• General Articles

    How to Pick the Best Restaurant Concept

    Are you planning to start a restaurant business soon? If so, then the first step should be deciding the best restaurant concept. While doing this, it’s important to be careful because the concept must match your location and the cuisine you are planning to offer.

    A restaurant concept is simply the theme and general idea of the start-up. It includes the format of the restaurant, and the type of services and cuisine you plan to offer guests.

    The most common restaurant formats and types include:

    • Quick service restaurants
    • Fine dining restaurants
    • Casual dining restaurants
    • Cafes
    • Restro-bars and lounges
    • Bakeries
    • Food trucks and carts.

    Important Things to Consider While Determining the Best Restaurant Concept

    While choosing a concept for your restaurant, there are several things you should take into account.

    1. Research the Market

    First, you should conduct a thorough industrial market research to see what works best in your location. Given that your restaurant is located in a small town, you shouldn’t choose a concept or theme that already exists in the area. For instance, if there are at least three coffee shops in the vicinity, then it is more preferable if you do not follow that format.

    1. Make decisions based on your budget

    Due to the fact that different restaurant concepts have different investment needs, the budget is the primary factor you need to keep in mind as you choose a restaurant concept. You should have a set budget, which you need to follow. After you have chosen your restaurant format according to your budget, you should also decide your menu and the dining style.

    1. Consider the cuisine you want to serve

    What have you chosen to serve your guests? Will it be traditional southern cooking with an urban twist, low-key Mexican food or sushi? Whatever it may be, you should understand that not everything will be suitable for the same restaurant. Pick what you want to offer, and maintain simplicity. While choosing the cuisine, keep in mind the insights you got from the industrial market research.

    1. How will you price the meals?

    This is an important determining factor in picking the best restaurant concept. Charging fine dining prices in a casual dining setting is probably not reasonable. It always helps to do some research to determine the most fitting prices for your dishes.

    1. Take into account your target clientele

    It is important to know your target consumers. For instance, if you are making plans to target college students, they would probably prefer a quirky setting with a funky interior design and affordable prices.

    On the other hand, if your target clients belong to the upper-class group, then you need to have a fine dining concept with prices that are fairly higher which the targeted market will not mind to pay for. According to the customers you want to attract you can mould your establishment’s format to match their type.

    1. Pick a concept that matches your location

    Your chosen location will greatly impact the most suitable restaurant concept. If your location is more hipster oriented or student centred, it makes more sense to have a quirky, youth-oriented setting, whereas if you are opening your restaurant in a corporate office region where residents dine out to hold business meetings, you can choose a posh setting with basic hues and classy interiors.

    After choosing the right concept, …

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  • General Articles

    How You Package Your Fruit Matters. Here’s Why

    There’s nothing worse than biting into a rotten apple or an overripe peach. Ever wondered what causes fruit to go bad so quickly (or stay fresh for longer)? It turns out, the way that fruit is packaged can have a huge impact on its shipment and shelf life. But what kinds of packaging make the biggest difference?

    Room to Breath

    All good fruit packaging will contain holes or slats to promote adequate air flow. Like people, fruit also need to breathe to survive (okay, not exactly like people). Allowing fruit to have access to fresh air allows them to continue the process of respiration, which releases energy in the fruit and keeps them alive longer. This is why you typically see apples and grapes housed in bags that have small holes in them, or raspberries and blueberries placed in containers that have slits down the sides. If fruits are packaged in air-tight containers or containers without any openings, they will not be able to respire and will rot much faster.

    If you’re curious about the kind of packaging most commonly used in your area, simply Google ‘fruit packaging california’ (or your state of residence) to learn about your local standard of practice.

    Safe From Damage and Debris

    Additionally, strong, sturdy packaging can help protect fruit from damage. Being jostled and tumbled around truck beds or air plane storage areas can damage even the toughest pineapple. Bruises and cuts on the soft skin of a peach or banana can invite all sorts of bacteria inside, causing the fruit to deteriorate faster. Folks are also less likely to purchase damaged looking fruit, which means that these pieces often go to waste. Whether made of plastic or firm cardboard, fruit packaging should stack each piece of fruit in close proximity and seal securely over top of them.

