Monthly archives of “January 2017

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National Food Holidays to Market in February

Superbowl!  Valentines Day!  February is a month filled with celebration – probably because it’s both short and (depending on where you live) a bit on the dark and gloomy side.  We’ve already discussed the two ‘big’ holidays to look out for this month – but what about national days?   These days, also known as ‘hashtag holidays’ highlight a particular food item or event in order to get it trending.

National food days are a fun way to promote your restaurant’s strongest offerings.  Using the hash tags on Instagram (today, for example, is #nationalcroissantday) can push your profile higher and create buzz for your business.

national croissant day

Mmmmm.  Croissants.

So take a look at the the list below, and choose ones that fit your brand.  You can offer specials the day of also if you’d like, but most people use national food marketing days as a simple, fun, quirky way to celebrate their menus and restaurant’s strengths.

FEBRUARY 1
National Baked Alaska Day

FEBRUARY 3

National Carrot Cake Day

FEBRUARY 5
Bubblegum Day #BubblegumDay

FEBRUARY 6
National Frozen Yogurt Day

FEBRUARY 7
National Fettuccine Alfredo Day

FEBRUARY 9
National Bagel Day (Formerly Bagel and Lox Day)
National Pizza Day

FEBRUARY 10
National Cream Cheese Brownie Day

FEBRUARY 11

National Peppermint Patty Day

FEBRUARY 12

National Plum Pudding Day

FEBRUARY 13
National Tortellini Day

FEBRUARY 14

National Cream-Filled Chocolates Day

Valentine’s Day

FEBRUARY 15
National Gumdrop Day

FEBRUARY 16
National Almond Day

FEBRUARY 17
National Cabbage Day

FEBRUARY 18
National Crab Stuffed Flounder Day
National Drink Wine Day

FEBRUARY 19
National Chocolate Mint Day

FEBRUARY 20
National Cherry Pie Day

FEBRUARY 21
National Sticky Bun Day

FEBRUARY 22
National Cook a Sweet Potato Day
National Margarita Day

FEBRUARY 23
National Banana Bread Day
National Toast Day
National Chili Day – Fourth Thursday in February

FEBRUARY 24
National Tortilla Chip Day

FEBRUARY 25
National Chocolate Covered Nut Day
National Clam Chowder Day

FEBRUARY 26
National Pistachio Day

FEBRUARY 27
National Kahlua Day
National Strawberry Day

FEBRUARY 28
National Chocolate Souffle Day

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Restaurant Flatware – What You Should Know

Fork, spoon and knife on white

What’s in your restaurant flatware? How is it made? Steel is made from a hybrid of metals, and with that hybrid comes quality designations. There are ratings for quality for your flatware, based on the strength of the metals within it. When you see numbers like 18/0, 18/10, and 18/8, that refers to the percentages of other elements that there are in the flatware.

The 18 in 18/0 refers to the amount of chromium in the restaurant flatware. The 0 refers to the percentage of nickel. That nickel content is what increases the resistance to corrosion, meaning that the 18/0 flatware will stain over time, but it’s honestly still as strong as the other types of flatware that are out there.

The lower grade of flatware offers several advantages, not the least of which being that those who are allergic to nickel don’t have to worry. The second is that when there is no nickel, that eliminates a higher priced metal for the flatware.

Moving on, the 18/10 stainless steel means that there is 18% chromium and 10% nickel content. This provides a higher quality of flatware for your restaurant, as there’s a better appearance as well as more strength within the steel itself. It will be a little more expensive, but it might also be just the thing for your restaurant.

The third type is the 18/8. This is just a slight bit down from the 18/10, so the price is just a bit lower. This is a lower nickel content for those with allergies, but you can get more stunning looks with the stainless steel.

Stainless steel flatware is the only type of flatware that you should be using for your patrons. It is not only easier to clean, but it is also dishwasher safe.

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Menu Design – Tips and Tricks

Couple reading menu at restaurant

What is the one thing your guests are guaranteed to look at when they are in your restaurant?  Why, your menu of course!  Unless they are such regulars that they know what they want without checking (and even then, they will probably take a glance just to see what you’re up to) your menu will create a big, lasting impression on your customers.  So ensure that it’s laid out well, pleasingly designed, up to date, and typo free.

