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    How to Run a Restaurant – Consultants

     

    how to run a restaurant - consultant

     

    There is no simple solution when it comes to how to run a restaurant. The truth is it isn't easy. Reading books and articles can help make it easier, but there’s no substitute for good, old fashioned coaching. People like Jon Taffer have made careers out of helping struggling bars. Most restaurant whispers don’t have their own TV shows, but they exist nonetheless. And every day, these experts help restaurants thrive. This post will cover different ways consultants can help your restaurant too.

    One way to benefit from consultants by attending restaurant seminars. These talks cover topics like reducing labor costs, maximizing profits, perfecting customer service, and more. Cheaper than personalized coaching, seminars are ideal for owners who are short on funds. Some seminars are multi-day events, while others last just a few hours.

     

    restaurant consultant

     

    Another idea is to work with an expert one-on-one.  Bring someone into your restaurant and give them free reign. Let them size things up and see what your restaurant needs. Once the coach has a day to take everything in, he can from a plan and put it to action. If you want to go this route, make sure you hire someone with experience. Preferably an expert who has been recommended by someone you know and trust. The expert’s skills should range widely and not focus on one special thing.

    A third way to coach up your staff is through the computer. Experts can teach personalized courses through Skype and similar apps. These courses can focus marketing, finance, and other key aspects of business. Online coaching is a great way to get personalized lessons without breaking the bank.

    Even the world’s best athletes, actors, and musicians use coaches. So why wouldn’t a restaurant owner? There’s a big learning curve to figuring out how to run a restaurant. So do yourself a favor and get the help of a pro. Google phrases like “Restaurant Consultants” to find a solution near you.

     

    Written by: J. Vigotsky

    Blendtec vs Vitamix – Which Blender is Best

    blend tec

     

    The Blendtec vs Vitamix battle has raged on for years within the blender industry, and it shows no signs of stopping. While both brands make some of the most popular blenders on the market, there's no consensus on which blender is best. Offering both residential and commercial blenders, the two brands offer their own unique benefits. This posting will explore whether a Blendtec or Vitamix blender is better-suited for your specific needs.

    Blendtec blenders are perhaps best known for their power. The company’s “Will it Blend?” video series shows the blender attempting to blend iPhones, iPads, glow sticks, lighters, golf balls, and even marbles. Thus far, the blender has been successful every time.

    Blendec machines have higher peak horsepower compared to Vitamix blenders. Vitamix units compensate by featuring four-pronged blades as opposed to Blendtec’s two-pronged blades. The difference in prongs helps Vitamix blenders cut through ice and frozen ingredients.

    One clear advantage Vitamix has over Blendtec is its renowned Quiet One blender. This unit features a tritan container that covers the entire blender and helps reduce unwanted noise. Perfect for smaller cafes and smoothie bars, the Vitamix 36019 Quiet One blender lets customers enjoy their meals in peace.

    Since Blendtec blenders are shorter, they are easier to fit beneath bulky cabinets. Vitamax units are too tall to fit under cabinets, which causes issues for kitchens that have limited space. Check the height of your blender’s pitcher and ensure it'll be able to effectively function it in your kitchen.

    Vitamix units are heavier and pricier than Blendtec blenders. However, many Vitamix blenders come with easy-to-use tampers that ensure smooth functioning.

    Many customers appreciate the peace of mind that comes with buying a product that has a long-term warranty. Although new Blendtec blenders come with impressive 5-year warranties, Vitamix units boast even-longer 7-year warranties.

    Manual control is essential for users who want to be in total command of their commercial blenders. Vitamix and Blendtec units both offer manual control, but they do so in different ways. Blendtec blenders have touch screens, while Vitamix blenders use variable speed dials for superior precision. The dials are used to escalate blending intensity until your unit is operating at the perfect speed.

    vitamix speed dial

    Do you want your smoothies to have a chunky texture or a smoother texture? Blendtec blenders produce chunkier smoothies. Vitamix blenders make drinks with smoother textures.

    Blendtec and Vitamix blenders can make make soups, sauces, stews, smoothies, nut butters, milkshakes, condiments, or dressings. They're both capable machines. The "best" blender is whatever satisfies the needs of your foodservice.

