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Making The Switch to Energy Efficient Catering Equipment

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The cost of living bites hard, and there appears to be no end in sight. With this in mind, it is more important than ever for businesses to find ways to save money. One area where caterers can save significantly is the company’s catering equipment.

Even though it might not seem significant, spending money on energy-efficient catering equipment can save more money over time. You’ll not only reduce your energy costs, but you’ll also be helping the environment.

Restaurant table

Choose Energy-efficient Catering Equipment for Long-term Savings

Now fuel bills make up the most considerable expense for many catering businesses, so it is essential to make informed buying decisions, investing in equipment that not only works well but is cost-effective in every way.

Cost-effectiveness, in this instance, means investing in energy-efficient catering equipment that will save you money in the long term.

How Can a Chef and Caterer Save Energy?

Like most things in business, it’s not what you choose; it’s why you choose it – meaning energy efficiency is not about making enormous sacrifices or massive changes; it’s simply about being more mindful and thoughtful in your decision-making.

Switching to energy-efficient catering equipment such as the wide range available at FFD is one way to make a big difference without compromising quality or service.

Cook and Hold Ovens

One example of such catering equipment is the cook and hold oven. The manufacturers design these ovens to be more energy efficient than traditional ovens with some other benefits and operational features attached.

Typically, cook and hold ovens require less power to operate than standard commercial ovens and can be plugged into a standard 13A socket – making them a ‘plug and play’ option for most professional caterers. The cook and hold oven also eliminates the need for costly 1ph and 3ph setups.

Other benefits to consider are…

  • Less shrinkage
  • Slow cooking abilities
  • Auto adjust functions

And that’s not all – cook and hold ovens can gently ‘hold’ food at serving temperature after the cooking program is complete without drying it out or overcooking it.

Commercial Combi Ovens

Combination ovens often have more energy-saving features when compared to regular commercial ovens. Combi ovens work by using a forced-air fan system which circulates hot air around the cooking chamber. This means that food cooked in a combination oven cooks evenly and quickly.

Another not to be sneezed at advantage of combi ovens is that chefs and cooks can use them for multiple functions – such as steaming, baking, roasting and grilling – making them a versatile addition to any catering kitchen.

Restaurant oven
photo credit: Gustavo Fring / Pexels

Commercial Fryers

Commercial fryers are notorious energy guzzlers. But there are ways to make fryers more energy efficient.

For example, choose a machine with an automatic basket life. An automatic basket lift can reduce heat loss. When the basket lifts, the heat turns down or off. The mechanical lift basket is just one way to reduce energy consumption.

You can also save energy using an ‘idle mode’ fryer. The idle mode means that when the fryer is not being used, it will automatically enter a low-power standby mode, using less energy.

A commercial fryer with a quality filtration system can also save energy. An efficient filtration system will prolong the life of your oil, meaning you won’t have to change it as often. All these options, plus machines with quick recovery times and that use less oil will save you money and energy.

Commercial Chargrills, Griddles & Salamander Grills

Commercial grills, griddles and chargrills require high energy and, as a result, are considered expensive to run. Pay attention to specific features to address the potential efficiency of the unit.

With regards to commercial griddles consider the plate material. Cast iron is great for holding the heat.

When it comes to chargrills, and also with griddles, take note of the number of heat zones. Having multiple heat zones means that during quiet periods only half the cooking area needs to be heated while during busy services the entire cooking area can be utilised.

Salamander grills offer features including adjustable hoods to reduce heat loss, ‘hold functions’ to maintain temperatures without cooking foods further, electrical timers, rapid heat up and some even offer infra-red heat. These are all great ways to help save energy.

It’s also worth considering how you’re going to use your grill. If you only use it for specific menu items, then buying a smaller model might be more energy-efficient in the long run than choosing a large unit that is surplus to requirements.

Induction Hobs

Induction hobs are becoming increasingly popular in a professional kitchen. Being nearly 50% more energy-efficient than gas hobs and 20% more energy-efficient than ceramic hobs, businesses can immediately save money.

Induction hobs use electromagnets to heat the pan rather than the hob itself. Technology like this means less wasted energy with the heat only kicking in when it’s actually needed. They’re very responsive, so you can get cooking straight away and they switch themselves off when they are not in use – saving time and energy.

Commercial Dishwashers

Dishwashers are an essential part of any catering business, but they can be costly to run. However, there are ways to make them energy efficient.

Consider the insulation of the unit. Units with double skinned insulation will retain much more heat than those without. Also take note of models that offer ‘heat recovery’. This function uses excess or waste steam and heat that would otherwise be expelled to pre-heat the incoming cold water supply. Features such as eco modes are also a great idea to conserve energy.

