There's a huge amount of chef speak in the catering world - from "the Rash" to "the Robo", everyone uses slang or abbreviations to describe parts of the kitchen or processes - but have you ever heard of "premiumised informality"?
Premiumised informality is a relatively recent term that has been around the catering world for a couple of years now. The main concept about it is that habits of diners may slowly be changing and that more informal, casual dining is becoming much more popular, whilst still expecting fine-dining style service and food quality.
That doesn't mean people are turning away from fine dining - quite the opposite, as high quality food and service is still immensely popular. However, as people's finances are being squeezed and disposable income is becoming more pressured, that doesn't mean they don't want premium restaurant quality food. In some circumstances, customers are expecting fine dining dishes in a more informal, dress-code free setting - hence the term, "premiumised informality".
Pub food has always been incredibly popular and traditional dishes such as sausage & mash are being replaced with more premium options, such as hand made rare breed pork sausages and organic sweet potato and herb mash. There are plenty of ways to introduce a little premiumised informality to your business, both in terms of your front and back of house. For front of house, simple changes such as premium natural slate trays or high quality 18/10 cutlery can help to add value to your dishes. It's certainly worth considering what options you have in your front of house - sometimes simply adding a spruce of colour on your tablecloths or providing new uniform to your waiting staff can make all the difference.
Remember that the quality of the food is essential, so for back of house there's some really easy ways to preserve food and retain its quality and taste for longer. For example, using a countertop Polar Blast Chiller or a Professional Vacuum Packing machine not only helps to hygienically store food for longer, but also allows other interesting cooking methods such as sous vide. Also currently trending in food are crepes and pancakes. Adding a high quality Apuro crepe maker provides a high margin and highly versatile addition to your kitchen..
There will always be exceptions to the above. Some customers will be perfectly happy to eat their gourmet burger from a standard foam burger box, whilst others will only have their hand made poached pear brioche with creme Anglaise when it's served on the finest of Australian fine china in the most sophisticated of settings.
In summary, it's important to remember that diners expectations are changing over time and that with recent trends as they are, premiumised informality looks to be here to stay for a short while at least. Whether you run a Michelin star restaurant or a street food stall, the Nisbets range of commercial catering equipment is certain to contain products that will compliment your menu.
By David Evans
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