Super Bowl Sunday

Super Bowl Sunday Restaurant Ideas

Super Bowl Sunday Ideas

Just a few days remain before the Atlanta Falcons and New England Patriots face off in the biggest football game of the year. Super Bowl Sunday almost always guarantees a restaurant crowd every year. In addition, customers almost always plan to spend a little more money than usual. ShiftPlanning’s  David Galic weighs in on Super Bowl sales and restaurant deals, as well as how to attract a crowd. Galic even discusses how to attract both the stay-at-home viewers and the non-football enthusiasts.  Whether the Falcons or the Patriots score more points this Sunday, your restaurant will still be a success!

To learn more about restaurant planning for the Super Bowl, read here.

end food waste

2017 Food Trends- Food Waste Reduction

The third installation into our Trendy Tuesday segment will focus on food waste in restaurants. Reducing waste is both a top restaurant and top concept trend predicted for 2017. In simple terms, restaurant food waste describes any food or food product thrown out in the restaurant. This waste also extends to take-out, which ends up trashed if not eaten. The skins shaved off of the potato; waste. The leftovers you don’t take home; waste. The garnish on the plate no one eats; waste. This year, restaurants and consumers both look for ways to minimize food waste.

Food Waste Statistics

Food waste divides itself into two categories: pre-consumer waste and post-consumer waste. According to the organization, End Food Waste Now, pre-consumer waste includes trimmings, spoiled food or overproduction. In contrast, post-consumer food includes uneaten leftovers or returned food; essentially any uneaten food that has left the kitchen. The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that Americans waste 30-40 percent of the food supply. This equals to about 520 million tons of food from Food Waste Reductionrestaurants each year. Bottom line for restaurants; food waste can kill profit. While some restaurants compost waste, the majority end up in landfills. One might wonder why Americans produce so much waste. Simply put, food waste went almost unnoticed until recently.

Food Waste Solutions

 

Anyone from the government to the consumer can help solve the wasted food problem. In fact, the National Restaurant Association has teamed with the Food Waste Reduction Alliance, or FWRA. This partnership strives to reduce waste by increasing donations and diverting unavoidable waste from landfills. Another resolution includes keeping track of tossed plated food, helping to control portions served. This may indicate your kitchen prepares too much food for consumption.  Other solutions include composting, storing food properly to ensure it does not go bad or re-purposing food.

An increasing number of restaurants have started to re-purpose food. In addition, “leftover meals” have helped feed soup kitchens, homeless and hungry. Turning scraps into meals are an easy way to re-purpose what would have become waste. For example, broccoli and cauliflower stems taste great mashed into soups or potatoes. Crusts or day-old bread also make a great crouton. One festival, Feeding the 5,000, partnered with an environmental organization and a Michelin-starred restaurant to reduce waste while feeding the hungry. This program turned many high-end restaurants’ waste from the previous night into enough meals to feed 5,000 for free.

As 2017 continues forward, think about ways your restaurant can reduce waste. While consumers love great deals on food, they now show concern about food waste as well. Many initiatives are in place to help reduce waste and restaurants and consumers alike can take action. For more information on this topic, and how you can help reduce waste, visit www.foodwastealliance.org.

save the date

Food Alert- Burnt Toast Beware!

* FOOD ALERT-Stay Away From Burnt Toast *

Recent studies by food scientists in  Great Britain advise not to eat burnt toast! According to the Food Standards Agency, starchy foods should never turn more than golden brown in coloring. These foods run the risk of producing a dangerous amount of acrylamide, which has shown to cause cancer in animals. Here’s the catch, no studies have proven this is true in humans. While acrylamide may pose no harm, scientists advise better safe than sorry. To lean more about acrylamide, as well as how to prevent the chemical production, visit the BBC News website.

2017 Food Trends- The Rise of Vegetables

As food trends emerge, vegetables have become a mainstay in several dishes in restaurants. Several factors play into the growing population of vegetables and vegetarian meals. Vegetable DishMany Americans have become more health conscious, looking for ways to incorporate healthy living into their food. The cost and sustainability of meat has also played a factor in customers consuming less meat and more vegetables. In 2016, vegetables entered the food scene with a bang and will not disappear any time soon.

