Dining Chairs – Pull Up a Seat and Enjoy a Good Meal

Dining chairs can go from the surprisingly cheap to the ridiculously expensive. Your only constraints may be your existing dining room furniture, your budget …. and perhaps your environmental conscience. Let me explain. Your dining chairs are an opportunity to choose furniture that is made from sustainable wood and with non-harmful products. Sustainable hardwoods like oak, cherry and maple make a good base, and even better when the production process excludes any chemicals that might vaporize overtime and pollute the air in your dining room.

Interestingly, if you have a dining room table that is not too outlandish, you'll probably find chairs to meet the criteria above and that still look good in your dining room. Sleek, contemporary designs using natural materials can go very well with glass top tables or tables made principally of metal. And of course, dining chairs can be both "green" and durable at the same time. No one says that you have to sit on chairs made out of cardboard or recycled soda pop bottles.

Naturally, if your budget extends to it, you can always partake in another form of recycling which is to buy antique chairs. Whether or not you choose to use them to seat your guests is another matter. It's true that purchasing those hand-built, eighteenth century master craftsman dining chairs makes you a little wary of using them for guests who might not appreciate their full value.

Another option is open to you as well. If your current set of dining chairs are looking a little worse for wear, then you can still get a little bit more useful life out of them by using seat covers. As seat covers can be relatively inexpensive, you can even treat yourself to "new" sets of chairs for every day of the week!

However, there comes a time when even the best recycling tips and tricks will no longer save a set of chairs whose time has come. It might be the right moment to overhaul the whole of your dining room furniture, from chairs to sideboard to table. Depending on what you have and what you want your dining room to look like, you may well find that a new ensemble of dining room furniture breathes a whole new life into the dining experience.

One of the basic choices that you will have to make in that case is whether to buy chairs with arms or without. It's a question of space, mobility and whether or not you and your guests at the dinner table would like to lounge around in your seats. Having arms on dining chairs also makes it easier to move the chairs around if you want to continue the conversation away from the table. On the other hand you would probably be well advised to acquire chairs for your dining room which do not require too much cleaning or maintenance, and that are protected against the stains that will inevitably result in area where food is commonplace. …

Free Restaurant Employee Handbooks For Small Business Owners

Free restaurant employee handbooks from trustworthy online sources provide the freedom and convenience that small restaurant owners need to save money and time in running their business. However, there are certain risks in using free restaurant employee handbooks without crosschecking whether the generic policies fit the needs of your restaurant business.

Before you publish your employee handbook, consider the following points:

1. Have you consulted a lawyer or a law firm to verify the contents of your employee handbook?

It seems easier to just download templates of free restaurant employee handbooks, and then, chop up the sections you need and reassemble them together. However, keeping the text in your employee handbook generic might present a problem in the future.

The additional expense of hiring a lawyer is worth it when you find your business in jeopardy over a labor dispute. The words you choose will determine the way your employees understand your work policies.

Your lawyer will also counter check your policies against those required by your state as well as additional sources, such as city ordinances and the policies set by the US FDA regarding food handling and sanitation.

2. Are you practicing at-will employment?

Employing at will may seem practical for a small business, but it also leaves you vulnerable to disputes, such as wrongful termination charges. This limitation is under the implied-contract exception, which is one of three exceptions to the at-will employment rule.

Although you hired an employee without a written and signed contract, the presence of a restaurant employee handbook translates into a binding contract within the following conditions:

a. When you state that an employee can be terminated due to “just cause,” you cannot fire any of your restaurant staff without the presence of just cause, which defies the nature of at-will employment.

b. When the employee handbook explicitly states the standard procedures for employment termination, and you suddenly fire one of your employees without due process, then you are liable for breach of contract claims.

c. Avoid using binding language, such as referring to a job as “career” or providing policies for promotion and demotion, which are not possible in at-will employment.

3. Have you made provisions for cultural competency in your restaurant employee handbook?

Most workplaces today are multi-cultural and multi-lingual. In recognition of this diversity, your employee handbook as well as postings in your restaurant should be translated into one or two other languages. The most common foreign languages include Spanish and Chinese.

Aside from tri-lingual translations, your restaurant employee handbook should also include provisions for holidays usually observed by other cultures. For example, Halloween may not usually require absence from work, but the Day of the Dead does. Visiting graves and participating in a procession are traditional practices for this special day in November.

