Good Reads

Five New Ways to Update the Classic Potato

Posted: Monday 04, 2016

Learn how to coax new profits out of the classic potato. We have the latest recipes for everything from trendy poutine to simple fried potatoes tossed in sea salt and herbs. From comfort food classic to cutting-edge small-plate ingredient, potatoes are one of the most versatile ingredients in the food service kitchen. Smashed, Hashed, and Mashed Mashed potatoes elevated with flavors or ingredients like roasted garlic, cheddar cheese, or buttermilk and chives have been popular for years, but there’s still so much ground to cover. Next-gen flavorings like miso, olive tapenade, or bacon and caramelized onions add value and interest to menu offerings, whether they’re included with entrées or offered as an à la carte side. Keeping things rustic by roughly smashing skin-on red potatoes by hand or with a mixer (using a processor makes them gluey) creates a side-dish specialty with a completely different feel. Speaking of smashing, cook small whole red or yellow potatoes until tender, then drain and flatten (with the palm of your hand or the bottom of a bowl). Fry or roast until crisp, turning now and then, to create a unique potato specialty that can be served sprinkled with sea salt or loaded with sour cream and the works. Hashed potatoes are another item that holds the same comfort-food appeal as mashed potatoes, and they’re also perfect for breakfast menus. In addition to being served as-is, hash browns or home fries can be “loaded” with any number of add-on, à la carte ingredients, to create a customizable morning specialty or vegetarian menu option. Hash browns are also great for layering, folding into frittatas, or topping off casseroles. Smothered Chili cheese fries, gravy fries, poutine. The lexicon of potato dishes that involve smothering French fries with sauce or another topping offers lots of menuing potential. Many of these items are regional specialties. Green Chile Cheese Fries topped with queso and Hatch green chili sauce are unique combination to serve. These are just starting points. Dress up poutine with a topping like crumbled blue cheese or duck confit. Serve fries with a choice of toppings that customers can mix and match at will. Swap out chili for another protein-based “sauce” like spaghetti sauce.

Fried

French fries continue to be a staple of almost every conceivable food service operation—in fact, like the veg or non-veg burgers they’re often served with, there seems to be no end to the different ways fries can be prepared, specialized, and merchandised.

• Toss freshly fried potatoes with flavored sea salt, chopped fresh herbs, grated cheese, or a spice mixture

• Offer with a choice of different mix-and-match dipping sauces that can be as simple as flavored ketchup, mayonnaise, mustard, or sour cream, or as complex as truffle butter

• Serve in a paper cone or mini fryer basket lined with a sheet of greaseproof paper

• Menu an upscale fry alternative (such as a seasoned fry or a curly shape) as a premium side dish alternative to fries

• Use instead of potato skins or tortilla chips for a bar snack or shareable plate

• Swap out regular fries to a sweet potato version or even “tots”  

Source: https://www.nestleprofessional.us/trends/five-new-ways-update-classic-potato

The New Definition of Salads

Posted: Monday 04, 2016

 

Salads can be focused on greens, noodles, even proteins. You might be surprised at what’s going in the salad bowl these days. Learn what’s trending around the country. Salads used to be a fairly simple menu category, encompassing perhaps a side salad with lettuce, tomato, and cucumbers, and a main course chef’s salad. Say goodbye to all that. Today a salad can be anything from a room temperature shared plate of roasted tri-color carrots with toasted cumin vinaigrette, to a tossed-to-order creation encompassing all of a guest’s favorite customized ingredients. Crossover Salads Today’s salads are transforming menus and can comprise almost any ingredients, especially as shareables, small plates, and increased creativity with produce, beans, and grains. If it walks like a salad and it talks like a salad, it can be enjoyed like a salad, even if it’s menued as a main course or appetizer. Roasted Carrot Salad with Arugula and Mint Pesto – Ici, New York City Teriyaki Salmon on Noodle Salad – McElroy Common, Boston College Raw Sugar Pumpkin Salad (Xertoli almonds, dates, sardo, jalapeño brown butter) – Alden & Harlow, Cambridge, MA Quinoa Salad (radish, avocado, tomato, almond, cucumber, lime vinegar) – Circa 59, Riviera Palm Springs Hotel Chipotle Cowboy Salad (romaine, roasted chicken, pepper Jack cheese, black beans, cilantro, crunchy onions, chipotle vinaigrette) – Just Salad, New York City Classics Still Reign High-demand salads like the Caesar and the Cobb are still going strong, but often there’s a twist or an upgrade that makes them signature.

SALAD TWIST
Caesar - Different green, such as kale, frisée or grilled romaine- Adding an à la carte protein topping
Cobb - Presenting it as a tossed, rather than a composed salad- Varying the classic ingredients of turkey, blue cheese, avocado, and hard-boiled eggs (ie, smoked turkey, poached egg)
Nicoise - Using hot grilled tuna or another fresh fish
Wedge Salad Heirloom iceberg and/or tomatoes, upgraded bacon (ie, house-cured)

      Custom Creations The customization megatrend has hit salads in a big way, and that doesn’t just mean the salad bar. Tossed-to-order salads like those offered at The Salad Bowl, in Kitty Hawk, NC, or Chop Stop in Burbank, CA, are the next generation of the self-serve bar, allowing customers to choose their own greens, toppings, dressing, and more. Build-your-own salad concepts have proven particularly successful in the growing fast-casual segment, with its emphasis on fresh, made-to-order foods with a healthy spin. Focus on Flavor and Texture Salads have always been a showcase for different flavors and textures, all available in one delicious bite. Now the ante is being upped with ingredients and techniques that bring a little more of everything: Sweet – dried and fresh fruit; sweet/spicy dressings Crunchy – toasted nuts and seeds; unusual croutons Creamy – poached or fried egg, goat cheese Salty – bacon, anchovies, premium blue cheese, or Parmesan Chewy – distinctive grains, smoked proteins, noodles  

 

Source: https://www.nestleprofessional.us/trends/new-definition-salads  

Discover 10 Sales-Boosting Dessert Concepts

Posted: Monday 04, 2016

Desserts are always a favorite whether traditional, unusual, mega-size, or mini. There is a reason they are served by 91% of restaurants! Learn 10 new twists to sell more sweets.

