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  • Tea aficionados welcome the new tea revolution
    appeared on the horizon First major retailers such as Sobey s and coffee chains including Starbucks are launching super premium teas in their stores This might not seem like anything special However until recently the finest teas were limited to specialty shops This new approach might just change the way we purchase tea and with it bring better quality to mainstream retailers and quick service coffee locations Steps like these show us that granny s cup of tea is no longer the norm and we have finally traded the soggy old bag for premium all natural non GMO gluten free kosher and organic gems And why not indeed Tea after water is still the most widely consumed and affordable beverage on the planet The second part of this revolution is one that excites me tremendously as a former chef and restaurant owner Multitasking abilities Tea started its journey not only as a medicinal product but also as sustenance currency and eventually as a culinary treat for the wealthy It took thousands of years for tea to become the staple beverage it is today The leaves of the tea plant Camellia Sinensis were boiled with ginger and spices used as flavouring for food and pickled or eaten as salads In Tibet tea is still boiled with Yak butter for sustenance I am happy to report that this tradition has resurfaced with a vengeance One of my personal favourite summer appetizers is tea infused goat cheese I use the larger cheese logs and marinate the slices overnight in Honey Fig Tree a sweet and fruity herbal tea I add some honey and orange segments to a very strong infusion I then garnish the dish with oranges and rosemary and serve the cheese on a bed of sliced figs and micro greens Chefs and mixologists all over the world have re invented the use for this amazing and incredibly versatile ingredient I recently spoke with a few Toronto area chefs and mixologists and asked them to share their favourite ideas Paul Boehmer from Boehmer Restaurant likes to smoke quails over Skinny Woolong a concoction of Oolong tea lime leaves and coconut Boehmer stresses the importance of brining the quails since they soak up the mixture of apple wood and tea smoke more efficiently Chris McDonald at Cava has been making the most delicious chocolate bark with crushed leaves of creamy Earl Grey for years The secret of his success lies in the combination of tea and the use of sea salt with the chocolate The proper tempering of the tea infused chocolate is very important here Christopher Palick the executive chef at L eat catering and Paese restaurants makes a divine combination of Ahi tuna and Shanghai Sunrise a green rooibos tea with dragon fruit pineapple mate and lapacho Pailick uses the acid in the pineapples to cure the fish and the juice to infuse the flavours of the tea Chris Brown at Citizens Catering The Barn at Wychwood in Toronto started using

    Original URL path: http://restaurantcentral.ca/tearevolution.aspx (2016-02-14)
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  • Archives: Non Alcoholic Beverages
    traditional and common frozen beverage flavours listed Quenching the thirst for better non alcoholic beverages Upgrading and enhancing non alcoholic beverages is a great way for operators to please their guests and differentiate from the competition Today we re seeing operators expand Canadians are brewing up a new taste for tea One of the most widely consumed beverages in the world second only to water has been delivering warmth to the cold relief to the thirsty and cooling comfort to the Brewing up bucks Coffee at foodservice Canadians love coffee and it has never been easier for them to get a good cup For the past few years consumers have been exposed to rigorous rebranding and new Carbonated soft drinks losing ground to innovative alcohol free beverage options More and more Canadian consumers are pushing alcoholic beverages to the back of the shelf in favour of an increasingly wide array of booze free options Coffee wars The battle is brewing for the attention of coffee fans in Canada Canadians love their coffee Canadian coffee drinkers consume an average of just over 13 cups of coffee a week That means that those who drink coffee are likely to have two Brewing up profit Top tips to boost tea sales Canadian tea drinkers are a passionate bunch when it comes to their daily cuppa but for foodservice operators in this country that passion doesn t always translate into Ride the beverage wave Adding to a beverage line up can help build business outside of main meal visits as upscale beverages like smoothies and iced coffees are most popular as an Boosting profits with coffee and tea For most of us the ubiquitous cup of coffee is the first thing we reach for to help us start the day Whether you are firmly

