Posted On: February 13, 2023 by ChefsResources
February 13, 2023
Cut Back on Food Waste: Top Tips for Restaurant Owners to Get More Bang for Their Buck
Restaurants are in the business of giving guests a great time out. The food they provide during that experience is just a bonus. When people go out, they want to have a nice time. This involves a great atmosphere, a delicious meal, and a memorable experience with loved ones.
To accomplish this goal, however, restaurants need to operate on a very narrow profit margin. Any waste, no matter whether it is wasted time from an employee standing around doing very little or having food waste itself, is going to cut into that profit margin.
That’s why cutting back on food waste is so critical for restaurant owners and why you need to rethink how you use your ingredients and how to get more bang for your buck.
Food Waste Statistics
Food waste is a growing problem in wealthy nations, one which is a slap in the face in countries facing food shortages. Overall, it’s estimated that one-third of all food produced around the world is wasted every year. This amounts to 1.3 billion tons, all of which could have been used more efficiently with just a little bit of planning. The United States is a huge culprit of food waste as well. It’s estimated that around 40% of food here is thrown out.
What does this mean in real terms? In regards to cost, that’s the equivalent of throwing out $218 billion – that’s from food in the US alone. Food waste also produces massive amounts of greenhouse gases. In fact, if food waste was a country, it’d be the third worst polluter in the world.
Restaurants aren’t exempt, either. An estimated 22 to 33 billion lbs of food waste is produced by restaurants each year in the United States. This is due to either the ingredients no longer being acceptable to restaurant standards or because customers don’t finish their plates, and the leftovers have to be thrown out.
Why Restaurant Owners Need to Take a Proactive Approach to Food Waste
Restaurant owners play a critical role in reducing the amount of food waste produced. Unfortunately, the food service industry contributes significantly to the problem, with up to 10% of all food purchased being thrown away uneaten. This not only has an impact on the environment but also results in significant economic losses for your business.
To address this issue, it’s important to understand the root causes of commercial food waste in restaurants. Over-ordering, poor storage practices, and inefficient preparation techniques are some of the main factors that contribute to waste in the food service industry. Additionally, menu planning, portion control, and better use of leftovers can also help to reduce food waste in your restaurant.
By taking a proactive approach to reducing food waste, you can improve your bottom line while also helping to protect the environment. Implementing measures such as regular waste audits, menu planning, and staff training can help you to identify areas for improvement and reduce the amount of food waste generated by your restaurant. As a restaurant owner, you have the power to make a positive impact and lead the way in sustainable food practices.
How to Cut Back on Food Waste in Your Restaurant
Cutting back on your food waste offers many benefits, with cost savings the priority for businesses. The good news is that, in this case, what’s good for your bottom line is also good for the planet. Cutting back on food waste means spending less and earning more when you use these top tips:
Reuse Ingredients as Much as Possible Per Meal
The best way to cut back on food waste is to reuse ingredients in as many dishes as possible. This doesn’t mean that you end up offering the same flavors over and over again, just that you remix the base ingredients in new ways to get the most out of your order. This is an essential practice in any restaurant, but workshopping your approach and your menu on an ongoing basis is the best way to find the sweet spot that cuts back on cost and waste.
Use Dried Ingredients
Think fresh is the only way to go? Think again. If you have been struggling with using up all of the fresh ingredients, see if switching to dried works instead. You could use dried spices, from Olam Spices, for example. You can dry ingredients in all forms. Take the example of garlic. You could choose to get garlic in powder form, but if you go to the right supplier, you could opt for chopped, minced, organic, or granulated instead.
This is a good way to add different flavor profiles to dishes without keeping large quantities of ingredients that don’t get used very often and go out of date much faster. You can get that extra strong garlic flavor by using dried minced garlic without needing to store it fresh.
Let Customers Take Food Home
Always offer customers the opportunity to take their leftovers home. This is a simple way to let your customers get more value out of their meals, and it will also reduce how much food waste your restaurant produces on any given day.
Properly Sort Food Waste
If your area collects food waste, you must have your employees throw out food (and only food) into a specialized bin. Food waste collection sends waste to an industrial composter, which cuts back on the emissions produced by food rotting. Instead, it will be given a second life as fertilizer or even as biofuel.
Expand Your Offering
Want to cut back on food waste and boost profits? Sell ingredients to the public. If you’ve created a special spice seasoning mix that’s a huge hit amongst customers, work to start selling that mix out there on the floor. This way, you can use up every grain of your purchase to boost your sales and actually improve customer satisfaction. If customers use your spice mix at home, it’s even free marketing whenever they have guests over!
If you offer fresher products for customers, then a good way to avoid waste is to use a pre-ordering system. You can sell meal kits, for example, ahead of time. Have last order cut-offs and a set pick-up day, so you only prepare what’s actually been sold.
Seal For Freshness
Many ingredients can enjoy a longer lifespan by being properly stored. Your business, for example, could save on food waste by using a vacuum sealer on its fresh ingredients. Storing food in the fridge or freezer in the right containers is also essential. When it comes to storing anything, however, remember to properly label best by dates and regularly re-organize your stores so that food doesn’t get left behind and is used while it’s still good.
Posted On: February 13, 2023 by ChefsResources
7 Smart Tips for Opening Your Own BBQ Restaurant
Nothing soothes the soul quite like juicy, tender cuts of meat smoked to perfection and served up homestyle with your favorite barbecue sauce. Over the years, BBQ has become a staple in American cuisine and a potentially very lucrative market for chefs looking to start a restaurant.
If you are thinking about opening a BBQ restaurant of your own, there are several important factors you should consider to set yourself up for success. Here are 7 tips to help you start a BBQ restaurant that will earn the approval of investors and customers alike, and become a culinary staple in your community for years to come.
1. Do Your Research
Before opening a new restaurant, your first step should be market research. You will want to take inventory of existing BBQ options in your area. If there are already BBQ restaurants around you, there may not be enough demand for another.
During this initial research phase, you will also want to define your target audience and think about how your business can address their needs. Ask yourself questions like: “Who do I envision coming to my restaurant?” and “how can I tap into demographics that are most heavily concentrated in my area?” If you live in a large college town, for instance, you will most likely have a different target audience than you would if you lived in a very rural area, and will want to make different decisions regarding decor, menu, marketing strategies, and more.
