Changing your Menu Often: Should You, or Not?

A constantly changing menu can keep a restaurant interesting for returning customers.

A constantly changing menu has the potential to build customer intrigue, persuading loyal customers to frequent the venue on a regular basis in order to get a taste of the chef’s new creations. However, constant menu changes require monetary investment in the form of ingredients for recipe and dish trials, and work hours for employees responsible for developing the dishes. A changing menu also presents a danger of disappointing customers who will fall in love with a dish that they know won’t be repeated in the near future. Weighing the pros and cons of having a menu that changes often should be done on a venue to venue basis in order to reach a good decision about whether or not to adopt the custom.

Why you Should

People get bored really easily. I’m sure we can all relate to that feeling of staring into a full fridge, not knowing what to eat, bored with all the options and possibilities we can think of. One cure for that could be to dine out. The wide variety of restaurants (…Read More…)

Restaurant Taxes You Should Know About

Restaurant tax calculations may leave you feeling confused, but by hiring an accountant or staying organized on your own, you can stay on top of them.We probably all complain about having to pay taxes. That cut in income can be hard to part with, and the paperwork and calculations can be daunting. The time spent trying to understand how to add it all up is usually grudgingly spent. Like individuals, small businesses, and restaurants specifically, have to pay a variety of taxes as well. Staying organized with the business accounting and on top of the income and outcome numbers can make mangers’ and owners’ lives easier and prevent unpleasant surprises when it comes time to pay taxes.

In 2015, the projected restaurant sales are $709.2 billion, according to the National Restaurant association. This number shows how huge the industry is and how much money is poured into it. However, this number unfortunately doesn’t reflect the potential restaurant profits. It doesn’t take into account food costs, other expenses, wages, and, of course, taxes. Defaulting on accounting organization can have damaging effects (…Read More…)

Pizza Marketing Tips

Know your strength, and don't be afraid to flaunt them for the best pizza marketing.Pizza is a top favorite dish and relatively easy to prepare, which may be why so many venues offer it on their menus. From street fare to pizza shops to fine dining venues, pizza has reached every nook and cranny of the food world. The commonality of pizza on menus emphasizes the importance of advertising and marketing in order to draw in customers and convince them that your pizza is worth a try. Here are some of our pizza marketing tips.

Know Your Crowd

Targeting the right customers is the key to drawing in business, building customer loyalty, and shaping marketing strategies in any type of business or service. Pizza is often thought of as a simple, fast food option. However, a pizza complete with pesto and well-aged cheeses, or pizza with Alfredo sauce instead of tomato sauce, mushrooms, truffle oil, and high quality parmesan can easily grace the fanciest menus. Depending on the type of pizza and the type of venue, the target customer group will change. The customer group you are trying to reach should shape your marketing plan. For example, if you are advertising a high end venue, you may consider purchasing an ad in a local paper and focusing on the restaurant itself, rather than the pizza specifically. On the other hand, if you have a casual pizza restaurant, you may consider purchasing a radio ad and creating a jingle, in order to make your number memorable for customers looking to order out. Since high end restaurants usually don’t advertise one main food item, the rest of the tips in this article will be geared towards pizza restaurants.

Out of Sight, Out of Mind

Out of sight, out of mind is such a common and cliché phrase because it is true. Think about the last time you decided to order takeout food from a pizza parlor just because you happened to notice their new, clean, brick oven as you were driving past the venue? For most people, the answer to this question is probably never. The truth is, when you are looking to order some take-out food to pick up or be delivered, you are probably most attracted to the most hassle-free solution. That hassle-free solution will naturally be the pizza shop which makes it easiest for you to see the menu and place your order. What this means for businesses is that offering menu handouts and business magnets can define the profit margin which the venue can potentially reach. It can place the business at the forefront of customer’s minds and dining choices. Ads on the radio with catchy jingles has been proven to enable listeners to remember the ad better, as well as the phone number sung at the end of the jingle. Placing advertisements in the local newspaper can help get the name and number of the restaurant out to potential customers as well. Even sponsoring local sports events with free pizza, while handing out a brochure with each slice, can get the name of the venue out there. Finding multiple outlets to be in potential customers’ faces as often as possible can have huge effects on the amount of business a venue receives.

Know your strengths

It’s not enough to just target your most-likely customer group and be in-your-face about your business. You must also know how to advertise and market your business to put an emphasis on your strengths and be as honest, yet attractive to potential customers, as possible. For example, if you use especially delicious homemade tomato sauce, flaunt it! If you have unique and varied toppings, make sure everyone knows it. Boast about your unconventional qualities as a business, while seeking ways to draw attention by thinking out of the box. Not so creative but offer great deals? That’s a great thing to show off as well! Having special deals such as giving away a free bottle of soda with each order of a family sized pie can be a great way to draw business. Throughout high school, my friends and I would always go to this one pizza place that had the best pizza offered at the lowest price bracket. It was always packed, simply because they offered decent food and a great deal.

