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    March 2017 Culinary Depot Blog Posts

    Best Restaurant Equipment of 2017

    Written by: J. Vigotsky

     

    commercial kitchen

     

    Any commercial kitchen needs a wide range of equipment to flourish. The following is a list of high-quality kitchen equipment that will help your restaurant’s kitchen reach its full potential:

     

    1) Duke E102-G Double Deck Gas Convection Oven

    Whether you want to bake cookies or roast a turkey, it’s important to use a reliable commercial convection oven that consistently achieves your desired results. The Duke E-102-G double deck gas convection oven is a perfect option for restaurants that demand the best. Boasting a two-speed fan that circulates hot air and ensures even cooking throughout its chamber, this convection oven has two decks that each hold up to 5 pans. The unit’s thermostatic dial control allows you to program a specific temperature between 200°F-500°F. Featuring glass doors that let you and your staff monitor food as it cooks, this commercial oven also has a built-in gas regulator that ensures it’s always using the right amount of gas. This will help keep your foodservice’s overhead as low as possible.

     

     

    2) Pitco SG14-S Gas Fryer

    Perfect for frying shrimp, dough, chicken, onion rings, mozzarella sticks, and French fries, a Pitco SG14-S gas fryer has a 50 lb. fat capacity and is ideal for lower-volume commercial kitchens. The commercial fryer comes equipped with two nickel-plated fry baskets that make it easy to fry different foods simultaneously. Boasting 5 tube-style burners that evenly heat your frying oil, this Pitco fryer can reach temperatures up to 450°F. The unit is made entirely of stainless steel for optimal durability. Since the fryer is only 16" wide, it’s compact enough to conveniently fit between other kitchen equipment.

     

     

    3) Traulsen G20010 2-Section Reach-In Refrigerator

    Offering 46 cubic feet of storage space, this Traulsen G20010 commercial reach-in refrigerator is Energy Star-certified and can help you reduce operating costs. Its two storage sections boast 2" of foamed insulation and benefit from self-closing hinged doors. These features help ensure the commercial refrigerator always keeps its contents cold and well-preserved. Whether you need to store milk, cheese, fruits, vegetables, meats, sauces, or more, this refrigerator can get the job done. Equipped with four bottom-mounted casters that enable easy mobility, it also comes with three adjustable epoxy-coated shelves per section. If you need to keep the doors open to clean the refrigerator’s interior, there is a stay-open feature that activates when doors open past the 120° mark.

     

     

    4) Robot Coupe BLIXER 4 Food Processor

    While most of the other items on this list will help you cook food, the Robot Coupe Blixer 4 Food Processor will make food prep easier than ever. The simple-to-use unit features a 1-1/2 HP motor and three buttons: “on,” “off,” and “pulse.” Perfect for making pesto, curry paste, hummus and nut butter, this food processor can also grind meat and vegetables or chop nuts. With a 4.5 qt. capacity, this stainless steel commercial food processor has a clear lid that enables you to monitor the unit’s grinding, mixing, or chopping. The single-speed food processor conveniently comes with a serrated “S” blade for optimal convenience.

     

    robot coupe blixer 4

     

    5) Amana HDC212 Heavy-Duty Commercial Microwave

    The Amana HDC212 microwave boasts 2100W of heating power. Featuring 11 unique power levels, 100 program menu settings, and 4 stages of cooking, this heavy-duty unit is easy to use and versatile enough to accommodate changing menus. The microwave is ideal for high-volume restaurants and is constructed of stainless steel that ensures long-term durability. Capable of fitting half-size food pans or large take-out containers, this heavy-duty microwave has a spacious interior that’s well-lit and ideal for steaming or reheating meals. A transparent door makes it easy to monitor food as it cooks, and a vent hood is not required with this easy-to-install Amana microwave.

