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covid-19 Tag

A Helping Hand from Southern Smoke Foundation

As businesses begin to re-open after months of closure, it’s important to remember that some members of the F&B industry are STILL suffering. But luckily, there is help! This week, we are thrilled to introduce you to one of BauscherHepp’s customer’s: James Beard award winner Chris Shepherd. Chef Chris is a Houston based restaurateur. You may know him from One Fifth, UB Preserv, The Hay Merchant, Georgia James, Underbelly Catering.  You may not know, that Shepherd’s Southern Smoke Foundation is offering a helping hand to F & B workers during this difficult time!

Shepherd’s Southern Smoke Foundation is a nonprofit 501c3 that has a history of helping those in need. During the Covid-19 pandemic and closures, Southern Smoke has received applications from laid off and furloughed restaurant workers across the country.

For reference, their last big relief effort was in response to Hurricane Harvey in 2017. They received 300 applications in the first month and a half after Harvey. Meanwhile, in the first month of their Covid relief program, they received over 17,000 applications for aid. Since the beginning of the outbreak, Southern Smoke has distributed more than $3.2 million to those applicants. In addition to their financial assistance, they’ve teamed up with Mental Health America of Greater Houston and the University of Houston to provide free mental healthcare to anyone in the hospitality industry and their children. So far this program exists only in Texas, because of state level licensing for mental health providers. But Southern Smoke plans to expand the program nationwide.

Chef Chris Shepherd and his team are doing a great job! If you want to learn more, you can visit their website, and if you are able, you can also lend a helping hand, by making a tax deductible contribution!

 

Making a difference: Power of 10 Initiative

Power of 10 Initiative by Chef Erik Bruner-Yang

Image from Power of 10 Initiative website

Today we are sharing a post from Bauscher Hepp’s Blog with you and we couldn’t be more excited. It features a non-profit that was started right in our backyard. Read on for more information on this great initiative by Chef Erik Bruner-Yang.

Award-winning DC-based Chef Erik Bruner-Yang recognized very early on in this global health crisis the effect Covid would have on the restaurant industry. He determined he didn’t want to sit by and do nothing. He envisioned a way to get workers back on the job, while safely re-opening restaurants to feed essential workers and vulnerable members of the community.

With this goal in mind, Bruner-Yang created The Power of 10. It is a non-profit initiative to channel donations into re-hiring restaurant workers laid off as a result of Covid-19. The idea was simple: if a restaurant were to receive $10,000 a week, it would be able to create 10 full-time jobs, which could then produce 1,000 free meals straight to its community.

In Chef Erik’s own words:

Small businesses are the backbone of America and neighborhood restaurants are the anchors of every great community. Stimulating the local economy through neighborhood businesses allows its community to play a vital role in tackling the collateral damage of COVID-19. With the ability to provide jobs again, small businesses will relieve the unemployment safety net. Restaurants will also be providing quality hot meals and keeping the supply chain intact by supporting local farmers and vendors.

A small pilot program in Bruner-Yang’s own Washington, DC began with some beloved restaurants: Cane, ABC Pony, and Maketto. On May 6th, the project received the backing of Capital One and has now grown to include 30 local restaurants in 8 cities: DC, LA, New York City, Chicago, Dallas, Baltimore, Charlotte, and Richmond. So far the Power of 10 Initiative has raised over $800,000 for these restaurants. Additionally that means that over 35,000 meals has been donated to the community.

Bricia Lopez’s Guelaguetza has been able to keep employees and prepare free meals for healthcare workers. In the video below, you can see the positive impact this project has had. If you are able, please support this amazing project by donating. Spreading the word can also help, if you are not able to donate!

We are so happy to be a part of a community that has done so much to help each other out during this unprecedented time. We will get through this together.

Five Ways Restaurants Can Stretch Food Budgets

Five Ways Restaurants Can Stretch Food BudgetsA few weeks ago, our factory partners Hamilton Beach Commercial shared five ways for restaurants to stretch food budgets further. The post really highlights some great tips, especially in this time, when everything is so unpredictable. We decided to share the information with you as well, so read on for more information!

1. Start processing food the second it’s delivered. 

In the best of times, it’s tough for kitchen staff to drop everything to deal with incoming deliveries. When the restaurant is understaffed and overwhelmed, it’s even tougher. But Sandra D. Ratcliff, CEC, a longtime chef and director of healthcare sales for The Hansen Group, says the best thing to do, is to “take care of your produce. when it first comes in.”

