American Idol is over for another year. Kris Allen captured the hearts of the majority of 100 million voters, along with the prize.
Summer must be near.
This coming weekend is the one everyone has been waiting for: The beginning of the summer season. And, like past summers we all are hoping for brighter days ahead. Looking back at one of the worst financial winters in the business’ history it may not be hard for things to get better.
One of the highlights at this year’s National Restaurant Show which just wrapped up in
I was in a
Whatever problems that owner faces is sure to catch up with him since it doesn’t sit well to design a menu without consulting the team that will be producing it. Yet, summer is the perfect time for a menu change. And, with the current focus on added value the season also offers an opportunity to increase profit while decreasing food costs.
Salads reign supreme in summer and as the heat arrives heavy meals become a thing of the past. Present a lot of summer salads on the menu. This not only will help with profitability but also can have a positive affect on labor and service.
Keep in mind that summer also signifies freshness. And the fresher your food looks and feels the more your customers will enjoy it and keep your restaurant top of mind.
A friend recently returned from a cross country, ten flights in five day business trip. She ate a lot of meals in second level chain restaurants and complained that the sodium content in many of those places was ridiculous. When I asked what she ate she claimed that primarily her diet consisted of salads. Salt in lettuce? I doubt it. However, the canned, processed dressings that many large chains use have a salt content in them that would make a blood pressure specialist do back flips.
Make it a point to highlight your dressings on your salad menu and take special time to create house dressings that are exciting and enticing. The standards blue cheese, ranch and poppy seed are all stables on any menu. Yet, in order to come to the heights of customer enjoyment create a Blood Orange Vinaigrette or a Spicy Blue Cheese with Jalape?o zest.
Herbs are another ingredient that will set you apart form the competition. Grow them and use them abundantly. It will become your signature while adding flavor and personality to your new salads and signature dishes. Make sure you bring your staff
Summer menu changes will do more for you and your staff than you realize. A new menu, a product remodel of sorts is one of the easiest morale boosters you can initiate. The change should be more than a special dish here and a blue plate there. Keep your favorite regular sellers, but make sure that you add enough culinary diversification to make a substantially important change.
And remember that these are different times. The stayed standards that once controlled the future of the business have gone by the wayside in many regions of culinary preference. So be a bit adventurous, add flavor to your menu and your dining room will reap the profits.
It’s summer. Enjoy it.