Tag: Miami Beef

5 Benefits of Food Delivery Apps for Restaurants

The restaurant industry is at the forefront of adopting new technology that helps manage the demand for food service.  Many restaurants are expanding rapidly into using independent food delivery apps that help tap into more market share and sales volume.

Let’s explore some of the benefits that restaurant owners should consider, if they are evaluating independent food delivery app services.  If your food delivery volume is starting to become unmanageable for your staff, this may be a viable option for your business.

  1. Increased Sales from Consumers Who Would Rather Dine at Home

No matter how great the restaurant décor and service experience, there are some customers that would prefer to eat at home.  And that’s absolutely okay for restaurant owners, who can expand sales of take-out or delivery items beyond the capacity that their dining room can hold.

But did you know that several studies have concluded that your customers will actually order more food online, with a higher sale value, than they would while dining in the restaurant?  Behaviorally during peak service hours, a customer will hasten to put their order in because they are hungry and want their food as quickly as possible.

By comparison, someone ordering from a delivery app is likely to pre-order when they have a quiet moment and schedule the delivery exactly when they want to eat.  That gives them more time to browse the menu, and order what they really want (without feeling rushed).

  1. Effective Management of Peak Delivery Periods

Your restaurant is lined up out the door!  Exciting, right?  Except that you know customers will only wait so long for a table, before they leave and find another option nearby.  And if your customers find that the popularity of your restaurant means they can almost never walk-in and get a table within a reasonable wait time, they may stop coming altogether.

Dealing with that flow of customers during peak times is a nightmare for restaurant management.  You want to fulfill the demand, but you have a limitation in terms of seating and wait staff that can serve your customers.  Many restaurants that have adopted one or more delivery apps, find that their sales volume increases, because they are not turning away customers during the busiest days and service times of the week.

  1. Subscribing to More Than One App Means More Customers

If you are a restaurant manager or owner, you have probably been approached several times by different delivery apps available in your community.  Have you tried one yet?  Did you know that many restaurants are adopting at least two different apps (where possible by contract) to leverage their delivery sales potential?

  1. Encourages Diners to Explore More Menu Options

Think about the service experience that the average customer has at their favorite (but busy) restaurant.  They wait for a table and sit down to note that other customers are order or receiving their food.  They are hungry and seeing all the delicious plates coming hot out of the kitchen doesn’t help that hunger.

Restaurant diners are prone to feeling a little bit of stress when they open the menu.  Whether they have a limited amount of time before they have to leave or have a suspicion that they may be waiting a longer time for their food, they are prompted to order quickly.  From a production flow this is a good thing; customer in, served and customer out methodology for freeing up tables for the next diner.  But this stress and fast pace can also lower the value of every sale.

In a busy restaurant environment, diners feel pressured to order quickly.  They may not have enough time to evaluate the whole menu and choose some of their favorites instead.  They may not have enough time to evaluate appetizers, or desserts either (given the fast pace expectation at the table).

Encouraging customers to order with an easy-to-use app at home, not only provides the convenience that most customers are looking for, but it gives them ample time to try new things, add things to their meal order that they may not have, if they were dining in and pressed for time.  This is another great advantage of adopting one or more delivery apps for your restaurant business.

  1. It Can Be More Affordable Than Operating Your Own In-House Delivery Service

There is a presumption by some outside of the food service industry, that home delivery is actually easier and more profitable for a restaurant business.  But when you consider the cost of employing multiple drivers, their hourly pay, and dealing with the administrative aspects of late orders, or missing deliveries, how much time are you spending managing your delivery team?

We think it’s prudent to always have at least one driver available to run orders locally, for the average small to medium sized restaurant.  But if you are currently employing several delivery drivers, do the math carefully and consider what each professionally delivered order will cost you with an app, versus the time and effort to deliver with your own staff.   Many restaurants find that using the apps saves them a great deal of expense.

Choosing the Right Delivery App for Your Business

Profitability depends on constantly calculating the cost of product and service in the restaurant industry. As a restaurant owner, you have to weigh the benefits of adding regional app delivery services with the costs and fees that come with them.

Some of the biggest players in the restaurant food delivery app market are:

Surge fees are one thing that restaurants have to watch carefully.  Naturally, you want to increase your food service orders during peak times when your establishment can’t deal with additional foot traffic.  That’s when you are truly expanding your sales potential, beyond what your staff and facility can accommodate on the premises.

Many apps charge what is called a ‘surge fee’ as a premium charge for deliveries during peak meal hours.  This generally includes from the hours of 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. for the lunch crowd, and then 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. for dinner delivery.   These fees are charged in addition to the service rates by the delivery app provider, so when you are deciding on the right app, try to choose one that does not stack fees on your peak delivery times, to prevent profit margins from being eroded.

 

Our team at Miami Beef® would like to hear from you.  Are you already using an independent food delivery app service in your restaurant?  What do you think about the services in terms of growing your sales volume?  Leave us a comment below.

6 Meaty Comfort Food Menu Items for Fall and Winter

In January of 2019, Restaurant Business magazine shared an interesting article, that stated consumer preferences were shifting back to comfort foods, when they dine out.  In the food service industry, we are all watching the trends, and keeping up with the latest menu and fusion culinary ideas.  But is it possible that consumers are embracing more traditional and nostalgic plates?

The article mentions some research from Technomic’s “Center of the Plate: Beef and Pork” report in 2017.  And despite the emergence of trendy alternative meat products, beef and pork remain at the forefront of the definition of comfort food, that diners want to order when they visit their favorite restaurant.

Take out your menu and review it with the objective of identifying options that fit the category of comfort food.  How many entrees and appetizers do you offer, that would fulfill that need for your customers?  In this article we’ll talk about some perennial comfort foods, and how to add seasonal LTO’s (limited time offers) on delicious comfort food entrees.

What Exactly Qualifies as a Comfort Food?

The best way to start, is to consider meal ideas that closely mimic childhood favorites, or the kind of food your Mom and Dad used to make. Naturally, this varies by region and the ethnic culture of your guests; each country has its own shortlist of traditional comfort food.

Have you seen what a breakout sensation grilled-cheese sandwich establishment are across the United States?  Years ago, you might have thought “grilled-cheese… really?” but the concept struck that exact strong chord with customers. And it’s all about comfort food, and the convenience of getting it on-the-go (without making a mess in the kitchen).

