Cooking Up Comfort Familiar cold weather fare warms the soul
Fig & ham flatbread + more great recipes
Menu expert offers profitable advice
Fully Cooked Roasted Chicken Supreme upscale your menu Features & Benefits:
Crisp and juicy, roasted chicken supreme, irresistible mouth-watering flavour
Will help reduce labour cost and preparation time
Minimize food safety risks with fully cooked food products
Maple Leaf Foods Product # 25146
D E PA RT M E N T S 2
F E AT U R E S 13
Fall into Comfort Foods 19
Fast! Easy! True Stories about Brand Points PLUS 25
Menu Engineering 101 30
Plan for Success 41
Save Energy, Boost Profits 47
Look for Brand Points PLUS qualifying products throughout the magazine! 1
Takeaway and catering are important to most foodservice operators. Want to get started? Wish you could do it better? Let’s look at a few ideas.
Looks matter! An attractive menu for takeaway. A great flyer and enticing website for catering. They’ll help clinch the deal! Then there’s the food itself. Have you chosen the right packaging, which keeps takeaway items appetizing until their destination? Does your catered buffet look appealing, with artful arrangement and garnishing? Perceived value boosts repeat business. To promote work-lunch takeaway and office catering, consider paying a fee to a company such as LinkedIn for targeted lists, such as administrative assistants. Then establish email contact, following best practices.
Even for takeaway, you’ll want customers to understand what they’re getting and when. Are you delivering? You may want to upcharge outside of a certain area. For catering contracts, break down categories, with careful estimates, to be sure that you’ll meet the customer’s budget. That said, never apologize for your pricing. If customers ask for a discount, ask them instead: “What’s your budget?” Know your strengths and limitations. Catering is hard work and long hours—and dealing with the unexpected. An effective questionnaire can help set parameters and avoid being lambasted on social media.
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Testing & Travelling Not every menu item is worthy of takeaway or catering. Anything that arrives looking sad or soggy should be off the list. And a too-large menu can be off-putting: arrange your choices with subcategories to help people order in a hurry. If you want catering to become a large part of your business, a separate sales manager and staff team may be required. There are basically three types of off-premise catering: 1) drop-off, 2) set up and retrieve, and 3) full service. Each should probably have its own price point for service as well as unique packaging.
A CLEAR AND COMPREHENSIVE CONTRACT IS A MUST! MAKE IT AS SIMPLE AS POSSIBLE, WHILE COVERING EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO.
In Advance Meet and greet the people you plan to cater for. At the very least, initiate a phone discussion. If you introduce yourself in person, offering a nice nibble can help sell your services. And if a tasting is part of the process to determine final food choices, know that many caterers charge for this preview. When proposed recipes rely on seasonal ingredients, try to schedule the tasting for the same season as the event. Setting up your spread at a historic building? Outdoor event facility? Private home? Investigate beforehand; don’t be surprised by a lack of equipment or electrical capacity. Also check for possible food-safety issues. Finally, arrange staffing and rentals in plenty of time, as well as necessary permits for serving alcohol.
RESOURCE CORNER •
Catering start-up checklist at www.canadabusiness.ca/eng/page/2747/
Successful Catering: Managing the Catering Operation for Maximum Profit (www.webstaurantstore.com)
However you define “casual dining” these days, what it often means is “on trend.” Let’s take a look at some of the strategies and venues that give customers what they want today, from chef-casual to fast-casual to QSR.
Bored with Boards? Sure, a chalkboard listing specials is nice. But have someone with artistic talent do the writing, perhaps even a simple drawing or two. Another great idea: Mount a roll of kraft paper on the wall. It’s inexpensive and easy to change. Whiteboard also works well— nicely framed, please. Or, incorporate updateable pieces with a surfboard or boat hull, wooden lattice or antique door, a car hood—anything that fits your décor. One clever kitchen installed a two-way mirror; the wine menu is written on the mirror side, and they can check on diners from theirs. Other options include a customized digital board or a projector that puts words on the wall.
Out & About
PINTEREST: FOR GREAT DISPLAY/ DIY IDEAS
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Many smart operators make the outside of their building work hard. Check out the photo for Phipps Bakery Café (Toronto); the logo is tastefully displayed from virtually every angle (www. phippsbakerycafe.ca), including a sidewalk sign. Others put enticements on their windows: “Fresh Soups,” “Gourmet Sandwiches,” etc. Sampling—both in-house and out—is another way to get attention. When a slow train stopped several cars in front of her restaurant, the owner handed a sweet snack to those waiting. The result? Lots of socialmedia gratitude, and some great newspaper PR. And remember: delivery vehicle signage!
All the Senses Waft a tempting scent the way of incoming customers—or even streetside. Think baking bread or cakes, or grill smoke. Place a speaker just outside the door to entice passersby with your venue’s music. Or set the tone on your website, like brand-new Toronto venue Macho Tex Mex Radio Bar (www. machoradiobar.com). With fine dining trying to be more fun, and fast food looking to add sophistication, there’s much you can do to visually push your brand. Joe Forte’s Seafood & Chop House in Vancouver commissioned custom neon spelling out “Oyster Bar & Grill,” along with an etched mirror over another seating area (www.joefortes.ca).
WHAT’S FOR LUNCH? QSR, FAST CASUAL OR HOME MEAL REPLACEMENT IS A SPUR-OF-THE-MOMENT DECISION FOR MOST. * NPD, 4/16 (www.npdgroup.ca/wps/portal/npd/ca/news/latest-reports)
Show & Tell Bars display an array of bottles for good reason. Why not extend that thinking to food? Consider placing a small table near the hostess stand with an arrangement of beautiful (and hardy!) ingredients on an attractive plate. Or how about a “theme” display? Perhaps a basket of ingredients pertinent to the season makes sense, to whet appetites for seasonal fare. Whether your venue is quirky or classy, tell that story any way you can. Maybe your specials are inked onto paper chef’s hats: Line them up on a shelf, perched on mannequin heads! CHEFCONNEXION.CA
Itâ€™s time for comfort food and indulgent treats, along with healthier fare.
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So many seasonal ingredients at your fingertips!
Big Spoon Soups and stews taste great right now. Stir up a big pot of chili—or try something else with an ethnic twist. Like Colombian-style stew: beef, potatoes, onions and tomatoes spiced with garlic, cumin, cayenne and white vinegar. For authenticity, top with creamy avocado-lime-cilantro sauce. A rich, North African-inspired stew brings the warmth—with chicken, chickpeas and winter squash, plus barley or farro. Flavour hits for this dish include garlic, paprika, coriander, cumin, turmeric, nutmeg, allspice, cardamom and black pepper. Leave out the chicken for vegetarian appeal.
Sandwich Update From flavoured buns to classier condiments, sandwiches are profitable propositions. Enhancements like caramelized onions and curry-sautéed mushrooms bring appeal—and the opportunity to charge more. Presentation also counts, as in openfaced turkey sandwiches served in shallow bowls to corral the gravy. Ethnic twists will win fans, too. Try an Indian-inspired toasted Cheddar sandwich: include chopped tomatoes, onions and coriander-mint chutney.
