Category Archives: Cutlery

Asian Inspired? Make Sure You Don’t Make These Mistakes

If you own an Asian restaurant, it’s inexcusable to make these mistakes. Thai is a completely different world than Chinese or Japanese, and Korean food is as similar to them as Mexican or Cuban food is Canadian cuisine. There may be some abject similarities, but not all across the board can be treated the same.

Foodbeast has collected a litany of sins occurring in Asian restaurants on a daily basis. Have you seen these in your restaurant, or have you even committed them on your own?

  • Never stick chopsticks straight up in a bowl of food. It can symbolize everything from stabbing, death, or even piercing one’s soul.
  • No need to bow to all people, nor always offer chopsticks: these vary from culture to culture, with bowing being more prominent with Japanese culture, and Filipino food not requiring chopsticks.
  • Chopsticks are only used for noodle dishes when it comes to Thai food.
  • Chopsticks are never to be tapped on the bowl when it comes to Chinese food, as that’s a sign of how people in need ask for food.
  • Fried rice has already been seasoned, so don’t pour soy sauce on it.
  • Pho has already been seasoned, so don’t pour Sriracha and hoisin sauce in it.
  • Never move food from a shared dished directly to your mouth (place it down on a plate first), nor grab it with the tips of your chopsticks you eat from (use the reverse end).
  • Don’t flip fish over, as it imitates the flipping-over of a boat.
  • Don’t slip pho, and eat it as soon as it hits the table; letting it go cold is an insult.
  • With Korean food, don’t hold and eat food out of a bowl in your hand.
  • Never blow your nose during a Korean meal.
  • Don’t put wasabi on nigiri, as there’s already some between the rice and fish. Likewise, make sure to eat nigiri in one bite, and only use your hands. Nigiri isn’t meant for chopsticks.

Have you committed these scenes while eating these types of food or, if you run a restaurant that sells this cuisine, have you found customers not knowing the accuracies of the cuisine?

At that point, you’re likely faced with a conundrum. Do you allow your customers to eat while committing sins that may outright be offensive to other clientele or your staff (and at least, might be unhygienic or disrupt the flavor of your food).

It’s a cultural and sociological problem. Many people would relish the opportunity to learn how to do things the “right” and “authentic” way, and yet others will be offended that you’re “correcting” them or telling them they’re “wrong.”

A light hand is the best approach, without chastising but encouragement. One way to approach the topic is to see if they’d like to learn; offering a “can I show you a trick?” or “you’re close, but how to really eat nigiri…” might be less insulting and more educational.

And The Best Kind Of Plate To Eat On Is…

Set of round plates or dishes on white background
If you’re a quick-service restaurant, you may use a basket with paper; toss out the paper, wash the basket, and you have a simple way to sling out french fries, hamburgers, and hot dogs. With soup or salad, you need a deep bowl that’ll hold a good amount of liquid or leafage for lighter lunches. Every once in a while, you might need a particular dish for a particular concept, such as manicotti, but for most every day dishes, you’re going to want a standard, every day plate that can be used across the board in your restaurant.

The BBC reports on a study that shows sometimes simple is best. White and round dishes might be the key to making food look and taste better. A test was preformed with the same cheesecake, on white round dishes, white square dishes, black round dishes, and black square dishes. The white round dishes were found to lead to more pleasurable eating experiences, but the opinion might stem from the mindset and emotional connections that are to be made with the design. White is traditionally connected to “purity”, and the white round plate might be just too iconic for serving food that anything different seems off. If anything, white plates can help show the cleanliness of the dish. Black square plates were found to have their own home, with being used for more critical judgements and

Slates might look nice or be used for unique effect, but may present problems with items rolling or draining off of the plate during serving or eating.

There are a variety of white round dishes availably for purchase. Width can range from 16 inches, 10 inches, to even 6.5 inches, but they all offer the same concept of holding food in a clean and concise circular carrying plate.

Have you considered that you might need to upgrade your dishes? Over the years, wear and tear can happen even to the cleanest and safest restaurants. Chips and damage can be joined by stains and streaks, and no matter how clean you try to get the dishes, it’s always a good idea to have new ones in backup.

Beyond ordering new white round dishes for the everyday sale, you might want to consider a few black square dishes for such creative moments. If you want a true response to new dishes, you might want to put items on there to get true responses to your dishes. For soup dishes, you’re left with no choice but to have deeper bowls, in which you should want to stick with white round ones as well.

Now, glasses and mugs, baskets and utensils? There’s a whole possible world of what to do with those, and there’s no particular study saying one color is better than another (although, round mugs would make sense).

Serve Up Some (Silent) Samples For Superior (& Simplistic) Sales

It’s a tradition for many people going to a grocery store; a walk through the bakery, deli, produce and similar fresh-food areas results in a stack of plastic cups with half-eaten samples. Samples are a great way for customers to try a bite of your dishes and see if they want to order more. Have you considered starting offering samples in your restaurant? Samples may be cost-minimal way to maximize to your sales. How do you get started on offering samples to your customers?

What Kind Of Sampling Is Right For Your Restaurant?

Not all sorts of sampling are right for your restaurant. The simplest and easiest situation in which “silent sampling” is possible is for delis and the like, food locations that include ready-made dishes, sides, and more that can be sold in scalable amounts. Silent Sampling is the concept that you can place the food out for customers with a sign describing the product, price, ingredients and more, and let them take at their free will. Your staff will never have to stop their task to offer, but only to answer any questions about the product, and prepare an item for sale if the customer wants their new favorite treat.

For more upscale restaurants, you may want to reserve sampling for when customers asks to try, or staff believes a customer may enjoy. While sampling some items may be logistically impossible, such as a piece of steak or lobster, it may be possible to provide samples for other dishes. Cakes, side dishes, sauces, and more may be in the realm of possibility for many restaurants, and in many cases, would be encouraged in the chance that a customer may be ordering a large amount of something (say, a number of cakes for an event). In these cases, sampling may be more of a proper affair, with actual plates and utensils.

How To Silent Sample

  • For silent sampling, you’ll need to make sure you have counter or table space near products you’re wanting to sample, so you can place a domed tray adjacent to the product.
  • Figure out what products could both use a boost from sampling and work well in bite-size amounts. Remember, the concept is that customers can get a full taste of your dish without filling themselves up; if you serve a large cookie, for example, you can break that up into smaller bites and it’ll still taste the same. On the other hand, it may be a bit hard to cut a large sandwich into multiple pieces and still include all the ingredients. Side dishes like macaroni & cheese or potato salad work great in these concepts, as they are the same taste throughout.
  • Souffle cups are the perfect sampling container for most dishes you’d wish to share. They’re small, cheap, and disposable (in fact, it may be a good idea to keep a small wastebasket nearby to collect the trash).
  • Keep safety in mind. Don’t use toothpicks to sample, as the wood may splinter. Instead, using plastic sampling forks offers a cheap and disposable item that doesn’t require cleaning, and won’t require security if someone leaves the premises with it. Additionally, remember temperature guidelines. If your dishes need to be served cold, put ice at the bottom of the tray. If they need to be served hot, dispose of them once they’re no longer an appropriate temperature.

Sampling just may be a key to your customer-base growing, and their taste buds as well. Take care of them, and they’ll take care of you.