Medieval feast of food on table

Game Of Thrones: A Guide To Food

Dinner Is Coming

It’s no secret that Game of Thrones has become one of the most ambitious journeys, high-budgeted productions, and discussed shows of all time. Last Sunday saw the series finale, with 19.3 million people tuning in to watch the end of an era.

 

We won’t get into spoilers, but what a wild ride this has been.

 

Because the show is now over, we thought we would recollect on the single most important part of the series; The food. Okay, maybe not the most important part, but we’re all about food here at Restaurant Equipment Club, so that’s what we’re gonna focus on. I don’t know about you, but whenever I see someone eating on TV, it makes me hungry. And especially when it’s from an older time. Kind of like the forbidden fruit concept.

We’ll be going through each house and location on Game of Thrones and their best-served dishes…other than revenge.

The North

Within the Seven Kingdoms, the North is considered to be the largest region, with the most notable areas being Winterfell and Castle Black. Because of how low the temperatures can drop up there, Northerners lean toward stew and broth-based dishes. Some common foods amongst the North are kidney pie, mutton stew, and ale (which is their absolute favorite part…and ours too). Kidney pie is made with calf kidneys, pastry dough, and gravy. Pretty straightforward. And just like chicken pot pie, there is an abundance of cooking options you can choose from. As far as their stews go, any game meat will do, whether it’s beef, lamb, or oxtail.

Bread, albeit basic, can make a meal that much more filling and satisfying.  Hot Pie, an orphan boy from King’s Landing, is an accomplished baker in Westeros. Towards the beginning of the series, he bakes Arya, a member of the Stark family, a loaf of bread in the shape of a Direwolf. Because he’s sent to the kitchens as an amateur,  this first bread appears to be more scone-like:

Direwolf bread from Game of Thrones

But once he practices more, he eventually remakes it into a much better version:

Direwolf bread Hot PIe from Game of Thrones

Talk about progress.

We were kind of hoping Hot Pie would randomly appear in the final episode just to deliver one more loaf of bread to Arya. But I suppose we can’t have everything we want.

King’s Landing

King’s Landing is home to not only the King of the Seven Kingdoms but also one of the wealthiest and most powerful families around, House Lannister. The Lannisters live life in a luxurious fashion. Because they are close to Blackwater Bay, their food options are much more plentiful than other areas in Westeros. Also, the warmer climate in King’s Landing allows for a bountiful harvest of fruits and vegetables. Popular dishes in King’s Landing include suckling pig, boar, pigeon pie, and Lamprey pie.

Yes, you read that correctly. They eat Lamprey. In case you forgot what they look like or have never seen one:

Close up of a sea lamprey

Cute little creature, isn’t it?

Seems like something you would never wanna eat. But this was actually considered a delicacy in Medieval times. Why? I will never know. It must taste great. Even King Henry I loved lampreys. He loved them so much that they eventually led to his death. Even when he knew they were a risk to his health, he kept eating them. That’s dedication. They are now endangered in the UK and are protected under British law. Tyrion Lannister, the wise and wine-indulgent dwarf of the Lannister family, can be seen eating a lamprey pie in Season 2.

tyrion lannister eating a lamprey pie on game of thrones

“Excellent lamprey pie. Were you slaving away in the kitchen all day?”

Due to the high-cost to mass-produce lamprey pie, pigeon pie is served in its place during public events. It’s cheaper and easier to prepare. During season 4, a wedding takes place between the wicked Joffrey, one of Robert Baratheon’s power-hungry children (even though we all know the truth about that), and Margaery Tyrell. At the ceremony, a large pigeon pie was baked and left hollow so that live pigeons could fit inside. Joffrey slices the pie open, freeing most of the pigeons while unfortunately killing a few as well.

Another delicacy from this region is lemon cake. Much like most food products in King’s Landing, they are typically reserved for the upper-class. Sansa Stark, the eldest daughter of the Stark family, loves lemon cakes. Because back home at Winterfell, fruit rarely grows, so any chance she gets to eat them she takes.

sansa stark with lemon cakes from game of thrones

Sansa sure does love her lemon cakes.

But let’s not forget the beverages! Fine wine is the go-to choice in King’s Landing, with Arbor Gold being the most sought after choice. Red Wines from Dorne come in at a close second due to their spicier nature.

We’ve been discussing what royalty here consumes, but what about the rest of the kingdom? Well, whatever is available to them. The main dish they eat is referred to as “Bowl O’ Brown”, which is a stew or soup that consists of anything they can get their hands on. This includes pigeon or fish when lucky, but typically contains cat or rat meat, combined with whatever vegetables are available at the present time. A piece of bread occasionally accompanies this meal as well.

