As the old expression goes, this is not Joe Cirone’s first rodeo. The veteran equipment and supply executive has successfully helped to guide New York City’s restaurant community back on their feet in a time of need on numerous occasions in the past.
From the horror of 9/11 to the trauma of Hurricane Sandy, Cirone’s Roger and Sons team has worked side by side with their diverse customer base. With the convenience of their Bowery/Manhattan location Roger and Sons client restaurant and foodservice operators know that they are a short subway or taxi/Uber away.
“There’s no question that chefs and restaurateurs still like the opportunity to be able to just pop in and touch and test drive the actual equipment that they are going to be working with every day,” Cirone explained. “You simply can’t do that when you just shop online.”
“We’ve been working with some of our customers who have started to go back in and get their equipment restarted,” Cirone explained. “The pause has actually given the opportunity to some of our customers to take a look at the cost of replacing equipment. Many of our customers look to help them test to make sure that their cooking equipment and refrigeration and ice machines to make certain that they are in fact ready to safely prepare food again,” he added.
“We suggest that the first step be to take a look at the walk-in boxes. It starts with cleaning out the refrigeration coils,” Cirone advised. “There needs to be a total disinfecting of the actual cavity in the walk-in space itself. In addition, they should clean the rubber gaskets and then start up the unit. You are then looking for a safe temperature of between 35 and 42 degrees. We work closely with major manufacturers led by Scotsman to make sure that the right protocols are covered to prepare ice machines for use again.”
“We see a big advantage with Scotsman, because you have a machine that has parts that have been built with Anti-Microbial elements and can easily be disassembled for cleaning,” Cirone continued. “So anything that touches water or ice can be removed and cleaned. With ice machines, we suggest using one of the many top-quality service companies that we have in Metro NYC including Aircomm and All Pro/All Service.”
Among the unique expertise that Roger and Sons have long been known for is their understanding and vision for how pizza fits on a menu. “It’s amazing the flexibility that the pizza category brings to an operator,” Cirone said. “Finding the right pizza or flatbread to add to a menu has the potential to be the centerpiece of both a takeout and delivery menu today and then make the transition to drive profits when you are able to once again welcome guests in your dining rooms.”
Roger and Sons’ convenient Bowery location offers many of the industry’s top names in pizza ovens including Marsal, Lincoln, and Bakers Pride. Cirone, through his decades of relationships built at major trade shows, has his eye on a creative pizza solution with both a short and long term payout for Roger & Sons customers.
“We are working with One Fat Frog, the foremost designer and manufacturer of food trucks in the nation to create a true mobile pizza kitchen the likes of which has never been seen before,” Cirone explained. “We are very excited about collaborating with One Fat Frog and Chef Santo Bruno to bring our pizza expertise to our customers as they look for new and creative ways to replace revenues,” Cirone noted. “We started working on it at the show in New York and it’s going to be available in both gas as well as authentic electric deck oven model.”
In addition, restaurateurs have come to depend on the convenience of Roger and Sons’ Bowery location to find specialty pizza supplies that simply can’t be found online or in cash and carry stores. “Again, this is a case where all pizza pans and peels are not the same. Especially in a takeout and delivery environment like this, making the mixer, prep and now delivery bag selection can make an enormous difference.”
Roger & Sons has always worked with its customer base on floor plan design. Normal procedures have always been to go and measure and then provide a layout with seating capacity and suggested placement of tables and booths. The Bowery based company offers a complete selection of tables and chairs. “There’s no question that social distancing is going to change how you need to layout a dining room. We are prepared to cost efficiently help customers upgrade their floor plans and provide furniture that can offer a cost-effective solution for both the short and long-term,” Cirone noted. “The thought now really surrounds how to design around what in all probability will be a 50% dining capacity.”
Since 1950, Metro New York and many of the nation’s leading restaurateurs have looked to Roger and Sons for the industry’s leading value. Roger and Sons carries the top trusted brands known. From the largest convection ovens and ranges to smallware and flatware Roger and Sons offers it all at the guaranteed lowest prices. What’s more important is that Roger and Sons is an authorized dealer that buys direct from the manufacturer. That means that foodservice professionals find the best restaurant equipment at wholesalers’ prices with the peace of mind of factory warrantees and certified service. “We are also here to get you started again, it might be something as simple as a suggestion to turn your pilots on and check for gas leaks after months of not being in service.”
Cirone and his team are available Mon-Fri from 9 to 5pm or by appointment. They can be reached at 212-226-4734 or via email at email@example.com. “There are great opportunities ahead and it’s our goal to help both our longtime and new customers take advantage of them,” Cirone concluded.