2. Find Your Niche
Once you have taken stock of restaurants (BBQ or otherwise) in your area, ask yourself: what’s missing? What can I offer at my restaurant that other nearby restaurants currently lack? Once you’ve identified gaps, you’ll know what you need to do better with your business, to provide the community with options and experiences that they can’t find elsewhere.
You can consider, for example, different regional BBQ methods, and whether you want to offer your customers something familiar or introduce them to dishes they may not have tried before. Popular American BBQ styles include:
- Kansas City
So if you already have a large Texas BBQ presence in your area, it may be smarter to specialize in a different style of BBQ. If there are already a number of large, sit-down BBQ restaurants in your area, you may want to open a faster, less formal alternative. Specialization is key.
3. Location, Location, Location
Another important factor to consider is the location of your restaurant. Because BBQ restaurants are typically family-oriented, it’s smart to open your restaurant near a church, school, theater, shopping mall, or other places where families frequently congregate. You’ll want to choose a restaurant space that has enough room for multiple families to comfortably enjoy a meal without feeling overcrowded.
Strategically choosing a restaurant location also gives you the opportunity to get creative with your business. If there is a farmer’s market in your area, for example, where restaurants consistently offer different types of cuisine, you can capitalize on existing traffic by opening up a small food stand within the market. If you identify a location in your community where there is a vibrant nightlife scene, you may want to consider the logistics of opening up a roadside food stand to serve barhoppers looking for a late-night snack. It’s all about serving the community’s needs and choosing a location that best allows you to do that.
4. Serve a Variety of Quality Dishes
Perhaps the most important factor in attracting and retaining customers at your BBQ restaurant is to produce high-quality food. You’ll want to ensure that your menu has a variety of offerings for people with different food preferences and tastes. If all of your meat is cooked and served with spicy hot sauce, you run the risk of alienating customers who prefer milder flavors, and vice versa. For this reason, you should offer a range of different dishes and a variety of sauces that customers can choose between. Because BBQ restaurants are frequent sites of family gatherings, you’ll also want to ensure there is an adequate kids’ menu.
To serve your customers high-quality food, it is also essential that you do your research and invest in high-quality, long-lasting BBQ equipment. First-rate kitchen components like a high-quality BBQ grill island can help you serve consistently delicious food during even the most hectic shifts.
5. Have a Solid Business Plan
Creating a comprehensive business plan is crucial for any restaurant owner and a good way to forecast your business’s potential for success. A good business plan should serve as a blueprint for your restaurant, outlining critical details like funding, staffing, procedures, menu theme, and more.
Not only does having a well-thought-out business plan make it easier to manage your finances, account for potential business pitfalls, and plan for your restaurant’s future, but it also makes your restaurant much more attractive to investors. Not having a well-developed business plan can be a huge red flag for potential investors, who see a good business plan as the key ingredient to a successful business.
6. Get a Grasp on the Financials
For first-time restaurant owners, it’s key to have a clear understanding of the capital required to start a business and to stay on top of the financial details that go into keeping your restaurant afloat. You’ll need to get an idea of what initial start-up costs will look like. Typically, new restaurants are subject to a number of startup expenditures including rental costs, licensing, permit costs and more.
Once you move past the initial startup costs, you’ll have to plan wisely for the financial future of your business. The best way to go about this is by creating a comprehensive and realistic operating budget that accounts for factors like total sales, inventory cost, labor costs, and other expenses that will ultimately determine your net income. To keep track of expenses, restaurant owners can greatly benefit from tools like food cost calculation forms and declining balance sheets, which can help keep them organized and make the right business decisions to increase their profits.
7. Develop a Marketing Strategy
Having a well-developed marketing strategy is critical to attracting new customers, increasing brand awareness, and building customer loyalty. To keep up with competitors, you’ll need to establish a strong social media presence on platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Posting about daily or weekly specials is a great way to reach new customers and build brand awareness by keeping your restaurant’s name at the top of their news feeds. You can take advantage of social media before your restaurant is even open to build interest in your brand, and after to spread the word of promotions, raffles, and other special offerings that build customer loyalty.
Another unique way to build brand awareness and set your business apart is by selling signature products in-house. If, for example, you have a special BBQ sauce recipe that is unique to your restaurant, consider bottling and selling the sauce at your restaurant. If you have an established brand logo, you can also consider selling signature merchandise like t-shirts, hats, and the like. Products like that are essentially free advertising, turning your customers into brand ambassadors.
Make Your BBQ Business Dreams a Reality
The idea of opening a new BBQ restaurant can be overwhelming, but rewarding. If you take the time to do the proper research, plan a delicious menu, create a viable business plan, invest in the proper equipment, and strategically market your restaurant, you’ll have all the tools you need to make your business dreams a successful reality.
Posted On: December 14, 2022 by ChefsResources
December 14, 2022
What Are Activated Almonds?
Are you looking for a new and interesting ingredient to add to your recipes? Almonds are one of the most delicious nuts with a satisfying crunch and a good supply of minerals and vitamins. Some even consider them a superfood. If you want to add a little something special to your culinary dishes, almonds are a flexible ingredient that can be applied to numerous culinary dishes. You can roast them, turn them into almond milk or butter for baked goods, or chop them and add them to salads. The recipes for these sweet and savory treats are endless, and you probably know many of them.
But do you Know anything about Activated Almonds?
The health world gets consumed by a new trend every day, and activated nuts such as almonds are among the latest popular ideas. However, the concept of activation is nothing new and has been around for hundreds of years. Only now, the scientific and culinary communities are paying attention to their benefits and better taste. So what are activated almonds? How are they better than raw almonds?
What Is Activation?
Activation is an ancient method for preparing food that many Aztec communities used to preserve seeds, grains, legumes, and nuts. It’s a simple process of soaking the food in salt water for a certain period.
Activated almonds are prepared by soaking the raw nuts in the solution for 7 to 24 hours. Afterward, the almonds are dried at low temperatures. Ancient cultures used to perform this dehydration under the sun. However, the process is much simpler now with dehydrators that maintain the nuts’ crunch and nutrients.
