SCK Blog

Fun Friday 27 March

Posted by: Sydney Commercial Kitchens |  Friday, March 27, 2015

Our fun Friday facebook post is

Here today

  Fun Friday Post 

There tomorrow!

  Fun Friday Post 

Thank you Comcater

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10 Common Business Mistakes

Posted by: Sydney Commercial Kitchens |  Thursday, March 26, 2015

Making mistakes in business is expensive. Ten common mistakes people make when starting a new restaurant or cafe are:

10 common business mistakes

1. Over capitalisation

Over spending to establish your business puts unwanted pressure on the business to perform from the very beginning. Make sure you budget for every possible cost and allow sufficient money for operational expenses. There are always unplanned expenses in a startup so try not to panic, instead look for the most effective way to counteract the problem.

2. Under capitalisation

One of the most common mistakes people make in a new business adventure is to under estimate the amount of capital required to start their business. Very few businesses are self supporting from the word go. You have to plan to build up to success.

3. No business plan

If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. It is a simple as that!

4. No operation plan

Once your business is up and running you should develop operational plans for its continued success, if you don’t already have one. These plans should cover expansion, staff training, how to maximise your efficiency and in fact anything that you think may help your business grow. As your business increases your plans should change to reflect that growth.

5. Keeping records

With such a vast range of computerised programs available for business, failure to keep accurate records is inexcusable. No longer can we use the excuse that I don’t know how to use a computer. These programs are designed to be simple to use and mostly they are, or they would not still be in business.

6. Overdrafts

In business it is common to “use other people’s money”. What you should realise is they are not talking about your business. They are referring to the shares offered by public companies to investors.

If your business is making 30 percent profit on Gross Sales and it is costing you 10 percent for your overdraft facility, does that mean you are only really making 20 percent profit?

Actually it may even be worse than that. As your overdraft is calculated on the total of your expenses and not just on the gross profit, it may be an even higher cost. An overdraft means that you are spending this week the money you plan to earn next week!

7. Second hand equipment

Often sold as “preloved”. Sometimes it can be an incredible bargain, especially when purchased for the right price at auction.

Before you purchase any equipment make sure you have done your homework. Know exactly what the new price for the equipment is. Understand that the new price is not the retail price, but the discounted rate that an authorised dealer is prepared to sell it for.

Many people have been caught out buying used catering equipment, only to later realise that they paid almost new price without any of the benefits, such as the NEW warranty period. Also stainless steel equipment is timeless. It may look 2 or 3 years old but the reality is it could well be 10 or more.

The bottom line is: if it is that good why was it sold in the first place? The answer to that question may save you a fortune!

8. Failure to learn from mistakes

It is important to constantly analyse your business performance and the performance of all the people involved in it, including yourself. If something is not working, or it is not being done as well as it could be - Change it.

You can learn a lot from the experience of others. Sometimes the best investment you can have in your own business is to work for someone else in a similar business.

Remember if it works - keep doing it, but also keep trying to improve it. If it doesn’t work - stop doing it!

9. Relying on the skills of others

Relying on the skills of others may be enough to get your business started and even successful. However it is not enough to keep it successful. Never stop seeking to improve yourself, both as a manager and as a business owner. Everyday is a school day! We only stop learning when we are dead.

10. Failure to explain key issues to staff

As a business owner it is natural that you will have expectations for success. Make sure that your staff understand and support these.

Okay, who is to blame?

Ultimately, if something goes wrong with your business, it is your responsibility. Blaming other things may sound good in conversation, but it never justifies the loss of the business. Losing your business may also mean losing the collateral you placed as security for the business.

Previous blog posts in this series are:

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Restaurants Report HISI 2015

Posted by: Sydney Commercial Kitchens |  Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The restaurant sector (like most of the industry) took a dive when the GFC struck. Thankfully, the industry has come back with a vengeance with an annualised growth of 5.6% over the last five years.

Restaurant sector still growing

While some of this growth can be attributed to recuperating losses after the GFC, in part it’s also due to shifting social patterns in consumer behaviour. With busier lifestyles, more work and less play time, consumers are looking to restaurants for the answer, along with the added convenience of saving time with food preparation and clean up!

