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Hamilton Beach Commercial Blog


What Operators Can Learn From the Top Restaurant Chains

“Why is eating out so expensive now?”

That’s a question millions of consumers are asking. And they’re not wrong — in the United States, the price of quick-service meals and snacks rose nearly 28% from 2019 to 2023. (Full-service restaurants saw a 24% price jump). In early 2024, the average quick-service check was $18, 4.5% more than last year.

Customers are also complaining about food delivery costs, which have been increasing because of new minimum wage laws in Seattle and New York City plus new fees tacked on by the delivery companies. All of this adds up to a tough environment for chain restaurants… yet many chains are not only surviving but thriving. What takeaways can we learn from their success?

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Topics: Foodservice, Chain Restaurants, foodservice operators, foodservice equipment, Chain restaurant trends, restaurant trends, Top restaurant chains

Safer, Smoother, Smarter: The New HCO500 Side-Cut Can Opener

Some pieces of restaurant kitchen equipment have remained unchanged for decades… but they just don’t work as well as they should.

A prime example is the old-school commercial can opener. It’s heavy and clunky. The blade gets rusty and dirty. Food can be contaminated when the can lid is punctured. And it leaves sharp edges that can slice a finger.

Hamilton Beach Commercial knew there had to be a better way. That’s why we introduced the HCO500 commercial side-cut can opener.

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Topics: Commercial can opener, Heavy duty can opener, heavy duty can opener for large cans, commercial can opener for large cans, Commercial can opener blade

How to Boost Service Speed with a Commercial Rice Warmer and Rice Cooker

When you first opened your Malaysian café, business was slow. Then the five-star reviews started stacking up, and customers flooded in. Every night, you’re routinely dishing out hundreds of servings of fried rice, coconut rice, and plain jasmine rice.

Time to buy another rice cooker—right?

No. You need a commercial rice warmer instead.

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Topics: commercial rice cooker, commercial kitchen equipment, rice warmer, Commercial rice warmer

Restaurant Employee Retention Strategies: How to Keep the Good People

Who’s having a hard time hiring and retaining qualified restaurant staff?

Everyone, it seems.

In the United States, 76% of casual dining operators, 78% of family dining operators and 80% of fine dining spots say they don’t have enough employees to adequately staff their restaurant. The same is true for 63% of fast casual and quick-service spots.

What is the most effective way to deal with the hospitality hiring crisis? Hang on tight to the employees you have. “If you don’t focus on retention, you’re always going to be focusing on attraction and hiring,” Dan Sines, CEO of applicant-screening company Traitify, tells Restaurant Dive. Retention efforts result in a significant ROI, he points out: if a large QSR chain has turnover rates of 100% to 200%, that could mean $20 million to $40 million in excess hiring costs. These three strategies can help restaurant operators retain the best members of their team.

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Topics: restaurant labor shortage, restaurant staffing, restaurant employee retention

How Hamilton Beach Commercial Catering Equipment Helps Caterers Solve Their Biggest Challenges

Ask any catering professional what they love about their job, and many will say the flexibility. In the morning you’re serving an elegant brunch for 30, and in the evening you’re dishing out barbecue to 200 guests at a country-style wedding. You have the freedom to create new dishes, collaborate on custom menus, and think up new ways to surprise and delight your customers.

There’s a downside to flexibility, however. Caterers constantly have to adapt to rising food costs, changing headcounts, and shifting menu trends. Here are some of the top challenges caterers face, plus a few ways having the right kitchen equipment can help.

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Topics: catering

Big-Batch Commercial Kitchen Equipment to Take Your Catering Business to the Next Level

Many small shops in the catering business got their start in the home, or in a shared commissary kitchen. First jobs were small parties for friends… and then the small jobs turned into bigger and bigger ones.

At a certain point in every catering company’s growth, it’s time to reassess your catering equipment. We’re not talking about chafing dishes and induction cooktops, but rather the commercial kitchen appliances that do the heavy lifting behind the scenes.

If you’re looking for ways to make your operations more efficient by increasing batch sizes, speeding prep time, and cutting food waste, Hamilton Beach Commercial equipment can make it happen.

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Topics: catering, 2024 food trends

New Year, New Tastes: How to Analyze and Optimize Your Menu for 2024

Most menu optimization advice focuses on paring down your offerings to what’s most popular and most profitable. For example, a TURF (Total Unduplicated Reach and Frequency) analysis can identify the core essentials: that is, the shortest possible list of items needed to satisfy the vast majority of customers.

But you shouldn’t neglect the second step: expanding the menu to include innovative new dishes. These creative approaches can help you start thinking about how to shake things up — successfully — in the year to come.

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Topics: Menu, food trends, menu trends, fine-dining, 2024 food trends

How Restaurants and Hotels Can Maximize Revenue and Minimize Waste This Holiday Season

Are you ready for the most wonderful time of the year? The holiday season accounts for 20% of restaurants’ annual sales on average, according to data from SpotOn. Restaurants and hotels often add staff, develop seasonal menus, and increase their hours to take full advantage of the season before the doldrums of January.

Here are a few more ideas for boosting your bottom line during the holidays by bringing in more customers and trimming waste.

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Topics: holiday, restaurant sustainability

Get Inspired by the Best New Concepts in Healthcare Foodservice

When Michelin-starred chef Bruno Tison took over the foodservice program at Northwell Health, he encountered some unwelcome surprises.

At one of Northwell’s 21 New York City-area hospitals, he found packages of food that had expired 5 years previously. “Cases and cases and cases,” he told The Washington Post. Equipment was broken. Food waste approached 40%. And patients noticed: Emails and surveys described the food as “hardly edible” and “maybe the worst hospital food I’ve ever had.”

Here’s how Tison turned things around.

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Topics: Healthcare

Total Transformation: Senior Living Dining Trends in 2024 and Beyond

“We’ve created a somewhat unrealistic dining culture in senior dining,” Jonathan Pinsker, Regional Director of Culinary and Nutritional Services for Acts Retirement-Life Communities, told the Senior Dining Association. “We found at one community that 70% of residents were eating a 4-course meal — soup, salad, main course, and dessert — every night, which isn’t what you normally do at home.”  

Today's 55+ community residents crave more modern dining options. Here’s a look at the trends we’re seeing. 

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Topics: food trends, Bartesian, senior living

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