Category: Archive

NRA show 18 no discount

A look back at NRA Show 17

With NRA Show 18 quickly approaching, we’re taking the time to reflect on the memories and experiences we had last year at the National Restaurant Association Show 2017. From a sophisticated booth showcasing our customization expertise to building stronger relationships with our clients in one-on-one meetings onsite, the show was a great way to show our place in the foodservice industry and support our clients and manufacturer partners.

Exhibitors and attendees saw plenty of innovative and trend-setting products and culinary trends for the first time or had the opportunity to learn about hot topics. Main takeaways included informational sessions on sustainable seafood, tastings of vegetarian substitutes to meat products like Impossible Foods plant-based burger or “tuna” derived from tomatoes at Ahimi.

Beyond the surplus of small bites and products showcased, we also enjoyed introducing our supply chain expertise to non-members and engaging with those who hadn’t heard of Consolidated Concepts. As a supply chain solution specialist in the restaurant industry, we were excited to connect with so many people who could easily benefit from our cost-saving options, supply chain assessments, and other purchasing insights.

Interested in attending NRAShow18? Register here.

CC RLC FB post

Join our breakout session, Lean & Mean: Run your restaurant for explosive growth | RLC 2018, April 15 -18

Topic: Lean & Mean: Run your restaurant for explosive growth

Details: Join successful growth leader Jason Morgan (Zoe’s Kitchen, Original ChopShop) to hear how he has strategically slimmed down his restaurants’ organizational structures in order to maximize profitability.  Jason is joined by JJ Pledger of Twisted Root, Michael Haith of Teriyaki Madness, and JB Edwards of Abacus for a conversation about what the strategies that successful multi-unit operators are using to minimize costs and maximize revenue.  You’ll leave this session with a  list of 3 crucial technology tools that every winning operator must use and a whole new perspective on organizational structure.

Time: Tuesday 4/17/18 @ 12:30 pm

Location: Grand Sonoran E


  • Discussion Leader: John Davie, CEO of Consolidated Concepts
  • Panelists:
    • Jason Morgan, CEO of Original ChopShop
    • Michael Haith, CEO of Teriyaki Madness
    • JB Edwards, President of Abacus
    • JJ Pledger, Chief Bean Counter of Twisted Root Burger Co.

Attend the session to qualify for a Supply Chain Assessment ($5,000 value)

Learn more about the conference here


10 Tips to Lower Your Restaurant’s Water Bill

This article was originally published on FSR Magazine. 

According to the EPA, water used in restaurants/foodservice account for about 15 percent of the total water used in all commercial and institutional facilities in the U.S.  Here is a breakdown of the usage by area:

  • 52 percent: Kitchen/dishwashing
  • 31 percent: Domestic/Restroom
  • 12 percent: Other
  • 4 percent: Landscaping
  • 4 percent: Other

And, according to Powerhouse Dynamics, “a typical sit-down restaurant uses an average of about 5,800 gallons of water per day. Quick-serve restaurants use about a third the total on average, although the usage per seat tends to be much higher; 5,800 gallons per day translates into over 2 million gallons of water per year.”

Water is often under the radar in terms of costs for restaurants. Food costs and labor costs usually get all the attention. However, there are many simple steps that can be taken to minimize water use, therefore reducing cost, and creating a sustainable culture for the organization. Here are a few suggestions to help lower that water bill.

1. Do not run water to thaw out frozen food

Frozen food should be pulled out at the appropriate time to give it time to thaw in the cooler. Running frozen food underwater leads to the wasting of water, and food quality is being jeopardized using this method. By using a thaw rack, you will correctly thaw food without wasting any water.

2. Older pan/pot-sprayers waste water (5–7 gallons per minute) and use more energy due to the heat necessary to provide hot water

Most equipment suppliers stock a “low-flow” pre-rinse spray valve, which reduce both energy and water consumption. These low-flow valves can cost as little as $10 and reduce water usage by 50 percent. The secret to the low-flow valve’s success is its ability to save in three ways at once. By lowering your water consumption, the sprayer simultaneously slashes your water, wastewater-disposal and energy bills.

