Foodservice Equipment & Supplies

OCT 2018

Foodservice Equipment & Supplies magazines is an industry resource connecting foodservice operators, equipment and supplies manufacturers and dealers, and facility design consultants.

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"small plates" has been a factor, too, as restaurants turn to smaller trays to add visual interest to these lighter portions. In other words, wherever large crowds of people gather to socialize and share, and where space is at a premium … trays to the rescue! Restaurateurs and chefs everywhere have fallen in love with the tray as an unbeatable presentation option for specials and signature dishes, and also to rejuvenate their standard menu items. How about a long, skinny omelet? Roasted asparagus spears are a natural. How versatile can you get? There's really no end to the unique plating options. The possibilities are almost as endless as the colors, shapes, textures, and patterns available. There's also a lesser-known insider secret about trays: they can increase ticket averages. The creative presentations they inspire can result in a dish that uses less food but bumps up the margin. Chefs can take the same ingredients from a signature dish, artfully arrange them on a tray, and end up with an appealing, satisfying meal that increases average order value. Is it any wonder that trays are popping up everywhere? For more information on trays: 800-452-4462, www.hlcdinnerware.com. by Katie Bricker, foodservice and general marketing manager for HLC Homer Laughlin sponsored content There's really no end to the unique plating options. Trays Trending: Like a Plate, Only More Versatile I was enjoying a soup-and-salad combo at a favorite lunch spot recently, and it was served on a tray. A beautiful bowl of soup was placed on the tray, and the crisp salad was nestled around it. It reminded me how versatile trays have become in today's foodservice world. They truly have come a long way. For decades, trays were reliable performers for appetizers, family-style service, and old-school restaurants where each side dish was a la carte. They still serve those purposes exceedingly well. But a new breed of chef has seized on other capabilities of these tabletop stalwarts, making them hip in the process. The key? Trays can go where a round plate can't. Think of the narrow bar top, a diner counter, two-top, or a long table—trays and narrow platters fit everything. Where a plate might overhang or overstuff a crowded tabletop, trays are the perfect fit. Smart chefs are presenting entrées, salads, desserts, coffee service, and more on space-saving trays. Trays and platters become signature serving ware, fueling their creative license. The popularity of "shareables"—appetizers served on trays for the whole table to share—has also contributed to the wider use of trays. The rise of OCTOBER 2018 • SPONSORED CONTENT • 17

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