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.
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”
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.
|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
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.
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
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!
6 organic apples
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup miniature marshmallows
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!
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 teaspoon naturally fermented white wine vinegar
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.
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.
Preparation time: 26-30 minutes
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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.
Preparation time: 45 min
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.