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August 04, 2020 | 07:50 PM

Back-to-Business Guide: Reopening a Restaurant After Quarantine


The COVID-19 pandemic has forced thousands of restaurants around the world to close temporarily. Sadly, dining establishments in the United Arab Emirates also experienced the same. And although some continued to operate by offering delivery services, their businesses still suffered significantly since the majority of their income and profits usually came from dine-in customers. The good news is that restaurants in the UAE have already been allowed to reopen since May. This means that they are accepting dine-in customers once again. For many, this signifies going back to business as usual. However, for those in the restaurant industry, it is not back to business as usual. With the coronavirus still a huge health threat, dining establishment owners have to make several changes in their operations to protect their customers, employees, their reputation, and their source of income. Must-Know Facts and Tips About Reopening Restaurants Post-Quarantine As one of the trusted food suppliers in Dubai, we want to help restaurant owners like you get back up on your feet as you reopen your business. We have researched and created a guide you can use as you welcome customers back into your establishment. Below are the important rules and tips you have to follow as you reopen your restaurant in the UAE: 1. Implement social distancing practices The UAE government has emphasized the importance of observing social distancing to minimize the risk of disease transmission. In line with these precautionary practices, they have also implemented stricter policies for restaurants to follow. These rules include: Placing tables at least two meters apart Allowing only a maximum of four people to sit at each table Serving only a maximum of 50 meals per order Not allowing customers to stay in the waiting area to avoid crowding Wearing masks is a must for both employees and customers at all times, except when eating 2. Observe proper cleaning and sanitizing practices Since good hygiene is crucial to lowering the risk of acquiring and spreading the coronavirus and other diseases, your restaurant should take a proactive approach to keeping your restaurant clean and sanitized at all times. The government has implemented these rules regarding cleaning and sanitizing which all dining establishments have to follow: Wiping and disinfecting tables immediately after a customer leaves Using only disposable cups and eating utensils for serving food and beverages. Establishments that have automated dishwashing facilities, however, can provide customers with regular cutlery. Placing hand sanitizers in strategic areas inside the premises Although it is not yet a rule, as a preventive measure, ensure that all surfaces inside the premises are disinfected properly during closing time. 3. Rearrange your dining area With dining establishments only allowed 60 percent of the total capacity, you won’t need all the tables and chairs in your dining area. As such, before reopening, consider redesigning your space. Whether you have a small or spacious dining area, remove some tables and chairs, especially if they block off paths and the entrances or exits to your premises. Also, stagger the seating in the dining area to make it less crowded. This simple step can help you protect both your customers and employees. 4. Rethink your menu When you reopen your restaurant, you can’t expect that your earnings and profits will go through the roof immediately. To sustain your business as you recuperate your losses and avoid wasting money on unnecessary things, such as ingredients you don’t often use, review your menu first. List down the dishes that diners often order and consider removing the ones that are unpopular from your menu. With a well-thought-out menu, you will avoid spending money on supplies that you are not sure will be used. Another strategy you can consider is maintaining a menu mix of proteins, pasta, and vegetarian options but limiting your offerings. In addition, consider the option of introducing a category rotation, with different items offered each week. Also, to minimize costs and workload, speak with your kitchen staff to find ways to reduce the prep time and execution of the menu items you want to serve. 5. Start or continue offering delivery services If you did not offer food delivery service during the quarantine, you could start now. Since many people are still hesitant about going and dining out, it is a great way to reach out to your loyal customers and boost your restaurant’s earnings at the same time. In case you are already offering delivery services, continue providing it even after you reopen. Again, many people will still want to eat in the comfort of their homes, so do not block this extra stream of income for your business. Additionally, inform customers that you also offer takeaways and accept advance orders for faster, more efficient service. 6. Let customers know about your efforts Your investment will go to waste if customers do not know about all the work you put into preparing your restaurant. To encourage diners to visit and eat at your establishment, promote the new measures you have implemented. With people online most of the time, use your website and social media accounts to promote the reopening of your restaurant and the measures you have in place to ensure a safe dining experience. Make sure you put out as much information as you can regarding the reopening of your restaurant. Engage with interested diners as well; answer their questions as promptly as you can. 7. Prepare well for the reopening Finally, to ensure your restaurant reopens without a hitch, prepare well beforehand. This means stocking your pantry and fridge to ensure you have all the necessary ingredients for your menu items. Get in touch with your meat suppliers in Dubai for your protein needs. Order your other supplies from your providers days before your opening as well. Also, ensure you have sanitized the dining area, kitchen, toilet, and furniture the night before reopening. If you need to rearrange anything, do it days in advance. Your employees need to undergo testing prior to your opening as well. Make sure everyone does so and check that they are cleared to go back to work. Reopening your business after quarantine takes a lot of work. You need to continue following the rules and implementing the crucial health measures as well. If you need help with going through the entire process, get in touch with us. We can guide you as you prepare to open your doors and accept diners again.
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July 12, 2020 | 10:00 AM

