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Work with what you've got: how to find the right products for your restaurant

WORK WITH WHAT YOU'VE GOT: CREATIVE SOLUTIONS TO COMMON KITCHEN CHALLENGES

While on the road, our reps frequently encounter pizzeria and restaurant owners struggling with their current kitchen equipment. Every chef has a vision for their ideal kitchen, but it’s not always a realistic dream. Instead of spending your hard-earned money on different equipment or more staff, we’re going to help you take a look at your pantry and get crafty with what you’ve got.

If you choose high-quality ingredients that make the most of what you have in your kitchen, you can still be wonderfully creative with your menu and even ramp up revenue. Trust us – we’ve seen it happen firsthand. Read on to discover proven solutions to real-world kitchen problems.

Problem 1 - I need a deep fryer to cook sides

Your kitchen is configured to cook pizza, but you want to offer more menu options. You probably don't have a deep fryer because you don’t serve enough sides to make it worth the expense. Now what? Small neighbourhood pizzerias often have conveyor ovens, which are excellent for baking large volumes of pizza … and only pizza. Until now.

Our reps decided to challenge the limits of conveyor ovens, testing out different types of chicken wings and fries to determine which ones are the best fit for a conveyor.

The result: Since fully-cooked wings only need to be heated instead of cooked through, this option transforms your conveyor into a labour-saving device that increases food safety. For fries, our reps recommend coated varieties, since they tend to stay crispier and are better for takeout orders.

Problem 2 - My oven doesn't work well with every cheese

Every oven is different, as is every cheese. All you need to do is find the right combination for your specific setup. It’s not an exact science, but our reps were able to determine which cheeses work better with different ovens based on a number of hands-on kitchen visits.

Conveyor oven: Conveyor ovens tend to be a little harsher on cheese. If you choose to cook your pizza at high-temp and high speed, look for cheeses that are high in milk fat like our GOLD Pizza Mozzarella cheese. They are more resistant to direct heat and will perform better than cheeses with lower fat content, which will give you a darker colour result. Pizza Mozzarella 20% cheese is therefore a great option, whether you choose pre-shredded, block, or IQF (individual quick frozen). If you want to achieve high-end texture and flavour with a conveyor oven, try using a firmer fresh cheese, like bocconcini.

Wood burning oven: High moisture cheeses like fresh mozzarella are your best bet with a wood burning oven. Our Fior di Latte cheese was designed specifically for these high temperatures ovens that bring out more of the creamy dairy flavours from the cheese.

Convection oven or deck oven: The best part about convection or deck ovens is that they can do almost anything! They’re more versatile, so you can take your pick between our wide range of Pizza Mozzarella cheese, or even a fine cheese for more gourmet pizzas.

Problem 3 - I want to add new dishes to my menu, but I don't have the space, staff, or volume to do so

Solution 1: To save time and energy without sacrificing quality, some restaurant owners choose more convenient cheese formats, like pre-shredded, sliced, crumbled or shaved. It’s a great way to cut down on labour so you can focus on high-value tasks.

Solution 2: If your fridge space is limited or you only use a small quantity of cheese, try IQF (individually quick frozen) Pizza Mozzarella cheese. The quality is exceptional, and you won’t have to worry about crowding your fridge with product that’s threatening to expire.

Solution 3: Get creative by finding new ways to use one ingredient. In Newfoundland, one of our reps worked with a client who wanted to add poutine to his menu, but didn’t have the volume to buy high-quality cheese curds. He had to find other ways to use cheese curds on his menu.

With help from our rep, the client came up with a new cheese finger recipe that replaced his usual cheese with curds, allowing him to expand his menu and reduce food waste. The same goes for any dish you can think of: for example, if you want to use gourmet toppings on your pizza but are worried about waste, find a way to include them in burgers, salads, poutines, and sandwiches as well! That way, you can craft a more unique menu and save money in the process. For some more inspiration, check out our infographic on how to serve goat cheese 5 ways!

Work with what you've got

There’s a solution to every problem – all it takes is a little testing and creativity to figure out the best way around your challenges. Maintaining a strong relationship with your rep is a good first step: they are your allies, and are always happy to share advice on which products can best meet your needs. Don’t hesitate to contact him!

 

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