Inspect your tools and equipment, from small to large.
Make sure to inspect tools and equipment—especially before a high-volume season:
- Are your ice machines working?
- Is your walk-in holding temperature properly?
- Are your thermometers in working order?
- Do you have the right food storage?
Consult with the experts: “We have product specialists, who can help you find the right product to fit your needs, and equipment specialists who can outfit your entire kitchen,”says Wendy Abney, Vice President of Merchandising for SuppliesOnTheFly.com, Sysco’s supplies and equipment online channel.
Start on menus; order necessary equipment.
Summer is the time to begin preparing your menus for fall and winter holidays. Sysco can help with menu planning as well as supplies. Think of menus that will work well for banquets and large crowds, such as premade single-bite appetizers and desserts ,and of dishes that are popular in the fall and winter, such as soups, stews and braised meats. For those events where holding food temperature will be critical, be sure to order the right equipment. Abney recommends the Sterno SpeedHeat, a new flameless warming product that travels well. For help with planning menus, ask your Marketing Associate about Menu Consulting Services available through your local Sysco operating company.
Stock up on table settings and disposables.
You’ll want to create special table settings and a festive atmosphere for holiday parties. Invest in table settings such as attractive eco-friendly disposable plates made by Eco-Products. A lot of items break over the summer, as well, so it’s a great time to restock glassware. Consider freshening up the waitstaff’s apparel for big events. Scaling up on the atmosphere and apparel “allows you to upcharge the food that you’re serving because you’re putting on a better presentation,” Abney says.
Think ahead; prepare for last-minute surprises.
“It’s good to think ahead and to order ahead—even if you use delayed delivery—because you don’t want the event to arrive and find you’re not prepared,” Abney says. Take an inventory of table settings, including:
- sugar holders
- salt and peppershakers
Be sure you have enough buffet equipment, including serving baskets and tongs. No matter how well you plan, there will be last-minute surprises. But don’t worry: “You can order something onSuppliesOnTheFly.com and get it in a couple of days,” says Abney. Nonetheless, it’s best to prepare ahead.