It’s strongly recommended that every business observes correct set-up and commissioning as individual requirements will differ. Incorrect set-up can have a big impact on the efficiency of the machine.

Another simple yet effective way to make your commercial dishwasher more energy efficient is only to run it when it’s full. You’ll save money on energy bills by running your dishwasher less often.

Chef working in a commercial kitchen space
photo credit: Rene Asmussen / Pexels

Is Energy-efficient Catering Equipment Worth it?

To summarise, yes. It is worth switching to energy-efficient catering equipment for long-term savings. Not only will it save you money, but it will also help to reduce your carbon footprint.

Entrepreneurship

The Worst Mistakes that a Vacation Rental Business Can Make

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There’s no doubt about the profitability that well-run and well-managed vacation rental businesses have. However, a new vacation rental business owner may make some mistakes, which can be costly in the long run.

In this post, we’ll take you through all those mistakes, so you can steer clear of them and guide your business towards success.

Vacation rental property

1. No dynamic pricing

One of the most challenging aspects of a vacation rental business is to set the pricing. The simplest thing to do is to break the pricing down into peak season prices, i.e. higher prices owing to higher demand, and off-season prices, i.e. lower prices owing to lower demand. However, dynamic pricing makes for the better choice.

Sure, to implement a dynamic pricing mechanism, you need sophisticated tech, which needs investing in. However, if you do, you can fix rates based on various factors like availability, demand, and local events. There are some services that provide dynamic pricing expertise as well such as PriceMethod and Smart Host.

2. Listing on just one or two platforms

You want your vacation rental business to be found by your target audience, right? If the answer is yes, you can’t afford to list your business on just one or two platforms. Sure, you should target listings on the best online travel agents (OTAs). However, just because you secured a listing on Airbnb and HomeAway doesn’t mean that your job is done.

Ideally, you should get your business listed on smaller platforms as well. Sure, the smaller platforms may not command huge audiences like HomeAway and Airbnb. However, they can go a long way towards increasing the exposure of your business.

3. Lack of quality photos

You’d be doing a disservice to your prospective guests if you don’t provide them with high-quality photos of your property. It’s important to remember that the best vacation rental businesses are hiring professional photographers and videographers. So, you can’t afford to upload photos you captured on your phone camera.

You should have multiple photos of every room from a variety of angles. Also, if your vacation rental business is located somewhere scenic, take some nice photos of the views as well. Your property photos should also be honest – don’t try putting filters on them to enhance their appearance. Ultimately, when guests do arrive, they’ll find out what the real deal is, so there’s no point in faking things.

Vacation rental property

4. Insufficient facilities and amenities

Even if your vacation rental business caters to a low-budget audience, it can’t be missing basic facilities and amenities. For instance, free Wi-Fi is something that guests (irrespective of their budgets) take for granted these days. However, if they turn up at your place and find out that there’s no Wi-Fi, there’s no way that they’re going to forgive you.

Also, take into account the facilities that your guests might want depending on the climate of your location. For instance, if your vacation rental business is situated in a cold region, you have to provide heating. On the other hand, if it’s really hot and humid in your location, cooling and/or air-conditioning should be provided.

5. Poor hospitality

Your vacation rental may be loaded with the best facilities, but if you don’t pay attention to how you’re hosting your guests, those facilities will count for nothing. Remember, at the end of the day, what your guests really want is to be treated well. So, if you’re running your vacation rental business by yourself, always wear a smile and try to accommodate your guests’ wants.

If you’re employing others to take care of the hospitality part, invest in training them. Also, pay them well. Quite simply, if they’re well-remunerated, your vacation rental staff will be happy, and happy hosts will always be able to take care of your guests properly.

6. Lack of maintenance

A vacation rental business that isn’t well-maintained is bound to end in failure. Think about it – would your guests like it if they arrived and found problems in the plumbing? No, right? So, maintain every aspect of your vacation rental. If a bed is damaged, get it repaired or replace it without giving it a second thought. The point is to offer your guests as much comfort as possible.

Regular maintenance can also prevent severe damage to your property, which tends to be more expensive to repair than repairing things as soon as you find something problematic. So, maintain your property, and the money you spend in maintaining it will come back to you several times over.

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Entrepreneurship

4 Tips to Improve Your Management Skills  

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A team is only as strong as its weakest link.

And if the weak link is a team manager, it’s a setup that will dismantle success before it starts.

But a strong and well-respected manager can help teams cooperate, thrive and drive results on an individual and collective level. If you’re looking to become a better manager with the skills to mobilise your team, these are just four tips to take your leadership talents to the next level.