Marketing your pizza is all about making yourself stand out among the more than 60,000 pizzerias in the United States. Yes, that number may be an exaggeration since the typical pizza restaurant is only up against similar venues within a certain radius from it, but the numbers do hint at cutthroat competition that can break a business. Though the would-be restaurant owner entrepreneur may dream of offering the highest quality food possible, the market sector has shown time and time again that it is often worth compromising partially on ingredient quality in order to invest the money in marketing. The best restaurant is worth nothing without loyal and new customers creating a steady cash flow, and the best way to get that restaurant traffic is through thoughtful and pointed marketing. Thinking about the target customer group, the advantages of your business over similar ones in the area, and making sure that your name and number are constantly out there and available to customers, will help make your marketing successful and beneficial to your business.

All About Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is made of a mixture of metals.  Steel provides the base, chromium is added for stain-resistance and toughness, and nickel is sometimes mixed in to add shine.

Stainless steel was discovered, or created, in 1913 when Harry Brearley, an English metallurgist was attempting to find a metal to improve rifle barrels. Instead, he accidentally discovered that upon addition of chromium to low-carbon steel, the alloy (the mix of metals) became stain resistant. Today stainless steel has developed into a more complicated mix of metals, often containing nickel, titanium, and other elements which may enhance the corrosion resistance of the stainless steel. Stainless steel’s properties make it convenient for many uses in commercial and home kitchens, but it must be maintained and cared for in order to last.

Uses

Stainless steel is used for pots, pans, chafers, utensils, and even sinks. The metal is mostly appreciated for its durability and stain-resistance. Stainless steel pots and pans tend to be heavy-bottomed, retaining and transferring heat efficiently. Utensils made with stainless steel go beyond the typical flatware, and include professional chef knives, and provide a clear advantage over alternative materials due to their toughness and stain-resistance. In addition to being stain-resistant and relatively wear-resistant, stainless steel products are typically easy to clean.
When choosing stainless steel products for your purposes, you should take note of the numbers which are used to describe the composition of the metal. The typical numbers include 18/10, 18/8, 18/0. The first number represents the percentage of chromium metal in the metal mixture, while the second number indicates the percentage of nickel in the mixture. Most of the remaining composition, not indicated in the numbers, is steel. Chromium adds toughness and stain resistance to the stainless steel, while nickel, which is not always added to the mixture, presents a non-corrosive and stain resistance element that adds shine to the stainless steel. Chafers, for example, tend to contain some nickel, yielding an aesthetic product fit for buffet presentation. The composition of the stainless steel will determine the purposes which it is best for. However, the many mixtures that exist have led to the use of stainless steel in a wide range of kitchen items.

Maintenance

Why is stainless steel stainless? The chromium which Harry Brearley added to the steel, back in the day, can combine with oxygen at the surface of the stainless steel item to form a thin layer which protects the surface of the metal. Because this layer is what gives the metal its stain resistance, and oxygen is important to the development of this protective layer, in areas with low oxygen or low air circulation, stainless steel products may wear down relatively quickly. High concentrations of salt or acids, as found in some of the heavy duty commercial kitchen cleaning products, can also damage stainless steel, and should therefore be avoided when cleaning and handling stainless steel items. Dirt and deposit on stainless steel can have a similar effect over time.

Cleaning

Almost all stainless steel items can be cleaned with soap and warm water to get rid of any deposits. However, some types of dirt and wear are harder to remove and may require some more complex cleaning strategies:

Hard water deposits can be removed by soaking the stainless steel item in a mixture of one part vinegar, to three parts water.
Organic solvents such as alcohol and acetone can be a fix for grease and oil stains.

Rust stains can be removed by soaking the stainless steel in 10% nitric acid in water for up about 30 to 60 minutes.

Minor scratches can be fixed with impregnated nylon pads, while deeper scratches can be fixed with iron-free abrasives.

It is very important to use gloves when employing any of the solutions mentioned above, besides the typical soap and water cleaning and the vinegar solution for hard water deposits. The chemicals mentioned above can be abrasive and dangerous to skin. When using any chemical, don’t forget to read the instructions and warnings carefully. Some of the chemicals listed above may require the use of safety goggles as well as gloves. After using the preliminary fixes mentioned above, the stainless steel item should be rinsed thoroughly with water and washed very well with soap and water.

Aside from the environmental conditions and cleanliness required to maintain stainless steel, the metal is very durable. Therefore, stainless steel kitchen tools can last indefinitely, theoretically, giving them a huge advantage over kitchen tools made of most other materials. Though stainless steel products can be relatively expensive, their durability and easy maintenance often make them a smart investment which pays off in the long run.