    How to Answer the Phone Professionally

    restaurant phone

     

    Often times, the first impression your restaurant makes on a customer is through a phone call. A patron will call either to confirm your restaurant’s hours, make a dinner reservation, or place an order for pickup/delivery. When a hostess answers that phone call, his or her etiquette can be the difference between whether a customer eats at your restaurant or somewhere else. This post will cover how to answer phones profesionally in restaurants. 

    A simple, easy-to-remember phone greeting would go something like this:

    “Thank you for calling ________. My name is __________. How may I help you?”

    Whoever answers the phone should have a smile on his or her face. This might seem ridiculous, as there’s no way the caller will be able to see the smile. But smiiling will give your employee's voice a certain warmth that can be heard over the phone. And that warmth will certainly endear the caller to your restaurant.

    Restaurants can get very busy, so there’s always going to be a time when you’ll need to put a caller on hold. In that event, answer the phone with:

    “Thank you for calling ________. My name is __________. Can you please hold?”

    The key with this greeting is to wait until the caller says they can hold. If your employee just puts the caller on hold before listening to a response, there’s a good chance the behavior will be interpreted as rude. And it could potentially lead to the caller eating elsewhere.

    If you want to keep close tabs on whether your employees are following protocol, place a call yourself and listen to how they answer the phone. Try to do this during times of the day or night that the restaurant isn't as busy. Calling during rush hour just for a check-up can unnecessarily stop the flow of work and lead to resentment from your employees.

    9 Benefits of True Refrigeration Equipment

    true refrigeration

     

    It's no coincidence that True refrigeration equipment is found in all kinds of commercial kitchens. The renowned manufacturer has been producing quality freezers and refrigerators for over 70 years, and this post will help explore what separates True equipment from the competition.

     

    Energy Efficiency

    True offers more Energy Star-certified refrigeration units than any of its competing manufacturers. Helping operators decrease utility and maintenance costs, the efficiency of True freezers and refrigerators also helps ensure a longer lifespan.

     

    Warranty

    All True refrigeration units come with a 3-year warranties for parts and labor. Even better, compressors have extended 5-year warranties. If there is ever an issue, True will quickly repair or replace your equipment so your foodservice doesn’t miss a beat.

     

    Extra-Cold Freezers

    While the standard temperature of most commercial freezers is 0°F, True freezers are designed to consistently maintain a temperature of -10°F. This difference of 10°F enables True freezers to better-preserve food, which results in more flavorful meals for your restaurant’s customers.

     

    Glass Doors

    True has its own factory where it produces all double-paned glass doors found on its freezers and refrigerators. This allows the company to reduce costs and pass those savings onto customers. Between the two glass panes is Argon gas, which acts as an insulator and helps keep the units cold. Argon is completely harmless, so there’s need to fret in the unfortunate event that your unit’s glass breaks.

     

    Rigorous Testing

    All True refrigeration equipment is subjected to thorough testing before being removed from the assembly line and sent out for delivery. While refrigerators are tested for 4-6 hours to ensure proper functioning, freezers must go through a whopping 16-24 hours of comprehensive evaluations. Any unit that doesn’t measure up to True’s lofty standards is sent back for modifications before being tested again.

     

    Stainless Steel Exterior

    Made with high-grade stainless steel that excels at withstanding years of use in commercial environments, True refrigeration equipment also boasts a powder coating. This coating helps prevent rust and corrosion, which helps freezers and refrigerators maintain aesthetic exteriors despite years of use.  This makes True equipment perfect for kitchens that are on display for patrons to see.

     

    Customization

    Whether you prefer glass doors, solid doors, or even sliding doors, True allows you to customize a unit so it matches your precise preferences. The exteriors of merchandising and display refrigerators can be customized with decals that draw attention to your products and increase purchases.

     

    Long-term Durability

    Since the evaporator fan motors found in True refrigeration units are filled with oil, they won’t require lubrication for the duration of their year lifespan. And while similar fan motors of similar commercial freezers and refrigerators last as few as 3 years, those found in True refrigerator are consistently functional for 15-20 years.