     

     

    6) Red Goat A3P-R7 A Series Food Disposer

    The Red Goat A3P-R7 Food Disposer can help your foodservice reduce the amount of money it spends on garbage services. This disposer has the capacity to process up to 1480 lbs of waste per hour and helps improve the environment. Ideal for medium-sized restaurants, the commercial food disposer boasts 3 Horse Power and comes equipped with a flexible drain connecter that attaches to a metal or PVC drain line. A thermal overload protection feature ensures the long-term functioning of this unit, and the disposer’s stainless steel construction provides superior durability.

     

    red goat A3P-R7

     

    7) Rational B628206.19E 42" Combi Oven - Natural Gas

    The Rational B628206.19E combi oven is a steamer and convection oven all in one. Perfect for steaming vegetables, baking cookies, or roasting meat, this 42"W SelfCooking Center fits conveniently atop counters and can hold (6) 18" x 26" or (12) 12" x 20" sheet pans. The unit offers 7 unique cooking modes and features sensors that ensure your food is always cooked according to your precise preferences. An easy-to-use touch screen means the learning curve to operate this machine is minimal. Energy Star-certified, this combi oven can help your foodservice reduce operating costs. The commercial oven includes a retractable hand shower that makes it easy to clean the oven’s chamber of any grease or food debris. Offering overnight and unsupervised self-cleaning, the unit features 7 cleaning stages for comprehensive care.  A reversing-wheel 5-speed fan efficiently circulates air within the oven’s chamber.

     

     

    8) Electrolux 502315 High-Temp Undercounter Dishwasher

    Keep your dinnerware, flatware, and beverageware clean with this Electrolux 502315 undercounter dishwasher. Capable of cleaning up to 30 racks per hour, this high temp commercial dishwasher features a built-in booster heater and always reaches an optimal cleaning temperature of 180°F. The Energy Star 2.0-certified unit is extremely efficient, as it uses only 0.8 gallons of water per rack. Insulated door and side panels minimize heat loss, and double skin insulation helps reduce unwanted noise. Draining water after each cycle by using an automatic fill tank, this Electrolux dishwasher always uses new wash water with each cycle. An exterior digital display shows water temperature and cycle status.

     

     

    9) Ice-o-Matic ICEU220HA Undercounter Ice Cube Maker

    Ideal for bars and pubs, the Ice-o-Matic ICEU220HA ice maker easily fits beneath counters and provides easy access for busy servers and bartenders. Energy Star-certified, this commercial ice machine can make up to 238 lbs of half-size ice cubes per day and store as much as 70 lbs. Equipped with an antimicrobial-coated interior that ensures it remains sanitary, this ice cube maker has a Harvest assist feature that automatically transfers fresh ice into its storage area.

     

     

    Although there is no special formula to designing a productive foodservice kitchen, using quality commercial cooking equipment certainly goes a long way.  The aforementioned products alone won’t create a thriving kitchen, but they can certainly provide a solid foundation for success.

     

    restaurant kitchen cooking

    Outdoor Dining at Restaurants

    Written by: J. Vigotsky

     

    outdoor dining

     

    As the weather continues to warm up, more and more diners will prefer to eat outside where they can enjoy fresh air, chirping birds, and beautiful sunshine. But setting up an inviting outdoor eating area isn’t as simple as throwing a few tables and chairs in front of or behind your restaurant. Be sure to take the following info into consideration when designing an outdoor dining area:

     

    Comfort is King

     

    outside dining comfort

     

    Nothing repels a customer quite like an uncomfortable chair, table, or booth. After all—nobody wants to constantly squirm and adjust his posture during what should be a relaxing meal. That’s why it’s essential to outfit your patio or eating area with comfy outdoor table and chairs that will encourage patrons to return in the future. If your chairs are made of a hard material, their comfort level may significantly increase by the addition of cushions. Adding a cushion to each chair can be the difference between a customer becoming a regular or never returning.