Vegetables in Diets

Many customers in today’s culture follow strict diets, but do not want to stop dining out. Especially true for Millennials, who consider themselves trend and diet followers, but also view dining out as a social experience. In fact, vegan or gluten-free food resonates especially well for this generation. For those who follow the paleo diet, vegetable noodles

Veggie Pasta

substitute great for pasta in many dishes. In fact, the National Restaurant Association lists this pasta trend in the top 25 overall. Cauliflower has also entered a variety of meals through the means of cauliflower rice and cauliflower pizza crust. For vegetarians and vegans, vegetables have always served as a main dish.  Vegetarian meals such as black bean burgers and eggplant parmesan are just a couple of these classics. Now with the growing vegetarian population, chefs have learned to love cooking without meat.

Vegetables in Ethnic Cuisines

In the United States, meat and potatoes are a mainstay; however taste bud curiosity has driven Americans to step outside the normal American cuisine.  Ethnic food has Greek Veggie Burgercertainly made its way into various restaurants, showcasing a variety of new dishes with a vegetable focus. With the rise of ethnic food, chefs have integrated many vegetarian meals on to their menu. These cuisines have taught American chefs and consumers that a delicious hearty meal does not need traditional meat protein. Many cultures do not even consider their dishes vegetarian, just delicious, robust meals. The use of various herbs and spices has taken center stage as well. The use of ethnic flavors intend to spice up vegetables, making sure customers do not miss the meat.

With the growing popularity of vegetables in American restaurants, look for ways to make customers want to come back for more. Whether substituting veggies for grains or going meatless; give customers plenty menu options in regards to vegetables. Trend analysts expect ethnic vegetarian cuisine and plant-based proteins to continue to grow in popularity in 2017. Explore different spices, play around with different recipes and you will find a vegetable-based meal the customer will love.

2017 Food Trends- Clean Eating

In the first segment of the four-week “Trendy Tuesday” segment we will discuss clean eating. Clean eating combines transparency, organic foods, and nutrition into one. This trend focuses more on wholesome eating rather than dieting. While many consumers have different ideas and guidelines regarding clean eating, the general idea follows a healthy lifestyle.

Clean Eating Defined

Customers crave clean eating, meaning they look for minimally processed and nutrient rich foods. A major component of clean eating is transparency; customers want to know what exactly they are eating. Transparency begins with the growing and raising methods of the product. Next, the manufacturing process put in to the product. Last, the preparation of the dish. Put simply, transparency lets the customer know exactly what they eat from farm to table. Organic foods often add to transparency clean eating in whole foodsas customers know the product contains no artificial additives. In addition to whole foods, customers are concerned about nutrition now more than ever. The clean eating lifestyle uses a great deal of whole foods; fruits, vegetables, whole grains and proteins, to give consumers the nutrients they desire.

Clean Eating Foods

As clean eating grows in popularity, many whole foods and drinks are also appearing on menus across the nation. Many customers search for protein-rich whole grains or legumes to receive protein in non-animal products. These plant sources; such as quinoa, farro and black beans, provide customers with excellent nutrition and when cooked from raw, contain only the ingredient itself. Another popular clean eating food item is coconut. Coconut has mainstreamed the US market for a few years now. In addition to coconut water, milk and oil, items such as coconut flour and sugar have hit the market. For gut health, fermentation is all the rage in today’s market. Fermented foods including miso, kimchi, sauerkraut and other vegetables are showing up on menus everywhere.

Clean Eating on a Menu

Restaurants can easily incorporate these food trends into their menus. Adding grains to a salad, or making a black bean burger easily integrates these plants into your dishes. A great way to add coconut into yourClean eating from the garden menu is through a drink. Adding coconut water to cocktails, or this year’s popular mocktail trend is a great way for customers to receive the many health benefits of coconut. In addition, consider adding fermented veggies to a shared plate or appetizer dish. Colorful fermented vegetables will also add a great visual appeal to a meat or cheese board.

