Gluten Free Pizza

admin | June 5th, 2014 - 2:58 pm

Gluten Free Pizza

CheesePizzahr10208 5oz Cheese/Provolone 50/50 Blend Shred
81271 1ea Crust, Pizza Gluten Free 24/10.5″ 7.5oz
77250 3oz Sauce Pizza Fully Prepared Don Pepino
66050 Topping Pepperoni Sliced Via Centrale
66054 Topping Zesty Italian Sausage Via Centrale

Procedure: Place 2-3 oz of sauce on top of pizza dough and layer cheese, pepperoni and sausage on top. Bake in hot oven with metal tray until golden.

FAST CASUAL – SECRETS TO SUCCESS

admin | June 5th, 2014 - 10:14 am

Fast Casual continues to evolve, making the concept a moving target for restaurateurs who are trying to succeed in the market that accounted for 15% of all limited service restaurant sales in 2013, according to the “Top 150 Fast-Casual Chain Restaurant Report” from Technomic. A panel discussion presented Saturday by NRA’s Fast Casual Industry Council at the 95th annual NRA Show featured three executives from concepts that have managed to get it right and grow their business along with their brand reputation.

Although they work for operations ranging in size from six units to more than 750 units, these executives all agreed that a few key objectives hold the key to success for the future of fast casual. Regardless of size, location or concept, fast casual operators can’t ignore the growing demand for healthy options, the importance of technology and the role that company culture plays in building an engaging and lasting brand.

Consumers crave ”the perception of health”
As the health and wellness trend continues to grow and consumers demand healthy dining options, it’s important for restaurant operators to understand what healthy eating means to consumers. One executive vice president on the board spoke about the increasing emphasis on “perceived health”, and how different demographics have different expectations of “healthy” food. Older generations tend to place the most importance on “low” diets, he said, seeking out items with low calories and trans fat. Millennials, however, tend to focus on sustainability and often view sustainable, local or natural foods as being more healthful. “It’s more of a perception of health. Health is what’s important to you. Do I care about where my food came from, or do I care about if it will help me lose weight, or do I care about if it’s going to increase my metabolism? We have to be aware of what the different guest that is coming in is looking for.

A CEO of California-based chain echoed the need to provide healthy options, saying about 28% of his chain’s menu is now composed of grilled fish options. While a 3rd board member and CEO thinks about health more in terms of the feeling customers have when they leave the restaurant. He wants the customer to walk out after the experience feeling very good about the decision to have dined there … even if it was indulgent in some way – – they aren’t feeling guilty about it.

Don’t get left behind when it comes to technology
Finding ways to incorporate new technology into restaurant operations should be a top priority for restaurateurs looking to stay relevant with today’s busy consumers. When it comes to technology one board member’s motto was, “if you’re not first, you’re last.” The brand has already embraced mobile ordering and reaching out to customers using social media, and he said he plans to start using handheld devices during dinner service so customers can add dessert or other additional items to an existing order.

Another chain is looking to tech upgrades including kiosk ordering systems that will help speed service. Adopting more automated systems could mean less need for front-of-house staff, but customer interaction will remain a priority for his chain. When you order with us we bring you your food. We like that connection, that interaction, that table-touching. So, he doesn’t want to lose labor, he wants to redeploy labor.

It’s about more than just food
All three panelists agreed that great-tasting food is essential, but it’s not enough to keep customers coming back. Today’s fast casual customer is looking for brands they can believe in that focus on issues that are important to them, such as sustainability, philanthropy and cultivating a strong company culture that helps employees succeed. Fast casual guests are interested in brands that bring more to the table than just food. They’re looking for a connection, for a story, for a belief.

Another chain runs pop-up shops at local charity events, which helps build positive publicity for the brand. Employee appreciation is a big part of the company culture as well, and they write a note to every employee on the anniversary of their hire date.

Source:  smartblogs.com, 5-19-2014

MAKING A LINK BETWEEN FARM AND RESTAURANT TABLE.

admin | June 4th, 2014 - 9:32 am

You love getting fresh food on your plate at home, but how about when you go out to eat? How “local” is that “locally-sourced” food at your favorite restaurant?

In Montgomery County, there’s an effort to make sure that the lettuce isn’t lame and those carrots are crisp, as the Department of Economic Development is working to generate links between farmers and restaurants.

Chef-turned-farmer, Mark Mills says the county’s efforts are helping his small three-acre farm, Chocolates and Tomatoes. He’s already found a place at the table with Rockville’s Chef Geoff’s.

Mills says the arrangement works well for everyone: Chef Geoff’s can call him up and put in a request for produce, and, he says, “I can put it in the ground; I can grow that vegetable for them to their specifications.”

Mills says the cooperation leads to a great cross-promotion for county businesses.

“A lot of restaurants are doing that now too. They put the name of the farmer on the menu so people can know where their ingredients are sourced from.”

Mills also benefited from the county’s beginning-farmer pilot program.

“They hooked me up with a land owner, and here we are!”

Standing at his stall at the Olney Farmer’s Market, Mills shows off his onions, lettuces, radishes — and chocolates. The Peach Cream, Huckleberry-Rosemary and Hint of Berry chocolates are made with locally grown fruits and fair-trade chocolate.

Theresa Nolan, who was stopping by to get some greens at Mills’ stall, explained why she shops at farmer’s markets.

