Nemco Announcement

Miller & Associates is proud to announce that we are now representing Nemco Food Equipment.

For the past 26 years, Nemco has been a proven leader and innovator of countertop foodservice equipment.

“We are very excited for the opportunity to represent Nemco. Their culture, their values, and their products match perfectly with Miller & Associates. We look forward to advancing Nemco’s presence in the Texas/Oklahoma market.”

Champion Announcement

Miller & Associates is proud to announce that we are representing Champion Industries in Texas and Oklahoma.

With 100+ years of experience, Champion has set itself apart as the leader in dishwashing machines and systems.
“Today is a very exciting day at Miller & Associates,” says Jeff Griffiths.  “While Champion is the dishwashing segment’s feature and technology leader, Champion’s best attribute is how they care for their customers.  What Champion values is a perfect fit for Miller & Associates, and we look forward to furthering their cause in the Texas/Oklahoma market.”

Where the Foodservice Industry Connects

Jeff Griffiths

Miller & Associates excels as the premier provider of sales, customer service, and support to the food-service equipment industry.  Driven by our core values, we always put people above possessions, tomorrow above today, and we focus on constantly improving vs trying to prove ourselves.  We believe that improvement is easy to see and thus makes an inward focus unnecessary.

These principles have served as a guide for the operation of our 4,000 square foot culinary center.  Though we consistently provide detailed training opportunities specific to our equipment, we also make the culinary center available to industry partners for their purposes.  Foodservice operators use our Culinary Center for charitable events, recipe development, food demonstrations, menu development focus groups, photo shoots, and operations training.

Miller & Associates, strives to be the point “Where the Foodservice Industry Connects”.  This is a pretty loft goal for a 16 employee rep firm.  Still, we believe we have the best products, the right motivation, and the perfect place to help anyone in foodservice enhance their knowledge and relationships.

Please see the list of our “Step Forward” training dates below, and let us know if your organization could utilize the Culinary Center for an upcoming function.

Step Forward Training Dates:

  • May 11, 2017
  • June 1, 2017
  • July 13, 2017
  • August 16, 2017
  • September 7, 2017
  • October 5, 2017

Cook Chill – Flexibility in the Food Service Industry

Dave Rogers

Cook-Chill is a simple, controlled system of food preparation designed to provide flexibility in food service. Operators cook food ahead of time, rapidly chill when in a controlled storage temperature (for up to 5 days) and reheat when needed. This is a safe method if following HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point) methods.

This is popular with hotels, restaurants and banquet facilities. Why is Cook-Chill such a good idea for food service?

  • This allows you to cook and prepare in slow times.
  • This can help you lower food costs by taking advantage of specials and putting them on the menu for several days.
  • Operators can do their prep work ahead of time and spend more quality time with their guests knowing everything is ready to go.
  • If the guest count goes up or down during the day it is not a 911 issue as the food is already prepared and ready to go.
  • Less food waste as portions can be measured and weighed properly in off peak times.

How does Alto-Shaam help with Cook-Chill menus? Your friends at Alto-Shaam have the majority of equipment you need to put a Cook-Chill system in place.

  • We offer equipment for primary cooking like convection ovens, combi’s, rotisseries and cook and hold cabinets.
  • We offer blast chillers for rapidly chilling cooked foods in either bulk or plated meals.
  • We offer retherm cabinets and combi ovens for bring the food (either plated or bulk) back up to serving temperatures.

Any way you decide to use Cook-Chill in your facility there is an Alto-Shaam solution available. If you have any questions just let us know.

The Walsh & Simmons Difference

Diane Hager

Restaurant furniture can be a source of frustration for a new restaurant owner, especially booths. Ordering booths can be confusing….banquette, single, double, wall bench, waiting settee; what do they all mean? How much seating can I fit into my space? How much time do I need to allow for manufacturing and delivery? What should I look for when comparing a $300 booth versus a $600 booth that are seemingly (aesthetically) the same booth?