    Original URL path: http://restaurantcentral.ca/FoodBeverage/NonAlcoholicBeveragesArchives.aspx (2016-02-14)
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  • Restaurant Marketing Basics
    at a carnival with a half dozen independent operators shouting at you to pop a balloon or throw a ball Three ways to fire up your innovation strategy For most businesses innovation is a necessity It s how we create and develop product offerings that meet the needs and expectations of our ever evolving customer base The best business operators Eight effective ways to boost sales in the New Year There are certain times of the year where business is relatively slow and for some restaurants the winter months are dreadful These slowdown periods are a common cause of cash flow shortages for many How to handle online complaints In the hospitality industry above all else it is the experience that is sold Those experiences may come in the form of dining hotel stays or retail purchases Long after a meal is finished the major takeaway is Eight ways to make your restaurant kid friendly Restaurants that target families have to cater to both parents and their children Kids are very influential in choosing a restaurant to dine and are potentially your biggest customers Today s average parent will Using social media to improve your restaurant s bottom line On

    Original URL path: http://restaurantcentral.ca/Marketing/MarketingBasics.aspx (2016-02-14)
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  • Restaurant Branding
    revenues for the industry of about 72 billion That s a lot of competition Five ways to create a strong first impression with your outdoor signage You never get a second chance to make a good first impression Your outdoor signage is much more than the name of your restaurant it s your customer s initial encounter with your restaurant Your Yelp reviews How to overcome the bad business review Small business owners work hard to build a brand reputation and get their business steadily off the ground But what happens when a customer has a bad experience and vents in an online review How to use Instagram to add flash to your social media marketing program If you use social media for business chances are that your brand is already on Facebook and Twitter Size and scope alone can make both platforms very useful in building your online presence But did Bringing your brand to life Restaurant mascots are more relevant than ever Despite the abundance of new marketing trends at a restaurant s disposal there s always room for a staple 20th century branding tool the mascot If used successfully restaurant mascots can Creating brand love How to

    Original URL path: http://restaurantcentral.ca/Marketing/Branding.aspx (2016-02-14)
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  • The art and science of creating the perfect menu
    teams need to not only engage guests for their feedback but also feel empowered to share it with the chef Being receptive to feedback will show all staff that the guest s opinion and happiness is the most important factor in the success of the restaurant Menu and brand design Menu branding extends far beyond the font and layout of the menus Plating techniques plate ware serving vessels and utensils now say more about the restaurant s brand than ever before Committing resources to building a style that suits the brand and the type of food will go miles as guests recognize the effort The Science Perspective The focus on profitability is as important as any part of the art perspective and is often not given enough consideration when developing menus This is partly due to chefs and owners not having the recipes properly or accurately built out and the lack of tools or software to make great decisions on pricing structures for menu items to be profitable once in the menu mix As a chef develops a special or feature menu item it s important to cost out and review the dish s profitability and how it may compete against other menu items Otherwise the item may dilute profitability if it has below average margin versus the other menu selections in the category it is competing in and dominates in the sales mix The best practice is to start with building out a theoretical costing structure to establish the right pricing strategy Over time the menu can be developed with historical sales detail of how much each item has sold over a given period and depending on sales volume could be reviewed every couple of months Step 1 Establishing theoretical costs Once the menu is fully costed theoretical costs can be established for all product categories A theoretical cost is the ideal cost percentage that the category should be running at It is based on the sales volumes of each item within a category and the costed recipe for each one of those items Below are examples of what theoretical costings look like for a menu category The theoretical costs are then used to monitor inventory control on a regular basis and become the benchmarks laid out in budgets for the operational financial statements Step 2 Menu engineering The best way to maximize product cost efficiency is by properly engineering the menu A restaurant s menu and the pricing of it is one of the most important parts of a restaurant s profitability it is what generates 100 per cent of the revenue Proper menu engineering involves costing out all of the menu items that the location sells and then using margin pricing techniques to establish selling prices Margin pricing technique In the example there are three approaches to selling a dinner item At one extreme is the first column where the product cost is 2 and the selling price is 10 a 20 per cent food cost and