How often should you update your menu?  That really depends on your brand.  Some restaurants print new menus daily.  This can be very cost prohibitive – and printing out on a regular office printer with no graphic design is just not going to cut it.  Unless you have a good system in place – and a cheap one – printing your menu out yearly or quarterly is just fine.  There’s no need to create a new menu every time a dish changes – just keep in on the specials menu.  But don’t write things in using pen and ink, either.  Your customers want a clean, sophisticated dining experience.  the more you can do to provide that, the better.  Make sure your logos and colors are well reflected on the menu also.

Having a lunch, dinner, happy hour, cocktail, and dessert menus printed separately also makes sense.  Happy hour in particular should always be printed separately and distributed only when available.  Same rule goes for brunch.  This is just common sense, really.  You don’t want your customers craving food that is not currently available.  So train your staff to present the appropriate menus for the time of day, day of the week, and location within the bar.  And make sure all your menus have the same look, feel, quality of materials, and graphic design, so that they are completely cohesive for the customer.

In addition to your appetizers, entrees, and desserts, consider adding recommended wine pairings to your dinner menu.  If you have a couple bottles in your cellar with a higher profit margin, push those out on the menu and create an easy upset for your dinner guests.  Finally, make sure all your menus are organized in a way that is simple to read, and that your servers are knowledgeable about the entire menu to ensure that any questions can be easily and promptly answered.

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Eating Healthy While Dining Out

Cutting a vegetables for salad

You’ve been committing to being healthy all week… eating clean, meal prepping, and hitting the gym, but then comes the weekend. You want to go out, but you don’t want to get off track and sabotage all your hard work.

Well, there’s no reason why your social life has to be sacrificed if you’re trying to live a healthy lifestyle. Spending time with friends & enjoying life is important for your health too.

Eating out might seem daunting at first, there’s so many delicious temptations. Cheesy appetizers, bottomless breadsticks, and a dessert menu to die for!

You want it all, but the key is to simply be mindful of what you order. You can still have an amazing night out without waking up the next morning feeling full of regret in a food coma.

Here are some helpful tips for your next night out! 

  • Avoid words on the menu like, fried, battered, buttery, smothered & breaded. Instead look for words like, broiled, steamed, baked, fresh, sauteed, & grilled.
  • The bread or chips might be free, but that doesn’t mean you have to fill up on empty calories. Try to save room the meal and avoid mindless munching!
  • You love salads, but they’re all loaded extra high-cal ingredients…Just ask for the waiter to hold the cheese, candied pecans, tortilla chips etc. & get the dressing on the side.
  • Don’t obsess over the food & inhale it right away! The best part of the meal should be the company you keep. Take your time chewing, & enjoy conversation. Eating isn’t a race.
  • Salads aren’t the only healthy option. Opt for a protein with veggies. It’s the perfect combo to satisfy your hunger, but also nourish your body.
  • Sip water throughout the meal to stay hydrated. Many times we mistake thirst for hunger.
  • Most importantly, don’t feel guilty about treating yourself. Living a healthy lifestyle is all about balance! If you want to order that cake with the chocolate ganache DO IT. Share it with your friends, savor all the flavors, and don’t regret it.

 

 

 

 

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The perfect Espresso Martini

treva cocktail

Time for a cocktail!  Here’s a recipe for a well beloved classic – the Espresso Martini.  It’s just the thing after a big, heavy weekend meal when you want to perk up, but still want to keep the party going.  Good espresso is key to a successful Espresso Martini – so this drink will work well on your menu if you have an espresso machine.

This also works well as a mid week cocktail, as the combination of caffeine and alcohol won’t totally slow you down.  Bottom line?  Put an espresso martini on your menu as a staple – it works for multiple situations and is a perennial favorite.

Here is the simple execute recipe for the above pictured Espresso Martini of Treva:

1.5 oz Stoli Vanilla Vodka

.75 oz Kahlua

.75 oz mezzaluna espresso

1 oz espresso