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Vegetarianism has been looked to in recent years for more than just ideological reasons. Vegetarian, or largely vegetarian diets are culinary trends often associated with higher health benefits when compared to meat-centered diet alternatives. Hard-core meat fans sometimes have a hard time grasping the idea that a hardy meal can be created without meat as the main. However, many delicious meatless protein alternatives exist that are making their way onto menus in venues other than the typical vegetarian restaurant, expanding the taste profile of the dishes, and expanding the possible customer base by providing meals for vegetarians and health-conscious diners.
How to Plan Meatless Meals
Meatless protein foods are usually considered the biggest challenge when it comes to planning meals for vegetarians. However, by researching and getting to know ingredients, chefs and cooks will have no problem conjuring balanced vegetarian meals that contain a variety of vegetarian health benefits. Below are just a few examples of meatless proteins ...continue reading
Food businesses are constantly on their feet, struggling to succeed in the cutthroat world of restaurant competition. Venues compete with other food businesses on their tier, in order to draw in enough customers to make restaurant profit. By embracing restaurant competition, instead of fearing it, food businesses can build important learning relationships and make the most of competition in business. By realizing that restaurant competition can mean learning and improving for all venues, food businesses can take advantage of the opportunity to forge relationships with their competition.
How to Become Friends with the Enemy
Restaurant staff can always learn more, and stay on top of restaurant trends, by talking to others in the field. The first step in making the most of competition in business is to adopt a modest approach. Other venues will have different strategies to increase restaurant business, implement culinary trends and restaurant trends, and offer a different restaurant ambience. Food businesses ...continue reading
The Sterling-Rice group is predicting the phase-in of liquids other than water in steaming and poaching, for 2014. Steaming and poaching are among some of the healthiest cooking techniques, delicately cooking foods, while, for the most part, preserving their nutritional value. Poaching and steaming food preparation techniques have received a bad reputation, as they are notoriously bland ways to prepare dishes. Their comeback in 2014 will be the health benefits and unusual flavor combinations of dishes prepared with these techniques, with liquids other than water. By applying that subtle change, businesses can make them trendy again and set themselves apart by offering unusual food.
Foods to Consider Poaching and Steaming
Since poaching and steaming are such delicate cooking techniques, they lend themselves best to the preparation of delicate foods. Vegetables, eggs, fish, dough, and white poultry meat are the most commonly poached and steamed foods. Each of these can be enhanced by using cooking techniques of poaching and steaming food with flavorful liquids. The unusual flavor combinations that can be created by, for example, poaching beets or pears in coffee, or steaming dumplings in a smoked liquid, can lead to very unusual food creations. Poaching and steaming food with wine, beer, tea and other flavored liquids is a way to add preliminary seasonings to various dishes without sacrificing nutritional value and while keeping the ingredients delicate and natural.
Unusual food and unusual flavor combinations are dominating culinary trends. By experimenting with flavor profiles and combinations, restaurant kitchen staff can come to delicious, unique results that will draw the attention of foodie and health-conscious customers alike. Though unusual foods and unusual flavor combinations are all the rage in culinary trends at the moment, restaurants must test the dishes before serving them, to make sure that the seasonings added by the technique don’t overpower the foods and that they add to the ingredient and preparation method. By adding seasonings ...continue reading
The food industry is plagued with high restaurant job turnover rates. Though cooking jobs seem ideal to many aspiring chefs, history has shown that newcomers to the field often do not stay in it for long, and experienced chefs tend to move around from venue to venue. Rarely does a cook dream of working in one venue for his/her whole career. Usually he/she does so in order to gain experience in the hopes of eventually starting a restaurant business. If a restaurant kitchen is lucky enough to have an outstanding cook or chef, it should go out of its way to keep him/her on staff.
How to Spot a Good Restaurant Kitchen Employee
A good restaurant employee is responsible, clean, talented, and motivated. With the frequency of issues such as restaurant theft and the high restaurant turnover rate, a restaurant kitchen with good employees should hold on to them. The person in charge of restaurant hiring should keep an eye on restaurant employees, especially restaurant kitchen staff, and take note of the qualities of each one.