 

It should be no secret by now that dessert represents a big opportunity to satisfy customers and build sales, in any market segment. According to Datassential, desserts are served in 91% of all restaurants (PDF)—84% of quick-service locations and 99% of fine dining establishments serve dessert—numbers that have grown notably over the past 10 years. And it’s safe to say that just about every school, college, hospital, senior living center, and employee dining room offers a dessert or three or four.

 

Not just any dessert though. Distinctive, on-trend, after-the-meal sweets give operators a chance to encourage add-on sales, as they encourage guests to indulge, experiment, and share.

 

In fact, desserts have become more innovative than ever, in part thanks to a new generation of bakers and pastry chefs that have brought the same type of passion and creativity to desserts that young chefs have brought to the savory kitchen.  

Minis Still Big Miniature and individual-portion desserts have been a trend for over a decade—and they’re not over yet. Classics like brownies, cupcakes, and bar cookies are still going strong, along with bite-size versions of more elaborate desserts like cakes, cheesecake, pastries, sundaes, and more. In fact, just about anything that can be miniaturized will be, attracting customers who want just a bite and saving on the waste of cutting (and perhaps not selling) a full-size dessert such as a pie or cake. Mini-desserts are also really big for snacks and in catering. Try This: Doughnuts with Candy Topping do triple duty, for an individual dessert as well as at breakfast and for snacks. Salty/Spicy/Savory Flavors Heat Up Ingredients that aren’t normally associated with desserts, from spicy chilis to sea salt to savory herbs, are being used to create signature sweets. Dessert makers have only to think about the impact that salted caramel has had on the market to see the proof of how popular these flavors can be. Other popular combinations include chocolate with chili or hot pepper, and herbs from basil to bay leaf to lemon verbena. Here's an Idea: Add Minor's Chipotle Flavor Concentrate to chocolate ganache for a spicy kick, or use it in a caramel sauce for roasted fruit such as pineapple (great as a topping for vanilla bean ice cream). Kids’ Sweets Grow Up Desserts that appeal to the kid in all customers entice and delight. Whoopie pies, over-the-top sundaes and ice cream sandwiches, cake pops, warm chocolate chip cookies . . . we wanted them when we were children and they still represent a delicious way to wipe out the cares of an adult life for a little while at least. Custards and pudding, especially rice pudding and bread pudding, are another childhood treat that has found new sophistication in adult hands. Did You Know? Bread pudding doesn’t need to be made with leftover bread; you can also repurpose dinner rolls, cinnamon buns, muffins, or cake. The Return of Pie Like other artisanal foods, pies have staged a comeback; not that they ever went away, but their popularity was overshadowed by trendier, showier desserts. Pies are comforting, delicious, familiar, and often seasonal in nature—from spring’s strawberry to pumpkin pie in the fall—and they exist in dozens of different variations, including regional favorites like banoffee pie, cream pies, blueberry pie, rich coconut custard or chocolate, or refreshing berry or peach. Pies can also be gussied up in contemporary ways with fillings like s’mores, and brown sugar or sweetened avocado—in fact, there’s almost no end to the possibilities.   Tip: To roll out pie dough, place between two sheets of lightly floured wax or parchment paper. Roll from the center to the edge, rotating the dough a quarter turn after each movement for an even , round crust. Comforting Memories Old-fashioned, nostalgic desserts are making news, echoing the comfort foods that are so popular everywhere nowadays. From chocolate cake to blueberry crisp, comforting desserts are not only familiar to guests, even in innovative, cheffy forms, but they also tend to be easier to make or source in their classic simplicity. Serving comforting desserts in homey presentations like skillets, Mason jars, and individual baking dishes is another effective way to bring the message home. Build Your Own Desserts Customers like it their way, at each and every point along the way, and that includes dessert. Concepts like filled-to-order cannoli or cookie-and-ice-cream sandwiches, top-your-own sundae bars, rice pudding with à la carte stir-ins, build-your-own trifle (a kind of layered custard parfait), frost-it-yourself cupcakes, and more, are playing in with the huge customization trend that’s sweeping the country. These DIY innovations are especially popular on college campuses, in catering, and in fast-casual restaurants. Classics Redefined Like comfort desserts and childhood favorite sweets, there will also always be a place for classic favorites, whether tweaked a bit for modern tastes or presented in all their authentic glory. Regional favorites like Key Lime Pie and Apple Pandowdy have a place on the list; so do grand old fancies like Baked Alaska, éclairs and creampuffs, and flaming tableside crepes Suzette. The Sharing Culture “Let’s share a dessert.” That’s the mantra of customers who want something sweet after a meal but don’t want to order something for themselves—or maybe they want to try several desserts so they can sample more than one. Whatever the reason, desserts that can be shared are a big trend, whether it’s a generous sampler, an over-the-top brownie sundae served with two or more spoons, or a plate of cookies, artisanal candies, or truffles.   Tip: These delicious Dessert Truffles are easy to make—and even easier to sell. Year-Round Frozen Treats Ice cream is no longer just a summertime indulgence. In fact, the rising popularity of specialties like malts, milkshakes, sundaes, and soft serve have created year-round demand for frozen treats of all kinds, including not only ice cream but also gelato, sorbet, frozen yogurt, and affogato (an Italian specialty of gelato “drowned” in a shot of espresso). Other possibilities include paletas, ice pops and other variations on the popsicle. Get Started: Nothing says you can’t sell indulgent beverages for dessert, including Iced Chocolate-Hazelnut Cappuccino and Vanilla Blackberry Frappé. Chocolate and More Chocolate Sure, fruit desserts are healthy delights, but it’s probably true that nothing will ever take the place of chocolate at dessert. Luckily, the category of chocolate desserts covers a lot of ground, from hearty German Chocolate Cake to delicate Chocolate Mousse and everything in between. And if chocolate sells dessert, branded chocolate sells it even better, including Nestlé® Munch® and Nestlé® kitkat®—add these ingredients to your favorite desserts and call the brand out by name.