This soaking and dehydrating process is nothing groundbreaking, but it breaks down the phytic acid in almonds to activate them. Almonds in an activated state offer numerous benefits that regular almonds don’t.
Activate Almonds Yourself
You can activate almonds and use them in a variety of recipes, antipasto, or charcuterie boards in your kitchen. You will need a dehydrator and 24 hours of your time to do it properly. Below are the steps you must take.
- Warm water
- 2 tablespoons of salt
- 3 cups of raw almonds
- Place your almonds in a large bowl.
- Dissolve salt in enough warm water to cover your almonds.
- Pour the warm salt water over your nuts and soak them for 24 hours.
- Drain the salt water and rinse the almonds under running water. They should look nice and puffy at this point.
- Pat the almonds dry and line them on a dehydrator rack or a baking tray.
- Dry the almonds in the dehydrator for 12 to 24 hours.
- You can also dry the nuts in the oven. Set the oven to the lowest temperature and stir the almonds occasionally until they are ready.
- Your activated almonds are ready when they are dry and crunchy.
- You can place the activated nuts in clean glass jars or paper bags. Store them in the fridge or freezer to add a crunchy touch to your recipes.
- Ensure the almonds are completely dry before you store them to make them less susceptible to mold.
- You can add extra flavor to your almonds by sprinkling them with your favorite herbs and spices before putting them in the oven or dehydrator.
- Almonds are not the only nuts you can activate. You can repeat this process with any other nut you like. However, remember that other nuts will need different soaking and drying times.
While you can activate almonds in your kitchen, the process is time-consuming and prone to errors. You will have to watch out for mold growth, keep an eye on the almonds as they dry so they won’t burn, and dedicate a whole day to the process.
Instead of doing it yourself, you can buy activated almonds from online organic health food stores for a more convenient option and a better quality result.
What Are the Benefits of Activated Almonds?
Raw almonds are very nutritious. An ounce of these tasty nuts contains 6 grams of protein and 14 grams of healthy fats, plus a plethora of vitamins and minerals such as vitamin E and calcium. They are great for the eyes, heart, blood pressure, and more. So why activate them?
Well, adding activated almonds to your recipes will not only make your chef resume shine but offer numerous advantages to your customers. Let’s look at some of these advantages.
Better Absorption of Nutrients
Raw almonds have a natural chemical called phytic acid that protects them as they grow on trees. Once they mature, this compound turns into phytate, which attaches to the nut’s minerals and hinders their absorption by your body. The activation process breaks down the phytate enzymes and allows your body to absorb more nutrients.
Phytates also make raw almonds harder to digest. Therefore, eating a handful of raw almonds can cause digestive issues such as nausea and bloating and make you feel uncomfortable. As activation breaks down these compounds, it makes them easier to digest, allowing you to enjoy more of the activated almonds.
Raw almonds have toxic tannins on their skins that can leave a bitter taste in the mouth and create a chalk-like feeling. These tannins are removed during the activation process, leaving almonds with their naturally sweet flavor and extra crunchy texture.
Longer Shelf Life
Raw almonds usually have up to 8% moisture. This moisture is reduced to 1-2% during the activation process. Therefore, it gives activated almonds a longer shelf life. Even if you freeze the activated almonds, you will still get the beneficial nutrients and the delicious crunch.
Add Activated Almonds to Your Recipes
Now that you know all about activated almonds, you can easily add them to your favorite recipes and share them with your customers. You can pair them with fruit purees and yogurts or add them to your signature salads. Try activated almonds with this unique Caesar salad on a stick recipe for an explosion of flavors on your palate.
Posted On: November 28, 2022 by ChefsResources
November 28, 2022
7 Tips for Opening a Second Restaurant Location
Imagine this scenario: the business at your restaurant is going great. Everyone on staff is satisfied, regulars are returning, and business is booming. Opening a second restaurant location might start sounding like a good idea when business is this good. However, creating a second, third, or twenty-first restaurant is never simple. It needs careful preparation to execute without any excessive discomfort.
Don’t be daunted if you want to expand your company’s reach but aren’t sure how to do so because we’ve consulted the pros. Everything you need to know to run a chain of profitable restaurants, from when you open the first one until long after the last one closes its doors, is right here.
Opening a Second Restaurant Location? Here’s how to make it Simple and Smooth.
Opening a second restaurant location is a significant decision. You shouldn’t be hasty just now. Even if your first restaurant is a massive hit with the public, that doesn’t mean you’ll have the same level of success with your second.
Success is possible if you approach it with the same planning and hard work as you did when launching your first one. Getting top-notch gear for chefs and finding the right staff to hire is just scratching the surface. So here are the most important things to keep in mind if you consider expanding your restaurant business.
1. Know if You’re Ready for Expansion
When things get rough, it’s easy to notice that it’s time to make some changes. Perhaps a few simple tweaks are enough, or there are even reasons to move a restaurant to make it work. However, when it comes to expanding your business, things are not as simple.
So before you even start considering opening a new place, you need to be sure you’re ready for this step. There is no foolproof method of determining if your business is prepared to expand into a second location. But an excellent way to determine if this is the case is to answer the following questions:
- Do you have so much going on that you simply cannot deal with the influx of people?
- Do you get customers that make the trek from faraway cities to dine at your establishment?
- Is there enough funding for this kind of venture?
- Can you expect a financial boost if you launch a second restaurant?
- Do you have the dedication and energy to put in the time?
- Do you have reliable, trustworthy leaders who can take on extra responsibilities in order to free you up for the new venture?
If you’ve responded yes to every one of these questions, congrats are in order. The time has come for you to launch a second eatery.
2. Finalize your Funding
Without initial funding, your new business venture will remain just an idea. Do you plan to use personal savings to launch, or will you seek company loans? Also, your current restaurant must be financially stable. When you have stabilized your existing business’s finances, you may begin thinking about how to best finance your next adventure.
You may need to apply for a business loan to get your new firm off the ground. Taking out a loan is a typical tactic, but it requires careful planning and analysis. Business loans could be the correct choice if you don’t mind spending thousands of dollars in interest to launch your company faster.
