SCK Blog

Selling your Business

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

Starting a small business is definitely one of the hardest things you will ever do. However this experience is nothing when compared to selling your business.

Business for Sale

If you are eventually going to sell your business you must make it attractive to prospective purchasers from the very start.

Who would want to buy your restaurant or cafe?

There are many different reasons why people purchase a restaurant but it’s probably safe to assume that making an income is high on the list. A profitable business will definitely attract more buyers and bring a higher price than a struggling business.

Growth and profit potential as well as the value of the assets may also be important, however as a rule of thumb, the more profitable an existing business is, the more it is worth to potential buyers.

Another point to be considered is how much the existing business will suffer without the current owners. Potential buyers will recognise a well run business. By taking the time to create staff, operating and kitchen systems you are giving your business the best chance.

If your business depends on you for its daily survival, then when you want or need to sell you really are only selling a job, with overheads and large capital outlays. Doesn’t sound that attractive does it!

Because of this many restaurant and cafes fail to sell for anywhere near their proper market value, or at least what the current owner wants.

Building a business that’s not dependent on you

Systems allow your business to run automatically whether you are there or not. People definitely notice a well run operation, so even if you are forced to sell, the business with all its systems in place, still has the potential to run smoothly. You will probably get a better price for it as well.

Having the right team is also an important part of building a business that doesn't depend on you to survive.

When my wife and I relocated to Santa Monica, California in 2009 to adopt our son, I ran my business, Sydney Commercial Kitchens, remotely for over 2 years. And the second year that we were away was, at that time, the most profitable year we had ever had. This highlights the fact that we have the right team and systems in place.

Having a set of manuals outlining all the systems that make your business what it is means that someone else could take over and also run your business successfully.

A last word... When we sold our restaurant we initially approached a business broker who gave us a valuation based on his experience. Finally we placed an advertisement in the paper ourselves, sold it to the first caller and achieved a sale price over double what the broker had valued it at. Plus they took over existing equipment leases. Choose your advisors carefully!

Previous blog posts in this series are:

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Hospitality Industry Tradeshows

Posted by: Sydney Commercial Kitchens |  Monday, February 23, 2015

Everyone loves a good tradeshow. Whether you are a customer, a supplier or a manufacturer/importer they are often the high point of the calendar year.

hospitality industry tradeshows

Now you can find out where your nearest or perhaps the biggest tradeshows are located from the one place.

This years hospitality industry tradeshows.

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Fun Friday 20 February

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

Our fun Friday facebook post is

Food Fight?

  Fun Friday Post 

Join the fun on our facebook page

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Menumaster JETWAVE accelerated combination ovens

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

Menumaster is a global leader and trusted name in commercial microwave ovens manufactured to the highest specifications. Offering a comprehensive range of commercial ovens including accelerated microwaves, convection and infra-red ovens that delivers speed with precise and even heat distribution. Menumaster products also offer strength and durability for year of dependable use - making it the oven of choice for food service outlets Australia wide.

Accelerated cooking combination ovens deliver on a variety of levels. They are more compact and more efficient than using a separate microwave and convection oven. They not only give you quicker cook times, they are designed for ideal browning, toasting and crisping, resulting in better food quality.

Jetmaster accelerated cooking made easy

High Speed Combination | Jetwave™ Ovens

2 models JET514 & JET5192


The Menumaster JETWAVE JET514 accelerated cooking microwave & convection evenly and consistently bakes, browns and toasts food up to four times faster than traditional methods.

The Menumaster JETWAVE JET5192 accelerated cooking microwave & convection evenly and consistently bakes, browns and toasts food up to four times faster than traditional methods.

Features, Advantages and Benefits

 Bakes 4 times faster than a conventional oven
Increased speed of service
Increased sales and profit

 100 programmable menu items, 4 stage cooking and 11 microwave power levels
Provides easy "one-touch" cooking
Flexible high speed baking reduces training time, saves energy and provides consistent results

 EZCard Menu Management System
Updates menu programs in seconds
Eliminates programming mistakes for multiple locations

 Uses metal cookware
No special cookware needed
No added expense

 On demand cooking
Prepare food only when needed
Eliminate food waste

 Compact footprint
Accepts a 309 mm (12") pizza
Ideal for kitchens with minimal space and cafe setting

 90° plus door opening with coated steel hinge
Safe and efficient in busy kitchens
Easy oven access and avoid spills

 Flexible cooking platform
Use any combination of microwave or convection
Easily offers a variety of menu items

 Front removable, cleanable air filter with reminder
Easy to maintain and clean
Extends oven life

Combines two cooking energies


  1400 W
  Heats quickly, shortens cooking time


  2700 W
 65°-250°C temperature range
  Enhanced toasting and browning

Ideal Applications:

  Country clubs
  Convenience stores
  Pubs and wine bars

High Speed Combination | MXP522 Oven

A powerful combination oven that uses forced convection, microwave and infra-red radiant technology to provide super speed cooking and heating. Cooks up to 15 times faster than a conventional oven so you can turn tables faster, increase output and maximises sales and profits.


