Meatless Mondays May Be Good for Restaurant Equipment Business

Monday, August 19th, 2013

Just a heads up to those in the foodservice industry: it might be time to prepare your restaurant equipment for Meatless Mondays.

“Really?” we hear you ask. “Didn’t Meatless Mondays go out with World War I?” Well, yes and no. During WWI, the U.S. Food Administration encouraged rationing of staple foods by promoting “Meatless Mondays” and “Wheatless Wednesdays.” Today, Meatless Monday plays something of a different role. The modern Meatless Monday was actually established in 2003 by Sid Lerner, an advertising agency executive, and is an international health campaign intent on improving the world’s eating habits one week at a time. The idea is that by cutting out meat from our diets once weekly, we can reduce our cholesterol levels, improve our heart health, and generally improve our physical well-being. It turns out that thousands of restaurants, schools, and companies have jumped on board this movement.

In many foodservice establishments, this has translated into an altered menu on Mondays, and it turns out the move may actually be good for business. Participation in Meatless Mondays allows restaurants to attract new customers, especially since, as Meatless Monday’s campaign director Peggy Neu says, it “plays into the vegetarian and ‘flexitarian’ trends.” It also allows restaurants to turn their attention to utilizing fresh, seasonal produce and local resources. But don’t worry: you don’t have to take all of your omnivorous entrées off of your restaurant equipment to participate in Meatless Monday. Add vegetarian dishes to your Monday specials and advertise your existing vegetarian dishes more prominently as well.

So go ahead, get your restaurant equipment and char broilers and cook up your favorite vegetarian recipes for your customers. You might find that it’s both good for you heart and good for business!

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Char Broilers Make Creative Vegetarian Dishes

Thursday, November 15th, 2012

Serving vegetarians doesn’t have to mean sacrificing flavor or creativity.  Char Broilers are an excellent way to get that open-flame taste without ever needing an outdoor grill.  There are many types of char broilers to choose from and by many popular brands like Bakers Pride, Vulcan, and Gen2.  Use char broilers to go for a unique approach to your vegetarian menu items, and you’ll end up with a bevy of foods that are both delicious and vegetarian-friendly.

Herbs and spices can boost the flavor of any vegetarian meal.  Baba ghanoush is a classic Levantine dish that features charbroiled, charred eggplant, which is then pulped and pureed, and with added spices becomes a wonderful spread for an appetizer.  Chargrilled corn-on-the-cob makes for an excellent addition to a Southern or Southwestern meal; add a dusting of Cajun seasoning or garlic powder to give it a unique kick.  Or, marinate a variety of charbroiled vegetables like zucchini, eggplants, leeks, and yellow pepper in a combination of olive oil, garlic, and basil, salt, pepper, and vinegar, and you’ll find that you have a vegetable medley that serves well as an antipasti plate or a complement to a main dish.

But don’t limit yourself to just side dishes.  When it comes to vegetarian dishes, there are so many types of veggie burger to be had in the vegetarian world these days.  Don’t limit yourself to hamburger-tasting soy or tofu substitutes.  The spicy black bean burger; Italian-inspired veggie burger with basil, tomato, and cheese; falafel burgers with tzatziki sauce; lemon-basil tofu burgers; and of course the staple portobello are all vegetarian substitutes which are not only tasty, but offer variety in a world that doesn’t necessarily always cater to vegetarians.

With char broilers you can get that made-on-the-backyard-grill flavor without leaving the kitchen.  Who knows?  You may find that even some die-hard carnivores fall for the deliciousness of a vegetarian dish.

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