Increase Restaurant Profits – Add Bread Pairings to the Menu


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The hospitality industry, which often operates on razor-thin profit margins, is always looking for ways to cut costs and increase revenue. One area that has been looked at is the offering of complimentary bread with meals. The compromise has been to just roll the expense of the breadservice into the cost of the meal. However, at some point, a crossroads will arrive where this may no longer be advantageous to either the restaurant or its patrons.

Dinner Menu

Many patrons of fine dining establishments expect and want fresh-baked bread to start off their meals. ‘Breaking bread’ with friends and family while dining out is part of the entire experience. There are definite benefits to offering bread before a meal to both the customers and the restaurant, Having a basket of bread on the table helps stave off hunger pangs while giving the kitchen a proper amount of time to prepare the meals. But free bread isn’t really free, someone has to pay for it. How do many restaurants address this in a manner that satisfies their customers and, at the same time, actually has their breadservice become part of their revenue stream?

Pay For Bread Model

Jennifer Kaplan, instructor of food systems at the Culinary Institute of America in St. Helena, California, commented on this in an article entitled ‘What Happened to Free Bread?’ She reports, “Forty percent of all food waste comes from restaurants. Given that a typical restaurant produces 25,000-75,000 pounds of waste a year, which often amounts to inventory representing nearly one-third of its budget, chefs face real challenges when addressing this daunting issue. For this reason, restaurant owners are moving away from providing unrequested, complimentary bread baskets. The pay-for-bread model reduces waste, since attaching value to food makes people [less likely to discard it], and it also turns [bread baskets] into a revenue stream for the restaurant owner.”

Rosie Atkins, VP of Product for Homebase Restaurant Software, points out that, ‘Limiting free bread encourages guests to order appetizers, increasing the average check.” › Food & Drink

Other professionals in the hospitality industry agree, as shown by their simply adding an upgraded breadservice to the appetizer portion of the menu. What is meant by ‘upgrading’ the breadservice? It means to pair your bread with a specialty topping of your creation and include it as a ‘new’ item on the appetizer portion of your menu. Now it has become more than just basic bread, it has become a special moment in time.

Select fresh-baked artisan bread and pair it with unique toppings or dips. You might also  entice them with a golden pull-apart loaf filled with warm, soft cheese & herbs. How about a classic Swiss cheese fondue with grilled or toasted bread cubes? Your creativity is unlimited, and your appetizer menu will have them taking a second look!  

Creating New Bread Pairings As Appetizers

Kelsey’s Pizzeria, Titusville, FL, offers an interesting variety of bread pairings on their Appetizer Menu, as either a slice or as a basket. Slices start at $.99 and go up to $1.29 each.  Baskets of your favorite bread (8 slices) will range from $4.99 to $9.99 per basket.

Parkway Prime Steakhouse & Lounge at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Niagara Falls, New York, gets creative with a Hummus Board for $23, a Wild Mushroom Flatbread for $15, and Beef on Weck Flatbread for $16.  All are on the appetizer menu, and all are part of a healthy revenue stream.

How M.C. Bread Helps You Create a New Revenue Stream

We believe that true Chefs are, by nature, creative personalities. Their out-of-the-box thinking leads to food presentations that wow their customers, get return business, earn great reviews and…increase revenue. Partnering with them has been really exciting as we see how the chefs we work with pair our fresh-baked bread with their own creations.

Are you ready to add some new items to your appetizer menu? Let us help!  Free samples of most of our products are available upon request.

M.C. Bread Distributor Co. – That’s how we roll!
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