Stores up to 360 programmable menu items to provide an extensive menu option and easy to use 'One-touch' cooking provides ensure consistent result, every time.

The MXP522 also saves you money as it eliminates need for costly ventilation hood and uses less energy than conventional ovens.

Features, Advantages and Benefits

 Cooks 15 times faster than a conventional oven
Turn tables faster, increase throughput
Maximizes sales and profits

 Ventless installation
No costly hood
Economical installation, no increased HVAC

  Up to 360 programmable menu items
3 menu levels
Expansive menu options
Expand and vary menu offerings for increased sales

 NEW! USB Port
Compatible with standard USB flash drives
Perfect programming solution for multiple locations

 Uses metal cookware
No special cookware needed
No added expense

 On demand cooking
Prepare fresh foods with great taste and texture
Cook food when it’s ordered

 Compact exterior, large interior
Uses less counter space than competitive ovens, accepts a 356mm (14") pizza
Improve kitchen flow and increase output

 Door uniquely opens below rack
Provides full access to the cavity
Easier and safer to load

 Flexible cooking platform
Use any combination of microwave, convection or infra-red radiant heat
Cooks a variety of menu items effortlessly

  Two cleanable air filters with a "clean filter" reminder
Removes easily and cleans in sink or dishmachine
Promotes proper oven operation
*Catalytic convertor filters grease and odors from the air. This product conforms to the Ventless Operation

Combines three cooking energies

Forced convection

  2000 W
  95°-270°C temperature range cooks a variety of items
  Better toasting and browning


  2200 W
  Fast heating, reduces cooking time
  Dual feed heats foods evenly

Infra-red radiant

  3000 W   Enhances toasting, browning and crisping

Cooking Times

  Skewered shrimp cook in 1:10
  Frozen 356 mm (14" ) pizza bakes in 2:30

Ideal Applications:

 Convenience stores
 Quick service restaurants
 Hotel room service

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Garland Master Series Heavy Duty Equipment

Posted by: Sydney Commercial Kitchens |  Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Master The Art of Cooking

Create a custom workflow that fits your space, and your menu

Chefs around the world are already familiar with the performance, flexibility, and enduring prestige that comes with Garland’s Master Series.

Garland Master Series Heavy Duty

Featuring a full compliment of range-top and range-base configurations, along with fryers, broilers, and more, the Master Series modular approach combines the convenience of custom kitchen design with proven, premium-quality components to deliver world-class functionality.

The Master-equipped kitchen is a cooking environment where efficiency and safety are optimized without compromising freedom of culinary expression. That freedom is what transforms food into art. With Garland, you’ll Master the Art of Cooking.


Master Series simply meets or beats your needs and expectations. Any time. Every time.


The control to boil, saute, simmer, fry, roast, bake, or broil with predicatable results for satisfying dining.


Searing heat when technique demands it, and high-output speed when great service is important.


Day in and day out, your staff will have the tools they need to serve up top-quality dishes without guesswork.


Master’s modular design allows you to put the right operation in the right place for optimized workflow.


With uncompromised durability in design and components, Master is always ready when the rush is on.


One construction-matched line of products that does it all. Convenient planning. Convenient operation.


Thoughtful, ergonomic design and stay-cool touch points minimize mishaps and fatique.


Lasting good looks with smooth surfaces and clean lines become the basis of your state-of-the-art kitchen.

Garland Master Series Heavy Duty

1 Spectro-heat Tops

Spectro-heat tops help you target heat for greater control from rapid boil to simmer. Four stock pots can be accommodated at one time and can be maneuvered easily on the flat, even surface.

2 FDO Control and Piezo Spark Ignition

The FDO control allows you to achieve a consistent 150º holding temperature and a lowroasting capability at the turn of a dial. For easy start-ups, a piezo spark ignition system comes standard on all Master Series ovens.