8 Snacks That Go Well With Coffee

Posted: Monday 18, 2016
8 Snacks That Go Well With Coffee We are obsessed with snacks! Be it fried, baked or steamed, we love our vadas and bhajjiyas! More so, no one can understand the importance of a snack with a cup of hot coffee as much as we do. Coffee and snacks are made for each other. Without either, the other one is incomplete. Some matches are certainly made in a heaven called kitchen and here are some such examples for you! Cranberry-Pistachio Granola This concoction of olive oil, honey, dark brown sugar, rolled oats and raw sunflower seed kernels, finely chopped unsalted pistachios, kosher salt, cinnamon, vanilla and almond extracts, baked to perfection, is a scrumptious and super-healthy snack to go with coffee. When you have this golden brown accompaniment, your cuppa coffee will certainly taste better. Coffee Cake Another perfect partner for a warm cup of frothy coffee, this cake is just want you would want. Not too flakey, not too sweet, the coffee cake is a delicacy you just can’t refuse. Egg N Cheese Sandwich Soft fluffy omelette and gooey cheese sandwiched in between two grilled or toasted slices of bread – isn’t your mouth watering already? This sandwich and coffee are simply made for each other. Easy to make and absolutely enjoyable to eat, you can’t give this combo a miss! Murukku This super crispy snack is just amazing. Made with rice and gram, accompanied by cumin and green chillies, it is crispy but melts in your mouth at the same time. Have freshly fried murukkus with a cup of freshly brewed coffee and enjoy the amalgamation or sweet and salty like never before! Potato Wedges Now, who does not like this wonderful crispy thing! Long, chunky pieces of potato, crisp fried to perfection – that’s what we call paradise. Top it with some herbs, salt and pepper, and team it up with a cheesy or mayo dip. Warm potato wedges and a cup of steaming coffee – what more can we ask for! Paneer Tikka A classic and savoury Indian snack, paneer tikkas are simply incredible. Soft and fresh paneer (cottage cheese), marinated in spices and grilled in a tandoor – it is as good a starter to a meal as it is as an accompaniment for your cup of hot coffee. You simply have to try this combo! If you get addicted to it, don’t blame us! Sabudana Vada This classic snack is amazingly simple and wonderfully tasty. Made with sago, potatoes, green chillies, crunchy peanuts and fresh coriander leaves, these fried delicacies are one of a kind. Crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, they will go perfectly well with a cup of coffee. Corn Pakoda Corn, onion, green chillies, ginger and coriander – you can already guess the wonderful aroma, isn’t it? Now imagine all of them together in the shape of small, round, crispy balls – you would want them right away! Corn pakodas can totally surprise you with their taste. And you know what? Just pair a plate of hot corn pakodas with a mug of hot coffee and feel the magic! So, what are you waiting for? Hit the kitchen and get going.

Exotic Fruit Juices From Around the World

Posted: Tuesday 07, 2016
People’s health consciousness is on the rise and it is important to be sensitive to their transformed preferences - especially if you are in the restaurant business. And with detox juices being the talk of the town, what better time than summer to give your Mocktail menu a makeover? Here’s a list of uncommon yet flavour-packed thirst-quencher combinations, which people will grab in the blink of an eye: 1. Minty Peach and Plum Juice Well, this peachy-plum juice doesn’t require much effort. Peaches and plums both being stone fruits, deseeding them is fairly simple. Plus, the skin of these fruits is edible and leaving it on will not particularly affect the taste - not to mention the skin is where the nutrients are. To make its flavour come out better, add a considerable amount of mint leaves! 2. Mangosteen and Pineapple Juice Pineapple and Mangosteen when paired together work their magic like none other. Though both these tropical fruits have sweet & sour traits, they still manage to have a distinct flavour of their own. The juice turns into a pastel orange colour when the pineapple mixes with deep-purple mangosteen. All it needs is a little sweetener if the juice tastes sour. 3. Pomelo & Pear Juice Pomelo is cultivated in abundance in India just like in other tropical countries, yet remains widely uncommon. More frequently known as grapefruit, the pristine pink citrus fruit makes a very good drink when combined with pears. The tanginess of the pomelo, together with sweet fleshy pears is an absolutely irresistible concoction. 4. Red Grapes, Kiwi and Apple Juice Both, red grapes and kiwis are known to be good sources of Vitamin C, which packs this juice with a punch of antioxidants. Moreover, apples are rich in dietary fibres, thus sealing the deal. Make sure the red grapes are a seedless variety or it’ll be a painstaking job deseeding them. Blend the fruits together and there you have it! 5. Passion Fruit, Mango and Lemon Juice The unusual combination of passion fruit and mango gives this juice a nectar-like taste. Scoop out the passion fruit pulp and add to it ripe mango pieces. While blending together, squeeze some lemon juice in it. This’ll help balance the sweetness and allow you to experience a miracle in the very first sip.

Ways to identify the right music for your restaurant

Posted: Tuesday 07, 2016
Different music genres suit different moods at different intervals of time in the day. Soft un-disturbing music flowing in the background while the customers devour an equally delicious meal, can add as a contributing factor to an individual’s overall dining experience. Rock, pop, jazz, country, how do you know what best suits your restaurant? When there is a crowd and the orders tend to get delayed, it is the music that sub-consciously keeps the crowd engaged. Even if a customer walks in just to have a cup of Nescafé, it makes a difference. Firstly, while picking the music, keep in mind that it represents the personality of your restaurant. Ask yourself a few questions - Do you have a theme? What is the kind of food you serve? Is your restaurant located far off from the city to handle some dance beats? Even going to the extent of figuring out whether the music in the background will affect the conversations that your staff has with the customer, hoping that neither voices get muffled; helps! A pre-planned playlist works wonders. Is your restaurant a fun-filled place where youngsters prefer to have their luncheon? Is it a favourite spot for families with children? Or do you have a takeaway outlet where people can grab a working lunch? You may personally love the evergreen hits, but does that go with the restaurant’s persona? Imagine having to listen to instrumental all day long; it can get monotonous after a while. A little effort in taking time off to plan for the day will go a long way. Be it a selection of songs well timed to cater to the hot afternoons, or the comparatively cooler evenings. Asking for feedback. Add in a question inquiring the kind of music that the customer would like to be treated to in the feedback form; you would be surprised at the responses. Some may say they want to be exposed to the latest trends, while some will favour the classic blues. Catering to all may be a little difficult, but then, if you wish to bring out the character of your restaurant; although abstract and intangible, music is the key. You may not be sharing your secret Nestlé recipe of making the classic choc-oat-chip cookies, or even the varied ways of coffee made by nestle, but you are definitely sharing a moment. Music can also be created by a band performing live as well, but, will your restaurant be apt for it?

