Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Must menus in California count calories, carbs, fats?

A bill is on the governor's desk, and 4 of 5 state residents back it. But restaurant chains say mandatory measures are lawsuits waiting to happen.

As he finishes a plate of chips and salsa at El Torito, a Mexican restaurant here, Norman Oberstein says a menu that listed the calorie counts of his favorite choices would be a great idea.

"When I go to the grocery, I know what I'm getting and how fat it might make me, but here there isn't any information at all so I just order what I want and forget worrying about it," he says.

Twenty feet away, Michelle Ward disagrees. "I might be heartbroken if I knew how many calories were in some of my favorite foods," she says.

Whether to require detailed nutritional information on restaurant menus or brochures is under scrutiny as never before. Some see it as a way to help curb high obesity rates by encouraging healthier eating, while restaurant representatives claim that mandatory measures would be burdensome and wouldn't stem obesity. To other lawmakers, labeling is the latest example of excessive government interference. [Complete Article}

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Food & Beverage - Phenomenal Sides - By Joe Dunbar

A quick way to attack food cost issues in almost any operation is through a simple menu upgrade. Rather than attacking entrees, take a hard look at your sides. A few mouth watering sides prepared with less costly ingredients will boost profits every time. Buffet guests will consume fewer meat and seafood items if they can't resist a great side dish or salad. A la carte operations should charge for the extra special side dish whenever possible. If you offer guests a full meal with their entree choice, offer the top side dish as an upgrade option.

Whenever the guests ask for help ordering from the wait staff, the side should be mentioned along with the entree choices. Perhaps, the dish requires a last minute preparation. Bringing this to the guest's attention can increase orders. Special optional toppings can be used to make an impression.

I believe Durgin Park does a phenomenal job of highlighting mouth watering sides, soups and desserts. Whenever I dine at this historic Boston landmark, everyone in the party raves over the traditional accompaniments. The Corn Bread, Baked Beans, Indian Pudding and Clam Chowder are frequently ordered. Newcomers don't have to guess "what's good?" at Durgin Park. The management offers their recipes for all of these favorites on their website. Whether you enjoy the line upstairs, communal tables, waitresses with an attitude or not, the Yankee favorites are top notch. [ Complete Article ]

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,