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
Foraging is undoubtedly an interesting way to make the most of local produce. With modern-day concern over genetically modified produce, the spotlight on oversized vegetables, heavy with water and low on flavor, has caused many culinary enthusiasts to doubt the quality of supermarket produce from industrial farms. Chefs of top restaurants, such as René Redzepi of Noma, use foraging as a means of getting the freshest and most authentic local produce possible. Foraging has opened up a world of spices, herbs, and wild edibles overlooked by industrial farms and unavailable in stores. Beach peas, Indian cucumber, colorful mushrooms in various shapes and sizes, wild asparagus, berries, herbs such as mint, tarragon, and chives, and even hay, edible flowers, and fish are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to fresh ingredients that can be found while foraging for food. Despite the concentrated flavor and incomparably fresh produce that can be found in wild edibles, foraging is not right for all restaurant menus.
Is Foraging for Food Right for Your Restaurant Menus?
Foraging for food is a time consuming and sometimes dangerous business, which can be extremely rewarding for certain venues. Restaurant menus that rely on edible wild plants are likely to change every week, since foraging for food can bring surprising finds to the kitchen, but inconsistently. Another factor to consider is the time investment of foraging for food. Searching for and gathering wild edibles requires time and patience, but so does learning the trade. Before starting to forage, chefs, or any individual for that matter, will have to take the time to study the area and its plants thoroughly, making contact with local experts in order to receive advice about wild edibles. Foraging without proper knowledge of plants is a dangerous business. Edible mushrooms and berries are notorious for having wild, poison relatives, yet the list of poison plants spreads to wild peas and herbs as well. By gathering knowledge of local produce, conversing with local professionals familiar with the regional plants, and always being extremely cautious, foragers
Indian food belongs on menus beyond Indian restaurants. The use of spices such as cumin, cardamom, coriander, turmeric, garlic, and ginger benefits both the taste and health properties of Indian food recipes. Dishes such as Chicken Tikka and Steamed Rice with Curry can easily be incorporated into fast casual venues, high-class restaurants, and every type of venue in between. In addition to delicious dishes, the Indian culinary culture embraces vegetarianism and therefore the ethnic food of the region provides many vegetarian meal ideas and Indian vegetarian recipes. Many of these dishes can be easily altered to be relatively healthy, especially since there is a heavy focus of vegetables and herbs.
Those that cannot be made healthy without losing their charm, such
as fried samosas, hold their own as delicious dishes on restaurant menus.
Indian Vegetarian Recipes
Hindu is a major religion in India. Some sects of the religion practice vegetarianism, a custom which has made its way into much of ethnic food of Indian culture. Indian vegetarian recipes therefore provide food businesses with ready-made vegetarian meal ideas. The rich spices and seasonings that are used in many Indian food recipes make it easy to spice up vegetarian and vegan dishes, persuading even meat-eating customers to order the dishes. The heavy use of spices also gives many Indian dishes health
Beets are extremely versatile, healthy, aesthetic, and delicious vegetables that are gaining popularity and importance in culinary trends and in the industry. Restaurant menus can incorporate beets in many ways to draw customers looking for healthy restaurant eating options, as well as those interested in gourmet food rich in flavor. The root has shown evidence of playing a role in preventing heart disease and preventing cancer, placing it in the spotlight for nutrition facts. However, praise for the vegetable goes beyond the health benefits of beets. Its sweet taste and the multiple preparation methods that suit it make it a great ingredient to add on restaurant menus for more than just its nutrition facts.
Beets on Restaurant Menus
Beets can have many different purposes on restaurant menus and inspire a wide range of restaurant menu ideas to boost restaurant nutrition: from salads to dessert, juices to pastas. Their rich colors make beets a great option for adding a pop of color to dishes, or for use as a natural food coloring for many dishes, such as pasta dough and mashed vegetables. In baking, beets are a great way to sweeten desserts while keeping attractive nutrition facts. They can be blended and added to a variety of chocolate desserts in low quantities, or in higher quantities to create a red-velvet-like color. Blended beets can also be used to prepare sauces and spreads such as horseradish or beet ketchup. Beets add color, taste, and nutrients such as vitamin C,
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, about 400,000 deaths per year are connected to high blood pressure. Salt has been shown to have a direct relationship to elevated blood pressure, making it a critical ingredient to acknowledge when planning diets for the best nutrition facts possible. Despite the detrimental effects of salt, salt is also a necessary compound for the body. The FDA recommends consuming no more than one teaspoon of salt per day, though most people go well past this limit. Processed foods and restaurant menus are notorious sources of unusually high sodium levels in food. The more a person adds salt to his/her food, the most his/her taste buds acclimate and the more necessary it is to his/her perception of whether a dish is tasty or not. Low sodium restaurants can benefit from more than just impressive nutrition facts, but also by receiving a positive reputation through proper restaurant marketing. Nutrition facts of restaurant menus with low sodium levels will draw the attention of those looking for a healthy restaurant eating experience, as well as those simply concerned with elevated blood pressure.
