All posts by Dana Williams
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
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 can be easier when an already existing consumer group is eager to sample it and provide feedback. However, once a product has been chosen, the retail food will usually have to be prepared in a separate venue, to allow both businesses to run efficiently and according to FDA standards. Tests will have to be done to determine proper nutrition facts labeling and sell-by dates, and proper packaging will have to be chosen. Once irresistible tastes and packaging for restaurant brands have been developed, businesses will have to think about how to market their products to stores, as well as consumers.
Marketing Restaurant Brands
Businesses wishing to sell chef products, packaged meals, or gourmet food to supermarkets must start the marketing process before the product is complete. Packaging is the best way to market, before even having an outlet to sell to consumers. Once a retail food product is complete, many brands choose to start selling at a local gourmet food store, or small markets. This is a great way to test the waters before going big, and gain a good reputation which will make it easier to convince larger stores to sell the product in the future. Supermarkets can be approached personally, or by using brokers. Brokers have connections and can therefore raise the chances of success and shorten the process of selling to supermarkets.
Be prepared for rejection. There are many products out there that are alternatives to your products. Have a catch phrase explaining how your product is different and better than other options available. Mention any local, gourmet food store selling your product, and successes of sales rates. Once a market has agreed to sell you product, you must aggressively, but subtly, win over the public. Offering samples in supermarkets and at community events can help consumers fall in love with the product before having to commit to a purchase. The steps to success demand hard work and unwavering belief in your product.
Creating gourmet food and chef products to develop a retail brand can expand a restaurant business by making it famous and providing the owners with an additional source of income. Packaged meals and other gourmet food are tough to sell when selling to supermarkets. Creating a truly unique product and starting out by selling to a local gourmet food store can increase the chances of success.
Menu innovation is the best way to improve the reputation of a venue, keep cooks interested in their jobs, and create restaurant menu ideas that will become the next bestsellers. Whether inspired by the latest culinary trends, or unusual flavor combinations, unique flavors on restaurant menus are daring additions which can lead to high rewards. Food business owners must have full confidence in their kitchen staff in order to allow them to freely go with their creative cooking ideas. However, by seasonally drafting new restaurant menus inspired by fresh produce, with unique flavors and food presentation in mind, businesses can create interesting meals that will make their venue stand out.
Finding Creative Cooking Ideas
Inspiration for restaurant menu ideas can come from a variety of sources. Putting twists on culinary trends, creating unusual flavor combinations from local ingredients, and reinventing ideas learned from other chefs, can create roots for dishes that can be improved and developed into bestselling menu items. The most unique restaurants around the world are famous either for their restaurant concept or innovative menus, proving the importance of investing time and energy into planning the best menu possible. Of course, businesses know the typical dishes that are popular in their
Sourdough starter is the key to how to make sourdough bread. The sour flavor of sourdough bread varies from bakery to bakery, thanks to the starter. Making sourdough starter takes little time commitment and has the potential to expand the fresh baked section of a restaurant or bakery with interesting flavors, unique to the venue. The flavor of the starter will depend on the environment in which the business is found, as well as the sourdough starter recipe. Though some bread baking enthusiasts are disappointed, at first, by the flavor of fresh baked bread made with their sourdough starter, by experimenting with different sourdough starter recipes and storage conditions, most can create delicious bread.
The Right Sourdough Starter Recipe
The right sourdough starter recipe will depend on the taste preferences of cooks and customers and environment of the place it is being prepared. Sometimes it can take a lot of experimentation for a cook to come up with his/her ideal sourdough starter recipe. A sourdough starter recipe always includes flour and water as the basic ingredients. Flour and water, and even air, can be sources of yeast for starters. Starters rise because of the presence of yeast, microorganisms which break down the flour as a source of energy and produce carbon dioxide which causes dough and starters to rise, along with lactic and acetic acid which give the dough its
Pesto sauce and caprese salad are probably the foods that come to mind most often when one thinks of basil. However, the applications for basil leaves in the kitchen are unlimited. Basil can be easily grown in a restaurant garden and added to dishes to provide unusual flavor combinations and health benefits.
The Health Benefits of Basil
Basil is an excellent source of vitamin A, vitamin K, essential minerals such as iron and manganese, and plenty of antioxidant compounds. Like most herbs, it is also low in calories and fat, making it attractive to health-conscious diners. Aside from the health benefits of basil, it’s relatively easy to grow as well, boosting the restaurant garden as well as the menu.
Growing a Basil Plant
Growing herbs can be challenging and time consuming, depending on the size of the restaurant garden and the types of herbs being grown. However, the basil plant is relatively resistant to weather and watering conditions, making it easier to grow than many other types of herbs. Additionally, since it repels bugs, it can greatly improve the customer dining experience during outdoor dining. Some flowers, herbs, and trees attract insects. This not only makes the restaurant garden dining experience less pleasant, but also makes growing herbs and other plants aesthetically, very difficult. Growing basil can help repel insects in the area, making it
There is nothing like a hot, fresh baked brioche in the morning. Morning is arguably the busiest selling time for fresh baked pastries, making it crucial for cafés, bakeries, and other venues to make sure they have a supply available for purchase at opening time. Inconveniently for bakers, artisan foods such as pastries tend to stale relatively quickly compared to industrial brand pastries. Their lack of preservatives and other stabilizing ingredients make them susceptible to the wear of time. However, difference in quality between homemade food and industrially-bought foods is usually recognizable. Therefore, it is usually very worthwhile for businesses, whether a bakery or just a restaurant bakery, to find a way to make fresh baked pastries available at their venue at all times.
Pre-made Pastry Dough
The process for how to make pastry dough is often long and time-consuming, depending on the type of pastry. While breads usually require short rising times, products like crepes usually rest for a few hours before frying, and croissants require refrigeration and rest times between each step of folding in butter. If the cooks at a venue do not know how to make pastry dough, the result of all the time investment may not even be presentable for sale. However, for hotels, restaurant bakeries, and other bakery venues with employees who know how to make pastry dough, having fresh baked pastries for sale can lead to a significant boost in morning sales. These venues can prepare the pastry dough in advance and store it in the freezer, baking fresh pastries as needed. By having a supply of pastries in the freezer, if sales are high, the cooks or bakers can easily defrost some more for baking and sale later in the day. Other venues may choose to purchase the pastries already shaped and frozen, requiring baking only.
Customer service is one of the deciding factors for the success of a restaurant. Wait staff pagers are slowly cropping up as a better way to serve customers, but are they the right way to solve the puzzle of smoothly running the dining room? Waiter call buttons are a useful way for customers to let wait staff know they are ready to order, need something, or want to pay the bill. Restaurant pagers are also an efficient way for chefs to notify restaurant staff that dishes are ready to be delivered to tables. However, restaurant pagers may be uncomfortable for customers to use, eliminating the personal contact and challenge of getting the attention of wait staff, and replacing bad customer service with a foolproof technological solution.
Customer Service and the Restaurant Ambience
Top notch customer service is a very impressive characteristic for venues to have. Hiring caring and attentive restaurant staff is a sure-fire way to improve customer loyalty. Restaurant pagers enable customers to notify staff when they need something, providing the table location to wait staff for the fastest and most efficient service possible. However, to some extent, restaurant pagers also eliminate the challenge of providing good customer service, making it less impressive to customers. If waiters know exactly when and where a table needs service, can serving those tables quickly be labeled as good customer service? On another note, when a venue is packed and wait staff are obviously having a hard time juggling all their tasks, pressing the call button may be uncomfortable for customers, but they may not have a choice. If restaurant pagers are present, wait staff will not necessarily check on a table if not summoned by the call button, making use of