3. Focus on Finding the Right Location
It’s likely that if you’re thinking of launching a second restaurant, you’ve already found the perfect spot for your first. The stakes are high when looking for a place to plant your new business’s roots, but with enough planning, you should be able to discover the ideal location.
When deciding where to open your new restaurant, keep the following in mind:
- Select a site that is sufficiently removed from your current eatery to avoid competition with yourself.
- You should research the local food scene to ensure that your restaurant concept will be well received.
- Research the demographics of a potential new neighborhood and spend some time there to get to know the locals.
- Avoid immediately developing an emotional investment in a new place.
- Consider how easy or how hard it is to get to the location.
- Is there adequate parking for your customers?
4. Create a Detailed Business Plan
As you’re not a complete novice in the restaurant business, you already understand the need to have a well-thought-out business plan before opening your doors. Simplify your life by sticking to a routine that already works. If you were successful the first time, you might be again.
System duplication might help you keep track of your expanding business. For instance, if both of your restaurants utilize the same payroll software, point-of-sale system, point-of-sale terminals, computer software, and website platform, you’ll be able to run everything more smoothly. Or, given the importance of a menu design, why not copy it to your new location if the first one worked well?
5. Develop a Great Marketing Strategy
It is difficult enough to promote a single restaurant, let alone several. As you craft your marketing strategy, your new restaurant’s target demographic should be front and center. You probably picked up a wealth of knowledge on how to advertise to the locals throughout your demographics study phase of site selection. Therefore, if you want your message to have a possible impact, you must use this data.
However, don’t make mistakes and rush into promoting your new location on social media. Instead, plan for how you’ll do so in a way that will attract and keep customers.
6. Leverage your Staff
It goes without saying that when it comes to the success of your first restaurant, you owe a lot to the formidable team you’ve put together. Now you need a plan to make sure your new hires are just as fantastic.
However, the first thing to do is to assess the current team to see who can take on more responsibility. Promoting from within is one of the finest ways to assist your employees in developing professionally and bringing in new hires who can learn from the best.
It’s highly recommended that you use your present personnel as trainers for your new hires to provide a uniform experience for your customers in your establishments. For your first company, setting out a training manual and an employee handbook as soon as possible is essential. These will serve as examples of acceptable workplace behavior and hold workers accountable for their behaviors.
7. Acquire Tools, Materials, and Stock
Lastly, it’s time to purchase equipment, supplies, and inventory. First, gather an accurate count of the tools and resources you and your staff rely on to deliver a seamless experience to your customers day in and day out. It will give you a good picture of what you’ll need at your new place.
Here are just some of the tips to help you with this aspect:
- It’s essential to ensure your new appliances will fit in the designated area by taking the appropriate measurements.
- You need to consider the available area before making any furniture purchases.
- Obtain the necessary permits and ensure that your restaurant complies with local zoning laws.
- Use the same equipment, as it will be easier for your present workers to educate your new hires.
Good luck opening a second restaurant location
On top of everything we’ve listed, there is a lot more to consider, but we hope our article was enough to give you a rough idea of where to start. Opening a second restaurant location will be a breeze if you take your time to plan everything in detail and avoid doing anything in a rush. We wish you the best of luck!
Posted On: November 26, 2022 by ChefsResources
December 6, 2022
Cork and Pork: The Perfect Wine Pairing for All Kinds of Meat
Great food and drink are a match made in heaven. But understanding the complexities of flavor combination is much harder than it looks. Beverages are paired with meat for their delicately nuanced levels of sweetness, acidity, and subtle notes of flavor and fragrance.
To make the most of any meal, you need to pair it with the right beverage. With a glass of wine that perfectly complements a dish’s flavor profile, any meal can go from ordinary to extraordinary. Like magic, the acidity, sweetness, dryness, or richness alchemizes to produce something truly delicious and memorable.
But pairing the right meat with the right wine is not as simple as many people think. It takes know-how, experience, and a little bit of practice to get it right. To get you started, we’ve paired the most popular meats with their ideal beverages so you can plate a truly extraordinary meal:
Red Meat Wine Pairings
A staple in almost every restaurant that caters to carnivores, red meat’s rich and often gamey profile is typically best paired with a robust drink that holds its own.
Due to its depth of flavor and relatively high fat content, beef is best paired with earthy, brawny red wines that can contend with the richness of this meat. Especially so in the case of a fattier prime cut or richly marbled wagyu. Due to their bold, smoky overtones, tannin-rich vintage wines such as Bordeaux, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Syrah are some of the best pairings for beef, whether it’s done on the BBQ, in a pan, or reverse seared in the oven. Avoid drinks that are too sweet or fruity, as they may overpower the flavor of the meat.
Similar to beef, as it’s relatively high in fat, lamb is best paired with darker red wines. A Shiraz, Chianti, Pinot Noir, or even a Bordeaux blend would make excellent companions to a succulent lamb dish. If the meal isn’t too heavy, you can also pair lamb with a full-bodied white Chardonnay.
Despite its lighter color when cooked, pork is classified as red meat, as it has a higher myoglobin content than chicken or fish. However, aside from pork belly and bacon, pork is lower in fat than beef or lamb, and chefs often marinate the meat to ensure it doesn’t dry out when cooking.
Juicy red wine and pork is a classic combo, with sweeter, plummy varieties like Syrah and Pinot Noir being frequent favorites. However, if the pork is particularly rich, pairing it with a lively white can be equally delicious. Think juicy Chenin Blanc, Riesling, or even a fruity Rosé.
Poultry Wine Pairings
Poultry meat is mostly white, soft, and low in fat. This makes it an ideal companion for daintier drinks that can match the level of lightness.
A tender piece of chicken pairs excellently with woody white wines such as Chardonnay, Viognier, and Sauvignon Blanc. All of them have common ground: zesty, floral notes and a light, bright finish on the palate. Any mild white wine that’s matured in oak is typically a good companion to white and brown chicken meat.