     

    Preparing for the Elements

     

    patio canopy

     

    Even though comfort is a top priority, it’s alsoimportant for your patio furniture to be durable enough to withstand the outdoor elements. This means investing in furniture made with quality materials like wood, cast aluminum, wrought iron, or steel. Doing so ensures your furniture will not only last the season—but also for the years still to come. Some restaurants utilize patio canopies that completely cover their outdoor seating areas, protecting furniture from damage caused by the rain and sun. These enclosures are particularly ideal for providing shade at restaurants where the heat and sun can be oppressive.

    Restaurants in ultra-hot regions can also utilize umbrellas and outdoor misting fans to help ensure their customers remain comfortable. While umbrellas keep patrons shaded from the sun, outdoor misting systems provide a cool, refreshing breeze that’s saturated with moisture. Standard fans are also great options for outdoor seating areas. Restaurants in hot climates should ensure they have plenty of ice available, as some customers might request ice to chew while waiting for their meals.

    For nights that get a little chilly, equip your outside eating area with an outdoor patio heater. Utilizing natural or propane gas to generate warmth, these heaters are available in a wide assortment of styles and sizes. Some heaters conveniently sit atop tables, while others are tall enough to stand on their own.

     

    Decorations

     

    outdoor patio decorations

     

    Lavishing your outdoor patio with attractive items like plants and flowers can help the area be more inviting to potential diners. Just make sure not to display flowers that can induce allergic reactions from customers. Another decoration option, candles are great for setting an alluring ambiance. Fire pits are both aesthetically-pleasing and practical—as they keep patrons warm on chilly summer nights. If you really want to go all out, outfit your dining area with an elegant water fountain.

    Depending on how much space you have and what type of restaurant you’re operating, consider offering fun outdoor games like cornhole and shuffleboard. Many establishments like to hang tasteful strings of lights overhead to provide delicate but functional lighting. If patrons are accustomed to hearing music at your restaurant, you will also want to outfit your outside eating area with a stereo system. Providing an inviting atmosphere is especially important for restaurants whose patios are in front where passers-by have clear views.

     

    Equipping Your Tables

    Make sure to stock your outdoor tables with everything that’s usually provided on your indoor tables. So whether you offer condiment squeeze bottles, salt & pepper shakers, oil & vinegar cruets, spice shakers, or entire condiment caddies indoors, make sure to remain consistent and provide the same items at your outdoor dining area. Vinyl table covers are also popular for outdoor dining because they make clean-up easy and provide further protection for the table. By using a skirt clip, you can help ensure your table covers remain stable and in-place.

     

    Pest Control

    Especially if your restaurant is situated in a hot, humid region of the country, bugs like mosquitoes, flies, yellow jackets, wasps, and hornets can be a constant source of irritation for customers. To combat this, equip your outdoor dining area with an electric or glue insect trapper. Other options for pest removal include citronella candles and bug spray.

    Although the law varies by state, some restaurants are allowed to keep epinephrine on hand in the form of an epi-pen. When someone who’s allergic bee stings get stung, an epi-pen shot can be the difference between life and death. Keeping your restaurant stocked with up-to-date epi-pens is a small price to pay to potentially save a customer’s life.  

     

    Offering a Bar

     

    outdoor bar

     

    On warm summer nights, customers love flocking to trendy outdoor bars. If there’s room in your outdoor patio, install a unique outdoor bar that has a style all its own. Make sure to choose bar stools that complement the style you're going for. In the event that you don’t have enough space to install a permanent bar, consider using a portable bar. Make sure you also have the bartending supplies, bar blenders, and underbar equipment necessary for your staff to operate at peak efficiency.

     

    Special Promotions

    If your restaurant’s patio is new or underperforming, you might want to consider offering food or drink specials to customers who choose to dine there. This is particularly applicable to restaurant’s whose patios are in front and visible for the whole world to see. If potential customers frequently walk or drive by your establishment and see that no one is ever dining there, they’ll be less likely to try out your restaurant themselves. But if the porch is packed with diners, people will assume your restaurant is worth giving a shot.