Low Sodium Restaurants and Delicious Restaurant Menus
Salt shakers will never be out of fashion on a restaurant table. There is no denying the taste-inducing effects of salt on food. Even desserts benefit from a pinch of salt, which helps bring out the flavors. However, food businesses can significantly cut their salt use with a few strategic steps, creating restaurant menus with more impressive nutrition facts.
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
Businesses are constantly looking for new ingredients to use in restaurant menu ideas in order to set their venue apart. Kale nutritional benefits and culinary diversity make it an ideal candidate for restaurant menus. Not only is it an attractive ingredient for people concerned with healthy restaurant eating, it is also an interesting and hip addition to restaurant menus. Businesses may choose to add variety to their ingredients by switching out spinach for kale, chard, or beet greens in some existing dishes, or by creating dishes to show off these “superfood” greens.
Kale Nutritional Benefits
Kale has become famous, largely because of its incredible nutrition facts. Not only is it high in fiber, vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin K, minerals, and phytonutrients, it is also fat free, low calorie, and a great source of absorbable calcium and antioxidants. Kale on restaurant menus is a dream come true for customers concerned with healthy restaurant eating. Kale nutritional benefits clearly make it a superfood, yet it does not lack in preparation possibilities for restaurant menu ideas, showing that healthy food can have a place in the culinary world as well.
Restaurant Menu Ideas with Kale
With nutrition facts and healthy eating taking center stage in the restaurant business in recent years, adding kale, and other foods with impressive nutrition facts, to restaurant menus, has clear potential for improving business. Kale nutritional benefits make it an ideal ingredient
With relatively new food labeling laws, large restaurant chains are required to print restaurant nutrition information on their restaurant menus. Small food businesses are not obligated to do so, but some may choose to offer their customers this option, in order to show their support of healthy restaurant eating. Other venues may choose to simply provide menu labels near healthy options, rather than specific nutrition facts. Either way, a study by Drexel University’s School of Public Health has shown that restaurant nutrition information impacts customers’ purchasing decisions, ultimately leading customers to ordering fewer calories. Restaurant menus with healthy restaurant eating options may benefit from letting customers know about their healthy restaurant menus. However, despite the added comfort for dieting and health-conscious customers, restaurant nutrition labelling is usually not a worthwhile investment for small businesses, when not required by law.
Menu labelling is a restaurant marketing strategy that can attract customers on a strict diet. Those effected with diabetes and obesity can clearly benefit from knowledge of carbohydrate, sugar, fat and caloric meal content. A venue that offers healthy restaurant eating options should be confident enough in their restaurant menus to add a nutrition facts label, at least to some menu items. Many consumers are aware of the studies that have been done, showing that an overwhelming majority underestimate the caloric content of restaurant and fast food chain menu items. However, by being shown the estimated restaurant nutrition information for
Fusion cuisine can be defined in a few ways. It can mean that restaurant menus offer many different types of ethnic food at their venue, or that they mix and match cultural culinary trends within one dish. Think Ras el Hanout spiced grilled chicken, a North-African inspired main, served on a brick-baked Mediterranean flatbread, with a side of Mexican guacamole. Despite having originated across the globe, these famous food items can be elegantly fused together to create a beautiful and delicious dish. Over the past few years, the public has gone crazy for the foods of Southeast Asia, Korea, and Peru. Finding ways to incorporate interesting ethnic food combinations into restaurant menus can make a restaurant unique.
Getting to Know Ethnic Cuisines
Before applying fusion foods to restaurant menus, chefs and cooks must try to perfect the component of the dish they want to use. Research is the best way to get acquainted with different types of ethnic food and cultural culinary trends. Perusing the internet on recipe sites and blogs, recipe books, and dining out in venues that offer ethnic food, are great ways to start. Experimentation should come next, and lastly, brainstorming and perfecting the perfect fusion dish. For example, Peruvian cuisine consists of a lot of
Many consumers concerned with nutrition facts mistakenly believe that brown sugar is healthier than white sugar. However, this is a deceiving bit of information. The answer to what is white sugar can be given in a few ways. But how to make brown sugar is relatively simple after understanding white sugar: brown sugar is white sugar with molasses added back in. By knowing the difference between white sugar and brown sugar, food businesses can make the most educated decisions about white and brown sugar kitchen applications, resulting in more mouthwatering restaurant menu ideas.
What is White Sugar?
Sugar is usually made from sugar cane or sugar beets. When sugar cane is used, the cane is crushed and its juice purified, filtered, boiled, and reduced until it begins to thicken and the sugar starts to crystallize. The sugar crystals are then spun quickly, removing the liquid around them, known as molasses, and producing raw sugar, or Demerera sugar. This raw sugar then goes through a refining process to remove any non-sugar particles and color. This refined product is crystallized and dried, yielding white sugar as we know it. How to make brown sugar is simple after this process. Brown sugar is essentially white sugar with molasses in it, giving it a stickier texture and a sweeter taste.