Thanksgiving is a time for appreciating family, friends, and life in general. Some people choose to take on the task of preparing the festive dinner from scratch, but others turn to restaurants and food businesses for their holiday foods, ordering out or dining in festive venues. This year, Thanksgiving falls out on the second night of Hanukkah for the first time since 1888, giving added holiday menu ideas and options to increase holiday season business. The public is eagerly anticipating the combination of the holidays, renaming it “Thanksgivukkah” and creating products and sample menus that combine the staples of each one. Thinking in advance about holiday menu ideas and ways to make the restaurant holiday successful and appealing to customers, for any holiday, can help businesses ensure they make the most of the holiday season business potential. By jumping on the bandwagon of all the hype around “Thanksgivukkah,” businesses can profit from the doubly exciting holiday(s).
Thanksgiving Restaurant Menu and Ambience
Holiday foods are sure to draw customers’ eyes for Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, and almost every other holiday. However, unless the restaurant ambience is also accounted for, consumers may choose to enjoy their holiday meal elsewhere. For businesses only offering take-out holiday foods, setting up the venue for the holiday is less necessary, but for those concerned with creating a holiday environment, interior design can, and should, be tastefully altered for the holidays. Venues should be careful to stay away from creating a tacky environment, and focus on elegant touches that will work well with the existing restaurant ambience. For example, adding fall-themed floral decorations and centerpieces for the holidays, such as menorahs filled with flowers in orange,
The Holiday Cocktails Season
With the holidays around the corner, many will be taking advantage of their vacation days and going out to celebrate the season. For businesses, this means an exponential increase in customer traffic. To get ahead, venues can already think about the drinks menu and how to stock the bar for the best supply of holiday drinks to offer. Soon enough, eggnog, mulled wine buttered rum, candy cane cocktails, and champagne will lead bottles to fly off the shelf.
What to Offer as Holiday Drinks
The wintery holiday season leads people to crave warm drinks that will contrast with the weather. Eggnog, mulled wine, and buttered rum can all be served cold or hot. Since the holidays also bring a craving for nostalgia and spices, these drinks are ideal to offer on any holiday drinks menu. Other holiday cocktails that remind people of the season will include flavors associated with the holidays, such as champagne and candy cane cocktails.
Most people celebrate the New Year with a nice bottle of champagne, or wine. By having wine and champagne readily available this season, and plenty of bar glassware businesses will be prepared
What’s popular in winter recipes?
When pondering holiday menu ideas, chefs should focus on the factors that make winter foods popular this season. Spices are used in pretty much every typical holiday food. In general, spices are appreciated in winter dishes because they tend to increase blood circulation and are considered to have a warming effect as a result. Sweet dishes are typical as well. With sweet potatoes, pumpkin, cranberries, and citrus coming into season, incorporating them into sides, mains, desserts, salads, and pretty much every other winter recipe imaginable, is extremely popular. As opposed to summertime, when light dishes such as salads and grilled proteins are popular, in the winter, pots of stew, soups, and heavier meals, in general, gain a place on people’s tables. Before each holiday, restaurants can use these winter recipe basics to build holiday menu ideas. Holiday season business thrives off of such menus.
Holiday Season Business
Chefs can use the holiday season to play around with holiday menu ideas and thus draw more customers. Putting a spin on typical Christmas dishes, or other holiday favorites, will pose a fun challenge for cooks and intrigue customers. Finding a way to present gourmet latkes, for example, will please those looking for a high-class food experience and nostalgia. Using a mandoline to thinly slice a mixture of vegetable, adding apples to the recipe, or making the gourmet latkes out of beets, or some other unconventional vegetable, will interest customers bored by the average potato latkes (potato pancakes). This is also the time to develop a restaurant Christmas menu and plan the restaurant’s New Year’s Eve, or decide whether to stay open on those evenings at all. Many businesses opt to require a minimum amount spent by each customer during busy holiday season business days. Others choose to offer a set menu to
The holiday season brings increased traffic to a commercial kitchen, and the holiday rush has the potential to interfere with an otherwise well-run operation. What every professional chef needs, especially when the season gets busy, is a seamless way to move food from storage to prep to a beautiful table presentation. Good planning and purchasing in the area of Transport and Storage is the key to accomplishing this. Whether it’s a space-saving device, such as the Winco Dunnage Rack or an apparatus for transport, there are many kitchen accessories that will help in organizing, making use of valuable space, and easily transporting food and supplies. This holiday season is a good time to give yourself a gift of new kitchen accessories—perhaps some extra shelving, racks, or a new utility cart.
Increasing Kitchen Storage
Let’s talk about kitchen storage first. Every part of the kitchen needs lots of storage and shelving. Food, cutlery, utensils, and kitchen accessories all need their own place. The ideal solution is to locate storage and shelving as close as possible to where you will use the items stored.
Looking to find that perfect gift for the kitchen addict this Christmas season? With so many gadgets available with just a click of the mouse these days, choosing the right gift can be, let’s say, overwhelming. That’s where Tiger Chef steps in. Our team at Tiger Chef did the work for you! We searched and came up with the top 8 kitchen gadgets that are flying like pancakes this season. When I say flying, I mean flying.
1. Keurig B70 Single Cup Home Brewing Coffee Maker
With the Keurig B70, you’re bound to start your day off the right way. Brewing a single cup of your preferred coffee, tea, and yes, even hot cocoa, has never been easier. Set your ‘favorite cup size’ to get just the right amount of ground coffee for you. The Keurig B70 is known for its quiet brew technology so there is no need to worry about waking up the whole neighborhood.