Free restaurant employee handbooks are practical options compared to buying ready-to-use handbooks, but before you can use one of them as your own policy manual, you will have to tweak the content to strengthen the document’s …

The Economic Downturn’s Impact Had On The Foodservice Industry: US Restaurant Trends

Every year CHD Expert reveals the annual United States restaurant openings and closings, as it is a fiercely competitive industry. After combing through all of the data from 2011, we have some interesting findings that we want to share.

In 2011 the number of restaurants in the marketplace declined by 2.5{ccdfc561878e9246e1a18999d5a21dd519dc1b039f0564ab04c9b3978134babb} in the U.S., which represented a net change of 16,000 less restaurants nationwide. The final three months of 2011 saw more restaurants close than any other quarter of the year. Full service restaurants (FSR) suffered more than limited restaurants (LSR) with almost three times the amount of market decline last year.

The full service restaurant market declined by 12,000 operators, or 3.8{ccdfc561878e9246e1a18999d5a21dd519dc1b039f0564ab04c9b3978134babb}, in 2011. Consumers were not as frugal with their dining dollars as the previous 2 years, but fine dining restaurants still struggled shrinking by 4.6{ccdfc561878e9246e1a18999d5a21dd519dc1b039f0564ab04c9b3978134babb} last year. The hardest hit cuisine, in the fine dining segment, was the “steak, seafood & fish” menu type. Fear not diners. Do not reach for that pint of “sadness” ice cream yet; things are not as bad as what we’ve seen in some previous years in fine dining. Chains such as Capital Grill, Morton’s and Ruth’s Chris are holding their own, but have a long road to recovery to be back to where they were in 2008.

Limited service restaurants were not immune to the downturn either, as they declined by 4,000 operators, or 1.3{ccdfc561878e9246e1a18999d5a21dd519dc1b039f0564ab04c9b3978134babb}, in 2011. It will come as no surprise to those in the industry that the independent restaurants were hurt the most. Limited service chains actually increased in 2011 by nearly 1{ccdfc561878e9246e1a18999d5a21dd519dc1b039f0564ab04c9b3978134babb}. Fast casual chains that boast a more fresh, and diverse menu continued to thrive. The news was not so joyful for fast casual’s frozen LSR brethren; the smoothie, juice and frozen dessert menu types, had the largest decline at over 7.3{ccdfc561878e9246e1a18999d5a21dd519dc1b039f0564ab04c9b3978134babb} in 2011.

However it’s not all bad news and we are happy to report that we have seen some growth too. There are some restaurants that diners got “some more” from in 2011. Meat and potatoes reigned supreme as “American traditional”, and “American regional” menu types increased by more than 7.5{ccdfc561878e9246e1a18999d5a21dd519dc1b039f0564ab04c9b3978134babb} throughout the year. Bars & grills and Asian restaurants also were on the rise in 2011 with over a 2{ccdfc561878e9246e1a18999d5a21dd519dc1b039f0564ab04c9b3978134babb} increase in the market.

According to Cathy Kearns, General Manager at CHD Expert, “Even with a declining market, consumers still want their food good, and fast. Fast Casual chains are becoming more attractive to consumers, offering a higher quality food than quick service with a perception of being the healthier option. So they’re getting food at a fair price without giving up an hour of their time.”…

How to Choose the Best Paper Rolls For Your Kitchen Printer

1. Know what paper you need. Thermal printers require thermal – dot matrix printers typically have a printer ribbon and require bond or carbonless paper. Also know if you need 2-ply rolls. This is what most restaurants use to manage their kitchen orders.

2. Know your printer model. Your paper supplier will provide paper compatible with your model.

3. Ask for more. Request the maximum amount of POS paper your printer model can hold. You want as much paper as possible on each roll to avoid paper changes during your kitchen’s daily rushes. What you might not know: the “standard” paper roll is shorter than most printers can accommodate, due to paper thickness variations. Example: the standard thermal paper roll is about 230 feet, but most thermal printers can fit 273 feet of paper or more. Be sure your supplier doesn’t shorten your paper rolls.

4. Streamline your ordering process. If you need printer ribbons, buy them when you buy your paper rolls. You can save both ordering time and money through volume discounts and reduced delivery fees. Just be sure your POS paper supplier carries both the paper and ribbons you need.