Technique Tweaks Give ingredients the extra attention that makes for spectacular taste. Shortcuts? Use a smoking gun filled with applewood or hickory chips to
get fire-cooked flavour. Liquid smoke is another option! Grill lemon halves and squeeze onto chicken, fish or vegetables; grill bread to accompany meat, fish or soups. Caramelize onions more quickly using a dry, nonstick sauté pan over medium-high heat. Achieve charring with a culinary torch—from broccoli to sandwich meats. Last suggestion: Braise inexpensive cuts of beef. Pantry staples like wine, beer, vinegar, soy sauce, cider and purchased stock make the braising liquid. Then use any leftover cooked liquid to simmer root vegetables or cooked beans; serve over mashed potatoes, polenta or rice.
Pasta? Pizza? Sales of spiralizer machines are booming—as zucchini, carrots, beets, turnips and other healthful veggies get turned into delicious “noodles.” But traditional pastas still appeal: MasterChef Canada’s recipe box includes Spaghetti Agio E Olio and Beef Stir-fry with Rice Noodles (www. masterchefcanada.ctv.ca). And can you believe Edmonton took eighth place in Condé Nast Traveler’s contest for world’s best city for pizza? Venues such as Tony’s Pizza Palace, Packrat Louie and Rose Bowl Pizza rock traditional toppings. Yet Neapolitan style continues to gain ground, thanks to its thin crust and wood-fire flair. And at Pizzeria Libretto (Toronto), “Ontario Prosciutto” is touted, along with ingredients like pecorino cheese, chili oil and roasted garlic.
make it hot Spicier choices heat up Canadian menus. Tacofino (Vancouver/Victoria/Tofino): house-made chorizo for tacos and burritos CharBar (Calgary): Hot-sauce butter and chimichurri sauce on wood-grilled chicken Pastaga (Montreal): Cajun-spiced almonds garnish fried cauliflower
HOT & TANGY E.G., CHILELIME SAUCE
W/CARAMELIZED, ROASTED NOTES
POPULAR PULSES Beans, peas & lentils
* McCormick Flavor Forecast www.mccormick.com/Flavor-Forecast-2016
WINTER Hunker down with heartier foods and beverages.
Good Gravy! Melt ¹⁄³ c butter in saucepan. Add 1 small onion; cook and stir until tender. Whisk in ¹⁄³ c flour, 2 tsp parsley and ¹⁄8 tsp each garlic and thyme; then 3 c chicken broth. Boil, stirring constantly, until slightly thickened. (6 servings)
INSPIRATION will go even further: as in baconwrapped Tijuana dogs and spherical Hong Kong egg waffles.
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All-day breakfast is increasingly popular. Breakfast bakes help fill the bill—they’re versatile and can be cooked in advance for heat-and-serve convenience. They also package well for takeaway, whether you sell individual servings or entire pans. For example, eggs, oatmeal and French toast are three great breakfast-bake options. Value-added ingredients come in handy here: from frozen hash brown potatoes and liquid eggs to prechopped veggies and precooked sausage and bacon.
Canada loves cheese! Savoury cheese biscuits, cheddar ale soup, and cheese-y stuffed potatoes entice. Hello, Mac ’n Cheese Muffins! (get the recipe at www.dairygoodness.ca). And casseroles featuring cheese are perfect makeahead items—simply heat and serve on demand. How about baked ziti? Kitchen basics like mozzarella, pasta, olive oil and tomato sauces make Italian-style casseroles especially easy. Another good idea: Chicken Tortilla Casserole—layered with tortillas, meats, veggies and cheese. Calgary’s Model Milk even puts Cheddar in their apple-pie crust.
Superior Sauces Sauce is a simple way to boost flavour, customize a dish, or bring ethnic flair. One increasingly popular choice is sambal oelek, seen on menus from Pacific to Atlantic—and it’s the “go-to hot chili condiment” for Memphis Fire Barbeque Company in Hamilton, Ontario. In Winnipeg, Deseo Bistro is ladling curried cauliflower crema atop eggplant and lentils. Speaking of pulses (one of Canada’s largest crops), it’s easy to use them for sauces and spreads. Hummus is healthy and versatile, or try puréed black beans or edamame. Another way to bring trendy style to sauces is with craft beer. For example, splash an IPA into salsas for tacos. You can also cook and reduce IPAs for great accompaniments: Create a savory drizzle for fish, or make a sweetened version to top ice cream.
Easy Sweets Premade brownies celebrate the season with special toppings. One idea: peppermint frosting made with crushed candy canes. Or, spread on marshmallow frosting, lightly torch, and dust with red and green sugar; include shredded coconut if you like. Ever-popular spice cake can be extra special: Frost with pumpkin, eggnog, or salted caramel flavours.
craving flavour Heat up profits with new and traditional spices. Hot chocolate: Spike with cayenne or 5-spice powder Pancakes: Menu gingerbread or pumpkin-pie versions Sandwiches: Add thyme, rosemary or garam masala to meats
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Fast! Easy! True Stories about Since launching the Brand Points PLUS program, we’ve heard plenty of great comments from operators. Let’s hear from two operators about how they like the program—and see what rewards they’ve gotten with their points.
Meet Stewart Schmidt
Executive Chef, Bingemans, Kitchener, Ont. Collecting points since April 2015
“It was easy! Took 10 minutes.”
Stewart Schmidt has a lot on his plate, so to speak. Bingemans offers “Grand Experiences” through catering, weddings, entertainment, conferences, even camping.
BPP program advantage: “To me, quality and price—then points—are important. This allows Bingemans to order products like normal with the opportunity to use points to buy big ticket items with points rather than use our company purchasing.”
Receiving rewards: “I ordered one reward and had it 2 days later. Very shocked how quick rewards arrive.”
Stewart’s payoff so far: “We got the smoothie makers to make a smoothie bar for catering.” • Salton Vita Pro Plus Low-Speed Juicer & Smoothie Maker x 2 • Black & Decker 16-Cup Rice Cooker
Checking points on bpp.ca: “I check once a month—I just buy regular products and watch the points go up.” CHEFCONNEXION.CA
Cookies Our Chocolate Chunk Cookies have loads of rich chocolate chun dark ks nestled in a scru mptious chew y buttery tasting cookie.
Dark Bran Bak ed Mu
ffins A nutritious blen d of bran and butt molasses and suga ermilk sweetene d with r. A good source of fibre to start your day. Golden Raisin Bran Bak
Meet Anton Heimpel Owner, At the Crossroads Family Restaurant, Elmira, Ont. Collecting points since April 2015
ed Muffins A wholesome blen d of goodness of plum bran and buttermilk with the adde p raisins and a d touch of molasses cinnamon & a perf and ect breakfast muffi n to start your day. Oatmeal Apple Baked
ffins A perfect blend of oats, apples and buttermilk and spices mixed with molasses and adde d goodness of who wheat make this a warm comforti le ng muffin reminisc ent of the fall harvest.
“I look every few months to see how many points we have; then I browse the rewards catalogue to see what we want to redeem for.”
