SMART CULINARY MOVES FOR 2023
THE TRENDS ISSUE
THE NEED FOR SPEED
5 WAYS TO NEXT-LEVEL TECH FLAVORS TO WATCHSPRING 2023
THE TRENDS ISSUE
5 WAYS TO NEXT-LEVEL TECH
Embracing more tech automation is essential to strengthening your business.
THE NEED FOR SPEED
SMART CULINARY MOVES FOR 2023
Our culinary experts spotlight new profit-building opportunities you can act on immediately.
Fast-track your prep for greater efficiency and profitability.
FLAVORS TO WATCH
Update and reinvent menu items in flavorful ways using these trendy ingredients.
Foodservice Trends: Here, Now & Next
In our industry, it’s not enough to be on-trend. We have to be trend forward. Restaurant operators need to tap into what consumers want now as much as striving to anticipate, or even establish, what’s next.
Unexpected flavor combinations and menu items may be the first thing to come to mind when talking trends, but tapping into the latest and greatest when it comes to technology, mindful eating, kitchen efficiencies, and more, is equally important.
In this issue of Kitchentelligence Magazine, we’ll inspire your culinary creativity with the flavors and ingredients people are talking about – or certainly will be. Shamrock chefs, product specialists, consultants and customers will get you thinking about tips and strategies to stay on top of (and ahead of) what consumers want from their next dining experience. Here are some of the highlights:
• Smart use of technology can be a game-changer for everything from hiring and scheduling to tracking inventory and reaching customers. Check out our top 5 ways to tap into tech.
• Vegourmet makes veggies the star of the menu, reducing waste saves operators money (and wins over guests), and immune-boosting foods (think grains in warm salads) are a few trends we dish on in these pages.
• Learn how speed-scratch cooking equates to less prep time and more distinct dishes.
Be sure to visit our Kitchentelligence resources to stay inspired and trend forward between editions of Kitchentelligence Magazine. And, reach out to Shamrock anytime. Our team is an extension of yours.
Sincerely,Ann Ocaña, Shamrock Foods Company Chief Marketing Officer Ann Ocaña
“ Restaurant operators need to tap into what consumers want now as much as striving to anticipate, or even establish, what’s next.”
SMART CULINARY MOVES FOR 2023
Take advantage of the latest profitbuilding opportunities.
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.
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
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.
“To the next generation, it’s increasingly important to know which brands align with their core values.”
—Mary McVoy, Shamrock Foods Restaurant Consultant, California
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 wholegrain 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 nutrientdense greens to your menu. Splash real fruit purees into cocktails.
Educate your team. Teach staff and guests about healthy and immuneboosting 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.
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.
POWER UP YOUR MENUS WITH THESE PROVISIONS
Gochujang sauce and paste
Red and green harissa
Take simply delicious refreshment with you.
Say yes to simple.
The Need forSpeed
“Take the knife out of the hand and replace it with the whisk. Use ingredients that are easy, fast and profitable.”
CUT OUT THE CHOPPING
Menu fewer items that require knifework. It’s a move that eases back-of-the-house workload, increases consistency and yields, decreases labor costs, reduces the risk of employee injuries and gives chefs time to focus on their creativity in ways that create sales-building points of difference.
“Consider not putting effort into chopping or cutting — things the customer won’t notice or care about,” adds Jeff Pivin, Shamrock Foods Restaurant Resources Manager.
MIX THINGS UP
Turn to speed-scratch cooking, which blends value-added and already-prepared ingredients together to facilitate nearly endless variety on your menu.
“Start with a top-quality baseline product and incorporate new flavors — kimchi, fruit purees, chili oil, Sriracha, salsa, etc. — to create exciting new combinations customtailored to your menu,” says Tim Maness, Shamrock Foods Restaurant Consultant, Colorado.
Change things often, especially seasonally, for specials and LTOs that create FOMO (fear of missing out) and offer guests distinctive experiences that differentiate your menu.
