Are Fast Food Outlets to Blame for Obesity

One of the biggest preoccupations for fast food outlets is getting their menu right and then covering all the risks with good cheap takeaway insurance.

Cheap takeaway insurance used to be one of the main concerns, but there is another problem looming quickly on the horizon: are fast food outlets to blame for the national rising levels of obesity?

And obesity is one risk that is not currently covered by most takeaway insurance policies. So where is it all heading?

Central Government and City, and Town, councils are rightly worried that people are becoming too obese. And there are many acknowledged reasons for why the nation’s waistlines are expanding. Lack of exercise, too much lounging in front of the television, less manual work and labour saving devices around the home mean that fat is a bigger worry than it used to be for older generations.

And, of course, food. Not only is it more plentiful (variety is tremendous with almost every taste accounted for), but there is also a suspicion from many quarters that processed foods are ‘the devil’s work’ and rely too much on sugars and fats to make them appetising and popular.

Modern, convenience food contains far too many calories say most dietary experts. And when more calories are consumed than needed by the body to live, then the problems occur. Even children are not immune, as more kids than ever are displaying evidence of obesity.

So, processed food has a bad reputation, as does takeaway food outlets which appear to be a new target of the groups determined to trim the nation’s fat.

The problem is of course, that whilst Oldham council might try and restrict the number of fast food outlets on their doorstep, and dole out £1,000 fines for those that locate too near schools, it is a fundamental freedom in the UK to exercise self-determination. Citizens of Europe have a right to choose for themselves what they eat.

Nor is it an obvious step to single out fast food outlets as the cause of obesity. It does not figure that users of such restaurants will become fat, because that presupposes that all food sold in such establishments is bad for you and that people must be frequenting them on an almost daily basis.

Your First Steps in Opening a Food

Are you thinking of opening a food outlet in the United Kingdom? If so, there any a number of important issues to address at the outset. If you do not get these right to begin with, you could end up with problems in the future.

Even before operating out of your premises, it is compulsory to register with the Environmental Health Service Department of your Local Authority. You must register at least twenty-eight days before opening a food outlet and it is free to register. Registration is obligatory whether you are running a catering business from home, a restaurant franchise or temporary premises such as mobile catering vans or market stalls and each individual outlet must be registered. Sometimes premises may be used by more than one catering venture, such as a conference centre or a community hall. In these cases, it is the responsibility of the owner of the premises to register them. Registering on line with the Environmental Health Service when opening a food outlet is now possible with many Local Authorities. Other Local Authorities require the form to be posted, faxed or emailed, although application downloads is now nearly always available.

There are other important tasks to carry out before opening a food outlet. You will have to think about registering for Valued Added Tax (VAT) and might also need to register as self-employed and you will probably have to pay business rates. You will need to keep accurate records of all your income and expenditure. Also note that you might need planning permission from your Local Authority if you will be making changes to your premises. The design and construction of your premises must meet legal requirements with regard to health and safety and also fire regulations. You must ensure that all your food and drink is described honestly and accurately. For example, if you describe your food or drink as organic, fair trade or free range, you must ensure that your goods are indeed as described. If you plan to sell alcohol you will need to apply for the appropriate licence from your council. Permission will also be needed if you plan to sell hot food after eleven at night and you may need an entertainment licence if you plan to host live acts.

Also very important when opening a food outlet is to ensure that you and your staff have received appropriate training and understand the principles of good food hygiene, in order to prevent food poisoning. Food safety management procedures will need to be set up and adhered to and accurate records of these will need to be kept. If you are employing paid staff, you must keep records of their pay and ensure that the correct tax and National Insurance contributions are paid. You will need to contact your council with regard to sorting out waste and recycling collection and ensure that any local byelaws are adhered to.

Tips For Opening a Healthy Food

If you are planning on opening a food outlet, why not make it a healthy one? Statistics show that around twenty-four million adults in the UK are overweight and many health risks can be dramatically reduced by adopting a healthier diet. Current trends point to an increasing amount of food being prepared and eaten outside the home. Therefore, when opening a food outlet the caterer is in a position of influence. Whether you are opening a food outlet in a college or staff canteen, a local cafe, takeaway or fast food restaurant, you could be serving the same clients on several days of the week, which means you will be serving up a significant portion of their daily diet.

Today, many customers are seeking healthier options. A bad diet is now known to increase the risk of many cancers as well as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, tooth decay and osteoporosis. It surely makes sense when opening a food outlet to consider serving healthy choices and to make all your food as healthy as possible. It is possible to serve healthier food without compromising on taste and also while saving money at the same time. For example, you could reduce the amount of salt and fat in your cooking and increase the use of tasty herbs, such as basil, chives and oregano.

You could increase the amount of rice or pasta you use and at the same time reduce the quantity of rich sauces. Carbohydrates such as rice, noodles and pasta are cheap and filling and you could offer wholegrain varieties as an option, although these tend not to be too popular. Use more pasta and vegetables and less meat in your lasagne and make pizzas with a thicker base and use less cheese. You can serve extra vegetables, salad and bread with your main dishes and use more rice and less curry, or more potato and less meat in Shepherd’s pie. Thick home-made vegetable soups and casseroles are especially popular in winter, being satisfying and filling and they are full of vitamins and goodness, while also being relatively low in calories.

