Monthly Archives: October 2017

  1. To Tweet or Not to Tweet: Twitter For Restaurants

    Some people would say Twitter is dead.

    With 100 million daily active users, 328 million monthly active users, and 500 million tweets sent per day, I'd say those people are wrong. Twitter for restaurants is still an unmatched opportunity for guest engagement and exposure to new customers.

    It’s safe to say that diners in your area are on Twitter. Is your restaurant there to meet them? Social media may seem like one more line item in a never-ending list of demands, but it’s important to remember that consumers today view social channels as a valuable means of brand communication. According to Peter Friedman, CEO of LiveWorld, “80% of consumers expect brands to be on social, and 70% base purchases on interactions on social.”

    Here's how to get your restaurant started (and be successful) on Twitter.

    Getting Started: Claim the Appropriate Profiles

    Before you can stand out on Twitter, you’ll need to set up profiles for each of your locations. If you own a single restaurant location, you’ll need to:

    1. Select a Twitter username that reflects your restaurant’s name to the best of your ability, given the limited availability of common names. For example, if @RyansPizza is taken, try @RyansPizzaBoston, @RyansPizzaBOS, or @Ryans_Pizza.
    2. Upload a profile and background pictures of your brand or logo. 
    3. Fill out your bio with relevant information that will help diners find you.

    If you have multiple locations, you’ll need to decide whether to operate a single Twitter profile or to create different accounts for each restaurant.

    When deciding between a central account or individual profiles for each location, consider:

    • Whether each location’s promotions, offerings, and menu are different enough to warrant separate feeds.
    • Whether or not you have the resources to manage multiple accounts.

    For algorithmic reasons, most Twitter experts recommend posting multiple times each day. If you won’t be able to keep up a rigorous publishing schedule across several accounts, stick to a single profile.

    Get Customers Engaged

    Once your Twitter feed is live, it’s up to you to make customers aware of it. These days, the digital world is simply too noisy to expect that, “If you build it, they will come.”

    Fortunately, there are plenty of opportunities to get customers engaged with your Twitter profile. For example, you could:

    • Add an announcement to your printed receipts, or link to your profile on your digital receipts.
    • Run giveaways on your Twitter feed.
    • Set out a table card announcing your new profile.
    • Run live events that are built around hashtags you create for your restaurant.

    The Content: Stay Away from Over-Promoting

    Though the purpose of your restaurant Twitter feed is ultimately to increase your sales, nobody wants to follow a channel that’s constantly sending out sales messages.

    A better way to stand out is to treat your followers like friends. Anna Mackenzie of the Go Dine Digital blog shares the example of Nandos as a brand that gets the balance right.

    “On Twitter, the restaurant giant regularly posts topical videos, that has little to do with directly promoting its products and far more to do with entertaining its following. Comical tweets about how to recover from exams to dates [put] the follower at the centre of the profile and removes the sometimes awkward business/customer relationship.”

    If your restaurant is more upscale dining than fast food, casual exchanges like these may be less appropriate. But you can still reach out to your followers as people - not prospects.

    Think about the kind of experience you want customers at your restaurant to have. Translate that to your social channels, and you’ll get the balance right.

    How to Get More Twitter Followers

    “If an account tweets and no one sees it, did it ever really tweet at all?”

    When you first start out with social media marketing for your restaurant it can feel as if you're shouting into the void. Building a following takes time, but you can shortcut the process by leveraging relationships you either have or can build with influencers.

    Have Fun with It

    Above all, remember that all work and no play never ends well. Social media can be a great opportunity to get your brand’s personality across in an informal way - as long as you’re willing to have fun with it.

    Again, keep your own brand image in mind as you decide how casual is too casual. Treat social media as an opportunity to build genuine connections with your customers, and an appropriate strategy for standing out will emerge.


    This article is compliments of Toast.

    As always, check out Restaurantsupply.com for all your restaurant needs.

