Monthly Archives: November 2016

  1. Asian Noodle Trend

    One of the most noticeable trends in late 2016 and projected to be one of the top ten trends in 2017 culinary scenes is Indian flavors and Asian noodles. The trend has been recognized as being one of the top 10 cutting-edge culinary trends for the upcoming year and consumers are going crazy for it. Although, it may not seem as mainstream as other trends, full-service establishments who may not think to serve ethnic cuisine are indulging in developing new tasting profiles for their customers.

    The key is that consumers aren’t just looking for something to eat; they’re yearning to deepen their understanding of themselves and how they can fit into the world around them in a sustainable way. They are looking to develop a larger understanding of the ethnic foods surrounding them they want to approach trying new foods and flavor profiles in a fun way!

    The question then becomes for operators is how to channel this dynamic in a way that boosts revenue and traffic. One approach could be to offer items that play into three loosely interwoven trends that compliment your menu and broaden your offerings that enhance your menu rather than making it confusing.

    When deciding if and what to add to your menu this about what your consumers enjoy already and build off of that. The great thing about food is that there are no rules and there is only opportunities to try to flavors together and make something great. Look into items like curry, goat, and pho. All items that consumers have been drawn to in the last year and items that can easily be added to your menu without adding a large margin to your food cost.

    A perfect example of adding to your menu is adding a variety of Asian noodles. As Asian noodle traditions become American favorites, consumers are seeking more authentic experiences. Chinese lamian, or hand-pulled noodles, adds another layer of both taste and visual showmanship. Customers slurp their share while watching a master noodle-smith knead, stretch and swing dough into strands for soup. Consumers have been drawn to the cuisine and feel a connection as they are able to make each dish their own.

    Most of the dishes are all about flavor, developing your consumers palates with new and adventurous flavors. It is easy to deepen their understanding for worldly cultures and it can become an integral part of your menu!

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  2. Should you host a holiday party for staff?

    It is hard to believe but, the holidays are right around the corner. It is the time of year when everyone comes together to mix, mingle and celebrate the season and each other. Everyone is merry, bright and looking to enjoy their friends and families. It is a time of year where your employees begin to feel like family, many times it becomes difficult to distinguish friends and co-workers. So the question becomes should you host a holiday party for your staff?

    Hosting a holiday party always seems like an excellent idea, whether it is with friends, family, work or even a special organization however, there is always the chance that the party might get out of control. Someone may consume too much alcohol, cause a fight and ruin the entire evening for the group as a whole. Hosting a party does absolutely bring your employees together and allow you the opportunity to enjoy quality time with your employees but, it can be stressful an cause increased liability.

    Just seeing those two words put together side by side will probably make you nervous and they should. If deciding to host a holiday party for your staff it will each and every guest in attendance will become your responsibility until the moment they arrive home. This may pursued you if hosting a party to refrain from serving alcohol. This may seem off base considering we are hospitality professionals but, it protects your business, your employees and your reputation in the the community. If choosing to host alcohol at your party it is preferable to have designated drivers available to all staff members. This will reduce the possibility of any issues from drinking and driving.

    Holiday get togethers can also be extremely costly, although costs can be reduced if held at your establishment. A wonderful idea if hosting a gathering is to have every employee bring in a dish that represents them in the best way, perhaps an ethnic dish that helps celebrate their heritage.

    There are many ways to look at hosting a holiday party and it truly is a wonderful way to gather all of your staff together to reminisce about the year they spent together. It can be done in a way that is safe, enjoyable and memorable. Be mindful if you choose to serve alcohol and remember that your employees represent you in all regards, if you host the event at an outside venue and the behavior poorly it reflects directly on your establishment.

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  3. Coil Cleaning and how it can benefit your business!

    Our friends at the BP Group are happy to bring you these tips and trips on coil cleaning via the infographic below! The more you know, the more efficient you are, and the more you save! It makes sense to do research and invest in the best systems.

    benefits-of-coal-cleaning

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  4. Lets party - Best Thanksgiving Eve promotions

    For many people, the holiday season beings on Thanksgiving Eve. It is the true sign that the holiday season is soon to be here and it seems only right to start the celebration the night before Turkey Day. This day has become known as “Frindsgiving” and “Drinksgiving,” and may create a welcoming atmosphere that is centered around friends and drinks.