     

    Made in America

    True proudly manufactures all of its refrigeration equipment in a Missouri-based factory and never imports units from other countries. This means that by buying a True freezer or refrigerator, you’re helping support the American workforce.

    Cappuccino vs. Latte vs. Mocha vs. Espresso Coffee

    different espresso beverages

     

    For many people, the day hasn’t started until they’ve had their hot beverage of choice. While coffee is the traditional option, drinks like espressos, cappuccino, mochas, and lattes are winning over more fans by the day. Although these are four distinct drinks, you’ll need an espresso machine to make any of them. This post will explore the differences between the four delicious beverages and how to make the steamed milk that some of them require.

     

    Espresso

     

    espresso shot

     

    Served as a 1.5 oz. shot rather in a cup, espresso packs an energy punch and is perfect for people who don’t want to carry around a cup of coffee. The shot is topped off with a layer of foam that many deem the best part. Even though an espresso shot is relatively small compared to a cup of coffee, it still boasts 60-70% of the caffeine. Espresso’s strong taste is not for the faint of the heart, but those who like their coffee dark will love it.

     

    Latte

     

    latte

     

    A latte is simply a shot of espresso mixed in steamed milk and topped off with a layer of milk foam. It’s basically a larger, milkier version of an espresso. Although about 2/3 of the drink is traditionally steamed milk, it’s common for customers to request double shots of espresso to give the latte an extra kick.  

     

    Cappuccino

     

    cappuccino

     

    Made with equal parts espresso, steamed milk, and foamed milk, a cappuccino is perfect for customers who find the bold taste of an espresso shot a bit overwhelming. There’s also a dry cappuccino, which leaves out the steamed milk and strikes a nice balance between a classic espresso shot and an ordinary cup of cappuccino.

     

    Mocha

     

    mocha

     

    If there’s a drink on this list for chocolate lovers, the mocha is it. Combining espresso, milk, and a dab of chocolate flavoring, mochas are sweet treats that can be enjoyed early in the morning or during dessert. The chocolate taste is usually achieved by use of either hot chocolate or chocolate syrup. And while there is such thing as a Mocha bean, it usually isn’t used in a mocha recipe.

     

    How to Steam Milk

     

    how to steam milk

     

    Properly steaming milk is essential when it comes to properly making these espresso-based beverages. The best way to do so is by filling a restaurant creamer with milk and exposing that milk to the high-pressure steam emitted by your espresso machine. There’s an art to this process and also a bit of a learning curve, so don’t be discouraged if you make a few mistakes.

    Best Podcasts for Restaurant Marketing

    Operating a restaurant is far more of an art than a science. While first-hand experience in the foodservice industry is irreplaceable when it comes to running a restaurant, there are certainly other ways owners and managers can put themselves in the best positions to succeed. One of these ways is through education. From books to videos to blogs, there are nearly endless resources that restauranteurs can learn from. One increasingly popular form of media that can broaden your scope of knowledge is a podcast. These free-flowing conversations usually feature a host and a revolving door of guests who are well-versed in specific topics like restaurant marketing and foodservice etiquette. And the best part about podcasts is how easy they are to consume. You can be driving, cooking, or even working out and still listen to a podcast. The following list includes 4 of the best podcasts for restauranteurs.  

     

    Social Restaurant Podcast – Hosted by Nate Riggs

     

    social restaurant podcast nate riggs

     

    The Social Restaurant Podcast covers recent topics, trends, and innovations that impact the restaurant industry. Releasing a 30-60 minute episode each week, marketing guru Nate Riggs hosts the podcast and is joined by an executive, operator, owner, or chef who’s on the forefront of the evolving foodservice industry. While Riggs doesn’t quite have extensive experience when it comes to operating restaurants, he helped Bob Evans Restaurants grow by way of his innovative marketing strategies.

    Topics covered by the Social Restaurant Podcast include “Restaurant Service Tips from an Expert,” “Hot Fast Casual Restaurant Trends,” “Local Store Marketing for Restaurants,” and much more. Although not every podcast will appeal to each restauranteur’s specific needs, there is certainly plenty of knowledge to gain from Riggs’ guests.