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  2. The Secret to Cooking Perfect Steamed Dumplings

    If you want to start cooking perfect dumplings, you’re going to need to learn how to steam in a bamboo steamer.

    Steaming is a classic method of preparing dumplings, and a bamboo steamer is the traditional vessel for doing it. Once you’ve learned how to steam in a bamboo steamer, though, dumplings aren’t the only dish you can prepare: you can also use it to healthfully steam vegetables, meat and seafood.

    In this post, we’ll talk about the basic method of steaming in a bamboo steamer, including equipment and basic techniques that can be applied to a number of foods, from those delicious homemade dumplings to meat, seafood and vegetables, too.

    Bamboo Steamer - How to Cook in a Bamboo Steamer

    A NOTE ON THE EQUIPMENT

    First, you’ll need a bamboo steamer. They’re readily available in Asian markets, cooking supply stores, and even many gourmet grocery stores. You can find a good steamer for under $20. Many will have various “tiers,” so you can cook different dishes simultaneously.

    You will also need a vessel to hold the water with which you will steam. You’ll need a pot that will fit the steamer snugly and keep it hovering above the water. A wok is the ideal tool for steaming — its curved shape that narrows toward the bottom can hold water, but can also suspend the steamer above it without touching the water. A pan or skillet can be used too, but basically you don’t want a precarious placement where the steamer will top over. Ideally, your steamer hovers above the water. But if there is liquid touching the steamer, make sure that the portion where the food is sits above the liquid line.

    HOW TO STEAM IN A BAMBOO STEAMER

    STEP 1:

    Line the bottom of the basket(s). You want to do this to create a divider between food and basket, so it won’t stick. Cabbage or lettuce leaves are common liners.

    Although cheap and easy to obtain, cabbage and lettuce do not impart much flavor. Consider adding banana leaves, corn husks or grape leaves to impart a flavor to what you’re cooking.

    Now, lay your food on top of the leaves, in a single layer. Foods like dumplings shouldn’t be jammed together. Lightly touching is fine, but make sure they have space so they won’t stick together once cooked.

    Leaves in a Bamboo Steamer

    Although cheap and easy to obtain, cabbage and lettuce do not impart much flavor. Consider adding banana leaves, corn husks or grape leaves to impart a flavor to what you’re cooking.

    Now, lay your food on top of the leaves, in a single layer. Foods like dumplings shouldn’t be jammed together. Lightly touching is fine, but make sure they have space so they won’t stick together once cooked.

    STEP 2:

    Find a pot that your steamer will fit in snugly, or where it can hover over the pot. A wok is ideal, but you can also use a large pot. Fill the pot with about 2 inches of water, or you can also fill with a broth to scent whatever you’re cooking.

    STEP 3:

    Fill the wok or pan with 2 inches of water. On medium heat, without the steamer on top or any sort of cover, bring the water or liquid to a simmer. Do not let it come to a boil.

    STEP 4:

    Once the water has reached the simmering point, place the steamer over or in the pot. Make sure the lid is on. Let the simmering water warm the contents of the basket, checking the progress occasionally. The leaves of your “liner” will start to wilt — that is just fine. It will start to get steamy after a few minutes.

    Continue cooking until the food has cooked through; this will vary depending on what you are cooking. These pork and vegetable dumplings, for instance, took about 15 minutes on medium simmering heat.

    Note: Keep an eye on the water levels, as you don’t want the water to run dry. If you feel like it might be running low, gently lift the steamer to check. Even though the sides of the steamer may not be hot, use gloves because the steam that rises can be very hot as you lift it. You can add more water if needed, and then place the steamer back on the wok.

    To remove, use tongs or a spoon, as the food in the steamer will be hot, and the steam rising will be, too.

    OTHER TYPES OF FOOD THAT CAN BE PREPARED IN YOUR STEAMER.

    While this information will offer a broad overview, always refer to specific recipe directions to ensure cooking success.