How to Keep Employees Happy
Cooking jobs are tough. But coping with the stress and sweat of a restaurant kitchen can be enjoyable, especially for motivated employees. In order to reduce the restaurant turnover rate of excellent restaurant kitchen staff, the business owner, chef, and manager should make sure that employee satisfaction is as high as it can be. An employee satisfaction survey is a great way to get an honest idea about how happy employees are, while allowing them to do so through a safe, anonymous platform. An alternative to an employee satisfaction survey is to have an open, close relationship with restaurant kitchen staff, discussing issues with them and showing that that they are trusted and appreciated. Having such a relationship will make a restaurant kitchen employee ...continue reading
There is no set definition of heirloom vegetables. Some say that the cultivar (plant) must be of a certain age. Most agree that the plants should be open-pollinated and not genetically modified. And some believe that to be an heirloom vegetable, the lineage of the plant must have been handed down and cultivated generation after generation. Despite the ambiguity about what they are, heirloom vegetables’ unique appearances and culinary characteristics make them ideal inspiration for restaurant menu ideas.
1. Heirloom Tomatoes
Heirloom tomatoes come in a variety of colorful patterns and non-uniform shapes. Their flavor and color make them ideal for salads, tomato carpaccio, and open-faced sandwiches. To maximize the unique appearance of the heirloom tomatoes, they should be sliced width-wise to preserve their wavy circular(ish) shape. A study, by scientists at UC Davis found that uniformly red, round tomatoes most commonly found in the supermarkets actually contain a mutant gene that allows even ripening and color, while sacrificing taste. Heirloom tomatoes do not have this mutant gene, scientifically giving them more flavor potential. Nowadays, with an appreciation for heirloom tomatoes and other aesthetically diverse vegetables, restaurants offering heirloom tomatoes can set themselves apart.
2. Heirloom Eggplant
Heirloom eggplants come in many colors, from light purple to regular eggplant purple. The Arabic baladi eggplant is the best type of eggplant to use to avoid bitterness. Usually, eggplants must be hand-selected to ensure they are light, which is a sign that they have a minimal amount of seeds, and are less likely to be bitter. However, baladi eggplants are almost never bitter, yielding the best eggplant dishes possible. Restaurants that place orders with suppliers rather than have the cooks or chef hand-select the vegetables, should experiment with the variety of heirloom eggplants available, to find one that matches their desired look and taste.
3. Heirloom Zucchini
There are many different varieties of heirloom zucchini, differing drastically in shape and slightly in flavor. Costata Romanesco zucchini, for example, is considered mild and gourmet in taste and texture. Venues growing ...continue reading
Tabletop marketing is different than traditional restaurant marketing because it focuses less on getting the word out about a venue, and more on convincing those who are already familiar with the business to return in the future. Tabletop restaurant marketing is an almost-free restaurant advertising strategy, but it must be done right to be effective. There is a fine line between being persuasive and pushy, which must not be crossed in tabletop restaurant marketing, in order to preserve a pleasant restaurant ambience.
Tabletop Restaurant Marketing Platforms
There are a few ways that a restaurant marketing plan can incorporate tabletop marketing. Firstly, for venues with electronic menus, direct links to the business’ social media advertising pages can be available, allowing the customers to “like” the venue or join the mailing list at a touch of the screen. In general, the synchronization of social media and restaurants is extremely helpful to restaurant marketing, since it can help spread the word about a venue through reaching people that customers are connected to on social media platforms. Restaurants may even consider offering customers a discount or customer reward for joining the customer loyalty programs, especially while dining in the venue. Another popular way to do in-house restaurant marketing is with tabletop menu cards. Simple cardholders can hold ...continue reading
In the third quarter of 2013, tourists purchased about $903 billion worth of goods, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The tourism industry is huge, and, luckily for restaurants, includes dining out. In fact, culinary tourism is gaining momentum. More and more, tourists are choosing dining locations for the purpose of learning the food and culture of a country or region. Authentic restaurants, as well as high-end venues, can benefit from this trend directly. However, any venue can create a restaurant marketing plan that will focus on bringing in tourists and getting a piece of the profits that can be had from the tourism industry.