Walsh & Simmons has been providing restaurant furniture to the industry for over 30 years. They have a team of professionals who can answer all of these questions for a new restaurant owner, or a dealer sales person who may be overwhelmed with these type of questions.  Additionally, Miller & Associates has an in-house furniture professional who can assist you with questions.

Starting August 1, Walsh & Simmons will adjust their product line in order to streamline price and lead time. Many of the changes are minimal to an end user, but one significant change is that the Pennywiser, a “value” designed booth, will now be only available in standard vinyl; no C.O.M. or custom fabric, as well as only 2 inside back styles; smooth inside back with or without headroll. Best of all, this will offer a 4 week lead time, or less, depending on quantity. What this means for you and/or your customer is that when looking for a quick ship date and/or value engineered booth, this will offer both while still maintaining the high quality construction that Walsh & Simmons is known to provide.

If you are not familiar with the quality of all Walsh & Simmons booths, click here for a link to their sales sheet, which lays out in detail the “Walsh & Simmons difference.” If you have any questions on Walsh & Simmons booths, or furniture in general, please feel free to contact Diane Hager at Miller & Associates at diane@millerequip.com or 314.650.8751.

Montague Steakhouse Broiler, So Easy a Rep Can Do It

Tug Toler

There is a saying in our industry, that I’m pretty certain playfully originated from the manufacturers, “So easy, a rep can screw it up.”  In my almost ten years as a manufacturer’s representative (rep), I’ve seen this line come true again and again.  And while almost all of us have spent a lot of time in kitchens and dish rooms, it’s not to say me and my fellow sales women and men are inept.  We (in the general sense) tend to lack the everyday in and out kitchen knowledge.  Pair that with early in our careers, we get sent out into the field to demonstrate (to kitchen professionals) pieces of equipment that we may never have seen in person before.  This is usually where the rep will screw it up, demo-ing it wrong, making up a fact/answer, or forcing open pieces that were not meant to be opened.  Then the service agent or factory has to come in and fix what the rep broke.

Another time we reps screw things up is when the end user is having an issue and the rep thinks he can save the end user a service call.  This usually happens just after the early phase in our career.  When we have enough knowledge about the product and how it should work to get into trouble.  The rep might try to wiggle this here, or remove that there and presto, the rep has made it worse.

I poke fun at myself and my fellow industry sales reps to help illustrate a point.  While we know kitchens, and we know how the pieces work, we don’t always have the intimate knowledge that comes from using these pieces of equipment day in and day out.

Personally, I’ve worked on the operations side of our business since I was about 16 years.  I was a short order cook at a ski lodge in West Point, NY for 3-4 winters.  Then later in college, I was a waiter at a couple different restaurants.  Once graduated, I didn’t exactly know what I wanted to be.  I moved to DFW and started working at a fine dining steakhouse in Plano, called Kirby’s Steakhouse.

I worked there for 2 years and was a headwaiter and bartender by the end.  I learned a lot about quality steaks, team work, leadership, fine dining, and wine.  Watching the chefs and cooks night after night, the number one thing that I was blown away by (and still admire today) was the ability to know different cuts of steaks internal temperature (“doneness”) just by touching it.  They never used a thermometer and the certainly NEVER cut the steak to check doneness.

At Kirby’s Steakhouse they used an underfired charbroiler to grill the steaks, seafood, and chicken.  The really good grill station chefs could tell the difference between a medium rare and a medium with just using their tongs to “squeeze” the meat.  That is the difference of a few degrees , where the steaks’ color turns from a warm red center to a hot pink center.  Imagine how much time and training it took the chefs that worked the charbroiler to know the charbroiler’s hot and cold spots.  To feel the difference between rare and medium rare just by pushing on it, knowing that if they over cooked it, a $40-$50 steak would be thrown out and they’d have to start over.  Most of us can’t do that great with 2-3 steaks on our grills at home; imagine now adding another 20-30 steaks (of different cuts and sizes) onto the grill all with different temperatures and all put on the grill at different times.  Make sure they have even grill marks and aren’t overly charred.  It really is mind boggling and very impressive.  And once all this is figured out and perfected, as a restaurateur, now you have to worry about that employee leaving or being sick or taking something almost unheard of… a vacation.  You can only hope to have that chef/cook for years.