     

    Smoking or No-Smoking

     

    patio smoking

     

    You’ll want to clearly label whether your patio is a smoking or non-smoking area. If your patio is large enough, you can even designate specific sections for both. The type of restaurant you operate—and whether it attracts smokers or non-smokers—should play a large role in whatever you decide.

     

    Many customers venture out specifically looking for a restaurant where they can eat outdoors and enjoy the beautiful weather. By offering an outdoor patio, you put yourself in the running to attract these curious patrons and convert them to repeat customers. 

     

    outside patio

     

    Spring Menu Ideas

    Written by: J. Vigotsky

     

    outdoor dining 

     

    With the official start of spring only a few days away, it’s only a matter of time before diners emerge from winter hibernation and descend upon their restaurants of choice. The arrival of spring also means a wide assortment of healthy and delicious green vegetables will be in-season. Welcome customers in from the cold by offering a spring menu that features foods like, asparagus, broccoli, artichokes, and more!

     

    Asparagus 

    Ancient Egyptians first started cultivating asparagus for medical use over 2,000 years ago. Those Egyptians might have been on to something, as it’s since been proven that asparagus offers an abundance of nutritional value. Boasting Vitamin A, E, K, and B6, asparagus also contains zinc, iron, fiber, folate, niacin, thiamin, riboflavin, and more! All this adds up to reduce oxidative damage, help blood clot, prevent liver disease, and improve eye and heart health (1). Asparagus is in-season from February-June, with April being the absolute peak of asparagus season (2). Here are a few tasty asparagus-based dishes that your customers will love:

     

    Shaved Asparagus Pizza

     

    shaved asparagus pizza

     

    A new spin on an old classic, asparagus pizza is a refreshing and nutrient-filled treat for pizza lovers. The shaved asparagus cooks perfectly into the pizza, and the olive oil gives helps the pie bake to a crispy golden-brown. Perfect for cheese lovers, this pizza is made with gorgonzola instead of traditional tomato or marinara sauce. Serving 3-4 people, this shaved asparagus pizza should take no longer than 30 minutes to prep and cook. These are the required ingredients for the pizza:

    •          3/4 lb of asparagus
    •          6 scallions, diced (both whites and most of the greens)
    •          2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
    •          Cornmeal, for dough
    •          1 ball of pizza dough
    •          1 clove garlic, minced
    •          4 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded
    •          2 ounces gorgonzola, crumbled 

    For detailed instructions on how to cook this shaved asparagus pizza, reference Naturally Ella’s recipe page.

     

    Crispy Parmesan Asparagus Sticks

     

    crispy Parmesan asparagus sticks

     

    Coating asparagus sticks with appetizing Parmesan cheese and crunchy Panko bread crumbs creates mouth-watering treats that can be served as appetizers or side dishes. Great alternatives to French fries, Parmesan asparagus sticks are deliciously addictive while also providing nutritional value. The following ingredients are all you need to cook crispy parmesan asparagus sticks for a party of two:

    •          1 bunch of asparagus (About 30 spears)
    •          2 egg whites
    •          1/4 cup flour
    •          1 cup seasoned panko breadcrumbs
    •          1/4 cup Parmesan cheese (Grated)
    •          Salt and pepper

    This WikiHow article details every step to preparing and cooking crispy parmesan asparagus sticks.