     

    Profitable Hospitality – Hosted by Ken Burgin

     

    profitable hospitality with ken burgin

     

    Having recorded upwards of 300 podcasts since 2012, Ken Burgin has over 25 years of experience in hospitality. He is an expert on topics like staff, cost control, marketing, menu development, social media, and more. Ken’s pleasant Australian accent makes his Profitable Hospitality podcast a joy to listen to, and his guests specialize in subjects like marketing, management, and business development. For restauranteurs who are looking for advice on how to handle issues outside the kitchen, Profitable Hospitality is a great choice.

     

    The Sporkful – Hosted by Dan Pashman

     

    the sporkful with Dan Pashman

     

    Author and three-time James Bead Award-nominated Dan Pashman hosts this podcast and fosters in-depth discussions that touch on topics like food, culture, body image, and more. Winner of the 2017 Webby Award for Best Lifestyle Podcast, The Sporkful features a guest list that includes chefs, food lovers, and even comedians. The one thing these guests have in common is their fascinating human interest stories. Compared to other podcasts on this list, Dan Pashman takes a more-laid back approach and focuses on entertainment more than education. While there’s still plenty to learn from The Sporkful, the podcast likely isn’t as beneficial to restauranteurs who are solely on a mission for knowledge.

     

    Restaurant Unstoppable – Hosted by Eric Cacciatore

     

    restaurant unstoppable with eric cacciatore

     

    With nearly 500 podcast episodes now under his belt, Eric Cacciatore initially launched Restaurant Unstoppable to fill a void in the podcast universe. He yearned for a podcast that was motivational, and focused on restaurant professionals. After he got tired of waiting for it, Eric decided to make it himself.

    Restaurant Unstoppable strives to provide restaurateurs with everything they need to operate a successful foodservice. On top of keeping listeners inspired, the podcast features guest appearances from chefs, owners, managers, and a litany of other foodservice professionals. It also touches on how to lead, manage, raise capital, recruit good employees, and become more efficient. Since there are so many episodes archived, there’s nearly no end to the ground Eric has already covered. Perhaps even more impressive, the host shows no signs of stopping.

    What is Sous Vide Cooking?

    sous vide vs. traditional steak

     

    Great chefs do everything in their power to create delicious meals. Whether it’s using new ingredients, changing cooking temperatures, or exploring alternate cooking methods, there are nearly infinite ways for chefs to subtly alter the taste of a dish. One way in particular that chefs are pushing culinary boundaries is by using sous vide cooking methods. French for “under vacuum,” sous vide cooking consistently churn outs entrées that are tender and succulent. The method is commonly utilized when cooking chicken, steak, beef, lamb, pork, seafood, and even vegetables.

     

    What Is It?

     

    sous vide cooking

     

    Traditional sous vide cooking entails first placing food in a vacuum-sealed bag. The bag is then placed in a temperature-controlled water bath, which uses an immersion circulator to ensure its water temperature is exactly what it needs to be. Drawing water in from the tub, heating it, and then releasing it back into circulation, an immersion circulator is essential to sous vide cooking.  

    You might be wondering what you need to make a water bath, and the answer’s likely simpler than you think. Plastic food storage containers excel at the job so long as they’re large enough to hold all the water, and plastic is a great insulator of heat. Ideal size of the storage container will depend on how much food you want to cook. The more food you’re planning to make, the larger the bath will need to be.

     

    The Finishing Touches

     

    Using sous vide cooking helps ensure meat will be thoroughly cooked from end to end according to your precise preferences. But while the distinct texture and tenderness of meat cooked sous vide is undeniable, some diners might find the dish lacks a certain X-factor. Consequently, it’s common chef practice for cooked meat to be seared atop a cast-iron skillet prior to serving. The process takes very little time and helps add more crusted flavor to your meat.

     

    Sink to the Bottom

     

    sous vide cooking bottom of the bath

     

    When it comes to the actual cooking process, there are several important things to keep in mind. The vacuum-sealed bag with food in it should always be at the bottom of your water bath. One way to ensure this is by clamping a binder clip to the bottom of your bag then putting an item that will weigh down the bag in-between the bag and clip. This is highly advised because floating bags can potentially lead to improperly cooked food that poses a safety risk.

