The Appetizer to the Appetizer
In the first few instants two people meet, first impressions are made. The same happens when customers walk into a restaurant. Aside from the outside of the business and the interior furniture and atmosphere, the first way a customer will judge the business is based on the amuse bouche. Going back to classic French cuisine, meals always included an amuse bouche, a mini, refreshing, opening course meant to increase appetites before the meal. The practice of offering refreshments before appetizers is still common today, though it is seen in most businesses as the restaurant bread basket. In ethnic restaurants, the dish might be slightly different. For example, most Mexican restaurants offer tortilla chips and salsa to customers as they sit down. When considering what to offer customers, restaurants should consider going beyond the typical bread and butter to make their venue stand out. On the other hand, the dish should not be a replacement for the appetizer and should not resemble items on the appetizer menu, or customers will be dissuaded from ordering from it. By carefully selecting the opener dish, restaurants can ensure their customers receive
The Hype of Nutrition Facts
The United Kingdom plans to instate a law that will implement a traffic light labeling system on many supermarket items, to make it easy for consumers to do healthy grocery shopping. In the US, restaurant chains are starting to post nutrition facts on their menus, preparing for the federal law that will require that chains with 20 or more locations post nutrition facts for their products, as of 6 months after the FDA’s final rules have been published. The idea is to promote healthy eating and reduce obesity by making it easy for customers to make healthy choices. Could this hurt businesses? Should menus be changed so they look better based on the nutrition facts?
Why Restaurant Nutrition Information Might and Might Not Hurt
Making restaurant nutrition information available to customers may deter customers from ordering certain dishes and lean towards healthy restaurant eating. Most menus have items, often classic favorites, which hold exorbitant amounts of calories, fat, carbohydrates, sugar, and sodium. Labels on such items may deter dieting customers, but for others, the combination of tastes that come from the products that bump up the numbers on the nutrition label, is the reason it is worth it to each such a dish. A well-constructed
Anyone who has worked in the food-business industry has witnessed the unusually high restaurant turnover rates. Almost as soon as a cook’s uniform is ordered, it seems that it is forfeited and left for the next employee who happens to wear the same size. Cooking jobs demand an unusually high ability to cope with stress, physical stamina, and a positive, can-do attitude. The restaurants cook job description includes tough working conditions, tough bosses, and low wages, which divert many aspiring chefs from the industry. This is difficult for the businesses because training new employees takes time, and the better an employee knows the menu and the way the business works, the smoother the business will run during their shifts. Food businesses can employ strategic strategies to decrease job turnover rates and draw cooks and waiters to their business. By offering more appealing job conditions to potential employees, a business will be able to be selective with restaurant hiring, and build a better staff.
How to Raise Appeal
According to statistics, the average cook makes $11.29 per hour. The low wages, combined with hard work, causes many employees to leave, and makes it appealing for potential workers to seek out the food businesses with the highest paying salaries. By raising wages slightly, a business can have potential employees flocking for interviews. The business can then select the most qualified candidates for the cooking jobs. If raising salaries in not an option, benefits can be thrown in to make the job more appealing. Any benefits, from number of vacation days to health insurance, will raise the appeal of working at a business. Even small details can make a job more exciting for workers and lead them to stick with the job longer. Having a seasonal menu, for example, will allow cooks, chefs, barmen, and waiters to switch up their skills every few months and keep things interesting. Cooks and barmen just starting out in the business will be interested to learn the new
A Variety of Specifically Apt Restaurant Consultant
In a previous article, the value of restaurant consultants was discussed. For those who feel that an all-around evaluation of their food establishment, or general restaurant advice, is not required for their business, more specific industry professionals can be a better bet. If the owner of a restaurant has an eye for design, but would like helpful tips about how to structure the kitchen for efficiency, he/she may want to turn to a restaurant designer for some help. The specified area of the restaurants that they will be evaluating will take fewer hours than an overall restaurant consultant’s evaluation, making the service more cost-wise and time-friendly for the business. In an overall sense, restaurant designers, menu experts, and other experts in specified fields of restaurant advice, can be extremely useful at the planning stages of a business. Once a business is already open, a restaurant consultant can provide good overall, general advice to improve and increase restaurant sales.
What to Look for in Restaurant Designers and Menu Experts
If a business is looking to improve the dining atmosphere of the venue, any interior decorator with tastes that match the desired look, will be able to help. Make sure to
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