March 28, 2018


Food Hygiene

Food hygiene is imperative to businesses in the hospitality industry. Australian food standard 3.2.2 - Food Safety Practices and General Requirements, ensures food handlers are constantly doing what it takes to keep food safe. Researchers have identified over 250 food borne illnesses, and have noted that pregnant women, young children, the elderly, and anyone with a compromised immune system are most likely to develop a food borne illness. It is especially important for hospitality staff working with these groups  i.e. in pre-schools, to be extra diligent in maintaining Food Safety and Hygiene. 

Cleanliness is Key

- Frequently wash and dry your hands. Use warm running water and lather hands with soap. Ensure to scrub fingers, palms, wrists, and under nails for 15 seconds. Rinse under the warm running water. Turn off taps with elbows or a towel to avoid recontaminating hands. 

For a comprehensive understanding, watch the video below. 

- Long hair should be tied up or put into a hair net. This will stop hair getting in food. 
- All jewellery must be removed. Millions of germs can hide in rings, necklaces, watches etc. 
- Wear an Apron on top of your CLEAN clothing. 
- Do not touch food that is 'ready to eat' with barehands. You must wear gloves or use tongs. 

- Do not cough, sneeze, eat, or blow on food. 

If you are sick...
Tell your supervisor and go home. Do not touch anything that could contaminate the food. You should not return to work until 48 hours after your most recent symptom. 

As a hospitality employee it is your responsibility to ensure you remain hygienic in the workplace. Follow these basic steps to better your workplace. 

November 27, 2017


Fitting Out Your Cafe - Choosing the Right Equipment

Aside from an evolving business model, reliable staff and a great menu, sweet success for a cafe can be as simple as having the right tools for the job.    

Once you've finished your business plan, your finances and location is sorted, a kitchen layout mapped, the next step is to fit out the kitchen.  

Choosing the right commercial equipment for your cafe or restaurant space can feel overwhelming, especially as it will affect the day to day function of your cafe, which impacts customer experience and your all important potential profit.


Some of the key factors when considering hospitality supplies are:  

+ your budget 

+ the concept/style of your cafe 

+ your menu — what type of food you will be selling 

+ the amount of space you have to work with

+ is there any exisiting equipment in good working order  

Starting with a basic setup of equipment suits most startups, it also gives you the option to add gear and extra catering equipment down the track as your business grows. The vital items for every commercial kitchen include:

Storage refrigerator & freezer 
Choosing the right size and shape commercial fridge to store all ingredients and fit your space is important. Choose from upright and under bench fridges and freezers. Under bench options are great space savers in small kitchens. Preparation fridges are designed for quick access to fresh ingredients displayed in refrigerated sections. 

Display cabinet for cold food
An attractive display cabinet is an investment in any cafe kitchen. It showcases pre-prepared sweet and savoury food and is responsible for last minute sales from customers who need something quick to takeaway.  

Coffee Machine
Your kitchen layout plan is paramount here. Selecting a commercial espresso coffee machine is largely determined by bench space (consider proximity to power supply, water supply and waste drainage) budget and estimated capacity (1, 2, 3 0r 4 group machine).

Dishwasher and sinks
When choosing a commercial dishwasher it's important to determine what capacity machine you'll need. You can estimate this by thinking about how much crockery and glassware per person each table will use at maximum capacity, showing roughly how many dishes will come through your kitchen at peak times.

Crockery and glassware
Perhaps the trickiest choice of all,  choosing dishware for your cafe or restaurant has to consider not only functionality but how the design compliments your establishment's style. Whether you're after classic or statement dinner plates, always prioritise durability and stick to your budget.   

Other commercial equipment you can add to your basic setup includes:

+ commercial microwave oven

+ sandwich press
+ griddle and commercial hot plate

+ gas oven with various cooktop burner variations

+ Knife sets
+ chopping boards
+ kitchen utensils 

Upgrading equipment later on can be an inconvenient and costly task. So be sure to plan you kitchen layout well in advance to assess the best configuration of all equipment during service times, know your budget and get advice on tried-and-true brands with warranties.   

July 26, 2017


Cheap Catering Supplies vs Quality Equipment

The question between quality and quantity has been long debated. Would you rather have a high-quality product or an assortment of cheaper equipment and supplies? If you are running a top-tier restaurant you’re going to want quality equipment and catering supplies that will cope under the demands of a busy customer base. Whether it’s simply cutlery, or as important as an oven the customer will ultimately be judging the restaurant based upon this.

