Everything tastes better - fried. But¦.does it? That's certainly the old adage and looking at the average American menu, that would seem to be true. If we can grow it, by golly, we can fry it. One woman however, is trying to relax our death-grip on the deep fryer and help us get past our dependency. Ginger Johnson, CEO of Women Enjoying Beer, LLC, is a nationally-known marketing expert, speaker and coach who is (literally) writing the book on how to market specifically to women.
In an age of global cuisine and sustainable food, the sky is the limit on creativity. Johnson believes that our dependence upon deep fryers is a lazy maneuver “ which is not a slam “ but a wake-up call and opportunity for change. It has become a crutch, in many ways, that holds us back from bigger, better and more exciting things. Johnson says moving away from the deep fryer doesn't have to be fancy, just simple and delicious. Start with your concept and your menu. What is your true equation? What do you want your customers to experience? How does fried food fit in? If you do make a change, you don't have to scrap the fryer all at once. Change can be incremental.
The first (and most important) step, says Johnson, is simply deciding you want to. Start by offering some different options and supplanting a couple of items. Start with an appetizer or two. You should be changing out your menu from time to time anyway, so make it part of your normal routine. Let sales data guide you. What is not selling? Test out some specials and see what works. Try out some other methods of cooking, such as a wood fire oven, which is very popular these days. Also “ be prepared to discuss the substitutions with your guests. Have a conversation about why the menu is changing, and remember that saying 'no' to something is saying 'yes' to something else.
Having a conversation with your customers is also your best market research. There's no better way to find out what your customers like or don't like. If you do stick with fried foods, because even Ginger admits that there is nothing better than a plate of piping hot, fresh, French fries, then commit to doing them well. Keep equipment clean, and stay on top of changing the grease. It's not solely about being healthy. After all, if you dedicate yourself to cooking fresh, seasonal foods, then the health factor will be inherent.
Deep frying can be expensive, take up a lot of energy, and is hard on the planet. In the end, however, whether you broaden your culinary horizons beyond the deep fryer, or not, attention to quality and consistency make a brand great.
Get more great tips and advice from Ginger at TRA Marketplace. She'll be presenting on the following days/times:
Sunday, June 26, 4:00 p.m. and 2:30 p.m., Monday, June 27 - What's New Right Now? in craft beverage. Get ahead of the competition at this informative, interactive presentation.
Monday, June 27, 12:00 p.m. “ Beyond the Deep Fryer: Better Beer & Food Pairing for Better Business Success We all know guests want options for tasty food. What we need to fully embrace, is that many consumers want choices beyond the deep-fryer. So what's a restaurant and crew to do? Answer: LOTS! Come to this talk where Ginger will share stories, several tips and ideas.
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