“You can meet the farmer themselves, and you can ask them questions, and it just gives you that feeling of trust,” Nolan says.

Mills says he loves that interaction, saying it allows him to draw from his background as a chef as well as a farmer.

“I can tell them they can use the radish greens for pesto, they can use turnip greens for this or for that,” he says.

Mills’ biggest challenge? Battling bugs.

“To do everything organically and pesticide-free means that we’re just battling insects, we’re battling weeds, we’re battling weather constantly.”

But the rewards, he says, are great.

“When you look up and you see all the beautiful produce and you know that it’s clean and fresh — that’s a wonderful thing.”

Source:  wtop.com, 6-2-2014

Summer Employment Forecast for 2014

admin | June 3rd, 2014 - 12:34 pm

The National Restaurant Association’s Chief Economist Bruce Grindy presents the 2014 summer employment forecast.  Restaurants are expected to add 508,000 jobs this summer season, which will rank only behind 2013 as the largest number of summer jobs on record.

Restaurants are expected to add 508,000 jobs this summer season, according to National Restaurant Association’s 16th Annual Eating and Drinking Place Summer Employment Forecast.  The projected 2014 gain would represent the second consecutive year in which restaurants add at least 500,000 jobs during the summer season.

Driven by an improving economy and consumers’ elevated levels of pent-up demand for restaurants, 2014 will represent only the second summer on record with a gain of at least a half-million restaurant jobs.  Eating and drinking places added a record 538,800 summer jobs in 2013, which easily eclipsed the previous high of 465,400 summer jobs added in 2011.

In percentage terms, the 1993 summer season still holds the all-time record, with summer employment at eating and drinking places jumping 6.9 percent over its March employment level.

The states projected to add the most eating and drinking place jobs during the 2014 summer season are California (47,600), New York (46,300), Massachusetts (30,400), New Jersey (28,000), Texas (27,200), Ohio (22,400) and Michigan (21,600).

The states projected to register the largest proportional employment increase during the 2014 summer season are Maine (33.2 percent increase), Alaska (21.0 percent increase), Delaware (18.0 percent increase), New Hampshire (16.5 percent increase) and Rhode Island (15.7 percent increase).

Due to the fact that their busiest seasons for travel and tourism are not in the summer months, two states are projected to register declines in eating and drinking place employment during the 2014 summer season: Florida (-10,700) and Arizona (-5,500).

The restaurant industry is usually the nation’s second-largest creator of summer jobs, ranking only behind the construction industry.

Summer employment is defined as the average number of eating and drinking place jobs in June, July and August. The number of summer jobs is the difference between the projected total 2014 summer employment and the March 2014 employment level. Generally, the U.S. restaurant industry begins to ramp up its summer seasonal hiring in April, and it peaks in June, July and August. Eating and drinking places account for approximately three-fourths of the total restaurant and foodservice workforce.

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Source:  nationalrestaurantassociation.com, 5-23-2013

Technological Trends in Foodservice Operations

admin | June 2nd, 2014 - 2:41 pm

Technological solutions geared toward foodservice operations were plentiful at this year’s NRA Show. Here’s a look at five technology trends from the exhibit floor.

Online and mobile ordering

There’s no more valuable real estate these days than in a customer’s pocket.

Diners are increasingly interested in ordering and paying for their food online and through their mobile devices. NRA research shows that a third of all adults and more than half of 18- to 34-year-olds say that they would use mobile or wireless devices to pay restaurant tabs at full-service restaurants if given the option.

This type of system allows customers to pay via mobile device, and integrates loyalty programs.

Digital menu boards

Digital display menu boards continue to grow in popularity. Why? The technology keeps improving while prices keep coming down. Today’s digital menu boards offer operators the flexibility to change the content by day segment, change prices, and add nutritional information. The ability to include calorie counts will be especially valuable to restaurants as the new federalmenu labeling law is implemented.

Tabletop technology

NRA research shows that tabletop tablets are the top technology trend for 2014. Tabletop technology, such as an iPad or other tablet mounted to the table, can benefit both restaurant guests and operators. A Tablet lets customers view menus, order food, play games, sign up for loyalty programs, post updates and photos on social media, and pay their check. It integrates with existing POS systems and can provide data on customer behavior.

iWaiter takes this technology off the table and put it into guests’ mobile devices. Guests can order food and pay from their phones. The system also collects analytics on servers and lets operators compare service across locations.

Loyalty and reward programs

As technology improves, restaurant operators are looking for ways to build better guest loyalty programs. Many technological solutions being touted at the show integrate loyalty and rewards programs. For example, Ziosk’s tabletop technology boasts a ten-fold increase in loyalty program sign-ups among restaurants using the system. WiFast collects email addresses when guests sign into a restaurant’s WiFi. It then tracks customer visit patterns, so that restaurants can email tailored offers to customers.

Workforce management software

With restaurant labor costs averaging around 30 percent and a high employee turnover rate in the industry, technology companies are coming up with ways to more efficiently manage a workforce. People Matter, a company that provides workforce solutions for service-industry brands, previewed software that looks for inefficiencies in the hiring process throughout a brand’s locations. The software identifies problems impacting turnover and can provide information to fix hiring problems.

Source:  Restaurant.org, 5-21-2014

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