Ratcliff’s recommendation is to designate a team member to immediately deal with deliveries, even if you’re short-staffed, . The cost savings will easily pay for that extra person. When a case of iceberg lettuce arrives, don’t leave it in the dirty cardboard box that’s been sitting in a farm field. Wash it and vacuum-seal it: “You’ve automatically gotten an extra three weeks out of a product.” The same goes for other ingredients: fresh fish, meat, cheese, etc.

Another benefit of vacuum-sealing is visibility. When stored in cardboard or other opaque packaging, it is easy to forget the food, which then can lead to rot! Once vacuum-sealed, it’s easier to see and use. Just remember that it’s essential to follow food safety guidelines for vacuum-packed foods, and train kitchen staff in safe handling practices.

2. Increase order sizes. 

In the face of so much uncertainty, it seems counter intuitive to order larger quantities of food. That’s exactly what Ratcliff recommends, however. Especially because many restaurant supply companies have cut back their deliveries to just one or two per week. Operators can save a significant amount of money on food, if they order large quantities of ingredients, then process and portion them. Get the 10-pound block of cheese, then cut 1-pound portions and vacuum-seal each one for long-lasting freshness. Order 50 pounds of flour and 30 pounds of dried beans, then measure out the increments needed for specific dishes and vacuum-seal.

3. Order ingredients that have the widest range of uses. 

Get the most out of your food inventory by selecting super-versatile ingredients. Two recommendations from Gordon Food Service Corporate Consulting Chef Gerry Ludwig, CEC: bone-in chicken thighs and tilapia. With chicken, he says, “you could make cassoulet, de-bone them for grilled sandwiches, or roast them and pull the meat for salads and flatbread applications. Restaurant can use tilapia for entrées, sandwiches, fish and chips, tacos, wraps. You can also serve them simply steamed with herbs and spices. ”It is easy to portion proteins precisely, season or marinate them.” Additionally, you can store any protein for optimum quality using a vacuum chamber sealer, such as the PrimaVac.

4. Vacuum-seal to prevent prepared food from going to waste. 

Calibrating food production is tricky when demand is unpredictable. But now’s the time to be conscious of even the smallest amount of food waste, Ratcliff says, because it adds up. She once oversaw food service for a healthcare system with 65 locations. One of those was notorious for going over its food budget by up to $2,700 every month. Upon investigation, she discovered that the kitchen prepared an extra 11 meals per mealtime, just in case they were needed. With PPPD food costs around $7, the system would have lost nearly $1.8 million per year if every location did the same, Ratcliff calculated.

The solution? The staff was educated on batch cooking and vacuum-sealing extra portions, which can be cooked quickly to meet resident requests. This strategy is also easily applicable to restaurants, where the number of take-out orders can vary greatly! You can perfectly cook meals sous-vide, ensuring food safety and preventing overcooking, and served as needed.

5. Revive wilting greens.

Herbs and baby greens are among the most fragile of ingredients — and unless you grow them on-site, they can be in short supply. Chef Andrew Manning, of acclaimed fine-dining restaurant Longoven in Richmond, Virginia, suggests using a chamber vacuum sealer to hydroshock sensitive greens and bring them back to life.

Place greens in a wide, shallow container. Cover them with paper towels, then add ice and cold water. Run the vacuum cycle twice, which removes air from the greens and forces in cold water. The result: rejuvenated herbs that stay crisp for days.

To read more about ways that restaurants can stretch food budgets further, click here.

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BauscherHepp COVID-19 Resources

Bauscher Hepp Covid-19 ResourcesIn this time of need, many of our factory partners are taking the opportunity to support people in the hospitality industry. This week we are happy to be able to share with you a list of COVID-19 Resources as compiled by BauscherHepp.

For us, and for many of you, these are trying times!  COVID-19 has a significant impact on many of us. Each day we are learning about more businesses and states that are closing down, and at times, it may seem like an insurmountable task to weather this storm! But, please remember that together we will ride this thing out, and come out stronger on the other side!

Click here for more information on COVID-19 Resources as presented by BauscherHepp

In the coming weeks, as we learn more, we will continue to share additional resources on where you can get help, if you need it!

So keep checking back for more information, but in the meantime, please stay safe and healthy!

We look forward to seeing you on the other side!