    DUMPLINGS

    Prepare the dumplings as specified in your recipe; you can steam them after assembling, or make them in advance and refrigerate them. Follow the steps above to prepare your bamboo steamer.

    Steam for 15 to 20 minutes. When dumplings are cooked, remove from the steamer and serve with whatever dipping sauces you’d like.

    If you prefer your dumplings crispy, you can transfer the finished dumplings to a frying pan and fry with a couple of tablespoons of oil on high heat until lightly browned and crispy on the sides and bottom. Since they are already cooked, you only need to heat very briefly — so keep a close eye on them.

    Dumplings can be steamed a day ahead; store, covered, in the refrigerator, and then re-steam for 5 minutes before serving. They can also be made ahead and frozen, but let them thaw to room temperature before re-steaming.

    MEATS

    Steaming can be a fantastic way to maintain moisture in meat cuts. However, unlike braising, steaming will do little to change the texture of meat. So it is not suggested for tougher cuts of meat, but is more favored for tender cuts of meat. Often, an inner container will be used as a little steam chamber to allow it to cook most efficiently.

    SEAFOOD

    It’s easy to steam seafood in your bamboo steamer. For fish, steam until it is tender enough to flake apart with a fork; shrimp will indicate doneness by turning pinkish in color.

    POULTRY

    Poultry is well-suited to steaming. To add flavor, marinate the poultry before steaming, or add a flavorful broth instead of water to the pan as your steaming liquid. Small incisions in the top and bottom of thicker cuts will ensure even cooking.

    VEGETABLES

    Steaming helps vegetables maintain nutrients and adds a wonderful softened-but-still-crunchy texture. Steaming times will vary depending on the size and density of the vegetables. For instance, carrots would require more time than finely sliced broccoli. When you can easily slice a vegetable at its thickest part, they are steamed to perfection.


    The article is compliements of Craftsy.

    As always, check out Restaurantsupply.com for all your restaurant needs.

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  3. 7 Unique Ways to Cook Pumpkin

    Pumpkin flavored treats are delicious this time of year, but they aren't always the healthiest. Pumpkin is both delicious and nutricious, and can be incorporated into savory recipes too!

    Below are 10 creative ways to enhance your dishes with a classic fall staple.

          


    ROASTED PUMPKIN

    Chunks of pumpkin can be sliced or cubed, coated in salt, pepper and olive oil, and roasted at 400° F for 35-40 minutes, or until tender. Roasted pumpkin is great in salads, or combined with other vegetables for a hearty vegetarian dish.


    PUMPKIN SOUP

    Pumpkin is a great soup base. Its hearty flavor & thick consistency work well with a variety of flavors and ingredients. Whether it's a classic pumpkin bisque, or curried pumpkin soup, this healthy fruit will make your recipe shine.


    PUMPKIN PASTA

    Pumpkin pairs perfectly with cheese, making the ultimate creamy concoction. Try getting creative with Pumpkin Alredo sauce or keep things simple and mix pumpkin into your mac n' cheese. It will bring fall flavor and some extra nutrition to a classic dish.


    PUMPKIN HUMMUS

    Pumpkin hummus is easy to make and packed with flavor. All you do is add 2 tablespoons of pumpkin puree to every 1 cup of your favorite hummus recipe and viola. Feel free to add additional seasonings or spices of your choice.


    PUMPKIN CHILI

    Pumpkin can add an extra flare to your favorite chili recipe. Its earthy flavors pairs perfect with either a bean or turkey based chili recipe. 


    PUMPKIN BISCUITS

    Pumpkin can be easily blended into biscuit batter, making them extra moist and flavorful. They can be a delicious savory side or breakfast morning treat. 


    PUMPKIN PIZZA

    Next time you're making pizza, try using pumpkin puree instead of tomato sauce. Spread it over unbaked pizza dough, top with mozzerella, pumpkin seeds, and any other toppings you like, and bake as usual. 


    As always, check out Restaurantsupply.com for all your restaurant needs.

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  4. Your Guide to Music in Restaurants

    What Music Should You Go With? 