3. Use ENERGY STAR equipment in the kitchen and WaterSense toilets, faucets, and urinals in the bathrooms. 

Most models will reduce water and energy use by 10–20 percent. Automatic faucets that turn off/on can be a huge savings versus faucets that allow the water to run constantly. Ideal for handwashing in kitchens and restrooms, sensor devices also provide a cleaner hands-free environment.

4. If you have a dishwasher, wash full racks only

Instruct your dish team “Full” racks of dishes only, each cycle the dish machine runs uses water, energy and chemicals.  During slow times, allow the dishes to neatly stack up. Also consider composting. Scraping food into a waste bucket will save water versus spraying food particles off plates.  A compost program has the added benefit of giving additional “Green” credentials to the business.

5. Wash all fruits & vegetables at the same time to be effcient and limit water use

6. Inspect and repair bathroom sinks/faucets and running toilets

Turn off all water faucets when not in use and fix all leaks. Running a water faucet for five minutes uses nearly as much energy as running a 60-watt light bulb for 14 hours. According to the FSTC design guide, a small leak of 0.2 gallons per minute can waste 100,000 gallons and $1,840 a year in water, sewer and gas costs.

7. Fill buckets and sinks to appropriate levels

Use the 3-sink washing method. Don’t wash dishes with water running. As an added note, use cold water for the sanitizer and not hot water. Hot water minimizes the effectiveness of the sanitizer. The approximate annual savings is $3,200 in energy and $1,300 in water.

8. Use a thermometer to make sure your water heater isn’t working any harder than it must

Hot water should be around 140 degrees at the faucet. The approximate savings by managing the water temperature is $100 per year.

9. Consider only serving water upon request  

California has already made it illegal for restaurants to serve you water—unless you ask. This is also an opportunity to upsell and suggest a bottled water.

10. Show your staff the monthly water bill, and the number of gallons and money spent for the prior month

Discuss the above topics and seek their feedback on how they feel water can be saved. Write down suggestions on a board and keep posted for all to see. Reward those that follow proper water conservation. It is good for the business and for our environment.

While some of these recommendations are related to more efficient equipment, most of them are simple behavioral changes. Educating your team to implement and follow these water saving tips can lead to great savings.

Inclement Weather - Restaurant Operators

Supply Chain Challenges During Inclement Weather

Inclement Weather - Restaurant Operators

This article was originally published on Modern Restaurant Management.

“Mother Nature is not sweet.”

–John Shelby Spong

Mother Nature is often the X-Factor in the world of food.  All the commodity experts have their projections on what will happen with every crop, but leave it up to a drought, flood, freeze, or any other natural disaster you can think of to ruin all theories.

Weather clearly plays a vital role in determining food costs for restaurant operators.  So, when it comes to risk management, having contingency plans for weather-related challenges should be at the top of the list.

Operators can pass through these unavoidable implications brought on by Mother Nature if they take the correct and necessary steps to protect themselves and their supplies. Here are some ways to prepare and minimize the impact:

  1. Create an acceptable list of substitutions for key / high volume ingredients that are critical to your menu. Examples of this include using iceberg lettuce in place of romaine, blueberries in place of strawberries, and plum tomatoes in place of layered tomatoes.
  2. Identify an alternative / limited menu option in advance in anticipation of certain products being unavailable. These can be used as limited-time offers until your original ingredients become available.
  3. Pre-determine alternative sourcing for your top 20 critical items.
  4. Adjust par levels and confirm the right pack size being used to minimize waste.
  5. Utilize every and all local produce programs at your disposal. The window of opportunity may be limited so work with your produce supplier to determine best opportunities.
  6. Switch to smaller sizes where you can, as larger sizes become less available in drought situations.
  7. If you can, use a frozen product in recipes that can easily accept them.
  8. If you have room, plant a garden near your restaurant and capture the “grown here” flavor.
  9. Look to use greenhouse type products in your menu.
  10. Check your trashcans!! Yield becomes even more critical when the raw product cost goes up.
  11. Maintain flexibility whenever possible on menus. Avoid specifying particular vegetables or fruits whenever possible.
  12. Look at blending products where you can continue to work with your high-cost staple, but combine it with a lower cost vegetable or fruit.
  13. Look at alternate pack sizes that may be more cost friendly.

Nobody can truly predict what Mother Nature has up her sleeve.  By having a plan before the next natural disaster occurs you can better protect your ingredients, menu items and customer expectations.


By Wade Winters

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