Making boring foods interesting - food art

Posted: Tuesday 07, 2016
Presentation in laying out a food dish does matter because food and beverages is one industry, where innovation and creativity knows no bounds. Even if it is the age old snack recipes of making pancakes; when you dab a layer of maple syrup and sprinkle a few choco-chips, the sight itself becomes a temptation. Creating a visual experience If you see shabbily arranged lettuce leaves garnished on an exotic Greek salad, wouldn’t it turn you off before you even tasted it? That is because, before the food is consumed, it has to be devoured by one of the strongest human senses – sight. It is not just the arrangement of the dish or the pleasing aroma, but also the colours on the dish presented that leave a lasting impression and affect the anticipation prior to consumption. Ordinary delights created extraordinarily The very fact that maggi can be cooked in numerous ways and yet the chef finds a way to surprise his guests, is something to marvel at. Be it the rosemary herb, a grind of black pepper, baby sun dried tomatoes, finely diced black olives or even honey glazed onions, how you use the ingredients to enhance the overall taste of a simple delicacy is the challenge. Brainstorm and experiment in the privacy of the kitchen before you serve in public. Prepared to perfection A major battle of achieving success in food art relies on the shoulders of how well cooked it is. Once you figure out your concoction, ensure that the sight the food promises, delivers to ace! Double check if the chicken pieces are tender and juicy, or if the fish is garnished with the right amount of mustard sauce. Imagine the customer’s delight when he can unabashedly indulge in relishing a visual delight and find it equally magnanimous. Trick or treat Food art doesn’t necessarily have to be something suave and elegant. A simple vegetable carving placed on the edge of the plate, a subtle pinch of chiseled almonds as a side dish, or even a slice of lemon dipped in honey can do the trick of being an added treat to the already appealing food. As for desserts, when it comes to nurturing the sweet tooth, the difference that one single ingredient makes in the Nestle milkmaid recipes is simply commendable. Ease it up with combos Have a system where you first politely inquire about the customer’s needs and then place a recommendation of the chef’s special. Go a step ahead and explain to the customer how the dish is cooked and what is so special about it, it speaks of your credibility as well as preps us their appetite making them look forward to a pleasant meal.

7 Ways to make your kitchen look attractive

Posted: Tuesday 07, 2016
Although most large restaurants have a kitchen that remains hidden from the public, the staff working inside still need inspiration and adding a dab of colour could even improve their productivity. Compartmentalize – A for Alcohol, B for Barbecue, C for Chopping The preparation of every dish has a set procedure - planning, resourcing, mixing and serving. If your counters are well laid out, you could actually have a structured system to make things happen in record time. With the bar and desert counters adjacent to each other, you wouldn’t want your mixologist accidentally using milk powder assuming that it would be refined salt, would you? Departmentalize Agreed that your chef and sous chefs have the dishes planned out in their minds. But when their hands are already full, you could appoint a manager to exclusively oversee the coffee beverages in case one of the regular customer specifically demands for a particular way of preparation. Store things differently If your food is being served in spotless white plates, let the ingredients be stored in colour coded mason jars or containers. That way you can either chose to label it or leave it transparent, making things easily available; while livening up the shelves. You can even have marshmallow and candies for the staff who demonstrate an exemplary performance during the day. Plan a theme If your restaurant is all decked up, why should your kitchen be bland? Carry on the same décor as outside, subtly minimizing the interiors that allows for work to happen while lightning up the atmosphere. You can even have a product of the week; imagine how you could host a nestle maggi day! White walls drive attention not creativity An innovative mural on the wall, funky table tops, unique shaped cutlery are small measures that will definitely put a smile on the faces of the people that it comes in contact with. You can even add decals to the walls and may be a dart board in one far corner of the room; making them more driven to deliver quality with finesse. Go Green Potted plants near the windowsill or a moneyplant hanging from a coconut kernal on the wall, a little magic of green in the surroundings, refreshes the mind and keeps it going. Besides if you manage to get space outside the kitchen, sow a mini garden of organically grown fruits and vegetables. Weekly once, let the ingredients talk The kitchen arena is nothing less than a classroom. Instead of cooking up a ‘dish of the day’, throw a challenge to the staff to take one ingredient and make as many dishes as they can imagine. You can then call it the ‘egglplant’ or the ‘oregano’ day!

Catering to Millennials – Things to keep in mind

Posted: Thursday 23, 2016
Millennials form an increasingly growing segment of consumers and are setting trends for the Food & Beverage industry. They like things their way and the industry is gradually moulding itself to cater to their needs. So what should you do to gain their trust and loyalty? Here are a few tips. Be sure of your menu Millennials are the inquisitive bunch. They will have a lot more questions about the options on the menu card than you would have possibly heard ever before. So, be prepared to answer their queries in the best possible way. If they feel that you are not giving them the entire truth about the food they are about to eat, chances are, they won’t come back. Food Options For the millennials, a lot of things depend on their mood. On one day, they may want a completely healthy diet while on another day, they may want to give the good a break! That’s why it is imperative that you have a lot of options on your menu. If trends are anything to go by, more and more millennials are opting for healthy, nutritional food and therefore, don’t leave the healthy out of your menu. Presentation They are always enthused by something new and different when it comes to food presentation. Anything that is presented in a fun, quirky or unique way, appeals to them. It may be the same old burger or rajma-rice; if it looks awesome, it might taste likewise too. Millennials love sharing pictures of their food and drinks if they find it interesting and different and are absolutely capable of making you famous overnight! Keep pace with time This generation likes to get things done smoothly and easily. If they walk in to your café and want a take away, they will most likely pay using a card. Now, if you do not have that option, you lose them! If someone wants a cuppa coffee to be packed for a take away, make sure you pack it right. If the coffee has reduced to half thanks to the spillage due to bad packaging by the time the coffee reaches its destination, chances are that you will be all over social media but obviously, for all the wrong reasons. Thus you need must invest in better things to cater to the millennials. Millennials love the idea of experiencing new things and are willing to pay its worth. So, your task would be to give them something that meets their expectations and values. If you can do that, you have their life-long allegiance.

