Cauliflower is probably not the first vegetable that comes to mind when thinking of gourmet meals. Some people will cringe at the idea of having cauliflower in their meals at all. Various volatile flavor compounds are to blame for the sometimes sulfuric smell that cauliflower has during cooking. However, for those whole like cauliflower, this vegetable can be incorporated gracefully into elegant dishes, while adding positive health benefits. Cauliflower has almost no fat and cholesterol, is low in calories, and contains vitamin C, as well as other vitamins and minerals. It is also considered an anti-inflammatory. Such health benefits, along with its many flavors and textures based on cooking techniques used to prepare it, make cauliflower a great vegetable for incorporating into restaurant menus.
Cooking Cauliflower for Restaurant Menus
Believe it or not, cauliflower can have a place on even the most gourmet restaurant menus. Not only is pureed cauliflower with roasted garlic a delicious, unique replacement for mashed potatoes, it also has health benefits which place the dish in line with current culinary trends of healthy eating. Even Alinea found a place for cauliflower on its menu, with a cauliflower velouté garnished with five pieces of cauliflower each covered with a
Comfort foods will always be popular. Even in today’s world, with an emphasis on gourmet and an increasing amount of consumers developing sophisticated palettes, comfort foods are guaranteed to sell. Converting comfort foods into gourmet dishes takes plating skills and a bit of imagination. Changes, small or big, can be made to reconstruct these dishes into modern masterpieces.
The Importance of Food Presentation
Food presentation is the key to making food seem fancy and gourmet, no matter the ingredients. Of course, flavor is a defining factor in a dish’s success, but the presentation can have a huge effect on the diner’s impression of a dish as well. A study in Appetite, an international research journal, concluded that neater presentation of food hinted at more care and effort put into the dish by the preparer, as well as a higher quality venue. In addition, the study showed that people were willing to pay more for those dishes, when compared to a messy plating style. Turning food into an artistic masterpiece is something any restaurant can achieve, but requires large time investments for planning the plate construction. Inspiration can be obtained by dining at other venues or browsing cookbooks and websites. Careful food presentation may also require purchasing unique plates to complement the dishes, as well as extended training of new staff to ensure the dishes on the restaurant menus can be prepared and plated at a
You don’t have to be the Culinary Institute of America or the Cordon Bleu to offer cooking classes at your venue. Supermarkets and stores can be great places for a cooking class or demonstrations, and can benefit from advertising the products they offer through these events. While restaurants offering culinary education need to plan the restaurant floor plan to enable such events, supermarkets and stores usually have counters that can easily be cleared to allow cooking classes and demonstrations occur.
Planning the Cooking Class
Cooking classes and demonstrations at supermarkets usually highlight one type of dish, and incorporate the ingredients available at the store. Culinary schools such as the Culinary Institute of America and the Cordon Bleu offer workshops of multiple meetings with a curriculum, as well as one-time classes. Supermarkets and stores may want to do the same, to maximize the potential of their resources and bring in customers looking for at-home cooking skill enrichment. Others may choose one-time events instead. For some stores, demonstrations will be the most convenient culinary education platform. Yet others may prefer to offer cooking classes. Some will prefer to combine both options, with the attendees preparing the mise en place and the instructor assembling and/or cooking
Albert Einstein once said “Education is what remains when one has forgotten what one has learned in school.” Education can come from classes, but the most effective learning comes from experiences. School cafeterias have the power to educate children about healthy eating choices, and give students the energy to be able to learn. Various studies have shown that healthy eating is directly associated with better behavior and learning capacity. Though cafeterias are struggling to provide healthy, yet affordable and attractive lunches, they are failing due to the higher prices of providing healthy foods. However, if they were to get funding for new cafeteria equipment, they could save time and money in other areas, leaving more of the budget open for purchasing healthy ingredients.
Helpful School Cafeteria Equipment
People can control their portion sizes to eat healthier. Using compartmentalized trays for serving cafeteria food can help students choose healthy portion sizes, and enable chefs to gauge the amount of food that needs to be prepared, reducing food waste, and therefore enabling better budgeting for healthy lunches. Buying large appliances that will quickly prepare the amount
Most restaurant dishes can only be as good as the ingredients used to make them. But with pizza, the pizza equipment is equally as important, influencing the way a pizza cooks, the texture of the crust, and the melt of the cheese. Pizza supply can help any restaurant offering pizza and/or focaccia on the menu, but for pizzerias, having the right pizza equipment is critical to the success of the business. By knowing the many types of pizza equipment options on the market, pizzeria owners and managers can make better choices about which equipment to purchase to best help their venue.
Pizza Equipment Options
There are many types of pizza equipment out there, and not all are mandatory, even for pizzerias. Knowing the options available can help those starting a business plan well, and those already running a pizzeria to improve.
- Pizza Ovens- Brick ovens are often thought to produce the best quality pizza. However, they are a huge investment, and other high quality pizza ovens are available which are typically smaller and keep in heat better than a brick oven, preventing the kitchen temperature from getting intolerable. Businesses with an open kitchen, however, may want to invest in an impressive brick oven,
Restaurant equipment can easily cost a starting venue over $100,000. Businesses too bold with their initial purchasing decisions can easily go down fast. Entrepreneurs have to be able to budget their restaurant equipment purchases until the business gets on its feet. This means that equipment should be cheap, but reliable. There are many restaurant kitchen equipment suppliers and even more furniture purchasing options. However, used and wholesale restaurant equipment will usually provide money-saving options. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages, and entrepreneurs must decide which solutions are best for their venue.
