MENU TIPS

(Aug. 2) Need a few pricing rules of thumb? Barry Tepper of Tepper Kalmar Associates, Emeryville, Calif., gave these pricing tips at the workshop session “Menu Management and Design” at the National Restaurant Association Restaurant Hotel-Motel show in May in Chicago.

  • The highest-priced entrée should sell for about 2½ times the lowest-priced entrée.


  • Appetizers should sell for about 35% of the average entrée prices on a per person basis.


  • Desserts should sell for about 25% of the entrée prices on a per person basis. When you price desserts too high, customers share desserts and you miss the profits you could make if you priced them correctly.



LABOR-SAVER AVOCADOS

If you’ve hesitated to add avocados or guacamole to your menu for the hassle of getting consistent ripe fruit and the headaches of labor and wasted product, consider value-added avocados. You can buy diced avocado, avocado pulp and guacamole that have not been frozen with a shelf life of at least a month.

Three companies offer refrigerated product that uses Ultra High Pressure processing that inactivates micro-organisms and enzymes without the use of additives, chemicals or preservatives.

Avomex Inc., pioneered the processing technique and offers diced or chunky avocados, avocado pulp and three types of guacamole (original, spicy and chunky). Contact: Avomex Inc., 8500 Old Denton Road, Keller, TX 76248; phone: (817) 379-6619; Web: www.avoclassic.com.

Calavo Growers Inc. uses the same processing technology and offers chunky avocado pulp, pico de gallo guacamole (with avocado, tomato, onion, jalapeno, cilantro, salt and garlic) and caliente guacamole (like pico de gallo with serrano chilies). Contact: Calavo Growers Inc., 2530 Red Hill Ave., Santa Ana, CA 92705; phone: (949) 223-1111; Web: www.calavo.com.

Interfresh Inc., Fullerton, Calif., uses UHP processing for its AvoFresh! avocado pulp available in 2- and 4-pound bags. Contact your foodservice distributor.

SWEET ON CORN

Keep the ideas for sweet corn popping in your operation. There are plenty of things you can do with the popular vegetable.

The Fresh Supersweet Corn Council, Orlando, Fla., compiled ideas from chefs all over the country and offers these suggestions:

  • Coat ears of corn with a spice rub and grill to caramelize the sugars to add crunchiness.


  • Make a gratin for grilled ears with feta cheese.


  • Brush hot grilled ears with your own herbed goat cheese spread.


  • Grill ears wrapped in bacon and brushed with a favorite barbecue sauce.


  • Roll hot ears in butter and bacon bits or in a mixture of mayonnaise and spicy mustard.


  • Add fresh corn kernels to breakfast burritos, pancakes, cornbread or mashed potatoes.


  • Pulse corn kernels in a food processor with cornmeal, butter, egg and seasonings and press into a baking dish for a quiche crust.


  • Add the cobs to stocks, soups and chowders for extra flavor and discard the cobs before serving.


  • John Bubala, owner-chef of Thyme, Chicago, serves sea scallops with fresh corn ragout in a beurre blanc infused with flavors from the corncobs (pictured).



For corn recipes, visit www.freshsupersweetcorn.com.