nina | July 31st, 2012 - 9:00 am

Great ideas for your summertime BBQ’s using Saval’s very own Kosher Gourmet Franks! (All recipes use Saval’s #33611, Kosher Franks, 5/1). SAVAL DOG 1 Saval Kosher Frank;  1 Bun;  3oz Corned Beef;  3oz Pastrami;  Sauerkraut;  Brown Mustard BALTIMORE DOG 1 Saval Kosher Frank;  1 Bun; 1 Slice of Bologna; Brown Mustard COUNTRY CLUB DOG 1 Saval […]


nina | July 30th, 2012 - 9:00 am

New analysis by the National Restaurant Association shows that the restaurant industry continues to serve as a leading creator of jobs, outpacing overall U.S. employment growth. In the 12 months ending June 2012, eating and drinking place employment jumped 2.7 percent, more than double the 1.3 percent increase in total U.S. employment during the same period. Restaurants added a net 116,000 positions in the first half of 2012.

Overall, restaurants have added more than 575,000 jobs since the employment recovery began in March 2010, with current industry staffing levels standing 193,000 jobs above the pre-recession peak. Restaurant industry job growth slowed along with the rest of the economy during the second quarter of 2012, but remains a net contributor to the economic recovery. The restaurant industry is the nation’s second-largest private sector employer with a workforce of nearly 13 million – almost 10 percent of the U.S. workforce.

The NRA projects that restaurant industry sales will exceed $632 billion this year, a 3.5 percent increase over 2011 sales. This is the third consecutive year that industry sales will post real gains, driven by moderate improvements in consumer’s disposable income and gradual release of pent-up demand for restaurant visits. One out of three (33 percent) Americans say they are not dining out as often as they would like, down from two out of five (40 percent) just one year ago.

According to the NRA’s latest monthly Restaurant Industry Tracking Survey (June 2012), restaurant operators continue to plan for staffing increases in the second half of 2012. Twenty percent of restaurant operators plan to increase staffing levels in six months (compared to the same period in the previous year), while only 8 percent said they expect to reduce staffing levels in six months. Seventy-two percent of operators said they expect their staffing levels to remain unchanged through the end of the year.

Eating and drinking places (restaurants and bars) are the primary component of the restaurant and foodservice industry, which the NRA defines as that which encompasses all meals and snacks prepared away from home.

Source:, 7.6.12


nina | July 26th, 2012 - 9:00 am

It’s the fastest-growing food segment in the nation with many more spoons to fill.

Any way you want it, that’s the way they make it: Swiss, Greek, drinkable, probiotic, nonfat, cream top, crumble top. Fastfood chains serve as a parfait, at the farmers’ market it’s made out of goat milk (from local goats). Yogurt’s growth has outpaced the rest of the U.S. food industry, and U.S. sales are up 15% from 2010.

We’re likely not even close to hitting our limit. Analysts report that of the current largest production capacity projects in the U.S. food industry, at least seven are in the yogurt sector.

America is considered to be an underdeveloped market when it comes to yogurt.  According to Euromonitor International, Western Europeans eat more than twice as much yogurt as U.S. consumers.

Source:, 7.17.12


nina | July 25th, 2012 - 9:00 am

Think about it. The last 10 times you went out to eat, were you presented with an overflowing, complimentary bread basket? Most times, probably not.

Small restaurants don’t have the room and can’t afford the bread waste.  It appears that the death knell rung for the traditional bread basket.  It’s a culinary shift for sure, especially since free starch has been a pre-dinner tradition in American restaurants for a long time.

In the 1970s, there was the cracker basket, cellophane-wrapped circles and squares; the 1980s brought the pillowy sliced baguette with icy, foil-wrapped butter pats; in the 1990s, the bread affected an Italian accent, accompanied by a shallow bowl of olive oil, sometimes flecked with herbs; and then, in the 2000s, the bread got better, and butter muscled back onto the scene.

But in the 2010s? The bread is largely MIA.

Many restaurants that are offering bread are charging for it.  Many feel that bread is a filler.  It sits in your stomach so you’re not as hungry. When you’re hungry, you taste everything; if you’re not really hungry, you’re not really experiencing the flavors of the food.

Bread has been on the decline for 20 years. The reason for that summarized into one word:  “Calories”.

People are more aware of how many calories they are putting in their body. 

Some restaurants have adopted an “ask and it shall be yours” approach, as with glasses of water during drought times. Why waste bread if people don’t want it? But for many restaurants, forgoing free bread may be an essential part of a cost-cutting strategy.

During the recession, restaurants were challenged with rising operating costs and declining consumer spending, which put a squeeze on their already slim profit margins (a typical restaurant runs a 3 to 5 percent profit margin)according to the National Restaurant Association. It’s possible some restaurants modified offerings by eliminating or charging for bread baskets as a result. 