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4 Portions - Yiel d: 2 oz. portio 4 chicken breast, boneless, skin 1 tablespoon less vegetable oil 2 tablespoons ranch dressing 4 ounces cream cheese, softened 1/2 cup sour cream 1/3 cup cheddar cheese, shredded 2 tablespoons Lawry’s Wings & Seasoning Mix Things, Spicy Buffalo , divided
M E T HO D
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Remove any excess fat from chicken breast. the Coat in oil, then sprinkle half of seasoning on the the chicken (1 tbsp .). Bake for 20 min utes. 2. In a medium bowl add the othe r half of the seas (1 tbsp.) with 3 oning tbsp. of hot wate r and whisk unti dissolved. Mix l completel into the sauce: ranc h dressing, crea sour cream, and m chees ¼ cup cheddar cheese. 3. Once chicken is cooked, let it rest for 5 minutes , then shred 4. Stir the shre dded chicken into the sauce mix ture into a shallow baki ; place ng dish or ramekin . Sprinkle with remaining 2 tbsp the . of cheddar chee se on top, and bake minutes in a 350° for 15 F oven.
Receiving rewards: “The BPP site quotes 4-6 weeks for delivery but it has never taken more than 2 weeks.”
Anton’s payoff so far: “I’ve already done two separate redemptions, and used the rewards for personal use and gifts.” • Celestron Trekking Guide GPS Navigator • The North Face Terra 65 Pack
• Sony Blu-ray player
“It’s super easy! Pick, click and the reward is shipped to you.”
• Buck Knives Folding Saw • Warbird 2.0 golf ball (12/pack)
A few of Heimpel's BPP Rewards
24 x 100 48 x 100
BPP program advantage:
Checking points on bpp.ca:
36 x 3 o
24 x 100
24 x 100
This dish is a gre at appetizer for any menu. I NG R E DI E N TS -
Breakfast, lunch and dinner buffets, plus a full menu of traditional favourites. Anton Heimpel appreciates that BPP makes running his busy business easier.
“It’s simple—I really like that there are a bunch of products I was already buying and now have the added value of having BP+ points attached to them. I can continue running my business the way I want and receive added benefit from my foodservice distributor. We don’t transition menu items based on bonus point opportunities, but we do instruct our staff to increase order quantities on any of the products we buy with bonus points during the BPP flyer/ e-blast timeframe.”
BP+X3 Thaw & Serve Choco late Chunk Cooki e I/W BP+X3 Dark Bran Baked Muffin BP+X3 Golde n Raisin Bran Baked Muffin BP+X3 Oatm eal Apple Baked Muffin s Wrap ped BP+X3 Variet y Pack Baked Muffin s Wrapp ed
Smokey Apple wood Salmon with Bacon Ched dar Mashed Po
I NG R E DI E N
4 4 4 1
1/2 cup 1/2 cup 1/4 cup
tatoes Upscale Mad e Easy! Imagine serving up flam
High Liner Fire Roa Smokey Applewo sters™ od Salmon Yukon Gold or Russet potatoes and cut in 1-1/2 , peeled ” cubes slices maple baco n, chopped small onion, dice d shredded Che ddar cheese 10% half-and-hal f cream butter salt and pepper, to taste
e-seared fish that roasted until tend is perfectly slow er and succulen t without the cost complexity of and cooking from scratch. High Liner’s uniq ue flame-roastin g technique with seasoned coa on-trend tings delivers a sophisticate that saves you d seafood entr time and mon ée ey.
™ Features &
1. Cook fish as directed
on package. 2. In a large pot, cover potatoes with cold water. reduce heat to Bring to boil, medium and boil gently for 15 to or until potatoes 20 minutes are fork tender. Drain and mas h. 3. Meanwhile, in a skillet, over medium heat saut onions until baco é bacon and n is fully cooked and onions are 8 to 10 minutes tender, for . 4. Stir into mas hed potatoes alon g with the cheese, crea butter. Season m and with salt and pepp er. 5. Serve fish atop mashed potatoes with steamed seas veggies. onal
nefits • Ready to bak e-and-serve • Upscale pres entation lets you command prem • No need for ium prices special equipm ent or skilled labo • Whole fish ur fillets and loin s are seared and lightly glazed
M E T HO D
BP+X1 Citrus Peppe rcorn Tilapia Fillets BP+X1 Smokey Applewood Salmon Fillets BP+X1 Rustic Italian Cod Loins BP+X1 Southwest Style Haddock Loins
2 x 5 lb
2 x 5 lb
2 x 5 lb
2 x 5 lb
Participation is simple. 1. BUY BRANDS Purchase qualifying Brand Points PLUS products.
2. ENJOY REWARDS Shop online for your FREE rewards!
Reward categories include: Apparel Culinary Electronics Equipment Home
Personal Recreation Youth
Join free. If you have questions regarding the Brand Points PLUS program, contact your Customer Service representative today. Operators with special pricing arrangements, bid pricing or national accounts do not qualify for Brand Points PLUS.
Questions? Ask your local sales representative or Email: Support@BrandPointsPLUS.ca or • Call our support line: 1-844-442-7722 • •
Look for Brand Points PLUS qualifying products throughout the magazine! CHEFCONNEXION.CA
M E N U
David Roberts Spicy Glazed Pecans This innovative product was featured on an episode of the Food Factory, as seen on the Food Network. It’s just the right blend of spicy, salty and sweet—made with carefully sourced, fresh pecans and offering a wonderful, crunchy texture.
On-Trend and Versatile: • Great salad topping for greens; try it along with dried cranberries and goat cheese • Tasty bar snack—on its own or mixed with mini pretzels, popcorn, bagel chips or corn nuts • Perfect for appetizer platters; partner with mild-and-creamy or sharp cheeses • Exciting, easy dessert sprinkle for vanilla and chocolate ice creams— also pumpkin pie, carrot cake or spice cake
Castello Smoked Gorgonzola Wheel This Gorgonzola gets its inspiration from the fine tradition of Italy, yet has that North American twist. While embodying the classic “blue bite,” ours is slightly saltier and firmer, making it easier to use. Naturally double smoked with a selection of hardwoods, including applewood.
Fabulous Customer Appeal: • On the cheese plate: whether for appetizers or dessert, this selection stands out • On pasta & pizzas: adds depth of flavour, especially for vegetarian choices • On salads: crumbles easily to top green salads, pasta salads and slaws • In sauces & dips: brings a delicious, rich flavour of piquancy, smoke and salt
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We Have The Mix to Match Customers can choose from a wide selection of the finest and freshest nuts, chocolates, dried fruits, and baking ingredients. If you want the best, always look for the David Roberts brand. For close to 30 years David Roberts has built their name by offering only the freshest and finest quality products.
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“ A proactive approach to your menu can increase profits by 5–15%.” So says Kevin Chipman, Menu Engineering Expert for Pratts Food Service. Kevin has logged more than two decades in the hospitality industry, including 10 years meeting with chefs, managers and owners of independent restaurants, hotels and bars to hone menu and marketing strategies. Here’s plenty of great advice.