“Focus on signature items that nobody can replicate,” says Mary McVoy, Shamrock Foods Restaurant Consultant, California.
“Add Divina® caramelized onion jam to stock for French onion soup. You’ll shave off hours of time.”
—Rodney Estrada, Shamrock Foods BranchChef,
—Jonathon Merrick, Shamrock Foods Chef & Bella Bello Specialist, Idaho
FIND MORE TIMESAVING INSIGHTS AND ADVICE WITH OUR CHEF
WHAT CUSTOMERS ARE SAYING ABOUT OUR CHEF APPROVED PICKS
“Any time saved from slicing, dicing and prepping translates into ‘money-making-minutes.’”
-Andrew Ganick, Owner, The Pig & The Sprout, Denver, CO
“We never have to worry about product quality [with Shamrock Foods prep-friendly products]; it’s always great and our kitchen staff and our guests appreciate it!”
-Cody Craig, General Manager, Caffe Luciano’s, Garden City, ID
“My philosophy has always been that from-scratch food was better. Shamrock Foods has changed my beliefs with Chef Approved Prep time-saving products.”
-Nathan Wagner, Owner, The KROW Sports Bar & Grill, Cottonwood, AZ
“Prepped products save us so much time. We purchase croissant dough, ready-made jam, custards and other items to speed up our process.”
-Jennifer Le, Executive Officer, Leberry Bakery & Donut, Pasadena, CA
“We use a wide variety of Markon® Ready-Set-Serve produce to save time and limit the prep involved.”
-Frederick Miller, Executive Chef, Forest Highlands Meadow Pavilion, Flagstaff, AZ
“Less prep means faster burgers, breakfast and sandwiches heading out to customers.”
-Jamie Meisner, Chef, The Mixing Bowl Cafe, Gering, NE
“We enjoy the cheese by Villa Frizzoni® that is ready to go. We just fill deli containers and back-ups for fast service. Same with Bountiful Harvest® canned items like chopped pineapple, garbanzos, etc.”
-Piper Kapin, Owner, Back Road Pizza, Santa Fe, NM
“The Aspen Gold XTREME high oleic fry oil from Jensen Foods is fantastic. It saves wasted time cleaning greasy gunk from walls and surrounding areas, lasts almost a full week, and food always comes out looking great.”
-Tyler Schulz, Executive Chef, Harmony Bowl, Colorado Springs, CO
SAVORY BUTTER FLAVOR IN A CONVENIENT AND VERSATILE COOKING OIL
Available in seasoned and no salt versions, Aspen Gold Liquid Butter Alternatives offer savory butter flavor and convenience you won’t find in dairy butter.
Custom blended at Jensen Foods in Brighton, Colorado, our Liquid Butter alternatives contain no PHOs (partially hydrogenated oils)/trans fats, allergens, lactose or gluten and have a long shelf life with no refrigeration required.
Whether sautéing vegetables, grilling or pan-frying proteins, popping popcorn, tossing chicken wings, creating delectable sauces or for all things breakfast, Aspen Gold Liquid Butter Alternatives bring effortless butter flavor every time.
SALMON TO SAVOR
Pier 22 Premium Icelandic Salmon, from the cold, pure waters off the coast of Eastern Iceland, is sushi-grade and raised on an all-marine diet that contains no antibiotics, hormones, or animal proteins. Plus, it’s non-GMO and free from synthetic color resulting in a naturally clean, ocean-fresh flavor and color superior to other salmon.
Pier 22 Seafood CO.® delivers your fresh catch the next day. We are uniquely focused on Foodservice operators, and our team has extensive experience with the products, cuts and packaging that work best for the most innovative seafood menus.
Contact your Shamrock Foods Sales Representative for more information.
WAYS TO NEXT-LEVEL TECH 5
To succeed in the face of staff shortages and other challenges, foodservice operators could use a helping hand. New technologies are at your service.