Adding clean eating menu options to your restaurant will allow customers to follow food trends while sticking to their New Year’s resolutions. Stick with a transparent menu and train your wait staff on the ingredients in each dish. When possible, try to add organic or minimally processed ingredients to your restaurant’s grocery list. The more whole foods and clean foods used in your restaurant, the more customers will come back for more.

2017 Ethnic Food Trend

2017 Food Trends in Restaurants

We are almost two weeks into the year and the 2017 food trends are well underway. Last year’s trends, courtesy of the National Restaurant Association, included locally sourced food, fast casual concepts and natural food. So far, 2017 is heading down a very similar track. The National Restaurant Association, Food Business News, Flavor and the Menu and Innova Market Insights all provide a great outlook on the top restaurant trends for 2017. Four trends stick out as front-runners, including clean eating, vegetable main dishes, ethnic cuisines and waste reduction.  Running through the month of January, we will run a “Trendy Tuesday” segment, highlighting each of these trends in further detail. Below you will find a brief low-down on these top trends, along with others that made the lists.

2017 Food Trends- Clean Eating

Clean Eating Food Trend

Innova Market Insights states that 2017 is the year of “clean supreme”.  Very similar to last year’s natural food trend, clean eating has swept the nation.  This concept takes many growing trends, combining them into one large concept. Customers now look for organic and non-processed menu options, with ingredients they consider healthy. According to Flavor and the Menu, consumers want honesty and quality ingredients and will pay more for total transparency. While consumers keep healthy eating in mind, splurging is not out of question either. Using quality ingredients and highlighting key flavors will give customers the transparency they request when ordering splurge-worthy dishes.

Vegetable Food Trend2017 Food Trends- Main Vegetables

As the healthy eating craze gains ground, vegetables continue to grow in popularity. Chefs work hard to create savory vegetable dishes that even the biggest meat lover would love. Food Business News states that adding beet juice to a veggie burger will make it look juicy and appetizing to all. Subbing vegetables for carbs is also a common practice among restaurants. For example, cauliflower crust and zucchini pasta often take the place of their wheat counterparts. Large salad bowls have become a main dish in many restaurants as well. Adding protein, nuts and legumes make an ordinary salad extraordinary and customers are flocking to the salad menu.

2017 Food Trends- Ethnic CuisinesEthnic Food food trend

While ethnic cuisines have been on the rise for a few years, customers are now requesting authentic ethnic flavors. The most common ethnic flavors include Korean, Middle Eastern and Latin American cuisine. Korean has been in the market for a few years with popular dishes like as bibimbop and Korean barbecue. According to the National Restaurant Association, Latin American authenticity is also gaining headway in the United States. The most popular ethnic cuisine to hit the market in 2017 is Middle Eastern food. The Food Business News says as migrants from Middle Eastern countries move to the United States, they bring their flavors along with them. Turmeric and Middle Eastern breakfasts are now extremely popular in the current market.

Waste Reduction Food Trend2017 Food Trends- Waste Reduction

This year, restaurants will put a focus on reducing waste. This can take form in more appropriate portion sizes, creatively using “throw away” foods in dishes, or recycling instead. More restaurants are also donating any food leftover in the kitchen to food banks and soup kitchens. The National Restaurant Association has teamed up with the Food Waste Reduction Alliance to solve this problem as well. According to the National Restaurant Association, food waste costed restaurants $390 per person. Many initiatives are currently underway to reduce wasted food across the nation.

2017 Food Trends- Other Popular Trends

Other trends are set to hit the market in 2017 and restaurants should keep an eye out for customers craving these foods. When broken down from concepts, the National Restaurant Association states that new cuts of meat are the biggest trend of 2017. The Food Business News predicts goat as a new fan favorite in the restaurant business. Mocktail Food TrendBreakfast trends are common as well, including all-day breakfast, ethnic breakfasts and sweet breakfasts. Innova Market Insights predicts that chocolate will soon occur on breakfast menus everywhere. To drink, mocktails have hit the market, as consumers search for creative, non-alcoholic drinks outside of soda. Customers now love house-made juices and teas mixed with muddled herbs.