Kevin Recommends “There are a lot of resources, but I find www.restaurantowner.com and Restaurant Startup & Growth magazine to be well worth the money.”
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product. “I always recommend using a feature menu to not only test a new product but to test prices. Also, change your menu at minimum once or twice a year. “Determine plated food costs for everything. Knowing your costs and usages allows you to use a menu engineering worksheet to determine what items need attention. You don’t want your most popular items to be the least profitable, or fall below the average profit per item.”
Name Your Price
Time Well Spent “Being a working manager for many years, I understand that menu engineering could easily fall to the lower end of the priority list. But if you make it a part of your responsibilities, you’ll probably be ahead of your competition: I estimate at least 90% of independent F&B establishments don’t do this. I’ve talked to hundreds of folks, and the majority admit that A) they don’t do menu engineering for reasons such as lack of time or skill, and B) implementing it would definitely help their business.”
Gross Profit According to Kevin, menu pricing should be based on maximizing gross profit, not minimizing food cost percentage. To calculate, subtract the total cost of ingredients from the selling price. Other relevant factors? 1) Cost of production labour, 2) level of competition, and 3) uniqueness of
More pricing tips? “The ‘right’ price is the highest one customers are happy and willing to pay. This is a trial-and-error process: Don’t assume you know! Prices must be competitive and reasonable. Then mark up each menu category independently and differently. And I suggest taking the visual emphasis off price; that’s not what you’re selling. Stagger prices— have them directly follow item names or descriptions. In either case, use a similar font, maybe even one size smaller. Remove the dollar sign. Like always, there may be exceptions.”
Easy on the Eyes How do guests really look at the menu? There’s the “sweet spot” theory, which advocates positioning your most profitable items in the middleright page, then upper-right, then top and bottom left, respectively. Another study asserts that customers read a menu like a book, and to design it accordingly. (www.dailymail.co.uk/ sciencetech/article-2095034)
profitable items with
BIG BURGER eye magnets
SPECIAL FEATURES Use a
feature MENU to test products
photo play Kevin says: • Professional photos—of your own product—are best; a few hundred dollars provides several shots that can be used in many ways. • I tend to use stock photos, but avoid completely plated dishes and often have part of the picture coming off the page.
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Since most customers order appetizers, salads or soups first, then entrees, it makes sense to keep that traditional sequence, says Kevin. Highlight your most profitable items with “eye magnets”: like photos, different colours or pop boxes. “Hide” less profitable items or categories by placing them next to something that jumps off the page screaming “buy me!”
Just My Typeface “Having a font that’s too small is a mistake I see a lot,” says Kevin. “Any font and size should be clear enough for people to read not just in the daytime, but in a partly dimmed room. Size may vary depending on the font, but as a rule try not to go below 12 point. Although script fonts may be a little different or look nice, some are more difficult to read. General rule—use a neutral serif and sans-serif combination. And choose contrast: Between headers and names of dishes, or between names and descriptions—be sure fonts contrast enough.”
The World’s Most Perfect Food Rich in nutrients like protein and calcium plus they’re virtually indispensable. Yes, eggs are amazing but… Shell eggs break. Shell eggs only have 5 weeks shelf life. Shell eggs aren’t practical to store and, with shell eggs, there’s always waste. Value added eggs have all the delicious taste and nutritional benefits of shell eggs, but with added convenience, better shelf life and minimal waste – not to mention guaranteed food safety and better portion & cost control. Value added eggs. Now that’s the world’s most perfect food.
Five Ways to Win with Value Added Eggs 1. Use them anywhere you’d use shell eggs.
4. Add them to your beverage menu.
Liquid eggs are shell eggs, only they’ve already been cracked, beaten, and pasteurized so they have better shelf life and are easier to store than shell eggs.
The smoothie is the perfect health fix for people on the go. Expand your smoothie options by adding a shot of liquid egg white for a protein boost.
2. Build grab’n’go breakfasts.
5. Let them inspire you.
Who says a fast breakfast can’t be delicious and nutritious?
3. Serve them in bulk. •
For high volume foodservice, value added scrambled eggs are ideal.
The ways in which value added eggs can be elevated are limitless. From stuffed signature omelets to quiche or frittata.
Value Added Eggs…….Put them to work for you!
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Marketing has its lucky breaks, like if a national celebrity happens to walk into your establishment. Much of the time, though, planning and effort bring the results. Donâ€™t let your Big Marketing Plan always get pushed aside by the day-to-day. Put It in Writing Most operators find that a written plan helps them organize their ideas, create better ideas, and implement those ideas effectively. Simple Excel sheet? A few pieces of paper? A formal, business-type report? Whatever works for you! There are even templates available online. Many operators prefer to create a one-year plan, for synergy and comprehensiveness. Thanks to social media, you can also schedule spontaneity! Example: For winter, make a note to tweet a discount tied to a record snowfall.
Customers, Competitors Defining your customer base and potential targets is essential. If youâ€™ve been in business a long time, surely demographics have shifted. (Check out the article on surveying customers, page 47.) Also take stock of the competition in your area, noting changes that have occurredâ€”or may occur soon. Remember that rivals for food and beverage sales can include grocers and convenience stores.
“ Marketing initiatives focused on BUILDING LOYALTY and REPEAT BUSINESS, including SOCIAL MEDIA, remain important” to executives.
#goodfood *2015 Canadian Chain Restaurant Industry Review www.restaurantinvest.ca/site/ restaurant_invest/assets/pdf/2015_ canadian_chain_restaurant_industry_ review.pdf
in % let’s categorize 2014,
Sample ofcategories for your marketing plan: • Advertising—print, email, billboards, were for bus cards, flyers & newsletters • Website • Social media • Events • PR • Menu(s), table tents, posters • Other—van, food truck, tent
Promoting what: • News (events, product, remodeling, hours) • Catering, delivery, takeaway • Discounts & specials
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Partnership Possibilities Are there businesses or organizations you can team up with for promotions? You might tie in to a local cinema or live-theatre production, for example. Nonprofits could also be a good fit. In your marketing plan, outline people to approach and what you might propose; then prepare to brainstorm more strategies if you get a meet-up. And do your employees have great marketing suggestions? You may never know—unless you ask.
Timing Is Everything Adopt, adapt and improve—so keep evaluating, and create a calendar as part of your plan, to help you organize tasks. Monthly: Remove outdated information from your website—if your design contains “news,” you must stay current—or switch that function to social media. Daily: Check Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, etc. for any technical needs, customer complaints that should be addressed, or shoutouts that ought to be responded to with enthusiasm.
Large vs. Small How long since you freshened your logo? Each year, you should take a look at the tangible things that affect your marketing success—including signage, awnings, window dressing,
etc. And do you have a van or food truck boosting your brand? Should you? Chains continually identify ways to advertise themselves (and boost revenue); Tim Horton’s sells coffeerelated holiday merchandise, for example. There may be untapped opportunity for your venue; your marketing-plan process is the time to think about it.
