Thanksgiving is a family affair, and restaurants can use this to their advantage to raise profits. Businesses offering attractive meals and prices for the holiday can benefit from a very busy night. However, for it to be a success, the details must be planned out in advance. There is no way to increase the chances of the business running smoothly other than to ensure that staff and customers have compatible expectations, and that everything is accounted for beforehand.
Planning Ahead for a Restaurant Thanksgiving
The first step in planning Thanksgiving in a restaurant is to choose a business strategy. Most venues will choose to cater to families, going with the tradition of the holiday. Classic foods such as turkey, cornbread or corn pudding, cranberry sauce, stuffing, and pumpkin pie are non-negotiable staples for the meal. However, chefs can get creative with subtle modernized twists and beautiful plating. Businesses should take into account that hosting a holiday meal may require extra staff, and that most staff members will likely prefer the night off to be with their families. The managers should
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
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
Offering programs and customer service which are conducive to attracting and winning over senior customers can lead to an increase in business for family-friendly venues. Finding effective advertising outlets is one of the biggest challenges in targeting seniors. By publicizing the venue on a senior discount list venues can gear themselves towards senior diners as well as their families, drawing in new customers. Having patient and flexible restaurant staff will help boost customer service in-house, creating positive experiences for diners and increasing customer loyalty, which can lead to a permanent boost in business.
Senior Discounts Restaurants
Advertising to potential senior customers can be challenging because social media and other free advertising platforms are usually ineffective. However, getting listed on a senior discount list and buying print or radio ads can get the word out about your venue. In order to draw in senior diners, businesses may want to consider publicizing about senior citizen discounts. Programs which offer deals such as free kids’ meals on certain days of the week ,“Happy Hour,” and senior citizen discounts, usually increase restaurant business.
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
How to prevent bacteria in the kitchen is an issue that concerns every cook, whether at home or in a commercial kitchen. Bacteria have become infamous for causing food spoilage and sicknesses, but they’re not all bad. There are millions of species of bacteria, and though some of them can cause illness, and even death, others are used in the cosmetic, biotechnology, high tech, environmental, and petroleum industries for various purposes. Yogurt, cheese, wine, beer, and many other foods, could not be prepared without the help of specific types of bacteria. In a commercial kitchen, however, restaurant staff should create a restaurant kitchen cleaning checklist to prevent the spread and growth of unwanted and damaging bacteria.
Strategies for How to Prevent Bacteria
Microbial growth usually slows in cold temperatures. Therefore, keeping foods in refrigerators and freezers can help slow the spoilage process. Most chefs know that it is not recommended to refreeze thawed food, especially meats, poultry, and fish. Though this piece of advice helps prevent texture deterioration, the main reason for not refreezing thawed foods is that when food is defrosted, bacteria on it and in it are given good conditions to grow, with a food source and comfortable temperatures. If the food is then refrozen and re-thawed, those bacteria that grew the first time around are given a chance to multiply, increasing the bacterial count in the food, and increasing the chances of spoilage and harmful side effects or sickness as a result of eating the food.
Bacteria in food can spread to surfaces that come into contact with it, including cutting boards, knives, workers’ hands, and counters. Therefore, keeping the restaurant kitchen clean and organized is of the utmost importance. Commercial kitchen appliances and all kitchen equipment should be washed frequently with hot, soapy water. Restaurant staff should frequently wash their hands with warm water and soap, especially after handling raw ingredients and before handling cooked or ready to serve foods. Some bacteria, when faced with tough conditions such as heat, can develop spores. Spores are dormant forms of bacteria that can survive extreme conditions and cleaning processes. Though spores themselves aren’t harmful, when placed in a compatible environment once again, spores can develop into bacteria which can lead to food spoilage or sickness. Cleaning kitchen equipment and
Food selfies are taking over Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, and other social media sites. Chefs and culinary professionals have mixed feelings about the trend and, in some cases, chefs have banned taking pictures of food in their venue, while others have gone to the other extreme, offering free food to those who take pictures of their food and tag the venue on Instagram. Food plating and presentation has always been viewed as an important aspect of running a restaurant. However, with food photography ballooning in popularity food stylist worthy dishes should be a key focus for venues. By pulling out those garnishes and squeeze bottles, and giving customers dishes worthy of the best food photography, businesses can get effective and free restaurant marketing from customers’ pictures of food.
