All posts by Brian Hampton
It’s kind of ironic how whole wheat flour is more expensive than white flour, even though the preparation process in the factory is identical, except for white flour going through various extra steps. The explanation for this absurdity lies in the popularity of healthy eating culinary trends. Restaurants offering meals with high nutritional value can be extremely successful, depending on their target market. However, restaurants hoping to appeal to a large and varied customer base must find ways to work within the framework of culinary trends such as healthy eating, while keeping their prices down. Obvious options include offering low food-costs meals made with in-season produce and slightly cutting down portion sizes. However, many businesses invest in nutritional value in areas that are not necessarily worth the investment. Despite the faulty ideas behind some of these trends, a few of them are worth keeping, for purposes of restaurant marketing.
Trends to Keep
Organic food is one of the culinary trends that has gotten major attention over the years. Pesticides are a proven danger, and no one will argue that it is best to stay clear of coming into contact with them. However, despite the beliefs of an overwhelming percentage of the public, organic farms do use pesticides: organic ones. Organic farms do tend have some practices that are better for the environment than other, larger industrial farms, but not using pesticides is not one of them. So why is organic food a trend to keep? Offering organic food or having an organic restaurant is a great way to increase restaurant business among customers concerned with healthy eating, if only because the lack of public awareness as to the definition of organic food. Despite the higher price of organic foods, businesses with a healthy restaurant focus should consider splurging on this gimmick in order to increase restaurant business
Customers are demanding in today’s day and age. Not only are they looking for unique foods, they simultaneously seek healthy restaurant options. Various articles have cited that unusual cuts of meat such as rabbit, pigeon, and goat meat, will become culinary trends in 2014. It turns out that these meats have higher nutritional value than typical types of meat, and can be prepared in a wide variety of preparation methods. By learning and experimenting with various unusual cuts of meat, restaurants can set themselves apart and expand their menus.
Rabbit meat is a rather versatile type of meat that is often compared to chicken in terms of flavor and texture. It can be prepared in a variety of cooking methods, similarly to chicken. It is generally considered an excellent source of high quality protein, and promotes healthy eating by being leaner than chicken, beef, and pork. Sometimes rabbit meat gets a bad rep for its association with various health concerns due to its lean composition and lack of essential fatty acids. However, for customers looking for healthy restaurant options, rabbit meat is a great choice. Even restaurants such as Chez Panisse and The French Laundry have taken to using rabbit meat in various dishes, such as buttermilk-fried rabbit.
Goat meat is widely consumed worldwide. Similar to lamb and veal, different parts of the animal can be prepared with different cooking methods which include grilling, braising, frying, and slow-cook cooking methods. Goat meat usually (but not always) has a stronger, gamey-er flavor than other types of meat, making it appeal to a smaller sector of customers compared to beef. Despite this potential drawback, customers concerned with healthy eating will be drawn to cuts of meat
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
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
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
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
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
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
Off-peak hours are those awkward times in the day or early evening when there are barely any customers. These hours can be expensive for food businesses since kitchen and wait staff will be paid for their time regardless of the amount of work. Here are 5 tips on how to make the most of the off-peak hours to increase restaurant business and profit:
1. Offer Restaurant Deals
Everyone likes a good deal, making offering restaurant deals one of the best ways to increase restaurant business during typically slow hours. Offering discounts such as “happy hour,” prix fixe, or business meals during hours projected to have low restaurant traffic can draw customers who enjoy good restaurant deals.
2. Throw Special Restaurant Events
A major part of a restaurant marketing plan is finding the best way to advertise a business. Whether advertising the opening of a venue, or a special event, finding the best outlet to mass publicize a business is a top priority for restaurant marketing. Many businesses deliberate between radio ads and print advertisements. Each form of advertisement has unique advantages and disadvantages. They can be great assets for businesses when used in addition for the forms of free restaurant advertising that exist. More and more, paid advertisements such as print and radio ads are becoming less common, and social media advertising is gaining popularity. By structuring a restaurant marketing plan to include paid advertising at specific times and through specific outlets, businesses can profit from radio and print advertisements.
Radio Restaurant Marketing
Radio restaurant marketing can be a great way to make use of local advertising by drawing in customers who hear the ad, while in the vicinity of the venue. Unfortunately, many radio listeners use the radio as background noise, while not paying attention to the content being conveyed. In such cases, radio advertising will be ineffective. It also tends to be expensive. If a business chooses to include radio advertisements in their restaurant marketing plan, they should select airing hours carefully, focusing on projected rush-hours, when high traffic will raise the chances and numbers of listeners paying attention to the ad. Recording a catchy commercial can also be a defining factor for the