Watch Your Language Even if you can post to Facebook in your sleep, it never hurts to evaluate what you say and how you say it. Keep a record of the social-media posts that get the best results. And do you sometimes wonder why so few customers pop in for a drink? Look how Ayden Kitchen & Bar (Saskatoon) positions themselves on their website: “Whether you’re going in for a full dining experience, an after-work cocktail, or a night-cap […].” And here’s a to-the-point description for a popular chain’s West Trillium House location: “Oliver & Bonacini’s bright, stylish dining room offers cozy tables by the fire in winter and breezy pond-side terrace seating in summer.” Review all communications for relevant customer draws. Then include sample wording as part of your marketing plan.
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“ Marketing initiatives focused on BUILDING HighLOYALTY Tech and REPEAT Marketing includes promoting technology capabilities such BUSINESS, including as online ordering, SOCIAL MEDIA,delivery remain services or gift-card purchase options. The Harvey’s chain now offers coupons customers important” to executives.
With rich, savoury flavour – and no artificial colours or flavours – our versatile stocks are the perfect start for robust, full-bodied soups and stews.
can show servers on their smartphone to redeem. Carefully selected tech tools can also help you manage loyalty programs—and make them more effective.
Help! Help! A marketing agency or consultant could be of value, especially to help you get started on a solid plan. And an objective point of view is always useful! Some pros may be willing to barter for services. Others might agree to look over your basic plan and make suggestions for a flat fee. Of course, take advantage of any assistance offered by your broad-line distributor.
With our fully flavoured bases, you can create custom soups just by adding a few ingredients. Try our wide range of classic and on-trend authentic flavours. ©2016 Campbell Company of Canada
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expenses were for
MARKETING. * www.statista.com/statistics/455330/ restaurant-marketing-expenses-share-of gross-margin-canada/
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Starters with Selling Power Tasty and good-looking noshes make the best first impressions with customers— and boost profits for operators. Creativity counts here! Ingredients, presentation and naming: It’s all important. Here’s your connexion to the best appetizers in Canada. 36
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Ah, Cheese So many app menus feature cheese, but it’s the details that make these restaurants stand out. The several western locations of ROCK CREEK TAP AND GRILL cleverly bring cheese to the table: just look at their Very Gouda Spinach Fondue presented with lemon herb crostini, Five Cheese Poutine slathered with Jack Daniel’s peppercorn gravy, and Baked Brie & Berries drizzled with a balsamic berry reduction. In Quebec, there’s a plethora of cheesy choices. Like Brie with Nuts & Onion Chutney courtesy of CAFÉ BISTRO L’ANCESTRAL (Sainte-Annedes-Plaines), Parmesan Fondue from STRATOS PIZZERIA (several cities), and Croquettes de Mac and Cheese from ODYSSÉE RESTO AMBIANCE (Drummondville).
Mighty Meaty Protein is always sure to please a hungry crowd, but in combination with beer, it’s worth returning for. LE MOULIN RESTAURANT BAR in Gatineau, Quebec,
More Doing More • Enigma (Vancouver): Edamame • Copper Coil (Squamish, B.C.): Mac & Cheese Balls • Lyna Lê (Gatineau, Que.): Salmon and Shrimp Comets
knows the way to their patrons’ hearts: a platter of sausage made with—and paired with—the products of its in-house microbrewery. Another trendy approach, the ethnic mash-up, sounds especially good when it’s a Moroccan Lamb Spring Roll served with mango chili sauce—a specialty of THE GARRISON PUB & EATERY in Calgary, Alberta.
Wings Take Off Classic chicken wings are never a bad idea, but many venues are giving them a new spin. In Kitchener, Ontario, LANCASTER SMOKEHOUSE smokes their jumbo wings and teams them with five house-made sauces, including “Fullilove” Hot. A food truck helps spread the wings, and weekend takeout is by appointment only. In Canmore, Alberta, IRON GOAT PUB & GRILL buttermilk-fries their chicken wings; customers choose from a list of sauces and rubs, like Dill Pickle Sour Cream & Onion. The Iron Goat also offers a unique twist: Chipotle Mango Duck Wings. (Check out their online catering menus, too.)
Tip: Even when you start with premade, there are many ways to add special touches. For example, mix purchased hummus with fresh herbs.
From the Sea
House-smoked mackerel and salmon are on the Smoked Charcuterie Board at BLUE MUSSEL CAFÉ (North Rustico Harbour, P.E.I.). Potatoes and cheese are combined with crab for the signature Crab Cakes, which come with a side of green tomato chow. Local Manitoba fish makes the Pickerel Sticks at LE GARAGE CAFÉ in Winnipeg, as does the “light and crisp” preparation and house tartar sauce. Speaking of “light,” TOBERMORY BREWING CO. & GRILL in Ontario cooks calamari on their namesake grill instead of frying.
Beer Bread? “Chicken Lips”? PUMP HOUSE in Moncton, New Brunswick, has plenty of fun—and flavour—on their “Tap’etizers” menu, which also features a “Sorry No Returns” policy on the Hell Fire Wings XXX. And if you’ve never thought of deviled eggs as crispy, that’s how BRUCE STEAKHOUSE of Kincardine, Ontario, makes them, with panko breading. And the RAD BROTHERS of Milton, Ontario, demonstrate a great idea for repurposing basic ingredients: Skillet Sizzler Dip with seasoned ground chuck, roasted peppers, onions, melted cheese blend and corn chips for scooping.
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Ways to Boost Appetizer Sales Make your appetizer menu hard to resist! Then, make a great first impression to ensure repeat business. What’s more, the lines between appetizers, small plates, entrees and sides are blurring—another reason to revisit and possibly increase your list of appetizer options. Some venues are ditching the “appetizers” label altogether. They favour using categories like Warm-Ups, Small Plates and Shareables. Other operators like specific terms, e.g., Flatbreads.
Be unexpected (yet expected).
This is the place to be creative, so that your offerings are unique and exciting. Yet, the most successful items will be familiar enough that guests know whether they’ll like them. How to proceed? Test the market! Try different spices and spice blends: like chilis, curry and harissa. Try a range of dipping and drizzling sauces: for example, cilantro-lime for jalapeño poppers. And try swapping expected ingredients for something different, like one venue that serves sushi with smoked duck instead of seafood. Ideas are everywhere, from industry trend reports, to trade shows, to the websites (and dining rooms) of other restaurants.
Counter the cost.
You want appetizers that fit your concept. However, why shouldn’t an Italian restaurant serve spring rolls? If they’re filled with beef and rosemary, and ladled with a zesty tomato sauce, you could have a winner! By designing an appetizer list with tasteful pairings of wine, beer and/or cocktails, you’ve also designed a solid profit opportunity.
Name, describe and plate to entice.
A well-selected name helps sell any appetizer. Like the Salt Spring Island Cheese Boards, featuring locally sourced fine cheeses, at CRACKED PEPPER CATERING in Whistler, British Columbia. On the menu at WAYNE GRETZKY’S TORONTO, the pierogies are spotlighted as “Grandma Gretzky’s favourite!” along with the need-to-know info: “cheddar & potato, caramelized onions, bacon, sour cream.” (Also note their Buffalo Cauliflower Bite, a vegetarian substitute for chicken wings.) And do make appetizers as attractive as possible; they set the tone for everything that follows. Find interesting and exciting ways to present your offerings, like baskets lined with checkered deli paper. Fun skewers and toothpicks, colourful garnishes, and artful arrangements are easy strategies that ensure every item has a “wow” factor—and help your establishment stand out.