    Music is a part of everyone's life.

    So, naturally, music in restaurants can impact someone’s dining experience a lot.

    Let's go over some music hacks your restaurant can employ to drive business and create an unforgettable restaurant experience.


    Music in Restaurants

    During the course of a guest's dining experience, there are many factors that come into play. This includes table designrestaurant ambiance, and - you guessed it - music.

    Not only does the type of music played matter, but how loud the music might be or to what degree it plays into the mood also matters. 

    Before thinking about playing music in a restaurant, make sure you’ve set up the proper system so that the music you play is licensed and that all of the artists are being credited properly. (You can check out our previous blog A Crash Course in Restaurant Music Licensing Laws to make sure you’re in the clear before you get an unsuspecting knock on your door one day.)

    But let's get back to the actual music played in your restaurant. While everyone in the restaurant may have different opinions on what should be played, how loud it should be, and when music should be played, these decisions truly come down to the owner and their vision for the establishment.

    If you are looking for more insight, here are some tips. 


    1. The Mood

    Choose a genre of music that is appropriate for how you want guests to feel based on the type of restaurant you have.

    There’s no reason to be blasting loud rock music in a small, French-themed coffee shop just because “Mark” who opened that morning was in the mood for some Metallica. Keep it simple and play something nice and acoustic or light jazz. 

    One restaurant in Nashville loves to keep the mood of the city alive, so they choose to play country music and feature live bands to stay true to the spirit of ‘Music City.”

    It’s important to keep in mind how the music makes you feel and think about how the customer feels hearing it.


    2. The Volume

    Choose a volume that is fitting for the time of day but also for the activities going on within the restaurant.

    This means that throughout a day or an evening volumes may change depending on the feel of the room. If you offer dinner early on in the night and then switch to more of a nightclub feel after a certain hour, it might be appropriate to adjust volumes accordingly.

    You also want to be considerate of where you place speakers around your establishment to make sure there aren’t certain seats guests dislike sitting at because they have to yell at each other to hold a conversation.


    3. The Consistency

    Choose a playlist or station that is consistent and doesn’t vary with the type of music they play. The last thing you want is calm, soothing music turning into loud, bass-heavy songs.

    Having a selection of playlists to choose from also helps you know what you’re going to play on a given day and eliminates a last-minute decision to just “put anything on.”

    It’s always important to be aware of the situation and mood in a room before setting up a soundtrack to accompany it.


    What's Your Restaurant's Music Choice?

    At the end of the day what music you put on all comes down to the mood and feel of the establishment and what the owner/operator has in mind, but you always have to keep the customer in mind to keep them happy.



    This article is compliments of Toast.

    As always, check out Restaurantsupply.com for all your restaurant needs.

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  5. Pizza & Beer: A Match Made in Heaven

    It’s hard to imagine pizza & beer without each other. Both are amazing on their own, but when paired together, they’re even better!

    Host a Pizza & Pint Night with these pairing recommendations for the ultimate pizza party.

    You're customers won't want to miss it. 


    Classic Cheese:

    Keep things classic with an American Pale Ale. The light hop flavor & subtle bitterness go great with cheese.


    Margherita:

    The charred crispy crust & sweet sauce call for a clean flavor like an Unfiltered Lager. 


    White Pie aka 4 Cheese:

    Witbier has high carbonation which will cut through the creaminess of all that parmesan & ricotta.


    Hawaiian:

    Go with something refreshing, a Citrusy Pale Ale will pair perfect with the tropical pineapple flavor. 


    Meat Lovers:

    Enjoy all that savory meat with a Dark Beer for an enhanced smokey flavor. 


    Veggie:

    A light Summer Brew or Cider will keep flavors delicate so the fresh veggies aren’t out-shined. 


    Spicy Sausage & Peppers:

    A simple Lager will be light & clean, and the subtle caramel flavor will cool down that sausage spice. 