When you look at the psychology behind the average restaurant customer, you know that you are providing not just an essential service, but an experience with the food you serve.  One that they cannot get at home, given busy schedules or low confidence in the kitchen.  From that perspective, the restaurant is the perfect place for anyone to get their ‘comfort food fix’ and enjoy meals that they may not have the time or energy to prepare at home.

Fall and winter are the two prime seasons when restaurant diners seek out comfort foods (but they are popular sellers throughout the year as well).  If you are looking at expanding your menu with some new flavors to draw in the crowd seeking those traditional comfort foods, our team at Miami Beef® has six protein rich and healthy suggestions.

  1. Pulled Pork with Cornbread Topping

If you have ever traveled throughout the southern United States, you know that cornbread is a big deal. And there are so many variations, and ways to increase the flavor of this cornbread topping, such as roasted jalapenos for a spicy and satisfying dish.

Pulled pork is a great and economical way to bulk prepare pork meat for a variety of options, including delicious open face sandwiches, meat pies and more.  With a rich sauce, the combination of the tender seasoned pork with the starches from the cornbread spell comfort food to a tee! Check out this recipe suggestion from Rachel Ray.

  1. Skillet Roasted Lemon Chicken

This recipe is delicious with tender bone-in chicken thighs, and an economical plate that any restaurant can add to their menu.   What makes it a comfort food?  Keeping the skin on the chicken, and roasting it to perfection in a skillet, where you get the texture and deep flavor of the seasoned skin with notes of fresh lemon flavoring.

The perfect side for this (for Fall and Winter) would be garlic fried greens like Swiss Chard or Kale, and an appetizer salad and some fresh hot buttery rolls.  Try this recipe from the “Easy Comfort Food’ gallery on the Food Network.

  1. Beef and Mushroom with Mashed Potatoes

Anytime you add tender beef with mushrooms, and mashed potatoes you have instant comfort food!  Slathered with a beef gravy, and topped with some fresh cheddar, it’s not about the visual appeal of the bowl but what is inside it.  Food just like mom used to make, and perfect for a fast preparation lunch special weekly.  Like this recipe from Taste of Home.

  1. Pork Ragu Over Creamy Polenta

Save this recipe for a rainy or snowy day.  Skinless pork shoulder meat is used as the base for the ragu sauce, that features red wine, thyme, rosemary and bay leaves.  Polenta is very easy to prepare and economical, and it compliments any kind of a sauce that has bold flavors like garlic, or spicy grilled peppers.

We loved this recipe from Bon Appetite!

  1. Salisbury Steak

This tops our list of the best comfort food on any menu, any time of the year!  Did you know that Miami Beef® provides beef, chicken, turkey, pork and veal Salisbury steak and meatloaf varieties? Some of our premium flavors include Homestyle and Italian, and we offer a complete selection of ground meats, from beef to ultra-premium American Kobe and Wagyu varieties.  Can you imagine how your customers would react to a Salisbury steak made from Kobe beef?  Now that’s something to try your menu!

If you would like to innovate your own Salisbury steaks and custom seasonings, start with this classic and tasty recipe from Delish.

  1. Beef Macaroni and Cheese

A piping hot bowl of macaroni and cheese? Yes please!  But eating an entrée that is comprised only of carbohydrates is probably not appealing to every diner.  It is easy to add some extra flavor and nutritional benefit with quality ground beef.

We loved this recipe called “Wayne’s Beef Macaroni and Cheese” featured by celebrity Chef Paula Deen, on The Food Network.

 

When it comes to creating some delicious comfort food seasonal or perennial menu ideas, stick close to the classic recipes.  That is what people are looking for, rather than a creative take on a traditional comfort food.  They want that good old-fashioned hardy meal, that leaves them feeling satisfied and one that reminds them of home.

 

 

Protein Rich Crostini Appetizers for Your Restaurant Menu

Consumers tastes are changing, and with millennials as a key target market for the restaurant industry, their preferences are reshaping the food service industry.   These particular customers prefer quality, high-protein meals and snacks that offer nutritional value.

The increased popularity of the Keto and Paleo diets has further changed the kind of menu options that restaurants are innovating across America.  Are you updating your menu to reflect some of these important shifts toward higher protein appetizers too?  If you are thinking about it, allow us to share some delicious inspiration to get you started.

Adding Creative Crostini to Your Restaurant Menu

In Italian, the word ‘crostini’ means ‘little toasts’. And when it comes to choosing the right bread for your crostini, most Chefs recommend a baguette or ciabatta.  The bread needs to have a constitution that will stand up to whatever garnishes you want to place on top (without getting soggy).  Pretzel bread is also another nice choice, to vary up the textures and the colors on the plate.

Crostini bread should be sliced about ¼ inches thick, and then toasted.  There are two ways to do this, depending on what kind of toppings and flavors you want to pile on top.  The traditional crostini are brushed with an olive oil and garlic seasoning, and then toasted in the oven until it is medium brown.  Another method is to deep fry the crostini for about half a minute, which provides a different texture and a hardy base for juicy meat and vegetable toppings.

There is a little bit of fun history that dates back to the medieval ages in Italy. It was developed as a peasant food, as the poor working class could not afford the luxury of plates.  Instead, they toasted bread and placed a combination of vegetables and meats on top, and each crostini was served in a large portion as a complete meal.

Today, the crostini in a restaurant setting is dainty.  It is not meant to be served on large pieces of bread, but rather as an elegant finger food and appetizers, après diner (before dinner).  A menu of crostini appetizers is perfect for establishments that serve wine and spirits, as they are a healthy and satisfying small meal that can be enjoyed with drinks.

How to Serve a Meat Crostini as an Appetizer Single Serving or Group Platter

If you are thinking about adding crostini to your appetizer menu, you will want to add at least three different options.  We recommend providing a vegetarian option for flexitarian diets, and then two different meat varieties, that will cater to customers who want to start their meal with a high-protein appetizer.

Because of the small size of a crostini appetizer, you want to pack as many layers of flavor as possible to create a delicious two to three bite serving.  That flavor creativity starts with the treatment of the bread used for the crostini; many establishments provide a fresh herb and organic olive oil base before toasting and adding their toppings.

You want to create a sensational and uncommon flavor experience, with each different crostini you serve on a platter (for groups) or a 2-3 crostini individual serving.  Plating crostini the right way means a variety of flavors or types of combinations on each piece of toasted bread.