    Fruit packaging varies from place to place. To ensure freshness and longevity, fruit packaging should be firm, breathable and protect produce from being damaged in transit.…

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  • General Articles

    Important Tips for Food Safety

    When cooking for friends, family or restaurant patrons, food safety should be your number one priority. Contaminates can easily latch onto your ingredients if proper caution is not exercised. Washing your hands with soap and water before handling items is one way to prevent germs from spreading. Listed below are a few ways to maintain food safety.

    Sanitizing the Kitchen

    A key way to ensure your food is safe from harm is by keeping your kitchen and appliances clean. When preparing a meal on a countertop, remember to scrub down the surface afterwards with hot soapy water. This is a good way to prevent cross-contamination from happening. Consider cleaning out your fridge and freezer once a week and giving each a good washdown.

    Organizing Your Food

    You should always separate different types of food, whether you are storing them or shopping at the grocery store. Dairy, meats and produce should never be stored in the same spot. Fresh produce should always be washed thoroughly before usage. Never use the same cutting utensil for meat and fresh produce, as this is an easy way for bacteria to spread. Remember to always check the expiration date or “best used by” date. Use date labels for food to plot out when meals should be prepped and served. Cooked items sitting in your fridge for over a week should be thrown out, as they are no longer safe to eat.

    Maintaining Temperature

    It’s okay for some food items to be kept at room temperature, but others need to be properly refrigerated or frozen. Maintain routine checks on your fridge and freezer units to ensure they are kept at proper temperatures. A food thermometer is also a wise investment. This will help to make sure ingredients are cooked properly and ready for consumption.

    Whether you’re running a restaurant or hosting a dinner party, food safety should be your number one concern. By practicing these techniques, you can have a happy and healthy kitchen while impressing your guests with outstanding meals.…

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  • General Articles

    How to Say “Cheers” from Around the World (Delicious Food. To fit your lifestyle.)

    No matter where you’re at, alcohol and celebration always seem to come hand-in-hand to the party. In the U.S., “cheers” is the most common thing to say when raising your glass before drinking, and it means good wishes and good health. Numerous other languages have similar mini-toasts, sometimes paired with a specific drink or occasion. Here are five ways to drink to good health if you ever find yourself in the company of good spirits and new friends.

    German: Prost

    Every September in Munich, Germany, millions of people attend Oktoberfest, a two-week-long festival that revolves around one thing: beer. If you ever get to visit this epic event, you’d better have your “prost” practiced and ready, because you’re going to need it.

    Norwegian: Skal

    While beer and wine are the more accessible drinks to find in Norway today, their ancestral seafarers, the Vikings, mainly indulged on ale and mead. If you want to drink more like a Viking, click here to discover a brewing company that takes its Nordic history to the next level.

    Greek: Yamas

    You can say “yamas” before swigging any drink in Greece, but if you’re drinking like a local, your glass will most likely contain ouzo, an aperitif with strong anise flavoring.

    Japanese: Kanpai

    Kanpai has come to mean “cheers” today, but it began as a way to say “bottoms up” before emptying a cup of sake — a widely popular rice wine in Japan.

    Hebrew: L’chaim

    Meaning “to life,” this toast can be given followed by a drink of wine or vodka, especially for a special occasion like an engagement.

    Afrikaans: Gesondheid

    From umqombothi (a beer made from maize and sorghum) to pinotage (a red wine) there will be no lack of opportunities to say “gesondheid” while exploring South African cuisine.

    Whether you’re a tourist trying to experience as much foreign culture as possible or a friend trying to adopt another’s customs, it never hurts to have a little language knowledge on your side. Even something as simple as “cheers” can go a long way.…

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  • General Articles

    What’s Cooking for Your Next Vacation?

    Themed vacations are growing in popularity, but if dude ranches, ski packages and safaris aren’t your style, maybe you would enjoy a vacation for food lovers. Whether you take your cooking seriously or just like to eat, these vacations or tours may be just the ticket.

    Guided Culinary Vacations

    These culinary vacations are generally purchased as a package that can be semi-customized, have a guide and may take you to destinations you have only dreamed of visiting. They may be centered on giving you the experience of tasting the local cuisine and participating in the cooking experience yourself. Among these are popular Tuscany cooking vacations.

    Experience Local Fare

    A Tuscan vacation, of course, would take you to Italy. You may visit major cities such as Rome, small, picturesque towns such as Pienza, winemaking villages such as Montepulciano, or even tiny hillside villages such as Cortona. You might enjoy local pasta dishes including linguini with clam sauce, bucatini or carbonara along the way. Scenic and unforgettable places you only imagined you could visit may unfold right before you, drawing you in with their sights, smells and tastes.

