A Five-Step Plan to Get Your Home in Shape for 2019

With Christmas seeming like a far-off memory, and as the cold weather of January settles in, now is the perfect time to make positive changes and prepare your living environment for the year ahead.

Home in Shape

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Read our five-step plan to get your home in shape for 2019.

  1. Warm Your Home

In the winter, you may notice that your home tends to feel draughty and cold. Draught-proofing windows and doors is an affordable and simple way to heat your home and reduce energy bills and is a task that you could even complete yourself.

Installing insulation can come at an expensive price; however, it significantly reduces energy bills and heat loss. Cavity wall insulation, for example, takes less than five years to pay off the investment through energy efficiency savings.

  1. Reduce Your Energy Usage

With energy bills set to rise now is the ideal time to tighten our belts and analyze our energy tariffs and usage.

An energy monitor could help you keep track of how much energy you use and provide clues in how you could cut back. Smart thermostats are another innovative technology which allows you to take control of your heating, where you can turn your heating on or off remotely via an internet connection.

energy bills

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Comparing energy providers can also really help you save money on your bills.

  1. Locate any Damp

Check your home for signs of damp, including patches on walls, mold around windows or stained skirting boards.

Damp can easily affect your property, so it is vital to spot and treat problems as soon as you see them. A dehumidifier could help reduce the amount of condensation and damp in your home.

  1. Test Your Boiler

Annual service for your boiler is essential in keeping it running safely and smoothly, especially in the colder months. Ensure you hire an engineer who is Gas Safe registered to conduct the work.

For a Gloucester boiler service, contact a company such as hprservicesltd.com/gloucester-boilers/boiler-service-gloucester

  1. Purify the Air

Air purifiers are a great idea to reduce the number of pollutants contained in the air, such as smoke, pollen, and dust.

They are particularly useful if you or someone in your household suffers from allergies, with some models even switching on automatically if they sense a drop in the air quality.

How to Improve Your Restaurant Yield with the Right Booking System

The restaurant industry can be a fickle one, and getting maximum yield from every single table in your establishment is important for turning a healthy profit. You can be fully booked and yet something happens and tables end up sitting there empty. With some extra vigilance, this can be reduced.

Line up customers

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Line Up Customers

ost hospitality managers hate the idea of overbooking, but on busy dates, it may be a sensible thing to do. A certain proportion of customers probably won’t show up, and it may all balance out in the end. If people do end up having to wait, then at least they see a popular and busy place, which can drive up your cachet a little. A free drink at the bar or some other kind of incentive will soothe any frayed tempers. It’s probably best not to disregard that anniversary party for 20 that was booked three months ago, though.

Remaining competitive is a priority for restaurants, especially in challenging times. Many popular restaurant chains have been affected by falling revenues, and for more on this read a report in The Guardian. If you have a computer system for taking bookings, some data analysis will be able to tell you when customers are most likely not to fulfill a booking.

Work Tables Harder

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Work Tables Harder

With a computer system, you can also help reduce waiting times for customers and seat walk-ins at unused tables while waiting for other customers to arrive. If clients have to wait, a computer system can tell them how long and send them a text when their table is ready. Being mobile savvy also helps. Many customers now browse online on their devices, so make sure your website and menus are customized for mobile devices and can handle bookings at the last minute. Many restaurants now have the convenience of a glass door refrigerator. If you want to find out more about obtaining a glass door refrigerator for your premises, it would a good start to contact a reputable supplier in the trade such as https://www.fridgefreezerdirect.co.uk/glass-door-refrigeration, where you can get help and advice.

Being responsive to customers is important in the restaurant trade. Make it easy for them to book with you, have an enjoyable meal and spend the money that your establishment needs to keep operating.

How does a steam oven work?

In the health conscious environment of today, many people are choosing to cook with steam ovens. Steam has been used for many different tasks since the first steam engines were invented and it can be brought into the kitchen with great results.

Steam oven

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According to Shape Magazine, steaming is one of the healthiest ways of cooking as it eliminates the need for fats and seals in the flavor, and when this method is combined with the benefits of a convection oven the results can be amazing.

How steam ovens work

There is a reservoir in the steam oven that has to be filled with water before cooking. Some fill automatically and others have to be filled by hand. The heat of the oven converts the water into steam. Food that is steamed usually retains more minerals and vitamins than food that is boiled. A combination of steam and convection ovens work by combining the moisture retaining properties of steaming with the benefits of convection cooking. Convection ovens use fans to push the heat around the interior of the oven giving an even temperature throughout the cavity. Food is cooked more quickly and items such as meat can be browned due to the high temperatures that are achieved.


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These new ovens use both technologies in combination. Some convection steam ovens have digital sensors which determine the amount of dry heat and steam needed and control the oven accordingly.

Benefits of steam ovens

The major benefit of steam ovens is their ability to cook healthy meals, retaining all the vitamins and minerals in the food and reducing the need for fats. For diet conscious people, this is a definite advantage. Commercial combination ovens combine the best of both worlds, allowing you to roast and brown food evenly whilst retaining the juiciness and moisture.

A wide range of combination ovens is available from suppliers such as 247cateringsupplies.co.uk/catering-appliances/commercial-ovens-and-ranges/combination-ovens.

Are steam ovens really necessary?

Strictly speaking, you can manage without a steam oven. However, although they are a relatively expensive way of cooking, the benefits far outweigh the price and once you have tried using a combination oven you will not want to return to conventional methods. A combination of steam and convection ovens are widely used in catering because of all the benefits they offer, and they are also becoming increasingly popular for use in domestic kitchens.