Creating several shareable platters allows customers to split the bill and lessen the guilt of “spoiling” their meal. Also, happy hour specials give individuals and groups alike a reason to come in—and order some bites to go with their drinks. Wait staff is your ally here: Servers should taste all appetizers so they’re ready to answer questions and encourage customers rather than just take orders. Train servers on how a smile and enthusiasm will boost the check total, and their tip. Back of the house, consult with your foodservice distributor to identify premade items you can customize, and ask for help in determining gross profit on your recipes. CHEFCONNEXION.CA
Energy, Profits Boost Today, many customers care about your environmental footprint. But thereâ€™s an even better reason to reduce use of water and energy: It will save you money. How low can you go?
for maximum efficiency, keep gas burners and grates free of charred food build-up, And have equipment serviced regularly.
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28% HVAC Heating, ventilation and air conditioning take the biggest bite of your energy budget. And for most restaurants, that’s about 28 percent of their total expenses! Efficient, up-todate equipment makes all the difference here. Consider investing in a programmable thermostat—and making the effort to program it. Make sure vents are not blocked by furniture or other items, and regularly clean both vents and filters. Window shades and adjustable awnings can keep interiors the right temp. Sealing and insulating ductwork costs far less than the savings you’ll see. Many utility companies offer free assessments to help you identify and track your energy use for each function—and thus target effective
install low-flow faucets
improvements. Or, visit the Natural Resources Canada website for a Portfolio Manager tool: www.nrcan. gc.ca/energy/efficiency/buildings/ energy-benchmarking/3693.
20 Minutes Most equipment needs only that much time to preheat. Lights, hoods, ranges, computers, signs, fans—all these can simply be shut off, to save money. Speaking of time: Every second a freezer door is open or a burner is on with no purpose is a waste. Employees are your allies here.
In Hot Water? Cutting your use of heated water saves on two different bills! First, use cold water whenever possible. Ask staff not to use running water to thaw
use timers & Motion Sensors
Keep range burners Clean
It’s OK to ask guests if they want water-the automatic pour is no more.
big fan • Install evaporator fan controllers on refrigerators • Upgrade to ECMs (electronically commutated motors) • Swap in variable-speed hood fans
frozen foods, and to turn down valves when appropriate to the task. As for equipment: Start the dishwasher only when full, and consider installing boilerless steamers and combi ovens. Other strategies? Easy and inexpensive: Insulate hot-water pipes, and reuse excess water from steamers or other appliances for secondary cleaning tasks.
With the Flow
Staff for Success Getting employees on board is crucial. • Make efficiency part of training and job evaluations. • Delegate specifics, such as cleaning with steamer water on the a.m. shift. • Use reminders: signs, stickers and compliments! • When water and energy reduction goals are met, share the news.
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It’s OK to ask guests if they want water—the automatic pour is no more. In addition, drips and leaks make a big impact on your water bill. Regularly inspect faucets, and get them repaired right away if there’s a problem. Finally, low-flow, pre-rinse spray valves are designed to be just as effective as standard models. (They also help boost dishwasher efficiency.) The very best valves use as little as 0.64 gallons per minute.
Rearrange, Retrofit Situating a refrigerator right next to a range makes the fridge work harder. Can you separate your “cool” equipment (including ice machines) from your cooking equipment? Also, it makes sense to group broilers, steamers, etc. under the same vent whenever possible. What’s more, ditching standard fixtures for fluorescents and LEDs can lighten the energy bill. Add strip curtains to walk-in freezers, use closed display cases, replace fridge-door gaskets with magnetic ones. Low-cost enhancements like these decrease energy consumption and increase cost savings.
BIG flavour, less mess!
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Watch the wings fly off your menu with LAWRY's WINGS dry seasonings! These unique seasonings create a crispy, melt-in-your-mouth coating to deliver the big, bold flavours your customers crave without all the mess of a wet sauce. Available in six mouthwatering flavours: Lemon Pepper, Maple Bacon, Sriracha, Barbecue, Mango Habanero and everyone's favourite, Buffalo! Â®Reg. TM McCormick & Co., Inc. Used under license.
Reap More Rewards With English Bay Muffin Batter English Bay muffin batter has many exciting and creative uses - try making a muffin loaf or dessert waffles. English Bay muffin batter is now part of the Brand Points Plus Rewards Program.
• • • • • • • • •
• • • • • • •
Lemon Poppyseed Golden Raisin Bran Oatmeal Apple Chocolate Chip Double Chocolate Apple Cinnamon Blueberry Carrot Banana
Orange Cranberry Morning Glory Raspberry Yogurt Pralines & Cream Cinnamon Coffee Cake Fruit Extreme Cornmeal
Dessert Wafﬂes 1.
Spray waffle maker with cookie spray and pre-heat according to directions
Stir batter to evenly distribute inclusions
Spoon muffin batter into waffle make. Approximately 3 tablespoons per side
Bake 5 to 7 minutes - until waffles are golden and come out easily
Plating Suggestions •
Banana with ice cream chocolate and strawberry sauce
Raspberry yougurt with ice cream and raspberry sauce
Chocolate chip with ice cream, chocolate sauce and caramel sauce
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If only we could offer a mind-reading service! However, there are many ways to find out what customers are thinking, and more about what they want.
The Right Questions Effective surveys get right to the heart of what you want to know. Should the list of sandwich options be larger, or smaller? Ask. Looking for feedback on your takeaway staff? Ask. Wondering if the décor seems tired? Ask. Last but not least, most experts advise adding an open-ended question at the finish. Examples: What could we do better? Would you recommend us—Why or why not?
Is yours a fun, hip kind of place? Let the survey reflect that.
QUESTIONS IS ABOUT RIGHT SWEET:
rewarding customer response
The goal is to learn things you can’t find out any other way. (Which dish sells best? Your data metrics should already tell you.)
Online, On Target If you collect email addresses, sending a survey to customers can be just that simple. Put the survey questions right in the message, or include a link to a service such as SurveyMonkey. Facebook, Twitter—whatever social media platform you use, you could occasionally ask one question relevant to your business right there. Facebook also offers the capability of a regular survey; options are continuing to evolve (www.facebook.com/simple. surveys). Canada’s own Humpty’s chain prominently asks for “Feedback” on their website: That’s more appealing than a “Contact Us” button.
Tabletop Q The classic “survey with the check” still has its place. Make it postcard size or half a sheet of paper—in other words, make it visually “short.”
A bright-colour paper helps invite customers to answer your questions. So does having servers say something like: “Here’s a couple of things we’d really appreciate your input on.” And some people prefer to address issues in this manner. As one TripAdvisor customer stated, as part of her complaint about service: “I asked the hostess for a comment card, and she just looked at me and said ‘we don’t have comment cards.’”