5. Get the right-sized carton. Kitchen paper can come in double-stacked or single-stacked cartons, as well as smaller paper-roll counts. Consider what you need before you buy too much.

6. Keep storage top of mind. If buying more than one case of paper rolls for one location, be sure you have a proper storage place. Most paper will hold up well indoors, but the kitchen can be warm and humid. Think about storage before you buy excess paper for a discount.

7. Don’t overpay. It may seem convenient, but ordering your POS paper from a foodservice supplier only brings a middleman into the process, increasing your costs. Order directly from a company that specializes in POS supplies to get the best price.

8. Don’t go out of your way. You may be tempted to hit the office supplies superstore in town – but that’s not your best bet. You will overpay for your supplies- and waste valuable time you could spend running your restaurant. Let a company that specializes in POS supplies deliver it right to your doorstep – within just a day or two.

9. Never run low. Never run out. Ask your POS paper supplier about automatic reordering or reminder services. They will call or email you when it’s time to reorder your supplies- so your kitchen never runs out of paper.

Tips & Warnings

Tip: Sign up for automatic reordering or reminder services as soon as you can. It will make your work – and your life – much easier.

Warning: If you do buy from a food service supplier, you could pay up to 25 percent more for your kitchen paper.…

Try Your Hand at Making Baby Food With a Baby Food Mill

Two things are going on in the world today. People are looking to go green and there is a huge health movement for people to eat healthier and use more organic foods. We can’t help you with the first one, but we can tell you how to get your kids started on a good diet from day one with a baby food mill.

Have you ever noticed how kids today don’t want to eat anything as they get older? If it’s not loaded with sugar and salt, they want nothing to do with it. Well there are some people that think it all starts with the food that they are eating as a baby. If you don’t believe it, try a test and see what happens.

If you have a baby and have been feeding them one of the popular baby food brands, go out and get a baby food mill and make the same item and see if they still eat it. Two dishes of strained peas, but the one that goes down is probably the one that they are already used to, the store bought one. Now look at the label and you will be surprised at what you have been feeding your child.

In order to avoid this, get a baby food mill and start making your own baby food from day one. Your child will love it because they don’t know any better yet. They are going to learn to love the true flavors of food and as they get older, feeding them will not be a problem as they will enjoy everything that you give them.

There is a huge problem today with our children’s eating habits and obesity. To help get them started down the right road at an early age, you can get your own baby food mill and feed them the way that they should be eating. You never know, you just may save a few bucks in the process as well.…

Blatta Lateralis and How to Care for Them

When starting a colony of Blatta lateralis there are many important things you need to know, especially if you have never started a colony before. These roaches are actually taking the feeder market by storm because of the ease of caring for them. First off let’s talk about what Blatta lateralis look like. Blatta lateralis are also known as rusty reds, or Turkistan roach. These roaches are small like crickets but they do not require perfect temperature or humidity like crickets do. They also do not smell or die off quickly like crickets tend to. Male lateralis are light colored with wings, and females are dark with no wings. Lateralis are fast movers so be prepared to chase them if they do escape. The upside to them being so fast is that they are fast breeders, because they lay eggs instead of live birth allowing your colony to grow at a fast pace.

Housing your Blatta lateralis is very easy. Any container such as a glass tank or plastic container works well with lateralis since they are non-climbers. Make sure that you have plenty of egg cartons in your container so that you roaches are able to breed. Also you need to keep humidity above 40{ccdfc561878e9246e1a18999d5a21dd519dc1b039f0564ab04c9b3978134babb}. You can get your humidity higher my occasionally misting your container with water. A heat mat can be placed at the bottom of your container of you can place a heat lamp on top of the container to keep a high temperature. The container’s temperature should be between 80 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit. You could also use a pre heated reptile room, nocturnal light bulb with a reflector, heat tape, human heating pad, or a heat cable to keep your container at the right temperature. Make sure you always keep mold out of your colony’s container. Mold can destroy your whole colony.

Feeding your Blatta lateralis is also very easy. Lateralis will pretty much eat anything, but you need to keep in mind whatever you feed your roaches you will also be feeding your pet. Providing your roaches with a high protein diet will allow them to better feed your pets later. Dry cat food, whole grain cereal, baby cereal, fish flakes, or roach diet. You can use dry dog food but it does not have as much protein as the dry cat food. You can put their food in a small dish or in the corners of your tank. Strangely enough lateralis often take their food from the dish and move it to their hiding spots to eat. Water is also very important to the health of your roaches. Water crystals are wonderful to use because they are not messy like liquid water.