Wagyu beef is uncommon; it’s not available in every grocery store, and the price can be prohibitive for most consumers to eat it on a regular basis.  However, tender sliced Wagyu or a premium Wagyu ground beef preparation garnished with grilled peppers?  That’s something your customers would definitely want to try.

What are some of the best garnishes to try on a crostini?

  • Grilled pears and Wagyu beef
  • Tender grilled beef slices, with jalapeno and fresh blueberries.
  • Beet hummus (its colorful!) ground sausage and fresh basil.
  • White meat turkey with fresh mango and red pepper jelly.
  • Blue cheese crumbled fresh dates and Wagyu beef.

Now that we’ve made you hungry to try some creative options for your restaurant, we’d like to share some of the amazing recipes we found online, with some uncommon but delicious layers of flavor, featuring healthy protein rich meat.  Get ready for some great recipe suggestions you can try on your menu.

Delicious Meat Crostini Ideas from our Team at Miami Beef®

Making creative and succulent crostini’s part of your appetizer menu is a great way to draw in the ‘app crowd’ to your restaurant. The customers who want to enjoy a few delicious appetizers with their friends (and a few beverages) during the big game, or for after-work social.

When we are looking for some new recipe inspiration, the first place we look is to food bloggers. We bookmark some of the most innovative amateur chefs who share tasty recipes with new spins on traditional favorites.  We’ve gathered a few of those suggestions for you to try.

  1. Beef Crostini with Horseradish Spread

This recipe is easy to prepare, economical and packed full of complimenting flavors when you start with tender cooked beef slices. Horseradish and beef are like peas and carrots, they are meant to go together because the combination is mouth-wateringly good.

The food bloggers at A Family Feast share this great recipe and chose to garnish with caramelized onions.  Want to kick it up a notch? Try using a bourbon or wine sauce to sauté the onions for an extra level of tasty.

  1. Beef Tenderloin with Whipped Goats Cheese and Pesto

Talk about delicious!  The medium rare grilled beef tenderloin sits on top of a spread of softened and whipped goat cheese, with a small dollop of fresh pesto on top.   It is elegant, full of rich complimenting flavors, and satisfying.

Get this great recipe  from the food bloggers at Domesticate Me.

  1. Sausage, Kale & Gruyere Pretzel Bread Crostini

Browned ground sausage meat on top of a toasted two-bite sized piece of pretzel bread, on a bed of prepared garlic kale and topped with Gruyere.  It’s uptown, but also healthy and delicious and recipe you may want to try in your own kitchen.    Get the how-to from Wry Toast Eats.

 

If you have some flavor suggestions, you would like to share with our team at Miami Beef® leave us a comment below.  We love hearing from our customers and restaurant entrepreneurs about creative menu option.

 

How to Make a Signature Burger for Your Restaurant

Go into any restaurant in America and we virtually guarantee you will see a hamburger (or two) on the menu.  Did you know that every year, Americans consume more than 50 billion burgers per year? That works out to be about 150 burgers per person, per year!  So, it’s safe to say that burgers are definitely America’s favorite food.

Have you ever wondered why people order hamburgers at a restaurant, when they could order other things that they can’t prepare at home?  The truth is that restaurant burgers are typically not that different than frozen or fresh options for consumers in the grocery store.  But it is how the burger is prepared at their favorite restaurant, and how it arrives at the table that impresses diners.

You see, when you grill a burger at home, you may not have all the ingredients (or the time) to prepare one that is restaurant quality; stacked high with all the delicious toppings.  And so, when burger fans come to a restaurant, they want the ultimate burger experience.  And that means the traditional sides, and incredible toppings.

Many restaurants go the extra mile and create their own signature burgers.  A small selection of house made patties and toppings that is completely unique to their establishment.  In some cases, restaurants offer it as a LTO or limited time offer, but there are many benefits and ways your business can capitalize on a signature burger for your restaurant.

Choosing an Uncommon Patty like American Kobe or Wagyu

When you want to make a statement on your menu, start with an uncommon burger that will get your customers talking?  Premium American Style Kobe burgers stand above the standard patty, with a more rich flavor and superior marbling of the meat, which provides an incredibly juicy bite.

Customers see Kobe beef more often in the grocery stores, but it is still premium priced which means that average American doesn’t grill a lot of it at home.   In short, American Kobe has intrigue and everyone definitely wants to try it, making it a perfect new addition to your hamburger menu.

Another option to explore is the ultra-premium Wagyu beef.  Authentic wagyu is actually quite rare, and you can’t find it generally in your local grocery store.   So, like American Kobe (and even more so) the Wagyu beef burger on your menu would be an exciting addition that your customers would love to explore.

Take Your Wagyu Burger Over the Top with Toppings

When you choose ultra-premium Wagyu for your restaurant menu, you want to think about the kind of toppings you plan to include.  The sensation and flavors of this highest quality beef shouldn’t be masked by standard condiments; no one should really put ketchup on a Wagyu burger if they want to enjoy the full experience of the world-class beef.

But Wagyu can compliment gourmet and high-quality burger toppings.  How would you dress a Wagyu or American Kobe patty for culinary success?  We’d like to share some mouth-watering suggestions with you.

  • Grilled poblanos (trust us)
  • Grilled pineapple or pear
  • Bacon
  • Blue Cheese
  • Baked sweet potato
  • Caramelized onions
  • Grilled red onion
  • Shitake mushrooms
  • Swiss cheese
  • Smoked gouda cheese
  • Muenster

With premium American Kobe or Wagyu beef as the base of your gourmet restaurant burger, it’s hard to go wrong with virtually any robust topping.  Just remember to keep the flavor focus on the tender beef of the premium patty.

How to Grill Wagyu and American Kobe Burgers

You don’t need a special grill in your kitchen or surface to prepare Wagyu or American Kobe burgers.  They cook with the same ease as other frozen or fresh burgers.   However, you will want to make sure that the internal temperature is 160°F for food safety purposes.   Undercooking any kind of beef burger can cause food borne bacteria health risks.

One step that many gourmet chef’s do when preparing a Wagyu burger is to let the patty rest under a lid without heat, to allow the natural juices to proliferate through meat, before placing it on a bun and garnishing with amazing toppings.  That’s the secret to an even juicier Wagyu or American Kobe beef burger.