Bidfood UAE Signs Exclusive Foodservice Distribution Agreement with Cornish Sea Salt


Bidfood UAE signed an exclusive distribution agreement with Cornwall sea salt company, Cornish Sea Salt   A successful partnership debut at Gulfood 2020 – Cornish Sea Salt was featured in Bidfood Middle East’s regional stand – yielded rave reviews from customers and trade show attendants, a positive overture to the company’s foodservice range in time for the market launch in the UAE via Bidfood’s sales, marketing, and operational forces.   Commenting on Bidfood UAE’s latest partnership, Bidfood ME’s Chief Commercial Officer, Wael Al Jamil, said: “With a company as passionate and as invested in their products and vision as Cornish Sea Salt, it was an easy decision to make for us – we know that onboarding the brand would only add value to our portfolio. In today’s world, cheaper table salts are taking a back seat to artisan salts with both the health benefits and culinary versatility. We are excited to take sea salt to great new heights together with Cornish Sea Salt’s team.”   Echoing Al Jamil’s sentiment on the partnership, Cornish Sea Salt Group Sales Director, Suzanne Skerry, said: “Meeting the Bidfood team at Gulfood back in February, I immediately knew that our product was in good hands for its introduction to the Gulf. We look forward to making the most out of Bidfood UAE’s network of chefs, culinary professionals, and foodservice outlets to grow the brand and to help people ‘sea’ salt differently.”   The range includes six foodservice-sized (1.5kg and 1kg) sea salt tubs ranging from core flavors to blended salts like smoked sea salt flakes, chili sea salt, garlic sea salt, and lemon and thyme sea salt. The salts can be used for bakery, on protein (chicken, meat, and fish), in marinades and mixology, or as a finishing salt, making for a versatile rang with unique culinary attributes and health benefits, for chefs and culinary professionals to naturally enhance the flavor and quality of their menu items.  
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June 24, 2020