    With nearly everyone taking off the next day, Thanksgiving Eve is basically Friday night times three. Friends arriving from distant places will converge on the local watering hole, while local singles throng the same bar in the hopes of meeting someone before the holidays officially lift off. Friends from many years past come gather together in the local town bar and somehow everyone seems to have fun and enjoy themselves.

    To get the party started early on Thanksgiving Eve we have identified special promotions that will have your bar full all night long!

    1 - Drink specials all day. The majority of those working on Thanksgiving Eve leave work early and it may be easier for them to stop by for a cocktail at 2PM than at 7PM. By offering drink specials all day it will help increase revenue.

    2 - Customers are more socially connected now than ever and love taking photos with their friends. Create a photo both where customers can take photos, post to socially media and remember the night long after the last drink of the evening is served. This also always your customers to tag the restaurant on social media and help cross promote your brand.

    3 - A new idea we saw this year is offering a a percentage off Uber rides with proof of purchase from restaurant. This allows your consumers to come enjoy their time and know they are able to get home safe at a discounted rate.

    4 - Late night menu options are always a great option. So your consumers do not over drink offer late night appetizers for them at a discounted rate. To help with food cost you can even produce a menu specifically for this evening. Keep in mind the more sold on this evening the better.

    We realize that Thanksgiving Evening is a fun night for friends but, it is extremely important not to over serve your customers. It is in no ones benefit to over serve and proper alcohol service should be maintained all night long to make for a fun memorable evening.

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  5. The newsiest/oldest obsession with brussels sprouts

    Brussels sprouts, once the most dreaded vegetable of children and adults alike, are officially trendy. We are truly fans, and proudly not a bandwagon one — there has never been a time that we did not adore these sweet and nutty baby cabbages. During the fall and winter, when they’re at their prime, most chefs cook them constantly and consumers order them as soon as they are placed back on the menu.

    Brussels sprouts are one of the most nutritious items on Earth, with four times as much vitamin C as oranges and high levels of folic acid and fiber. Many consumers have lived their lives despising this powerhouse vegetable because of early exposure to overcooked sprouts. With talented chefs opening consumers’ eyes to the true potential of these little gems, we’re seeing new Brussels sprouts lovers emerge every day.

    We know it may seem odd that a vegetable that for so long was used as cruel punishment is now the trendiest of trendy foods but, it is just that. Consumers are absolutely in love with the dish and we do not see the momentum of the vegetable dying down anytime soon.

    Here are some of the newest Brussels sprouts dishes causing a stir across the nation.

    Roasted whole or halfed, chopped and sautéed hash-style, or deep-fried. At the market, look for small, compact sprouts — they’re the most tender.

    Bacon is a relatively new friend of the humble Brussels sprout; the two are paired together on many a restaurant menu these days. Look to roast your sprouts with chopped pancetta; or add a Spanish twist with chorizo.

    Brussels sprouts are excellent with a little pork (what isn’t?), but they certainly don’t need meat to shine. Nor do they have to be a lowly side dish. They’re the star of this completely vegetarian (vegan, if you leave out the ricotta salata that I grated on top) winter salad, in which they mingle beautifully with their cousin red cabbage.

    Though most of our consumers can’t wait for this winter’s end and rejoiced optimistically when the groundhog saw his shadow last week, Brussels sprouts are one (okay, possibly the only) perk of the season. When spring approaches, they won’t be as tasty and tender, so fill up while temps are still chilly.

    Remember when possible try to source locally. These vegetables are a labor of love to grow and to cook. They have become a staple dish for so many of us and it is important to appreciate the farmers who keep this delicious treat around!

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  6. Top Processed Foods to Avoid for Healthier Meals

    Bacon frying

    Healthy eating isn't just about cutting carbs, fat, and sugars. Processed food and chemicals can also really impact your diet. Even though they are often staples - the foods below are not recommended based on their processed ingredients.

    Bacon

    Bacon contains high levels of sodium, which can lead to high blood pressure. And sodium is just the beginning.

    Part of the reason why bacon is so delicious is because it’s loaded with saturated fat. Saturated fat is linked to heart disease and obesity. Danger also lurks in virtually all store-bought bacon because of how many preservatives it contains, which are related to every health concern from headaches to cancer.

    Granola Bar
    Consider the granola bar, also known as the cereal bar. They are stuffed with hearty grains and packaged in boxes featuring mountains and sunrises. So wholesome!

    Too bad granola bars are also loaded with added sugars, which digest quickly and don’t satisfy hunger for long. Despite their healthy marketing image, granola bars don’t offer much in the way of good nutrition. Avoid them for their high simple-carbohydrate count and the long ingredient list filled with difficult-to-pronounce words.