Here are 5 tips for drawing tourists to your venue:
1. Get a Tripadvisor Business Listing
Tripadvisor business listing and other tourism marketing sites are great ways for tourists to hear about your venue and read reviews written by past customers. Consumer apps that show menus of venues in different areas are also effective in getting the word out about a restaurant. Venues should get intact with these platforms to find out how to get listed. If a venue serves good food and has a high level of customer service, such free restaurant advertising sites can be extremely effective tourism marketing by making the venue seem appealing.
2. Have a Website and/or Social Media Page
Once tourists have read about a venue on a tourism ...continue reading
Chefs like Eméril and Paula Deen are now the faces of branded retail chef products. Wolfgang Puck has his name on dish sets as well, and Taco Bell co-Branded with Doritos to make the popular Doritos-flavored taco shells. For budding chefs, who have yet to make a name for themselves, chef products will not succeed based on name alone. But, in regards to restaurant brands, is it worth it for more modest businesses to pursue branded retail food product lines? The answer depends on the business’s goals, interests, and funds or investors.
Going Big in Food Branding
Selling branded retail food products in supermarkets is not as simple as it sounds. Businesses will need to make sure they have all the proper licenses for operating a food manufacturing business, as well as ensure they are aware of all the food safety regulations related to preparing and packaging retail food. Though homemade food such as artisan bread and homemade sauces are great additions to a restaurant, restaurant brands of retail food will be subject to a lot more regulation and requirements. In addition, supermarkets will usually only buy from suppliers that have the ability to keep up with their demand. This means that a business must be prepared to invest in equipment to facilitate large quantities of production. For some restaurant brands, projecting an appearance of offering homemade food is extremely important. However, even retail food marketed as homemade sauces or artisan bread will ...continue reading
Casual venues can significantly increase restaurant traffic by making the venue exciting for customers every day. Offering daily deals will keep customers thinking about the venue and make it worth their while to choose to dine at the venue, rather than somewhere else. Whether a venue chooses to hold a “daily deal month”during the slow season, or simply offers a different deal each day of the week, the restaurant deals will have customers flowing in and, when done right, will increase restaurant profit.
Which Restaurant Deals are Worth Offering?
Restaurant deals should offer customers a bargain, while still leaving room for restaurant profit. For venues offering weekly deals, discounts should be focused on making the most of the ingredients available and limiting food waste. For example, fresh fish is often not available on Sunday and Mondays. However, if a venue does not use up their fish from the previous week, it will go to waste, which means lost restaurant profit. Offering (cooked!) fish dishes as happy hour specials or as part of restaurant deals, on Sundays and/or Mondays, can help increase restaurant business and restaurant profit by bringing in customers and making sure to minimize food waste. Other daily restaurant deals can include a daily flavor of soup, buy one get one free on soft drinks, desserts, or appetizers, and “children eat free on Wednesdays,” for example. Restaurant deals should offer customers a bargain, but make sure that restaurant profit is maintained as well.
Restaurant Marketing for Your Daily Deals
Restaurant marketing of daily deals can be done in a number of ways. Tabletop advertising (on the menu or using table tents) will help current customers know about the restaurant deals. Social media advertising can also be used, announcing the special deals of the day and reaching out to customers ...continue reading
Restaurants are often plagued with an inevitable, rotating cycle of slow business versus high restaurant traffic. Business owners search for ways to balance these periods to help ensure adequate restaurant profit at all times. Event catering is a great way to start. It has a major advantage of allowing business owners to choose when to take on events, increasing restaurant profit and workload, while exposing guests of the event to the culinary skills of the kitchen staff, thereby providing restaurant marketing. However, at times of high restaurant traffic, even catering can make running a restaurant and catering service simultaneously a very hectic task. By staying organized businesses can manage wearing both hats.
Catering Ideas for Restaurants
Many of the event-throwers who will choose a restaurant as their catering service will be drawn to the idea by their observation of the restaurant’s menu and staff’s culinary skills. Therefore, some of the same dishes should be offered on both the restaurant menu and the catering menu. However, as with all event catering, style of plating and event type will have to be taken into consideration. If the event is a Bar Mitzvah or a sweet sixteen, for example, dishes that will appeal to young, amateur palates should be offered, whereas ...continue reading