Making Customers the Food Stylist
Let’s face it. The majority of customers do not know how to photograph food on a professional level. They lack the artistic knowledge and equipment. However, the widespread restaurant marketing that can result from customers uploading their pictures of food in a venue can bring in new restaurant business, and draw back old customers. Restaurant marketing is often at the forefront of the minds of managers and owners. Luckily, with the rise in social media and smartphones, as well as an appreciation for culinary culture, much word of mouth restaurant marketing is being done for businesses, for free, by the customer. Venues can easily get in on this type of restaurant marketing by persuading customers to take pictures of food and mention the venue. Offering prizes for the best food photography each month, or offering discounts for mentioning the venue, along with pictures of food, on social media sites, can get the trend started. Instead of worrying about food photographers or learning how to photograph food, venues can benefit from customers’ food pictures. Customers a likely to get a wide range of shots and, even better, flaunt them to their friends, giving a venue great restaurant marketing.
Fast casual restaurants are minimizing the required amount of restaurant staff. At many fast casual venues, waiter training only needs to focus on ensuring that the floor is operating smoothly. However, like almost all fast food restaurants, fast casual restaurants also need to take orders and serve food quickly, usually with no empty space between the customer and the computer. The reduced number of employees, due to less need for wait staff, is an obvious benefit for fast casual venues. However, this business plan is not an ideal solution for how to run a restaurant for all businesses. Some venue concepts demand high levels of waiter training in order to provide the best customer service possible. These venues are not considered fast casuals, but in some cases great customer service can increase restaurant business in equal measure to offering fast casual dining.
Don’t Leave Out Staff
Though fast casual restaurants do not need many waiters, they do need people manning the cash registers and taking orders, as well as more kitchen staff on shift to supply meals faster than a typical venue. In a study done by the NRN, it was found that about 85% of Americans visit fast casual restaurants at least once a month. These numbers show not only the potential success of fast casual restaurants, but also their urgent need to have
Sous vide cooking has, in the past years, become a staple of high-end cuisine, with chefs such as Rene Redzepi and Thomas Keller adopting the trend for more than just a way to perfectly slow-cook meat. Sous vide cooking is one of the best cooking methods for preparing foods at ideal temperatures. The concept consists of a water bath, similar to a rethermalizer, but kept at specific, adjustable sous vide temperatures over duration of time, cooking the main ingredient, which is sealed in a vacuum bag. The results are dishes such as sous vide salmon, sous vide chicken, and sous vide cuts of meat that are prepared to the perfect doneness, and full of the flavors that were incorporated into the vacuum bag.
Sous Vide Cooking Instructions
The sous vide temperatures and times that different types of meat, vegetables, and eggs should be cooked in sous vide depends on the size of the portion and the desired result. Though charts exist throughout cookbooks and on the internet, food businesses looking to implement sous vide cooking methods in their venue should leave plenty of time for experimentation and trial and error, in order to get to the desired results for their ingredients. Of all the cooking methods, sous vide not only allows the most control over doneness, but also preserves the natural flavor of solely the ingredients used, while keeping the shape and color of the dish components. Ribs done with proper sous vide cooking will fall off the bone
Hispanic markets are an increasingly important market sector for food businesses. Surveys show that the Hispanic population in the USA grew by 43% from 2000 to 2010. For restaurants, this growth means a larger potential customers base. Studies show that the average Hispanic customer visits a restaurant about 155 times a year, 4 more times than the average 151 times the general population dines out (QSR). In addition, it was found that Hispanic diners tend to dine out in larger groups when compared to the general population, often making the meal a family event. These statistics should make marketing to Hispanics a top priority for food businesses in order to increase restaurant business.
Mexican Foods and Language
While an obvious option for catering to a specific ethnic group is to offer traditional foods, Mexican foods can also be an attractive addition to many fast casual menus, due to their widespread appeal for all customers. However, offering Spanish or Mexican foods is not necessarily the best strategy for marketing to Hispanics. An almost sure way to increase customer loyalty, however, is by considering how customer service can be used as a tool for attracting new customers. Having translated menus and signs, for example, is a great way to welcome Spanish speaking customers to a venue. Restaurants may want to consider numbering menu items so that restaurant staff will be able to write down the number of the item ordered, rather than learn the translations for each menu item. Having restaurant staff on hand that speaks Spanish is another great way to boost customer service and customer loyalty. Restaurant staff made up of multilingual employees will make it easier to increase restaurant business and customer loyalty by making more customer markets feel comfortable in the venue.
When considering how to attract customers, food and customer service are obvious critical areas for food businesses. However, sometimes it takes more than that to increase restaurant business and gain customer loyalty. Therefore, when considering how to attract customers from Hispanic markets, venues should consider menus and restaurant staff that will provide award-winning customer service and improve the venue environment. Hispanic markets are a powerful customer market in the US. By considering how to cater to them, businesses can develop strategies to increase the number of satisfied customers frequenting the venue.