 

Did you know that every year, our team at Miami Beef® produce millions of pounds of hamburgers and patties for our commercial wholesale meat customers?   All patties we produce in our USDA Regulated Headquarter plant are available fresh or individually quick-frozen (IQF).  We ship nationally and to international customers, supply institutional food service providers, and the hotel and hospitality industry.

After the past 100 years, you could say we learned a thing or two about creating delicious, healthy and nutritious beef patties and flavors that consumers enjoy.  If you would like to explore our Private Label services to create your own brand, or a specific burger seasoned precisely to your specifications for your restaurant or franchise, contact our team to learn more.

 

The Growth of High Profit Ghost Kitchens in Food Service

When American consumers started investing more in the recreational aspects of their own home, an important shift began in the food service industry.  Before, consumers wanted to get out of the house and enjoy the ambiance of a new restaurant.  It was part of the culture and dining experience.

Today, most people prefer to dine at home for a variety of reasons.  It’s less crowded, more comfortable, or to be frank, thanks to demanding careers, commuting and other obligations, we all spend less time at home than we’d like to.  Enter the Ghost Kitchen food service revolution, that caters to the need for quality fast-casual food, delivered right to the customers door.

What Is A Ghost Kitchen?

You may have heard of this restaurant business model by a number of different names including virtual or dark kitchen.  If you haven’t heard of this style of culinary food service you will soon, because it is definitely a high-growth style that is sweeping across the globe, particularly in metropolitan areas.

What started out at first as something that was viewed possibly shady in the restaurant industry, has exploded into a tremendous and profitable business venture, that eliminates the overhead cost of table food service and traditional takeout.

A ghost kitchen establishment does not require a front store or walk in customer area.  The business is set up as an exclusive online food delivery provider. The typical establishment has a full commercial kitchen with all the facilities to process and prepare menu items, an administrative managerial office and a break room for staff.

Marketing of the foods offered by the ghost kitchen is done online through the business’ website and online ordering software.  A full menu is provided for customers, who can add the items to their cart for payment and delivery.  Some ghost kitchens provide an automated text service to let their customers know when the order is out for delivery, and expected delivery time.

The Cost Saving Benefits of a Ghost Kitchen Restaurant Business

There are many aspects and costs associated with operating a restaurant that offers full dining facilities.  When starting a new restaurant business, the investment includes purchasing many supplies and assets that are necessary for the operation of a food service dining area.

A ghost kitchen eliminates the need for:

  • Customer furnishings including booths, tables and chairs.
  • Linens including tablecloths and napkins.
  • Flatware, beverage glasses and tableware.
  • Waitstaff and tableside food service assistance.
  • Large and expensive commercial retail space and rent.
  • Cost savings for utilities.

Because restaurants are required to comply with health and safety ordinances, by eliminating the dining room and tableside services, they are able to cut the costs and labor needs.  This also makes it easier for new restauranteurs to keep the focus on the quality of their food and profit margin, without stretching resources to provide full dining services.

There are other economies of scale that benefit food service entrepreneurs with this unique business model.  For instance, customer service issues and prompt preparation and delivery of the orders can be expedited more easily.

There are also fewer concerns or problems to deal with in terms of workflow; many restaurants struggle with rush service windows during peak periods.  This can be managed effectively by software that helps organize each order and notify the customer if the order will be delayed when they confirm their order.

Imagine the profitability margins possible, when you can still prepare and sell the same entrees, appetizers and beverages conveniently online, while removing the need for traditional table service to your customers?   And while it’s true that some restaurants may experience some traffic loss from customers who want to dine-in, according to many industry reports, the shift in consumer preference leans heavily to order-in and delivery.

Your business will be catering (particularly in large metropolitan areas) to customers who want hot, delicious and fresh food ordered online, and delivered conveniently right to their home.

Expansion Using the Cost Saving Ghost Kitchen Business Model

Next generation food service entrepreneurs are rapidly expanding with ghost kitchen business models into major cities, and it appears to be an effective way to grow a food service chain.  Without the significant investments required to operate a traditional dine-in restaurant business.

Some successful restauranteurs who may have one flag-ship location, are using ghost kitchens to expand their brand economically into new markets, through exclusive online ordering.  Customers who have been patrons of the flag-ship restaurant location trust the quality and value of the restaurant and can enjoy prompt delivery of their favorite menu items.

Streamlining Delivery of Food Orders

Delivery remains one of the most expensive and arduous areas for restaurants to navigate.  In a traditional business model, the restaurant must cope not only with expediting every food order, but serving customers in the dining room, while responding to online or phone orders.

Some of the most successful restaurants struggle with balancing dine-in customers, walk-in takeout orders and deliveries.  And we know how quickly consumers can become disenfranchised with their favorite restaurant when a delivery order is delayed, or incorrect.

The most successful Ghost Kitchen businesses outsource their food delivery to apps, like Door Dash or GrubHub and other independent service providers.  Not only does that remove the responsibility of hiring and managing delivery drivers, but it helps subsidize the cost of delivery while keeping it affordable for the restaurant.

When outsourcing delivery, Ghost Kitchen businesses also benefit from being featured (in some cases) on the delivery providers website.  This reciprocal marketing allows them to capitalize on the large online audience that popular food delivery apps draw, to recruit new customers who are eager to try different food delivery options.

In a large city, you could be driving by many Ghost Kitchens in commercial areas without even knowing it.  Often there is little to no signage to indicate the location of the restaurant, in an effort to discourage customers from self-pickup.

Ghost Kitchens are an innovative new way for restauranteurs to affordably expand into new markets, and for budding entrepreneurs to launch into the food service industry, without being held back by the tremendous capital investment usually required for a traditional model.  In the future, many industry experts anticipate that we’ll see far fewer dine-in restaurants, as operational costs continue to increase and business owners find new ways to deliver great food and service, while retaining more robust profit margins.

Red Carpet Luxury Burger Ideas for Restaurant Menus

The hamburger might be the most iconic official food of America.  In every restaurant setting from fast-casual to five-star fine dining, you will find at least two different hamburgers on the menu. No matter what clientele you serve at your restaurant, it’s important to create some delicious options that exceed expectations, that can become a best-selling entrée.  Because burger fans enjoy experiencing a quality hamburger, you can enhance their dining experience by innovating your own signature burgers.  All it takes are some quality ingredients, and inspiration to create that uncommon masterpiece, to give diners something to Instagram and share with their family and friends.

