As the foodservice and hospitality community get ready to bid adieu to cold weather dining, the days are getting longer. Before too long winter is going to give way to some warm weather. And with it, the launch of a new club season.
Tabletop providers are already working closely with their club customers to bring them the new trends that they have seen. Then share those ideas with the club managers’ community at local shows. Every year, clients look forward to shopping the showrooms in search of new tabletop looks. They are constantly on the lookout for new tabletop items to showcase to the clientele’s club season menus.
The club managers are excited for upcoming purchases at the show rooms. There are already a number of really nice things including a brushed stainless finish from Eastern Tabletop, and Steelite‘s latest collection. Haber is great for Spring/Summer with an exciting line of resin items that features a thick luxurious look and some really nice colors.
There is even more higher end melamine this season, which is great for its durability and weight. Every year, the melamine on the market improves dramatically. Tabletop providers are seeing more exciting drinkware and serving pieces. A key to recommending melamine is that it is much easier for staff to handle, for use on a buffet or for easily passing.
Our club chefs are among the most creative culinarians in the foodservice industry. So it’s important that we look to our chefs to get a sense of where they are taking menus going into a new season. Clubs are pushing to serve restaurant quality food in the style of restaurants. It’s suggested to use a separate china set for banquet with rimmed plates for banquet and coupe for “member dining”.
Many club managers are still trying to understand how to add plant based menu items. Plant based food items are everywhere from Burger King to white tablecloth restaurants. It is a big thing for its reduced carbon footprint. Some clubs are moving towards a smaller “protein” portion and more vegetables, with fruit as vegetables including breadfruit, jack fruit, and papaya as meat and carb replacements.
The warmer weather will also be marked by the return of club members to outdoor dining. Club clients always challenge themselves to create a fresh new look for poolside and outdoor dining. This year they are utilizing bento boxes. They are neat and have covers, and create the feel of a personal tray.
It’s interesting trying to balance a green and sustainable solution, which has put a simple item like a straw in the cross hairs. Some customers hate paper straws because they fall apart, but they are a necessary evil. The good news is that they are finally available with both wrapped and unwrapped options.
Nothing changes more radically every year than the cocktail members at clubs. Club manager clients continue to do an amazing job of listening and responding to the needs of their members. At the top of the list this year will be infused cocktails with both herbal and fruits. Look for bar managers at clubs to adapt aging in their own barrels. Also there are more custom and house made bitters and bacon infusions and garnishes. This club season, you will see wine based cocktails at clubs with the use of lavender and flowers as garnishes.