It’s beach season-- at any moment, the great weather might call us seaside. With no time to whip up the perfect lunch, what can we grab from the fridge that’s already beach-perfect?
Make something for your customers that will be great tonight, and tomorrow, too. Or have a to-go item that’s so beach-friendly, beachgoers will stop by your restaurant before the lunch rush to get their favorites.
Leftover fried chicken is the perfect beach food. Cold, savory, and satisfying-- it’s a classic. Keep it simple, or give your customers a flight of dipping sauces for the road. If you’ve got boneless wings around, try wrapping them in collard greens for an easy-to-eat and easy-to-love wrap.
Fruit and Veggie Skewers
Nobody wants to hack a melon apart in between subathing. Ball up cantelope, watermelon, or whatever other fruit is in season in your area and make gorgeous, affordable kabobs. Pack your tupperware with mint to bring out the flavor.
Wrap it Up
All it takes is some creativity and anything can be a great cold wrap. Steak tips, goat cheese, and cherry tomatoes? Check. Diced potatoes and ground beef? Mmm. Chicken and avacado? Throw any flavors you want in there, wrap it in a tortilla or a big lettuce leaf, and enjoy. If you’re feeling especially bold, bring a selection of ingredients and have the family make their own. Picnic table recommended!
Cold Sesame Noodles
Nothing’s more refreshing on the beach than the cool, spicy, and filling flavors of this awesome dish. This is the beach food everyone will be jealous of. This is what you’ll want to eat just after finishing up a long swim. Put this on your menu and suggest folks take it away for their beach day.
Yesterday’s Cheese plate
So much cheese, so little time. Easy to pack and much on all day long, a cheese plate will go a long way for marathon beach-goers. Pack a selection of crackers and toasts, too-- and a little fig jam never hurt anyone.
Iced Coffees and Teas
Load up a few thermoses of iced teas and coffees to top it off.
Pack it all in as much ice as you can manage, and get swimming- and snacking! Your customers will thank you-- or maybe this is just what you’ll want to do on your Monday off, when all your customers are back at their desks and you’re living the restaurant life.
Customers have a new appreciation for the old: especially when it comes to cocktails! Here are some fun old school recipes to try behind your bar:
1. Corpse Reviver #1
1 oz Applejack
1 oz sweet vermouth
Pour into cocktail shaker with glass, stir well, and then strain into cocktail glass.
2. Bee’s Knees
.75 oz lemon juice
.75 oz of honey simple syrup
Add all ingredients to cocktail shaker, shake well and then strain into rocks glass. Garnish with lemon peel or twist.
3. Mint Julep
3 fresh mint leaves
1 tablespoon mint simple syrup
1 oz bourbon
1 fresh mint sprig
Place mint leaves and mint simple syrup in a chilled julep cup. Gently press leaves against cup with back of bar spoon to release the minty aroma. Fill the cup as tightly as you can with crushed ice and then pour in the bourbon of your choice. Insert straw and garnish with mint sprig.
4. Widow’s Kiss
1.5oz Apple Brandy
.75oz Yellow Chartreuse
2 dashes Angostura Bitters
This drink calls for straightforward instructions. Simply stir ingredients together with ice and then strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
Garnish with a cherry.
1.5 oz of Old Tom Gin
1.5 oz of sweet vermouth
.25 oz of maraschino liqueur
2 dashes of angostura bitters
Combine all ingredients into cocktail shaker with ice, shake and then strain into chilled coupe glass. Garnish with orange peel if desired.
6. Jack Rose
2 oz Applejack
1 oz lime juice
.5 oz grenadine
Shake with ice in a cocktail shaker and then strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with an apple slice if desired.
1 oz fresh grapefruit juice
1 oz of orange liqueur
3 drops of rose water
top with champagne or sparkling wine
Combine grapefruit juice, orange liqueur, and rose water into shaker with ice. Shake and then strain into champagne flute, top the glass with your choice of champagne or sparkling wine.
8. Death in the Afternoon
1.5 oz absinthe
4.5 oz champagne
Pour absinthe into champagne or coupe glass and fill to top with champagne.
1 oz London dry gin
1 oz sweet vermouth
1 oz green chartreuse
1 dash of orange bitters
Combine ingredients in a mixing glass with ice, stir for 20 seconds and then strain into a cocktail glass, coupe or martini glass is preferable. Use lemon peel as garnish if desired.
Lots of people in and out. Lots of customers. Numerous people handling money. It's easy for restaurants to fall prey to theft and fraud. Here are some tips to reduce the fraud in your restaurant with tips from Winny Daud and Philipp Laque of Revenue Management Solutions:
1. Identify where you are at risk. This can be any area where cash is exchanging hands or a lack of supervision is common. Where are employees issuing refunds for example? Is a supervisor or card required to issue a discount or void out an item? Establish a system of checks and balances to safeguard from this.