Dorne

Dorne is a coastal region that holds a Mediterranean vibe with a warm climate. There are various animals, plants, and spices found here that aren’t found anywhere else in Westeros. Because of this, the people in Dorne have adapted to hot, spicy foods. Citrus fruits such as blood oranges and lemons are also available here, which is a rarity anywhere else in the continent. Stuffed green peppers is a popular dish in Dorne. They also eat grilled snake and stuffed grape leaves. As previously mentioned, they are known for their high-prized wines. Arbor Gold is highly sought out, with Dornish sour reds being a close second.

dornish wine being poured by tyrion lannister

You can never have too much wine.

The Iron Islands

The Iron Islands are also located on the coast. Another big house in the show, The Greyjoys, inhabit this region in Westeros. Because the Iron Islands are an archipelago, an abundance of seafood is the main staple in their diet. You may not find root vegetables growing in these rocks, but hey, there’s plenty of fish! Fish pie is a favorite amongst the coastal community.

Beyond Westeros (Essos)

Essos lies east of Westeros and is considered the largest of the four continents. Located in Essos is a vast grassland plain known as the Dothraki Sea. It is inhabited by the Dothraki, a race of warlike wanderers with their own native tongue and spiritual equestrian culture. These people worship horses, but because there aren’t a lot of resources in their area, they resort to dried horse jerky and goat meat for protein. They will also eat stallion heart. A few fruits such as watermelons, pomegranates, and Myrish oranges accompany these meals.

Vector illustration of small restaurant

Restaurant Design For A Small Space

When you have limited space to work with, designing a restaurant can be difficult. You run the risk of workers running into each other or customers sharing a tight space. Making the most out of your space requires a bit of critical thinking, but there are several restaurant design strategies you can implement.

The Kitchen

Let’s start with the kitchen. There’s always the temptation to make your kitchen nice and spacious seeing as how it’s the bread and butter of your eatery. But the more room you leave for your kitchen, the less there will be for customers, which means a cut in profits. Make sure to maximize the space in your kitchen. You can achieve this by using cabinet space wisely and adding shelving or racks to walls. You can also assign a workspace to each employee so that you limit internal motion.

Comfortable Entryway

Depending on the demand of your restaurant, people may line up to get in. Which can be a great thing if you have the space to accommodate. But since we’re discussing small restaurants today, focusing on having a comfortable entryway can dictate how long a customer will be willing to wait for a table. Don’t include bigger furniture, as this will take up too much room and force crowds to cramp in even tighter. Adding some seating outside of your entrance can be a benefit as well. Another option is offering customers a chance to hang out at the bar until a table is ready; That way, they will be entertained, have a drink or two (which is more profit for you), and be inclined to wanna stay. It’s a win-win-win!

Walking Space

You also want to consider the room your customers will have to walk around. Generally, you want to have enough space so that two people can stand shoulder to shoulder, leaving enough room for someone to walk through. As for your staff, you want to leave about two and a half feet between objects. This leaves enough room for both directions. Don’t forget to factor in your chairs; They will be pushed out when people are sitting down, limiting the space. This won’t make or break your floorplan, but it’s important to consider.

Aesthetic Spacing

If you’re working with a small space, giving the appearance of a bigger restaurant will work to your benefit. But how can you do that? By simply avoiding larger furniture, it will allow a bit more breathing room for your customers. Having a spot with windows helps with the scale as well. This requires a bit of trial and error, so experiment a little. You’ll be surprised by the results you can achieve!

Stylish modern restaurant

Restaurant Interior Design Tips

Restaurant Interior Design can be fun. It can also be tricky. You have to be appealing to a critical and hungry public while keeping your brand identity consistent. When deciding how to handle the interior of your restaurant, here are some tips to keep in mind:

Picking A Theme

Wine restaurant with white chairs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Picking a theme for your restaurant can be a challenge. It can be a lengthy process and will require a proper analysis of your specific wants and business needs. What kind of cuisine do you want to specialize in? What location are you scouting? You want it to convey your distinctive sense of style while appealing to your target demographic. Keeping it relevant to your personal interests will not only be a great motivator, but will also allow that unique, personal touch that only you are capable of.

Focus on Target Demographic

Friends enjoying dinner at restaurant

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This should be one of the first things you think about when it comes to your restaurant. Who are you trying to appeal to? What is their age group? Where are they most likely to spend time? Having this knowledge will help you make aesthetic adjustments accordingly. It can be as simple as a change in your lighting fixtures that can capture the generational mood of each table.