Due to its similarity to chicken, turkey also pairs well with oaky white wines such as Chardonnay and Riesling. However, you wouldn’t go amiss with a low-tannin red wine like Pinot Noir, or even a chilled Rosé if you’re serving some of the darker meat of the bird.
What separates duck from other poultry is its fat content. This makes for a richer, more indulgent meat that can handle the intensity of certain red wines while still complementing a fresh white.
Tuscan reds like Chianti, Marcillac, and Barolo are all robust enough to pair perfectly with roasted duck without overpowering it. Deeper reds like Merlot and Pinot Noir can harmonize with the rich sweetness of duck, while late harvest Riesling makes a great white option.
Seafood Wine Pairings
When people think of pairing wine with seafood, their minds usually go straight to light whites. But while the fresh, citrusy, and sometimes floral notes of white wine do make excellent partners to fish, the options aren’t quite as limited as you’d think.
There are too many species of fish in the sea to make a wine listing for each, but we can go through some of the most popular choices that have greater availability. Light, flaky fish like hake, cod, or sea bass are best paired with similarly light and refreshing wines such as Muscadet, Sauvignon Blanc, and Champagne.
Fatty, dense fishes like tuna, mackerel, and salmon bring a lot of flavor and richness to the table, which allows them to pair well with bolder beverages. Dry Rosé, Pinot Noir, and White Rioja are all popular choices.
Sea-floor dwellers like lobster, crab, prawns, and shrimp all fall into the crustacean category. With distinctive, powerful oceanic flavors and light, sweet flesh, crustaceans require the balance of weighty white wines to do themselves justice.
Viognier, Marsanne, Pinot Gris, and Italian Vermentino are all full-bodied enough to match the deep-sea flavors of this meat without overpowering its delicate texture.
The mollusks or shellfish category includes iconic seafood delicacies, such as oysters, scallops, and clams. These expensive meats are soft, buttery, and very delicate in flavor, so the wines they’re paired with must have similar soft characteristics.
Light, citrusy white wines like Champagne, Muscadet, and Sauvignon Blanc make excellent friends with oysters and scallops, while clams are best matched with dry Rosé or high-acidity Riesling.
Perfecting the Art of Pairing
Chefs around the world have been developing the skill of food and wine pairing for thousands of years. These days, you’ll also find food pairings with beer, gin and other beverages, yet wine remains the most popular. There are so many different wines to try that pairing possibilities remain seemingly endless.
There may be some rules around which drinks pair best with which meats. But at the end of the day, flavor combination is a personal preference. These recommendations are based on food science—acidity, sugar levels, tannins, and so on—however, they aren’t unbreakable laws.
That said, following this guide for meat and wine pairing is a great place to start if you’re unsure about what your guests might like best. When in doubt, taste and taste again!
Posted On: November 19, 2022 by ChefsResources
November 29, 2022
5 Tips for Creating a Flourishing Food Business
Standing out in the food business world is no easy feat. The competition is fierce, and entrepreneurship leads innovation in its droves. Therefore, if you are hoping to break into this niche, it is vital to have a steady hand and a resilient mindset. Running a business is so much more than the admin. These five tips will help any food business owner flourish in their own way.
Striving to Learn is a Strength
People constantly underestimate the power of knowledge. Finding acceptance in learning new things sparks and grows creativity, advancement, and credibility. For the food business, there is always a new trend to take note of, interesting ingredient mashups to experiment with and industry standards to maintain. Therefore, if you do not open your mind up to develop what you know, there is a risk of falling behind rather quickly. Here are some top tips for learning while you carve out your business:
- Attend seminars from food service experts
- Network with foodies and business owners around the country
- Save a day for experiments, practicing, and perfecting your craft
- Never assume that you know everything because there is always something new to absorb
- Follow chefs and food industry accounts on Instagram
Cover Your Back
Any business owner understands the importance of covering your back. You gain not only financial protection, but a general peace of mind regarding your investment too. These reasons alone make general liability for your food business just one of those essential things. Take your time researching providers and communicate with potential policies about suitability before you commit.
Keep a Watchful Eye
What’s trending in the food industry? If you don’t know, it is definitely time to find out. Use social media to stay up to date with the recent revelations as it is an invaluable tool for a savvy food business owner looking to stay relevant. Veganism and vegetarian food, for example, have gained a lot of traction in recent years and not just for the health benefits but sustainability factors too.
Find a Niche
Your niche is what will define you. To stand out from the crowd, you have to strive for individualism. Figure out where you excel and use that as an advantage to drive the business forward. Success in the food industry is calculated on more than just how the food tastes and looks. It is also about what the product delivers to the consumers that rises above all the competitors.
Focus on Customer Relationships
A business owner in any market has to establish meaningful relationships with their customers. Without them, you won’t make any money. Find space to engage with loyal customers and entice those on the fence by delivering excellent marketing strategies.
- Use social media for ad campaigns and highlighting promotions
- Offer loyalty schemes and discounts for new people through the door
- Get your brand in top shape and make it recognizable
Creating a flourishing food business demands a multi-faceted strategy. You have to hit targets across all fronts and create an arena that your clients want to come back to. Let your personality show in what you have to offer and look out for change.
Posted On: November 18, 2022 by ChefsResources
Yay or Nay: What Can You Cook in a Carbon Steel Pan?
One of the most significant reasons for professional and home chefs’ preference for carbon steel cookware is its versatility. It can be used in a stove or on top of an open flame, on an induction burner, under a boiler and also in a pizza oven, and many more. The most important step when using carbon steel cookware is to properly season it to build up the non-stick coating which occurs during seasoning.
Which Foods Can You Cook in Your Carbon Steel Pan?
You can cook many things in a carbon steel pan, such as perfect rice, hundreds of Chinese wok recipes, or a nice crust on a pizza. After it is properly seasoned you can also cook more delicate items such as fish, eggs, or even pancakes. But it is important to remember that acidic ingredients can cause trouble for your carbon steel pan. If you want to add tomatoes, that is all right. But if you want to add vinegar or citrus-based sauces to your dish, carbon steel pans are not ideal because acidic foods negatively affect the pan’s seasoning.
