Wine Glasses: for More than Just Connoisseurs

The right wine glass depends on the texture, color, taste, and smell of a wine.Caring about which glass to serve wine in may seem pretentious, but with basic understanding about why each glass complements a certain type of wine, businesses can improve the quality of service they offer their customers. Though a wine glass probably will not make or break a wine drinking experience, serving wine in a glass that suits it can subtly improve the taste, smell, and feel of the wine. Listed below are some of the types of wine glasses available along with information about why they are best for certain types of wines.

Wide Bottomed-Wide Topped

Wide wine glasses are great for wines that should be allowed to “breathe,” such as those with sharp flavors or high alcohol content. The wide shape of the glass allows the air to circulate well across the surface of the wine, rounding out sharp flavors, making it more palatable. White wines such as Chardonnay and red wines such as Bordeaux are typically served in these glasses.

Wide Bottomed-Thin Topped

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Smooth red wines with strong, pleasant aromas can be complemented in glasses with a wide bottom and thinner top. The wide bottom allows air to reach the wine, letting it breathe, while the narrow top concentrates the aromas in one area, emphasizing the smell. Science has proven that the smell of a food or drink can directly affect consumers’ taste perceptions, making it important to emphasize the aroma of a fruity wine, such as a Zinfandel.

Brandy Glasses

Dessert wine glasses for sweet drinks such as brandy, Port, and sweet white wines are usually short. The small size holds just a few sips, which is enough to satisfy a sweet tooth due to the sharp sweetness of these wines. The shape is usually easy to hold in the palm of your hand, which warms up the contents of the glass, releasing smells and flavors.

Thin, Tall Glasses

Thin, tall wine glasses typically used for Champagne or Cava allow a minimal surface area for the air to touch the wine. This prevents the bubbles in the wine from escaping too quickly, and helps keep the wine cool for a longer period of time.

Stemless Wine Glasses

Stemless wine glasses give a wine drinking experience a modern feel. However, the stem of the classic wine glass serves a purpose: it gives the drinker something to hold on to without warming up the contents of the glass. Though a wider temperature is acceptable when serving red wines, white wines are usually preferred served cool.  (…Read More…)

Got Downtime at Your Restaurant? Make the Most of it With These Six Tips

waiter setting table

In the restaurant world, downtime happens. It’s what you do with your downtime that decides how these ups and downs will impact your profits. With proper strategies in place, it’s possible to transform what we typically think of downtime into opportunities for increased productivity, more satisfied customers, and even enhanced cohesion among your staff. Let’s take a closer look at six techniques for making the most out of restaurant downtime.

1. Use Servers Wisely

Yes, servers are always looking for more hours, but paying them to stand around with nothing to do is not only counter-productive to your bottom line, but can also be hard on morale. After all, no one likes wiping down the same already-clean table over and over again.
Minimizing the impact of downtime starts with one simple strategy: proper staff scheduling. Staff hours should be scaled to fit demand. Assuming that quiet periods happen at the same time every day, cutting back during times of day when all-hands-on-deck isn’t efficient can immediately trim costs.
However, this doesn’t necessarily mean cutting back unilaterally. For example, during the after-lunch slowdown period, you may require fewer servers to keep up with new tables, but a greater representation of bussers to clear tables and get lingering diners out the door. Conversely, when things start to pick up again, more servers may be a greater priority.
Don’t underestimate the side costs of having an unoccupied staff. In addition to taking money out of your pocket, a sluggish staff is more likely to leave a negative impression on diners than a motivated, energetic and busy team.

2. Define Tasks

The truth is that many of your staff members don’t like standing around with nothing to do any more than you like watching them stand around with nothing to do. The simple solution? Give them something to do.
Take a few minutes to prepare a checklist of all tasks which can be done during downtime. In addition to more obvious housekeeping tasks like resetting tables, checking ice machines, cleaning flatware and glasses, and sorting menus, this can also includes lesser-common jobs, like sweeping the front walk, changing signage, checking the bathrooms for cleanliness and restocking dispensers as necessary, and cleaning counters and machinery.
While some staff members may be slacking, others may legitimately be at a loss for what to do. Help them feel useful by taking away downtime ambiguity.

3. Get Busy

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While it’s natural to want to relax and decompress following the madness of the breakfast, lunch or dinner rush, managers who slack off during this are setting a less-than-desirable example. On the other hand, managers who identify what can be done during this period of time and get to it will inspire workers to do the same. Not to mention that managers who pitch in are an integral part of positivity in the workplace.

4. Offer Cross Training Opportunities

All employees are looking for opportunities for growth. By offering cross-training during downtime, you can not only make your employees more useful, but you can also help them be more engaged, local employees.
Cross training also promotes restaurant teamwork: the more your staff knows about each others’ jobs and responsibilities, the more effectively they can work together when things pick up.

5. Save Energy

Saving money in your restaurant isn’t just a matter of human capital. Keeping lighting and temperature set to the same levels as busy periods is wasteful — both financially and environmentally, as is leaving on stoves, ovens, and other pieces of machinery when they’re not in use. As long as you can get everything up and running in time for the next rush, cut back when these items aren’t in use.

6. One last thing to keep in mind

While some downtime is natural, are there things you can be doing to bring more customers in the door during slow periods? The National Restaurant Association recently highlighted some ways to attract diners during nontraditional hours, such as offering more snack-friendly menu items and discounts. Just how effective are these techniques? According to the 2015 Restaurant Industry Forecast, 77 percent of people say they’d be more likely to dine during off-peak hours if a discount was involved.

Ultimately, while eliminating downtime from your restaurant operations is impossible, there are plenty of things you can do to make the most of it. These strategies not only promise financial savings, but can also lead to happier customers and staff.

A Short Guide to Bakeware

Ramekins are bakeware items that can be used to prepare soufflés and coddled eggs, among other dishes.Bakeware is a necessity for venues offering homemade baked goods such as breads, muffins, pies, and cakes. Such venues can use their bakeware for preparing and serving both baked goods and other foods. Even venues not focusing on baked products can make use of various types of bakeware in order to serve foods in unusual ways. Below are some ideas for how to make the most of various bakeware items.

Cookie Sheets

Cookie sheets are similar to baking pans, but very flat. The flat surface allows oven heat to efficiently reach all sides of the food and offers an easy to work with platform for bakers and chefs to craft dishes containing multiple components. As hinted by their name, cookie sheets are ideal for preparing cookies, but are the best option for French macarons and jelly rolls cakes as well. They can also be used for preparing both sweet and savory tuiles and crackers.

Muffin Tins

Muffin tins are typically the bakeware of choice for muffins and small bread rolls, but can also be used to prepare cinnamon buns, mini tostada-style appetizers, frittatas, small quiches and tarts, mini lasagnas, and perfectly shaped, baked, potato fritters. Miniature dishes and dishes presented in a creative ways are all the rage in event catering as well as sit-down restaurants. Since muffin tins are perfect for this purpose, they can be a great, versatile multipurpose piece of bakeware for a commercial kitchen. (…Read More…)