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  • Appetizer delights: Rising flavours on starter menus
    on starter menus Peanut mentions grew 60 per cent making it the second fastest growing flavour overall Actually considered a legume not a nut peanuts are often found in Asian cookery Calgary s Rush Ocean Prime features a lunchtime Thai beef salad with a peanut sauce The nutty sauce furthers the authentic Thai flavours in the dish In addition to being highlighted in Asian cuisine peanuts are also featured in Canadian inspired dishes and can be grown locally Toronto s Canoe restaurant features Ontario peanuts in its pan seared Quebec foie gras starter along with Nova Scotia seaside blueberries and toasted bulrush brioche Pistachio flavour mentions grew 40 per cent on Canadian starter menus in the last year These nuts have a delicate subtle flavour that is good in both sweet and savoury dishes Azure Restaurant Bar at the InterContinental Toronto Centre highlights pistachios in its Woolwich Dairy goat cheese fritters along with pink peppercorns and a port rhubarb compote The subtle nuttiness from the pistachios complements the distinctively tart flavour of the chèvre Sweet Consumers traditionally don t associate sweet flavours with starters However they provide an interesting taste contrast to the more savoury elements in these dishes Maple and honey in particular are sweet flavours being featured on starter menus Maple which has seen a 42 1 per cent increase year over year is a classic Canadian flavour that continues to flourish Typically appearing in syrup form in breakfast dishes or as a flavour enhancement in desserts maple is now seeing an upsurge on starter menus At Bow Valley Grill in Banff Alberta maple is used as a sweetening agent for its grilled bison skewers The game meat is topped with a maple Yukon Jack bourbon glaze and paired with Sriracha aïoli baby spring greens radish and ginger lime vinaigrette Although Yukon Jack liqueur is already sweeter than straight bourbon due to the added honey the maple furthers the sweetness in the glaze Honey grew 18 9 per cent year over year Although honey s flavour varies from light and delicate to strong and robust depending on the region or source it is always characterized by an inherent saccharinity Montreal independent Chao Phraya offers a starter of grilled squid with garlic black pepper sesame and honey The honey brings a sweetness to a more savoury dish and also balances the charred flavour from the grilled preparation of the squid Sour Operators are sweet on sour With the uptick of sour fare like Greek yogurt and pickled foods restaurants are now finding ways to promote sourness in starters Sour flavour mentions grew 33 3 per cent on Canadian starter menus year over year with lime and other citrus leading the pack Lime which grew 40 per cent on starter menus in the last year serves as the tart accent in White Spot Restaurant s Coriander Chili Chicken Wings The wings are tossed in a housemade sauce infused with garlic ginger and coriander and served with pickled cucumbers and cilantro

    Original URL path: http://www.restaurantcentral.ca/Risingflavoursonstartermenus.aspx (2016-02-14)
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  • The battle for breakfast at Canadian restaurants
    focus that has helped QSR operators establish a key point of difference in attracting new customers and increasing visits from existing customers Many FSR operators may not fully understand the impact the success of breakfast at QSR is having on their business More importantly is there an opportunity for FSR operators to capitalize on the success of the breakfast daypart Beginning in 2007 traffic at the breakfast daypart has increased by 160 million occasions Although breakfast accounts for just 15 per cent of total restaurant traffic the growth has been substantial Just over one half of the overall traffic growth in the Canadian restaurant market has come at breakfast And there appears to be no sign of slowing Both women and men have increased their breakfast occasions as has every age group over the past six years The 18 to 34 year old age group otherwise known as Millennials has been responsible for 43 per cent incremental traffic gains at breakfast since 2007 and now represents 33 per cent of all breakfast traffic at QSR restaurants Frequency declines Much of the increase in customer traffic at QSRs is coming at the expense of full service dining As QSR operators continue to promote the breakfast daypart FSR operators are experiencing declining guest counts The main reason is that Canadians overall visits to restaurants are not increasing and consumers are instead shifting visits to the morning meal which tends to favour the quick service segment Today the average Canadian will visit a quick service restaurant 124 times a year compared to 123 visits in 2007 while visits to full service dining restaurants last year declined to 46 annual visits down from 52 visits in 2007 As consumers increasingly dine out for a breakfast sandwich and a coffee in the morning the desire to eat out again at dinner can diminish The dinner daypart represents the largest percentage of customer traffic at FSR operators with a 49 per cent share of traffic Since 2007 traffic at dinner for full service restaurants has steadily declined by an average of one per cent annually The lunch daypart has also been a challenge for FSR operators Today lunch represents 30 per cent of all traffic to FSR operators while breakfast represents 13 per cent New strategies needed Is there an opportunity for FSRs to increase traffic at the breakfast daypart using strategies that quick service operators have been using Customer traffic to FSR establishments has remained below the volumes experienced in 2007 Today there are 1 59 billion visits to FSR establishments in Canada annually down from 1 63 billion in 2007 The main factor influencing a consumer s choice to dine at an FSR is a special occasion It s one of the reasons the frequency of visits to FSR establishments is well below QSR The question is how can today s FSR operators provide more reasons for customers to visit other than for a special occasion The number one reason consumers visit a quick