There are a variety of carbon steel pans to choose from including a professional flat bottom carbon steel wok, round bottom woks, and French carbon steel pans to name a few. But all of them need to be seasoned.
There are many reasons to season your carbon steel pan for cooking purposes:
- Due to moisture and humidity, a carbon steel pan will rust, but a properly seasoned pan will be protected from rusting.
- Seasoning protects your pan from rusting by consistently providing a water barrier.
- It also enhances the performance of the pan and gives it a non-stick surface that you can only find in Teflon-type coatings in the modern world.
When your carbon steel pan is seasoned correctly, you can cook pancakes, eggs, crepes, and even traditional recipes like omelets.
Sometimes you will see while cleaning your pan that burned food residues won’t come off, and due to half-oxidized particles of oil, uneven bumps appear on the pan. To remove these hard particles, follow these steps:
- Add a thin layer of salt to the pan and heat it.
- Then scrub it with a wooden spatula or paper towel. The salt helps to clean all the lingering particles and food residue.
- After that, wash the pan with warm water to remove the salt.
- Then dry it with paper towels.
- Heat the pan briefly over an open burner to evaporate any water residue.
- Lastly, add a thin layer of oil to your pan and rub it gently.
5 Steps You Need to Remember
- Your carbon steel pan comes with a coating of beeswax. Before using the pan, you have to remove it using hot water, a little soap, and a paper towel.
- You need to follow the steps to season the pan.
- Set the temperature gradually in the oven as this material heats up fast.
- Follow the acidic rules that are similarly applicable to cast iron pans.
- Only hand-wash since the dishwasher can remove the seasoning.
How to Start the Cooking Process?
Here are a few rules one needs to follow for the best outcome in your cooking experience:
First, Try to Avoid the Preparation of Delicate Food
Your carbon steel pan takes some time to properly build up its non-stick pattern to function as a versatile cookware. So, it is very important at first to avoid cooking delicate dishes like fish or eggs since you will not be able to cook them properly, and the products will stick to the surface.
Start with fatty proteins, such as steak or bacon. Once you know that the coating on your carbon steel pan’s surface is made, then you can begin your experimentation with more delicate foods and you will not be disappointed.
Always Preheat Your Pan
Before starting the cooking process, you need to make sure that your ingredients are kept at room temperature for almost half an hour because cooking with fridge-cold ingredients can increase the probability of thermal shock which is not at all good for your new pan.
Always preheat your pan for two to three minutes at a medium to low temperature and after the pan has gotten gradually hot, add butter or oil.
Have a Look at the Heat
One of the best features that carbon steel pans have is that they can take temperatures up to 1,200 degrees F. If you do some high-heat cooking, you can utilize this characteristic of these pans. But carbon steel pans heat up quickly and may not require these extremely high temperatures. Many experts recommend that cooking over medium heat is the best as it helps avoid burned food and can yield the most crispy proteins.
After You’ve Done the Cooking, Clean up the Pan
Though it is not directly linked to cooking, you also need to consider proper cleaning as an important factor. Cleaning your carbon steel cookware properly will maintain its seasoned surface and durability long into the future.
Do You Worry About the Safety of Your Carbon Steel Pan?
Carbon steel cookware is not a new thing, but in recent years it has gained so much popularity among professional chefs, and more than ever, it is becoming popular among home cooks. It functions similarly to a non-stick pan, but it doesn’t have that Teflon non-stick layer that some people are concerned with.
As the main components of this pan are iron and carbon, you need not be worried about its safety because these are not harmful chemicals that can cause health issues. So, you can cook good, nutritious food any time.
If you want to learn more about what you can cook in a carbon steel pan and find some recipes regarding this, visit Yosukata professional flat bottom carbon steel wok, where you can get all the details about carbon steel woks and pans.
Posted On: November 11, 2022 by ChefsResources
November 11, 2022
How Restaurant Owners Can Make the Most of Enterprise Asset Management
As a restaurant manager, you’re tasked with making your venture as profitable as possible. It’s a tough task in such a risky and low-margin business, but it can be done. A lot of your success will hinge on how well you manage the assets in your restaurant. That’s why a lot of restaurant managers have started using Enterprise Asset Management to help them stay on top of their assets and get the most out of them. These systems are a good way to help you avoid certain risks, stay on top of asset life cycles and warranties, and minimize those operating costs. Here’s how you can use enterprise asset management in your business.
What Is Enterprise Asset Management?
Firstly, what is an enterprise asset management system? Also known as an EAM, it’s a system that allows you to keep track of all the assets in your business. In a restaurant, that’s a lot of different assets. It includes everything from food & beverage inventory to the cooking equipment to the tables and chairs in the front of the house.
You’ll typically use an EAM through a dedicated software system, and this is what will help you track what assets you have, who’s using them, who to call for servicing/repairs, and when they need to be maintained or replaced. With all that data at hand, you’ll be able to predict any future expenditures, and when you’ll need to make those maintenance checks.
An EAM can also track perishable assets (food inventory is considered an asset), so you’ll know what’s going in and out of your kitchen. As such, a good EAM will help you track every single asset you have, and ensure that there’s seldom ever downtime thanks to breakdowns, issues with supply, and so on. There are a lot of options for EAM system so take your time to evaluate which one works best for your needs.
Key Features of an EAM System
There are several different features of an EAM that will give you what you need for asset management:
- Work management: Maintenance is key to keeping everything running smoothly in your restaurant. That of course means maintaining all your kitchen equipment, but you’ll also need to manage every other asset in your business. For example, you’ll need a functioning HVAC and ANSUL system, so keeping on top of the maintenance for them is crucial. An EAM will help you track when maintenance is needed, and book inspections and repair work before anything breaks down.
- Inventory management: To book and get that maintenance done, you’ll need to know which items need maintenance right now. You can use barcodes, RFID, and other tools to track the location of each asset, who’s using it, and its condition. You’ll then be able to get maintenance done before a full breakdown.
- Supply chain management: Using an EAM will help you stay on top of your supply chain. You can use it to help you secure parts, perishable assets and more, so you’ll always be prepared.
- Shelf life management: The perishable items in your restaurant are going to have a limited shelf life, and with an EAM system it’s easier to ensure all those assets are used before they expire. You can use the system to effectively use the First In, First Out (FIFO) method, so you’ll minimize food waste.
