Fish story

The numbers tell the tale: Americans are eating more seafood.

The most recent stats total 16.6 pounds per capita, according to the National Marine Fisheries Service. And about 60 percent of that eating is taking place in restaurants. Although the seafood supply has held steady, the industry is struggling to keep up with demand, especially if that supply is mismanaged.

"Sustainability and safety of the supply are the top two challenges," says Henry Lovejoy, president of Eco-Fish, a seafood wholesaler. Price is the third.

"Seafood is the last hunter-gatherer food system," he adds. "Since harvesting is closely tied to the lifestyle of the fisherman, the product is more prone to price fluctuations." Right now, fuel prices have jacked up the cost of doing business and fishing fleets have to pass on those increases. With customer expectations and prices both running high, restaurateurs have to juggle several variables to make smart buying decisions.

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salad

We’re currently piloting a Salad Bar Happy Hour 
in Cafe 16. Due to Health Department regulations, any self-serve salad bar items must be disposed of after service. The salad bar goes “on sale” for 25 cents an ounce post-lunchtime to help reduce waste as well as offer value to customers.

Menu Development
sauces

Adding an entirely new cuisine to the menu can feel daunting. But what if you could dabble in international flavors simply by introducing a few new condiments? For inspiration, FSD talked to operators who are offering a range of condiments plucked from global regional cuisines.

“Most ethnic cuisines have some sort of sauce or condiment relishes that go with their dishes,” says Roy Sullivan, executive chef with Nutrition & Food Services at UCSF Medical Center in San Francisco. Condiments offered to diners at UCSF Medical include chimichurri (Argentina), curry (India), tzatziki (...

Ideas and Innovation
turnip juice brine

Give leftover brine new life by adding it to vegetables. In an interview with Food52, Stuart Brioza, chef and owner of State Bird Provisions in San Francisco, says that he adds a splash of leftover brine while sauteeing mushrooms to increase their flavor profile. “We like to ferment turnips at the restaurant, and it’s a great way to use that brine—though dill pickle brine would work just as well,” he says.

Menu Development
side dishes

Operators looking to increase sales of side dishes may want to focus on freshness and value. Here’s what attributes consumers say are important when picking sides.

Fresh - 73% Offered at a fair price - 72% Satisfies a craving - 64% Premium ingredients - 56% Natural ingredients - 49% Signature side - 47% Something familiar - 46% Housemade/made from scratch - 44% Something new/unique - 42% Large portion size - 42% Healthfulness - 40% Family-size - 40%

Source: Technomic’s 2017 Starters, Small Plates and Sides Consumer Trend Report , powered by Ignite

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