FOOD & BEVERAGE
Chefs are reintroducing diners to authentic Mexican cuisine as traditional and regional foods from south of the border gain popularity everywhere from quick service to fine dining.
Tap beer can yield substantial profits, but that advantage is easily wasted without tight inventory control and continual staff training in pouring and serving.
Rising consumer and operator interest in fresh and healthful foods means greater demand for and use of organically produced food. In a two-part story, R&I presents the findings of exclusive research that explores why many operators enthusiastically endorse organics and others remain wary.
R&I’s 2005 Organic Food Study finds that support for organics already is strong, with half of operators surveyed saying they use some organic ingredients. Perceived quality and taste benefits as well as consumer demand drive the trend.
Higher prices and an inability to find reliable sources dissuade some operators from buying organics. Product-consistency and seasonalavailability concerns also are reasons foodservice operations steer clear of organics.
Bibb County (Ga.) Public Schools’ decision to consolidate meal production in a single kitchen saved money and boosted productivity. That helps explain why central kitchens are gaining favor, but are they right for every noncommercial operation?
How Long Can They Go?
The advent and success of fast-casual concepts spurred many quick-service chains to add higher- price menu options. But lower-price value meals have made a surprising comeback.
Controlling beverage costs without compromising product quality is a challenge. Operators find that a variety of efficient dispensing systems are available to help them maintain that balance and increase margins.
Helpful HACCP Hints
American Hotel & Lodging Association issues a plain-language guide to understanding and implementing HACCP food-safety programs.
Ambria proves there’s a place for kids in fine dining; School Nutrition Association urges cooperative work on health; a jury’s damages award sends a chill through concessions operators; El Pollo Loco has new recipes for success; Mr. B’s Bistro and Kinkead’s share secrets. Menu Focus orders shepherd’s pie; Consumer Beat looks at teen spending; and Table Turns delivers the buzz.
Creating a company culture that drives an operation is good; keeping it meaningful and strong across multiple units is even better. The 10-Minute Manager asks operators how they conserve and nurture that spirit.