Manager communicating with the team member

1. Encourage communication

Too many managers spend their time wondering why their staff aren’t satisfied.

But in reality, the best way to find out what your team needs is simply to ask. Make regular check-ins a part of your routine as a manager, and foster a culture in which people feel they can come to you with any issues they may be facing.

Remember too that as a manager, there will often be elements affecting an employee’s work life that are out of your control as well as theirs. In these situations, remain professional but supportive and offer to help find solutions as best you can.

Equally, as a manager you should also be amenable to feedback and able to take constructive criticism as an opportunity to improve your own leadership abilities.

2. Get your hiring right

Recruitment isn’t just about hiring people with the right skills – it’s also about who is a good fit for the team.

Start by filtering out those with the professional skills you need – hiring softwares like Oleeo will help you narrow down the applicants to find the best of the best. From there, you can start your preliminary interview process, where you’ll get a feel for the candidate’s personality to gauge whether they’ll get along with the team and uphold the culture of your company.

Give praise to employees

3. Deliver praise

Everyone likes to be recognised for their achievements, and a good manager knows the value of delivering praise when it’s deserved.

You don’t have to make a fuss. A simple thank you for a job well done lets your staff know that you value their skills and abilities. People won’t go the extra mile if they don’t think it’s worth their while, but if they know that their hard work will be appreciated, they’ll be far more willing to go that bit further.

4. Share responsibility

As a manager, delegation is crucial to ensure that work is completed in a timely fashion by those with the appropriate skills.

And sharing that responsibility also enables your staff to feel trusted and respected, and gives them opportunities to develop and try new things.

Ensure when giving new tasks to team members that they have adequate support in place to make the best of their duties, but don’t be afraid to give them a little space too in order to build their confidence.

Looking for ways to support your team and become a better manager? These are just a few tips to help you hone your leadership skills.

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Entrepreneurship

The Extensive Role of SEO in Online Marketing

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Many assume that search engine optimization is about improving their site’s rankings in search engine results, even though they need to gain more knowledge of how it works. However, effective SEO in San Diego entails much more than that.

Outstanding SEO should function as a component of your company’s online marketing initiatives to increase brand visibility, draw visitors to your website, boost conversion rates, and enhance your brand’s reputation online.

SEO procedure changes

Modern SEO Marketing Analysis

When you work with a San Diego SEO business, you receive quick access to some cutting-edge tools. We have the advanced tools your business needs to acquire a competitive edge in the online environment of today, ranging from high-quality onsite SEO tools to a variety of resources for link building and thorough keyword research and analysis.

Today, it is impossible to overstate the value of SEO. Hire a reliable SEO business that provides high-caliber SEO services with demonstrable outcomes.

Social media networking

Activity in Social Networks

How can social media help SEO?

  • Local Facebook advertising will benefit the business in some way. However, it will also assist you in attracting high-quality visitors to your website. Launch contextual advertising campaigns, link in posts on your brand page, and post about your company in groups or on related topics;
  • It’s simple to promote locally on Instagram. In publications, you may frequently notice how firms indicate their location. The location where the photo was captured may sometimes be incorrect. The target audience is typically located in some form of an area. You can also increase the appropriate traffic with this method;
  • Local YouTube promotion is a different story. This social media site frequently suggests films to users based on their current location. The social media network also creates a list of trends, or the most popular videos in the area, based on the user’s server. Consequently, if you choose to maintain a YouTube channel, you should make a financial commitment to contextual advertising campaigns.

Google local listing

Local SEO

Firstly, Search Engine Optimization is the process of making your company look out in search results on Google or Bing. Regardless of the industry, it is a digital marketing strategy that offers San Diego firms the biggest return on investment. In this article, we invite you to explore critically important local keywords for your local SEO in San Diego:

  • Healthcare. Excellent regional healthcare is available to San Diego residents. A robust healthcare system in Southern California includes urgent care centers, pharmacies, and private clinics. Your healthcare website should be optimized for local search engines (SEO) to ensure it gets seen as far as possible;
  • Fintech. San Diego’s fintech businesses should be aware that locals want to use financial services close to where they are. Importance of convenience is fundamental. You must ensure that your website explains to people in San Diego the kinds of fintech services you offer, how these services match their demands, and why they should consider working with you.

Additionally, professional service firms can greatly benefit from SEO website optimization. For instance, someone seeking an accountant in San Diego is likely to type “accountants San Diego” or “accountants nearby” into their search engine. You are taking advantage of the chance to turn high-quality leads into sales if your listing appears low on their search results.

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