As the New Year rolls around, restaurants must keep in mind current trends to stay popular with consumers. Many sources have spent time and research looking into trends to help the food business stay current. Whether emphasizing healthy eating, reducing waste or breakfast cuisines, customers love eating the latest and greatest food trends. To learn more about the 2017 food trends, please visit the National Restaurant Association’s website.

 

successful restaurant

Founding a Successful Restaurant in 2017

Courtesy of the Grand Rapids Press, this article has many tips to have a successful restaurant in 2017. Whether you are looking for a concept, trend or social media ideas, these tips from SCORE will help your restaurant.

Serving Holiday Traditions

This year, Christmas Eve and Hanukkah fall on the same day; only the fifth time in over 100 years.  This means that Hanukkah will run Christmas Eve through New Year’s Eve. This is a huge holiday overlap, consolidating many American holiday celebrations. During the holiday season, many Americans prepare for their holiday traditions. Some people request their traditions with a twist. While every family has their own holiday traditions, most enjoy many of the same traditional holiday foods.

primerib2Christmas Traditions

Families and friends come from all across the country to get together during Christmas time. Many customers will celebrate Christmas with family or friends the weeks leading up to the holiday. Some families traditionally dine out on Christmas as well. Customers see Christmas as a time to splurge towards the fancier end. Traditional Christmas foods include prime rib or lobster. Restaurants including these dishes on a holiday menu will likely see an increase in sales. Often, Christmas goers will go out for desserts as a holiday treat. Common Christmas flavors include gingerbread, spiced apple and peppermint. A gingerbread or peppermint twist on a traditional cheesecake will surely win customers over.

Hanukkah Traditionslatke2

The Hanukkah holiday spans eight days and many Jewish consumers will eat out to celebrate. To follow along with Hanukkah tradition, many foods consumed during the eight day holiday contain large amounts of oil. The oil commemorates the jar of oil lasting eight days after the Jewish victory over the Syrian-Greek army. Traditional Hanukkah foods include beef brisket and latkes. Hanukkah celebrating customers will love ordering these foods off of a menu. For dessert, a fried, jelly-filled doughnut; in Hebrew, a sufganiyot; is the perfect Hanukkah treat.

Drinking Traditions eggnog1

Many of the drinks consumed during the holidays are seen as Christmas drinks. However, with the growing popularity of coffee and tea shops and happy hours, these drinks have become a part of society. Children and adults alike love ordering hot chocolate, especially with the addition of marshmallows or whipped cream. For the adults, many traditional holiday drinks may contain alcohol. Two examples are wassail and egg nog. Wassail, a holiday drink containing various juices, fruits and spices turns adult with the addition of whiskey or brandy. Eggnog, traditionally mixed with rum, is a cold creamy drink customers love during the holiday. Other traditional alcoholic drinks to feature on a seasonal menu include warm buttered rum and spicy mulled wine.  Remember when serving alcohol, to serve your customers wisely. Use tips from the National Restaurant Association for help serving holiday drinks.

Holiday Traditions with a Twist

Healthy foods trended upwards in 2016 and are still on the rise during the holidays. Many customers are looking for their traditional favorites with a healthy spin. Instead of the usual mashed potatoes or vegetable casserole, consumer search for the roasted alternative. Serving roasted winter vegetables allows customers to eat their traditional favorites and feel healthier at the same time. Vegetables are trending upwards and the holidays are a great time to showcase all of their glory. Serve spiralized squash or beets as an alternative for pasta noodles serves customers comfort food without the guilt. Plating the main dish on a bed of mixed greens instead of rice also reduces carbs. This substitute is a great way to cater to the paleo, celiac or gluten intolerant.

 

Another hot trend in the market is ethnic foods and flavors. Customers now crave their traditional holiday flavors with an ethnic spin. Adding coriander, curry, turmeric and cayenne will draw in customers for unique flavors. Currently, Mexican hot chocolate resonates with consumers everywhere.

This traditional holiday drink turns Mexican with the addition of a little cayenne and cinnamon. The spice brings the flavors in the hot chocolate to the next level. Customers love the ethnic addition to their classic drink.