     

    Patience is a Virtue

     

    Also keep in mind that cooking sous vide can take significantly longer than alternate methods. For example, a slab of meat that takes 8 hours to cook on an outdoor smoker can take a whole day when cooked sous vide. On the bright side, sous vide cooking is an almost entirely hands-off endeavor, which frees up kitchen staff to focus on other important tasks. And since the food takes so long to cook, it’s nearly impossible to accidentally undercook or overcook a dish.

     

    Evaporation is the Enemy

     

    sous vide ping pong balls

     

    Over the several hours or even days it takes to cook sous vide, it’s possible for the bath’s water to evaporate. Luckily, there are measurements you can take to prevent such an inconvenience. Ping-pong balls are the gold standard for ensuring steam always drips back down into the water bath. Simply make a pile of balls atop the water and let them do their work. If you don’t do this, there’s a chance you’ll need to refill your water bath during the cooking process.

     

    Season with Caution

     

    Seasoning meats is a bit of an art when it comes to sous vide cooking. Since the dishes take so long to cook, herbs and spices infuse especially strong flavors when they’re inside your vacuum-sealed bag. As a result, seasoning meats after sous vide cooking has finished but before searing is an easier and less risky proposition. If you insist on cooking with the seasoning, do a bit of experimenting to see exactly how much is necessary.

    How Restaurants Can Fight Seasonal Allergies

    With flowers blooming and trees sprouting leaves, it’s clear spring has arrived. But with spring time comes seasonal allergies, and experts are predicting 2018’s spring to be especially brutal for allergy sufferers. Consequently, restaurants should do everything in their power to combat allergy season and keep their comfortable. There are several steps restaurants can take, and they’re all thoroughly explored in this post.

     

    Foods

     

    salmon with broccoli

     

    One way to offer customers a better experience during allergy season is to provide a menu that features special dishes that help ward off allergies. The following is a list of foods that are known to reduce allergies:

    -Fish: Since omega-3 fatty acids excel in the battle against allergies, fish like salmon, trout, tuna, and more are perfect meals for when the flowers are blooming.

    -Walnuts: Like fish, this hearty nut is also chock-full of omega-3 fatty acids. Surprisingly, one handful of walnuts is equivalent to roughly 3-3.5 oz. of salmon in regards to fatty acid content.

    -Apples/Onions/Berries/Cauliflower: Each of these items is rich in quercetin, a flavonoid that’s supposed to help minimize the inflammation that accompanies allergic reactions.

    -Garlic: Thanks in part to its high vitamin C content, garlic has been proven effective for suppressing the release of histamines associated with allergic reactions.  Raw, freshly pressed garlic yields better results than garlic extract when it comes to fighting allergies.

    -Broccoli: Combing the aforementioned quercetin and vitamin C, this leafy green vegetable is good for you as advertised.  

     

    Drinks

     

    steaming tea

     

    -Smoothies: Packing significant nutritional value, a smoothie can combines fruits, vegetables and nuts into one single drink. Since there are nearly limitless smoothie combinations, do some experimenting with items that are known to ward off allergies. Just stick a few ingredients in your blender and see how they taste in smoothie form. Nutrient-dense juices make great foundations for smoothies, but water works just as well.

    -Tea: While any nonalcoholic beverage will help thin out the mucus in your nasal passages, a cup of hot tea has the added benefit of steam. Perfect for alleviating sinus issues, steam in any form is an allergy sufferer’s best friend.

     

    Minimize Allergens

     

    restaurant windows

     

    Trees, plants, and grass are the enemy. They are the culprits that cause sneezing, runny noses, inflamed sinuses, and just an overall discomfort for people who are prone to allergies. As a result, you’ll want to consider keeping your restaurant’s windows closed during allergy season. At the very least, ask patrons if they’re suffering from allergies and if they mind that windows are left open. Customers will be extremely appreciative of your consideration. 

    Some restaurants feature indoor flowers and plants that provide stylish decor. Although these indoor plants will likely have significantly fewer allergens than outdoor varieties, they can still cause discomfort. The weeping fig and flowering maple especially can be unkind to allergy sufferers, and nearly all plants are susceptible to the unwanted growth of mold. The best way to combat mold growth on plants is by ensuring plants kept in wicker baskets are properly tended.