This all leads me to the Montague Legend Overfired Broiler (often referred to as a Steakhouse Broiler).  It is a mean, and not so lean, protein cooking machine.  It uses RADIGLO true infrared radiant heat from the 42,000 BTU/hr cast iron burners with temperatures as high as 1800° F or 982°C .  Yes, I just typed one thousand eight hundred degrees Fahrenheit.  That 1800° is a little misleading because that is the temperature the ceramic radiant tips reach.  But where the grill grates are, it’s as high as 850°.  In comparison, most underfired (traditional) charbroilers commonly reach 600°F on their top end.  This increase in penetrating temperature directly correlates to a decrease in cooking time.  But where the Montague overfired broiler stands out is the ease of use.  You’ll find these in national chains like Ruth’s Chris, fine dining restaurants, countless country clubs, colleges and universities and mom and pop steakhouses.

The hurdles and issues with the traditional underfire broilers are the flare ups and the over charring that can occur.   They almost all have wide ranges of hot and cold zones.  And there is a learning curve that only time, ruined product,  and experience can solve.

The overfired broiler removes all those variables.  The unit is extremely even in temperature because of the radiant heat and even though it is much hotter than the under fired grills, there is no burning/over-charring the proteins.  Seriously, this heat doesn’t burn the outside like the underfire broiler will (unless you want it to by moving the grill closer to the radiant tiles).  So because of all this, that learning curve is significantly reduced to almost none.  When cooking proteins on this Montague Legend overfired broiler it really only comes down to one variable… time.  3 minutes on one side and then 3 minutes on the other side and you have a perfectly cooked medium rare steak to medium steak depending on the cut and its thickness.  I bet you are reading this thinking the same thing I did, when I was told all that at our first Montague training in December… “right, I’ll believe it when I see it.”

That’s when they told us, Chef Craig would not be cooking us lunch today.  But that the 20-25 or so reps in the room would be cooking it ourselves.  I drew the duty as the one that would be cooking the steaks on the overfired broiler for team, while others grilled hamburgers on a Legend underfired charbroiler, grilled vegetables on a Legend heavy duty griddle, baked pizza in a Hearth Bake deck oven and baked oven bakeable french fries and pies in the HX convection ovens.  I was nervous as to not screw up the high dollar food.  We had Chef Craig there for moral support, but he was going to let us leave the nest and fall or fly ourselves.  He coached me when I told him of my anxiety, “I promise, it’s 3 minutes on one side and then pull the drawer out, flip them all over and then put the drawer back in for 3 more minutes.”  He assured me that I actually had the easy job.  And in the end he was right.

The steaks had a picture-perfect bullseye and were perfectly done.  I didn’t have to mess with them, I didn’t do any 90 degree turns, and I didn’t rotate them in and out of the hot zones.  It really was, “so easy, a rep could do it.”

We have one at our office, please come try it for yourself.

Bally – Proven Dependable

Lisa Bradley

Walk-in coolers and freezers are the bank vaults of most major restaurants. They keep your investments fresh and safe, until they turn into profits. Obviously, customers want superior quality when it comes to protecting their assets. This is where Bally Refrigerated Boxes leads the way.

Bally has been the front runner in innovation and design for over 85 years. In the mid 1930s, Bally manufactured wood-clad, cork-insulated Walk-ins, then creating a fiberglass insulated walk-in several years later. They then revolutionized the walk-in industry in 1962 by building the first urethane insulated modular building panel. This combined with their invention of the Speed-Lok diaphragmatic joining system, made assembling walk-ins fast and easy resulting in a much more dependable product for the customer. Speed-Lok also adds the advantage of being able to add panels, remove panels, or even relocate the entire box.