     

    Broccoli

    Belonging to the cruciferous vegetable family, broccoli is native to the Mediterranean and has been used by Italians since the Roman Empire (3). The leafy green vegetable offers an assortment of health benefits, as it’s been linked to reduced risk of obesity, diabetes, cancer, and heart disease (4). The large amount of Vitamin K found in broccoli helps improve bone density, and the vegetable’s natural Vitamin A, C, and E help reduce wrinkles and help skin remain vibrant. Although broccoli is available throughout the year, its peak season is from October-April (5). Here are a few interesting broccoli-based dishes that can help attract customers to your restaurant:

     

    Broccoli Hummus

     

    broccoli hummus

     

    A delicious dip that goes well with chips, vegetables, and pita bread, traditional hummus features chickpeas as its primary ingredient. Although broccoli hummus still uses chick peas as its secondary ingredient, it calls for broccoli to be the dish’s main attraction. A refreshing and healthier alternative to traditional hummus, broccoli hummus is a novelty that your customers are sure to crave more of. The following ingredients yield 2 Cups of broccoli hummus:

    •          2 cups broccoli florets, chopped
    •          2 tablespoons tahini paste
    •          2 tablespoons olive oil, extra-virgin
    •          3 tablespoons water
    •          2 tablespoons lime juice, (or lemon juice)
    •          2 cloves garlic
    •          1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas, or one 14-ounce can
    •          2 teaspoons nutritional yeast flakes, optional
    •          1/4 teaspoon cumin
    •          1/2 teaspoon sea salt

    For detailed preparation instructions, check out the original recipe at Healthiersteps.com.

     

    Broccoli Fritters

     

    broccoli fritters

     

    A great way for family restaurants to provide a vegetable dish to kids, broccoli fritters are tasty fried treats that can be served as appetizers or during breakfast. Since the fritters also contain eggs, diners will be getting protein as well. These broccoli fritters go great with some yogurt dipping sauce on the side. Here are the ingredients required to make 6 small fritters:

    •       3 cups broccoli florets and stem (about 1 medium head of broccoli), roughly chopped into 1 inch pieces
    •       2 tbsp oil (vegetable, olive oil, canola)

    Batter

    •       1 garlic clove, minced
    •       ½ cup plain flour
    •       ¼ cup grated parmesan
    •       1 egg
    •       2 tbsp milk (low fat or full fat)
    •       ½ tsp salt
    •       Black pepper

    To see comprehensive instructions, view the original directions at Recipeineats.com.

     

    Artichokes

    One of the most antioxidant-rich foods on the planet, artichokes are superfoods that offer a wide variety of health benefits (6). The vegetable is native to the Mediterranean region and can help boost immune support while preventing cancer and heart disease. Artichokes also have an abundance of other health benefits—including digestive support and improved cognitive functioning. Make sure to take advantage of peak artichoke season—March-May (7)—by trying some of the creative artichoke-based recipes listed below:

     

    Stuffed Artichokes

     

    stuffed artichokes

     

    Stuffing and seasoning artichokes with cheese and spices can add dynamic flavor to a food that many people consider a little bitter. A hearty and healthy appetizer, these stuffed artichokes take over an hour to cook. Consequently, it’s important to prepare and cook them prior to your restaurant’s rush. Holding cabinets and drawer warmers are especially useful for keeping cooked stuffed artichokes warm before serving. Below is a delicious recipe for stuffed artichokes:

    •          6 whole artichokes
    •          3 slices Italian bread, cubed
    •          1 clove garlic, minced
    •          1/8 cup chopped fresh parsley
    •          1/4 cup grated Romano cheese
    •          1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
    •          5 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
    •          Salt and pepper to taste

    Check out this link to allrecipes.com for detailed cooking instructions.

     

    Roasted Artichoke Hearts

     

    roasted artichoke hearts

     

    Artichoke hearts are widely considered to be the best tasting part of the artichoke. The simple recipe below does not require much but provides delicious results:

    •          1 (15 oz.) can of artichoke hearts, drained and patted dry
    •          1 tablespoon olive oil
    •          2 sprigs thyme, leaves stripped
    •          Sea salt and pepper, to taste

    Reference cookforyourlife.org for comprehensive cooking directions.

     

    Make sure to leave a good impression on your customers this spring by offering delicious dishes based on vegetables that are currently in-season. We carry an assortment of kitchen hand tools that can help your prepare any of the aforementioned meals. Our offerings include measuring cups, measuring spoons, garlic presses, and whips. We also offer a large selection of kitchen cutlery and cutting boards.

