Looking Into Another Broken Egg's Crystal Ball
From: Fast Casual Chef Chatter
Published: June 23, 2021
Chef Jason Knoll, VP of Culinary for Another Broken Egg Cafe, reveals how to craft a seasonal menu that will return higher profits and provide guests with fresh and exciting options.
By Chef Jason Knoll, VP of Culinary, Another Broken Egg Cafe
As guests return to restaurants following lockdown, we're learning that diners seek unique experiences to satisfy their palettes. With restaurants competing for share of stomach, staying top of mind is essential to win guest loyalty and sales, which ultimately help drive franchisee interest.
One way to win guest loyalty is by keeping up with seasonal trends and putting seasonal options at the forefront of your menu. When guests see these options on the menu, they understand they are receiving ingredients with optimal freshness and flavor. In addition, these items are cost-effective and ultimately increase the bottom line and profitability.
By focusing on seasonality, culinary leaders will not only earn the respect of the guest but also of prospective franchisees. To craft a seasonal menu, chefs should consider entree and liquor pairings, avoid commodity foods and ultimately draw inspiration from farmer's markets and large market, independent businesses that are forward-thinking.
At Another Broken Egg Cafe, we are hyper-focused on menu innovation and utilize seasonal ingredients and menu items to remain relevant. Here are suggestions on how the industry can stay on-trend and offer the right seasonal options:
Sourcing inspiration for ingredients
Visit your local farmer's market for a glimpse into seasonality. Farmers only grow what they can sell and tend to grow small batches of crops to see how the crop performs before mass production. Sometimes it even takes three to four years of selling through before they discern what will be in demand. By focusing on these smaller batches, chefs can begin calculating how they too can incorporate seasonal produce into their menu. For instance, figs started gaining popularity in farmer's markets nearly four years ago. Another Broken Egg Cafe just started focusing on this trend and we recently incorporated figs into our dishes last year. It takes time for seasonal ingredients to begin trending.
If farmer's markets aren't accessible in your area, then try visiting a variety of independent restaurants in large cities like New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. These local gems consistently experiment with seasonal produce and will continue to be a guiding light for inspirational ingredients.
Crafting the right seasonal menus
Seasonality can be as simple as keeping it classic with simple, fresh flavors. The secret to seasonality comes down to pairing ingredients that work together, and utilizing timeless and seasonal classics, like strawberries with pancakes and berries with mimosas alongside your market favorites. It's also good practice to consider liquor and entree pairings. This is a cost-effective way to utilize one ingredient multiple ways and increases interest in an initial liquor pairing that may have been overlooked. We paired our seasonal Tacos Verano with watermelon salsa, which is in season this summer, with an Another Broken Egg Famous Infused Mary that is in high demand.
It's also important to refrain from any overused commodity food items, as they're remarkably predictive. Distributors rush these products to demand, and aren't as concerned with quality, making the aging restricted or limited. Some products – like beef in the summer – are rushed to market, providing an inferior product. This is in comparison to poultry, like chicken, which is becoming readily available and decreasing in cost. When everyone is rushing to buy beef, buy chicken. There are always innovative options to bring non-commodity foods to life and add hints of seasonality without breaking the bank.
Growing profits through seasonality
It's more affordable to purchase produce that is in season. This cost-effective strategy saves COGs for franchisees and as a result, menu prices remain steady. These ingredients are also fresher, riper and provide better quality at a lesser cost. As a result, you can use these ingredients across your menu, like with alcoholic beverage pairings. We recently launched Lemon Custard Stuffed French Toast paired with a Lemon Blueberry Mimosa to use Myer's lemons in multiple ways. We also use them in our Tito's Lemon Mule to reduce costs.
In addition, building seasonal menus grows trust between the brand and its franchisees. By staying on-trend, you'll allow your franchisees to return higher profits while providing guests with fresh and exciting options. As a result, franchisees will remain invested in your brand and may look to grow.
Seasonal items will also drive emotional connections. For instance, LTOs that feature citrus in summer or pumpkin spice in autumn, play off the "feeling" of the season. Showcasing these items properly on your menus or on digital platforms will be essential to capitalize.
Tying it together
Sourcing ingredient inspiration will allow you to craft the right seasonal menus and as a result, grow profits. By staying in the loop on seasonal trends and keeping an eye out for up-and-coming ingredients you'll be well on your way to showcasing innovative seasonal items that foodies admire. We're always doing this at Another Broken Egg Cafe.
Read the article at: www.fastcasual.com