- Analytics: As you’re using an EAM, you’ll have access to a lot of data about your restaurant’s assets. That enables you to make more informed decisions about your asset management and improve efficiency as a result.
The Benefits of Using an EAM
You have already read plenty of the advantages of using an EAM in your business. Here are some more benefits that you’ll be able to reap:
- Get the most out of assets
- Use the FIFO method
- Comply with safety regulations
- Offer better customer experience
- Prevent some future issues
The Future and Potential Challenges of EAM
The restaurant business has changed a lot in recent years, largely thanks to COVID-19. As such, there is a need for businesses to change too in order to survive.
Having an EAM helps you manage a restaurant and lower your labor costs, taking pressure off the staff you have. Many businesses have already benefited from it.
There are several trends that are rising alongside EAM. The Internet of Things helps with tracking data on each asset, and augmented reality can present info on any asset for remote experts. Because of these benefits, we’re going to see more changes as time goes on.
EAMs are making restaurant management that little bit easier, thanks to the fact they offer a simpler way of managing assets. Everything is in one place for you, and you can take action on assets before breakdowns or shortages occur. You can understand why a lot of restaurant managers are already using them.
Author Bio: Jenny Han is a writer for Cheap Case Study, and Law Essay Help. She covers the restaurant industry and management. She’s also a contributor to Essay For Sale.
Posted On: November 9, 2022 by ChefsResources
November 9, 2022
meez – Stop Playing Guessing Games and Start Costing Recipes Accurately
From spreadsheets and word docs, to ERP software and scrappy back of napkin math, every food and beverage business does recipe costing differently.
However, the common thread between them all is inefficiency.
There simply hasn’t been an easy way to control a restaurant’s bottom line without compromising something else, whether it’s time, energy or creativity. This was true even before kitchen staples like poultry and eggs faced historic price hikes.
So what is a chef or restaurant operator to do? Read on to learn how to cost recipes faster and more accurately—that’s what. Plus, you’ll get the low down on meez, the professional recipe tool that calculates recipe and ingredient costs for you.
What is recipe costing and why is it important?
Recipe costing is the process of determining what all the ingredients on a plate actually cost you. By properly keeping tabs on all recipe costs, you are able to get a better picture of overall business costs and optimize spending for profitability.
The last thing you want is for the true cost of your ingredients to be eating into your profit margin. At the same time, you don’t want to price dishes so high that no one will want to order them. Or, spend hours costing every new dish down to the penny.
To help you cost recipes more accurately, we asked our culinary team at meez what you should factor in. Below is a consolidation of tips they’ve learned firsthand working in professional kitchens.
1. Always Bake In Your Yields
To figure out the true cost of a menu item, first you must account for shrinkage, waste, trim, and any fabrication (prep actions) done to an ingredient. It’s rare that it will always have a 100% yield.
For example, your invoice might say it costs you $1.24/lb for an onion. But after peeling and slicing it, 15% ends up in the compost or garbage. Your final yield percentage could be 85%, which means the sliced onion that goes into the recipe actually costs you $1.45/lb.
To cost your recipe accurately, make sure you always account for loss due to prep actions. Otherwise, your recipe might end up being way more expensive than you thought.
How meez helps:
meez has yield % built into prep actions for over 800 ingredients. The tool has a fundamental understanding of what peeling, dicing, slicing, and other prep actions do to an ingredient and will automatically change how ingredient costs are calculated.
2. Have Proper Unit Conversions
How you buy a product is not the same as how you cook it. If you don’t record ingredient quantities in measurable units, you will not know how much actually goes into a recipe. It might sound obvious, but most measurements need to be weight or volume-based like grams, cups and milliliters unless you buy them by the piece like an edible flower.
Stay away from variable measurements like a “case of chicken bones” unless you define what this means. Your go-to vendor could easily change things up. If you just say “one case of chicken bones” is needed for a stock recipe, one week that could mean 30-lbs of bones and the next it could be 45-lbs depending on who you are ordering from.
In this scenario, you’ll never know the true cost of the dish because the ingredient quantities could change from one batch to the next.
How meez helps:
With meez, you can create custom units of measure to define vague ingredient measurements. For example, if you buy a “block” of cream cheese, you can create a custom unit of measure called “block=8-oz” that equals 8-ounces. With this customization, even if you scale up or down a recipe, ingredient costs are calculated accurately.
3. Be Specific About Your Process
If you want to cost your recipes accurately, you need to write down your prep actions in the recipe itself. Instead of just saying ¼ a cup of purple carrots, you want to say sliced purple carrot, diced purple carrot or whatever else impacts your yield percentage.
To save yourself even more time, consider measuring and capturing yields during your recipe R&D process. It will be easier to experiment and change ingredient quantities that match up with your food costing goals this way.
How meez helps:
Because meez’s food cost calculator is connected directly to the recipe, if you make updates to the quantity of an ingredient during R&D, the change will be reflected automatically in the total cost. This feature can help you understand how your food cost % changes as you adjust a dish’s ingredients or sell price.
In the restaurant world, costing a recipe doesn’t mean simply tacking on a couple dollars after pricing protein to account for vegetables and starch. Or, just keeping track of your inventory and calling it a day. Every time you have a new invoice, you should look at costs and make adjustments.
If food costs aren’t being tracked properly, your food cost percentage will be off. This means your menu prices will be off too. If your star salmon dish is underprice by $0.25 on the menu, this can quickly add up to tens of thousands of dollars in lost revenue per year. And that’s for just one dish alone.
To get total visibility into your recipe and ingredient costs, without doing all the math yourself, your best bet is to work with meez. Our professional recipe tool addresses all the unique challenges of food costing mentioned above.
With meez, you can know the true cost of a recipe by:
- Accounting for yield loss from prep actions
- Creating custom units of measurement
- Experiencing simple purchase item importing
- Calculating food cost percentage and plate profit
- And much more!
Want to take full ownership of your recipe and ingredient costs? Sign up for a FREE meez account or book a demo today.
