F&B Article :- Decking the Halls: How Restaurant Interiors Make an Impact

Licensed by Creative Commons

Licensed by Creative Commons

Have you gone into a restaurant and felt whats going on here. The place looks cluttered. There is display everywhere. Some of the displays don’t even suit the theme of the restaurant. You feel claustrophobic sitting there.The display items looks dirty and dusty. There is so much things that the staff don’t have the time to clean it. If you look at popular restaurants around the world, you will see their design to be simple but elegant. Even those restaurants after their makeover on Restaurant Impossible or Restaurant Makeover look simple and also elegant.
Here is an interesting article on the impact of a beautiful presented restaurant to yor business. Below is an excerpt from the article , if you want to know more just click on the link.



Decking the Halls: How Restaurant Interiors Make an Impact

Atmosphere and Vibe

Starting with the most obvious, interiors make the restaurant’s overall ambience. Anyone who has ever enjoyed dining at a restaurant knows that apart from the food, you also pay for space and the overall experience you have of dining there. That said, interiors set up the atmosphere that makes customers feel at home, relaxed and more able to enjoy their meal. Ranging from the color schemes, to the decors and the lighting, it complements the diner’s meal. And a happy customer will always come back.

To read more please click here Decking the Halls: How Restaurant Interiors Make an Impact


Restaurant Promotion Idea #22 – Mother’s Day Specials

Ideas for the Special Lady in our Life

MumMother’s Day is just a few weeks away. It is one of the most popular occasion of the year to dine out and celebrate according to the National Restaurant Association in America. This year its celebrated on the 11th May 2014. Most family restaurants will be planning special buffets or hi tea for that Special Lady in Our Life. Mother’s Day like Valentine’s Day and Christmas offers you an opportunity to come out with special promotions thus increasing revenue.

VIM- Very Important Mummy
For that day give every mother that dines in your place “Special VIP Treatment”. Your can give out special garlands with a large shell at the bottom with the words printed in bold “VIM – Very Important Mummy“. Give them complimentary beverages, meal on FOC, have a photo taken and put it in a nice frame.

Try Something Different
If your restaurant is located by the beach or a park. Create special picnic baskets for families to purchase to have a family picnic. Get a nice picnic basket, a mat, a nice umbrella and maybe a foldable chair for Mum. Collect a deposit for these items and when the guest returns all the items, give them back the deposit. Prepare some gourmet type finger food, add a bottle of wine. Your tag line could be “The most important gift that you can give your MUM is your time, spend it by the beach or in X park with our special Mother’s Day Picnic Basket

Give out Gifts
Along with whatever you are offering for this special day, add a gift to draw the customers in. Choose something unique. It don’t only need to be a food or beverage related. You can work with the local photo studio and give out family portraits. They can bring their equipment to your restaurant and set up a mini studio there. Nowadays there is softwares that can even put scenery in your family portraits without much hassle. But make sure your logo is in the picture too. A “Very Important Mum” fridge magnet is also a good idea. Cause your logo will be on the fridge for everyone to see. You can also give out free Spa Vouchers for mums.

Take Care of the Kids
During your mother’s day event. Have a corner for the little ones This is so mum can have her meal with ease without worrying about the kids and eat peacefully. Create a corner for which is fenced up with activities to keep the kids occupied while mum dines. Hire a clown, magician, have some kids games. Even have a mini buffet for the kids to eat. Engage a few staff to take care of the kids. This will give mum a much needed break.

No matter what your Restaurant Promotion Ideas  is, do something that will be fun and memorable for families. This will then get you loyal customers.

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5 Ways to Plate your Food like the Masters

How to put the wow in simple food.

An old friend of mine called me the other day. This individual was opening a restaurant. A restaurant with Malaysian Eurasian cuisine. Something his mom or grandmon used to cook at home when he was a kid. Much like most home cooked dishes, mothers were only concerned about the taste. Not too much into presentation. He recently got a good cook in terms of flavor but bad on presentation. So he asked me to help him to plate some of his dishes to make it visually appetizing. As the saying goes “People eat with their eyes first“.

