Business Insights

Smart Culinary Moves for 2023

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Take advantage of the latest profit-building opportunities.

Embrace Sustainability

Start by reducing waste.

“Stock items you can cross-utilize,” advises Jeff Pivin, Shamrock Foods Restaurant Resources Manager.

Streamline menus. “The more items on the menu, the greater the potential for waste,” says David Miles, Shamrock Foods Branch Chef, Arizona. “A lot of operators are very romantic about offering variety.”

Take a stand against waste. “Utilize everything in every case,” advises Jeff Koppel, Shamrock Foods Branch Sous Chef, Colorado.

“To the next generation, it's increasingly important to know which brands align with their core values.”Mary McVoy, Shamrock Foods Restaurant Consultant, CA

Be Genuine

Establishing and maintaining an online persona is essential.

“Social platforms are the modernized 'neighborhood' in which people connect and relate through food, music, fashion, etc.,” says Matt Hubbard, Shamrock Foods Restaurant Consultant, Arizona.

Tell a story. “We're seeing emotionally charged content around food and experiences versus just a good-looking photo of a filet,” adds Chef Thomas Vigil, Shamrock Foods Branch Chef, Colorado. “It excites customers to get the full story. The more storytelling we do, the more we're drawing the customer into why they're eating here – not just for the food, but for what's behind it.”

Be transparent. Let customers know what's happening in your restaurant and behind the scenes.

Go Vegourmet

Flex-diners want expanded choices. More than one-third of consumers are seeking to eat more plant-based foods. And many prefer their vegetables to taste like vegetables, not something pretending to be a burger.

“Veg-forward options allow you to get a lot more creative,” says Jonathon Merrick, Shamrock Foods Chef & Bella Bello Specialist, Idaho.

“And, it can be a highly profitable option,” Pivin adds. “Plus it's super delicious.”

Upgrade presentation. Sauce beautifully roasted carrots with pistachio vinaigrette. Serve platters of Moroccan-spiced carrot grilled “wings.”

Add distinction. Update Middle Eastern baba ghanoush and other spreads or dips. Add smoke to fruit for a distinctive savory-sweet flavor combo.

Reduce protein portions when vegetables are the star of the plate. A hearty basted-cabbage dish can be the primary knife-and-fork item for the center of the plate.

Refresh comfort Foods

"There's definitely a need for comfort food," Pivin says. "It's a great gateway on your menu."

Riff on classics, like birria macaroni and cheese, tikka-masala pizza and meatloaf burgers.

Beet Wellington is unexpectedly good,” Merrick says. “Stuff like that drives your food costs down. Present these dishes in ways that show excitement.”

Offer some healthy comfort-food options. Go whole-grain with starches. Or replace the pasta in lasagna with cabbage.

Boost Health and immunity

A full 83% of diners feel that food can be medicine.*

Serve a delicious dose of nutrition. Add ancient and whole grains, functional mushrooms and nutrient-dense greens to your menu. Splash real fruit purées into cocktails.

Educate your team. Teach staff and guests about healthy and immune-boosting foods.

Be a culinary ambassador. Enticing menu descriptions actively promote healthy foods as good eating, not just good-for-you food. One example: antioxidant-rich roasted celeriac glazed with local buckwheat honey and served with carrot-top chimichurri.

*Datassential, 2022

Add Global Flair

Korean, Middle Eastern, Greek and Indian cuisines are hot now.

Menu pulled-pork pierogi. Put anything in a taco.

Find new efficiencies. Prepared and curated products from Artisanal Provisions or Katy's Kitchen® Spices or Sauces can reduce workloads. “These are great bases for tons of things and are super easy to use,” says Rodney Estrada, Shamrock Foods Branch Chef, New Mexico.

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