Things To Keep Customers Engaged While They Wait

Posted: Thursday 23, 2016
We do not like to wait; especially when we are hungry or in need of a steaming cup of coffee or craving of a chocolate-filled donut. Keeping that though in mind, it only seems prudent that you find ways in which you can keep your guests engaged while they wait for their food. Here are few suggestions. Finger Foods Serve a good portion of finger foods for your guests to nibble on while you prepare their order. Serve a small portion of salad or kimchi or breads-n-dips. That will keep them preoccupied and also keep their hunger in check. Play some music Play some local music by a local musician or band. People connect better with local arts and language and you can get your guests involved too by asking them to vote for their favourite singer or band on Facebook or Twitter. You could also ask them to comment or tweet about who they would want to hear play on their next visit. Keep them reading Place leaflets, cards or tent cards on the table with interesting information or trivia about various things. These cards could also have interesting bits of facts about your restaurant/café. You can also promote your menu, new additions or soon-to-be-introduced items using these cards. You can tell them about special events, happy hours, discounts, combo offers and customer loyalty programs among other things. While these cards keep the customers engaged in reading, they can also act as a direct marketing mechanism for you. Provide free Wi-Fi A simple way in which you can keep your customers occupied is by providing them with internet connectivity. While you prepare their cup of NESCAFÉ Nestle coffee, just as they wanted it, they can take a tour of the World Wide Web and keep themselves occupied. After all, the amount of matter on the internet is never-ending and engaging. Games Formulate some fun games for your guests. They need not be fancy and high on technology but they should be engaging. To site an example, you can use something as simple as the table. Print a pattern of any board game (like Chess or Ludo) on the table and keep a set a pawns or dice. These games are interesting and can be played by kids and adults alike. Thus, if you have a family as your guests, you can keep both the kids and parents engaged.

The Influence Of Ambience On Customer Loyalty

Posted: Thursday 23, 2016
There are many reasons why a customer might or might not come back to your restaurant. The reasons might be objective (like such as bad service, poor quality of food, unsatisfactory taste etc.) or very subjective (like such as dislike for a particular colour or the smell of the place, dissatisfaction with food options etc.). However, there is one thing that is, in most cases, taken very seriously by consumers and that is AMBIENCE. Colours Matter Depending on the kind of cuisine you offer, you can make use of colours to set the mood of your eatery. You can also choose a theme and choose colour patterns accordingly. Most of us associate with certain colours in similar ways. For example, blue is associated with water and has a soothing effect, green has a calming effect, red is associated with fire and passion and attracts attention, and yellow is bright and cheerful and feels fresh. Create your brand’s identity Ambience is an excellent tool which you can use to create a unique identity for your brand. See if you can find a way in which you can integrate your logo or the colours of your logo into any art work or paint. People do keep going back to a place because they love the environment. Music Always bear this in mind – music is a part of the ambience you want to create. In keeping with the theme of your restaurant, choose the right kind of music. If a group of friends are trying to have a conversation and you have extremely loud music drilling into their ears, it could be a turn off. On the other hand, if a group of employees have come to your café to relax, have a cuppa coffee and unwind over some good music, you shouldn’t set your sound system at inaudible limits. Although different kinds of ambience appeal to different kinds of consumers, a good ambience can never go to waste! Eating is more of an experience than just an activity. Your consumer’s experience will depend on the options you offer, what you are serving, how and in what set-up you are serving it. (Let’s look at another quote that goes well with what you have written in the article)

Innovative Recipes With Organic Products

Posted: Thursday 23, 2016

 

Consumers are becoming progressively aware of food quality and standard, and are hence becoming more and more conscious of what they consume. So, here are a few recipes with healthy, organic produce to keep your guests satisfied. Garlic and Herb Roasted Cauliflower Casserole This casserole is creamy yet healthy as certain ingredients in a regular casserole have been replaced with healthier alternatives without compromising on taste. Ingredients

2 tablespoons butter

1 large cauliflower, chopped

1 small onion, diced

2 tablespoons whole wheat flour

1 3/4 cups milk

1 bowl of veggies

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1 150 gm pack of plain Greek yogurt

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and steam cauliflower for 4 minutes.

2. In a large pan, heat butter.

3. Add onions and sauté for 5 minutes.

4. Add flour gradually and keep stirring until onions are coated evenly.

5. Slowly add milk and stir constantly until slightly thickened.

6. Add in the vegetables, cheese and Greek yogurt.

7. Stir until they mix in well.

8. Add steamed cauliflower. Stir gently till all the florets are coated.

9. Now transfer everything to a casserole dish and bake for 20 minutes, uncovered.

Peanut Butter-Filled Baked Apples This one is particularly popular with kids. However, that does not keep adults from cleaning the baking dish off!

Ingredients

6 organic apples

1/2 cup peanut butter

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1/4 cup raisins

1/4 cup miniature marshmallows

Preparation

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

2. Grease the bottom of a large baking dish.

3. Core each apple but do not cut out the bottom. So each apple will have a pocket.

4. Mix peanut butter, unsalted butter, raisins and miniature marshmallows together. Stuff each apple with an equal portion of this mixture.

5. Place all the apples in the baking dish.

6. Bake for 30 minutes or until brown. The top will also begin to bubble.

7. Remove and cool.

Spring Prawn Salad This salad is fresh, cooling, simple and easy to make. A great choice for the summer months, this salad is healthy and flavourful too!

