Comfort foods as a culinary trend are still popular for restaurant menus. The recession might be over according to Washington and Wall
Street, but American dining habits have been irrevocably altered by the past five years, and this can be seen in the forecasted trends from industry experts including the National Restaurant Association (NRA), Andrew Freeman and Associates. Comfort foods over familiarity and are lower cost, hence the appeal to diners.
While not considered a "hot trend" by the 2014 NRA Culinary Forecast, comfort foods are considered a perennial favorite by 58% of chefs
polled for the annual survey. So while meatloaf and chicken pot pie may not have the wow factor of Denver steak or Arctic char, they have a classic appeal all their own. They also can be made sexier (Comfy Haute, according to Freeman) by incorporating hot trends like the use of local or house made ingredients. Check out the full list of Hot Trends for 2014.
Photo Credit: Steven Depolo
It's my favorite time of the year! No, not the holidays- but the National Restaurant Association's annual What's Hot survey. Each year the NRA surveys over 1200 chefs to rate menu ingredients, cooking methods, cuisine and beverages trends. Formerly known as the What's Hot Chef's Survey, the new 2014 What's Hot Culinary Forecast predicts local foods as king, followed closely by an emphasis on environmental sustainability and healthy menu choices. Read on for the whole list of what's hot and what's not.
Photo Credit: D. Yogi
As November draws to a close and we start to turn our attention to the coming year, I thought it would be good to take a look back at 2013 and all the changes in social media, shaping the way restaurants do business. While Facebook is still the prime hub of many social media campaigns, it has continued to evolve to reach more people in different ways. Pinterest and Instagram both grew tremendously during 2013 and are ideal sites for restaurants to reach more customers. Read on for the whole 2013 recap here!
Photo Credit: Seattle Municipal Archives
Happy Black Friday! If you're like me, you would much rather be curled up at home, enjoying leftovers and checking out everything restaurant related on About.com! This week's article is all about social media and how restaurants can use sites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram to reach more customers. So, check it out, then go eat some more turkey and take a nap!
A lot of my friends and most of my employees are always taking pictures on Instagram with their phones. Is this something I should be using at my restaurant? I already have a Facebook page, do I need to have another site to manage? And what is Instagram, exactly? How is it different from just a regular camera on your phone?
Check out my answer here.
People like food. They like to eat food. They like to cook food (well, some people do anyway) and they like to look at food. And you know what else people like? To take pictures of themselves. You know what people like even more than taking pictures of themselves? Taking pictures of themselves doing some cool, like eating dinner out or having a drink at the bar. And this is where Instagram comes in. Find how to use Instagram to promote your restaurant.
Pinterest is one of the fastest growing social networks available. This virtual bulletin board appeals to all ages, genders and interests. More and more businesses are taking advantage of the free advertising and marketing available through Pinterest. Read on to find out how to promote your restaurant through pins.
While politically Iran has little (okay, no) love for the United States, it definitely has love of our fast food chains. If you happen to be in Tehran, you could dine at Mash Donald's or Pizza Hat. According to one of my favorite food blogs, The Salt, there are a bevy of "fake franchises" throughout Iran. Iranian-American Holly Dagres, a Middle Eastern analyst and commentator created this cool photo essay, highlighting various American-inspired fast food restaurants throughout Iran.
Photo Credit: NIAC InSight
Janelle writes in and ask how to set up a new restaurant kitchen:
I am getting ready to open my very first restaurant and I am having trouble deciding what to buy for restaurant equipment and where to put it. The restaurant is located in a former clothing store, so we (my business partner and I) have had to install all new plumbing and electrical outlets to accommodate the kitchen. The space looked really big until we started measuring for a gas range and the dishwasher. Now I am feeling a little (well, a lot) panicked about the general layout. I mean, once it's in, it's in - we can't redesign it after we are opened.
Great question, Janelle! Check out my answer here.
The hub of any restaurant is it's kitchen. There are many parts of running a commercial kitchen, from setting it up to keeping it clean. This week we look at the basics of designing a restaurant kitchen - which stations you need, as well weekly, monthly and yearly cleaning lists and extras like catering services and menu design, both of which are influenced by the type of commercial kitchen you install. Read on for the Soup to Nuts of Restaurant Kitchens.
Photo Credit: Pricegrabber