    Dried Fruits
    You might reach for a handful of raisins or a few spears of dried mango to satisfy a sweet tooth. There’s probably a really good reason they are so satisfying. These dried fruits are a better option than Skittles, since they have a good amount of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Be careful with the portion, however — even a small portion carries a high-calorie, high-sugar punch.

    The extra sugar also promises weight gain. If you eat more than your body needs, it adds to your body’s fat store.

    Flavored Nuts

    Flavored nuts have a shelf of their own in the sounds-good-for-you-but-isn’t pantry.

    Whether they are maple-flavored, soy sauce- and wasabi-dusted, or coated in toffee, flavored nuts are packed with extra salt and sugar. This extra salt and sugar can lead to weight gain, diabetes, and high blood pressure.

    Their sticky, sugary goodness also makes them the enemy of healthy teeth.

    Margarine

    There was a time when margarine was considered the healthy alternative to butter. However, the truth is that some margarine contains a lot of trans fats, which is considered more unhealthy than any other fat, including saturated fats.

    Ketchup

    “Catsup” or “ketchup”? No matter where you stand on the spelling debate, America’s favorite condiment spells bad news.

    While a little dollop of ketchup is fine, the amounts we slather onto our burgers and fries is problematic, as is the frequency.

    The tomatoes in ketchup are so diluted by sugar and salt that they offer no natural value. With most of the calories in ketchup coming from sugar, you might as well sprinkle your fries with sugar!

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  7. Are throwback desserts coming back for 2017?

    We certainly have seen a change in our consumers choices pertaining to desserts. It seems as though they have fallen off-the-beaten-path and fallen in love with classic desserts from the past. Many of of our guests want comfort foods that remind them of their childhoods, even if they are extremely easy and far less than the high-end treats our pastry chefs are accustomed to eating.

    But, how does one introduce desserts from the past in a creative yet, we say bring on the s’mores! Impress your guests with old fashion desserts that use new and improved techniques that defy gravity, test the limits of gravity and become architects of memories, with a single dessert. More and more leading chefs sound the nation have devoted their creativity and skills to creating one of a kind treats that truly indulged guests palates and tantalize their senses.

    We recommend allowing your chefs to be creative, like Momofuku Milk Bar’s Christina Tosi and her feral-milk soft serve ice cream. Allowing herself to be creative and to take a minute, step back to her childhood and remember what made her feel happy, excited and above all what she craved!

    It's no secret that kids crave sugar: cookies, sundaes and rainbow-colored slashes. But, what happens when you combine the the ideas behind best selling chocolate bars and slurps and make them into desserts at par with fine dining standards? See what we mean with this list of new and noteworthy retro-inspired desserts that will make your childhood self proud of the adult you’ve become.

    Black-and-White Doughnuts: Fried doughnuts with chocolate filling are a riff on the classic New York cookie. This place is big on nostalgic sweets; you can also find a cookie plate with varieties like pecan bourbon and lemon drop, as well as a bacon-apple cobbler.

    Chocolate-Popcorn: Popcorn’s now a ubiquitous ingredient in fancy sundaes. The dessert can come with Madagascan chocolate ganache and candied peanuts — a throwback to the good ol’ days spent snacking at the ballpark.

    Snow Cones: You can add tequila to any flavor of shaved ice, a perfect way to wash down chorizo tacos.

    Ice Cream Sandwich: Dressed-up dessert is a very distant relative of its Klondike cousin. Make your with Port Wine buckwheat cake, walnut ice cream, and caramel oranges. Runner & Stone also offers a boozy rye brownie, which comes topped with rye whiskey ice cream and caramel sauce.

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  8. Should you open or close?

    It may be hard to imagine but, Thanksgiving is only a little over a week away. Most consumers have started to buy food items in preparation for their lavish dinner parties they will through, stocking up on beer/wine and spirits and even rent the extra chairs needed to host the entire family.

    What happens though for those that do not wish to spend hours and hours cooking for what seems to be twenty minutes of cramming as much food in ones mouth as possible? Do they look to attend a celebration at a relatives house? Or do they look for alternative answers such as going out to eat at their favorite restaurants?

    Shockingly enough, it has become more and more popular to dine out on Thanksgiving and have a restaurant do the cooking, serving and cleaning. In the past five to ten years opening on Thanksgiving has become a normal occurrence, many of the most loyal customers may even expect you to be open for their enjoyment.

