One of the eternal challenges for chain restaurants is beverage consistency – producing cold or frozen blended beverages that are the same every time so customers are not disappointed.
- Not too thin, not too thick
- Having the same flavor profile
- Having the same texture
If you have ever found yourself wondering why your beverages turn out differently sometime, then you may want to check out a fun, online tool that Vitamix Commercial has developed. It’s a 10-question quiz, with instant explanations after each question. You can even switch your answers as you go along and see how the automated responses change.
“We designed this quiz as a learning tool, a fun, quick way to think through some of the complex issues that lead to inconsistent beverages in quick-service environments,” explained Steve Hosey, blending application manager, Vitamix®.
Sometimes, it may be hard to even know whether your beverages are inconsistent or not. Is someone tasting the beverages periodically? Is there an easy way for customers to share their observations or complaints?
The Beverage Consistency Quiz is intended to raise questions for participants. Without certain safeguards in place, it’s very possible that some of your beverages are inconsistent on occasion, especially if you have new staff or your employees are under stress.
“Our hope is that the Beverage Consistency Quiz is thought provoking. Perhaps someone will become more discerning or curious about beverage consistency and its causes,” Hosey explained.
Even if you know you have a problem with beverage consistency, it may be hard to pin down why. You may be measuring out the ingredients in the same way and timing the blend the same each time. Why the difference then?
“The quiz provides insights that will be helpful to managers, owners, or operators,” Hosey said. “For example, you may not have considered the advantages of optimizing how your employees build a recipe in the blending container. The quiz is just a good way to test your knowledge and make sure you have all the bases covered.”&
In certain situations, it may be tempting to assume that the main cause of inconsistent beverages is new staff or overtaxed staff. Perhaps if the labor market were better, the beverages would be more consistent.
Unfortunately, this way of thinking may be leaving out a lot. Labor issues or a certain amount of stress are hard to avoid in quick-service environments. It therefore makes sense to provide visual aids or other safeguards that can keep beverages consistent even when employees are moving quickly.
The quiz covers a whole range of issues, from measuring ingredients to holding temperatures. While many of these issues arise in the steps before blending, the blending equipment itself is very important, too. A high-performance blender with built-in programming is one of the best means of ensuring a consistent outcome.
If your employees are manually operating the blender, selecting the required speeds and timing intervals, that opens up a large set of variables. Under those circumstances, it’s inevitable that there will be small differences in the blend (e.g., the size of the ice crystals or density of a cold foam topping). But if, by contrast, you are running a set of optimized programs, the blending process itself should be exactly the same every time.
That’s the case with The Quiet One® by Vitamix Commercial. It is the preferred blender in coffee and smoothie chain restaurants because of its reputation for consistent results. Whether you’re making a smoothie, cold coffee drink, or cold foam topper, there is an optimized program built into the machine that will run through the perfect set of speeds, yielding the ideal texture and consistency.
The Quiet One comes with 34 optimized programs, and you can pull any of these to the front six buttons on the machine. So, your front-of-house staff just needs to push one button and walk away. They are now free to attend to the next order.
In addition, if you’ve introduced cold foam onto your menu, you know that it can be very difficult to produce this luxurious topping consistently.
But with The Quiet One, in combination with the Aerating Container, you can produce the same cold foam every time – and you can do so quickly, in under 30 seconds of blending. Dedicated programs built into The Quiet One will produce cold foams in the Aerating Container with the qualities that you prefer. Do you desire a looser foam that you can pour, instead of having to scoop it out of the container? Or are you looking for a denser foam that sits on top of the beverage? The Quiet One’s programs allow you to choose between these options and reliably produce it every time.
So, if you’d like to lock in blending consistency, consider The Quiet One with its 34 optimized programs. And if you’d like to better understand some of the other reasons that beverages become inconsistent, explore the Beverage Consistency Quiz and have fun while you learn.
For questions, contact: Steve Hosey, blending applications manager, Vitamix: