What does it take to transform a knowledgeable cheesemonger into a Certified Cheese Professional® (or CCP™ for short)? Three hours, 150 questions—and a whole lot of commitment. Before the fateful day when cheese experts of all stripes sit for the formidable Certified Cheese Professional Exam® offered by the American Cheese Society (ACS), they spend months—or even years—preparing.
Topics: leadership, recruitment & retention, operations, process, techniques, retail, national, foodservice, craft, certification & education, history, Certified Cheese Professional (CCP), fromagier/formaggiaio, cheesemonger
Few industries have been hit as hard by the coronavirus pandemic as the foodservice industry. The statistics are staggering: the National Restaurant Association estimates that 8 million restaurant workers have been laid off or furloughed since the crisis began—and that the industry will lose $240 billion in revenue by year’s end.
Few appetizers or savory dessert choices yield as many oohs and aahs as a cheese board. Done well, a cheese board offers a veritable feast for the senses: the bold orange of a cheddar cheese block, the unmistakable scent of a veiny blue cheese, the glistening sparkle of a bunch of grapes, the briny aroma of an olive-filled ramekin.
Topics: blue cheese, appetizers, blue-veined cheese, Stella, Salemville, manchego cheese, roquefort cheese, goat's milk, breads, snacks, brie cheese, cheddar cheese, goat cheese (chevre), gorgonzola cheese, snacking cheese, stilton cheese, cow's milk, sheep's milk
Blue cheese is a bit of a scientific marvel. It transforms mold—the enemy of most cheeses—into an integral ally, resulting in a unique blend of smell, texture and taste sensations. Blue (or bleu) cheeses, along with other “stinky cheeses,” may have a polarizing reputation, but their popularity has increased steadily in recent years.
In honor of National Pizza Party Day on May 15, we’re celebrating the female pizzaiolos diversifying and elevating the business.
Some foodservice segments are feeling the effects of the COVID-19 crisis more than others. QSRs and fast-casual operations, for instance, have experienced a smaller decline in business than fine dining establishments.
Third-party delivery providers can be a blessing for restaurants that don’t want to handle the process internally or a huge customer service headache—depending on how the relationship is structured.
The grilled cheese sandwich—stretchy cheese oozing from between two crispy slices of bread—is everywhere, from food trucks to fine dining, and has been tried with nearly every ingredient imaginable.
Food contamination, sanitation and employee hygiene need to be an ongoing priority for businesses that serve food and beverages to prevent the dissemination of disease-causing germs.
An Italian classic, pizza has long been an American favorite. In fact, 43% of American consumers surveyed by Technomic say they eat it at least once a week.
In recent years, many of these frequent eaters have become “pizza connoisseurs,” with nearly half of them expressing a desire for more variety and authenticity in their pizza.
Clearly, delicious menu items can help you attract customers. What you might not realize, however, is that the food you don't serve can persuade diners as much as the food you do.
Restaurateurs have reason to love Valentine’s Day: It’s typically one of the most popular holidays to dine out.
In 2018, reservations for Wednesday, Feb. 14, were 433% higher compared to other Wednesdays in February. Overall restaurant sales were 32% higher, and eateries made 7% more on online orders.
In 2019, Americans planned to spend a whopping $3.5 billion on an evening out with their sweetheart, according to the National Retail Federation. Both men and women said their top choice for a Valentine’s Day gift would be a romantic dinner.
Even though cheese is already widely available across menus, customers are still asking for more. From healthy recipes to plant-based options, now’s your chance to get in on this opportunity with three new trends consumers will love.
Every new year brings new resolutions, often along the lines of “eat better,” “exercise more” or “lose 10 pounds.” Such good intentions often lead consumers who are restricting their diets to make incorrect assumptions about what they should and shouldn’t eat. And that can make things challenging for foodservice operators—particularly those with cheese-forward menus.
Long ago, a shepherd riding across the desert with milk stored in a vessel made of an animal stomach, may have discovered cheesemaking. Enzymes from the stomach, along with heat, would have converted the milk into cheese. “I can’t imagine [it] was delicious, and that [illustrates] the central advancement of modern cheesemaking,” says Molly Browne, education manager of Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin. “With state-of-the-art technology, equipment, and environmental controls, today we can create cheese that is both nutritious and tasty.”
Americans adore Italian food. They crave Chinese, Thai and Japanese fare. They’re wild about Mexican cooking. And more recently, they’ve fallen in love with Indian, Vietnamese and Filipino flavors. If you’re hungry for the next big ethnic food trend, you’ll need to learn a word you may have never heard before: Levant, which refers collectively to eastern Mediterranean countries such as Cyprus, Jordan, Lebanon, Israel, Iraq, Syria and Egypt, as well as parts of Turkey.
Limited time offers (LTOs) keep your menu dynamic, but they also can drive traffic and boost sales—especially after the holidays, which for many restaurants can be the slowest time of the year. Perhaps that’s why so many restaurants are embracing them: in the last five years alone, the number of LTO menu items has increased 64%, according to Technomic data reported by Restaurant Business, its sister company.
Although price reduction is an easy and obvious LTO tactic, it’s neither the most common nor the most strategic maneuver. Over half (51%) of full-service restaurants approach LTOs with innovative food or beverage offerings, letting their products rather than their prices fuel the buzz.
As your R&D team invents short-term offerings that can generate positive word of mouth and increased foot traffic during seasonal slumps, consider these best practices for developing, implementing and marketing LTOs.
Cheese is a staple in many dishes across every daypart, and for good reason: With roughly 2,000 varieties to choose from, the cheese category truly offers something for everyone.
But balancing consumer expectations and operator profitability in the context of current food and diet trends requires a little imagination—especially if the dairy favorite is at the heart of your business, as it is for Melt Bar and Grilled, a 10-unit restaurant group in northeast Ohio that specializes in gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches.
Melt uses 13 different types of cheese in its sandwiches, but the FSR relies primarily on common cheese types for the sake of cost consciousness. “The other ingredients [in Melt sandwiches] are expensive,” explains owner and founder Matt Fish. “We are a high-volume restaurant, and we want [our offerings] to be affordable to every demographic.” Fish’s customers are seeking “value for the dollar,” he continues, “and to use $9- or $10-a-pound cheese for grilled cheese doesn’t make sense.”
Fortunately, there’s an underexplored world of trendy applications for familiar cheeses.