Reality television cooking shows, like My Kitchen Rules and Master Chef, and rising profiles of celebrity chefs splashed across mainstream media have positively put the Australian hospitality scene in the spotlight.

Major supermarket chains like Coles and Woolworths have pounced on this growing opportunity by teaming up with celebrity chefs Heston Blumenthal (Coles) and Jamie Oliver (Woolworths) to create special recipes and pre-packaged meals.

For restaurants Australia-wide, this means greater knowledge and skill sharing opportunities between operators and consumers.

As layman knowledge, understanding and appreciation increases, there’s a greater need for consumers to know what they’re eating, how it was made and where it comes from.

SilverChef funding, cheaper than you think

It’s not just about the food though; consumers are focused on the experience as a whole, and décor, ambience, and customer service are highly valued.

Article source: Silver Chef, and the Hospitality Industry Success Index Report 2015.

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Fun Friday 20 March

Posted by: Sydney Commercial Kitchens |  Friday, March 20, 2015

Our fun Friday facebook post is

I hope my son doesn't find out!

  Fun Friday Post 

What fish are you serving?

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Skope Cashback Offer

Posted by: Sydney Commercial Kitchens |  Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The Skope Cashback Bonus promotional offer runs from 2 March 2015 to 29 May 2015

Skope Cashback Offer

Total MAXIMUM $2,000 CASHBACK BONUS (GST Inclusive)

  • Buy 3 eligible SKOPE units and receive $300
  • Buy 4 eligible SKOPE units and receive $600
  • Buy 5 eligible SKOPE units and receive $1,000
  • Buy 6 eligible SKOPE units and receive $1,200
  • Buy 7 eligible SKOPE units and receive $1,400
  • Buy 8 eligible SKOPE units and receive $1,600
  • Buy 9 eligible SKOPE units and receive $1,800
  • Buy 10 eligible SKOPE units and receive $2,000

1. Promotion Description

a. When 3 or more *eligible SKOPE models are purchased, invoiced and paid for at one time from a participating authorised SKOPE dealer, subject to meeting the eligibility criteria below and correctly lodging a claim form, you will receive a cashback payment in the amount set out in the table below.

b. The cashback payment values are as follows ("Cashback Bonus"):

Number of eligible
SKOPE models
Cashback Bonus
per Eligible Model
Total customer
Cashback Bonus
(GST Inclusive)
3 $100 $300
4 $150 $600
5 $200 $1,000
6 $200 $1,200
7 $200 $1,400
8 $200 $1,600
9 $200 $1,800
10 $200 $2,000

c. The maximum amount of Cashback Bonus payable per customer is $2,000.

d. The Cashback Bonus promotional offer runs from 2 March 2015 to 29 May 2015 ("Promotional Period").

e. The promoter is SKOPE Industries Limited ("SKOPE"), PO Box 1091, Christchurch 8140, New Zealand, 0800 947 5673.

2. Eligible Models

a. *Eligible SKOPE models ("Eligible Models") are:

B Series

  • B550
  • B900
  • B1350

Backbar Series

  • BB380
  • BB580
  • BB780

Counterline Series

  • CC300
  • CC500
  • CC700
  • CL400
  • CL600
  • CL800

Pegasus 1/1 Series

  • PG100HC-2
  • PG100HF-2
  • PG250HC-2
  • PG250HF-2
  • PG400HC-2
  • PG400HF-2
  • PG550HC-2

Pegasus 2/1 Series

  • PG200HC
  • PG200HF
  • PG500HC
  • PG500HF
  • PG800HC

Pegasus Uprights

  • PG600VC
  • PG600VF
  • PG1300VC
  • PG1300VF

SK-3 Series

  • SK500-3
  • SK650-3
  • SK1000-3

SK-2 Series

  • SK650
  • SK1000
  • SK1300
  • SK1500

VF Vertical Freezer

  • VF650
  • VF1000
  • VF1300
  • VF1500

b. The Cashback Bonus offer applies only to standard model specifications for Eligible Models. Where any Eligible Model is ordered with a variation or modification of any kind (including remotes and pecification options), it will only qualify towards a Cashback Bonus if expressly agreed to in writing by SKOPE (at SKOPE's sole discretion).

