Posts Tagged ‘Pasta’

Whole Wheat Pasta Makes the Leap to Restaurants

October 30, 2010

While it may seem like sacrilege to a pasta lover, the reality is that as Americans become more and more health conscious, a growing movement has been pushing for the adoption of healthier versions of pasta. The most widespread option so far has been whole wheat pasta.

If your restaurant focuses heavily on pasta, it behooves you to take the time to learn about the options out there and to start offering alternatives for your diners who want a healthier option.

Not the Whole Wheat Pasta of Yesteryear

Anyone who tried whole wheat pasta about 10 or 15 years ago will be shaking their heads sadly at the thought that we’d suggest using the gloopy junk that was passed off as pasta back then. The stuff was awful looking and tasted worse.

However, new technology has been applied to the business of making whole wheat pasta. Yesterday’s whole wheat pasta, while it is still available in all its gloopy glory has been joined by some new kinds  that actually look and taste really good.

Consider Revising Your Sauce Recipes As Well

Let me also bend your ear to the idea of replacing some of the sugar and fat in the recipes you apply to whole wheat pasta with something a bit healthier. The demographic who will be looking for whole wheat pasta from your restaurant is the same demographic who will also be looking for lower fat options so that they can try to eat a bit healthier even when they eat out.

Speaking of Demographics

Of course, we haven’t shared with you yet the very best reason for putting some whole wheat pasta options on the menu: the demographic. Most of the people who are interested in whole wheat pasta (as well as other healthy dining options) tend to be those who spend more at nicer restaurants. They typically have more disposable income than the average American. In other words, they are the exact people you’ll want to have eating in your establishment.


Wheat Prices Rise and Affect Restaurateurs

August 29, 2010

Wheat prices are soaring and that means bad news for the restaurant and bakery industries. It’s an unfortunate result of a variety of factors. While there is no wheat shortage expected, since there is no longer an abundance either, everything from pasta to bread to simple flour will be soaring in price.

Those who rely on these staple products for their restaurants (and let’s face it – aside from a Sushi place, virtually every restaurant will be affected since they at least serve bread) should brace for the extra costs that will be involved.

What Happened to the Price of Wheat?

The cause of the global crisis was a recent announcement by the Russian Federation that they would not be exporting any wheat this summer. The reason was a poor yield in their crop, meaning that they believe they will need to keep everything at home in order to feed their own people.

This has left American and other distributors of wheat based products scrambling for alternative sources as the price on the global market starts to go through the roof.

What this Means for Restaurateurs

Whether you own a restaurant or a bakery, you can expect costs to go up. Aside the obvious costs where bread and flour prices are expected to see a significant rise, there will also be indirect costs since farmers often rely on wheat based feed for their livestock. As price increases are felt across the world, we can expect the cost of meat based products to go up as well

Try Alternate Grains

Since wheat is the primary grain affected, some restaurateurs may wish to experiment with alternate grains for bread products and, to a lesser extent, pasta based products. Products usually made from wheat can also be made from grains such as oats and rye, not to mention rice based products that are used by Celiac disease sufferers.

Is Pasta the New Burger and Fries?

July 24, 2010

With the advent of several new “fast casual” restaurants serving pasta as a mainstay of their menus, some analysts think the time may have come for pasta to become a mainstay of American restaurant menus in the fast food world.

Always Available at Slow Food Places

Pasta has always been a staple of the slow food restaurants where diners would sit down to a white cloth dinner table and enjoy heaping mounds of pasta covered in various types of sauces. Even restaurants that didn’t focus on pasta on their menus often offered the Italian food as part of their optional menu. What is new is that this is being done in the fast food market.

Not Quite Kept Under Heating Lamps

Of course, the new pasta places aren’t exactly warming up piles of pasta and keeping them under heating lamps, ala hamburgers and fries. One new place is offering pasta meals custom made to order, using only the freshest of ingredients and all of them organic at that. However, just because the pasta is custom made to order doesn’t mean it’s a sit down restaurant in disguise. This is still a fast casual style restaurant and that’s what’ so exciting about the new pasta places springing up all over the country.

So Should We Add Pasta to the Menu?

If you’re running a fast food place and wondering after reading this blog post whether or not it’s time to start adding pasta to the menu, the answer is probably not. Let’s face it, pasta isn’t exactly what most people think of when they walk into the local greasy spoon. There is a certain kind of fair expected in these places and pasta really doesn’t fit into a place offering fries, milkshakes and monster size burgers.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for a new restaurant concept, pasta may be just the thing you need for your new restaurant and serving it in a more casual, fast food atmosphere may be the way to go.