There’s a growing body of evidence that a low-glycemic diet (read: low carb) is healthier and that eschewing highly processed carbohydrates aids in weight management. A study published recently in the Journal of the American Medical Association makes the strongest case yet for re-examining the role of carbs in the food that we eat.

At the New Balance Foundation Obesity Prevention Center of Boston Children’s Hospital, three groups were put on diets to lose 10 to 15 percent of their body weight. Once the goal was achieved, they were put on a standard low-fat diet (20 percent of calories from protein, 20 percent from fat and 60 percent from carbohydrates, with lots of fruits, vegetables and whole grains), an ultra-low-carb diet (10 percent of calories from carbs, 60 percent from fat and 30 percent from protein) or a low-glycemic diet (40 percent fat, 20 percent protein, 40 percent carbs made up of minimally processed grains, fruit, vegetables and legumes).

Those on the ultra-low-carb diet burned 350 calories more per day than those on the standard low-fat diet. And those on the low-glycemic diet burned 150 calories more. This flies in the face of decades of nutritional advice that asserted a low-fat diet is the way to stay lean.

Source:, 7.17.12


nina | July 23rd, 2012 - 9:00 am

It’s got to be bad when the discussion over corn supplies amid a severe drought in the Midwest gets to some never-used clause in federal law that authorizes the Environmental Protection Agency to reduce from 10 percent the mandated amount of ethanol to be used in gasoline blends.

Suffice to say the outlook isn’t good.  It would have to start raining today and continue raining for four to five days, and the average temperature would have to come down to 80 to 85 degrees.  And even if that did actually happen, not sure we’d get yields above what USDA projected in its last estimate.

Last week USDA cut its U.S. corn crop estimate by a massive 1.8 billion bushels, to 12.97 billion, and slashed its livestock feed use forecast by 650 million bushels. Meanwhile, the agency took the ax to its corn yield estimate by an unprecedented 20 bushels per acre to 146 as what’s projected to be the worst drought since the disaster of 1988.

Some predicts a yield of 143.2 per acre with a 5 percent carryover. If we don’t get rain the next two weeks in the Midwest, it’s not going to hold 146; it’s going to trend toward 135. And then we’re going to have to decide who really wants to eat.

Though some analysts have suggested that continued deterioration of the corn crop could lead to $10-per-bushel prices, analysts and producers aren’t convinced they’ll go that high but certainly don’t expect any relief from the $7.50 to $8.00 range.

A reduction in the ethanol mandate could provide some relief, but the EPA doesn’t have a history of pushing the panic button afforded by current law. In 2008, Texas Gov. Rick Perry requested EPA do so, which prompted a study into whether the mandate was causing economic harm, the agency’s litmus test. The agency determined the mandate did not. The process of coming to that determination took more than six months.

Through the first five months of this year many major chicken producers were profitable. In June the USDA was projecting a record corn crop. Only some weeks later the agency made its dramatically reduced projections, hardly time for chicken producers to make adjustments yet.  

There hasn’t been a lot of time to really react as far as making any production changes because we’ve had such a quick run-up in the markets. When looking at our production expectations, there’s a good chance of some pullback in the coming months.

Source:, 7.17.12


nina | July 23rd, 2012 - 9:00 am

Summer in Howard County means just-picked corn, juicy peaches, fresh-from-the-fields Swiss chard and other locally grown ingredients.

In the past few years, the food world has developed an increasing fondness for locally grown fare, which many believe is fresher, tastier, more beneficial to local farmers and economies, and better for the environment since it doesn’t travel far. But the concept of local sourcing is hardly new to local chefs and restaurant owners, or to Howard County Tourism & Promotion, which assigned a “Farm-2-Table” theme to its first summer Restaurant Week five years ago.

The tourism office organizes Restaurant Weeks twice a year, with an international theme in winter and farm-to-table in summer.

During the summer Restaurant Weeks, which this year runs July 18 through Aug. 6, chefs are encouraged to use local ingredients as often as they can.

This year, the Farm-2-Table event will take place over 20 days, up from two weeks in the past. As in past years, about 20 restaurants have signed up.

Farms that supply local restaurants are also being highlighted. Restaurant Weeks has been instrumental in bringing the growers and the preparers together. 

Source:, 7.16.12


nina | July 20th, 2012 - 9:00 am

Consumers are eating more burgers. Are you driving repeat visits?

What’s the right burger for your customers? While research points us toward globally inspired, bolder burgers, it also tells us that many consumers still crave the good old traditional burger.  Whether they’re going with familiar or adventurous burger builds, consumers are eating more of them. Indeed, Technomic’s 2011 U.S. Burger Consumer Trend Report tells us that burger consumption is up dramatically since 2009: nearly half of today’s consumers (48%), compared to just 38% of those polled two years ago, say they eat a burger once a week or more often. Interestingly, burger consumption at home has increased only slightly since 2009, demonstrating that foodservice is driving the overall increase in burger consumption.