    Original URL path: http://www.restaurantcentral.ca/battleforbreakfast.aspx (2016-02-14)
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  • Opportunities to drive growth with restaurant meals eaten off-premise
    out options Increasing use of delivery at QSR and FSR and growth of carry out at FSR is more reflective of market recovery than a fundamental shift in the way Canadians use restaurants Customers had cut back on these visits from 2009 2011 and have begun to recover those losses over the past two years QSR pizza restaurants shouldered the bulk of declines for delivery and continue to lose share dropping from 55 per cent in 2008 to 49 per cent in 2013 Growth for delivery this year is wide spread across a variety of QSR and FSR segments with FSR driving the largest incremental growth Growth for carry out is more limited to FSR varied menu Asian and chicken restaurants As pizza consumption is down growth for delivery and carry out is being driven by a variety of other alternatives like chicken beef and seafood entrées supported in part by increasing consumption of Asian entrées Sides like fries salads vegetables and rice benefit Bottled water juice and milk outperform the top beverage carbonated soft drinks While it is encouraging to find strong pockets of growth in a relatively flat foodservice market traffic shifts towards off premise comes with its own challenges Often off premise customers are less inclined to order non alcoholic beverages appetizers baked goods and desserts leaving a great opportunity to increase cheque sizes The QSR restaurant model is designed with the off premise customer in mind and delivery options for lunch and supper tend to capture higher cheques than popular on premise options However QSR operators who do have delivery or carry out service often struggle with enticing customers to order beverages at off premise lunch and supper limiting their potential revenue for these visits FSR menus are usually designed with the on premise customer in

    Original URL path: http://www.restaurantcentral.ca/mealseatenoffpremise.aspx (2016-02-14)
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  • Today's restaurant marketing tip: Advertise inside your restaurant
    Kristin Menas Liana Robberecht Jordan Knox Go Advertise inside your restaurant August 28 2012 Tweet Leave a comment Don t just rely on outside advertising for your restaurant Use the space inside your restaurant to help upsell to customers who are already dining there to increase average checks Create merchandising displays or place retail food snacks bakery products and other goods near your POP or cash register to encourage impulse

    Original URL path: http://www.restaurantcentral.ca/Advertiseinsideyourrestaurant.aspx (2016-02-14)
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  • Today's tip: Training increases profitability at restaurants and foodservice operations
    Janine Windsor Devon Peart Chad Finkelstein Kristin Menas Liana Robberecht Jordan Knox Go Training increases profitability August 10 2012 Tweet Leave a comment Training cannot be viewed as simply a line item expense and the top of the list of things to cut when sales contract When training cost is viewed as part of a wider formula that includes productivity waste turnover and sales growth there is a direct relationship

    Original URL path: http://www.restaurantcentral.ca/Trainingincreasesprofitability.aspx (2016-02-14)
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  • Host a restaurant sidewalk sale
    Menas Liana Robberecht Jordan Knox Go Host a restaurant sidewalk sale July 23 2012 Tweet Leave a comment The summer season is a great time to hold a sidewalk sale for your restaurant or foodservice operation Consider selling small samples of your signature dishes and drinks or packages of to go items alongside any retail products you might sell including cookbooks or branded products You could also hold a garage

    Original URL path: http://www.restaurantcentral.ca/sidewalksale.aspx (2016-02-14)
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  • How to wow the ladies ... in 35 seconds
    seconds By Joel Cohen Leave a comment Give The Ladies What They Want The female segment of your guest base usually goes ignored because they re clumped into your overall marketing efforts along with the men teens and kids It s critical to understand that women are different than men in terms of marketing to them You can t market to women the same way you market to men So here are some key points to remember and implement Do them and your sales will increase Women love to be wow d give them something to talk about because women love to share stories with their friends more so than men do Women are the heaviest users of blogs and Facebook They love to discuss and share stories and experiences online The more you give them the more they ll share and talk about it Women make the majority of the dining decisions Thank them for selecting your restaurant Women love to give feedback Ask for their opinion on certain entrees or plate presentations Women love to talk about their kids This is a great conversation starting point Women love to have flowers to be seated properly to be treated

    Original URL path: http://www.restaurantcentral.ca/Howtowowtheladies.aspx (2016-02-14)
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  • Proper signage at your restaurant or foodservice operation can increase sales dramatically
    will walk through the door Make sure your outdoor sign is clean inviting and up to date and is indicative of the type of food you serve Also make sure that people can see your sign from a distance 1 Make it visible You might like the combination of brown on black and those colours might be part of your brand However potential customers would not be able to see your sign from a distance Be sure to choose the right colours and fonts that make the name of your restaurant and the type of cuisine you serve stand out If your branded colours are dark use highlighting borders or shadows to accentuate your signage 3 The writing is key Informational signage has the power to directly impact sales so it should be well written and concise Put as much information on your sign as you think your customers need to know to make them want to order a particular item What makes the item so special that your customers must have it Before you go to the printers test what you ve written Show your writing samples to your staff family or friends and ask their opinion Quite often an outsider s point of view is exactly what you need However don t create special signage for every dish you serve You do not want to overwhelm customers 4 Moveable signage Moveable or temporary signs are used for special promotions demo areas new menu items or to alert your customers about any worthy news you have These signs should spell out the deal you are offering clearly and are often more effective with photos or graphics that would grab attention 5 About Us signage Another type of signage that is gaining in popularity is one that tells customers a

    Original URL path: http://www.restaurantcentral.ca/Signageforrestaurantsandfoodservice.aspx (2016-02-14)
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