     

    The most important thing to remember when dealing with customers is their comfort is top priority. By showing patrons you really care about how they’re feeling, you'll help ensure they'll return to your restaurant in the future.

    Gelato vs. Ice Cream vs. Frozen Yogurt vs. Soft Serve

    Since we’re now a month into spring, it won’t be long before seasonal ice cream shops open for the warmer, summer months. But ice cream parlors today aren’t what they used to be. Some specialize in products like gelato or frozen yogurts, while others strive to go above and beyond by offering a full gauntlet that also includes soft serve and hard ice cream. This post will explore each of these four frozen treats and explain the differences between them.

     

    Hard Ice Cream

     

    hard ice cream

     

    Thick and full of fat, hard ice cream is usually made from a combination of milk, cream, sugar, and egg yolks. The classic summer-time treat comes in a wide range of flavors, satisfying every type of sweet tooth. Baskin Robbins was once famous for offering 31 unique flavors, but advancements in ice cream technology have allowed modern ice cream shops to far surpass that number.

    Hard ice cream can be easily and safely stored in ice cream dipping cabinets and commercial chest freezers. Cabinets and freezers vary significantly in size, enabling foodservice owners to find the perfect unit for their unique establishment. For best results, it’s recommended that traditional ice cream is served at a temperature between 0°F and 6°F.

     

    Gelato

     

    gelato flavors

     

    This Italian treat is made mostly of milk, cream, sugar, and flavorings. This quality means gelato weighs more than ice cream, so servings of the Italian treat are usually smaller than that of ice cream. To achieve perfect gelato consistency, you’ll want to serve cups at 10°F. If gelato is served at a colder temperature than that, there’s a chance it will be too frozen and won’t have that unique soft consistency that sweet tooths crave.

    Featuring between 3%-8% milkfat as opposed to traditional ice cream that has 14%-18% milkfat, gelato also has less air than ice a cream. As a result, the Italian treat has distinct richness and requires less flavoring and added sugar to achieve its desired taste. The dessert comes in dozens of flavors and looks perfect on display, helping to prompt countless impulse purchases. Gelato is often served by the scoop, and customers frequently combine two or more different flavors to make their own personalized creation.

    While a gelato dipping cabinet might look similar to an ice cream dipping, it’s not. Gelato dipping cabinets are specifically designed to hold gelato. Investing in the wrong type of cabinet can result in you serving a product that’s not up to par. Always be sure to research cabinets beforehand so you know exactly what you’re getting..

     

    Soft Serve Ice Cream

     

    soft serve ice cream

     

    Perhaps the standard for cooling off in the summer heat, soft serve ice cream is just as delicious whether in a cup, cone, or between two ends of a cookie sandwich. Usually offered as chocoloate or vanilla, soft serve also comes in more exotic flavors and is best enjoyed at a temperature between 10°F-20°F. Most soft serve machines enable users to choose between two individual flavors or go with a twist option. With less milk fat than traditional ice cream, soft serve features more air than its counterpart and has a texture that’s predictably soft, creamy, and delicate.

     

    Frozen Yogurt

     

    frozen yogurt with toppings

     

    Also known as Fro-Yo, frozen yogurt is exactly what it sounds like. Yogurt is mixed with milk, cream, sweetener, and sometimes even live cultures that can aid in digestion then served at a temperature between 17°F-19°F via a soft serve machine. Fro-yo mixes vary in regards to whether they utilize pure fruit sugar or cane sugar, and consequently the ideal serving temperature of frozen yogurt differs on a case-by-case basis. Always be sure to read the label on your frozen yogurt mix before serving.

    Since frozen yogurt does not contain cream, the frozen dessert has significantly less fat content than traditional ice cream. However, toppings are extremely popular among customers when it comes to frozen yogurt. By adding sauces, fruits, and other toppings atop cups of fro-yo, the delicious treats can quickly approach the fat level of a regular cup of ice cream.

    Craft Beer and Food Pairings

    Over the past 10 years, craft beer has benefitted from a meteoric rise in popularity throughout the United States. Microbrews and micropubs have often leveraged the success of their beer by teaming up with esteemed chefs who add delicious food to the restaurant’s menu. But with so many different beers, there’s a bit of an art to matching the taste of each beverage with the perfect dinner dish. This post will aim to help educate servers and owners about what styles of craft beer to pair with certain foods. 

