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The Secret Ingredient for Staying Popular & Profitable | FoodPower is a restaurant consulting firm that coaches industry leaders to leverage strengths, create concepts, refine menus & identify opportunities to increase revenue & capatalize on the changes in today's dining out patterns.
 
  WOW.
It's an undisputable fact: we totally eat with our eyes...

Perhaps you've noticed, as I have, that the POWER OF FOOD now lives not only in the way it tastes, nurtures and nourishes, but also in the way it looks, photographs, and therefore, the BUZZ it creates.

Whether it is simply a burger and fries or a fine dining entree, here are 5 restaurants with menu items that have helped to build a major following. FOOD ART has garnered press, awards, and a social media following that puts butts in seats!
 
 

LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT: MB POST
Manhattan Beach Post Office-turned-Restaurant Hits the Mark 
 
These giant steak fries in a simple tin can stand tall on many tables as you wind your way to your seat at Manhattan Beach's MB Post.  The fries' appearance and the energetic image they project creates an important mindset with both first-time guests and loyal fans alike, and induces excitement. 
 
Chef/Owner David LeFevre (Charlie Trotter and WaterGrill) takes these fries  seriously, as evidenced by the recipe - they are fried four different times under four different precise temperatures and cooking times.  They end up silky with a thick dark skin that is both soft and shellacked.  And memorable is the secret sauce...
 
HEY... the staff here must be having fun, the menu adventurous, innovative, different... suddenly, I'm curious and I realize the possibilities for exciting eating are endless...
 
When you arrive at your table, a butterscotch-colored envelope with your name on it is waiting for you, and inside is today's menu.  One side is wines, beer, and hand-crafted cocktails, like the Mo-Pho-Jito, and the other side features a menu written with humor and an innovative style. An excerpt from the Dessert section:
A Spoon Full of Sugar

The Elvis -
a wonderful mess of chocolate pudding,
peanut butter mousse, and bacon brittle
 
BOTTOM LINE:  OVERSIZED WORKS. CLEVER NAMES & DESCRIPTIONS do not have to be unsophisticated, but can really help make menus memorable and create the WOW... with great taste of course!
 
 
 SEND A MESSAGE
CHEF/ARTIST JOHN RIVERA SEDLAR WOWS WITH SPICEOLOGY
 
     
    
I have been following Chef John Rivera Sedlar for years, from his restaurant, St. Estephe in Manhattan Beach, CA, to Rivera across from L.A. Live in Downtown Los Angeles.  His Pan-Latin restaurant, Rivera, combines the past and present on the plate. His ancient style of cooking comes from his roots in Santa Fe, where his goal of serving tortillas in a fine dining restaurant was achieved with his fresh-made corn tortillas embedded with organic edible flowers, and served with avocado butter. Sedlar married this style with the French techniques learned while working with mentor Jean Bertranou of L'Ermitage and with now with the new molecular gastronomy.
 
This Chef of the Year by Esquire and Best Chef Nominee by the James Beard Foundation last year, has become known for his SPICEOLOGY. Years ago, he started playing with stencils, drawing pictures and writing with ground spices -- this technique gave way to the term Spiceology. It all started in 1992, at his second restaurant, Bikini, where he began writing social commentary on the plates during the LA Riots.
 
BOTTOM LINE:  SUCCESS IS IN THE DETAILS ESPECIALLY IF THEY ARE INNOVATIVE, CHANGE OFTEN, ARE RELEVANT AND SPONTANEOUS.
 
 
WE'VE GOT A SWEET SPOT FOR BOTTEGA LOUIE

Bottega Louie Restaurant & Gourmet Market, or BL, as it is lovingly called, seems to have it all.  It is a palatial Italian restaurant, cafe and cocktail dispensary, patisserie, gift shop, and grab-n-go section, all in one. The energy and grandeur capivates its fans, and the white marble emporium with elegant brass and European details, complete with expansive floor-to-ceiling windows transport the guest to another place and time... perhaps Las Vegas, or better yet, Harrod's in London. The lines out the door for breakfast, lunch and dinner tell the rest of the story.

The team that put this together, partners Daniel Flores and Chef Sam Marvin, have gained a following of fanatics that are drawn in by the POWER of FOOD, and mesmerized by the pristine displays of colorful pastries each with its own amazing attention to exact detail. The building is 10,000 square feet, houses 200 employees, produces 600 recipes daily, and delivers 800 pastries a day. The windows are graced with stacks of pastel boxes tied with silk ribbon ready to go. 'Tis a precision factory gone gourmet emporium!
 