    Buffalo Chicken:

    The mild fruit blend of an American IPA goes perfect with the spicy buffalo & tangy blue cheese.




    As always, check out Restaurantsupply.com for all your restaurant needs. 

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  6. Thinking About Offering All-Day-Dining? Here's Why You Should!

    Brunch is an experience. 

    The popularity of brunch, which is a meal typically eaten in the late morning that consists of breakfast and lunch options, shows that having the option to eat at off hours is significant to both diners and restaurants. 

    Enter: the idea of all-day dining in restaurants.

    All-day dining options are on the rise as consumers look to find a diverse range of experiences and places to hang out while they work or meet with friends.


    Why All-Day Dining?

    The reason for the increase in popularity of all-day dining is because of the economy, community, the love of breakfast food in the U.S., and the fact that diners want more control when it comes to their restaurant experiences.

    According to the National Restaurant Association:

    • 45% of consumers want to be in more control of where and when they sit at restaurants. (source)
    • 3 out of 4 consumers would dine at off-peak times if given a discount. (source)

    The point here is that more consumers want more control. And in my eyes, that means dining out when they want to.


    Breakfast for Lunch or Dinner 

    Meet diners where their demand lies! 7 out of 10 customers say they want restaurants to serve breakfast throughout the day.

    In an interview with Eater, Bonnie Riggs, analyst at market research firm NPD Group, says that “breakfast is the only bright spot in the industry.” The firm also predicts the consumption of breakfast will increase by 5 % through 2019.


    The Economy 

    When it comes to work, it’s not a surprise that companies offer some type of work-from-home benefit. In addition, the "gig economy" is growing. The gig economy consists of companies hiring workers for short-term employment. According to LinkedIn43% of the workforce in the U.S. will be made up of freelancers in 2020.

    Freelancers need a place to work - and working at a cafe or coffeeshop can be more productive than working at home, because productivity is contagious. So why not seek out an all-day restaurant to work, eat, drink coffee, and connect with others?


    Community

    The idea of an all-day eatery is also about community. If you can go to a place with like-minded individuals working remotely, then you have opportunities to connect with them. Restaurant owners have opportunities to connect with the diner who comes in at off hours.


    6 Examples of All-Day Dining 

    Restaurants in major U.S. cities are opening up spots to serve guests all day. Here are six examples of restaurants offering all-day dining.

    Kismet

    In an interview with Eater, Sara Kramer, co-chef and co-owner of all-day restaurant Kismet in Los Angeles, says, ”The slower moments when restaurants might normally be closed really allow us to foster a more community-oriented, slower-paced vibe with our customers.”

    Alta CA

    Daniel Patterson, owner of Alta CA, tells Eater that the all-day restaurant “gives more opportunity to connect with people in different ways.” Patterson is also the owner of Atla on Market Street. Atla CA is his second location.

    Slightly Toasted

    Eater reports that this bar that serves food opened in January 2017. The owners, Tyler Mendoza and Art Mendoza, wanted to make a shift from their fine-dining restaurants. The idea for the bar is that customers can work or socialize no matter the time of day.

    The restaurant has favorable reviews, some of which note that wait staff is efficient and, speaking of breakfast food, the toasts are delicious.

    Brider

    This Denver eatery serves food (seen above) all day in a 3,400 square foot space, according to its website. The team at Brider serves food with made-from-scratch ingredients.  

    Lunetta All Day

    It’s in the name. This all-day eatery that serves sandwiches, baked goods and located in Los Angeles,  is a “casual modern diner,” according to the restaurant’s website.

    City Mouse

    The team who created the critically acclaimed restaurant Giant is now at the Ace Hotel Chicago with City Mouse. Ths all-day restaurant takes on a midwest theme with dishes like the Gas Station Sandwich.

    Your Turn: Do a Local Search

    To find all-day restaurants to dine in, consumers will most likely turn to local search. Restaurants serving food all day should optimize for local search, especially since 53% of consumers visit a business within 48 hours of search, according to new research by ReviewTrackers.