3 Continuous Plate Rail

The deepest in the industry, the 7 1/2" continuous plate rail (up to 102" in length) has been engineered to provide a smooth, level work surface for even plating and less spillage when removing product from heat.

4 Two-piece Lift-off Sunfire Burners

Two-piece 35K (10.2 kW) lift-off Starfire burners are among the most powerful available. More heat means better technique and greater speed during high-demand periods.

5 Durable Tubular High Shelves

Tubular high shelves are contemporary in design and extremely strong and durable. Unlike closed-style shelves, they allow grease-laden vapors to escape, making cleaning easy.

6 Easy Cleaning Underneath

On multiple banked systems we’ve removed the double legs and casters between units for easier floor cleaning.

7 Cast-iron Oven Burner

A cast-iron oven burner at 40K BTUs (11.7kW) delivers powerful heat and lasts longer than traditional steel burners for increased performance and long-term reliability. Garland range-base ovens feature a natural, no-fan convection pattern for even browning.

8 Fryers

Garland fryers feature an infra-red "jet" burner and stainless steel pot warranted for life. The centerline thermostat is accurate within 1° F.

9 Quick and Safe Wipe-down

With a minimum of exposed fasteners, (many pieces have none!), the entire series is designed for safe and easy wipe-down.

10 Maximum Flexibility

Adapt your design to the available space easily using available 12" wide and/or 17" wide "attachment" models. 12" models available with (2) 24k open burners, griddle, or equa-therm hot top. 17" models available with (2) 35k open burners, griddle, equa-therm hot top, spectroheat hot top, or char-broiler. Non-cooking "spreaders" are also available in different standard and custom sizes.

11 Grooved Griddle Option

For appetizing branding of grilled meats, fish, and vegetables..

12 Ergonomic Controls

Ergonomically designed control knobs are always "cool to the touch" and are recessed under the front rail, keeping them cool to the touch and out of way for protection against inadvertent mis-setting and bump-damage.

13 Charbroilers

Charbroilers generate up to 90,000 BTUs of cooking power and are ideally suited for both production line and à la carte cooking.

14 Storage

Full-width cabinet with left-and-right-swing stainless steel doors gives you a large, convenient storage area.

15 Safe Handles

Broiling rack salamander and warming oven control handles are easy to grab and located in the "cool zone" for added operator safety.

16 Clean-line Oven Door Handles

Clean-line handles have been engineered to dissipate heat. They also feature solid ends for easier cleaning.

17 Quick Access

Hinged lower panel gives you quick access to internal components without tools.

Master Series Ranges

High-Performance features that set the standard for heavy-duty cooking machines

At the heart of every Master Series Range is the Starfire Burner

The unique Garland Starfire burner is the standard by which other burners are measured, and it outperforms higher rated ring burners in precision, productivity, and fuel efficiency.

Its innovative design produces the most effective heat impingement pattern in the industry. This means less energy is used to transfer more heat.

Master Series Broilers

The Essence of Broiling

For the quality a great steak or chop deserves with a consistently produced juicy, succulent flavour, texture and appearance, only infra-red broiling is good enough.

Invisible, infra-red rays create super heated energy that quickly sears the outside of the meat, sealing in natural juices, and leaving the interior at just the perfect degree of doneness.

But as new age menus evolve, the essence of delicious broiled food has grown to include poultry, seafood, and even vegetables, and requires flexibility and control.

Powerful performance for high volume kitchens

Master Series charbroilers and salamanders have been designed for quick and efficient cooking operations suited for both production line and à la carte broiling.

Flexibility has been built in from the optional mounts, to the grill, to the fully adjustable grates that enable you to broil a wider variety of foods than ever before.

Reliable flexibility

 Overfired broilers deliver potent heat and are offered with your choice of infrared or ceramic heating systems.

 For added convenience and flexibility, salamanders come with dual controls, located out of the "hot zone."

 Salamanders are available for range mount, wall mount or with an optional leg kit for countertop operation.

 A full selection of cheesemelters is also available.

 Choose between the optional diamond pattern for cooking delicate products or half round broad brand for other products.

Efficient convenience

 Finishing ovens are efficiently housed over burners to capture the lost heat.

 Standard durable stainless steel front with double-access doors for convenient access. Large chrome-plated, spring-loaded grids make loading and cleaning simple.

High-performance Infra-Red Broilers

Infra-red broilers heat instantly (broiling within 2 minutes), and burn very efficiently. When compared to conventional broilers, studies show that fuel costs are reduced by up to 50%.