You’re at your favourite restaurant and out comes your dessert. Unfortunately, your spoon breaks halfway through your dessert. Would this deter you from coming here again? For some it might, so why take the risk if you’re running a restaurant?

That’s not to say taking the cheaper option isn’t beneficial. Some smaller businesses such as your local kebab or fish and chip shop might opt for plastic spoons and forks, its merely based upon the situation. For example, a Jamie Oliver restaurant is going to have high quality products to best suit the business, and they can easily cover the expense with their profits. The meals are expensive, you might be looking at $100 a head. Whereas a kebab shop you might be paying $15 max for a kebab and drink. So, it makes sense if you want to run a top tier restaurant you’re going to invest in the appropriate equipment and catering supplies appropriate to your business. This is a very simple example but you get the idea.

Pan Comparison

When talking pans there are many variations such as the level of heat conductivity, and this is dependent on the material of the pan. Pans range from Stainless steel which have the option of an aluminum or copper core, Copper, aluminum, iron, enameled cast iron, or cast steel. These all vary in price, with the copper pans topping the list. Your average copper pan will set you back $250, whereas the cheap options are Iron or Carbon Steel and will set you back roughly $50-60. Once again, these pans all do the same job but the quality will vary, and as they say, ‘You get what you pay for’. These cheaper options have their pros and cons. On the one hand, they’re affordable and have great heat retention but they are susceptible to rust and corrosion, and they may react with acidic and alkaline foods. The more expensive option such as Copper pans, are great at conducting and maintaining heat and do not react with acidic or alkaline foods, but they are expensive.

If you’re looking for a great mid-range pan and don’t want to sacrifice on quality but want to save money a Enameled Cast Iron pan may be the right option for you. They sell for roughly $145 but they are well worth the money. They don’t react to acidic or alkaline foods, they conduct and maintain heat very well, excellent at high heat cooking and are extremely durable. They do have their cons though, quite heavy in weight, can be slow to heat, don’t have a non-stick layer and they’re more expensive than your regular cast iron pans.

Whether you’re a top-tier restaurant looking to purchase a high-quality product or a local fish and chip shop you will constantly be looking to save money where you can and that’s understandable, but this article will hopefully give you some insight into what you’re after and what product is right for you.

March 15, 2017


Sharp Knives - Quicker, Better Cutting Kitchenwares, Central Coast

As a passionate at home family chef, nothing gripes me more when on holidays or at another’s house than blunt knives. If you have any interest in cooking, or work in hospitality, then a sharp knife is absolutely essential. Not only do you feel somewhat like a Samurai (please don’t go swinging knives around), but a sharp knife also provides the following benefits:


You may have heard this one before, but let me reiterate – A sharp knife is actually safer than a blunt one. I can speak personally for this one, as countless times have I sliced my finger when using a blunt knife. Why? Well simply it is much easier to slip rather than penetrate the skin of vegetables and such. Not only that, but you are applying more pressure to make the cut with a blunt knife. Ow!


It may sound strange, but if you have ever been in the kitchen preparing food for any amount of time, you will start to feel cramping in your hand. The little muscles in our hand need to compensate more when using a blunt knife, rather than a sharp one that glides effortlessly through the food.


Whether you are slicing, dicing or something else, a sharp knife will give you a better chance at straight, even cuts. Provide exact and intentional portions with a well-kept knife.


Not talking about the knives themselves, although good knives look awesome (is that weird?), but the cuts made with sharp knives will appear much more seamless and smooth. If meal presentation is a concern, then so should sharp knives be.


An obvious one, a sharp knife makes quick work of anything you cut. Rather than using it like a hand saw, you can work up a consistent gliding rhythm with a sharp knife (be careful) that can chop through a full cucumber in seconds! If you are trying to push out 100+ meals a night, a sharp knife and an effective knife sharpening system will give you maximum prep time.

With all this in mind, be sure to invest in quality knives to begin with, but also maintain your knives with regular sharpening. Even the best knives need to be maintained, which is made all the better with a good knife sharpening system. Your kitchen wares should be top priority in preparing quality food.

For all your hospitality supplies, catering equipment and kitchen wares on the Central Coast, choose Hospitality Supplies Express.