2. Look for a pattern. Is there a particular server who always seems to be present when a high amount of refunds take place? Patterns like these can help stop fraudulent behavior and identify and dismiss the perpetrators.
3. Make it known that you're watching. Whether by security cameras or company meetings, people are less likely to steal when they know that someone is watching. Although that may seem like common sense, it means that by simply posting rules against fraud, monitoring activity and keeping an eye on your employees, you can cut down on theft.
4. Watch out for cash. This makes fast casual restaurants especially vulnerable to theft, but the truth is the overwhelming majority of voided transactions are cash based. You can't refuse cash, of course, but be mindful of cash transaction and be ready to question a large number of voids that take place on them. Questioning your servers and rely on your managers to monitor and watch out for any suspicious activity.
The National Restaurant Association has released some of their new industry trends for 2016! Here are some of our favorite highlights to keep you current with your business:
Guava: a long time staple of Latin American and Caribbean cuisine, the guava is going mainstream. Featured in multiple national lines, including a GS Gelato which was the recipient of a FABI award, guava is breaking out as an unusual flavor which almost any palate can appreciate. Guava empanadas, also known as pastelitos, are an easy and fun way to incorporate this trend into your restaurant menu.
Craft Soda: big company names are getting behind a trend that the folks at Avery and Browns Soda have been doing for years: providing higher quality, lower batch soda options. Coca Cola recently released the Blue Sky line to stay competitive with smaller, more boutique offerings. Much like craft beer, craft soda appeals to those who seek higher quality and more local options than the typical 'big batch' stores. This is a great opportunity for bar menus to get creative with favorites such as Jack and Coke - perhaps a Black Cherry Coke and Bourbon?
Clean meat: recent outbreaks of ecoli and the clean eating trend have customers asking for smaller batch, antibiotic free, grass fed options on their dinner table. From cage free chickens to ethically treated cows to more exotic, smaller produced wild game, ethical meat is all the rage. Although markedly more expensive, if marketed correctly the higher cost can be passed on to the savvy consumer who isn't afraid to pay a premium for a higher quality product.
It's a three day weekend! Celebrate in style with your family, friends and customers with the following patriotic cocktails!
Red White and Blue Margarita
1 cup ice
1/2 cup fresh or frozen strawberries
3 ounces tequila
2 ounces lime juice
1 ounce Triple Sec or Cointreau
1/2 ounce simple syrup
Blend strawberries and freeze for several minutes. Combine and blend remaining ingredients and pour the strawberry back into the blender. Top with limes and blueberries for color.
Captain America Slushie (courtesy of Giraffes Can Bake)
2 oz Irish Whiskey and 1 cup frozen sprite cubes (for white layer)
2 oz Blue Blue Curacao and 1 cup frozen sprite ice cubes (for blue layer)
1/3 cup frozen strasberries and 1 cup sprite (for red layer)
Put sugar and blue food dye in a zip lock bag and shake to make the garnish. Wet rims of glasses and dip in sugar. Combine each layer in the blender and spoon into glass. Serve with a patriotic straw.
Red White and Blue jello shots
1 6-oz package strawberry Jell-O
1 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk
2 envelopes unflavored gelatin
1 6-oz package berry blue Jell-O
Combine strawberry jello and 2 1/2 cups hot water. Add 1/2 cups blueberry vodka and stir to combine. Fill shot glasses 1/3 of the way and set in the fridge for one hour. Repeat with unflavored (clear) jello and add sweetened condensed milk. Repeat one more time with blue jello. Set in the fridge for one hour between each color. When complete and ready to serve, garnish with whipped cream and sprinkles.
Sometimes, your customers want something cold and sweet. And when they do, make sure you're giving them cutting edge options - the world has moved on from flourless chocolate cake and creme brûlée. It's totally OK to keep the classics on the menu, but stay on top of these upcoming flavor profiles to give them something that just maybe they haven't seen before:
1/ Fusion. The 'cronut' may be a bit played out, but at the same time, it's a cool idea that customers will respond to well. Put a cake and a pie together, or a cookie and a brownie. How about an ice cream sandwich with unusual cookie combinations? Don't be afraid to be playful and give your hybrid a fun, quirky name when you have finished your creation.
2/ Extreme milk shakes. Originally hailing from Australia, an extreme milk shake is an instagram worthy and fun focal point of your dessert list. Throwing giant pieces of candy and other elaborate toppings - even a whole ice cream sandwich! on top of a milkshake is an easy way to jump on this trend - just make sure you have a good blender to handle the demand!
