitable for some types of food.
For instance, fruits are best kept in an area with low humidity levels. Because of this, apples, orange, berries, and other fridge-friendly fruits are best kept on the top shelf.
Vegetables, on the other hand, have to be kept in an area with higher humidity. They should, therefore, always be placed in the crisper. Meat, of course, always has to be stored in the freezer.
It is important that you know where each product is best kept for food safety and to preserve quality.
2. Leave space in between items
Cold air needs to circulate in a commercial fridge. As such, even if you want to cram as many items as you can in the refrigerator, avoid overstocking it.
This is because a fridge requires at least half an inch of space in between food products to get the best refrigeration results. Avoid placing foods against the back or sides of the refrigerator as well.
By doing so, you will prevent hot spots and the uneven cooling and freezing of food. This will then help prevent food from spoiling quickly.
3. Transfer food to small containers
Air is the natural enemy of most foods since it can increase their rate of spoilage.
To prolong the freshness of food ingredients and minimize air contact, transfer them into small containers with airtight lids once they come out of their original packaging. Additionally, by transferring them to smaller containers, you will also help keep your fridge organized and easy to navigate.
After transferring food in containers, label them accordingly. Place masking tape on the container and use a marker to write the date of storage and its content. This will help you with the next step.
4. Follow the First In, First Out (FIFO) rule
To avoid food wastage and maintain the quality of your ingredients, you need to take note of their shelf life and use-by dates. Next, arrange them following the FIFO rule.
This means stocking newly-bought products in the back of your fridge and freezer. If a product’s date codes are small, write bigger numbers on the package before storing it. Make sure you place the items in a way that you can see the dates immediately.
Do the same with your labeled food containers. Make sure the open items are used before opening similar ones that are new.
5. Freeze food flat
Get more space in your commercial fridge and freezer, if you have one, by freezing foods flat.
You can do this by placing meat, pre-cut fruits and vegetables, semi-solid foods such as sauces and stews, and soup in zip freezer bags. Next, carefully press out the air from each bag before storing them in the fridge
Aside from creating more space in your fridge, when you follow this tip, you will avoid freezer burn as well.
6. Don’t place the fridge against the wall
Lastly, if your refrigerator is close to the wall, pull it forward an inch or two. By doing so, you will reduce its energy consumption by as much as 40 percent.
This will go a long way in helping you reduce your monthly electricity bills. And you will achieve this without affecting the quality of food in your refrigerator.
Whether you are still opening a new restaurant or already running one, your number one priority should be to always serve good quality food. Maintaining the quality and safety of your ingredients is the first step to accomplishing this — something you can easily achieve by maximizing the use of your commercial refrigerator.
AUTHOR BIO :- Jad Asaad is the Marketing Manager at Horeca Trade LLC with more than eight years of experience in digital, online and offline marketing. He started his career in Beirut working in a creative agency and then moved to Dubai to further expand his career. He created and implemented award-winning high-impact digital and offline marketing campaigns that consistently generated revenue streams and improved performance in targeted segments.