Where do you start? We’ll share some tips for cultivating your own classic and gourmet burgers that are unique to your establishment.  Miami Beef® has been the research and development team and wholesale resource for some of the best-known burgers across the United States.  And we’re ready to help you develop your next sales leading burger entrée.

Upscale Your Ground Beef Blend with Kobe or Wagyu

Want to create a burger that is a cut above the rest? Start by changing the composition of the ground beef you start with.  Standard chuck or lean ground beef provides good results, but if you really want to create an exceptional flavor, explore using a blend or 100% Kobe or Wagyu beef.

What is the big deal about Kobe beef?  American style Kobe reaches back thousands of years, where the several varieties of black Japanese cattle were selected and exclusively bred as a delicacy.  The desirable qualities of Kobe beef include a tender well marbled meat. The marbled fat that is trademark for American Style Kobe beef holds much of the rich beef flavors that are released during cooking.

The higher the quality of beef the more pronounced the flavor. If you are ready to innovate some luxury burger items for your menu, start with quality and uncommon ground beef and explore exciting toppings that enhance the rich taste of American Style Kobe or Wagyu.

Choosing the Right Bun and Bread Preparation

There is a lot of anticipation when a customer bites into a large juicy scratch burger, nestled in a fresh roll or bun.  Create your luxury burger from the bun-up by being selective about the kind of flavor and presentation you are providing and choose an uncommon bun to differentiate your menu item from your competitors.

There is nothing more delicious than a fresh home baked burger bun.  If your establishment has the capacity to bake your own buns, not only will you add the flavor of your gourmet burger, but you’ll set yourself apart with a signature bun.  It’s not hard when you explore recipes that provide that perfect combination of a textured exterior and soft interior bread.  Remember to stick to recipes that are designed for sandwiches with many toppings, to avoid sogginess.

Here are some scratch bun recipes to consider:

Health conscious consumers want to make a better choice, when it comes to commercial bread and carbohydrate consumption.  There are some great wholesale and retail providers that have created gluten free, and grain free burgers that are low in carbohydrates, and high in fiber.  Once example is the KNOW Better Buns, which provide 16g of protein per bun, 12g of fiber and less than 4g of carbohydrate per serving.

Get Inspired by International Gourmet Burger Toppings

 Quality beef burgers are the ultimate canvas for so many layered and sensational flavors.  When you look at some of the most expensive gourmet burgers in the world, you can start to see how outrageous (and delicious) burger toppings can be!

 Here are some of our favorite suggestions:

  • fresh mustard greens
  • grilled poblano peppers
  • basted and grilled prawns (surf and turf!)
  • Gruyere and fried egg
  • Candied jalapenos
  • Crabmeat and cocktail sauce
  • Feta and cucumber sauce
  • Chocolate coated bacon
  • Pickled mushrooms
  • Spicy beer mustard
  • Brisket and BBQ sauce

Ready to innovate your next sales leading gourmet menu item? Talk to our hamburger experts at Miami Beef®.  We have a full research and development team to help you customize the size, shape and seasonings in your burger.

We offer a variety of uncommon blends of ground beef for commercial food service customers, including:

  • Wagyu
  • American Style Kobe
  • Beef and Chicken
  • Pure Beef
  • Pure Veal
  • Black Angus
  • Pure Turkey
  • Beef and Soy blends

For scratch burger preparation, we provide our quality ground meat in four convenient sizes, from an 8 oz. log to 10 lb. bulk portions of fresh (never frozen) meat.  When you are creating exciting new gourmet menu items, start with Miami Beef®.

Balancing Healthy Restaurant Portions While Keeping Customers Happy

Portion control is an exact science.  One of the reasons that fast-food franchises are so successful, is that they have mastered the art of portion control.  They can reduce waste by being precise about the execution of preparation, how long it takes to cook each snack or entrée, and you can count on the same portion size in fast-food chains, no matter which location you visit.

Portion control is the most important aspect (beyond promotion) to your profit margin as a restaurant owner.  Not only do consumers care about the value they are receiving for the price they are paying for your food (and expect consistency), but it impacts inventory costs as well.

Miami Beef® has earned a reputation for quality, food safety and excellent customer service as a family owned meat processor, for almost 100 years.  Our long-term relationships with food service providers (from fast-food franchises to fast-casual restaurants and independent dining establishments) has allowed us to develop state-of-the-art portion control.

We’d like to share some tips and considerations for restaurant owners, hotel and hospitality, and institutional food providers such as educational organizations, to demonstrate how costs can be controlled (without reducing quality) with food portion control.

Quality vs. Quantity: An Important Shift is Happening Again in Food Service

Portion sizes in the United States are starting to undergo another revolution, that is being led by consumers who want to prioritize their health.  To demonstrate how much portion sizes have changed in the United States in the past 60 years, you have to take a look back to what a reasonable portion size was a home, and at restaurants for American consumers.

Every aspect of food service and manufacturing has been super-sized in the last few decades.  To illustrate what those changes look like, and how they have contributed to unhealthy eating habits and obesity, check out some of these interesting examples:

  • Hamburgers are now 23% larger
  • American dinnerware plates used to be 6” in diameter. Today, they average between 10” to an oversized 12” plate.
  • Mexican food servings are 27% larger per entrée
  • Soft drink serving sizes at restaurants are now 52% bigger
  • Dried snack servings (chips, popcorn, pretzels) are 60% larger
  • Bagels used to be 3” in diameter and about 140 calories. Today, they have doubled to an average of 6” in diameter and 360 calories per serving.

In fact, according to researchers at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the only food type that hasn’t grown significantly in serving size is the pizza.  But if you have every had a Chicago or authentic New York slice, you might beg to differ.

As the food service industry began charging more for fast-food or dine-in meals, they felt pressure to add value for the customer, by increasing the quantity of food that was being provided.  This is where consumers first began to expect large portions of food, for a reasonable price, and measure their satisfaction with the restaurant based on portion sizes.

The most important conversation left out in that shift in consumer preference, was quality.  For instance, if the proteins on the plate (which are healthier but less cost effective for the restaurant) are small in terms of portion size, restaurants learned to compensate by adding economical side dishes.  That’s how we ended up at a junction where up to 50% of a plate in a fast-food or fast-casual diner or restaurant can be French fries. They are low cost, fast to prepare, and visually appealing to the customer because they fill a bulk area on the plate to increase perceived value.

