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A “chef ‘s table” meal combines the ideas of open-kitchen restaurants and the tasting menu. A “chef’s table” meal allows parties to dine in the restaurant kitchen, being served a chef menu that should flaunt the culinary skills of the restaurant employees, while meeting the chef. A tasting menu is a great way to build a reputation, but having the meal take place in the restaurant kitchen, similar to open kitchen restaurants, demands that kitchen staff know how to cook with finesse and impeccable cleanliness, while being sociable. Guests of chef’s table meals will pay a higher price for being able to see the commercial kitchen appliances being operated, learn about a day in the life of a chef, and speak with the restaurant employees. Chef’s table meals can be a great way to boost business during off-peak hours, but important factors must be considered to make them successful.
Restaurant Kitchen Layout
For chef’s table meals to take place comfortably, they must be accounted for in the restaurant kitchen layout. The commercial kitchen appliances must be as attractive and high-quality as possible, and be extremely well-maintained. However, they must also be able to fit into the restaurant kitchen, while still allowing room for a table, for chef’s table meals to occur. Therefore, the restaurant kitchen layout must be planned to meet these requirements and accommodate guests comfortably at a table or at the kitchen ...continue reading
Technology is starting to play a large part in food preparation in a commercial kitchen. From convection ovens with steaming options, to in-kitchen smokers, technologies are being developed that help boost the level of a commercial kitchen. Part of the fun of working as a cook or chef is learning how to prepare new dishes, use a variety of equipment, and be exposed to new ideas. The cutting edge home and commercial kitchen equipment below will expand the possibilities and convenience of preparing dishes in a commercial kitchen, raising the culinary level of the business and keeping work interesting for kitchen staff.
The Thermomix is an all-around kitchen gadget that can weigh, chop, mix, blend, grate, grind and knead, while heating or steaming ingredients and specific temperatures. The multifunction appliance allows for foolproof preparation of greatly feared dishes such as Hollandaise sauce and lemon curd. Though the price often prevents it from being found ...continue reading
Some of the public has a romantic notion that the best food can be found in a food truck, at anytime, anywhere. Food truck owners enjoy relatively low venue expenses, and freedom to operate as a gourmet fast food venue, mostly having to worry about quick restaurant service and rounding up customers. Those thinking of starting a food truck business, though, should be careful to read up on legislation, as each city has its own regulations about where a food truck can operate, among other logistics. Winter weather should also be taken into consideration, as business and convenience of operating decrease significantly in unpleasant weather. A food truck should be focused, simple for customers to understand, and offer food that is simple to serve, in order to be most successful.
The Concept of a Restaurant…In a Food Truck
Since food trucks offer such a small workspace and are under pressure to sell quick meals, most of the components of the dishes will have to be prepared in advance. More than the food though, they must be able to draw customers who want a particular type of food, and advertise accordingly. A food truck that offers a little of this and a bit of that will not be focused enough to draw customers craving a specific type of food. Customers of a food truck are usually looking for fast food because they are in a rush, or on-the-go, so they should be able to guess or ...continue reading
Restaurant inventory is one of the most basic requirements for running a restaurant smoothly. Taking restaurant inventory is a hassle. However, it must be done…and well! At the end of the day, each business will have a strategy for inventory tracking that works for them. If it doesn’t work, the restaurant staff and owner will be forced to adapt the process of taking restaurant inventory, until it is efficient enough for running a restaurant. The guidelines below give some tips to think about when planning the task of taking restaurant inventory.
The first step to effective restaurant inventory is a comprehensive list of all the products that may be needed, separated by type of product and supplier. Restaurant inventory software is a great way to start getting organized, though, with a bit more initial time investment and knowledge of programs such as Excel, similar results can be achieved. Restaurant inventory lists should include every restaurant kitchen, bar, restroom, and dining area item that needs to be replaced or replenished periodically. For example, for fast casuals and restaurants with take-out options, there must be a special inventory list for disposables. For all venues, thinking through all the required products ...continue reading
Spices and herbs are the best way to add flavor and depth to dishes. Cooking with herbs and growing herbs can not only expand the flavor profiles that can be created in a restaurant, but also provide chefs with the opportunity to experiment with unusual flavor combinations and different seasonings that can make a venue stand out. Though cooking from the garden often involves having a restaurant garden, spices and herbs can also be found by talking to suppliers or local farmers. The 5 unusual herbs described here can be great additions to a restaurant kitchen, whether chopped, ground, or simply thrown into the dish being prepared.
Lovage can be compared to bay leaf in that it is best used to add flavor to liquids, while being used in small quantities. Lovage can be described as tasting somewhat like celery, but a lot stronger. One or two leaves can be enough to add subtle, delicious flavor to an entire stockpot. ...continue reading
About one third of the food produced worldwide goes to waste. Yet when considering the entire world population, an estimated one in eight people suffers from undernourishment. Meanwhile, the global weather conditions are making it harder and harder to supply food to the growing population, raising the price of food costs. For businesses, food waste is beginning to mean increasing amounts of money lost, making an even bigger case for trying to adopt the head-to-tail cooking ideology. Chefs can view the practice as a challenge to lower food costs, and begin experimenting to reduce restaurant food waste and maximize profits.