In addition to providing innovative products, Bally offers top-notch quality. Bally was the first company to receive the FM Class 1 and UL listing on panels which are now the national standards. Our insulation is one of the best available. It’s non ozone-depleting and uses low-pressure expanding agent, both of which aid in creating a long lasting and dependable product.
Miller and Associates is proud to represent one of the top walk-in manufactures in the nation. Whether you’re interested in opening a school or a restaurant, be sure to let us here at Miller & Associates make your business a success with Bally walk-in cooler and freezers.

Lunch Lady Brownies – The Only Brownie Recipe You’ll Ever Need

JoAnne Stephenson

The Do’s and Don’ts of Purchasing a Mixer

Have you ever wished you could find recipes for all those yummy things your school lunch ladies used to make? Well, look no further. Below you’ll find a recipe that will make you long for the good old days. “Yay, its brownie day!” It’s a 50 year old school cafeteria recipe.  If you love a dense, chewy, fudgy brownie…this is the one. It’s the only brownie recipe you’ll ever need.

And, the good news is that schools today are moving back to mixing recipes from scratch. So your kids can have your favorite recipes that you remember. But they must choose the right mixer to do the job.

In many kitchens, mixers are considered the workhorses of the prep line. When properly specified, these units can decrease labor while increasing speed of service.

At Miller & Associates, we are proud to represent a mixer that was chosen “Best in Class in Floor Mixers” for 2014. Foodservice operators, dealers and consultants cast their votes for the best of the best among foodservice equipment and supplies manufacturers.

Globe Mixer was chosen for seven performance factors:

  • Product quality
  • Product value
  • Product design and aesthetics
  • Service and support
  • Sales representation
  • Product inventory and availability
  • Product information availability

It’s the “Perfect Mix”!

But don’t forget that you should consider this when purchasing a mixer:

  • DO determine what tasks the mixer will be used for. Different types are suitable for heavy dough versus general use. Decide what size mixer you will need. See a “Capacity Chart Guide”  provided by Globe Equipment (capacities are based on flour at room temperature and 70 F. degree water temperature)
  • DO decide whether a gear-driven or belt-driven type is preferable. Mixers that use nothing but gears in the head of the motor provide the most direct power from the motor to the mixing apparatus. Operators that use dough mixers typically like gears, since belts can slip or burn out when used with heavy loads, although this is not a common occurrence. Gear-driven mixers also tend to have a longer service life, but belts are very reliable and more affordable.
  • DO consider mixers for tasks such as vegetable prep, meat grinding and pasta making. Operators don’t always consider how versatile these units are for many production tasks. This can save both labor and the cost of purchasing other pieces of equipment. For example, a mixer with an attachment to make pasta is much cheaper and more versatile than a pasta maker. These units also can help operators increase the number of fresh, from-scratch items on the menu.
  • DON’T purchase a mixer without a clear understanding of how it will be used and what options are needed to accomplish these tasks.
  • DO consider water proximity if the mixer will be used for dough. Also consider where the dough rolling will take place. It’s best to have the mixer situated as close to the prep table as possible.
  • DON’T neglect the care and maintenance of mixers. The bowl also should be able to be moved up and down freely with the lift. If power is an issue, operators can inspect the mixer for electrical connection problems.

When you Knead it – Globe has the right Mixer!

Lunch Lady Brownies

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup butter melted
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Icing Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup softened butter
  • 1/4 cup canned milk (regular milk is okay)
  • 1/4 cup cocoa
  • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • dash salt

For Brownies

  1. Beat together sugar, eggs and vanilla until smooth and lemon colored
  2. Add butter slowly and blend into egg/sugar mixture
  3. Slowly blend in cocoa and flour. Stir until no lumps of flour remain.
  4. Add nuts, if using
  5. Pour into a greased 9 X 13 metal baking pan, smooth surface and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 20 minutes.
  6. Note: If your oven runs hot, set for 325 degrees instead of 350.
  7. Remove brownies from oven, cool and ice before cutting into 24 squares

For icing
Beat all ingredients together until smooth and of spreading consistency

Ordering Procedures You Can Trust

Tammy Hutchison

Ah!  Purchase Orders!  You send them in to Miller & Associates and then the equipment appears at the ship to address, right?  That is what we are aiming for with as few issues along the way as possible!