Opinion Goldmine Social media, intimidating as it can be, is often a window into the strengths and weaknesses of your operation. Especially if you respond calmly and helpfully to any complaints. For most third-party social media platforms, there’s an option to offer an olive branch and take specifics to a more private discussion. So, for example, you can direct the conversation on Yelp, with daily monitoring and carefully worded responses.
Set the Tone Is yours a fun, hip kind of place? Let the survey reflect that. “We love taxidermy and red-vinyl booths— what’s your opinion on our décor?” Multiple-choice answer possibilities can reflect your personality, too: “Not for me; Needs freshening; OK; Quite comfortable; Please decorate my home.” Then the open-ended question, “Do you have any ideas for us?” Even if your style is more formal, surveys can still be interesting or enjoyable.
more info: Here’s an excellent discussion of restaurant surveys, at www.surveygizmo.com/survey-blog/restaurant-surveys-back-to-basics/. 48
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Chain Examples A glance at what & how others are doing: • Beavertails survey--www.surveymonkey.com/r/5G2N99H • C-Lovers Fish & Chips comment card--www.c-lovers.com/comments • Ricky’s All Day Grill--www.tripadvisor.com reviews CHEFCONNEXION.CA
Thank You, Thank You The best surveys offer gratitude—not necessarily in the form of discounts, offers or “points.” A message of appreciation via email or snail mail can be effective. Or, offer special treatment—like a patio or windowside table for a respondent’s next visit, if possible. Surveys in the form of a contest may also reap desired knowledge. The prize can be nominal. Safeway offers an example of a more elaborate pairing of survey and contest, with a bigger prize ($100 gift card) and longer term (about 1 year). Details here: https://onlinekmc.com/downloads/customdownloads/ safeway_sweepstakes_rules_en.pdf.
FALL / WINTER 2016-17
Curbside pick-up Don’t have a drive-through? Curbside pick-up is becoming an increasingly popular option to drive business growth and keep customers. The idea is quite simple: a customer calls in an order, drives to the restaurant, parks outside and the order is delivered in person to the car. Customers love it because they don’t have to get out of the car, and restaurants like it because it increases sales without adding seating capacity. If you’re considering starting a curbside pick-up service, or you have one in place, here are a few tips you can follow Plan for efficiency. Reserve a few parking spaces near your front door for curbside pick-up only. That ensures your customers have convenient places to park and that your staff can 52
FALL / WINTER 2016-17
easily find them. It also advertises your curbside service as customers walk in. The parking spots should be near a window and easily accessible to your designated pickup station. Dedicate staff. Service is key to generating repeat curbside business. If you have a host stand, you might able to leverage that staff to run the food out if it won’t negatively affect your dine-in guests. It’s best to dedicate staff to take orders, watch for arrivals and deliver food to cars. Use quality packaging. It’s worth spending a little extra on quality carryout containers to make sure hot foods stay hot, cold foods stay cold, and liquids stay in containers. It helps preserve the guest experience all the way home. Containers also offer valuable advertising space,
and a small investment in printing can extend your brand recognition beyond your parking lot. Polarpak has a comprehensive line of packaging products that will meet your take-out needs. Ensure pickup is quick and efficient. It’s imperative to minimize trips back into the restaurant, so make sure your curbside staff carries cash to make change. They should be able to take credit card payments at the car by using a secure, wireless credit card terminal or a mobile payment method.
Juicy, tender and irresistable N
ikolaos chicken bites and tenders are the perfect start to building a delicious menu. Asian inspired to mediterranean inspired the different flavour combinations are endless. Nikolaos Fine Foods have the products and the quality to make your menu the taste of the town.
Nikolaos Chicken Bites with Buffalo Sauce
Rustic Beer [FLAVOURED] Bun
You’re Smokin’ BBQ Bun
How “Sweet” it is Potato Bun
It’s Better with a Brioche Bun
Well Done Steak Spice Bun
Make a Toast-er Bun When it comes to Weston Foods, a bun is not just a bun. It’s the host with the most, it’s the first impeccable impression, it’s what you embrace before you eat and it’s the first bit of an incredible bite. Our six new innovative buns are crafted to inspire distinctive and delicious recipes that will change the perception about how they can significantly increase your menu appeal and the customers appetite. Each has a distinctive flavour, texture and profile that will raise your menu mmmmmagination.
International Pacific Sales, (West) 604-273-7035 Magnum Food Brokers Inc. (Ontario) 905-474-1500
Taktik Marketing, (Quebec) 514-389-2553 Amca Sales & Marketing, (Atlantic) 902-468-1501
Celebrations with friends, family get-togethers, business gatherings, catering operations—many restaurants look to compelling appetizers and hors d’oeuvres to help ensure success, especially during the holidays. You’ll see healthier options, too, using savvy strategies like including veggies or swapping Greek yogurt for mayo in party dips.
Don’t Worry,Be ’Appy!
SMOKE ’EM Employ your smoker, buy pre-smoked items, or use liquid smoke for deep—and trendy—flavour.
SMOKED CHICKEN DIP Serves: 8–12
INGREDIENTS 6 cups smoked chicken (or turkey) 8 oz cream cheese, softened 1 cup Greek yogurt 2 Tbsp ranch dressing (or blue cheese) 1 cup hot sauce 2 small celery stalks, finely diced 1 cup shredded cheddar 1 tsp each garlic powder & celery salt Salt & pepper INSTRUCTIONS Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix all ingredients in large bowl and portion into 2 small, greased baking dishes or 8x8 baking dish. Bake 15–20 minutes, uncovered, until dip begins to bubble. Serve with baguette slices, chips or the healthy choice: celery sticks.
SMOKED BACON-TOMATILLO GUACAMOLE Serves: 24–30
Smoke 12 slices bacon at 250 degrees for 60–90 minutes; and 12 tomatillos for about 3 hours. (Or, use presmoked versions.) Cool, then chop bacon and dice tomatillos. Mix with 12 thawed frozen avocados—mashed to preferred consistency—plus 6 Tbsp lime juice, 12 Tbsp finely minced shallots, and 12 Tbsp roughly chopped fresh cilantro. Serve with corn chips. (Also great in shrimp tacos.)
QUICK! Marinate smoked salmon briefly in lemon juice, Dijon mustard, black pepper and brewed black tea (or vodka). Serve on cocktail rye, topped with red onion, capers and dill.
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EASY PEASY Premade items help you get the apps out fast, and these recipes are super simple!
MINI ZUCCHINI “PIZZAS” A great way to get your veg: Cut 3 large zucchini into ¼-inch rounds. Arrange rounds on a baking sheet, brush with EVOO and bake at 400 degrees for about 5 minutes. Spoon a thin layer of marinara or pizza sauce on top of each round; then add shredded mozzarella and a slice of pepperoni. Sprinkle with dried oregano and bake about 10 more minutes, until zucchini is tender.
SWEET+SOUR MEATBALLS Start with 24 purchased, cooked meatballs and combine with this terrific sauce, made with canned cranberry. Brown meatballs (about 1½ inches in size) in a skillet with oil. Drain excess and add two 14-oz cans whole-berry cranberry sauce, ½ cup water, 2 Tbsp cider vinegar, 3 Tbsp brown sugar, and 2 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce. Stir gently, cover and simmer on medium-low until meatballs are heated through. Spoon out enough sauce to serve on the side.