Differentiating your burger menu from the competition is perhaps the greatest challenge. Offering value through premiumization is one effective tactic. Consumers are willing to pay more for a specialty burger, especially a premium burger, than they are for a standard burger, regardless of the type of restaurant. 

THE MEAT—for the best burgers choose meat from the shoulder, or chuck, area of the animal. For a juicy burger, look for a fat content between 15 and 20%. For seasoning, add kosher salt and cracked pepper.

THE VEGETABLES—The flavorless tomato has turned into a locally sourced tomato, a sun-dried tomato or fried green tomato. The white onion has transformed into grilled red onions and fried onion strings, adding textural contrast. Lettuce is now sometimes red leaf lettuce, or arugula. We are also seeing things like fresh and pickled jalapeños, avocados, sautéed mushrooms and roasted red peppers.

THE CHEESE—Cheese can really give the identity to a burger before any other vegetables, condiments or toppings are added. Add a slice of Jalapeño Jack for a Southwest identity. If you choose Brie, you’re serving a burger with a French twist. Gruyère, a Swiss influence. You can build the burger from there—from the inspiration of the cheese.

THE SPREAD—I think the main thing that separates a good burger from a great burger is the spread, whether it’s as simple as a sweet and smoky BBQ sauce or a thick steak sauce. Adding a signature touch is easy with quick embellishments: chipotle plus mayonnaise, steak sauce plus guacamole, BBQ sauce plus bourbon.

THE BUNS—There’s such a great assortments of breads today, and there’s definitely swing toward artisanal breads. Whether you go with brioche, French rolls, ciabatta, kaiser rolls or dark rye, it needs substance, so it can hold all of the ingredients and still have its own good texture and flavor.

Source:, 7.17.12



nina | July 20th, 2012 - 9:00 am

Saval Foodservice’s Corporate Chef/Marketing Manager, Bryan Bernstein, participated in the fifth annual Buy Local Cookout at Government House yesterday and officially kicked-off Maryland’s Buy Local Challenge Week.  This challenge encourages Marylanders to incorporate at least one locally grown, produced or harvested product into their meals each day.  Governor O’Malley designated July 21-29 as “Buy Local […]


nina | July 16th, 2012 - 9:00 am

Before sunrise last Monday, in a parking lot by the water in Winter Harbor, Maine, a gathering of lobstermen came to a rare consensus: prices were too low to go fishing.  30 vessels in his co-operative have remained in port for a week straight. Lobster prices at the dock have fallen to as low as […]


nina | July 10th, 2012 - 9:00 am

Round out your menu with better-for-you optionsMENU MIX. 

Round Out Your Menu With Better-For-You Options.

It makes good business sense to appeal to as broad of a diner base as possible—without sacrificing culinary vision. Today, more diners seek better-for-you options when dining out. Indeed, based on a recent Consumer Trend Report states 47% of consumers strongly agree that they want restaurants to offer more foods that they consider to be healthy and 33% say they are more likely to visit a restaurant that offers some healthy options, even if they don’t end up ordering a healthy choice. It is clear that consumers do want restaurants to offer healthy options—even if they don’t end up ordering them often or at all. Or they’ll use healthy options to integrate a healthy element into their meal, so a healthy side with a more indulgent entrée. 

So, revamping an entire menu to attract diners seeking better-for-you options is not necessary. 

Here are a few suggestions to add to your menu:
*  Offer Portion Choices.  Offer your diners full and half portions.  It’s a simple adjustment to the menu, and one that diners looking for smallerportions will appreciate.

*Add Whole Grains.  Diners are more familiar with whole grains than in the past:  quinoa, farro amaranth.  Cook them with stock and aromaticsfor added flavor. Add vegetables for color and texture.

*Look to Beans.  Beans are nutritious, inexpensive and satisfying.  They’re great under fish or other lean proteins.  As you reduce your protein size, beans offer value on the plate. Cook them with a flavorful broth. Use smoked meats and herbs to flavor, too.

*Make the Plate Pretty.  How wholesome food looks is half the battle.  Diners eat with their eyes.  Make the plate beautiful – layer ingredients on top of each other. Make sure you use vibrant colors: spinach, saffron, cranberries, for instance.

*Use Reductions as Sauces.  Instead of heavy sauces, consider making a reduction as your dish’s sauce.  For example, reduce balsamic vinegar,balancing it with a drizzle of olive oil.

*Go Local.  Local generally means seasonal, and seasonal produce is usually picked at its nutritional peak.  Nutrients are better developed thecloser the produce is to the vine—and the colors and flavor are at their peak, too.

Source:, 4.16.2012

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