Master Series Fryers

Quality, consistent results time and time again

High performance fryers with instant temperature recovery provides your customers with less greasy, better-tasting products. The Master Series fryers are designed for high-volume use and quickly drive off water and steam to give fried foods a desired texture and enhanced appearance. Better-tasting, consistent results and increased shortening life are the Master Series advantages.

Precision results

 The centerline thermostat is located in the center of the cooking area and monitors oil temperature in precise 1 degree increments.

 Multiple burner orifices with ceramic targets produce even heat, and Garland offers a life-time warranty on the fryer tank.

Extended life

 Deep "cold zones" allow breathing and small food particles to settle without continuing to fry which extends shortening life.

 Open vat design is easy to clean, and a clean vat reduces flavour transfer from food to food and extends oil life.

We’ve Mastered Convenience and Safety So that all you have to do is cook.

Easy to clean

 Stays cleaner, longer – Tubular high shelves allow heat and grease-laden vapours to escape.

 Safe wipe-downs – Smooth, finished surfaces are free from welds, screwheads, and fasteners, for fast and safe wipe-downs after use.

 Easy cleaning between units – We’ve also eliminated double legs between units so it’s more convenient to clean.

Observed Creativity

 Plating made easier – The 7 1/2"-deep plate rail provides a smooth, level, and seam-free working area and efficient use of valuable prep time.

 Clean, contemporary visual lines – The design of the recessed knobs and controls compliments any kitchen while also providing easy access and reducing the risk of accidental damage.

 Various range-top configurations – By increasing flexibility, you can now choose to sauté on the front and use the back for bain-marie or simmering.

 Effective use of available space – All Master Series components can be used in single, multi-unit, and full battery configurations in sizes down to 12", to help you make the most of available kitchen space.

Considered Safety

 International safety ratings – The Master Series is a world-class cooking system that meets international safety ratings with optional Sentry safety protection for all open burners.

 Monitored and controlled – Hi/Low valves monitor and control the lowest heat setting, preventing burners from going out under griddles.

 "Cool to the touch" – All handles have this feature and salamander controls are located out of the "hot zone," making the Master Series safer for you to use.

 Easy-to-grab door handles – Handles are finished with solid ends to reduce the chance of slippage from debris buildup.

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Fun Friday 13 February

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

Our fun Friday facebook post is

How do you handle negative reviews?

  Fun Friday Post 

Join the fun on our facebook page

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Buying a Franchise

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

First Time Business Owners

First time business owners often turn to franchises because:
• although they may have the people skills and food industry knowledge they don’t know how to run a business
• they have been retrenched and instead of seeking another job they use their payout to start their own business

Buying a Franchise

Backed by a national or international brand name they can use the business and marketing training they receive from the franchisor to overcome this lack of business knowledge.

The increased interest in franchising isn’t surprising given that franchise growth has historically been the strongest during economic downturns.

However be warned, many people believe that launching and running a franchise is easy. This is definitely not the case - running a franchise is a lot more work than a 9 - 5 job. You have to have a really strong work ethic. Many people choose the franchise route because they think it represents a shorter path to success figuring that if they do what they are told then that is enough to ensure success.

That is not necessarily the case. After all a strong brand name and business model cannot make up for poor business decisions made by the franchisee. While purchasing a franchise may not guarantee a business owners success it would increase your chances as 90% of brand name franchises are successful, a tribute to the system and training skills of the franchisor. This is definitely not the case in independent businesses, just go to your local shopping mall and ask the cafe operators how long they have been in business.

The Pro’s

Like independent business owners, many franchise owners pursue the opportunity not to make their millions but to become their own bosses and feel more connected to their communities.

Without a doubt franchises represent an important and growing part of our economy. Buying a franchise essentially enables potential entrepreneurs to use a corporation’s products, trademarks, advertising and business model to start their own business.

As many franchise owners point out, entering into such an agreement comes with a myriad of advantages:
• an established business system
• product exceptance
• extensive training
• ongoing marketing support

For these reasons a franchise is often particularly attractive to people who lack solid business experience.

and the Con’s

Franchisees pay handsomely for these benefits. Usually an upfront fee to cover start up costs and training, a monthly fee for marketing and advertising and then a monthly royalty of between 5% - 10% of profit.

While some franchises are more flexible than others, they do exert a lot of control over how you run the business. You are locked in to doing things that the franchisor wants it done.

When you start an independent business you can create something that can change over time, based on yours and your customer’s needs and preferences. If you are creative and entrepreneurial a franchise may not be for you.

