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How to Create the Perfect Breadbasket

Delicious fresh bread on wooden background

Bread. The best start to any meal, and considered a 'given' for any fine dining establishment to offer. It's important to have a breadbasket, but have you given any thought into what you put in yours?

Some small touches and attention to detail can elevate this part of the experience for your diners. Don't consider it an afterthought, just because you don't charge for it - the bread will often be the FIRST impression new diners have of your establishment as as such, it's an incredibly important feature of the meal. So, let's explore some ways to elevate your 'bread basket game,' so to speak:

Have high quality bread. Makes sense right? There is nothing that will cover up the taste of stale bread, chemical laced low quality bread. You can get fancy with stale bread in dishes, but keep a fresh bread basket (or take a moment to heat up slightly stale bread) in order to ensure best results. Find a local, artisanal bakery who can deliver daily, or bake your own bread if you have the time and equipment for proper fermentation.

Don't have the servers automatically bring bread to the table or the bar tops. If someone is just ordering an appetizer or a cocktail, they shouldn't automatically get a bread basket. Make sure the servers know to take the food order BEFORE bringing a bread basket to the table. Of course, you can accommodate if someone requests one, but a bread basket should be an addition to a full meal, NOT a freebie for every bar patron who sits down to order a quick cocktail.

Consider your restaurant branding when putting the bread basket together. Classic French bistro? Go with a baguette and seriously high quality butter. Italian restaurant? Perhaps an olive oil dip makes sense. Modern? Consider making your own, seasonal, rotating compound butter or dip. Make sure that whatever you put on the table in the bread basket is a proper representation of the dining experience and sets the tone for the rest of the meal.

Don't forget crackers/flatbread. Adding a couple pieces of flatbread of a cracker style bread to your basket will give it texture, variety, and also keep down your cost per basket.

2016-10-22 00:00:00
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