Used Restaurant Kitchen Equipment
Used restaurant kitchen equipment is probably the best bet for the lowest prices. Name brand appliances can be priced at half their original sale price. Good quality brands typically offer appliances that can last for years, so buying what’s left of a food business that didn’t make it can be a good option for purchasing used equipment.
The biggest downside of used commercial kitchen appliances is the warranty. Typical appliance warranties range from one year to three years. With used commercial kitchen appliances, the warranty will be
Cities such as San Francisco, Boston, Seattle, and New York have the highest number of food businesses per capita, with around 20 to 21.5 eateries per 10,000 people, according to Bloomberg.com. This means that the competition for attracting customers is cutthroat. Eateries must win over restaurant traffic from other venues consistently in order to make the best restaurant profit possible. While limited time deals and occasional special events can boost business during slow seasons, having consistent strategies for how to attract customers can raise restaurant traffic in a continuous fashion.
How to Attract Customers
One of the best strategies for how to attract customers is to offer deals and discounts. Daily deals such as happy hour specials can spur a daily amount of restaurant traffic. However, having the same discounts every day is an ineffective strategy for increasing restaurant business because consumers will have no reason to frequent a venue on that specific day. On the other hand, having specials and restaurant deals that alternate on a regular basis will cause customers to feel like they will be missing out if they don’t dine at the venue within the deal’s valid period, increasing restaurant traffic during that time. For example, breakfast lovers will be likely to dine at a venue at some point during a specific week if they are offered free coffee with baked goods
Consumers are going nuts over health fads and nutrition-related culinary trends. As the public’s awareness of healthy foods pulls away from low-fat trends towards super-foods with health benefits, nuts are gaining favor. Nuts are typically high in unsaturated fats and essential omega-3 fatty acids, as well as vitamins, minerals, and protein. They have been shown to reduce LDL, or “bad” cholesterol, which is linked to cardiovascular disease and other health complications. Beyond that, though, nuts are prized in the culinary world for their richness and versatility, making them a culinary trend we can expect to see growing on restaurant menus.
How to Incorporate Nuts
Restaurants with healthy foods may choose to incorporate nuts, along with other healthy fats, into restaurant menus, because of their rich taste and ability to satisfy hunger. Healthy fats have been associated with higher satiety levels in diners, according to numerous studies. Therefore, adding nuts to salads can make healthy food more satisfying for customers. Nuts can be added to salads, blended into sauces and marinades to thicken, and used in desserts, among other applications. Pesto, pecan pie, and salad with blue cheese, poached pears, and caramelized nuts, are some of the most famous dishes which use nuts. However, creative chefs and cooks can find a multitude of other uses for wholesale nuts.
Fitting Nuts Into the Budget
Nuts can be very pricey, for a variety of reasons, including the required growth conditions and processing to make them edible. Some nut varieties are highly dangerous to health without proper processing. For example, fresh almonds contain traces of cyanide, a deadly poison. California provides about 80% of the world’s almonds. However, drought and the bee crisis are making almonds harder to come by and afford. The strict environmental requirements, along with
2014 has seen a significant increase in food prices so far, affecting both the home consumer and food businesses. Drought in California has affected farmers as well as cattle herders, leading to food prices rising across the country. Raising cattle has become more expensive as water and grain prices rise. The higher prices of raising cattle have made it extremely difficult to buy meat at the price it once was. A recent article from CNN claims that beef prices have risen 56% since 2010. Such drastic changes in the numbers have a direct effect on food businesses, who must respond by finding beef alternatives or raising prices. Quite a few businesses have already found creative solutions designed to keep profits up, while keeping customers satisfied.
Balancing Beef Options on Restaurant Menus
The most obvious solution to the rising beef price per pound is to replace some of the beef options on restaurant menus. Since beef is a consumer staple, restaurants should be wary about completely eliminating it from the menu. However, adding more alternative protein options such as vegetarian entrées, or other meats such as chicken, can lower the overall menu food costs. Reducing portion sizes of beef dishes is another cost-shaving option. However, in this case, businesses must ensure that customers are not disappointed with smaller amounts of food on the plate. Adding creative, gourmet, homemade side dishes containing more affordable ingredients can fill in the gap where extra beef had been. For example,
Selling gourmet food to supermarkets is a dream goal for many food businesses as well as home chefs. However, the market is tough to succeed in and even tougher to break in to. Food businesses looking to expand their sales may want to consider taking a chance in the retail food market. Not only do restaurant brands offer a potential profit increase for the owners from direct sales, the packaged meals named after the restaurant instantly provide marketing for the venue. Businesses considering selling to supermarkets should be prepared to plan meticulously and invest time and effort into pushing the product into the markets.
Understanding Selling to Supermarkets
The first step in food branding is developing an idea. Without a vision of what the retail food will be and how it will stand out from the millions of products already available, aiming to create retail food is pointless. Once an idea for packaged meals, chef products, or any other gourmet food is ripe, research must be done about the local markets and opportunities for sale. FDA regulations for packaged products must be understood and followed as well. Restaurants can start out with experimenting with gourmet food in-house. Perfecting a recipe