Desserts: Filled with variety

Crêpe’s versatility makes for a customer-favorite sweet treat.

Published in FSD Update

Looking for a lucrative menu addition that thrives on variety? Consider crêpes, thin French pancakes that flourish with a range of fillings. Robert Landolphi, manager of culinary development at the University of Connecticut, in Storrs, offers nearly a dozen varieties, like Southwestern chicken, cordon bleu, Italian s’mores, and cinnamon, sugar and bananas. UConn offers crêpes for lunch, dinner, dessert and even snacks. “Crêpes are fun to eat, our customers rave about the selections and they’re very profitable,” Landolphi says.

Richard Curtis, director of food and nutrition at Thibodaux Regional Medical Center, in Louisiana, uses crêpes as a lighter option to keep with the hospital’s health and wellness initiatives. Curtis offers a variety of fruit and yogurt crêpes, sometimes for breakfast, alongside savory crêpes filled with items like crabmeat and shrimp. “Crêpes are easy to work with due to their size and texture,” Curtis says.

Crêpes are also simple to make. Mark Moser, nutritional services manager at UVA-HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital, in Charlottesville, Va., has come up with an all-purpose recipe that “can be used for everything from entrées to desserts, plus they’re pliable, stack well, don’t tear easily, can be cut very easily with a fork and hold up well for later same-day filling.” His secret: more egg makes the crêpe fuller bodied and pliable, rather than paper thin and rigid.

Prepping points

To keep up with demand and minimize wait time, Landolphi makes his crêpes in advance, filling and heating them to order. But some operators recommend using only fresh crêpes. “Crêpes are much like pasta: There are a thousand different ways to go and they’re best used the same day,” says Moser, who admittedly makes crêpes in advance for high-volume orders. “Certainly, crêpes can be made and even frozen, but I think there is too much lost in texture and taste.”

If you go the fresh route, batter consistency and temperature are paramount, Curtis says. “The range or griddle must be level, and the batter should be at room temperature.” Experiment until you find the sweet spot and train your staff well. When filling the crêpes, size is important. “Ingredients should be cut small; be careful not to overfill the crêpe or it will break,” Landolphi adds.

It can be tempting to set up self-service crêpe stations, but operators agree it’s not a great idea. “Due to the delicate nature of a crêpe, we prepare and serve crêpes to our guests ourselves,” Curtis says.

Similarly Landolphi’s staff handles all prep and cooking, filling crêpes to order in front of customers at an action station. “They love watching us fill the crêpes with fresh, local ingredients, fold them up into a pocket and drizzle or sprinkle different toppings over the top. It makes them feel like their personal French chef just prepared them a special treat.”

More From FoodService Director

Sponsored Content
vegetables with dip foodservice healthy menu

From Mrs. Dash Foodservice.

There was a time when healthy food meant counting calories, omitting carbs, giving up sugar and going fat-free—in other words, it was all about deprivation.

But not anymore. Today’s definition of healthy means an overall focus on nutrition and wellness that doesn’t mean giving up enjoyment. It’s all about balance: good fats, healthy carbs, better sweeteners, wholesome ingredients and satisfying flavor enhancements. It means food that customers can feel good about, at the same time that they’re enjoying the dining experience.

According to...

Industry News & Opinion

Aramark today announced a partnership with celebrity chef and TV personality Cat Cora that will put a new concept from the Top Chef star in Aramark’s North American business-and-industry accounts.

The new fast-casual concept, called Olilo by Cat Cora, promises a healthy, made-your-way menu, according to the global foodservice provider.

“By bringing together Chef Cora's award-winning brand and healthy cooking advocacy and Aramark's commitment to enriching and nourishing the lives of the thousands of consumers we serve every day, we have an opportunity to elevate the on-site...

Industry News & Opinion

Members of Congress and several advocacy groups gathered on Capitol Hill on Wednesday to highlight the potential loss of millions in state funding because of a Child Nutrition Reauthorization block grant introduced last month, and to call upon legislators to squash the bill.

The Improving Child Nutrition and Education Act of 2016 houses a statute that would provide three unannounced pilot states with block grant funding. Participating states would be exempt from federal nutrition regulations and would no longer qualify for the 6-cent reimbursement per lunch garnered by certified...

Managing Your Business
hands coins banks

While the most obvious effect of the 2015 egg shortage was, well, a shortage of eggs, operators had another menu change to explain to diners: a price hike for the few eggs they were able to source.

“Our customers know what prices are like in the neighborhood and we don’t want them to feel gouged,” says Kevin Dorr, vice president of retail for Morrison Healthcare. “Unlike a restaurant, the people coming to our cafes are there several times per week, so they’re very aware of price changes.” Morrison had to increase its breakfast prices correspondingly, but Dorr says customers took...

FSD Resources