    Most local searches are performed on mobile devices, according to the researchers, and millennials are 50% more likely to search locally when on the go.

    If You Read One Section From This Article…

    All-day dining is on the rise and consumers are looking for places they can grab breakfast for dinner and/or work from an eatery. 

    According to LinkedIn, 43% of the workforce in the U.S. will be made up of freelancers in 2020. As the amount of freelance workers continues to increase, the amount of all-day restaurants will continue to increase as well.

    For restaurant owners, all-day dining is chance to connect to the community and become the go-to spot. It gives the restaurant owner an opportunity to be creative with the type of experience he or she provides to customers - and maybe that’s an experience the consumer hasn’t even imagined yet.


    This article is compliments of Toast.

    As always, check out Restaurantsupply.com for all your restaurant needs.

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  7. Kitchen Prep 101: How To Create A Daily Kitchen Prep System

    No one likes a messy, ill-prepped kitchen.

    Not your cooks. Not your customers. Certainly not you.

    It's time someone stepped up to manage the kitchen prep in your restaurant's back of house, and if that's you, here are some simple steps you can take to create a daily kitchen prep system for your restaurant.

    Short-Term Kitchen Prep: Gearing Up

    Spreadsheets, a checklist, and a par sheet are all jumping-off points for stronger restaurant kitchen prep.

    A pad crusted with caesar dressing, splattered butter, and mystery goo is not the canvas for an effective blueprint for your back-of-house operations.

    For short-term kitchen prep wins, create a system for daily preparation and production to get the restaurant running right. There are some great kitchen management templates available for free to help you do this.

    That said, these tools are just the making of the framework for the puzzle. You still have to fill in the rest of the pieces throughout the day - but there's no better way to manage your kitchen. 

    Mid-Term Kitchen Prep: Prep Down the Road

    Sort out the daily tasks from the long-term tasks - all those that do not go in either list are your mid-term kitchen prep duties. 

    Items that require longer production and foods with longer shelf life are easier to schedule for. Having an established process reinforces structure, dictates equipment needs, and dumps some of the bugs out of the prep schedule.

    Making chicken stock, for instance, can be a twice-weekly task that falls into a routine. If cleaning the walk-in is too massive a commitment for daily cleaning, have a daily rotational schedule of which shelves to clean when. 

    This also ties into inventory ordering. Just because your supplier is offering a discount on bulk orders for heads of lettuce does not mean you should jump on this. Perishable inventory takes up space in your walk-ins, creates back-of-house disorganization, and oftentimes ends up in wasted inventory and dollars. 

    Long-Term Kitchen Prep: Station Checklists

    These kitchen prep tasks require ongoing planning and execution in your restaurant. 

    punch list - station by station - is a productive mechanism to get ready for service.

    Daily slots need to be filled for the next meal’s service. This is where sliced tomatoes, filled sour cream bottles, and croutons land. Drilling through the checklist and having a short list of station needs makes sense and is well worth the time.

    When should this be done? Have the closers for the respective station set the needs. Item, par, quantity on-hand, quantity needed. Break up your kitchen opening and closing checklists by category and by who should be doing what.

    Just make this process part of your team's everyday routine and ensure these steps are being followed. It's that simple. 

    Reminder! Don't Eat Off the Back of the Truck

    Today’s delivery should not fundamentally feed the morning’s guests. While freshness is key, give your team a safety net for food prep time. 

    If Thursday’s feature includes Bananas Foster French Toast, using the bananas coming in on Thursday’s produce delivery is not necessarily the conclusion of an exceptional mind.

    That is playing prep roulette.

    While perishables can be a tough gig, dry goods are an easy call. Inventory should not be overflowing, but dry beans, rice, and brownie mix can sit comfortably in dry storage without risking the day’s prep waiting for the big rig to pull in.

    This is easy enough to keep systematic when everyone in your restaurant is on the same page for an inventory costing method. For the foodservice industry, FIFO - or first-in, first-out - is the most common and cost-effective. 

