What is a Restaurant Consultant?
A restaurant consultant can be anyone with an interest or knowledge in the culinary field and running a business. The best restaurant consulting services will be those who hire ex-chefs, food establishment managers, successful food business owners, etc. Restaurant consultants will critically survey each and every aspect of a restaurant to come to a plan for better running a restaurant and to increase restaurant business. They can also provide great tips for starting a restaurant business to those who have not yet entered the field. By getting help and advice about drawing a business plan and mapping out the interior and exterior of a restaurant, those with a business idea can maximize its potential. For example, the visibility of the sign outside the restaurant is crucial for drawing customers. A restaurant consultant can also provide information based on consumer studies, which can help a restaurant. For example, customers will usually open a tri-fold menu, glance to the right-top of the page, glance to the left page, and then glimpse the middle section, before actually reading the entire selection. Based on this information, restaurants would do best to put high-profit items in these
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce estimates that 75% of employees will steal at one point or another. In the food industry, the seemingly extra ingredients lying around and their low individual value make “borrowing” them seem trivial. Yet statistics point out that a typical organization loses about 5% of its total revenue to such instances. The problem extends beyond the staff. Jamie Oliver claims that 30,000 napkins are stolen from his restaurants each month, probably by diners looking for a restaurant souvenir. Such restaurant items are relatively inexpensive when considering just a single one, but the numbers add up once a large amount, such as 30,000 are being stolen. Restaurant theft is a touchy subject, since most do not associate their actions with theft and would be insulted to be accused of such a crime. On the other hand, restaurant theft prevention is a subject that must be addressed to smoothly run a business.
Restaurant Theft Prevention
Chances are, a business can not completely obliterate theft. But before trying to find a contraption to lock a fridge, there are various initiatives that can help lower the losses. The first step is to have strict restaurant policies for employees. During employee training, the policies should be stressed. Staff should be warned of the consequences of actions that go against restaurant policies. Clarify a no “borrowing” policy and the repercussions that will result from internal theft: immediate termination of employment and a deduction of the value of good stolen from the pay check. Installing cameras in strategic locations, such as the pantry and dining area, is a great way to encourage honesty and discourage stealing. Though it is difficult to stop a customer from taking a napkin, or other small restaurant item, the customer can be profiled and the business can consider banning him/her from
How important are food names?
When starting to create a menu, there are numerous factors that chefs and business owners must simultaneously consider to make it menu top notch. The dishes offered must follow basic nutritional structure, be priced right for the customer and the business, and be appealing to the customer. A factor that is often overlooked, but extremely important, is the food menu names. Food names on a restaurant menu can help or hinder a customer’s decision-making process. It allows the business to advertise the dish before the customer reads the description.
Food Dish Names Strategies
There are many ways to use food menu names to entice customers to place a restaurant menu order that will be profitable for the business. Attaching a place name to an ethnic dish, or a dish that resembles popular food in a certain city, will help customers associate their vision of the dish to that place, as part of their consideration of whether to order it. A California Veggie Burger will make the customer envision a healthy burger with fresh ingredients, probably including avocado. The name sounds much more appealing than “Veggie Burger with Vegetables.” A cooking technique can also be used to add appeal. “Hand-churned Ice Cream” sounds more gourmet than “Ice Cream.” The name will sound more appetizing and customers will probably be willing to pay more for the extra effort required in making the dessert. Dedicating a dish to a person, especially a family member, will make customers feel confident in their order. “Aunt Jen’s Fire-Roasted Tomato Soup” is sure to be a crowd-pleaser, since Aunt Jen and her family love it. Food dish names that reference a family member will also help customers feel nostalgic to their childhood favorite dishes, and want to try someone else’s. In general, any small addition to a name will up the chances of customer satisfaction and change their restaurant menu order. “Four-cheese macaroni and cheese” will be chosen over “macaroni and cheese.” “Zesty
The Least Expensive Restaurant Marketing Plan
From Facebook food pictures to twitter for restaurants, there are constantly new platforms made available for restaurant marketing. The best part is that these options are free restaurant advertising! They can be extremely effective as well. Facebook alone has over 800 million active users. Though it is impossible and useless for a business to try to reach all the users on these platforms, it is very worthwhile to convince customers to link their social media and restaurants. Not only will the customer be made aware of the business on a regular basis, whenever it shows up on their page, their “friends” on Facebook and “followers” on Twitter will be able to see their connection to the business and may be interested in hearing more about it or becoming a customer. Though there is software being developed to help boost options for social media for businesses, most of the publicizing is free of charge. Just one example of such software is Engage 121, which is an application that shows a business the relationship between social buzz on their social media pages and
The Pairing Wine with Food Phenomenon
For thousands of years people have been pairing meat with a nice glass of wine, inherently understanding that it is a mouthwatering combination. Dry wine, or beer’s, astringent tastes with fatty foods such as meat somehow made sense. How about other classic food pairings? Most Americans know from a young age that soda completes a burger and French fries meal. Sushi isn’t complete without soy sauce and ginger. And leafy greens are unappetizing without dressing. The culinary world knew early on that balancing flavors and texture variation makes for a great meal. Yet up until recently, there was no scientific explanation to develop these ideas.