The complicated relationship with ‘portion distortion’ followed, and large portions became almost competitively necessary for restaurants to survive. It inadvertently created an unintended impact on consumers; it increased both portion expectation and the amount of food that Americans began to consume daily.

Because we are all more aware today than ever before, about the health consequences and risks of obesity and high-carbohydrate diets, there is an important shift starting that returns to our moderate portion habits of the 60’s and 70’s.   Health conscious consumers value quality, instead of quantity.  They are nutritionally focused at home and make the same choices when they dine out.  They can actually be deterred by huge portion sizes (particularly of low nutritional value foods like potatoes, rice or bread).

How Restaurants Can Make the Switch to Quality Ingredients and Healthy Portion Sizes

Every profitable and successful restaurant kitchen we know, has a quality food scale right in the middle of the preparation area.  Portion control during ingredient preparation is critical to ensure the same consistent presentation for customers by menu item.  It also means consistent preparation and cooking time, and quality control that helps protect the profit margin for every entrée or appetizer served.

If you are planning a menu, consider that moderation is actually a marketable benefit for these health minded customers.  Provide the nutritional information on the menu or on-table kiosk, to help your customers make informed decisions.  Remind them of recommended portion sizes and which menu items adhere to healthy serving size guidelines.

Your wholesale meat supplier is an important part of your portion control and profitability strategy as a food service provider or restaurant owner.  Learn more about the steps we take at Miami Beef® to ensure the quality and consistency of the wholesale meat we provide our commercial customers, and contact us to learn more about national and international supply services we offer.

 

 

Add Heart Protein Rich Breakfast Skillets to Your Menu

Any restaurant can serve the standard breakfast entrees, that include the traditional bacon, sausage links, eggs and a side of hashed brown potatoes.  But creating interesting menu items that cater to bigger appetites for breakfast, means innovating something that has a novel presentation, is filling and satisfying for your customers.

Breakfast skillets are not new to the food service industry, but there are many variations that you can explore to create two or three different options that can become leading profit centers from your breakfast crowd.

At Miami Beef®, we have been a trusted meat processor and wholesale supplier for almost 100 years in the United States. Part of our service to our wholesale customers, is to help restaurants create new and exciting protein rich products they can add to their menu.

We’ve searched for some delicious and creative takes on the traditional breakfast skillet that we think you’ll enjoy.  Let’s take a tour of what’s possible, when you create an exciting new breakfast menu option that sizzles and satisfies!

Choosing the Right Kind of Cookware for Preparation and Presentation

The first place we’ll start is taking a look at the kind of skillets that are practical, durable and the right size for breakfast service portions.  There are three standard sizes you can choose for your entrée determined by commercial skillet sizes:

  • 5 ½ inch round
  • 6 ½ inch round
  • 12 ½ inch oval

The smaller round sizes of pre-seasoned iron skillets are suitable if you plan to serve the skillet along with other side dishes as part of your breakfast entrée.  For instance, if you want to serve seasoned scrambled eggs and hash browns in a skillet, with a side order of bacon and sauce.  In that case, you will definitely want to choose the smaller round skillet size to balance your entrée and manage table space.

However, for ‘trucker style’ large breakfasts, you can also offer the 12” oval supersized skillet.  This kind of size would be idea for an all-inclusive breakfast skillet, that contains the protein elements like bacon, sausage, egg, potato, cheese and assorted condiments.  With a skillet this size, the only accompaniment would be a side-order of toast and a great cup of coffee.

When you are shopping for the right commercial grade skillets to use in your restaurant, avoid true cast-iron skillets.  The maintenance and moisture vulnerability of authentic cast-iron skillets is far too arduous in terms of upkeep, for a busy kitchen.

Instead, search for the pre-seasoned iron skillets made specifically for food service kitchens. They are less heavy (which your staff will thank you for), but still offer the same aesthetic charm and function.  They can be placed into the oven for finishing while the order is being completed in the kitchen) and the pre-seasoned surface reduces oxidation and makes cleaning must easier.

Breakfast Skillet Safety Accessories

Don’t forget that for every skillet your order, you will need to source a matching wood under liner.  Oval wood liners are a little easier to find than the smaller round ones, because they are the standard for the sizzling tableside fajita service.

For the safety of your customers, you also want to make sure you have one thermal skillet handle cover (cloth) to protect both the server and diner, as they move the skillet from the kitchen to the table.  Look for thermally lined skillet handle covers (similar to oven mitts) to provide the best protection against burn injuries.

Creating Exciting Protein Rich Breakfast Skillets

One of the great appeals of the breakfast skillet (from the perspective of your customer) is that they can ‘dig in’ to a hearty serving of all their favorite breakfast proteins, in one savory dish.  You’ll see the reaction in the face of any diner who orders a breakfast skillet; the challenge of finishing the skillet is exciting to your customer.

But as consumers are more nutrition conscious today than ever before, it’s important to offer a variety of different skillets with at least one that provides a straight protein (or keto / paleo) friendly alternative.   Create at least one that has no or extremely low carbohydrates to make sure you are capitalizing on the protein only preference.

Here are some great ideas for delicious breakfast skillets we found on the web.

  1. Low Carb Breakfast Skillet with Cauliflower

With six slices of bacon and four eggs, this skillet recipe is definitely ‘man sized’ or made for two to share.  It uses low carbohydrate cauliflower to create the taste and texture of fried potatoes; a switch that agrees with people who are on paleo or keto diets.  Some sweet red pepper, chives and the rich flavor of cheddar makes this a healthy and protein rich idea for your menu.

Get the recipe and preparation instructions from Delish.com and watch the video here.

  1. Beefy Breakfast Skillet

Not every order of breakfast has to come with bacon.  In fact, many people are trying to limit the amount of bacon they eat on a weekly basis, because of concerns regarding nitrates and nitrites.  Using ground beef to enhance the meaty flavors of your breakfast skillet is a great idea instead!

What we loved about this recipe is that it has a bunch of fresh flavors that waken the senses, while providing that big protein fix that many people want first thing in the morning.  Especially when they are dining out.  Ground beef and potatoes are browned with onions, and then garnished with shredded cheddar and fresh parsley.

Instead of scrambling the egg into the breakfast skillet (which is common practice) this recipe calls for two large fried eggs as a garnish on top.  Imagine how delicious this skillet tastes when you break the eggs and the hot yolk washes over the delicious ground beef and potato!