    Kitchen Technology Matters

    Overproducing can be as perilous as under-producing. Make your life easier with kitchen technology.

    How many crab cakes do you portion for this particular Tuesday afternoon? Is it a random quantity, or is it based on some historical data? Pulling numbers from last Tuesday’s sales may be helpful in knowing how much of a certain food to prep in your kitchen.

    Having to do that for every menu is a chore.

    There are restaurant technology tools tied to point of sale systems that can use historical data to project purchases and prep. Kitchen tech that helps with menu engineering, integrates with kitchen display systems, and tracks inventory usage takes so many weights off your shoulders and those of your back-of-house staff. 

    Kitchen Prep in Your Restaurant

    There are no callous truths, just truths.

    The truth is that we are in the restaurant business and our product is food. If we overdo the prep we are on the hook for possible spoilage and less-than-optimal product for the next day or two. Being on the hook on a busy night with dwindling prep and the dreaded ‘item count’ is not stable footing.

    It doesn’t take a mental firepower to be proactive. And it doesn’t take that much work, either. 

    Instill that mindset in your back of house and kitchen prep will always be a breeze. 


    This article is compliments of Toast.

    As always, check out Restaurantsupply.com for all your restaurant needs. 

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  8. 7 Tips for Instagram Food Porn Pics

     

    Want your restaurant’s Instagram to stand out from all the others?

    Follow these easy tips & tricks to make your feed shine!

                                                                                              

    1) Get That Angle

    The key to a great shot is getting the right angle. Try a variety of angles, & different vantage points to see which one suits your dish best. Always keep it interesting.

    2) Light Is Key

    The right lighting will either make or break your shot. Natural lighting is always best, but have fun playing with lighting until you get a shot you like. Avoid random shadows which can be distracting & unprofessional.

    3) Tell A Story

    A photo is worth a thousand words & photography is all about telling a story. Play with the set up of the shot (i.e. how do you fill the frame, what’s around the plate or table setting, what are the ingredients in the dish?

    4) Background Check

    The subject should be the main focus not the background. Select something that complements the tones & colors of your food, and matches the style of your product/brand.

    5) Get Creative

    Think outside of the box & keep your followers interested. Play with locations, close-ups, & even video!

    6) Add Ons

    Take your feed to the next level with other photo applications to collage, create memes, double exposures etc. The ap store is your oyster!

    7) Engage Followers

    The best way to build your brand is to engage your customer. Encourage followers to snap food pics & tag your account. Create photo competitions, hashtags, & share behind the scenes content. It will make your customers feel extra special, increase followers & most importantly it’s FREE advertising for you.

    As always, check out Restaurantsupply.com for all your restaurant needs. 

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  9. Discount & Promo Ideas

    Looking for an easy way to gain new customers? Try offering creative and new promotions. Restaurant specials will not only excite your regular customers, it will attract new business too!

    Here's 3 tactics to get you started!

    1) Limited-Time Offers


    A limited-time offer gives you a chance to experiment with your menu without having to commit to a time longer than you’re comfortable with. According to a Technomic study, 43% of consumers report that it’s “important or extremely important” to them that restaurants frequently offer new or seasonal items on their menus. The study also reported that 26% of the respondents would pay slightly more for those limited-time, specialty offerings.

    2) Seasonal Specials

    Pumpkin Spice Lattes, or better known as PSL have taken over the fall season.  As soon as the first end-of-summer chill creeps in, there’s one thing on everyone’s minds: the Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte. Launched in 2003, the premium, seasonal, while-supplies-last drink has had a cult following ever since. Over 200 million PSLs sold in the drink's first decade! While Starbucks stays tight-lipped about sales of specific drinks, Forbes estimated that Starbucks stood to make about $100 million in revenue from Pumpkin Spice Latte sales during the 2015 fall season. Listen to the latte - try something new or seasonal and watch customer interest. Try getting extra creative a put a spin on the common seasonsal specials. Offer something no one else has!