QUICK! Grilled bread plus garlic equals bruschetta, and almost anything goes on top, from seasonal ingredients like tomatoes and basil to cured meats, cheeses and purchased spreads.
FIG & HAM FLATBREAD Begin with a ready-to-use flatbread. Spread with fig jam and place thin slices of premium ham or prosciutto. Dot with bits of goat cheese, grind on some fresh black pepper, and broil until the ham or prosciutto is slightly crisp around the edges. If you like, scatter several leaves of arugula on top before cutting horizontally into strips for serving.
DECEPTIVELY HEALTHY Flavour and comfort plus vitamins and minerals. Yes, please!
SPICY SWEET POTATO SKINS Serves: 6
INGREDIENTS 3 medium sweet potatoes ¼ cup olive oil 1 Tbsp lime juice 1 clove garlic, minced 1 chipotle pepper, minced ½ tsp each dried oregano, chili powder & cumin 2 cups spinach leaves, shredded 5 oz sharp white cheddar INSTRUCTIONS Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wash sweet potatoes. Prick all over with fork. Place in baking dish and bake 50–60 minutes. In medium bowl, combine all other ingredients except spinach and cheese; set aside. Wilt spinach in the microwave. When potatoes are done, remove, cut in half lengthwise, and let cool 5–10 minutes. Turn oven up to 400 degrees; then brush skins with a bit of the chipotle sauce and bake again 5–10 minutes to crisp. While baking, mix spinach with sauce. Pull potatoes out one last time and top with spinach mixture and cheese; broil to melt cheese. Make-Ahead: The first step of baking potatoes can be done a couple of days beforehand.
CAULIFLOWER DIP Boil 1 bag cauliflower florets with a couple of garlic cloves until florets are soft. Sauté 1 medium onion (thinly sliced) on medium heat with 1 tsp each ground cumin and salt until translucent; then increase heat to medium high and cook until browned. Transfer onions to blender and add drained cauliflower along with 3/4 cup Greek yogurt, 3 Tbsp lemon juice, 1 tsp lemon zest, and 1 Tbsp dried parsley. Endive leaves are healthy options for scooping, or use your favourite bread, sliced thin and toasted. Make-Ahead: Covered and chilled, dip stores for up to 5 days.
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QUICK! Blend 1 lb hummus with 10-oz jar sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil, 2 Tbsp tomato paste and 1½ tsp smoked paprika; serve with better-for-you baked pita chips or raw veggies.
Tuna Bruschetta INGREDIENTS 1 can
Admiral® albacore tuna
plump Roma tomatoes, diced
red onion, chopped
cloves garlic, minced
black olives, chopped
extra virgin olive oil fresh basil leaves salt & pepper to taste
Boulart® traditional baguette, cut into thin slices
Not All Tuna Is Alike Not all tunas are created equal but albacore tuna is created to satisfy any menu. It’s milder taste and firm white flesh allows for a variety of menu applications and it stores for up to 3 years, which can save any chef in a pinch. Guests are demanding healthy, quick service meals that are customizable and unique to the average fast food salad. Customers want the opportunity to make good eating choices when they are out and by restaurants providing options for them to choose from, they begin to feel in control. Think about changing up your menu and including tuna as a protein
possibility and a healthy option for patrons. When restaurants provide new and unique menu ideas—it keeps customers coming back for more! Consider utilizing albacore canned tuna to create a light dish like a tuna bruschetta. Not your average tuna sandwich but open face and with a twist or tuna rolls with fresh leafy greens and vegetables. Both dishes can be customized by interchanging proteins but the key is to provide options to satisfy the customers taste. To enhance the dish further, serve the tuna alongside a quinoa salad— keeping it light and healthy but not feeling like “rabbit food.”
1. Preheat oven to 425°F. 2. In a medium bowl, combine the Admiral albacore tuna, tomatoes, onion, garlic, olives and olive oil. Season the mixture with salt and pepper to taste and gently mix. 3. Let the mixture sit while you slice the Boulart traditional baguette into ½-¾ inch wide pieces. 4. Place 1-2 tablespoons of the mixture onto each slice of bread and place onto a lined baking tray. 5. Bake at 425°F for approximately 8 minutes. 6. Dress the bruschetta pieces with a fresh basil leaf and serve. CHEFCONNEXION.CA
Fully coated Unbeatable taste
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Chef Connexion is published twice a year by Greenbridge Foodservice in partnership with the following distributor members: ADL Foods 400 Read Drive Summerside, Prince Edward Island C1N 5A9 888-235-6455 adlfoods.ca AOF Service Alimentaire 2150 rue Sigouin Drummondville, Québec J2C 5Z4 819-477-5353 aof.ca
N e x t I s s u e : S P R I N G / S U M M E R 2 017 For the upcoming Chef Connexion, we’ll once again take the pulse of the Canadian restaurant industry to bring you plenty of practical information. You can look forward to carefully researched, lively articles about topics that mean the most to you and your profitability. What’s more, we’ll shine the spotlight on the many great ways you can take advantage of
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BC Alasko Foods Inc.
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46 English Bay Batter
54 Weston Bakeries
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We welcome your comments and suggestions. Material chosen for publication may be edited for clarity and fit. Please direct all correspondence to: Greenbridge Foodservice, 1373 Victoria Street N., Unit 201, Kitchener, Ontario N2B 3R6 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Capital Foodservice 10 MacNaughton Avenue Caledonia Industrial Park Moncton, New Brunswick E1H 3L9 800-561-7026 capitalfoodservice.ca Flanagan Foodservice 145 Otonabee Drive Kitchener, Ontario N2C 1L7 519-748-2190 flanagan.ca Multi Plus DM Inc. 10389 Côte de Liesse Dorval, Québec H9P 2Z3 866-745-8881 multiplusdm.com Pratts Food Service (Alberta) 291196 Wagon Wheel Road Rocky View County, Alberta T4A 0E2 403-476-7728 pratts.ca Pratts Food Service (Manitoba) 101 Hutchings Street Winnipeg, Manitoba R2X 2V4 204-949-2832 pratts.ca Pratts Food Service (Saskatchewan) 1450 Park Street Regina, Saskatchewan S4N 2G2 306-546-5444 pratts.ca Yen Bros. Food Service 1988 Vernon Drive Vancouver, British Columbia V6A 3Y6 604-255-6522 yenbros.com Copyright 2016 Greenbridge Foodservice. All Rights Reserved.
Our products are picked at the peak of ripeness. They are careful y selected and immediately quick frozen to lock in the great taste and nutrition
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QUALITY, VARIETY, AND FRESHNESS. We search the world to offer you the best frozen fruits and vegetables available. Thanks to our diverse supply network, you have access to global markets and a wide-range of products. These include items ideal for the smallest gourmet meal or the largest culinary project. In order for you to make the most of new opportunities and innovations, we are constantly monitoring current and upcoming trends in food and consumer habits. Alasko, the world is our garden.
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