Do your Homework

Anyone considering opening a franchise business is well advised to do their homework:
• have the contract reviewed by a professional franchise solicitor
• make sure you fully understand all of the implications of the contract
• speak to other operators of the franchise for their opinion
• try to find previous operators - people who have bought and sold their franchise to ask their viewpoint
• mall owners like brand name concepts in their malls, maybe you can get a concession on your rent and outgoings - it never hurts to ask
• conduct market research to test your customer base prior to purchasing.

Previous blog posts in this series are:

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Garland Restaurant Series

Posted by: Sydney Commercial Kitchens |  Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Today, Chefs around the world are familiar with the performance, flexibility and enduring prestige that comes with Garland’s range of commercial cooking equipment.

With extra heavy duty, heavy duty and electric options, you can count on Garland to deliver a solution for any food service business.


Garland Restaurant Series

Perfect choice for all purpose cooking!

The state-of-the-art Garland Heavy Duty Restaurant Series is a commercial range that has been engineered for unmatched performance and durability.

Garland’s exclusive cast-iron Starfire Pro® burners combine speed with precision with even heat distribution to improve efficiency and control. All of the burners in the range are made of cast-iron for better heat retention and lasting durability.


 Available in 600mm, 900mm, 1200mm and 1500mm widths
 Flame failure protection (all burners), spark ignition on all concealed burners (open top burners manual ignition)
 Large 692mm deep work top surface
 Stainless steel front and sides, stainless steel 127mm plate rail
 Stainless steel low profile backguard, 300mm section stamped driptrays with dimpled bottom
 152mm adjustable stainless steel legs
 15mm thick machine polished steel grill or hot top option standard to right hand side, can be specified to left hand side
 27.4MJ 2 piece cast iron Starfire Pro® open top Burners
 Cast iron “H” oven burner - 33MJ for space saver oven & 40MJ for standard oven
 Space saver oven: 508W x 660D x 330H(mm)
 Standard oven: 667W x 660D x 330H(mm)


At 692mm deep, the Heavy Duty Restaurant Range has the largest usable cooking surface in the industry.

The new grate design allows pots to slide easily across the surface from burner to burner. Fits six by 300mm pots easily.


Garland’s exclusive two piece 27.4MJ Starfire Pro® Burner combines concentrated power with precise even heat for improved efficiency and heat control.


The fully porcelain interior, ribbed door and hearth and a 40MJ cast iron "H" Burner combine to generate and distribute heat faster and more evenly.


Garland’s chef oven is so large it holds standard full size sheet pans in either direction.

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Fun Friday 30 January

Posted by: Sydney Commercial Kitchens |  Monday, February 02, 2015

Our fun Friday facebook post is

Do you use recipes?

  Fun Friday Post 

When baking, follow directions. When cooking, go by your own taste. ~Laiko Bahrs

Join the fun on our facebook page

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Restaurant Manager Systems

Posted by: Sydney Commercial Kitchens |  Thursday, January 29, 2015

Operating systems

Research shows that while 90% of independent restaurants and cafes fail, over 90% of franchised restaurants are successful.

Given those percentages, doesn’t it make sense that you would want to operate your business more like a franchise than an independent restaurant or cafe.

Cafe manager systems

So, what are the franchise operations doing that allows them to enjoy a high percentage of success and gives them such an edge over independent restaurants?

The answer is really quite simple.... when you buy a franchise you are trained right from the start using a proven system. Nothing is left to chance. They duplicate the way they operate time and time again using written systems that everyone can follow.

Operation systems are rare in small businesses. Usually the reason is a lack of time to prepare the detailed information, and lack of a model on which to base it.

Yet the percentages above clearly indicate that your chances of success in this exciting industry are dramatically increased by having your own operating system.

Despite knowing this, when faced with the choice of spending hours to create these systems or doing nothing, many business owners choose to do nothing.

There is a great saying "change is difficult but to not change can be fatal".

A restaurant and cafe operating system usually contains the following sections:

  •  staff costing and managements systems
  •  cost control and financial management systems
  •  functions management systems
  •  bar management systems
  •  front of house management and administration
  •  customer service
  •  cash register and point of sale systems
  •  marketing

I am sure you will all agree it is obviously worth investing the time in developing an operating system for your business. In fact, your success could depend upon it.

To find out more about how you can have detailed operating manuals for your restaurant or cafe, please go to:

Previous blog posts in this series are:

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