    Original URL path: http://restaurantcentral.ca/creatingtheperfectmenu.aspx (2016-02-14)
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  • Seven tips to creating an effective menu that sells
    range Use a maximum of three colours and make sure the colours give enough contrast so your menu stands out Your menu boards need to be properly lit as well More than any other aspect of the menu colour has a definite psychological purpose that not only stimulates the appetite but calls attention to particular foods For example a green background sells fresh soups and salads a yellow background sells breakfast items and a red background sells desserts As part of your branding your logo should appear frequently on your menu Your brand should be prominently featured in your uniforms décor and promotional materials that complement your menu design 2 Include product origins in your menu descriptions On May 23 2015 hundreds of thousands of concerned individuals gathered across 38 countries and 428 cities to join in peaceful protests against the Monsanto Company and its genetically modified food products and pesticides Customers today are more concerned about where their food comes from and how it was grown so make sure you put this information in your menu description where you are using good quality and local suppliers For example a menu description for a burger could read Grain fed beef with no antibiotics from XYZ Farms on a seven grain organic roll from ABC Bakery 3 Make it user friendly Ensure that your menu is user friendly If you offer too many items and choices you end up confusing your customers One way of doing this is to have separate menus for your drinks and desserts These items can get lost in your main menu but will attract more attention on their own especially with photos Meal combinations are also a good way of both up selling extra items and helping your customers make quick decisions 4 Use local foods on your menu Using local produce allows you to add variety to your restaurant menu changing it with the seasons and is a good marketing tool Today this goes beyond just fruits and vegetables It can refer to sustainable beef and seafood artisan foods homemade desserts or hyper local restaurant gardens Local foods are often fresher taste better offer more variety and protect the environment all reasons that will win with your clientele Add terms like locally grown and fresh from the farm to your menu description and watch these items fly out of the kitchen 5 Don t use a menu that is out of date Don t use the same menu that you have had in your restaurant for the past 10 years Update your menu regularly preferably to fit the different seasons featuring fresh or local foods Keep all your signature dishes and customer favourites but take the opportunity to try out new menu items by first offering them as appetizers If they get good reviews then make it an entree on your next menu revision You can also offer daily specials Consider adding the specials that received the best feedback onto the menu permanently 6 Be

    Original URL path: http://restaurantcentral.ca/Seventipstocreatinganeffectivemenuthatsel.aspx (2016-02-14)
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  • Food photography 101 - for restaurants and foodservices
    how they feel about what they see Good photography conveys a great deal when used correctly and appeals to the consumer s emotions making them stop look feel and more importantly want the product you re selling We see it used almost everywhere from package designs and point of purchase to billboards magazine ads websites and of course menus in a restaurant A beautifully executed photograph will make the consumer stop look and hopefully buy When photographing food it s crucial that you plan your shots carefully as food does not hold up well under lights and will start to dry out and wilt very quickly Here are some pointers to think about when planning your shots Don t over style your dishes Make it look real like you actually serve the dish but with a bit more flair Give some thought to how you prop your shots Think about the colour and shape of the dishes the cutlery glasses and the background you are shooting on Is it appealing Does it reflect the mood and theme of your dishes Does the setting accentuate your food or compete with it Make sure the food is the star Whenever possible try to use as much natural sunlight as possible as it gives a more natural feel and creates highlights and texture to your food Not every inch of your photo has to be in focus If you are shooting a signature burger with a side of fries focus on the burger The fries can have a soft focus as long as you still know that they are fries Selective focus helps to zero in on the hero part of the shot Unless you are shooting a large tableful of food for something like a catering shot try to zoom in tight

    Original URL path: http://restaurantcentral.ca/Foodphotography101.aspx (2016-02-14)
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  • Using social media to improve your restaurant’s bottom line
    of Caplansky s deli Chef MarkMcEwan of The McEwan Group or DavidChang of Momofuku can bring prestige and personality to your brand image with the added bonus of an already strong identity and following Another option is to arrange your restaurant s identity around a unique experience like Toronto s SmoqueNBones a barbeque and bourbon bar serving up grilled meats and carefully curated cocktails with a side of Southern hospitality Another example is La Carnita a Mexican restaurant with a street art meets street food culture typified in their logo a Day of the Dead skull illustration made up entirely of taco ingredients 2 Develop a strategy Armed with an established brand identity the next step is to build a social marketing strategy that will allow you to show off your authentic and original brand personality online Your social marketing efforts will also allow you to make friends with your customers By sparking engaging memorable and brand driven conversations you open up the opportunity to market your business with consumers not at them Today s market places much more trust in other customers than in businesses so working with consumers to build your online reputation is key Since one in three people come to a brand through a recommendation 3 encouraging fans to talk about your restaurant can actually increase sales There are three core groups to consider fans brands and influencers Fans can be found in your followers they eat in your restaurant and talk about you on social media Engaging with fans can steer your word of mouth marketing in a positive direction Brands are other businesses you collaborate with in a mutually beneficial relationship Influencers are notable players in the world of social media with a strong voice and following 3 Execute your plan A well executed

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