Get the recipe from the food bloggers at A Worthey Life.

The breakfast crowd at your restaurant on weekends is more than a quick meal; it’s part of the culture of spending the weekend with family and friends to slow down and savor experiences.   Boost your breakfast revenues by innovating some new delicious high-protein skillets for your customers, and ask us about quality ground beef, turkey, veal and other options to help you create an extraordinary dish.

7 Ways That Restaurants Can Reduce Food Costs

The restaurant industry is competitive, and when it comes to surviving and thriving in most markets, controlling costs and operational expenses is key. The most expensive single area that can be impacted to help increase profitability are food costs, and we’d like to share seven ways your business can focus on economy, to help you grow.

  1. Constantly Calculate Your Food Cost Ratios

Pricing is a mathematical equation that starts with two important factors; what the menu item actually costs to prepare and deliver to the customer, and what the customer views to be a fair and competitive price for the meal.

Balancing the two ratios is an ongoing challenge.  Naturally, consumers would like to pay as little as possible for a quality meal.  However, when your customers know that they are receiving a delicious and nutritious meal, it is easier to justify the price threshold you need to protect your profit margins.

Because food costs can vary due to competitive production factors, supply and demand, increased shipping and delivery and other factors, the exercise of calculating food cost ratios on all menu items should be done on a monthly basis.

Visit Toast for a good resource page and free Food Cost Ratio Calculator.  The article is informative and will take you through a step-by-step process of accurately measuring your food cost per serving and how to maintain a record of trends to plan your meat and produce purchasing more efficiently.

  1. Digital Tablet Menus and Signage

We have all been to restaurants and witnessed how digital tablet menus and signage are being increasingly used by both fast-casual and fast-food establishments.  What are some of the savings that business owners can expect by switching to this type of menu?

When wait staff take an order verbally, there are always a percentage of the customer orders and preferences that are not communicated accurately to the kitchen.  The result? The customer sends back the entrée and items, and the kitchen must prepare again (from scratch).  This results in a loss of production time and doubles the cost to the restaurant owner.

Studies have shown that the digital kiosks for ordering on the table reduce order error by as much as 60%.  That is a big improvement.  Not only that, but it helps reduce verbal order time at the table, and customers enjoy seeing a digital menu of all their options.  It is also easier to display specials and flash-sale items to customers.

  1. Maintain an Accurate Inventory

Theft is an unfortunate but very real aspect of food service management, and it can get expensive for business owners when staff over-indulge in food (during their shifts), or in some of the extreme cases, when kitchen workers leave the premises with supplies.

Security is a priority for any establishment, not only in the customer service area but in the staff areas and food preparation centers.  Many restaurants include inventory as a once daily record keeping activity that sous chefs are required to complete at the end of their shift.  This helps to reconcile the daily volume of meat, fresh produce and other ingredients with the sales receipts for the day.  It also makes it easy to detect when food delivery orders are shorted (have all deliveries reviewed by a staff member for accuracy before accepting the invoice).

  1. Leverage Seasonal Menu Specials

Certain cuts of meat and entrees have a more seasonal appeal.  For instance, during the hot days of summer, restaurant guests are less likely to order a pot roast entrée than they are a fresh grilled steak with a side salad.  Or a fire grilled scratch made burger.

When selecting your meat and ingredients, consider the seasonality of your order and look for opportunities to purchase discounted ingredients during the time of year when that produce is more readily available.  Tweak your menu to capitalize on specials that will offer you a boost in profit margin, thanks to the reduced cost of in-season produce.

  1. Choose Prime Vendors and Wholesale Partners

When you have a relationship of integrity with your wholesale partners for meat and produce, you can rely on their advice regarding quality products.  Using the same wholesale vendor can also help you earn a volume discount as a weekly or monthly customer.

Don’t let price alone dictate which wholesale food providers you use.  It’s not a good deal for your business if the meat that arrives is at or close to expiration date.  Or if there are food safety issues and concerns that can jeopardize the health of your customers and create a legal liability problem.

Choose meat and produce food suppliers that have an established reputation for quality and service and ask them for advice on cost saving or seasonal products and opportunities for you to innovate higher profit margin entrée items.

  1. Reduce Waste

From the menu items to you prepare to the way you process your ingredients, there are many important steps to help your restaurant reduce profitability loss associated with food waste.  A new study conducted by the USDA in 2018 revealed that the restaurant industry loses $2 billion dollars in profits annually because of food waste.

Since food costs can account for 25% to over 30% of your overhead daily expenses, it’s important to develop a strategy that involves tight inventory control and proper food handling procedures.  What else can your business do to cut food waste?

  • Freeze bulk orders in portions that are sealed for freshness and portioned for fast food preparation.
  • Train sous chefs to cut meat and other fresh food ingredients in ways that promote freshness and reduce spoilage. Review food safety and storage requirements frequently with staff to avoid waste.
  • Don’t over-prep ingredients. Do an analysis on typical ingredients required for each food preparation station and avoid bulk pre-preparation that can cause spoilage.

Some items such as desserts can be high-cost, and as they approach their Use By date, you can offer a daily special to move those items at a reduced cost.  This also works for restaurants who have bakeries where day-old products can be sold retail to visiting customers to help recoup production costs.

  1. Create a Team Strategy with Your Staff

How many times have you asked for extra condiments, and had a restaurant drive-thru server provide you with a handful of expensive dipping sauces, creamers or other order add-on’s?  This is one small example of how employee behavior and attitude can dramatically impact your bottom line as a restaurant owner.

Hiring qualified and responsible staff is part of the success strategy for any business, from fast food to luxury restaurant establishments.  But many restaurants do not provide adequate training or go to the extra effort to foster a team effort, when it comes to saving on costs.

Having a weekly meeting or monthly meeting with your staff to review sales statistics can actually help.  Demonstrating some of the costs, and where their diligence can help can create a new attitude that will save you money.  Employers that provide recognition for cost-saving ideas or rewards for employees who routinely set a good example by putting the restaurant’s business goals first, benefit tremendously.

Remember that incentives don’t have to be expensive!  It can be a point system accruing for paid days off, an Amazon gift card or some other tangible that expresses recognition and appreciation for staff that demonstrate innovation, and that extra effort.