Ingredients

1 handful of sugar snap peas, strings removed

3 big handfuls of broad beans

20 fresh prawns – medium size, deveined and cleaned

1 tablespoon raw sesame oil (not toasted)

1 bunch of watercress - washed and cut into bite size pieces

1 packet of sunflower sprouts Coarse celtic sea salt Coarse ground black pepper Olive oil Zest of

1 lemon

1 teaspoon naturally fermented white wine vinegar

Preparation

1. Bring a pot of salted water to a rolling boil.

2. Blanche the sugar snaps and refresh in iced water.

3. Pod the broad beans and blanche until just tender, refresh in iced water.

4. Peel the broad beans a second time to release the tender bright green bean beneath. Set aside with the sugar snaps; discard the skins.

5. Toss the prawns in the sesame oil.

6. Heat a heavy base pan. Sear the prawns for 30 seconds each side. Remove from pan and let them cool.

7. Take a salad bowl.

8. Gently toss in watercress, sunflower sprouts, sugar snaps, broad beans and prawns.

9. Season with sea salt and black pepper.

10. Pour the olive oil, zest and vinegar over the salad.

 

Top 4 Trends In The F&B Industry - 2016

Posted: Thursday 23, 2016
Trends come and go. Some stay on for long while some have an ephemeral life. So, here is a list of the top trends of 2016 to help you plan better. Major shift to healthy alternatives With consumers becoming more selective about what they eat and increasingly aware of nutritional value of food, we should get to see more healthy options on the menu. Things like kale and quinoa have already made their mark and now it’s time for variants like flavoured yogurt, black raspberries, baobab and moringa to add to the glamour of your menu options. Consumers are opting for gluten-free flours which are prepared from legumes, ancient grains, teff, amaranth and nuts. For example, chickpea flour is in demand and legume based flours are finding use in pastas and other packaged foods. Presently, the demand for gluten-free products is unprecedented and the trend will continue through 2016 for sure. Whole Foods This year, more uncommon varieties of seafood and meat will make their way to consumers’ plates. Also, we shall get to see a lot more of fermented foods and probiotics on the shelves. As consumers demand to know more about the food they consume, they will increasingly look for transparency before purchasing anything from a super market or ordering something off your menu. For example, gluten-free, dairy-free, wheat-free or non-GMO – a modern consumer would want to all that he can about his food. Dehydrated foods From kale to quinoa chips, dried foods had gained immense popularity in 2015 and a lot of other products are being and will be added to this category soon. This year, we may find many new entrants like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, parsnip etc. Sugar and Pulses Given that India has the highest incidence of Diabetes in the world, there is increasing pressure on the F&B industry to do away with added sugar in food. Resultantly, natural sweeteners like stevia, maple syrup, agave syrup, monk fruit, date sugar, and coconut palm sugar, will may serve as the perfect good alternatives. Also, pulses will be in demand this year and apprehending that, as the United Nations has christened 2016 as the International Year of Pulses (IYP)! As IYP aims to increase awareness about the health benefits of pulses and its sustainability quotient, their demand is likely to increase simultaneously.

Making the Walls of Your Café Talk

Posted: Monday 22, 2016
A café should always have an identity of its own. With an increasing number of cafes, what will set your venture apart from the rest? Certainly, quality of food and service are two of the most important factors. The other differentiator could be the interior décor of your café, specially the walls. The walls of your café can act as wide canvases for you to elaborate the character of your café on. So, here are some ideas. The brick look If your café has a casual, relaxed and chic character, a raw brick look could be an excellent option for your walls. It is rugged yet classy and has an appeal of its own. Add in some greenery Some greenery could do no harm. A few potted plants on a wall or some vines crawling up or down or sideways – it could look very nice and different. If you opt for crawlers, you can form some patterns and designs too. Decide the kind of light you want to put on them and also figure the amount of sunlight they can get. Keeping both in mind, choose the perfect place. How about some coffee? If one of the main offerings of your eatery is coffee, then pass on some coffee to your walls too. You can make shelves on one wall and place nice glass jars filled with various types of coffee beans. Make arrangements to focus some dim lights on them to add to the interiors of your café. Engage the readers For the bookworms who visit you, transform one of the walls into a mini library. These days, book shelves are available in numerous innovative shapes and sizes. You won’t fall short of options for sure. In this way you can attract more consumers with something different to offer. Showcase your merchandise Make shelves on walls and showcase the various kinds of merchandise you might have to offer. Choose a wall which is closer to the entrance as it will attract maximum number of eyeballs. That will help add colour to your café and also expand your business. Choose a theme To keep innovating the look of your café, you may opt for a theme for a period of a month or a quarter or a year and change it after that. As is said, change is the only constant in life, and, some change at regular intervals with help you stay relevant. Once you have finalised on a theme, you can choose various accessories and decorations around it and give your café an impressive look. Why waste the walls in your café when you have these interesting options to improvise on? Give them some life and add in some colour – your guests will love them too!

Interesting Western Fusion Recipes for your Café

Posted: Monday 22, 2016

Interesting Western Fusion Recipes for your Café Continuous innovation is one of the basic tenets of the F&B industry. The more one stays relevant, more are the chances of growing one’s business. Undoubtedly, one of the most important things to take care of is your menu. Nothing can beat a menu with an entire gamut of options to choose from as you can appeal to guests will all kinds of eating habits. So, here are some interesting fusion recipes which could give more life to your menu.

Idli Satay

 

Preparation time: 26-30 minutes

 

Ingredients

 

Cocktail idlis - 1 inch cubes

Onion – 1, large, layers separated

Green capsicum - 1 large, seeded and cubed

Tomato - 1 large

Satay sticks - 8

Salt to taste

Garlic - finely chopped, 3-4 cloves

Pav bhaji masala - 1 teaspoon

Lemon juice - 2 tablespoons

Oil - 2 tablespoons

Green garlic - roughly chopped, 4-5 stalks

Green chillies - roughly chopped, 2

Roasted peanuts

Coconut scraped - 1/2 cup

Fresh coriander leaves - roughly chopped, 2 tablespoons

 

Method of Preparation:

1. Take a skewer and put the ingredients in the following order - onion, idli, green capsicum, idli, tomato, idli, onion, idli and green capsicum.

