Posts in June 2014
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.
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
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
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.
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.