8 Ways to Amp Up Your Dessert Menu


The food service industry is a ferociously competitive arena. Thousands of new restaurants launch every year, but sadly, studies show that only 50 percent of these remain operational after the two-year mark. According to industry specialists, one of the main reasons behind the closure of some dining establishments is the lack of innovation. Quite often, it's not enough that the menu items taste wonderful. They need to be memorable, too. Therefore, there should be a continuous effort to improve and present something unexpected yet delightful. Some of the best items on the menu to experiment with are the desserts. This is evident enough in all the Instagram "food-tographs" that pop up in the Explore section. Also, desserts are sweet indulgences that are easy enough to elevate in terms of appearance and taste.  So, if you are looking for a way to refresh your restaurant offerings, work on amping up your dessert menu. Do this whether you prepare the desserts from scratch at the restaurant or simply purchase frozen cakes and other sweet treats from reliable distributors. 8 Effective Ways to Improve Your Desserts According to professional bakers, patissiers, and photographers, you don't need to take the complicated route in leveling up your dessert menu. Simple tricks will do the job. Shared below are eight ideas to try. 1. Update flavor combinations Desserts, as delicious as they are, can be sickeningly sweet for some. Therefore, it's nice to add another layer of flavor to them. For example, if you have a popular vanilla cupcake with buttercream frosting on the menu, it's perfect by itself. But, you can make people consume more of it if you add salty or savory flavors. Consider crushing salted pretzels and sprinkling them generously on the frosting or decorating the cupcake with two strips of bacon. The combination may seem weird, but people with a dynamic palate may enjoy the contrasting flavors. 2. Create miniatures If you don't have a lot of small desserts on the menu, start including them. "Cute" is an enormous draw factor, and you can't overlook the fact that a lot of diners prefer small morsels that do not require fancy utensils to eat. Some of the miniature desserts worth including in your menu are cheesecake bites, mini cream puffs, and pies.  3. Add seasonal items This has got to be one of the easiest ways to switch things up for your dessert menu. Celebrate the changing seasons by including seasonal offerings.  Say, during the fall, include spiced desserts in the selection. Meanwhile, for Christmas, make sure to add Santa Claus-themed sweets such as Santa-shaped beehives, butter cookies, and cupcakes. And during the summer, add more recipes that feature summer fruits such as apricots, berries, melons, and pineapples. 4. Experiment with herbs Herbs are not often used for desserts, but they can actually give classic recipes a whole new appeal. Tarragon, thyme, mint, and rosemary can make sweetened fruits for pies more appetizing. Plus, sprigs of these herbs make desserts more visually appealing. 5. Come up with hip presentations You'll create a more desirable dessert menu if you make every item pretty. Take new pictures of the selection and glam up every item. An elegant presentation will make petits fours and other sweet morsels more desirable. Here are two presentation tricks to try: Place small cakes in a shallow bowl, then cover these with a crystal goblet turned upside down. Surround and sprinkle desserts with edible flowers. 6. Play with liqueur Spiked desserts are quite popular, and they're worth including, especially if your restaurant has a diverse clientele. A lot of people just enjoy the light and rebellious feeling they get when they eat desserts they know have added liqueur. Plus, certain liqueurs and spirits can truly enhance the flavors of ingredients. For instance, rum chocolate fudge is delicious, and it feels like a real treat, especially if a single order just comprises three nuggets. Margarita ice cream is another enjoyable dessert for gastronomes. These kinds of options will make your dessert menu more exciting. 7. Pair special beverages with certain dessert items Reach out to gourmands and sommeliers to find out what types of wine would be perfect for matching with your dessert menu’s top-selling items. Pairing desserts with wine is a lovely chance to create a luxurious experience for diners. But it's not just wine that you can pair with desserts. Teas, and tea blends, as well as carbonated beverages and coffee concoctions, make attractive compatible matches as, too. 8. Come up with unusual names Make poring through the menu a fun experience for your diners by giving your desserts quirky names. For example, a homemade recipe that's been passed down to your family can be named "Nannie Dolly's Delicious Mistake." Or, if you offer a decadent chocolate cake that makes use of high-end chocolates, how about calling it "ChoCo Chanel?" Get Your Dessert Essentials From Bidfood These are just eight strategies worth trying to improve your dessert selection. More than any of these strategies, however, the tried and true surefire way to amp up your dessert menu is by using only the finest ingredients in your products. You can get this quality assurance from us at Bidfood.  We are the most trusted food and beverage company in the UAE. We have imported ingredients for dessert recipes and also sell wholesale sweet treats like cakes, cookies, and pastries.  You can order from us online, and we'll have what you need delivered to your restaurant right away.
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May 28, 2020