     

    Works Cited:

    (1)    http://foodfacts.mercola.com/asparagus.html

    (2)    http://www.cookinglight.com/food/in-season/in-season-asparagus

    (3)    https://www.thespruce.com/broccoli-history-1807573

    (4)    http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/266765.php

    (5)    http://www.cookinglight.com/food/recipe-finder/in-season-broccoli

    (6)    http://www.oceanmist.com/artichokes/12-unexpected-artichoke-health-benefits/

    (7)    http://www.oceanmist.com/artichokes/artichoke-season/

     

     

    Preparing Your Sports Bar or Restaurant for the NCAA Basketball Tournament

    Written by: J. Vigotsky

     

    One of the most anticipated sporting events of the year, March Madness is a single-elimination tournament that includes 68 college basketball teams. Taking place over a multi-week span, the NCAA tournament attracts die-hard fans, casual observers, and everyone in-between. Millions of Americans fill out their brackets, attempting to predict the future and potentially win prizes. Even President Obama had a yearly special while in office to reveal his picks.

     

    obama bracket

     

    The tournament—also known as the “Big Dance”—kicks off with a whopping 16 games in one day! Lending itself to marathon viewing, the tournament begins at noon EST and usually does not conclude for the day until around midnight. There are several games happening simultaneously throughout the day, and a large portion of fans don’t want to miss any of the action. Many people will be looking for a comfortable and inviting to locale to watch the games. By providing the atmosphere these viewers want, you stand to attract a signicant amount of customers to your bar or restaurant. There are several variables to consider when catering to college basketball fans.

     

    TVs Galore

    With so many games happening at the same time, viewers often flock to sports bars to catch them all. Rather than sitting on their couches at home and flipping through channels every 10 seconds, it’s easier and more enjoyable to watch multiple TVs. Allowing them to focus on the games that are most interesting, it also frees fans from the burden of switching between games when there are commercial breaks.

    It’s the responsibility of every sports bar to not only provide enough TVs, but to also ensure access to all the necessary channels. CBS, TNT, TBS, and TruTV will be broadcasting this year’s action. As long as you provide quality HDTVs and access to the aforementioned channels, your patrons will have their bare basketball necessities met. If you have space for a projector, consider installing one to showcase marquee match-ups. It will also serve you well in the future when it comes to other highly anticipated sporting events.

     

    bar tvs

     

    March Madness Specials

    Give customers extra motivation to make your establishment their NCAA Tournament headquarters by offering unique drink and food specials throughout the tournament. Staples like chicken wings, mozzarella sticks, and nachos are easy to make and commonly devoured by sports fans. By offering a certain glasses of beer—not hard alcohol—at a discounted price, you can help ensure your patrons remain level-headed enough to watch hours of basketball.

    Another idea is to offer a bracket contest. After the tournament bracket is finalized on Selection Sunday, encourage your customers to enter a bracket contest—the winner of which can receive a free party at your establishment! If you want, only allow people enter their bracket in-person at your bar or restaurant. This will give them further incentive to stop by during the few days between Selection Sunday and first tip-off on Thursday.

    Since there are 12 days of basketball action during March Madness, it’s feasible for you to offer a price-drop promo that rewards repeat customers. For each day of basketball a patron spends at your establishment, he or she can unlock cheaper and cheaper prices on food and drink items. Reserve a special reward for fans that make it out for every day of the tournament.

    You can also let customers predict the final score of each game, rewarding whoever chooses the correct winning team or is closest to the final score. This keeps customers engaged even if their brackets have already been busted.

     

    chicken wings

     

    Home Team Love

    If your home town college team is in the tournament, it’s in your bar or restaurant's best interest to show fervent support. During games, bartenders and servers should be encouraged to wear jerseys or school colors. Pennants and balloons can be used to further amplify your support. Maybe offer a special promotion that rewards your customers in the event of a home team victory. If you know a retired sports player who used to play for the school, try to get him to come by for a promotion. His presence alone might attract fans who otherwise would have gone elsewhere.