c. To qualify for a Cashback Bonus, the Eligible Models must be:

i. purchased and invoiced together in a single transaction;
ii. purchased from an authorised SKOPE dealer who is participating in this Cashback Bonus offer. Any purchase of SKOPE product from a non-authorised retailer or dealer will not be eligible for the Cashback Bonus offer. It is the responsibility of the participant to check with the retailer or dealer whether they are participating in this Cashback Bonus offer; and
iii. delivered and paid for in full prior to submitting a Cashback claim form

Complete the Cashback Form

Read the full Skope Cashback Terms and Conditions

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Arneg Oscartielle Vertical Reach In Displays

Posted by: Sydney Commercial Kitchens |  Monday, March 16, 2015


Refrigerated wall cabinet, designed for the display of packaged fresh food. Thanks to years of experience in this product sector, Arneg and Oscartielle realized a "plug-in" wall cabinet just 35cm above the floor with the possibility of adding a 5th shelf.

The result is a handsome looking cabinet with a high display volume. The Argus cabinet can be multiplexed and has panoramic end walls as standard equipment. It can be supplied with incorporated or remote compressor unit.

Arneg Argus Displays


Multi-deck case with fan assisted refrigeration system designed for the display of packaged fresh products such as deli meats, dairy products, meat, vegetables, prepared dishes and beverages. Thanks to its compact size and the availability of four different lengths and two heights, GENIUS can be installed in outlets of any size without difficulty. The scaled and tiltable shelves maximize product exposure ensuring the maximum visibility.

The main feature of the Genius Open Deck cabinet is its versatility, expressed in the different versions in which it can be supplied. To accentuate the promotional character, the decorative trimming on front and side panels can be customized.

Arneg Genius Displays


Refrigerated wall cabinet, designed for the display of packaged fresh foods. Thanks to years of experience in this product sector, Oscartielle realized a "plug-in" wall cabinet just 35 cm above the floor.

The result is a handsome looking cabinet with a high display volume. The Phoenix Semi Vertical Display cabinet can be multiplexed and has panoramic end walls as standard equipment. It can be supplied with incorporated or remote compressor unit.

All models are equipped with sliding doors in low-emissivity glass. This allows a positive saving of energy costs and the consequent reduction of operating costs and environmental impact.

Arneg Phoenix Displays


Showcase with ventilated or static refrigeration, expressly designed for the display and sale of fresh products in small to medium sized shops.

Zara presents an aesthetic "old-style" looking, with straight glasses. The particular design satisfies the demand of the architects and the designers of the commercial areas which need very marked looking of the cabinet.

A further personalisation of the cabinet can be realised by integrating it in the existing structures studied by the architects to give a unique looking to the shop.

Arneg Zara Displays

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Fun Friday 13 March

Posted by: Sydney Commercial Kitchens |  Friday, March 13, 2015

Our fun Friday facebook post is

"Good customer service costs less than bad customer service."

Quote source: Sally Gronow

  Fun Friday Post 

What are people saying about your cafe?

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Pitfalls in Owning a Food Business

Posted by: Sydney Commercial Kitchens |  Thursday, March 12, 2015

There is probably no business on earth that is taken more for granted, or looks easier to run from the outside than the restaurant or cafe business. Yet the highest rate of bankruptcy occurs in the food service industry.

The general rule is that for every ten restaurants, cafes, coffee and fast food shops that open for business, four will have closed their doors by the end of one year. Of the remaining six, four will have changed hands at least once.

Pitfalls for restaurant owners

Properly approached, the food service industry can be very rewarding.

Over the years I have met accountants running pubs - hands on, telephone technicians operating delicatessens, qualified chefs running great restaurants, solicitors working as chefs and running restaurants, all successfully. I have also met people who, with their industry experience should have had no trouble running a successful food business only to fail.

The Main Pitfalls

Failure can be attributed to some of the following reasons.