5 Foodservice Innovations to Address COVID-19 & Beyond


The food and beverage industry is one of the industries worst hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses in this sector are expected to lose millions of dollars in sales and revenue, with many possibly closing down after the crisis is over. Many businesses in the foodservice sector, however, refuse to let this pandemic bring them down. Although these companies are not allowed to carry out their normal operations, they are still finding ways to provide their service or deliver their goods to meet the needs of their customers, and people, in general. In the UAE, foodservice operators have already found and implemented innovations that have helped them cope with the pandemic. Since the coronavirus is expected to usher in a “new normal,” these changes will stick around even after the crisis is over. But what changes have foodservice operators in the UAE implemented in response to the COVID-19 pandemic? Trusted food suppliers in Dubai list them below: 1. Delivery Services Although delivery services have been around for years, the coronavirus global crisis has motivated restaurants, food suppliers, and other foodservice operators to rethink and put their own spin on this amenity. For instance, some restaurants that did not previously offer delivery services are now including this in their provisions. Aside from food, they can also deliver beverages, both hot and cold. In addition, many dining establishments and food suppliers are also providing consumers with more options. Aside from ready-to-eat meals, they are also offering a variety of meats, fish, vegan and dairy products, desserts, pantry and bakery supplies, beverages, condiments, and other items that can inspire home cooks to create their culinary masterpieces. With the rise of delivery services, consumers can still enjoy their favorite foods from their preferred restaurants in the comfort and safety of their homes. Whether they order the ready-to-eat option or the ingredients for dishes they have to cook, everyone can still indulge. 2. Improved Food Handling Workforce Safety Even though there is no proof of COVID-19 transmission through food or food packaging, restaurants and food suppliers are still putting in place stringent new safety measures to protect both their staff and customers. All foodservice businesses have put up clear protocols which employees, suppliers, partners, and customers have to follow. One important part of these SOPs is the frequent washing of hands for at least 20 seconds. All delivery personnel are well-trained and instructed to follow health protocols regarding the collection and delivery of orders. These include frequent sanitization of their hands and vehicles. For restaurants and foodservice businesses that offer takeaway or pickup services, physical distancing recommendations are strictly observed. This means that employees have to stay at least two meters away from their coworkers and customers. The number of employees in the food preparation area is also now limited. Establishments are limiting the number of customers inside the premises as well.   Moreover, hand sanitizers are available and free for all customers to use. Employees also have to clean and disinfect touchpoints, such as doorknobs, payment stations, and baskets regularly. 3. Improved Food Packaging Dining establishments were already particular about the packaging they used for takeaways and deliveries. However, with the pandemic, foodservice businesses have doubled their efforts. Foodservice businesses are now choosing packaging materials that can maintain hot and cold temperatures for as long as possible and uphold food quality. Additionally, closed packaging now has a tamper-proof seal. Other popular packaging options today include adhesive seals on take-out bags that tear the bag when opened, and carryout containers with plastic tabs that break when the food is accessed. Some foodservice businesses are also using tamper-evident labels, cartons and cups or lids with tamper-evident seals or adhesive strips or bands. Additionally, many restaurants are labeling food packages with the time and date of pick up. They also offer heating or reheating instructions if necessary. With better food packaging, foodservice businesses can help ensure their products are safe for consumption. 4. Click and Collect Aside from delivery services, local food suppliers and some restaurants are also offering a click and collect option. This service allows customers to order and pay for these items online and pick them up in-store or at a centralized collection point. With this option, the consumer can choose the place where they collect their purchases. This collection spot can be somewhere near their home or anywhere that is convenient for them and they feel safe to go to. Another advantage the click and collect option offers to consumers is that they can select a collection area that will allow them to pick up frozen proteins from their preferred meat suppliers in Dubai and store these quickly in their freezers at home or in their commercial establishments. 5. Service With Empathy and Generosity Lastly, foodservice businesses are going beyond simply providing consumers meals; many are doing so with genuine concern and compassion not only for their customers but for other people in general. Many food suppliers are working hard to deliver their products to the most vulnerable people during these difficult times. These include hospitals, nursing homes, and other healthcare facilities. Additionally, many foodservice businesses are donating supplies to feed the frontliners and the needy without any thought of getting anything back. With these innovations, foodservice businesses can cope with and survive the COVID-19 pandemic. Moreover, these worthwhile changes will endear them to customers — something that will prove useful in the future. Know more about the supplies we have at hand ready for delivery or collection on our homepage.
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May 10, 2020