    Other promotional opportunities include offering discounts to customers wearing team gear and providing free giveaways to bring in more fans. Items like T-shirts and posters are inexpensive but can leave lasting impacts on recipients—encouraging them to return to your establishment in the future.

    If you have a large sports bar that attracts fans of several teams, it might be best to designate specific tables or parts of the bar for fans of certain teams. This helps ensure that if by some chance bitter rivals—like Duke and North Carolina or Michigan and Ohio State—play each other, passionate fans of each team will be far away from each other and consequently remain civil. This will make each game an enjoyable experience for everyone—just as it should be.  

     

    syracuse bar

     

    Leveraging Email and Social Media

    Make sure patrons are aware of your promotions by using mediums like email, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to keep them informed. Update each platform throughout the tournament, hyping big games to get fans excited about what’s still to come. You can also post highlights like slam-dunks and game-winning shots from the previous round to keep your customers engaged and craving more basketball.

     

    Renaming Drinks

    Give your alcoholic drinks names that honor some of NCAA basketball’s greatest coaches and players. Just some examples:

    • Coack K Konkoction – Named after Duke Coach Mike Kryzewski
    • Bob Knight Negroni – Named after ex-Indiana coach Bob Knight
    • John Wooden Whiskey Smash – Named after ex-UCLA coach John Wooden
    • Pistol Pete Piña Colada – Named after immortal LSU guard “Pistol” Pete Maravich
    • Lew Alcindor Sea Breeze – Before he changed his name to Kareem Abdul-Jabaar, Lew Alcindor dominated the college basketball landscape

     

    coach k

     

    March Madness provides a unique opportunity for sports bars and restaurants to bring in and win over new customers. If you can provide fans with a positive experience, you stand to become their venue of choice for watching future sporting events—including the Olympics, Super Bowl, NBA Championship, World Series, and more. This type of repeat business can be a boon for your establishment and lead to exponential growth.

    Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day

    Written by: J. Vigotsky

     

    celebrating st. patrick's day

     

    Now that we’re just two weeks away from St. Patrick’s Day, it’s time for bars, pubs, and restaurants to start getting prepared–if they haven’t already. First celebrated in the early 17th century, the holiday was originally meant to commemorate St. Patrick bringing Christianity to Ireland. Since then, it has evolved into a cultural phenomenon–replete with parades, festivals, bar crawls, and green as far as the eye can see! Falling on Friday, March 17th this year, St. Patty’s Day will likely bring out even more party-goers than usual. Make sure you’re ready for the massive influx of customers by adhering to these simple steps:

     

    Stock Up on Traditional St. Patty’s Day Drinks

    It’s no secret that many of the people celebrate St. Patrick’s Day by drinking alcoholic beverages. Whether your customers want to indulge in just one drink or test the limits of their livers, it’s in a restaurant’s best interest to offer all the classic Irish standards. These drinks include:

    • Guinness Draught (4.2% ABV) and Guinness Original (5.0% ABV): the preferred stout beers for everything St. Patty’s Day
    • Murphy’s Irish Red (5.0% ABV): a red ale that tastes like freshly baked bread
    • Irish Coffee: hot coffee, Irish whiskey, and sugar. Topped with thick cream
    • Irish Car Bomb: a shot of Irish cream and whiskey in a glass of stout beer
    • Irish Flag: a layered cocktail with green crème de menthe, Irish cream liqueur, and Grand Marnier
    • Irish Cola: Irish whiskey, Bailey’s, and cola
    • Grasshopper: crème de menthe, white crème de cacao, and cream
    • Shamrock Juice: gin, tequila, rum, vodka, blue curacao liqueur, and orange juice
    • Honeydew Martini: vodka, Midori, triple sec

    Make sure you’re also fully stocked with beverageware that will help keep your St. Patty’s Day crowd satisfied. Beer glasses, cocktail glasses, and shot glasses are absolutely essential to any bar, pub, or restaurant.

