How To Ensure Your Catering Equipment

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Image via Flickr creative commons from PKL Group

Catering equipment is expensive and if anything goes wrong such as breakages or theft, you may suffer huge set-backs if you can’t really afford to replace it in a hurry. You may suffer large profit slumps if you can’t produce food as quickly you usually would. Catering insurance can not only cover your equipment but also your customers, your employees, the food you send out and if you operate a mobile catering business, they can cover your vehicle fleet.

Mobile catering is a fast growing business, you will often see an army of these vehicles offering all foods imaginable at festivals, concerts and funfair’s. Mobile caterers can also cover weddings, corporate events and other similar occasions. Mobile catering compared to the traditional set-up such as a shop or restaurant, has relatively cheap set-up costs. Without expensive buildings to rent you will need a much smaller start up fund. Mobile catering is just like any other business and has the same odds against them, including the hazards of being mobile and using public highways. Different types of vehicles can used for mobile catering from small trailers dragged behind a normal vehicle, food carts, large vans or trucks witch can not only deliver and sell the food, but cook the food inside them to in industrial quality kitchens. Insuring the vehicle is necessary and you need to let your insurers know you are using your vehicle for business. They may not cover you and you may need to find specialist insurance from a company such as NCASS (Nationwide Caterers Association or Simply Business. Most mobile caterers in the UK offer a comprehensive combined liability insurance package which covers all issues including up to £10 million to cover, public liability, products liability and employer’s liability including busy periods and over time.

If you are just about to start up your own catering business, be it in a pub or restaurant you may wish to purchase all your catering equipment from the same place, such as the cash and carry Makro. Purchasing all your equipment from the same place can ensure conformity, giving your kitchen a professional feel and easy flow, making your chefs job’s easier. You will also build a relationship with the supplier making any later repairs or further purchases at a later date, easier. One of the biggest investments involved with setting up your business will be kitting out your kitchen. You will need expensive industrial grade catering equipment and your kitchen needs to flow, allowing your food to flow seamlessly from the prep area to the cook line and onto the pass towards your customers table. There are some places you can save money, renting equipment or leasing it is a great idea on certain pieces of kit. Items such as ice machines are ideal to rent due to their short life span. Big industrial ovens and steamers are ideal to buy second hand due to their long life and high cost.

One are you will not wish to scrimp on is your insurance. Protecting yourself from expensive lawsuits is imperative to business owners. You may also wish to investigate Loss of business insurance, that will help recoup some lost revenue or something totally out of your hands happens near your business. You may also wish to check out specific peril insurance, this covers natural disasters such as earthquakes, hurricanes, floods or power outages. A more in depth guide into the different kinds of insurance can be found online at about.com.

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Top Tips for Keeping Workplace Kitchens Clean

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Image via Flickr creative commons from The Clovenhoof Society

If you’ve spent any length of time working in an office, you’ve probably noticed just how easy it is for people to rub one another up the wrong way. Looking from the outside in, some of the conflicts that flare up between office workers can seem exceptionally petty. It isn’t until you’re on the inside that you start to realise just how and why colleagues frustrate one another. One of the most common sources of workplace strife is the communal kitchen. While office kitchens are generally very useful and highly valued facilities, they can often be the scene of seemingly endless aggravation. This is why it’s important to take steps to ensure that your workplace kitchen remains clean. After all, it’s really just a basic question of showing respect and consideration for others.

An article from eHow.com observes that as storage space in communal kitchens tends to be somewhat limited, it makes sense for workers to ensure that they leave as little food there as possible. It might be tempting, but for the sake of workplace harmony if nothing else you should at least try to ensure that you don’t occupy too much space. You should ask yourself precisely how much food you actually need to take with you, and consider whether you can afford to take a little less. You should also avoid leaving strong-smelling items of food in the communal fridge. Make sure that the items you do leave in the fridge are unambiguously labelled.

It’s also essential that you clean up after yourself once you’re done. Don’t just leave plates and cups lying around for other people to deal with – this is simply ignorance. If you make a mess while you’re eating, make sure you clean it up. Keep a close eye for any stains, and ensure that they’re cleaned up as quickly as possible. The longer you leave it, the harder it’s likely to be to clean said stains. This is really just a matter of basic hygiene. Nobody wants to have to endure an unclean kitchen, and you probably wouldn’t approve if other people failed to uphold basic standards. You should therefore seek to uphold these standards yourself.

Another article from the Laurence Journal-World suggests that it could be a good idea to put someone in charge of overseeing goings-on in the kitchen. This needn’t necessarily mean micro-management, of course. Simply task someone with the responsibility of setting up a cleaning schedule and enforcing an agreed set of rules. This could help to defuse much of the tension that so often surrounds the issue of who’s actually responsible for cleaning up.

Also, if you know you’re likely to be out of the office for a few days – if, for example, you have a holiday planned – you should ensure that you don’t leave any food behind. If you do, not only is it likely to take up space which someone else could be using, but there’s also a chance that the food will start to turn bad before you return. This then leaves your colleagues to deal with the potentially thorny issue of whether or not to throw it away. It might also be worth asking catering equipment suppliers which types of kitchen equipment would be best suited to communal office usage.