Breakfast is an exciting time of day in foodservice, because pretty much anything goes. Customers may want to pick up a waffle with their coffee or sit down for smashed avocado on toast. New product trends abound, but the traditional full English is still many customers’ go-to.
How best to get the balance right on your menu between old favourites and the latest Instagram pleasers? What are the latest trends that you should be looking at? And what else do you need to think about to make the most of the morning sales opportunity in what has become a crowded market?
It is well worth the catering manager knowing the terminology for ‘cold’ coffee drinks. Cold brew is a coffee which has been brewed at room temperature, probably overnight. It is said to impart a depth and richness to the brew. It has been a growing aspect of the coffee scene for some time now... how can it effectively be added to the menu?
As a key driver of the burgeoning free-from market, plant-based food and drinks are seeing an explosion of new product development. We will be looking at the latest alternatives and innovations designed to satisfy consumers who are avoiding animal-based products such as meat, seafood, dairy, eggs and honey for ethical, medical or lifestyle reasons. What benefits can plant-based products bring to caterers and their customers and how can operators best balance their offer between natural wholefoods and the more processed meat/dairy substitutes?
Wet and dry herbs, spices and seasoning blends are the flavour saviours of the commercial kitchen, bringing chefs within pinching distance of tastier and more exciting dishes. But with a whole alphabet of herbs and spices from Asafoetida to Zaatar available, the trouble is choosing what to use.
So what are the biggest new flavours and ideas coming through and how are old favourites holding up? And with such an array of choice how do kitchens pick out the most effective range while staying on top of practicalities such as storage and shelf life?
How are meat and poultry sales holding up in the food sector in light of the vegetarian and vegan boom? What changes have there been in consumer expectations and preferences – and how are these being met? We are also interested in hearing about innovative new dishes, preparations and products.
Food to go continues to outperform the total eating-out market, with further growth predicted.
But that does not mean it’s easy pickings. To stay ahead in this hugely competitive sector you need to make sure that your set up allows you to offer the maximum speed, value, quality and efficiency to time-pressured customers.
And of course, eye-catching products presented in packaging that stands out for all the right reasons.
What are the latest products and trends that you need to get on top of to guarantee maximum success?
The supermarket shelves might still be dominated by sliced white, but elsewhere British bread is a riot of variety, taking in influences from all over the world. At the same time, classics like the crusty loaf are being revived for the next generation. We’ll look at the most exciting operators and products and round up what’s going on at all levels of the baking trade.
Customers will usually bite your hand off in the morning for the hot or cold drink they’re craving, but how do you make sure that they come back and do it again the next day?
Get your offer right and you’re looking at add on sales and happy ever after. Get it wrong and you’re looking at having your head bitten off as well as your hand.
How do you ensure you’ve got the right breakfast beverages offer and one that customers can swallow in the current economic climate?
In a world where younger customers are increasingly turning away from meat-heavy cuisine and seeking out novelty, how do pubs stay relevant? We’ll have a look at all that’s interesting, from vegan menus to pop-up operations, and find out what’s happening in the wider industry.
This product-led feature will look at the latest stocks and sauces available across the full range of the catering and hospitality sector, from quick bites to upscale dining. How is the sector being affected by vegetarian and vegan choices? And is there still a place for classic preparations?
Temperature monitoring is key to food safety and helps protect customers from food-borne illnesses and business from prosecution and potential shut-down. But with operators required to monitor, correct, verify and record every stage of food production - from purchasing, receiving, transportation and storage to prep, handling, cooking and serving - compliance with the regulations can be an onerous and time-consuming task.
We will be looking at the latest technologies and best practices that can help operators meet - or surpass - HACCP regulations and potentially save them time, money and waste.
Choosing tableware can be a minefield, so what should operators look for as they seek to marry the competing demands of design, functionality, practicality and cost? We will be looking at tableware in different service settings, from high-end dining to casual dining. How can tableware provide a point of difference for restaurants and complement the food and experience offer?
This feature is all about the must-have Christmas food that party-goers will be sharing this festive season. What’s hot (and cold) and likely to pull the diners in? What are the innovative products on the market, and how is it best to present them?