     

    irish flag drink

     

    Special Menus

    Serving St. Patty’s Day-themed food and drink specials can help attract patrons who want to completely immerse themselves in the holiday. One way to do this is by offering discounted prices on popular Irish dishes like potatoes, Irish stew, shepherd’s pie, corned beef, and cabbage. Restaurants can also serve green foods like spinach pizza, green Jell-O, salads, broccoli pesto, and stuffed avocados.  Another option is to utilize food dye. Potentially turning any meal or drink into an Irish celebration, green food dye goes exceptionally well with bread, pancakes, cake, mashed potatoes, and rice crispy treats. You can also rename meals so they’re more in tune with the Irish theme of the day.

     

    st. patrick's day food

     

    Decorating the Restaurant

    Ideally, your bar or restaurant will be a sea of green for St. Patrick’s Day. Green balloons scattered throughout! Green shamrocks that hang from the ceiling! Green wreaths that festively decorate the walls! Green plates and green table covers adorning your tables! Every little bit makes a difference. If you really want to go all out, outfit bars or countertops with small pots of gold! Or at least pots of candies with gold wrappers.  

     

    Music

    Your foodservice should both look and sound the part for St. Patty’s Day. This means crafting an Irish music playlist that will help cultivate a fun and celebratory atmosphere. A nice mix between traditional Irish music and well-known musicians of Irish descent is the ideal formula. Artists like U2, Van Morrison, The Script, The Cranberries, and Thin Lizzy are all great options. Though not from Ireland, the Dropkick Murphys have plenty of Celtic influence and are another great choice. If you want to go all out in the music department, consider bringing in a band to perform live.

     st. patricks day decorations

     

    Social Media

    Make sure to utilize social media to inform customers about your St. Patrick’s Day plans. Mediums like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram can show patrons what you’ve done in past years and what you plan to do this year. By promoting your bar or restaurant’s planned festivities, you can bring in customers who otherwise would have gone elsewhere. Show them a good enough time, and they’ll return in the future for more food and drink!

     

    Staff Attire

    Consider allowing your staff to break from their usual attire and dress in green clothes that complement the holiday. Many bars and restaurants encourage this, as it enhances the environment and experience for customers. Other popular options include green top hats and green bowties. Much cleaner than paint, face stickers can also make great impressions on customers while getting your staff in the holiday spirit.

     

    st. patricks day bartender

     

    Alternative Patricks

    Maybe St. Patrick’s Day isn’t so popular with your clientele. If that’s the case, use March 17th as an opportunity to differentiate yourself. St. Patrick Swayze Day has gained some nationwide popularity, but there are plenty of other options if he’s not your style. St. Patrick Ewing Day is perfect if a lot of New York Knick fans frequent your establishment. If you’re located in Canada or Colorado, St. Patrick Roy Day might be more your speed. Music-based locales can celebrate a legendary jazz guitarist by embracing St. Patrick Metheny Day. Patrick Tillman–an ex-NFL player who left the league and passed away on the battle field–is also more than worthy of honoring.

     

     

    The Early Bird

    Eager to get the most they can out of the holiday, some St. Patty’s Day fanatics like to start celebrating first thing in the morning. One way to attract these holiday diehards is by offering a hearty Irish breakfast and a voucher for a free shot or beer. Another option is to feature an eggs and kegs promotion. The strategy that’s right for you depends on your particular establishment and who makes up the majority of its customers.

     

    irish breakfast

     

    By properly preparing and executing a St. Patrick’s Day celebration, your bar, pub, and restaurant can have an extremely profitable day while winning over new customers who will return in the future. That’s why it’s important to get an early start on your planning and take every detail into account. On March 17th, make sure your foodservice takes full advantage of the St. Patty’s Day celebration.