In order to achieve that goal, we really try to take care when processing each order, no matter how large or small.  We know that it means the opening of a restaurant or school children having lunch or a hospital feeding patients, among countless other scenarios, and that does matter to us!

When we first receive your order, it is logged in and appears “open” until it is sent to the factory, so we do have a visual if it hasn’t been processed yet.  We process each PO as timely as we can.  We check to see if there is a quotation to match the order and if so, we check what was ordered against that quotation and the spec.  This helps correct any problems at the beginning and not after equipment has been built.  We check pricing / discount and adjust for you if you didn’t take enough off and contact you if we feel there is a problem that will hold up your order at the factory.  We work to give the factory all needed information, so your order may be processed there without further delay.  When the sales order acknowledgement is sent, we check the PO against the SO and then again at Invoice to make sure all is still as expected.  If there are any issues or changes needed after the order has been placed, we work with you to make sure that is taken care of so the finished product is what you need.

There are things you can do to help expedite the review / processing procedure.  Please put the job name on the purchase order.  That helps us locate a quotation or correspondence from your Sales Rep regarding that particular order.  Note any special background information on any variance from standard so we can pass that information on to the factory.  If you have special pricing, please send that quote or correspondence in with your order to save time.  Send all purchase orders to orders@millerequip.com so they will be logged and processed (even if someone is out of the office – that site is monitored all throughout each day).

We want to be the best “partner” you could have in the foodservice industry.  Our relationship with you is very important to us.  We look forward to your business in 2015 and the years to follow!

Federal Industries – The leader in fresh food merchandising

Greg Morris

For more than 90 years, Federal Industries’ hallmark stands for precision craftsmanship and industry leading innovation for fresh foods merchandising display cases.  Product presentation is the key to profit. Federal’s line of specialty display merchandisers brings the product to the customer in any setting. Combining craftsmanship with visual appeal, Federal works with space and design to enhance a store’s interior while meeting merchandising needs.

 

One of the largest growing segments in food service is grab-and-go food offerings. As a result of this overall food segment growth trend, we as sales reps see an increasing demand for display cases that are both eye-catching and energy efficient.

As a parent of 3 kids involved in lots of sports and other activities, our family seems to be on the run most of the time, and a perfect example of this need for good food on the go. While we all love a good fast food burger and fries, we find ourselves eating out so often, we are often looking for something different. As parents we are in a constant search for our kids to eat healthier food offerings, and traditionally it has been tough to find good, fresh, healthy food choices on the run.

Nearly every segment across the food service industry has recognized this huge demand, and all are looking for ways to attract customers as a destination place for their next quick meal. Grocery retailers have been leaders in this segment over the years, offering more and more options for quick meals to take home. These retailers not only offer fresh food in their deli display areas, but they also display the same fresh food, hot and cold, in display merchandisers near the front of the store and next to the cash register for quick and easy, impulse buys.

Restaurants have joined this trend, as many quick serve and fast casual restaurants have implemented grab-and-go merchandisers in their stores with prepared fresh sandwiches, salads, fruits, and drink offerings.   This allows many customers to grab a quick but still fresh meal, or entice customers to add to their purchase with an easy impulse buy.

Convenience stores see this trend as a huge opportunity to expand foodservice as a focal point of their operations. Grab-and-go food was a long time afterthought or last resort option for the operator as well as the customer. Now, operators are finding ways to meet the quick and convenient time demand of customers by enticing them with a variety of fresh, healthy, tasty, and visually appealing food items, both hot and cold. The keys to this growing segment are these fresh food items along with the display cases to merchandise and enhance the appeal of these food offerings. This combination attracts the customers to take notice and drive sales, both on impulse and for repeat customers as a destination.

As a target customer to this growing trend, I know grab-and-go has become a go to option for our family running from one game to the next; we can pick up good quality, fresh salads, sandwiches, and pizza that taste good and our “picky eating” kids even request to eat.