The Top 5 Tips for Buying Cooking Oil in Bulk


The food service industry is a ferociously competitive arena. Thousands of new restaurants launch every year, but sadly, studies show that only 50 percent of these remain operational after the two-year mark. According to industry specialists, one of the main reasons behind the closure of some dining establishments is the lack of innovation. Quite often, it's not enough that the menu items taste wonderful. They need to be memorable, too. Therefore, there should be a continuous effort to improve and present something unexpected yet delightful. Some of the best items on the menu to experiment with are the desserts. This is evident enough in all the Instagram "food-tographs" that pop up in the Explore section. Also, desserts are sweet indulgences that are easy enough to elevate in terms of appearance and taste.  So, if you are looking for a way to refresh your restaurant offerings, work on amping up your dessert menu. Do this whether you prepare the desserts from scratch at the restaurant or simply purchase frozen cakes and other sweet treats from reliable distributors. 8 Effective Ways to Improve Your Desserts According to professional bakers, patissiers, and photographers, you don't need to take the complicated route in leveling up your dessert menu. Simple tricks will do the job. Shared below are eight ideas to try. 1. Update flavor combinations Desserts, as delicious as they are, can be sickeningly sweet for some. Therefore, it's nice to add another layer of flavor to them. For example, if you have a popular vanilla cupcake with buttercream frosting on the menu, it's perfect by itself. But, you can make people consume more of it if you add salty or savory flavors. Consider crushing salted pretzels and sprinkling them generously on the frosting or decorating the cupcake with two strips of bacon. The combination may seem weird, but people with a dynamic palate may enjoy the contrasting flavors. 2. Create miniatures If you don't have a lot of small desserts on the menu, start including them. "Cute" is an enormous draw factor, and you can't overlook the fact that a lot of diners prefer small morsels that do not require fancy utensils to eat. Some of the miniature desserts worth including in your menu are cheesecake bites, mini cream puffs, and pies.  3. Add seasonal items This has got to be one of the easiest ways to switch things up for your dessert menu. Celebrate the changing seasons by including seasonal offerings.  Say, during the fall, include spiced desserts in the selection. Meanwhile, for Christmas, make sure to add Santa Claus-themed sweets such as Santa-shaped beehives, butter cookies, and cupcakes. And during the summer, add more recipes that feature summer fruits such as apricots, berries, melons, and pineapples. 4. Experiment with herbs Herbs are not often used for desserts, but they can actually give classic recipes a whole new appeal. Tarragon, thyme, mint, and rosemary can make sweetened fruits for pies more appetizing. Plus, sprigs of these herbs make desserts more visually appealing. 5. Come up with hip presentations You'll create a more desirable dessert menu if you make every item pretty. Take new pictures of the selection and glam up every item. An elegant presentation will make petits fours and other sweet morsels more desirable. Here are two presentation tricks to try: Place small cakes in a shallow bowl, then cover these with a crystal goblet turned upside down. Surround and sprinkle desserts with edible flowers. 6. Play with liqueur Spiked desserts are quite popular, and they're worth including, especially if your restaurant has a diverse clientele. A lot of people just enjoy the light and rebellious feeling they get when they eat desserts they know have added liqueur. Plus, certain liqueurs and spirits can truly enhance the flavors of ingredients. For instance, rum chocolate fudge is delicious, and it feels like a real treat, especially if a single order just comprises three nuggets. Margarita ice cream is another enjoyable dessert for gastronomes. These kinds of options will make your dessert menu more exciting. 7. Pair special beverages with certain dessert items Reach out to gourmands and sommeliers to find out what types of wine would be perfect for matching with your dessert menu’s top-selling items. Pairing desserts with wine is a lovely chance to create a luxurious experience for diners. But it's not just wine that you can pair with desserts. Teas, and tea blends, as well as carbonated beverages and coffee concoctions, make attractive compatible matches as, too. 8. Come up with unusual names Make poring through the menu a fun experience for your diners by giving your desserts quirky names. For example, a homemade recipe that's been passed down to your family can be named "Nannie Dolly's Delicious Mistake." Or, if you offer a decadent chocolate cake that makes use of high-end chocolates, how about calling it "ChoCo Chanel?" Get Your Dessert Essentials From Bidfood These are just eight strategies worth trying to improve your dessert selection. More than any of these strategies, however, the tried and true surefire way to amp up your dessert menu is by using only the finest ingredients in your products. You can get this quality assurance from us at Bidfood.  We are the most trusted food and beverage company in the UAE. We have imported ingredients for dessert recipes and also sell wholesale sweet treats like cakes, cookies, and pastries.  You can order from us online, and we'll have what you need delivered to your restaurant right away.
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May 07, 2020