2. Do this for all 8 satays.

3. Sprinkle salt, garlic, pav bhaji masala, one tablespoon lemon juice and one tablespoon oil over the satays.

4. Heat a flat pan and pour oil.

5. Once the oil is hot, arrange the satay sticks.

6. Turn the satay sticks on both sides to cook them evenly.

7. For the chutney, grind green garlic, green chillies, peanuts, coconut, salt, remaining lemon juice, coriander leaves together with a little water.

8. Serve the satays hot with the chutney.

 

Bruschetta Tandoori Chicken

 

Preparation time: 25 minutes

 

Ingredients

Bread - 2-3 slices, cut into cubes and lightly toasted

Olive oil - 1 1/2 tsp

Onions – Finely chopped, 2 Tbsp

Tomatoes - Finely chopped, 2 Tbsp

Green chilly - 1, finely chopped

Tandoori chicken – 1 cup, shredded

Coriander powder - 1/2 tsp

Coriander leaves - 1 tsp, fresh

 

Method of Preparation:

1. Heat some oil in a pan and sauté the onions and tomatoes till they soften.

2. Add in green chillies.

3. Now, add the tandoori chicken.

4. Add the coriander powder and fresh coriander.

5. Mix everything together and sauté lightly.

6. Top the bread slices with this mix and serve.

 

Pesto Fish Kebabs

 

Preparation time: 30 minutes

 

Ingredients

King fish - 1/2 pound, cut into 1-inch chunks

Red bell pepper - 1, cut into 1-inch chunks

Basil pesto - 3 Tbsp

White wine vinegar - 2 Tbsp

Salt - 1/2 Tsp

 

Cooking spray

 

Method of Preparation:

1. Preheat a tandoor.

2. Take a shallow dish and place the fish and bell pepper. Then drizzle pesto and vinegar over fish mixture and coat everything nicely.

3. Let the mixture marinate for 5 minutes.

4. Then thread fish and pepper alternately onto 4 (12-inch) skewers. Sprinkle salt.

5. Take a jelly-roll pan and coat it with cooking spray. Then place the skewers.

6. Let it cook for 8 minutes or until done. Then turn once and let the other side cook as well.

7. Serve hot.

 

Try these innovative Indo-Western recipes and give your guests some more reasons to come back to you, again and again.

 

We Are What We Eat – Gluten-Free On the Menu

Posted: Monday 22, 2016

Running a food business in an ever increasing health oriented society brings additional challenges with itself. It is essential to keep track of food trends, look at your menu from time to time and make necessary changes. As more and more consumers are choosing the healthy route, gluten-free products are becoming a rage. Here are a few recipes with gluten free ingredients like quinoa which could appeal to your health conscious guests.

Cranberry-Almond Quinoa Salad

 

Preparation Time: 25 min

 

Ingredients

 

Dressing:

Olive oil - 1/4 cup

Fresh lemon juice - 3 1/2 teaspoons

Honey - 1/2 teaspoon

Kosher salt - 1/2 teaspoon

Ground black pepper - 1/8 teaspoon

 

Salad:

Dried cranberries - 1/2 cup

Quinoa - 1 cup, uncooked

Scallions - 1 cup, sliced into 1/4-inch rings

Blanched almonds - 3/4 cup, sliced

Fresh mint leaves - 3 tablespoons, cut into chiffonade

 

Method of Preparation:

 

For the dressing:

1. Take a small bowl and whisk oil, lemon juice, honey, salt and pepper together. Set this aside. For the salad:

2. Bring 2 1/2 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan.

3. Place the cranberries in a small bowl. Then, remove ½ cup boiling water from the pan and pour it over the cranberries.

4. Pour the quinoa into the pot with the remaining boiling water. Cover, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook the quinoa for 12-15 minutes. The water should get soaked up.

5. Transfer the quinoa to a large bowl.

6. Drain the cranberries and scatter them over the quinoa.

7. Add the scallions, almonds and vinaigrette.

8. Fold everything in well.

9. Add the mint and serve. You can also chill overnight is you wish.

 

Zucchini Pasta

 

Preparation time: 45 min

 

Ingredients

 

Broccoli florets - 2 cups, fresh or frozen

Olive oil - 3 tablespoons

Onion - 3/4 cup, 1/4-inch thick half-moon slices

Garlic - 4 cloves, minced

White mushrooms - 2 cups, 1/4-inch thick slices

Carrots - 1 cup, 1/4-inch thick slices

Red bell pepper - 1 cup, 1/4-inch thick slices

Chicken broth - 1 cup, unsalted

Cashew butter - 3 tablespoons

Lemon juice - 2 teaspoons

Dijon mustard - 1 teaspoon

Sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Zucchini - 1 pound, cut into long strands with a julienne peeler or mandolin

 

Method of Preparation:

 

1. Fill a medium saucepan with water and bring it to boil.

2. Add in the broccoli and cook 2 minutes. It should be tender-crisp. Drain and set aside.

3. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large non-stick skillet.

4. Throw in the onions and garlic. Cook for 3-5 minutes until the onions become soft.

5. Add in mushroom, carrot and pepper. Cook for 10-12 minutes.

6. Add in the broccoli and mix all well.

7. Now, bring the chicken broth to a boil in a medium saucepan.

8. Then, reduce the heat to low and whisk in the cashew butter until the mixture is smooth.

9. Stir in 1 teaspoon of the lemon juice, mustard, salt and pepper.

10. Gently toss with the vegetables.

11. In another skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of oil and add the zucchini. Cook for 1-2 minutes.

12. Add in 1 teaspoon lemon juice, salt and pepper.

13. Now, top the zucchini pasta with the vegetables and serve hot.

 

Taking care of the needs and changing habits of your consumers is one of the many tasks you have as a restauranteur. If you manage to do it well, customer loyalty will be guaranteed.