Posted On: November 1, 2022 by ChefsResources
November 1, 2022
The Importance of Menu Design
Everyone has experienced frustration with a menu at some point. Picture it: you get seated and handed a menu several pages long, with unclear descriptions and distracting fluff. Or maybe the menu is so short and vague that you can’t figure out what the kitchen is actually serving you or even what kind of restaurant you’re in. Good menu design can help your guests avoid this frustration and make it easy for them to kick back and enjoy the experience. If you want to design your menu like a pro, settle in for a crash course in great menu design.
Benefits of Good Menu Design
Ideally, a good menu design should be attractive, approachable, and something that doesn’t require your guests to think about. Ordering off a menu should be as easy as possible. Think of it like breathing; no thought goes into taking breaths. Reading your menu should be the same, and by making it a breeze to move through the menu, you can also build a few extra benefits for your restaurant.
Your Food Can Sell Itself
Quality menu design makes your food jump off the page and into the minds of your diners. There are two popular approaches here: minimalism and description.
Minimalism is a trend that has grown in popularity over the past several years, with menu items typically including a dish’s title (often simply the featured ingredient) and a short list of ingredients to accompany it.
The minimalist approach brings with it a mystique that is useful in selling your food. Guests will be intrigued by how elements are combined, and this will provide your service staff the chance to speak about the items in more detail. Most of the time, this is highly effective in convincing guests to try out new dishes.
The description approach is the opposite of the minimalist, with the details laid out lovingly underneath each dish’s name. While this cuts out the middleman work your server might be doing, it can also have some drawbacks. Highlighted ingredients might get lost in the lengthier description, where a server might be able to focus more adequately on that. Additionally, technical jargon about cooking might not land with your guests – even some terms that restaurant folks find a little rote might go over the heads of your diners.
If you use the description approach to menu writing, just be careful not to get too wordy. “Grilled 14 oz center-cut New York steak with garlic roasted red potatoes” is good. But “Try our fabulous, world-famous char-grilled center-cut genuine 14 oz New York Strip steak served with golden brown oven-roasted red potatoes laced with tenderly sauteed garlic” is overkill and makes the item hard to decipher.
Make Your Guests Feel At Home
One of the key advantages of a well-designed menu is the way it subtly creates a sense of comfort. The experience of dining in a restaurant is often intended to stimulate multiple senses; the lighting, aesthetics, music, scents, and so on can captivate the mind, but they can also prove a little overwhelming. But an easy-to-navigate menu can serve as something of an anchor for your guests. If the menu is easy to move through, diners can make decisions quickly without experiencing choice paralysis. The less time they spend deciding about dinner options, the more they can enjoy it, and the better their overall experience.
Your Menu Can Be An Elevator Pitch
A well-designed menu also serves as a vehicle for conveying your restaurant’s concept without explicitly stating it. If, for example, your restaurant serves Mexican food but focuses on street tacos, your menu can communicate this focus using its design and layout. Simply center the section on street tacos so that the eye is naturally drawn to it, and maybe enlarge it a little, so it controls the space of the menu. With this center section dominating the menu’s design, your guests will automatically infer that tacos are your specialty and therefore they should try them.
Features of a Well-Designed Menu
So what does a well-designed menu look like? There’s no fixed answer to that question, but there are a few key components that every menu designer should consider.
Your guests have to be able to read the menu, after all! There are a few considerations to make sure your menu is approachable to the eye:
- Font Choice There’s no shame in bringing a visually attractive or fun font to your menu, but make sure to choose something easy to read! You don’t want your guests to waste time or get frustrated trying to understand what they’re trying to read. Pick an attractive font, but make sure you choose one that is legible, first and foremost.
- Space If your menu components are too cramped or crowded, it will be difficult for guests to direct their focus. Don’t shy away from utilizing negative space to control your guests’ attention. Blank areas on your menu are a great way to ensure it doesn’t become overwhelming to read, making choosing menu items easier.
- Less Is More There’s nothing wrong with describing an item in some detail, but keep your descriptions short and focused. Lengthy and bloated item descriptions can become walls of unapproachable text very quickly. Descriptions should only exist to make your guests’ mouths water; you should edit out any text that doesn’t serve that purpose.
Layout is an incredibly effective tool in your arsenal when designing your menu. There are a couple of crucial components to a layout that you should consider:
- Direction Consider how your ideal dining experience is supposed to progress. Is there a strict order of courses? Are items intended for individuals, or is the meal supposed to be served family style? Having this intention in place when laying out your menu is enormously helpful. If you group items based on their intended location in the meal (appetizers, salads, mains, etc.), your guests have a clear path to progress, removing some guesswork from dining.
- Grouping If you serve your entrees with side dishes or pairings, your guest shouldn’t have to go hunting for them. Create a small box next to the main entree sections that contains these accompanying items so that making these choices can happen all at once. Guests enjoy feeling like they have a plan for approaching their meals, and tools like this can give them that sense of comfort.
While not mandatory for most menus, including allergen indicators on your design can be hugely helpful for your guests and staff. You can accent dishes that don’t include common allergens like gluten, nuts, or dairy with discrete signifiers (a small “GF” next to gluten-free items, for example). You can also extend this treatment to plant-based dishes for vegan or vegetarian diners or include a signifier to show that dishes are halal. It’s important not to overdo it with signifiers; while the information is important, you must also consider how your menu will look. But having them present can save your guests the trouble of asking what they can and can’t eat and save your servers the trouble of explaining the same in great detail.
Go Forth And Create with MustHaveMenus
All of this might seem like a lot of information to sort through, but once you’re in the thick of designing your menu, it will be easy to see how these principles apply. By using MustHaveMenus, a service that offers more than 20,000 design templates for restaurant owners, you will be able to quickly and effectively design your menu with minimal stress.
What Does MustHaveMenus Have to Offer?
MustHaveMenus is a DIY menu design service that makes it easier (and cheaper) for restaurants to design high-quality menus. However, that isn’t all they offer. When you delve into their selection of templates, you’ll find flyers, sandwich boards, table tents, and templates for every type of menu you can imagine. Additionally, MustHaveMenus also provides QR codes, online menus, and more to round out their service.