Sustain

Sustainable Choices Please Restaurant Customers

A restaurateur’s take on environmental sustainability is a big part of his or her business’s marketing plan even it’s not intended to be.

Diners and drinkers (63% of them!) say they a more likely to visit restaurants that are environmentally conscious. So, if your business IS participating in earth-friendly activities, make sure your customers are aware. If your business is NOT participating in earthy-friendly activities, well, you may have already lost some customers.

Many food service establishments express their own interest in sustainability through the use of local food suppliers and ownership of their own farms and gardens but, research shows as much as diners appreciate farm-to-table dining, they actually are concerned more with environmental awareness through recycling and re-use.

Restaurants can adopt that earth-friendly behavior without having to sort the trash every night by using compostable products. Stout Eco Safe compostable trash bags and compostable disposables from Eco-Products  and NatureHouse are all attractively-designed products that will keep customers at the local juice shop or diner to-go counter feeling confident their choices (and yours!) are doing as little damage to the environment as possible. Instawares offers entire product lines from these manufacturers at prices that won’t do damage to your budget either.

St. Patrick’s Day Profits

St. Patrick's Day

Is it the luck of the Irish that St. Patty’s is on Monday this year?

Many bars make as much as 1% of their annual sales on St. Patrick’s Day and some bar/restaurant concepts with year ‘round Irish themes average a month’s worth of business on the single-day holiday alone!  Since St. Patty’s Day 2014 falls on a Monday, a lot of celebrations will begin on the Friday before and run through the entire weekend. This week’s Deal of the Week makes it easy to profit from St. Patrick’s Day 2014, which will most likely have your customers partying for several days.

In addition to standard items like pub and beer glasses and pitchers, make sure you are stocked up on essentials like beer glass cleaner, beer drip tray sanitizer strips, and beer tap plugs.

Even if your business is not hosting a St. Patrick’s Day celebration, you can still give customers a taste of the Emerald Isle by creating festive drink and cocktail specials using Monin Premium Irish Cream Syrup.

Should You Highlight The Mediterranean Diet?

It’s the beginning of the year, and that means the beginning of new diets and exercise plans for everybody. By late February, many people who may have started the year with good intentions have fallen off their plans. One diet that would be easy to handle, as it allows a variety of tasty foods, is the Mediterranean diet that’s been surging in popularity in recent years.

Nation’s Restaurant News reports on the diet, pointing out that it’s less of a specific diet and more of an eating focus “with an emphasis on healthful high antioxidant-, fiber-rich ingredients such as fresh fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains, and healthier fats derived from olive oil, nuts, and seafood.” Both the American Heart Association and American Diabetes Association have highlighted the diet as ways to manage health for years, with it encouraging a variety of foods.

The diet doesn’t prohibit meat and meat products, but just minimizes them, especially in comparison to fish. Olive oil, fruits, and veggies are generally considered tasty components of meals that most consumers enjoy. The concept comes from the traditional diets of those in Greece, Spain, and Southern Italy. It features a significant amount of monounsaturated fats, which have been suggested to lead to a reduction of coronary heart disease risk, improve cholesterol regulation, LDL cholesterol reduction, and features other anti-hypertensive and inflammatory effects.

Naturally, these health benefits are ideal for many, focusing on not just losing weight and gaining more energy, but towards adjusting many ailments. The addition of red wine to the diet adds antixodants with their inclusion of flavonoids.

NRN’s suggestions on how restaurants can include this diet include

Enhance the natural flavor of dishes through herbs and spices rather than salt. Basil, cilantro, ginger and saffron are just a few accents that can complement any sauce, dressing, marinade, soup or entrée.

Boost the use of fruits and vegetables. Bring color and variety to salads and seafood dishes with fresh, seasonal fruits, and add hearty vegetables to chili, soups and noodle dishes.

Provide alternative sources of protein. Use proteins such as omega-3 rich salmon, tuna or shrimp, or make substitutions available in place of traditional meats in entrées and salads.

Use extra-virgin olive oil in place of butter and highly saturated dressings.Use it to flavor salads and drizzle over vegetables and pastas. It can also be used in low-heat food preparation.

Add texture with fiber-rich foods. Infuse texture into dishes by adding fiber-rich beans and legumes into salads and side dishes, and nuts and seeds as toppings.

Replace refined grain breads and noodles with whole grains. Use brown rice, quinoa, whole-wheat pasta and wild rice in place of refined grains wherever possible.

Naturally, a new focus on wine in your restaurant could also find its way into the diets of your customers. Many of the items on your menu might fit with these suggestions, so it shouldn’t take too much to adjust your menu to highlight the diet.