Innovative Ways to Seek and Implement Customer Feedback

Posted: Tuesday 08, 2016
When you’re selling something, it is of utmost importance to receive customer feedback. That way, you get to examine how well what you do is working out. Here are some innovative ways to seek and implement customer feedback. Telephonic Survey One of the most basic, but effective ways to get feedback and collect data is through a telephonic survey. Connecting with your customer after the sale is a wise gesture. For example, as a café owner, you may ask your customers how they liked the coffee dispensed from your new Nestle Coffee Vending Machine. In case they are unhappy, ask them for tips on what could’ve been better. Taking the first-hand feedback makes consumers feel important. Feedback Forms A feedback is the key to improvement. You can give your customers physical feedback forms right after their visit or send them via email. This will help you to give a better experience to your customers. Website Activity Another way to find out about the user experience is by pulling in customers to your website and engaging them on the ‘Live Chat’ section present in the website. In this age of digitization, customers are looking forward to instant replies and would definitely appreciate you catering to their queries. Also, in this process, you can observe the customer’s activity on your website. Monitoring Social Media Consumer today are active on social media and there is a possibility of them having shared their experience on your social media pages. Engaging with them on these platforms can ensure them that their feedback is being taken into consideration. This may also encourage them to share their views the next time. Feedback is essential to run a business smoothly. Therefore, ensuring timely collection of customer feedback is a definite yes.

Seven Essential Values that Form the Core of Service Industry

Posted: Tuesday 08, 2016

With customers becoming the focal point, serviceability has taken the centre-stage. However, to provide and maintain efficient service, there are some essential values that one must understand and implement. Listed below are seven such values.

Understanding the Customer

Know the services you provide in and out. From every service you’ve listed to all the additional benefits you provide, you should able to upsell. At the same time, you must understand the mind-set of your customers so that you can offer them something which complements their preferences. For instance, offering them cookies to go with their Cappuccino.

Taking an Innovative Route

Unlike a product that can be constantly modified using technology, you need to be more creative when you are in the service industry. Innovation and creativity in your service can ensure greater customer interest and loyalty.

Honest Communications

While providing a certain service, it is important to keep your customers informed about everything that goes into it. This builds loyalty amongst the customers so they know you are not hiding anything from them or deluding them with fancy promises that you don’t intend to keep.

Being Accountable

Always have people or representatives in-charge. In case something goes wrong, there are people to take responsibility and manage the situation. Taking accountability of what has gone wrong will ensure the customers they’re being heard. In case there is something wrong with the table snack you’ve served, ensure you take responsibility, apologise and replace it immediately.

Customer Service

The management needs to be approachable and this can be achieved by having a stellar customer service in place. Be answerable to questions related to the service, address their concerns or consider the feedback shared.

Bottom-Up Approach

Being in the service industry it is essential to listen to the employees who are in-charge of direct interaction with the customers. A Bottom-Up Model can help you understand the customers’ needs better as well as the challenges faced by your employees. Innovating better strategies can enhance your service.

Unique Offerings

In order to make your customers feel special, you must adapt a unique customer service approach. For example, offering your customers a unique Nestlé coffee beverage at your Cafeteria. It can be your unique point of difference that acts like a magnet, turning your customers into patrons.

5 Things Customers Look For While Choosing a Restaurant

Posted: Tuesday 08, 2016
For any food lover, eating at a restaurant means placing your trust in its management and investing in their food. There are several factors that go into selecting the right place. However, every patron will uniformly agree on these 5 things that they consider when deciding where to eat. Menu This is a very important factor as it will determine your restaurant’s clientele. While it may seem like an obvious factor, there are still a number of points that go into making a restaurant’s menu appealing. The first is variety. If your eatery offers a specific cuisine, you must consider how widely you can cover the cuisine. Since more and more people are now opting for healthier foods, including them will attract more eyeballs. Price While most foodies will say that good food is worth a hefty price tag, a restaurant must remember that the price must always be justified by the food. Value for money is something that will keep customers coming back again and again. This, in turn, will build the reputation of your restaurant. Service A restaurant that offers delicious food but has terrible service is bound to have a short-lived success. On the contrary, while friendly and attentive service is a must, it must not come across as invasive. Time is also a factor that influences the quality of service. From seating to the paying of the bill, service should be prompt. Ambiance The ambience of a restaurant adds to the entire experience of eating out. Lighting, cleanliness, music and of course, the aromatic smells of food must all come together to create a perfect and inviting atmosphere for your customers. Reputation Prospective customers often take into account the reputation of a restaurant. If the locals of an area swear by your eatery, you can be assured that not only will they be regulars but they will also spread the word about your business to potential new customers. All these factors can prove beneficial in ensuring customer satisfaction and result in gaining optimal business.

Tips on Making Your Menu Card More Attractive

Posted: Tuesday 08, 2016

Whether you’re selling a service, products or food and beverages, a menu card helps the audience browse through the available options. But the design of the menu card is essential in working towards selling your work or brand effectively. Just before you design your menu card, go through below: Colour Palette Firstly, you should have a consistent colour palette. Don’t go overboard with colours while attempting to make your menu look attractive. Simplicity and minimalism are the keys. Keep your target audience in mind while choosing the colour combinations. There are several online colour palette generators which can help you select an appropriate fit for your product or service. Typography Typography of the menu card is a crucial element as well. If you have too many solid colours, use basic fonts. Your aim is to attract customers to your business not to distract them from it. It is advisable to not use more than three types of fonts. Also, avoid anything that is too curvy or difficult to read. Clear Section Headings This is important in drawing the attention of your customer. Having clear section headings make it easier for the customer to find what they’re looking for. If you have multiple cuisine, list them out instead of categorising them as breakfast, lunch and dinner and if you have too many variants of coffee and tea, label them separately. Putting these under one heading as beverages will confuse the customers. Psychology of the Reader While placing your sections, keep in mind the psychology of the reader. Research has proven that readers tend to look at the upper right hand corner of the menu more than anywhere else. So, strategic placements of products will help you to highlight them. If this sounds too complex, you can always get in touch with your local Nestle Professional contact, who can provide specially designed menu cards for your restaurant.