As the out-of-home sector plans for the peak party season, compelling drinks menus are at the heart of encouraging consumers to get into the festive spirit. This feature will include advice on trends and strategies to drive sales of celebratory drinks in the run up to Christmas, including beer, cider, wine, spirits, cocktails and soft drinks, and a look at new products.
What are the must-have seafood products and dishes that that will get the customers banging on restaurants doors later this summer? Is it the low-cost, easy-to-prepare ingredients that operators will be seeking, or the indulgent dishes that guests have missed while being on lockdown? Will the supply be able to meet the demand and what will be in seasonal abundance?
An aspect of the coffee trade that continues to grow steadily is that of flavoured syrup. This is the product which allows the barista to easily create the vanilla or almond latte, and which was behind the quite astonishing growth of the seasonal pumpkin latte.
But there is far more to it than that – we look at the creative, but time-efficient, use of the syrup in profitable coffee ‘specials’ for the beverage menu.
With so many ingredients and recipes from around the world to choose from, how can caterers ensure their offer hits the spot for the growing ranks of vegetarian, vegan and flexitarian diners? What are the current and future star ingredients, flavours and cuisines? And how important is transparency in the supply chain for this sector in terms of provenance, sustainability, ethics, health and nutrition?
Hotel guests are seeking unique experiences – and unique products can help businesses differentiate their offer. We will be looking at the latest in in-room technology, food and beverages, and bathroom products. What will the most lavish guest rooms – and budget options – be stocked with in 2021?
Bottled water was the big growth story of recent decades – and almost inevitably, there followed the ‘backlash’. The bottled water product was blamed for excessive use and waste of plastic, excessive use of energy in manufacture and transport, and blatant profiteering. Where does the reputation of the product sector now stand, and how does the hospitality industry work best with it?
Catering in the care sector presents a unique set of challenges and opportunities. We will be looking at new products and service styles and looking at the ways caterers ensure clients receive good levels of nutrition and hydration with flavoursome dishes and drinks
Good butter is an easy way for restaurants to make a great first impression, and there are more options now than ever before. We’ll look at the best producers, what restaurants are doing with butter and how it’s made. We’ll also round out what’s interesting and new in the wider world of dairy, from milk to cheese and beyond.
Caring for your best friend in the kitchen – if you make the right choice of warewasher, and treat that equipment with simple practical care, your back-of-house operations will run all the more smoothly. The top suppliers give us their best practical hints for getting the best from your warewash equipment in the kitchen.
New styles of cuisine are constantly flagged up as being The Next Big Thing. But what gives a new food style longevity in the UK market – and what drives commercial success? We will be looking at the latest food products and restaurant offerings in global cuisine as we chart our changing tastes.
In this feature we will take a quick look at the celebratory chocolate and patisserie trends for Christmas 2020 and what lies ahead in terms of innovation, flavours and themes for chocolate and patisserie in 2021. We’d like to hear from suppliers about their healthier sweet products, hand-held treats, and, for when the need arises indulgent chocolate and patisserie products and creations to soothe the soul.
It is at this time of year that the hot beverage sector holds its annual shows and exhibitions, and this is when the new ideas in drinks and brewing technology appear. We shall look at the year’s most helpful developments and their prospects for the hospitality trade.
Dessert is no longer just for afters. A spate of restaurants has opened in the last few years that only offer sweet treats, and they’re hugely popular with younger eaters. We’ll look at the phenomenon to see what they’re doing right and if it has a long-term future, and we’ll round up what’s exciting and new in the wider world of desserts.
In discussing the subject of ‘afternoon tea’, all the publicity generally goes to the high-end and expensive afternoon venues in London – but in the last Afternoon Tea Awards, three out-of-town venues were commended. And two of them were in-house cafés in retail stores!
It goes to show that afternoon tea, in the words of the Beverage Standards Association: “is a scaleable thing – it is impressive how many local cafés have created their own individual versions of it, to sell at anything from £10 upwards.”
We shall look at how the concept of afternoon tea can be profitable for all kinds of catering operation.