Physiology of Taste and Food Pairings
Scientists know a substantial amount about the physiology of taste. They originally thought that there are different areas of the tongue for taste and that salty and sweet, sour, and bitter tastes are picked up on different regions of the tongue. However, The Journal of Cell Biology recently published a taste study that discredited this idea, preferring to adopt a theory that taste receptor cells are spread throughout the
The Makings of a Price Fixed Menu
A price fixed menu, also known as prix fixe, table d’hôte, and business meal, is a set menu of one or more options, offered at a set price. It usually consists of an appetizer, main, dessert, and drink. Sometimes there are multiple options available for each course. A soup or salad and hot drink and/or cold drink are usually included as well. In some restaurants, there are multiple price fixed menus offered, at different prices, but without giving the customer the freedom to select the individual courses. Price fixed menus are often offered during quieter business hours. The set menu allows for quicker service at a lower price, drawing working customers to dine out regardless of their time frame. Though business meals are the most typical prix fixe menu, restaurants can use the concept in other ways to increase restaurant business and decrease restaurant stress.
The Uses of Prix Fixe Menus
Prix Fixe menus have many purposes for restaurants. Customers will be drawn to the lower prices and the creative dining options provided. However, the benefits for the business far outweigh those for the customer. For restaurants, offering a set menu at a comparably low price decreases the profit margin in comparison to food-cost, but the reduced amount of preparation required will more than make up for this setback. The chef may also choose to incorporate dishes to use up ingredients before they go bad, thereby reducing food waste. On busy days, such as holidays, a set menu allows the staff to execute the meals at their highest quality potential, since they will be preparing the same dishes throughout their shift. On a day-to-day basis, a price fixed menu allows the chef to experiment
The Idyllic Comfort Food
On a cold fall, or winter day, when no amount of clothing layers seems to keep people warm, they tend to seek out hot, hearty foods and drinks. Tea, hot chocolate, stews, and soups are perfect examples of such items. A great bowl of soup is better than the richest dessert or juiciest protein in this case. Businesses can use soup’s appeal to their advantage by getting creative and offering at least a couple different kinds every day. By having base knowledge of the three different categories of soup, chefs can economize in the kitchen by ensuring the best use of available ingredients.
Hearty Soups incorporate ingredients in a base stock. The base can be any brown stock, white stock, vegetable stock, or even water. Oftentimes, starches such as barley, potato, rice, or lentils are added to thicken the base liquid and add texture to the soup. Diced vegetables and/or proteins are either added before serving, or cooked in the base liquid. Lentil soup, home-style chicken soup, and minestrone soup are just a few famous examples of hearty soups that are sure to please. Chicken soup preparation usually involves cooking chicken pieces and vegetable chunks in a season chickened broth. Most customers will get nostalgic as they eat it, so it holds the possibility of giving them an overall
Meatless Monday and other Vegetarian Culinary Trends
The vegetarian and vegan culinary trends go hand in hand with some other recent culinary trends, building each other’s fame. With a rise in health awareness and an increase in knowledge of the declining state of the global environment, the culinary world is taking note and making changes. One of these changes is the rise in popularity of vegetarian foods. Though customers may not be fully vegetarian, recently discovered facts about vegetarian health benefits and sustainable food have led the population to veer towards more meatless meals. Though going cold turkey on meat (no pun intended) is very difficult for many people, awareness of the benefits has led to a rise in the “Meatless Monday” initiative. The “meatless Monday” movement encourages people to go vegetarian at least one day each week in order to help themselves and the environment.
Health Benefits of Being a Vegetarian and Sustainable Food
The health benefits of being a vegetarian include reduced risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity. Meatless meals tend to be higher in poly-unsaturated fats, lower in saturated fat,
Restaurant Internships for Furthering Chef Careers
A culinary school education provides a great base for beginning a chef career. Though it is only one option of a way to start out on the path to developing interesting food recipes that make a chef’s career unique, it is never the last stop in learning about the culinary world. Each culinary school and country has its own way of doing things in the kitchen. There is great value in starting out local in the restaurant business and culinary education, but there is also inherent value in discovering international restaurants. Even well-known chefs such as Gordon Ramsay, René Redzepi of Noma (Denmark) trained through restaurant internships at high-scale culinary establishments. International restaurant internships allow the spread of the best culinary trends of each country and culture, to the rest of the world.
Interesting Food Recipes that Another Chef Knows Better
Each chef has a signature style. René Redzepi mixes molecular gastronomy with high quality local ingredients. Paula Deen is famous for Southern American-style cuisine, preferably loaded with butter. Though anyone could attempt to replicate the recipes of such chefs, the knowledge that can be obtained by observing and tasting their creations is priceless in learning about their cuisine. There is something to be said for learning to stuff sausages or make pasta in Italy, or to learn
According to a survey conducted by Food Network of chefs across the United States, 75% of chefs take culinary inspiration from other restaurant menus. By exploring the culinary trends other quality restaurants are currently offering, chefs can spruce up their own restaurant menu. In the survey, many chefs rated The French Laundry restaurants in California as one of their top favorite restaurants. By looking at the menu online, chefs can get an idea for how Chef Thomas Keller is incorporating seasonal ingredients. The most recent tasting menu had a course of “Salad of Jacobsen Orchard apples (with) Hawaiian hearts of palm, Belgian endives, Sicilian pistachios, and chrysanthemum.” Though this might prompt restaurant menu ideas, the culinary research is lacking an aspect: food presentation. The menu cannot explain the textures, colors, taste, or overall food presentation of the dish. These aspects are essentially why dining at quality restaurants is beneficial for chefs.
It’s Not All in the Name
At Alinea in Chicago, Grant Achatz mixes extremely artistic presentation with science and contrasting flavors to provide the dining experience. Yet he does not stop there. At the restaurant, the waiters instruct the diner as to how each dish is meant to be eaten. Sometimes dishes are served on a pillow filled with scented air, which slowly deflates as the dish