Immediate Enticement

Front of restaurant

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Try to think back to the last nice restaurant you walked into; What was great about it? Was it the atmosphere? The menu options? Or maybe it resonated with you so well simply because it had a nice entrance? You want to be able to immediately entice your customers, and having a unique entrance can grab someone’s attention quickly. You only get one chance at a great first impression, so take advantage of that by spicing things up.

Proper Decor And Art

Japanese restaurant with decor and art

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Depending on the theme you’ve chosen, you will want to outfit your eatery in a suitable manner. Hypothetically speaking, if your restaurant serves Japanese food, it would be wise to research the culture and gain insight into what would work well. For example, the Tanuki has been significant in Japanese folklore since ancient times. You could maybe have some Tanuki statues spread out throughout the restaurant. And perhaps you can hang up some Kakemono (which literally translates to “hanging thing”) scrolls that display artwork and calligraphy. It’s the little things that will stand out the most.

Color Scheme

European restaurant with bright color scheme

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Consistency is key, and your restaurant’s color scheme is no exception. You can either dived your colors in different portions of the place, or stick to one unified scheme all over. Color works in tandem with your furniture and lighting to create a specific mood. Vibrant hues would work well in a pub, while a family establishment may look better with a pastel palette. Remember; make sure it properly reflects your theme and your target audience.

The Kitchen

Open kitchen in modern restaurant

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The one thing you may not think about when planning your restaurant interior design is your actual kitchen. Open kitchens are big these days, and by providing a glimpse into the daily duties of the staff and their cooking process, you’re allowing for a much more personal and relatable experience. I know I enjoy watching the magic happen. Or you can keep it simple and install glass doors or a service window.

Plate with fork, knife, and rose

Valentine’s Day Marketing Tips

Valentine’s Day can be a special day. It can also bring on unnecessary stress. Everyone wants to make this day special, and the pressure of finding the perfect way, or place, to spend the evening can be a little tricky. It’s estimated that an average of $143 is spent on dinner during Valentine’s Day, with a total of $19 billion being spent. With these statistics, it’s easy to see why it’s one of the biggest days in the restaurant industry. It can certainly be difficult to stand out amongst the competition, but here are some ways you can attract couples this Valentine’s Day!

Offer Early Reservation Specials

Reserving the perfect time can be tricky. Offering early reservation specials can be a great way to relieve stress and entice customers. For example, you can offer one free drink or dessert if a customer books their reservation prior to a date you set. And this will give you a decent headcount to work off of. A win-win!

Valentine’s Day Menu

Because there will be an abundance of meal orders being placed, you may want to simplify your menu for the sake of your customers and your chef. Keeping the menu at a fixed promotional price may also entice more couples to come and stay. Crafting Valentine’s themed dishes and drinks is a fun way to spice things up. For example, you could create heart-shaped deserts or offer fine crystal champagne flutes. Offering pairing suggestions to your guests encourages additional wine and beverage purchases as well.

All About The Little Things

As a society, we tend to gravitate towards the little things; Positive actions, compliments, the last cookie from the cookie jar. And you can help personalize your customer’s experience with little things of your own! Flowers, name cards, and even proposal packages can turn an evening from special into…even more special! Asking guests about personal preferences during the booking process can help you greatly. This makes the process a bit more simple and allows for a much more enhanced dining experience.

Social Media Promotion

Time to get the word out! Giving a glimpse into your Valentine’s Day experience will show diners what to expect and drum up some excitement. Give a behind-the-scenes look at the menu, drinks, and flowers. Use plenty of red coloration and warmth, showcasing your restaurant as the place to be this Valentine’s Day! And remember; angles are everything.

Drone delivering pizza

Food Delivery By Drones?

We live in the age of technology and progression. And with that comes exciting new advancements in various industries, including Foodservice.

I’m sure you’re aware of what flying drones are. They’ve really taken over…in drones.

Picture this; You just walked into your house upon completing your brutal 9-5 + 1.5-hour commute. It was especially rough today because Karen from billing accidentally left out a 0 while importing your sales order, and someone ate your leftover meatloaf that you CLEARLY labeled with your name. You drop your keys on the floor and walk towards the kitchen. You open the fridge and freezer, and then it hits you like a freight train; You forgot to defrost the chicken. And you can practically play hockey with that ground beef. You’re starving at this point, and you’ve already eaten enough Lean Cuisine meals to kill a horse. So naturally, you’re left with one reasonable option…

…have you not figured it out yet? It’s take-out. Delivery. Direct to your door. The good grub.

