Immediate Expensing Could Stimulate Restaurant Purchases
The Small Business Jobs and Credit Act of 2010, signed by President Obama September 27, gives restaurants an additional incentive to purchase new food preparation equipment within the next 14 months. Restaurants, as well as manufacturers, can now write off investments in new capital expenditures immediately, up to a limit of $500,000 rather than having to depreciate the expense slowly over a number of years, as long as the purchase is completed during the 2010 or 2011 tax year. In a news blog sent to all members in September, and posted on its Web site, the National Restaurant Association (NRA) heralded this opportunity. “Now that President Obama has signed the Small Business Jobs and Credit Act into law, it’s a good time to look at your capital improvement plan,” NRA told its members. NAFEM members are encouraged to be sure your customers understand this short-term opportunity to expense new equipment in the year it is purchased.
From personal experience and as an experienced kitchenware retailer, I have a few tips for the pumpkin-carving season that will ensure a safe Halloween for everyone in the family.
The biggest mistake parents make with pumpkin carving is letting children use sharp knives without adequate supervision. Pumpkin carving should be a memorable family event. A few minor precautions will prevent mishaps and a Halloween that’s memorable in a way you hadn’t planned on.
Successful pumpkin carving begins with a good pumpkin, so pick a pumpkin that has a stable bottom. Before you buy it, set it on a flat surface to be sure that it doesn’t wobble. Also, while pumpkins with deep vertical ridges are more attractive, the uneven surface makes them more difficult to carve.
Don’t buy a bruised pumpkin. Bruises mean the pumpkin is already past its prime. Knock on the pumpkin; that will give you an idea as to how hard it is. The harder it is, the fresher it is. You can expect a fresh pumpkin to last about 2 weeks in a cool climate. If you start with the best pumpkin you can find, you’ve made your carving job much easier. Now for a few pumpkin-carving safety basics:
1. Always keep very young children a safe distance away from the knife.
2. Always keep the pumpkin on a steady surface when cutting. Don’t hold it in your hands.
3. Don’t use a knife for portions of the task if something else will work nearly as well. For example, you can hollow out a pumpkin more easily and more safely with a spoon than you can with a knife. Let small children pitch in with non-knife tasks such as spooning out the inside and drawing the face on the pumpkin.
4. Carve in a dry, well lit, and clean area. Be sure that all the tools (especially the handles) you will be using are completely dry. Moisture causes slipping which can lead to injuries. Wipe down the handles with a dry cloth frequently during the process.
5. When using a knife, opt for a high quality serrated utility knife for cutting out the top and a finely serrated knife with a thin blade (such as a grapefruit knife) for carving out the pumpkin’s face.
6. For older children, pumpkin carving can be a great opportunity to teach knife safety and respect. Be sure to supervise, though, whenever they’re near a sharp knife – whether it’s serrated or otherwise.
No matter what kind of knife you use, it’s hard to make those curved cuts through thick pumpkin walls without a sawing motion. The advantage of using serrated knives is that they’re made for a safe sawing motion and give the user more control. A sharp slicer knife is much more likely to slip while sawing, which could mean a trip to the E.R.
Pumpkin-carving time is when you really appreciate a good quality knife, but quality knives are important all year around. Not only do they make whatever kitchen task you’re performing easier, but they make the process safer as well.
Enter Our Chef Schweppe Mascot Coloring Contest!
Simply pick up an entry form in our store. Do your best to color our mascot Chef Schweppe! Feel free to color him any way you like!
By returning the entry, you will be entered in a drawing! You could win a basket filled with a cookbook, some other fun cooking things!
Moms and Dads – Return the completed entry for 20% off any regular-priced item!
Participants must be aged 10 and under. Deadline for entries is November 11, 2010.
Winner will be announced November 12, 2010.
Have some fun with us and add some color to your day!