This holiday season, tap into your customers traditional cravings with perfect holiday menu items. Since Christmas and Hanukkah fall on the same day, expect an influx of customers during this time of year. Whether these customers celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah or time with family and friends, be sure to make the outing extra special. Customers love eating their traditional holiday foods, although, many would love trying a twist on a holiday classic. By placing traditional holiday meals on your menu, your customers will return no matter the time of year.

Holiday Dining Increases

The holiday season brings along a flurry of changes to everyday living. The weather begins to change, kids have a break from school, and employees receive time-off. The lucky ones get a bonus check with it.  As the season changes; consumer behavior, as well as spending habits and preferences change in restaurants. Restaurants must take full awareness of these changes as this has a large influence on their eateries. Customers are very likely start dining out more during the holidays.

Dining Out While Shopping

According to MasterCard Spending Pulse, holiday season restaurant sales have increased between 4.2% and 6.4% every year since 2010. Not surprising. We asked customers if they are more likely to dine out during the holidays and more than 65% answered yes. This data is the result of a few factors. For one, the holidays bring people out shopping and shoppers get hungry. For those who spend hours out shopping, a restaurant is the perfect spot to take a break. Of those that said they dine out more during the holidays, 43% said they dine out because they are shopping. Restaurants also see an increase of sales because of gift cards. Many shoppers purchase gift cards as a quick and easy gift to give to relatives, friends and coworkers.

Dining Out with Good Company

The atmosphere also plays in to why restaurant sales increase during the holidays. The holiday season brings families and friends together, and they are more willing to spend money this time of year. Of those surveyed, over 50% said that bringing family and friends together is a reason to go out and spend money on a nice meal. With the recent increase of the economy, more consumers feel they have the ability to dine out. This is especially true after many employees receive bonuses or holiday gifts from their employer. Consumers see dining out as a sort of holiday gift for themselves.

The holiday season is underway and restaurants must prepare for the increase of customers throughout the holiday season. As consumers flood shopping malls and centers to purchase gifts, they will also take a seat in your restaurant. Whether shopping alone, or out to celebrate with family and friends, restaurant goers are more willing to spend money on a bite to eat. Remember, tis the season to be jolly so as customers walk in, greet them with a smile that is merry and bright.

Michigan Restaurants May Allow Dogs

Next summer, Michigan’s restaurants could host a multitude of new guests. These guests however, will not order off of any menu as dogs cannot eat what the restaurant prepares. A new bill passed under Michigan’s State Senate will allow dogs to accompany guests on Michigan’s restaurant patios. Outside of service dogs, Michigan restaurants do not allow dogs in any area of the restaurant, patios included.

The Senate passed Bill 0727 passed on September 7th, but still needs to win over the House before making the bill law.  If passed, customers have to wait until summer 2017 to enjoy this new amenity as many restaurants and eateries close their patios for the season. While many dog parents would love to bring their pups along for dinner, rules and regulations limit the dog’s freedom.

Rules and Regulations

Customers must read the stipulations of the bill if they intend to bring their dogs along to dinner. In fact, the restaurant may not allow the dog at all. The bill states that local governments and restaurants reserve the right to ban or limit dogs allowed at their eatery. This could restrict dogs of a certain size and breed, or refusing dogs at all. Restaurants also reserve the right to limit the amount of patio space designated for doggy use. No matter the restaurant, all dogs must be leashed and accompanied by a person 18 years or older.

A large section of the new law also states the clean-up and sanitation regulations. Employees must clean and disinfect frequently and effectively in the areas of the patio that allow. Most notably, “dog accidents” receive immediate attention. If an employee pets a dog they must immediately wash their hands, regardless of if they ever handle food. No leftovers for the dogs either. Dogs cannot touch tables, counters or reusable tableware. These rules, along with many others are all in place to protect the health of the customers.

The State House has yet to review the bill, so residents have yet to know if they can bring dogs to dinner. If approved, the bill will go into effect 90 days after passing the legislature. If passed, customers have to check with the restaurant to know if they can bring a dog. To learn more about Senate Bill 0727, please read the article put forth by the Michigan Legislature regarding this bill.