Though the term head-to-tail usually implies using every part of an animal possible, as meat, when considering how to save money, food businesses can maximize profits by applying the idea to vegetables as well, with root-to-stalk cooking. Some ingredients are easier than others, but many do not exhibit their full potential in restaurant dishes regardless. Take celery for example: the starchy root can be roasted, pureed, or used in soup; the green stalk can be used in salads and stews; and the leaves can be used in stocks or even as a base green for an unusual salad. On the other hand, a vegetable such as cucumbers are usually sold and used as is, without the other components of the plant, making it almost impossible to implement the root-to-stalk method.
Head-to-tail cooking’s food costs efficiency depends on the type of meat and the skills of the kitchen staff. If at least one member of the kitchen staff knows how to separate cuts of meat from a carcass, and if the restaurant has ...continue reading
As a kid, I always looked forward to Wednesday nights at Sierra’s, a Mexican restaurant with great restaurant promotion ideas, such as hiring a magician on Wednesday nights who would teach kids a magic trick during dinner. Such restaurant promotion ideas may seem trivial, but Sierra’s success on Wednesday nights could be observed from the surrounding tables, full of large parties of families with kids. Becoming or being the best possible family restaurants is a great business move for casual venues. It brings in larger parties, or more diners, and therefore more profits. However, it comes with challenges associated with catering to kids, allergies, being a healthy restaurant, and more. Culinary trends such as healthy restaurant eating and going gluten free are popular among population groups and friends that influence friends. However, family restaurants should diversify the items they offer, in order to make sure they have something for everyone. This means offering a few vegetarian and vegan options, some gluten ...continue reading
Happy hour specials allow restaurants to make the most of the end of a workday by offering customers restaurant deals, thereby drawing them in. Happy hour restaurants can take advantage of off-peak hours late in the afternoon by offering discounted appetizers and drinks, encouraging consumers to unwind and relax at their venue. Planning how to execute offering happy hour specials will help ensure that restaurant traffic and restaurant marketing are at their prime during happy hour.
Happy Hour Specials Are Great Restaurant Marketing
Customers may be hesitant to try dining at a venue they don’t know, or spend the money on dining out. Happy hour specials give them the opportunity to taste and experience the restaurant deals at a relatively low price, hopefully winning them over so they will return, which will increase restaurant business not only during happy hour, but also in the future. In restaurant marketing, and marketing in general, ...continue reading
Valentine’s Day is another one of those holidays when restaurant employees are working at full swing, while couples celebrate their love. Despite this downside of Valentine’s Day restaurants, Valentine’s actually holds incredible business and profit potential for the venues that do it right. According to the NRA, about 25% of Americans will turn to restaurants for Valentine Day dinner ideas. By making itself a perfect option for romantic restaurant ambiance and Valentine’s food, a restaurant can put itself on the map and open itself to the possibility of great profits on the holiday.
Going With the Theme
The first step to being Valentine’s Day restaurants is to plan out the Valentine’s Day menu and other Valentine Day dinner ideas that will make the venue attractive. Aphrodisiac Valentine’s food should grace most of the dishes on the menu. The presentation and flavors should be elegant and light, to set the mood for the holiday. The restaurant interior should be tweaked to convey a romantic restaurant, by adding subtle touches such as vases of red roses, soft music, and candlelight, which are stereotypical, but effective ways to instantly increase romantic ambience. The crowd that will dine at the venue during the holiday will also have an important part in setting the mood for the rest of the diners.
Choosing Your Crowd
Venues should consider having an adults-only night when coming up with Valentine’s Day ideas. Having a mature crowd will prevent loudness and chaos that kids can bring, which may be positive at times, but not when setting a romantic restaurant atmosphere. Possibly the most important part of planning Valentine’s Day ideas, is making sure that the venue is in people’s minds when they are coming up with Valentine Day dinner ideas. Publicity is the key to being successful Valentine’s Day restaurants. A venue may not be typically considered a romantic ...continue reading
High-end venues are constantly on the lookout for ways to implement unusual flavor combinations. Flavored ice cubes are a great way to do this inexpensively and creatively. Unusual food can raise the food-costs for a venue, but unusual flavor combinations, such as those that can be achieved with spices and herbs and flavored ice cubes, can instantly make a restaurant seem more gourmet. The wise use of spices and herbs is a winning strategy for elevating culinary level in every item served in a venue. Putting traditional ice trays to use in creating flavored ice cubes, with the help of spices and herbs, is an easy and cost-efficient alternative to the commercial ice maker, which will elevate a restaurants culinary level.
Why Infused Ice Cubes are Cool
Thought ice cube trays were obsolete in today’s age of ice machines and ice-by-the-bag? Think again. The demand for unusual food in restaurants is putting ice cube trays back on the restaurant equipment list. Flavored ice cubes are convenient for more than just making a water pitcher exciting, they can be added to all sorts of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages to spruce them up, and can be made in specific flavors to prevent the watering down of certain drinks. For example, customers will be thrilled to receive coffee flavored ice cubes in their cold coffee, keeping the temperature cool without watering down the taste with standard ice cubes. Typical soda water or white wine can be transformed using unusual flavor combinations with herb ice cubes or other flavored ice cubes. Though a commercial ice maker is ideal for preparing large quantities of ice, for restaurants who can afford to invest more time in individual customers, flavored ice cubes can improve existing beverages and to create new ones using unusual flavor combinations.
Tips for Preparing Infused Ice Cubes
Preparing flavored ice cubes requires using juice or infused water as a base. Juices with strong flavor and color, such as pomegranate or cherry juice, will be the most effective at creating a “wow” effect. Coffee, orange juice and tea can be used as base liquids for ice cubes to be served in their ...continue reading