    As an owner you must however ask is it right? Is it right to open your doors on a day founded on family and togetherness? A day that many of your staff members may resent working on? A day that yes may bring your establishment some incremental revenue but, in the end is it worth it? It is a decision that you must look at and gage together with your partners and managers. Understand if there is a true need to open your days on the holiday and also inquire to see if there are enough employees willing to cover the shifts needed to properly serve your guests.

    It is truly a decision that you must think about and one that you must then also understand the ramifications if you are open. It may very well be that the area in which your establishment is located dictates that your restaurant should be open and if open will generate large sales numbers. In others is may be the complete opposite and the community you are situated in may frown on you for opening and making your staff members work.

    One idea that we have come across is this. Offer a catering order that can be picked up the day prior to thanksgiving at the the restaurant to guests who may not want to cook. Price it accordingly so that you maintain a low food cost and high profit margin. You can price it by the number of turkeys or by the number or guests you are looking to serve. Either way, this option allows for your restaurant to grow profit without increasing labor cost and with out making your employees work on a holiday.

    No answer is correct to this matter and we respect everyone who does open, stays closed and those who deliver. It is everyones dedication to excellent food and service that makes our line of work so special!

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  9. Invest in a Robot Coupe Immersion Blender for the Best Soup

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    The days are colder - the nights are longer, and it's time to invest in a Robot Coupe immersion blender. From root vegetables to classic tomato soup, the right tools will allow you to create perfect, creamy soup all winter long. Using the immersion blender is like blending from the inside out, and the process is perfectly made for soup specialists everywhere.

    Here is a classic recipe for squash soup to get you started:

    Ingredients
    3 to 3 1/2 pounds butternut squash, approximately 2, seeded and quartered
    Unsalted butter, melted, for brushing
    1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus 1 teaspoon
    1 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper, plus 1/2 teaspoon
    3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
    1/4 cup honey
    1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
    1/2 cup heavy cream
    1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

    Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.
    Place the quartered squash onto a half sheet pan, brush the flesh of the squash with a little butter and season with 1 tablespoon of the salt and 1 teaspoon of the white pepper. Place in the oven and roast for 30 to 35 minutes or until the flesh is soft and tender.
    Scoop the flesh from the skin into a 6-quart pot. Add the broth, honey and ginger. Place over medium heat and bring to a simmer, approximately 7 to 8 minutes. Using a stick blender, puree the mixture until smooth*. Stir in the heavy cream and return to a low simmer. Season with the remaining salt, pepper, and nutmeg. *When blending hot liquids: Remove liquid from the heat and allow to cool for at least 5 minutes. Transfer liquid to a blender or food processor and fill it no more than halfway. If using a blender, release one corner of the lid. This prevents the vacuum effect that creates heat explosions. Place a towel over the top of the machine, pulse a few times then process on high speed until smooth.
    Recipe courtesy of Alton Brown, 2003 Which types of soup do you like the best during the winter season?

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  10. Is Yelp hurting you or helping you?

    When you think about Yelp chances are you are thinking about the app on everyones phones that encourages consumers where to eat, when to eat and what to expect. Recent studies have shown that restaurant on Yelp with steadily good to great reviews increasingly have a steadily growing line. This is exceedingly true if you are an independent restaurant who may not have a loyal following country wide.

    The facts are simple, those who use Yelp believe they are helping the community around them by giving thoughtful and truthful reviews to fellow consumers. Yelp Elite members are even known to influence an entire community to try a new establishment, back a new establishment or shun an establishment if service/food standards become subpar. This can be a true uphill battle industry wide and gives up reason to believe and treat every single guests as though they will write a review for millions to see.

    Ways to increase Yelp reviews can be as simple as sending out a complimentary appetizers to guests if course are taking a long time to be prepared, celebrating a birthday/ anniversary with a champagne toast. These little acts of kindness will go a long way with those rating your establishment and will help your customers happy and confident in your product.

    We have seen another big trend in Yelp blogger events. This is when Yelp Elites are invited to your restaurant and you offer a sampling of your best appetizers, wine and cocktails. It allows those writing reviews to get a true sense of everything wonderful you offer and the top notch service we know you have. Yes, it may take up time/space and money but, it is worth it and it will get numerous well known area Yelp Elites to praise your restaurant.

    Moral of the story, treat every guest as a food critic. If you know something may have been even slightly off during their experience try and fix it! Every guest has the opportunity to be your best and worse critic and in our industry we always want a five star review.

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