Lack of management know how

The most frequent cause is the lack of management knowledge. You may have sufficient capital, but if you do not know how to manage your business, your capital will soon disappear.

Inadequate food knowledge

Some businesses are started by individuals with little or no food industry experience. They hire staff and allow themselves to be guided by them. They become disillusioned by the long hours that they have to remain at work with little result. When things start to go bad they sell out at fire sale prices, if they are lucky.

Food knowledge comes from experience and understanding.

Sometimes it is better to learn in someone else’s business. This has the advantage of helping you recognise if you are suitable for the industry before you outlay the large sums required to buy or start a new venture.

Insufficient working capital

Many food service businesses are bought or started by individuals who fail to plan in advance and budget their funds, or lack the necessary capital to start a new venture. They use up their available funds in furnishing and equipping their establishment, with no surplus funds available for meeting emergencies when they arise.

Even successful operators sometimes embark on an expansion program which uses their own surplus funds. If the expected additional business is not forthcoming, they may become financially embarrassed. Plans should be made for the expansion in advance and budgets made for the expected flow of cash.

This is where financing your equipment or entire kitchen fitout has tremendous merit. It allows you to breakdown fitting out your equipment into a weekly payment. If, after 12 months your venture has become a success, then you have options available to you on how best to proceed.

Other Pitfalls

Other possible explanations for failures for the new operator are not knowing what is really involved in a food service operation

Avoid the 2nd pitfall at all costs

  • 1. the location is poor
  • 2. food is of poor quality
  • 3. service is faulty or slow
  • 4. conditions are unsanitary - lack of cleanliness is usually the result of negligence, poor training, or inadequate cleaning systems. Please put effort into avoiding this pitfall.
  • 5. menu’s are monotonous - lack of imagination, poor planning or just plain indifference
  • 6. prices are out of line with the competition - this may be due to careless purchasing, waste, or over staffing
  • 7. long hours of operation causing stress
  • 8. the shop or restaurant is unattractive
  • 9. promotion is inadequate
  • 10. rents are too high

Previous blog posts in this series are:

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Coffee Shop Industry Still Growing

Posted by: Sydney Commercial Kitchens |  Monday, March 09, 2015

While some parts of the world are still playing catch up, Australia is miles ahead in the quality coffee stakes!

We can thank our European counterparts for their influence on our nation’s coffee culture.

$10k coffee setup your today for approx 5 cups of coffee per day

Australians’ penchant for quality has filtered (pardon the pun) down to the coffee we drink. According to Roy Morgan research, Aussies are showing no signs of kicking caffeine to the curb, with the average coffee drinker consuming a whopping 478.4 cups a year! Backed by our industry’s love of quality coffee, this industry segment was better supported during the GFC. This is because coffee is perceived as an affordable luxury, which means that even when times are tough and consumers have less discretionary income to spend, they’re still highly likely to keep buying it.

Two-hatted Sydney chef, Giovanni Pilu was once quoted as saying: "There is nothing worse than bad coffee. If you finish a sensational meal with bad coffee, what do you remember? The bad coffee. Life is too short for bad coffee." And as a society of self-proclaimed coffee snobs, we can relate.

Coffee Shops in Australia are still in a growing industry

This industry segment is still in its growth phase, however with a low level of capital required for set up, and minimal barriers for entry, competition is intense between market players – and there are a lot of them! With this in mind, it’s more critical than ever to keep your customers front of mind and understand what they want.

Intense competition also tends to drive prices down as operators compete for customers, forcing business owners to focus on other areas to increase their profit margins. Typically, most operators focus on reducing wastage and staff wages (trending towards casual work arrangements), and increasing operating efficiency by replacing faulty, old or outdated equipment.

Testimonial for Silver Chef

Using a funding option that specialises in flexibility at its core, such as Silver Chef, allows operators to protect cash flow and keep capital in their name.

Article source: Silver Chef, and the Hospitality Industry Success Index Report 2015.

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Fun Friday 6 March

Posted by: Sydney Commercial Kitchens |  Friday, March 06, 2015

Our fun Friday facebook post is

I won't be impressed with technology until I can download food

Quote source unknown

  Fun Friday Post 

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