 

Balancing costs and protecting your profit margin means investing the time and effort to closely monitor the food you buy, and how it is used in your food service establishment.  If you would like more information about the quality meats available to our commercial customers, contact our team at Miami Beef®.

5 Star Appetizer Ideas Featuring Wagyu Beef

With so much similarity between standard restaurant menus, and increased competition for patrons and diner revenue, business owners have to keep innovating new and trending menu items.  While food trends change seasonally and annually, one of the hottest trends right now, is quality Wagyu beef.

Consumers can’t visit their local store and find Wagyu.  The price of the beef makes it prohibitive for most grocery stores to carry, unless it is offered by pound and custom portioned at the butcher counter.  It is because of this scarcity that the fascination and demand for Wagyu beef persists.  It is understood by diners to be the pinnacle of quality beef, and sometimes difficult to acquire.

This is good news for five-star and premium dining establishments, who can capitalize on the trend and scarcity to provide crowd pleasing appetizers.   Why appetizers and not entrees?  Because of the premium cost per pound for quality Wagyu beef, menus that offer entrees must do so at a higher price per serving ratio that is not always marketable to every customer and their budget.

When restaurants opt to add Wagyu to the menu, they typically begin with some savory and incredible appetizers.  The low-carb diet preference that is trending (along with keto and paleo diets) means that an appetizer that is rich is protein and exceptional flavor can quickly become a sales leader for your establishment.

At Miami Beef® we supply luxury dining establishments with quality Wagyu beef, and other premium options including American Style Kobe beef.  We’d like to share some of our inspirations for appetizers that center on premium Japanese beef we think your customers will love.

What You Need to Know About the Quality Standards of Wagyu

Developed in Japan, the native Asian cattle called “Wagyu” are internationally recognized as the pinnacle quality of beef.  In Japanese ‘Wa’ is translated as Japan, and ‘Gyu’ simply means cow.  While the name may not hold much intrigue, the origins of this exceptional quality beef certainly does.

Cattle genetics experts have determined that Wagyu may have developed as a unique breed more than 35,000 years ago.  Japan has a number of native cattle that reflect many different imported breeds.  For generations, the consumption of meat was illegal under Buddhist rule in Japan, and all cattle were used for agricultural purposes; they were draft animals for plowing.

A political shift in Japan in 1868 allowed the Japanese to eat beef, without fear of persecution or legal penalties. Interestingly it was always rumoured that the Japanese aristocracy had always eaten beef in secrecy, even during the Buddhist ban.

There are were three major black strains of cattle that culminated into what is now known today as Wagyu beef:

  • The Tajiri
  • The Fjuiyoshi or Shimane
  • The Kedaka (Tottori)

Within grades and sources of Wagyu beef, only four breeds of cattle (with closely documented lineage) may be considered to be true Wagyu.  Those breeds are:

  • The Japanese Black (predominantly exported to America)
  • The Japanese Brown (sometimes referred to as Red Wagyu)
  • Japanese Polled
  • Japanese Shorthorn

The Japanese Polled and Japanese Shorthorn breeds of Wagyu are not sold or exported as live breeding cattle outside of the country.  In fact, the two breeds are known as the highest level of beef quality available in the world, and it is illegal to breed them except for a small handful of approved ranchers in Japan.

When you hear about the elite of Japanese cattle living in stress-free environments, receiving milk and special foods and even being massaged, these are the two breeds referenced, and the extreme quality control and ranching measures in place.

Now that you know a little bit about the history and strict restrictions involved with producing Wagyu beef, you can start to appreciate why people think it is ‘such a big deal’ when they see it on the menu.

Four Incredible Wagyu Beef Appetizers for Restaurant Menus

Whether you operate a five-star dining establishment, a private lounge or club with V.I.P. boxes and champagne service, Wagyu beef appetizers carry a level of prestige that accompanies any luxury meal or beverage experience.

While options like grilled Wagyu skewers with satay or tangy dipping sauce, or a table-side service grilling tender, thin portions of Wagyu custom for your diner, appetizers are by far the easiest to implement on your menu.  And with controlled portion sizes, Wagyu appetizers can become a big revenue generator and profit center for your restaurant.

  1. Beef Tataki with Ponzu Sauce

One of the first rules that Chefs know about Wagyu, is to season it gently.  That means from the cooking process, straight through to the side dish served and dipping sauce.  Because of the premium quality of Wagyu beef, customers want to taste that exceptional beef flavor.  Make sure not to mask any of the natural richness of the beef during preparation.

Beef Tataki is a medium rare preparation, that takes full advantage of the rich flavor of Wagyu beef.  Without over cooking the portions, each tender piece can be dipped in the delicious herbaceous (but mild) Ponzu sauce, that has a little spicy kick (thanks to the fresh Chile sauce).

It’s a mouth-watering delicacy and beautiful presentation suitable for a five-star dining experience!  We love this recipe from four-time James Beard Award Winning and TV Celebrity Chef Andrew Zimmern.

Source: Web 2019 andrewzimmern.com

  1. Wagyu Beef Crostini

Either as a tartar or a grilled appetizer portion, served with some delicious accoutrements and a mild seasoning, Wagyu can be the star of your appetizer crostini menu.   Pair it with a rigid but lightly toasted crostini base, that consider the following topping suggestions:

  • Mustard cress greens
  • Goat cheese
  • Grilled pear and brie cheese
  • Fresh basil and yellow tomato (sweet and mild)
  • Grilled sweet or hot pepper
  • Caramelized onion
  • Grilled eggplant (aubergine)
  • Grilled asparagus

Check out this gallery and slideshow from Delish.com for 14 innovative flavor combinations that may inspire you to add premium Wagyu to your crostini appetizer menu.

  1. Wagyu Tartar with Spicy Mayo, Caviar and Garnishes

Purists who love the flavor of beef will insist on ordering Wagyu appetizers tartar.  This specialty method of serving raw beef should only be done by an experienced Chef.

Quality Wagyu doesn’t get more ‘uptown’ than when it is garnished with caviar! This delicious recipe from Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto expertly pairs Wagyu with a savory spicy mayo, and the ‘surf and turf’ combination that is becoming more popularized in sushi fine dining establishments.

If you would like to add premium Wagyu Beef to your five-star menu, contact our team at Miami Beef® We are a family owned business that has built a reputation as a quality meat processor and supplier for almost 100 years, and our team will help provide some inspiration and options for food service excellence.