Blatta lateralis are wonderful feeder roaches especially for smaller pets such as, tarantulas, geckos, and baby bearded dragons. Any pet that you would normally feed a cricket to you can feed lateralis to. Lateralis also have soft shells so it makes it easier for your pet to digest and allows …

Tilia Food Saver – Food Vacuum Sealer Review

Imagine being able to save food leftovers by sealing them in a vacuumed plastic bag. Now imagine opening that same bag after some months in storage, and the contents were as fresh as the day you sealed them. The Tilia Food Saver can do all that, and does it very well.

Vacuumed plastic bag foods genuinely do last longer and taste that bit fresher. For example, cheese and sugar, where they would normally go hard after a day or two, here they last for months. Your leftovers can be frozen and later reheated, just by placing them in a pan of hot water, or if you are in a hurry the microwave.

The particular model that I own is the V2440. I find this very easy to use especially the attached precision bag roll cutter. It doesn’t matter if I’m storing wet or dry foods, crush-able items like bread, fruit and vegetables, everything is taken care of with a simple push button setting.

The Tilia Food Saver, for me works very well, food items are protected and it’s an easy machine to use. I also like the way it stores inconspicuously away to one side, it really doesn’t take up much space at all.

Oh, one other thing, a tip really, if the vacuum sealer fails, remove the top and bottom gaskets, remove any debris that might be on the gaskets and then re seat them. Now lock the handle and press the vacuum and seal button. After it is finished, wait a few seconds, then release the handle. The gaskets should now be resealed.…

Food Dehydrator – Where and How To Buy

Buying your first food dehydrator should be easy and fun. After all a good food dehydrator can help you make some of the best natural foods around, so why should you stress about how to pick one out? You'll know how to shop for a food dehydrator when all is said and done and we'll not only show you where but how.

The first thing to keep in mind is that watts power food dehydrators. The amount of wattage only comes into play when your food dehydrator is large otherwise most food dehydrators come packed with enough wattage to get what you need done. Watch buying units that have a low wattage and over 12 trays. For instance keep your wattage high enough to power the unit. Consider using about 1000 watts for every 10-15 trays installed into the food dehydrator. If food dehydrated in your unit does not get enough dehydration while in the unit it will not fully dry in the middle which can cause bacteria or even poor taste.

When buying a food dehydrator stick to the names brands that have already done well in the industry like Nesco and Deni. You can not go wrong with big companies that will be able to get your money back if you accidentally make the wrong purchase. Also these companies pack your food dehydrator with great and easy to use instructions to make your life much simpler when you get your unit home.

Consider buying a food dehydrator recipes guide as well. You can usually find a recipe book for food dehydrators for under $ 20 and you'll have it forever. The reason I suggest having preset recipes is because they have already time and time again been tested so you can just make and enjoy them. As you get more efficient with your food dehydrator you can simply branch out and experiment more on your own. Your own experimentation with a food dehydrator will lead to coming up with some very unique and great recipes to share with you and your family for generations to come. Do not forget to fully clean and dry your food dehydrator when done using the unit as this will preserve it for a longer extended period of time and you'll have to buy dehydrator trays left often. …

Importance of Logistics in Import/Export Business

If you are a global supplier of products then you must know the importance of logistic services. Logistic service providers or freight forwarders offer variety of transportation services to their clients. They help to move the products and accessories including food, apparel, engineering equipment, and many other products. They offer an opportunity for the manufacturers to expand their business far across the nations. They can easily fulfill the intricate distribution needs of the manufacturers. These logistic service providers work in a determined manner and use highly standard processes to ensure your business goals are met on time.

Logistic service providers work seamlessly with transportation service providers, supply chain & logistics professionals, customizing the solution to the needs of their worldwide clients. They work in association with their air, ocean, brokerage, warehousing as well as consolidation services. Their wide ranging consolidation and distribution services offer global logistics providers and manufacturers a complete control on their supply chain management. They provide logistics and distribution services to the customers at the global location where business needs of the customers are best met, on time and within their budgetary constraints.