    A Culinary Vacation is More Than Just Cooking

    Your vacation may include visiting unforgettable Italian cities and landmarks, perusing the many artists, vendors, shops and boutiques. You may taste the fare at a number of wineries, restaurants and outdoor cafes. You might also have the opportunity to visit a number of local artisans to learn how cheeses or loaves of bread and other staples of Tuscan cuisine are made.

    Hone Your Cooking Skills

    Of course, the main reason for these vacations is to get some hands-on experience in local kitchens (cucinas) where, you may learn to make your own hand-made pasta, ragu, risotto or gnocchi. You might learn the art of cooking rustic sauces or the techniques used in preparing fish and seafood Mediterranean style.

    Whatever your interest in cooking, you are likely to walk away with life-long memories and an appreciation for the satisfying flavors of Italian cuisine.…

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  • General Articles

    Natural Solutions from the Sea: Green Shell Mussels

    When looking for alternatives to prescribed medication, many people turn to natural supplements derived from nature to help improve their health. From fish oil to shark cartilage, the sea can provide many natural alternatives to medication. Green shell mussels, also known as green-lipped mussels, are a shellfish found in the waters of New Zealand, and they have recently been studied for their health properties. While the health community is still learning all the positive aspects of greenshell mussel powder, researchers have already identified conditions that can be improved with the addition of a green mussel supplement.

    Inflammation Reduction

    Green shell mussel powder or extract contains an Omega-3 fatty acid similar to that found in fish oil. This fatty acid blocks the compounds within the body that lead to inflammation and can be helpful in the treatment of chronic conditions like arthritis and asthma.

    Joint Protection

    Another important compound of green shell muscle extract is mucopolysaccharides. These proteins build up cartilage and increase joint fluid to protect against normal wear and tear activity of daily life. This can aid in slowing down the signs of arthritis with age.

    Stomach Protection

    Lipids, also known as fats, in the green mussel extract help protect the sensitive lining of the stomach. For people who are undergoing chemotherapy, this can reduce the nausea side effects that can occur with treatment. If a person has to take a daily non-steroidal medication like aspirin, green shell mussel extract can buffer the erosive effects of the drugs on the stomach lining.

    Antioxidant Source

    In nature, antioxidants in our food are known to boost the immune system. Green shell mussel extract also contains antioxidants that that decrease damaging compounds called free radicals inside the body. By decreasing free radicals in our systems, we can decrease overall cell damage.

    By turning to nature, manufacturers can provide more organic and holistic choices for those invested in alternative approaches.…

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  • General Articles

    Gourmet Gift Baskets Really Hit the Spot

    You may have that certain person in your life that is difficult to shop for, but that you want to give something special. Or you may be invited to a dinner party and want to take a hostess gift. What do you give when you can’t think of anything that sounds right? You might consider gourmet gift baskets to suit their taste.

    Choose Unusual Ingredients

    The fun of receiving a gourmet food basket is finding things inside that you may not always have around but would enjoy trying. Such ingredients as smoked salmon, specialized mustards and exotic teas star in these baskets. Quality Camembert, Brie and wine–flavored cheese spreads, or caviar, Greek olives and smoked almonds may hit the spot. Imported candies and cocoa can bring a smile to anyone’s face.

    Match the Container to the Recipient

    Gourmet baskets may be arranged in refined stitched leather boxes, rustic wooden crates, or even velvet-trimmed containers. You might also find them in lovely woven baskets and elegant scroll-topped metal tins. You can really order them in as fancy or casual a container as suits the occasion. A galvanized tin pail filled with smoked meats and cheeses is someone who likes entertaining outdoors in the summer.

    For Special Occasions or Everyday

    Finding a unique gift for a special birthday is easy when you choose a basket full of gourmet treats, but sending one to someone for no other reason than to show them you care can be a memorable experience for them. For a wedding gift, choose a silver container with a classic sheer charcoal and silver harlequin design. If it is a housewarming, you might select a rustic wooden box tied in a big red bow to resemble a ribbon cutting. The sky is the limit.

    So the next time you feel stuck and uninspired, consider a gift basket full of gourmet goodies. It’s sure to be a hit!…

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