Cold weather is meant for cozy gatherings – and whether you’re serving guests at a dinner or cocktail party in-house or packing takeout food for a home-based gathering with friends around the television, your selection of dips and spreads can elevate your appetizer menu. In your restaurant, dips served with breads or other starches can encourage accompanying drink orders, boosting your check totals. They can also provide you with an opportunity to test new flavor combinations in a low-risk format. Consider offering a range of tastes, textures and nutritional profiles, from cheesy to hearty to plant-forward.
How strong is your bowl game? In addition to being a big win with guests looking for customizability, bowls are built for the current environment. It’s easy to swap new proteins, produce and grains in and out based on what you have available or don’t. In fact, the fluctuating supply may even make your bowl options feel fresh instead of lacking. Your dressings can also help you to shift gears quickly and reinvent bowls with global flavors.
Restaurant operators need to do as much as they can with key supplies right now, so ingredients have to work overtime. As you stock your pantry, consider ingredients that can be stored without spoiling, will adapt to a wide range of flavors and textures, can mix seamlessly into soups, salads and entrées, and provide benefits for the health- and allergen-conscious as well.
At a time when restaurants need to find every opportunity they can to carve out a profit, your dessert menu needs to earn its keep. That can be difficult when desserts are often shared by guests, there is a limit to how expensively they can be priced, and they increase the time it takes to turn a table in-house. To help, consider adding some lighter and more savory items to the menu to balance any heavier, sweeter items that many guests feel they must try to resist. Reduce portion sizes where possible so ordering an individual portion of dessert doesn’t feel like such a splurge. Finally, suggest some alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages to complement your dessert offerings.