    2) Support A Good Cause

    Customers respond well to charity, try using one to generate postivity and social good in your restaurant's community. In 2016, Subway restaurants throughout Canada donated the equivalent of 303,030 meals to Food Banks Canada during their National Sandwhich Day offer. It was successful because it was easy, and lasted for only one day. When customers purchased a sandwich or drink, Subway donated the equivalent of that purchase in cash to charity. They not only generated sales, they generated goodwill. 

    3) The Chef's Special

    Having a menu or just one menu item that is exclusively a chef's special will entice customers and make them feel like they're receiving a special treatment. It not only shows your customers your versatility as a restaurant, it allows your staff to express his or her creativity. Chef's Table in Brooklyn does not have a menu - instead there are rotational selections chosen by the chef each morning. 


    Granted, the idea for a restaurant special is not for everyone. However, becoming known for your rotational, exciting, and - yes - seasonal menu specials keeps guests excited for what's coming next. This idea can work for any restaurant; have your trusted kitchen leader whip up a new pizza, dessert, or Italian-inspired dinner plate your customers will never forget. 

    Related Post - 10 Restaurant Promotion Ideas You Wish You Had Thought Of Earlier


    This blog entry is compliments of Toast.

    As always, check out Restaurantsupply.com for all your restaurant needs. 


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  10. How to Market Your Restaurant to Baby Boomers

    Baby Boomer Pop Culture Collage

    Marketing to millennials seems to be the major focus these days, but a lot of people are overlooking their restaurant's older demographic. There are over 70 million baby boomers in America, and guess what...they love to go out to eat! Not only do baby boomers have a more disposible income than younger generations, but they are loyal customers to restaurants they trust.


    Who Are The Baby Boomers?

    Baby boomers were raised post World War II, and were born between 1946-1964. Today, they average between the ages of 53 and 71. In general they prefer substance, over flashy trends, and are a harder sell. "Limited time offer" promotions don't really appeal to them. If you want to market your restaurant to baby boomers, you must not only understand their language, you have to speak it too.

    Below are three tips to help you expand your customers!

    1) Don't Call Them Old

    Labeling anyone over the age of 50 as "old", is your first offense. That is the quickiest way to turn away this demographic. Life after 50, are some of the best years for people. They focus on enjoying their free time and living a healthy lifestyle. Promote what matters to them. Try offering healthy menu-options, and create events that they'll enjoy, like a cooking class!

    2) Blast to The Past

    Play the nostalgia card, and you'll be pulling at your customers' heart strings. Connecting your brand with symbols, images and references from someone's youth is a very effective emotional trigger. The gold old days were the 70's and 80's for baby boomers. Research the pop culture of these eras, and try creating vintage menus, a theme night in the bar, or create a brunch accompanied by oldies music. 

    3) Market What They Care About

    So what do baby boomers care about? Here are a couple things that will make them give your restaurant a second look. 

    The Grandkids

    We've all seen grandparents light up with pride and joy when they see or even talk about their grandkids. Hosting fun events that allow them to spend time with their grandkids is a great way to bring them in. How about an afternoon tea party for grandma and her granddaughters? Or a fun ice cream sundae party?

    Healthy Living

    As we age many of us experience a wake-up call to start living a healthier lifestyle. Trends like the paleo and keto diet are becoming very popular amongst this demographic. The trick is to not use workds like "diet" because, nobody wants to feel like they have to diet when they're out to eat. It's supposed to be an enjoyable experience. Instead, use phrases like "keto friendly", "GMO free", "whole grains" or "heart healthy".

    Breakfast

    According to Technomic, this generation spends more of their restaurnt dollars on breakfast than any other demographic. Introduce new flavors to them, and put a spin on their favorite classics. Don't forget to offer some healthy options too!


    This blog entry is compliment of Toast.

    As always, check out Restaurantsupply.com for all your restaurant needs. 

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