2010 July: Simple Ideas

Summertime Secrets

It’s summer, and chances are there’s a local farmer’s market going on somewhere nearby. Take the opportunity to buy local and fresh. Items such as juicy beefsteak tomatoes and melons or fresh basil and oregano plants make great additions in your kitchen. The key here is to advertise that you’re buying local. If possible, use the name of the local farm in marketing and advertising. Taking advantage of local summer offerings is a win-win for all.

So Salty

As a pizzeria operator, you’ve got a variety of spices on hand. Today’s manufacturers, however, are creating blends that take simple ingredients like salt beyond the ordinary. Sure, you can add a dash of this ho-hum mineral to dishes, but why not consider artisan salts such as black lava salt (a sea salt blended with activated charcoal) or pink Himalayan salt (a marine fossil salt). While you won’t be able to use these pricy ingredients in every dish, adding a dash or two –– and advertising it on your item’s menu description ––– lends an upscale fl air to an otherwise traditional dish.

Take a Seat

If you’ve got dine-in seating, you need to be cognizant of your seating choices. Got a heavy senior-clientele? Consider chairs with armrests on castors. Lots of families? You’re going to need chairs with easily cleanable surfaces, such as vinyl. Keep several spares on hand. Chairs wear out easily and an uncomfortable seat makes for an uncomfortable customer.

Trial and Error

When it comes to formulating your dough, getting it just right takes more than a little luck. As our Dough Doctor, Tom Lehmann, points out, science and trial and error work hand-in-hand to get it just right. Does the protein content have an effect on a finished crust’s flavor? Lehmann says yes, but it takes a significant difference to change the flavor, such as going from a 10-percent protein fl our to a 14-percent protein fl our. The differences of going from a 12-percent protein fl our to a 14-percent protein fl our are insignificant, he notes. Keep trying different fl ours until you get exactly what you’re looking for.