BOTTOM LINE ELEGANT, NEAT, COLORFUL DISPLAYS SELL especially when the taste matches the appearance.

 
DRINK TO YOUR HEALTH
 
 
Health is the #1 food trend, and lately, Iced Tea is the drink of choice. Here in FoodPower's backyard, Seventh Tea Bar serves ice tea on tap! Jeff and Christa Duggan, the "chemists of coffee," created the Portola Coffee Lab at the OC Mix in Costa Mesa, CA.  It became so popular that they expanded and opened Seventh Tea Bar.  The tea is made from the finest tea leaves infused in a fascinating Steampunk machine! I love the name "Seventh" which stands for the 7 daily necessities in Chinese daily life.  The first six are:  firewood, rice, oil, salt, sauce, and vinegar.  Now there's a simple life! 
 
WHY?  Check out the stats on tea:
  • Tea is the most popular beverage in the world after water
  • 85% women + 72% men associate health benefits with tea drinking          
  • 2012 was the 19th consecutive year that tea purchases increased in the U.S.
  • Tea is the most profitable beverage sold in food service establishments
  • Away-from-home consumption has increased by at least 10% annually over the last 10 years
  • Tea sales growth is expected to continue at a rate of 3-5% annually
       
BOTTOM LINE:  FOLLOW THE TRENDS, OFFER CHOICES AND TRAIN THE STAFF TO TALK ABOUT TEA. CONSIDER ADDING TALL GARNISHES TO ATTRACT THE EYE.

 
GET YOUR 5 SERVINGS

A health trend that will never go away is a focus on fruits and vegetables, and that can get boring fast! Regardless of how you choose to satisfy your health-focused guests, be sure your plate stimulates
visually.

At Cypress Culinary College in Anaheim houses an in-house restaurant, and every Thursday they open to the public. Director Lisa Clark and Executive Chef Jeremy Peters, with the generous donation from Melissa's Produce, prepared an amazing lunch for the Dames of Les Dames d'Escoffier. In the picture above to the left, notice how the first course salad combines fruits and vegetables - luscious greens with watermelon, and to the right, the main course contains two proteins, Halibut and Short Rib, but still manages to focus the attention on the vegetables.

Be mindful of this trend: no matter what the dish and how luscious, rich and beautiful... the addition of greens or vegetables of your choice makes the dish more popular and therefore, profitable. 
 
BOTTOM LINE:  WE EAT WITH OUR EYES (do you see a trend throughout this newsletter?); chefs and culinary professionals today need to understand the interest and commitment the public has to eating healthy, knowing where their food is coming from and giving the ingredients natural pedigrees. 
 
IF YOU NEED TO MAKE SOME CHANGES
OR UPDATE YOUR MENUS
FOODPOWER'S HERE TO HELP.

 
We are always grateful for all the wonderful clients, who are also our friends, that FoodPower has been able to work with hand-in-hand. It's great to see that our clients continue to grow long after we have left. You can always follow their growth on our FoodPower Facebook page HERE!

If your year is off to a rough start, call us, we may be able to help. While it may not seem obvious to you, there are many factors that can directly relate to profitability and growth.  In most instances, these elements are clear to the objective, experienced eye, but nearly impossible to see for the owner/operator who sees them eight days a week. 
 
We at FoodPower can help you find your profit centers, quickly and objectively, so you can maximize your strengths.  What's more, we can coach you as to how to sort out your specific issues in a way that brings your costs down and your profit up!  We are talking about TRUE, QUANTIFIABLE CHANGE that captures your profits and minimizes your losses.  Our rates are surprisingly affordable and, with the vast majority of our clients, we pay for our services many times over. 

We are ready at FoodPower to go the extra mile
and inspire you do the same!
 
Feel free to contact us at pamarshall@foodpower.com or at 949.646.3206.  You can also find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!
 
To the power of food!
Phyllis Ann

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Established in 1982, Orange County-based FoodPower is a restaurant consulting firm that coaches industry leaders to leverage their strengths. By working hand-in-hand with restaurant management and staff, FoodPower can help create concepts, refine menus, and identify opportunities to increase food sales and capitalize on the changes in today’s dining out patterns to strengthen brands.

FoodPower
2463 Irvine Avenue E1 | Costa Mesa, CA 92627
949.646.3206 | pamarshall@foodpower.com | www.foodpower.com




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