According to the Nation’s Restaurant News, beets and kale are out, while cauliflower and cabbage are in. We’ll apparently also see more scrambled eggs and tacos — but not necessarily together.

And as liquid nitrogen continues to take hold in bars and restaurants from LA to Boston, house-made artisanal ice creams and molecular mixology will also become more common. But this year’s biggest restaurant industry trend isn’t something you eat. It’s technology. And lots of it.

While last year was all about vying for spending power of Millennials, this year will see concerns rise for nabbing the attention of the upcoming highly-connected, über tech savvy Generation Z. From GPS-driven advertising to digital menus, here’s a look at a few of the top technology trends that will be influencing the way restaurants do business and woo customers in 2015. Continue reading

The number one reason a restaurant needs mobile marketing is the fact that if you don’t, you are losing out on multiple opportunities to reach the more than 70% of adults using smartphones to locate you, view menus, book reservations, and even order and pay for their food in advance.

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The mobile commerce industry has nearly doubled in the last two years and is expected to increase from $19 billion to $31 by 2016. Whether you are promoting a loyalty program, offering a deal, or sending a monthly email, mobile marketing is the quickest, most effective way to get more people in your door.

Your customers are increasingly looking for information from their mobile devices and restaurants can no longer afford to ignore the growing trend. One recent report states that 33% of customers are more influenced by seeing menus on mobile than any other information, that 24% of restaurant customers’ mobile app usage involves special offers and coupons, and that 21% of smartphone customers are looking for the restaurant’s location information.

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Making the decision to install an exhaust fan hinge kit is easy. There are many practical reasons including the fact that it’s required by the NFPA 96 fire code, they make fan cleaning easier and safer, and they protect the fan wiring and housing as well as prevent roof damage.

What’s not always easy, however, is figuring out which hinge kit is right for you. carries six different types of exhaust fan hinge kits for a wide range of fan sizes, budgets, and situations. A few things they all have in common are that they are NFPA compliant, durable, convenient to use, easy to install, and will help increase the life of your exhaust fan and prevent rooftop damage and leaks.

Designed specifically for fast installation, most of our roof fan hinge kits can be quickly installed in 15 minutes or less. Once installed, the hinge will allow the ventilator fan to be lifted back and tilted effortlessly yet securely, to provide optimal accessibility for quick and easy cleaning and maintenance.

Let’s take a look at the different types of hinge kits there are to select from, beginning with the least expensive option.

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Duct access doors help prevent debris and grease build-up that can lead to fires by making exhaust system ducts easier for professionals to clean and inspect. In addition, proper exhaust duct access is required for all commercial kitchens by the NFPA #96 fire code. sells three types of Flame Gard duct access doors:

  • UL Fire Rated Curved Access Door custom made to match the duct
  • Hi-Temp Access Door with a ceramic fiber gasket rated to 2300° F / 1260° C
  • UL Fire Rated Flat Access Door with grease-proof, airtight, fire-tight fit

All of our Flame Gard duct access doors come with a complete set of easy to read instructions and a self-adhesive template for sizing of the duct opening — no measuring!

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Fire code regulations require that you keep your kitchen baffle grease filters clean and in good working order. A thorough cleaning is the only way to ensure hood filters don’t become overly clogged with grease, which can cause the following problems:

  • Impaired filtering capabilities
  • Smoky air accumulation in the kitchen
  • Excessive heat in the kitchen
  • Increased air conditioning costs
  • Extreme fire hazards
  • Exhaust system strain

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bildeYou may be excited to get your commercial kitchen up and running, but are you sure your setup complies with National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 96 fire codes?

If your kitchen burns solid fuel – including mesquite, briquettes, charcoal and hardwood – specific fire codes are in place to help prevent airborne sparks and embers from entering the hood and duct system, which can be a fire hazard. Here’s a look at the three fire codes for kitchens burning solid fuel and how spark arrestor hood filters help you comply.

NFPA 96 Fire Codes for Solid Fuel Cooking Systems

  • 14.5.1: Grease removal devices must be constructed of steel or stainless steel. The device must also be approved for use with solid fuel cooking.
  • 14.5.2: A spark arrestor hood filter is required if the solid fuel cooking operation generates airborne sparks and embers. This type of filter minimizes the number of sparks and embers that enter the hood and duct system. The filter should be installed so sparks and embers are removed from the air by the mesh screen before passing through the grease removal device.
  • 14.5.3: The spark arrestor filter must be installed a minimum of 4 feet (1.2 meters) above the cooking appliance.

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Rooftop grease control is vital for your commercial kitchen. No matter what food you serve up or what fuel you cook with, you need to consider a quality rooftop grease containment system. Why is it so important, you might ask? The reasons are many:

  • Prevent roof grease damage
  • Reduce fire risk
  • Protect the environment
  • Prevent fat, oil and grease from mixing with storm water runoff

How do you know which grease containment system is right for you? Consider the differences between the Driploc Rack and Grease Gutter. Then, decide for yourself.

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Commercial kitchen hoods are not one size fits all. The right equipment for your kitchen will depend on your specific needs. Consider the following before investing in a hood system for your business:

What Will You Be Cooking?

Different menus mean different needs. If you only need to ventilate heat and condensation, Type II hoods could be enough for you. However, grills, fryers and other equipment that release grease and other particulate into the air require more advanced Type I systems.

Gas and electric ovens, pizza cookers, rotisseries and steams fall at the lighter end of the range. Fryers, woks, char-grilling and lava rock grilling will require heavier equipment to clear and cool the air in your kitchen.

The set-up of your kitchen will also dictate the size of your hood. There are single and double canopy models available for kitchens with islands, wall canopy hoods that extend out over a cooking area and other set-ups to fit your kitchen’s unique layout.

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What makes the Franklin Filter a worthwhile investment for your commercial kitchen? With the namesake of Benjamin Franklin, this hinged filter’s revolutionary design features several characteristics that enhance hood safety, efficiency and cleanliness.

Benefits of Franklin Hinged Hood Filters

Consider these specific advantages to help you make the right decision when upgrading the filters in your commercial kitchen.

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The cleaner your kitchen exhaust duct system, the more effectively you can prevent build-up of grease and debris that can lead to fires. And, how often and how well a system is cleaned is highly dependent on access. By installing a duct access door, you make it easier for professional cleaners to get inside the system for thorough cleaning.

Additionally, proper access to the exhaust duct system is required under NFPA fire codes. NFPA #96 section 1-3.1.3 says: “All interior surfaces of the exhaust system shall be reasonably accessible for cleaning and inspection purposes.”

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