Logistic service providers can handle and manage all factors of sea freight, air freight, land transport and shipments with flawless integration of inbound receipts, warehousing, distribution, storage of cargo & end-to-end as well as port to port service with excellent transit times. They provide port-to-port and door to door freight services transit times consistent throughout the year and to any location of the manufacturer’s choice. Their local experts work with the manufacturers to book capacity and track their shipment anywhere anytime to ensure goods arrive when needed.

The flexible services and their international network locations render an inspiring opportunity for the manufacturers, suppliers, transportation agencies, and warehousing companies to minimize cost of operation and distribution. Their efficient door to door transport services refers to the quick movement of goods from the door of the seller / shipper to the door of the buyer. This type of transportation service may include various modes of transportation including air, sea or road. Each mode of transport is specialized and needs a professional excellence and thorough understating of the warehousing and distribution services.

The logistic service providers offer absolute professionalism, loyalty, and consistency with the essential services like:

1. Air Express Service, high priority (24 hours)

2. Value added service to any destination

3. Economical & timely distribution

4. Door to Door & Airport to Airport service with excellent transit times

5. Full Container Load (FCL) & Partial Container Load (LCL) cargo service

6. Worldwide delivery

Logistics and freight forwarder companies provide the ideal balance of time, space, frequency and cost. They offer the most efficient and cost effective solutions for the worldwide customer’s freight needs while meeting time critical schedules to meet their requirements.…

How Profitable Is Dairy Farming in Uganda?

Background

I was always afraid of cows (called “ente” in the local language), particularly during milking. When growing up, I watched from a distance while my grandfather milked. I couldn’t trust the cow not to get angry (for its mammary glands being touched) and deliver a well-aimed back kick to the gonads!

From the nutritional point of view (for those readers who are unaware, such as aliens and Martians), milk is an essential food substance needed for our growth all the way from child hood to adult hood, providing essential proteins and calcium for the body.

In Uganda, a big number of families consume unprocessed milk sold at the retail price of Shs. 1,400 shillings for a litre as compared to processed milk which is sold at Shs. 2,000 shillings a litre

Why invest in dairy-farming in Uganda?

In Uganda milk and milk products are mostly got from cattle and a small percentage from goats and sheep. The districts of Mbarara, Moroto, Bushenyi, Kotido, Masaka, Mbale, Kabarole, Mukono, Ntungamo, and Kamuli dominate production in this sector.

The cattle population in Uganda was last estimated as per the 2008 livestock census to be 11.4m. It is estimated that indigenous breeds account for approx 84{ccdfc561878e9246e1a18999d5a21dd519dc1b039f0564ab04c9b3978134babb} while the exotic and cross breeds account for the balance. It’s also estimated that Uganda currently produces 1- 1.5 billion liters of milk per year of which 30{ccdfc561878e9246e1a18999d5a21dd519dc1b039f0564ab04c9b3978134babb} is consumed on the farm (or households) and 70{ccdfc561878e9246e1a18999d5a21dd519dc1b039f0564ab04c9b3978134babb} is sold.

Although the domestic market constitutes the major market for milk and dairy products, some of the processed milk and value added dairy products are exported to regional markets such as Kenya, Rwanda, Democratic republic of Congo, South Sudan and Tanzania.

Where are the investment opportunities in the diary sector in Uganda?

Considering that Uganda’s population will continue to grow by over 3{ccdfc561878e9246e1a18999d5a21dd519dc1b039f0564ab04c9b3978134babb} per annum, as well as get wealthier (with persons below the poverty line reducing) there are opportunities particularly in the distribution and processing of milk. In particular, the windows of opportunity that I note for the dairy Sector include the following:

  1. Investment in milk collection centres
  2. Investment in supply milk tankers
  3. Investment in packaged pasteurized milk distribution system
  4. Upgrade of Informal actors into mini dairies
  5. Upgrade of existing dairy plants
  6. Investment in integrated farming/processing dairy business
  7. Investment in transportation tanker cleaning facility.

So with the above in mind, how do you try to make money (“sente” in the local language) from cows (“ente”)?

FIRST THE CONS

1. Marketing bottlenecks

One of the most critical problems facing dairy farmers in Uganda has been recognized as that of marketing their milk.

This is due to poor market access (for example due to bad roads and lack of information on market prices).

The solution for the “advanced thinking” farmer would be to partner with regional cooperatives in the supply of milk as they already have well established transport and infrastructure systems.

There is also the option of getting in touch with the large scale milk processors to supply them. …