5 Best Practices for Storing Meat in a Commercial Freezer


If you’re no professional chef but are planning to cook meat for your meals, then it is likely that you’ve been reading plenty of DIY tips and tricks regarding what you can do with your burgers, steaks, and other cuts of meat. At this point, learning how to store meat properly is probably the last thing on your mind. However, this doesn’t change the fact that proper meat storage is important. Keeping meat tucked away in your freezer correctly will help you avoid mislabeling headaches, or worse — finding out that they have gone bad because of improper storage. Of course, you also need to learn about standard meat freezing protocols if you’re running a restaurant or any other form of food service establishment. So, whether you’re seeking to stash meat for personal consumption or business, you must learn the correct way to store meat in a freezer. Ready to learn how you can keep frozen meat at their optimum quality? Here are five best practices we recommend for meat storage when using a commercial freezer: 1. Pack Them Properly to Avoid Freezer Burn One of the most cost-efficient ways to ensure that stored meat remains fresh and of high quality as the day they were bought is to keep the meat airtight. To do this, wrap it securely using wax paper before placing it inside the freezer. This can help prevent freezer burn. The air can affect the quality of meat while in cold storage. When exposed to dry air for an extended period inside the freezer, the meat oxidizes and gets dehydrated. While you can still eat the frozen meat even after this happens, it would no longer taste as good as when you bought it from your trusted grocery store or wholesale food supplier. This is one of the major reasons why you should invest in wax paper. But not just any wax paper; choose ones that are butcher-approved to ensure that your store-bought meat stays delicious even without the permeable packaging most grocery stores use for their meat cuts. When choosing a freezer or butcher wax paper, make sure that one side is substantiated with a wax coating. This should be the side that touches the meat when you pack them before freezing. You can also do this with plastic-wrapped meat as an added measure to ensure their quality. 2. Label Your Stored Meat After taping the meat shut that has been securely wrapped in butcher-grade wax paper, you must also remember to mark the date on the package clearly. Don’t forget to write down the kind of meat contained in the package. This way, you’ll know exactly what’s inside and avoid unnecessarily opening the package. 3. Freeze Fresh Meat Quickly and at the Ideal Temperature Another tip to ensure that meat is kept at its best quality when stored in a commercial freezer is to freeze it as quickly as possible. This process, called blast freezing, can help preserve the meat for future consumption without sacrificing the flavor and texture. It also inhibits bacterial growth that can compromise the quality of meat. You also need to freeze meat at the ideal temperature of -18°C. This can further help prevent pathogen growth that may cause food-borne illnesses. 4. Know the Freezer Lifespan of Each Type of Meat Another important thing you should learn before freezing meat is the lifespan of each type of meat. Remember that not all meat is the same, and storage times vary as well. Different meats have varying water and fat content, both of which are determining factors for proper freezer storage. The size of the cut and whether or not it has bones also matter when determining the length of time meat needs to undergo blast freezing, as well as the period for which it can be stored. Check out the freezer lifespan of some meat products below: Beef – 12 months Pork – 8 months Lamb – 12 months Beef mince – 6 months Veal – 10 months Sausage – 6 months   For beef and lamb, the storage times can be longer because of the hard, partially saturated fats that they contain. On the other hand, younger meats like pork and veal tend to deteriorate faster since they have less saturated fat content. Bigger cuts of meat also have a longer storage lifespan compared to smaller ones primarily because they take more time to blast freeze. This explains why minced beef has half the lifespan or regular-cut beef. 5. Avoid Overfilling Your Freezer Last but certainly not the least of the things you should remember when keeping meat in the freezer is to avoid overcrowding them. Cold storage units, especially those used in restaurants and commercial establishments, have recommended weights that should be heeded. This is because overfilling the freezer can cause a slower freezing action that may leave the meat unfit for consumption. Keep Meat Fresh in the Freezer As paradoxical as it may seem, keeping meat fresh in the freezer is something that can be achieved when best practices are observed. Here at Bidfood, we offer more than competitive prices and the best quality meat sold in bulk; you also get sound advice on how to get the most out of your purchase. Send us a message for inquiries on our frozen meat and other food products. We’d love to hear from you.  
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