In my Restaurant Promotion Ideas #43 – Take Amazing Food Photos and Share It, I mentioned that visually scrumptious looking photos get resend and retweeted over and over again. Therefore most restaurant site suggest you promote your food through pictures through the social media like Pinterest or Tweeter. According to a report by Pinning Down the Impact of Pinterest. “Food related content was the most overwhelmingly popular content that consumers interacted with on Pinterest – 57% of consumers interacted with food related content according to our Online Shopper Intelligence survey.”

You don’t have to be a trained chef to learn the basics of plating. Plating is the art of presenting food in an attractive way.


1. Decide what plate you want to use.

imageThe size of your plate should match the portion of your food. A large plate and small food portion could make your food look small and not worth the price. A small plate and large portions, can make the dish look clusteted. Even the colour of the plate plays a significant role. All my Chefs hate coloured plates, it is so difficult to match the food to a coloured plate. Thats why white  plates are the best. Also choose plates that are not difficult for your service personal to carry. I have seen restaurants use plates that is so hard to carry or grip. Especially when the plate is hot. So much so the service personnel can only carry one plate at a time. So its a waste of resources.


2. Play with color and texture.

imageAs stated above, chefs prefer white dishes plates. With white plates they will play around with colours. My former manager one of my mentors in the restaurant industry. Mentioned that even for buffets you need to consider the colour of the food. If you put many of the same colour dishes on the buffet,  it is going to be boring and plain. Same goes with your dishes. Choose colourful foodstuffs to place but never make use of artificial colouring. Plan ahead before you start plating. A case in point is grilled fish, mashed potatoes and sauteed couliflower. All looking white and pale. You can include some baby carrots to the cauliflower or add an edible flower on the fish. Also a bowl of oatmeal will looking yummy, in the event that you chopped diced fruits. A word of advice. Make sure the presentation is not too elaborate that it might slow down your kitchen crew.

Dessert.jpg3.Add some height

This method I learnt in a little resort in Koh Samui, My chef loved to stack his food. It looked really nice and unique. My former chefs always did the usual flat food. This stacked up food was a new concept. It gave a whole new design. What he did was put some sauteed green vegetable at the bottom, a beautifully seared fish on top. Topped with a half a parsley potato. A word of advise take also into consideration how the service personnel. How are the going to transport the food to the table. Can it topple over. We found it the hard way in Koh Samui. One of the dessert on the ala carte was a banana pancake dessert. He stack one on top of each other slices of fresh banana and pancakes. About three stacks and topped with a scoop of ice cream. So the waiter had to walk pretty steady, so as not to topple the dish. Eventually we removed it from the menu.




4. Have your own set of tools.

imageThese days you will find various tools in the kitchen other than knifes.
You will discover squeeze-bottles for gravies, a wooden spoon intended for smearing some sauce on the plate and even a paintbrush. Yes a paintbrush. I have noticed chefs be decorating a plate with just a swish of a paintbrush. See what works for you. Do some experimentation. Just use your creativity.


5. Add some props to your plate.

imageYou don’t have to put all food on your plate. You can add some props to enhance and lift up the food. Some examples are little baskets to put your French Fries in, small clear bowls to put a small side salads. Later I saw some dishes on the net with test tubes and syringes filled with sauces. This gives a creative look. Do ask around. Your customers might not share the same creativity as you. Some might shudder at the sight of a syringe, it might give them the impression thats its unhygienic.

When looking for inspiration on how I want my food plated. I usually turn to Pinterest. My advise is experiment but also take inconsideration on your kitchen, can they plate the dish the same way and fast. Can the service staff carry it to the table without destroying it. Will the customers like the layout or find it difficult too much of a hassle to eat.


Restaurant Promotion Idea # 44 :- Simple St.Patrick’s Day Specials


Though our bar is not of an Irish theme or not situated in Ireland. Or the simple fact that St Patrick’s day is not widely recognized in Malaysia. Nonetheless we did a St. Patrick’s day promotion. Well we were taking after what Steve Jobs quoted. “A lot of times people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.”