If you serve sandwiches in your food outlet, you can offer wholemeal or granary bread (so much tastier than boring white!) and reduce the amount of butter or mayonnaise, which are very high in fat. Low fat or olive oil based spreads could also be offered, along with a choice of crisp and tasty salad ingredients, lean meats and fish.

For desserts you could offer delicious fresh fruit salads, sorbets or crumble with an oat topping. Baked apples or pears with half-fat cream are very tasty and popular dishes. So it can be seen that serving healthy food does not equate to boring and with a little imagination it is possible when opening a food outlet to conjure up some very tasty healthy options for your customers, who will show their appreciation by coming back time and time again to sample your delicious fare!

Fast Food Outlets More Efficient

The fast food industry is a competitive one and as a fast food outlet owner you need to stay ahead of the game. That is, you need to always provide a speedy service and good food at affordable prices. It is challenging but you can get ahead with the following catering equipment.

• Anvil Fryer

The Anvil Fryer is ideal for fast food outlets that serve a lot of French fries with their meals. The double pan version of this catering equipment is able to fry up to 8 kilograms of French fries per hour. It holds 5 litres of oil per pan so you could fry French fries in the one pan and another type of food in the other if you require. It is thermostatically controlled and has an automatic safety cut out when it reaches 209 degrees Celsius.

• Anvil Vertical Bun Toaster

If your establishment serves burgers with chips then a bun toaster will save you a lot of time. This unit has a twin feed system, variable heating control and a 6 position thickness setting. In addition, it is energy efficient and is supplied with a Teflon release sheet that fits over the plate element. The benefit with this unit is that you can automatically toast many buns while you prepare the burger ingredients.

• Griller

A griller is one of the most important catering equipment that a food outlet can have. There are a variety of options to choose from which include free standing to floor models. The floor model grillers are available in different sizes depending on your demand. The size options include 4 burners, 6 burners, 8 burners, 10 burners and 12 burners. The one you choose will also depend on the size of your establishment. The advantage of having a large griller is that you can grill multiple burgers or sausages at one time thus saving time.

• Summit Juice Dispenser

Serving drinks such as juice is very important for fast food outlets. The Summit Juice Dispenser allows you to make fresh juice, keep it chilled, and easy to pour. It automates your juicing requirements while your kitchen staff is able to concentrate on the other tasks.

• Beverage Cooler

While on the topic of drinks, people enjoy sodas too so you need to have chilled sodas at hand. Beverage coolers with glass sliding doors are convenient and space saving with food outlets. They are attractive because they are well lit and some of them also have advertising space on the unit.

Halal Food Outlets iPhone Application

If you are a Muslim, you already know what Halal food is. If not, let me clarify it. Halal means lawful or legal. It is a term that refers to foods, works or objects that are allowed in Islam’s rules and regulations. For example, eating chicken is allowed for Muslims; therefore, it is a food. The opposite of Halal is Haram. Eating Haram is prohibited for Muslims. So, it is a Haram food.

Halal Food Outlets is an iPhone application developed for the benefit of the Islam people. How?

Let us see, the main role of the Outlets iPhone application is that it gives the location of the food restaurants to the Muslim people, who are unable to find their favorite dish while travelling or in other countries. This Halal Outlets iPhone application will help them to find the restaurants at their fingertips, without the need to ask anyone, and search anywhere in the world. But do you know about the meaning of the Halal Food Outlets, well here is the definition of this term, it refers to shops or restaurants those sell only Halal foods. If you are in a Muslim country, you will find them everywhere. As a matter of fact, the food outlets there are all Halal! But if you are living or travelling in a non-Muslim country, it will be difficult for you to track them down. Some countries have Islam as their second religion. You will find these outlets very easily there as well, but the complexity comes when you are in a country where Islam is neither the first nor a second religion.

Basically a Halal Food Outlet is a place where it is forbidden to sell Ham, Dog, Alcoholic Beverages, and Blood etc. If you are a non-Muslim looking for these, search out the really exclusive outlets that sell them. There are two things you might want to do when you are reading this article:

• You want to open a Halal Food Outlet

• Or, you are looking for a one to eat at.

If you are willing to open one, here are some tips for you:

• Know your market. If you are in a Muslim country, you don’t have to know much about knowing!

• If you are in a non-Muslim country, think of opening the outlet near local Muslim communities.

• Offer various Halal products in a yummy fashion. For example, McDonalds named one of their products as “Halal Chicken Nuggets”.

• Know people’s sentiment. If you are opening up an Outlet near a conservative Christian community, you might as well get sued!

• Promote your outlet in selective places. Places from where you will actually get customers, not problems.

Just concentrate on the above tips to open a really good and profitable Halal Food Outlet. If you are looking for one rather than opening, please take the following tips:

• Be at the right place. I mean, if you are standing in the middle of a church and looking for one, you are just wasting your time.

• Ask Muslims or people who actually know the meaning of “Halal”.

• Try asking people, who don’t know what “Halal” is, if they know any middle-eastern food outlet.

• Take references from your friends and family. Some foreign Halal Food Outlet sells Haram food saying that it is Halal.

Well this is pretty much a guide about “How to find or establish Halal Food Outlets” using the Halal Food Outlet iPhone application. Pay attention to the tips carefully. Make your way to a Halal Food Outlet today.