3/ Spices. Customers are responding well to heavily spiced dessert dishes. Play around with savory spices, such as curry, as well as the traditional classics, such as nutmeg and allspice. It's not just about cinnamon anymore!
4/ Healthy options. Virtually everyone is body conscious now a days, and some folks may want a sweet bite without the calories and indulgence associated with a traditional dessert. Experiment with agave syrups, coconut milk, and other healthy alternatives to traditional sugar and dairy to create delicious, guilt free options for your customers.
5/ Nostalgia. If the healthy trend isn't your thing - move int he exact opposite direction and take a trip down memory lane with some deeply classic confections. The classics are classics for a reason. Try making old school pies, cakes, and cookie recipes to remind your customers of their grandmothers' kitchens.
With the spring season well underway, the hot weather is almost upon us once again. People, young and old, are seeking their summer favorites such as burgers, watermelon and most importantly, shaved ice! With the shaved ice phenomena trending as one of the season’s best cool-down treats, be sure to stock up on ice at all cost as well keep your ice machines fresh and ready for what the summer may hold. For those more concerned about the treat itself, the wait will be soon over. Nothing completes a hot summer day more than some shaved ice.
We just passed the first day of fall, and that means farmers and gardeners will be in a rush to get their harvest in before the end of October when the first frosts hit and kill their plants. This is the time for major food preservation, whether that is canning, pickling, or freezing produce.
Freezing produce is one of the most cost-effective and best preservation techniques there is, and yes, you will need some ice to do it. If you are going to freeze vegetables then you will need some ice. Why? Ripening. They will continue to ripen if you don't stop the process.
The way to do that is to blanch and shock the plant. Say you're doing string beans. First, remove the string, then plunge the beans into a pot of boiling water. When the water returns to boil, the beans then must go into an ice bath. This very quick cook followed by rapid cooling will stop the ripening process while still preserving flavor and freshness.
Once this is done, dry off the produce by letting it sit on a towel, then package the beans for freezing. Be sure to remove as much air as you can from the packaging. This prevents the formation of ice crystals which cause freezer burn. Freezer burn ruins the taste and texture of frozen goods. All foods will eventually develop it, but when packaged correctly it can take a year for it to form.
If you've got a big freezer, start filling it with the bounty of the season. Crank up your home ice maker and get to packing!
You can’t make ice cream without ice, or at least cold. A home ice maker has a bin for ice and rock salt and an inner vessel that holds the mix. A little churning and you get ice cream. But what happens if you eat ice cream too fast? You get something called a brain freeze.
The technical term for this is a cold-stimulus headache. It can happen if you drink or eat too much of anything cold too quickly. Scientists believe that it happens when something cold passes quickly along the roof of the mouth. The blood vessels shrink in response to the cold, then expand rapidly after swallowing. This change triggers a nerve response.
Your cheeks turning red on a cold day is a similar response. The cold shrinks the vessels in your cheeks, your body warms up and they expand larger than usual. This turns them red. In the mouth, the pain receptors run along a major facial nerve. It’s the same one that makes you feel headaches in the forehead. That’s why it feels like a headache rather than a mouth ache.
The effect doesn’t last very long, but it can be very uncomfortable. How do you get rid of it? First, stop eating your ice cream or frozen drink so quickly. Press the tongue to the roof of your mouth and tilt your head back. That will bring the pallet back to the correct temperature. If you have a drink around that’s warmer than what caused the headache, that can help too.
If you really like cold iced drinks, enjoy them responsibly! Sip slowly and avoid the dreaded ice cream headache.
Outdoor events offer additional challenges to the organizers, primarily because most of the tools and equipment necessary to really make it happen are inside. For those outdoor wedding events and parties, caterers need to bring their ice and wares to the party. You might not be able to bring the ovens and the full stoves, but you do have transportation options available.
The Cambro ICS125L191 storage bin has wheels on it so it can be pushed outside after being filled. You can stock it full of ice and chill any bottles that you might have. On the other hand, it’s also perfect for those who want to use it as a direct ice bin. The bin itself is large enough so that you can buy yourself a little time between runs.
We’ve always been fond of this type of ice bin for our needs. Being low to the ground allows it a little bit more ruggedness when being pushed over terrain.
Every caterer should have their own heated banquet cart at their disposal. Having it available means that over 100 meals can be easily transported from the cook site to the party site. That saves on having to find a way to transport each plate individually.
So, with a few accessories, you can have fire and ice at the next event that you cater. Plenty of ice on hand, great food... what’s better?