A survey conducted by Prosper Insights and Analytics, 133 million people will celebrate the Irish holiday this year. 45 percent of 25-34 year olds will attend a party at a bar or restaurant; others will attend a private event. Source :- MONDAY WON’T STOP MILLIONS FROM CELEBRATING ST. PATRICK’S DAY THIS YEAR

Instead of doing the promotion on the 17th of March which is a Thursday. We did a one week affair starting on the 10th March. Below are some of the things that we organised for our simple St. Patrick’s day celebration.

The decoration will be straightforward as our bar is a pirate theme bar. We will just cover the entrance with Green Satin and hang Green Satin Scallops on the ceiling. At the entrance we will have a life size cutout of a leprechaun where customers can take out photographs. The staff will likewise be wearing green t-shirt during the promotion. For decoration ideas as with my various theme decoration searches, I always use Pinterest.


Irish Car Bomb

There is a lot of website of restaurants that I googled looking for restaurant ideas for St. Patrick’s Day. Especially cocktails or beverage ideas. As with my decoration searches I also use Pinterest. Most sites suggest Green Beer but thats hard to find in Malaysia. So I opt for cocktails. Below are two beverages that I will be selling.

IRISH BUCK COCKTAIL which is 30ml Irish Whiskey, 5 ml lime juice top up with ginger ale all served in a Collins glass.

Sort of the Irish version of the submarine. 3/4 pin glassof stout. In a shooter glass half John Jameson, half Irish cream.Drop in glass and drink like submarine cocktail.
Apart from that, I am also going to sell a bucket of four Guiness at a special price. And call it my “Four Leaf Clover Special

A party wouldn’t be a party without party games. So on the Saturday when the bar will be busy, we will play some party games. Here are what we have plan with an Irish Theme.
POT OF GOLD– We will wrap a fish bowl with gold satin to like a pot of gold. Cover the top with only an opening for a hand to go through. Buy some coloured plastic coins and a few gold coloured coins. Drop into the bowl. For every RM100 on a single bill entitle a lucky dip into our pot of gold. For every gold coin the customer will get a prize.
KISS THE LEPRECHAUN. We printed a life size cutout of leprechaun with rosy cheeks. Each guest will have a pair of cutout lips on ice sticks. What they have to do is to put the lips on the leprechaun’s cheeks. The catch is they will be holding the ice cream sticks with their mouth and will be blindfolded.
TOSS THE LEPREHAUN. This is the same idea as the mineral water toss on the game show “A Minute to Win It”. Within one minute to toss a little leprechaun doll standing up on the bar table.

St. Patrick’s Day is the perfect excuse to have a little fun with your customers!


Learning with Youtube – Stove Top Pizza

Pizza is a favourite food import to most people in Malaysia. Around major cities  you will discover large pizza franchise such as Pizza Hut and Domino’s. There are also many home grown pizza restaurants. At some of the local Night Markets, you will see people selling pizza cooked in a make shift oven. There is one such entrepenuer in Kuala Kangsar that have expanded his pizza business to a large food truck. A couple of years ago he only started with only a gas stove oven and a small foldable table. Of which will give you an idea of how popular pizza is in Malaysia..

The pizza statistic found in the 2015 Pizza Power Report revealed a Pizza Industry International Growth Rates of 2014 showed a 27% increase in Asia Pacific . Source: – The 2015 Pizza Power Report


Being a family resort, we wanted to expand our menu by adding pizza. For the in room dining option. But a pizza oven is quite expensive. And in case the pizza don’t catch on with our customers, then I  will be stuck with a pizza oven. Later a friend shared this video in Facebook. It was a video on how to make Stove Top Pizza. You didn’t need an oven. The directions were so easy. We tried it and now its in our menu. Watch this video below and give it a try


This idea will work well if you have a seasonal crowd and only want to sell pizza occasionally.

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