Well, sure. You COULD go out and get something, but you’re already tired. And if you already had prior knowledge of this, you would have picked food up on the way home. So it’s time to pick up that laptop, tablet, or phone and get orderin’.

But you’re not alone. Not by a long shot. In 2015, reports showed that an estimated 2.5 Million online food orders were placed daily.

Let that soak in for a second.

2.5 Million.

That’s a whole lotta chow, and that’s not counting call-ins to those restaurants. And we’re willing to bet that number has at least doubled since then. With the convenience of mobile food ordering, it’s hard to resist the urge. Restaurateurs have quickly taken notice to the growing trend, and have tailored their delivery services accordingly.

So, what does this have to do with drones?

Due to the increasingly high food delivery demands restaurant owners face, they need all the help they can get. And since drones are designed to cover wide distances at relatively fast speeds, this seems like a logical choice for delivery purposes. In fact, big faces in business such as Uber are already working on food-delivery programs involving drones. WE HAVE THE TECHNOLOGY.

Let’s weight the pros and cons of drone delivery:

The Pros of Drone Delivery

  • Customers want their food yesterday. Offering a drone delivery service that gets this done in a speedy fashion will boost customer satisfaction and overall efficiency.
  • You won’t need to spend thousands on your marketing. The drones will speak for themselves. Everyone will view you as a progressive and advanced company.
  • Considering that a majority of food deliveries aren’t huge to begin with, this will not significantly impact your drone’s carrying ability. You also won’t have to worry nearly as much about resources when traveling to a customer’s location.
  • There will be less of a need for drivers, reducing your cost and freeing up employees to handle other important tasks. Keeping your restaurant running smoothly is always priority, and with the addition of drone delivery, it will be much simpler.

Similar to everything in life, there are its cons:

The Cons of Drone Delivery

  • Drones come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. For the most part, however, they can be relatively pricey. And seeing as how you need the drone to support heavier weight, a larger model may be needed.
  • Bigger companies have the necessary resources readily available to test out the drone’s stability, weight limitations, and distance coverage. Smaller businesses may not be able to swing this as easily.
  • Since this technology is relatively new, usage and regulations are still being developed. Any laws that apply to the flying of drones must be carefully observed. A good deal of research prior to the purchase of one would be beneficial.
  • Minor and major malfunctions can easily create a hassle on something so new and advanced. Technical problems can result in costly repairs and downtime.

It’s clear that we’re headed towards fully integrated drone delivery services. What now seems like a dream will soon become a reality and a normal business practice. Experimenting with drone technology now can help you plan for a new type of customer service experience.

Foodservice Trends 2019 Featured Image

Foodservice Trends For 2019

With a new year on the horizon, we are excited to see the changes in the Foodservice industry. Here are some foodservice trends being speculated for 2019:

Levantine Cuisine

Israeli cuisine has gained more eyes (and stomachs) in the past couple of years. This has led to flavor experimentation from Israel’s neighboring countries. Syria, Turkey, and Lebanon influence can be found in an abundance in independent eateries. Ingredients including schmaltz and urfa and sauces such as labneh and tahini are being used in new, innovative ways.

Natural Enhancements

“Functional food” is already a trend, but in the new year, there will be greater expansion. Natural enhancements to help with bodily functions will become commonplace to those who request it. This may include using ingredients such as collagen and cannabis to enhance brain function, beauty, and mental health.

Sensory In Social Media

Sites like Instagram and Facebook have changed the way the food industry shares its work. Tailoring content specifically for social media has become necessary in today’s technology-based society. And with the integration of custom stories and live video, this tech trend has reached a new level. Curating quality video content is key to staying relevant and being successful. In 2019, videos will include visual effects like color-changing cocktails and candy-popping audio enhancements. Menus will also most likely be adapting to this change in some fashion.

Going Green(er)

Plant-based dining has always been a thing, but it’s not just about staying away from meat; It encourages a “greener” approach to life. For example, a recent green initiative has restaurants banning plastic straws in an effort to eliminate waste. In addition, compostable food packaging is now a priority to foodservice operators. This eco-friendly push continues through third-party industry policies banning meat consumption and encouraging employees not to eat it when going out.

True Transparency

Having complete transparency is vital in business (and in life), but do you really receive complete transparency from a business? The foodservice consumer of tomorrow will expect brands to be 100% transparent with not only pricing, corporate ongoings, and workplace ethics, but also with their stance on environmental causes and the welfare of animals. We are especially happy with this one. I think we all deserve the truth.