“There are countless ways automation can support daily operations in an ever-changing foodservice industry,” says Mary McVoy, Shamrock Foods Restaurant Consultant, California. Using technology is essential. Luckily, it’s easier than ever.
“Use technology to grow your business.”
—Karim Refaey, Shamrock Foods Restaurant Consultant, Idaho
Upgrade your system
“POS is definitely a must-have,” says Jim Hargrove, Shamrock Foods Restaurant Consultant. “If your POS is 10 years old or more it’s time for a new, upgraded model.” All-in-One POS options from TouchBistro, for example, can streamline everything from inventory and menu management to online ordering and reservations.
Coordinate your efforts
“Online scheduling is becoming more prevalent and affordable,” Hargrove says. “It’s more than just a tool to create schedules and control labor spending. It’s also a great way to attract and keep today’s workers who don’t want to do something if it can’t be done on their phone.”
“Choose a scheduling tool that can interface with your POS system and read sales trends so you can schedule the budget and forecast sales,” adds Ryan Elmore, Shamrock Foods Restaurant Consultant, New Mexico.
“Too often POS systems are used strictly for timekeeping and order-ringing.” —Tim Maness, Shamrock Foods Restaurant Consultant, Colorado
Keep track of provisions
“Accounting-service technology for the restaurant business is a great and increasingly affordable approach to inventory management,” says Elmore. The economic benefit it clear. “Taking a weekly or even monthly inventory can lower labor costs, COGS and controllables by at least 2%.”
A smart first step is using Shamrock Foods’ free application, MenuWizard, for tracking recipes, ideal costs and inventory. Access it through the My Shamrock portal, or ask your Shamrock Foods Sales Representative for a tutorial.
Strike a balance
“Online ordering just has to be there,” says Bo Bryant, Shamrock Foods Restaurant Consultant. “Customers who thought they never would have adopted online ordering now would never give it up.”
AI can also enhance efficiencies but be sure to continue to provide the customer-facing interaction and hospitality that foster guest loyalty.
“It’s critical to have that human touch,” Bryant says, noting that AI phone-answering is most useful as backup when overflow capacity is an issue.
A better way to find new employees
Online applications and onlineapplicant tracking put operators in control of attracting and hiring staff. Post online applications on your website and social-media platforms, as well as search engines. It’s the most effective and economical way to connect with talent.
“There’s a higher engagement rate when prospects apply online directly versus through third-party websites,” Bryant says. “And there’s a higher ratio of interview show-ups.”
“Automation can help operators seize opportunities to build customer loyalty, improve efficiencies and increase profitability.”
—Jeff Pivin, Shamrock Foods Restaurant Resources Manager
FLAVORS TO WATCH
Chiltepin, the only pepper native to North America, satisfies consumers’ growing appetite for spicy food and can be a menu differentiator.
Blend this spicy-sweet paste into practically everything. It’s catching on at trendy restaurants and specialty grocers.
Available in bottled and paste forms. Citrusy, acidic, piney and potent, yuzu is a utility infielder flavor suitable for use in everything from cocktails to vinaigrettes to savory plant-based dishes — and even ice cream. It’s ideal for global mashups.
HEARTS OF PALM
This popular carb alternative is coming on strong as a plant-based alternative to carbs and core proteins in salads, appetizers, side dishes and in pasta form.
A natural source of fiber, iron, antioxidants and plant protein, this superfood delivers delicate, fruity/floral flavor. It supports gut and skin health, as well as immunity. Serve it as a hot or iced tea, or use it as an ingredient in lemonades, cocktails and baked goods. Adds a great punch of color as well!
Today’s diners want flavor and health benefits from real foods. Go after the opportunity with ingredients that deliver deliciousness and boost health.
We welcome your suggestions and comments. Material chosen for publication may be edited for clarity and fit. Please direct all correspondence to: Shamrock Foods Company MAGAZINE