Running late. Again. On days like these, there is nothing more comforting than knowing that all you’ve got to do in order to have supper up and running when you get home is open the freezer, pull out some leftovers and stick them into the oven. The worst feeling is when everybody is ready to bet their most valuable possessions that this supper is, once again, coming from "you know where." No need to fret, we’ve got 4 tips for you that will make your frozen foods last longer and taste just as if it just came out of the oven.
- In order to guaranteed that your leftover turkey or roast tastes just as good and fresh the second time around, pour enough gravy over the leftover meat, making sure to cover it completely, before freezing it in an airtight storage container. The gravy will act as an extra protection, allowing you to store the leftovers for a longer period of time. In addition, when you re-warm it, the gravy will keep the turkey or roast moist.
- If you buy meat and/or chicken and plan on storing it in the freezer for a little while, there is absolutely no reason for you to repackage it. Planning on keeping it stored in the freezer for a longer period of time? In that case, you are best off adding an additional layer of wrapping protection to prevent it from freezer burn. If you are looking for the easy way out, simply wrap the original packaging in a piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil.
Anyone who has ever hosted a Thanksgiving, Christmas, and/or New Year’s meal can attest to the fact that by the time it came to the actual meal, they were too stressed out and tired to benefit from all the time and effort they put into getting everything ready. The preparations do tend to be somewhat stressful and draining with all the running around “like a chicken without a head” in our attempt to make sure that everything gets done and no detail is left out. How does preparing for the big bash without all the stress sound to you? Think it’s impossible? Think again.
- Probably the most important and de-stressing step you can take in order to have a stress-less preparation stage is planning ahead of time. Anything that can, should be bought (and made) ahead of time. There is no reason for you to wait until the week of the holiday to buy your accessories and supplies you need to create your centerpieces.
- Any dish that will taste just the same whether it is made the day of or defrosted the day of should be prepared in advance. Most soups freeze very well, not to mention desserts. These courses can be prepared well ahead of time, even as much as two weeks beforehand. Just about everything else can be made a day or two ahead of time, stored tightly in proper containers, and refrigerated. The only foods that need to be made the day of are foods that are perishable, i.e. salads. Even those foods can be prepared in advance – just leave the dressing for the last minute!
- If anybody offers to make something, never turn them down. Pride aside, no matter how capable you may be one dish off your list will spare you some precious time, whether it may be 10 minutes or an hour. Every minute makes a difference.
With each passing decade, table manners seem to pass on as well. The problem arises when you are invited to a formal dinner. Now what? Here’s a crash course to set you on the right track, at least for now, and avoid embarrassment.
- Dress appropriately for the occasion. In the event that a dress code is required, be sure to dress accordingly.
- Chances are that you have a minimum of one electronic device on you. Turn it off and move it out of site!
- As soon as you are shown to your seat, remove your napkin from the table and place it on your lap.
- Never start eating before the host takes his first bite.
- Choosing the right utensil can be a bit tricky. According to ‘Etiquette’, always start from the utensil furthest away from your plate and work your way in. If your place setting includes two forks, a smaller one on the outside, followed by a larger one, use the smaller one for the appetizer and the larger one for entree.
There are those people who open the fridge door, stare at the food inside and just stand there thinking about whether or not to pull anything out. Then there are those who have been drilled for years to keep the refrigerator door closed, or else all the cold air will escape! Refrigerators are actually very tough when it comes to regulating their temperatures- that is, if the thermostats are in good working condition! However, there are various everyday habits that we have that can damage our refrigerators and freezers. Here are 5 of the most common ways we damage our refrigerators and freezers:
- If the shelves in your refrigerator or freezer have slats, refrain from putting a cover on top of the shelves. Doing so will inhibt the circulation of cold air. Solid glass shelves are not a problem, as the unit is built to accomodate these type of shelves. However, slotted shelves should be left uncovered or, in case of emergency, make sure to cut some holes in the covering.
- Ever used a sharp object to get rid of the crumbs stuck in the rubber gasket? Rubber gaskets and sharp objects are not on the best of terms and will do more damage than good. Next time, try using a soft-toothbrush, a rag and a vacuum cleaner. These do a better job at removing crumbs and do not damage the gasket. Aditionally, when something sticky spills onto the gasket and dries, the gasket will get stuck to the fridge. Pulling the fridge door open can cause the gasket to rip. Make sure to wipe down anything that spills using a soft cloth to avoid gasket mishaps.
- The million dollar question: Does placing hot pots directly into the refrigerator inflict damage? Well, the answer is both yes and no. Putting hot food straight into the refrigerator won’t harm the refrigerator but putting it into the freezer will create moisture that will build up on the freezer coils, forming ice. The real problem is that placing hot food into the fridge will increase the overall temperature in the refrigerator, which can cause perishable food already inside to spoil. That is why it is a good idea to allow the food to cool a bit before placing it in the refrigerator/freezer.
It happens to all of us at one point or another. You are in the midst of cooking or baking when you realize that you are out of an ingredient. Or, perhaps you or a family member has some kind of allergy or intolerance, or maybe you’re just looking to live a healthier life-style. Whatever it may be, here is a short list of the most common ingredient substitutes.
Please note that food made with substituted ingredients may vary slightly in both taste and texture.
All purpose flour: Either use 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons cake flour or, substitute 1 tablespoon cornstarch for 2 tablespoons of flour.
Cake flour: To substitute 1 cup of cake flour, use 1 cup less 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour.
Baking powder: For 1 teaspoon baking powder, use ¼ teaspoon baking soda and 1 teaspoon cream of tartar or ¼ teaspoon baking soda and ½ cup sour milk, buttermilk or molasses; reduce other liquid by ½ cup.