     

    India Pale Ale (IPA)

     

    india pale ale (ipa)

     

    The crown jewel of the craft beer movement, IPAs are everywhere these days. The beer is known for its bitter flavoring that’s been sweetened via citrus and herbal additions. For thirsty customers who prefer a more bitter-tasting beverage, a double IPA will be more likely to satisfy them. Made with more hops, double IPAs have higher alcohol content than traditional IPAs.

    The bitterness of heavier IPAs is great for offsetting spicy foods like Thai, Indian, and Mexican. Anything that’s liable to make an eater sweat is a perfect match for double IPAs. Lighter IPAs that also offer some sweetness do best when paired with more mild dishes like barbecued meats. Steak, chicken, are burgers are all great choices.

     

    Wheat

     

    wheat beer craft

     

    The lightest beer on this list, wheat beer generally has less carbonation and a lower alcohol content than other craft options. Since wheat provides minimal flavoring to the beer, breweries often add in fruity flavors when brewing.

    Glasses of the light-tasting beer are ideal for pairing with appetizers and snacks like salads, cheeses, and sushi. The combination ensures diners won’t get weighed down by a meal that’s too heavy. Wheat beer is also known to match well with a variety of sweet dessert offerings.

     

    Stout

     

    stout beer craft

     

    Deep black or brown coloring leaves no mystery as to whether a stout is a light or dark beer. Blending dark malts with hops, stouts are most popular during cold months. The beer has a smooth texture and often tastes similar to coffee, chocolate, or a combination of the two. As a result, stouts are excellent dessert options and are commonly enjoyed alongside cakes or brownies.

     

    Porter

     

    porter craft beer

     

    Another dark beer, porters have a very similar taste profile to that of stouts. Sharing a strong roasted flavor bursting with hints of chocolate, caramel, and coffee, porters differ than stouts in that they generally have a smoother finish.

    As a result of a porter’s rich flavors, the beer is a great match for desserts as well as smoked or barbecued dishes. Meals like burgers and chicken become even heartier when they’re washed down with a heavy pint of porter.

     

    Lager

     

    lager craft beer

     

    It’s essential to understand there are both light and dark lagers. Although light lagers are extremely popular within the United States and celebrated for their refreshingly crisp taste, they don’t have the same powerful flavor punch that other craft beers possess. While this light tasting beer is versatile enough to be enjoyed with nearly any meal, it especially excels at putting out a spice-induced mouth fire caused by spicy dishes. 

    On the other hand, dark lagers are more popular in Europe and feature a nuttier flavor that often has a bit of caramel syrup taste. These heavy beers are usually paired with hearty dishes like sausage, bratwurst, pizza, and stew.

     

    Amber Ale

     

    amber ale red ale craft beer

     

    Also known as red ale, amber ale commonly feature caramel and crystal malts while boasting a dry, smooth finish. Commonly utilizing citrus and other fruity hops, the beer is versatile enough to go well with a wide range of dishes.

    Since amber ales have such a smooth finish, they excel at cleansing a diner’s palate. This means they do well when paired with heavily seasoned dishes that pack a flavorful punch. Barbecued chicken, grilled fish, and other smoky or flavorful meats are ideal matches.

     

    Craft beer offerings vary significantly, and the aforementioned styles only scratch the surface of what breweries are churning out. Since the craft beer bubble still hasn’t popped, restaurant owners might want to consider offering some local options if they haven’t already done so. Beers don’t have to be on tap, and customers will likely appreciate a cold bottle just the same. Just make sure you keep your glasses and bottles cold with bottle coolers and glass chillers. For other essential bar items, check out the rest of our bar refrigeration equipment and bartending supplies.

    Arming servers with knowledge of which beers pair with which dishes puts you even another step ahead of the game, as it ensures each customer receives personal attention related to their own food and drink preferences. After they experience the synergism effect of a thirst-quenching craft beer combined with a mouth-watering meal, they’ll be even more likely to revisit your restaurant.