Emerging Trends In The Restaurant Business

Emerging Trends And Adapting To Changes In Customer Behavior In The Restaurant Business

By: Matleena Autio

In the beginning of a new year we are often optimistic about the future. The new year brings a promise of a new start. Now that promise is present perhaps more concretely and with more anticipation than before. Emerging trends in the restaurant business are of interest in the exceptional conditions, as well.

I doubt that anyone of us could foresee a year ago, what 2020 would bring along. The past year was especially hard on the restaurant business, and many food services have been operating like they were tossed around by a storm. The amount of customers have been more difficult to predict than before. New ways of operations have been implemented in a fast pace.

But we have survived. In these exceptional circumstances we might have found new possibilities, which we would not have noticed, if the operations had been running as before. As the streams of customers have gone quite, there is also more time to focus on the efficient deployment of existing resources. And more time to polish your processes ready for the more busy times.

The Pandemic Shows In The Customers’ Consumer Behavior

A few weeks ago I heard from a food service professional, that even more than before consumers appreciate easiness and quickness when preparing food. When I think of my own consumer behavior during last year, I believe she was right in her opinion.

Many of us work remotely at home, and lunches in a down-town restaurant have become relatively rare. When you have to prepare the lunch in your own kitchen during the lunch break, speed and easiness are truly appreciated. Not to mention those situations, when your endlessly hungry youngsters crash with no previous warning into home school and to the fridge, whenever the covid situation it requires.

Online ordering and home deliveries have become more popular last year, and the use of food-delivery apps has more than doubled (MarketWatch). In Finland, according to a study by the Finnish Hospitality Association MaRa, 13 % of the consumers intend to use more restaurant home-delivery services compared to the time before the pandemic.

Kitchen Management System Helps In Adapting To New Ways Of Operation

Ordering restaurant meals at home requires different ways of operation from the restaurants compared to serving customers dining in the restaurant. The Food Code in the US, for example, requires certain information for packaged food, such as the Ingredient Statement. Some states also require dating the products with best before, expiration or sell-by -information. Bringing this information to the customers is easy with the JAMIX Kitchen Intelligence System.

As predicting the amounts of customers has become more challenging, it is reasonable to minimize wastage by planning the production of food batches as efficient as possible. With the unique Food Bank functionality in the JAMIX Kitchen Intelligence System you can easily manage food that has not been sold. You can bring it up in the system, for example, when planning the production for the next day. In addition, if you plan and execute the sales and wastage registrations appropriately, it is easy to separate donated food from food waste.

Emerging Trends – Environmental Friendliness And Safety

In the latest World Wide Restaurant Trends survey (by Kespro, the Finnish wholesaler in the foodservice business) environmental friendliness, as well as health and safety have been pointed out as the emerging trends in the restaurant business. A reliable kitchen management system is of utmost importance when you want to ensure food safety. With the JAMIX MENU service you can easily bring the restaurant’s offering for your customers to see. In the service you can easily share information on the allergens, nutritive data, or the CO2 values of the menu items.

CO2 calculation is most definitely one of those things, that will take big leaps in the near future. The consumers have been getting more interested in this subject for long. Bit by bit there starts to be data for the calculations available. Interesting observation in the field of CO2 calculation is for example compensating the nutritive density of food items in the carbon footprint. Another one is the environmental footprint, which takes also other environment straining factors, such as the usage of water and soil, into consideration in addition to the green house gasses.

Successful Brightening Of Your Day Requires The Filling Of Your Expectations

According to the Finnish restaurant trends survey eating out has become an everyday thing. The most important reason for dining out was ”brightening your day”. Even if during the pandemic we could have brightened our days with restaurant food only in a limited way, the trend doesn’t seem to be going away. A survey by the Finnish Hospitality Association MaRa points out that the quality of food has come back as the most important factor effecting the choice of restaurant.

The customers actively search for information on the restaurants, and they set their expectations based on the information they have found. Customer satisfaction requires filling the customers’ expectations. It is very important that the information on the restaurant is up-to-date and comprehensive enough. And above all easy to find. With a kitchen management system the information related to your menu items runs fluently and directly from production all the way through to your customers.

Change In The Ways Of Operation Brings Along New Possibilities

The pandemic has changed at least my world view and behavior a lot, and not only with regards flying or wearing a mask. The spring to come will probably bring along a lot of things we could not have expected. I’m sure there will be good things, too. Change is always a possibility – maybe to change your ways of operation even better than before.

Validia Housing Services uses JAMIX Kitchen Intelligence System

The Kitchen System Serves The Administration And The Kitchens In Validia

Validia provides housing and rehabilitation services for people needing help due to brain or spinal cord, or other injuries. Validia has been using the JAMIX Kitchen Intelligence System for managing their food services since 2016. Validia operates nationally in Finland, and it has 18 production kitchens and 6 service kitchens. Centralizing functions with the JAMIX System saves time in Validia, and thanks to shared recipes the food has consistent quality.


The System Serves Both The Administration And The Kitchens In The Daily Work

Validia uses the JAMIX System comprehensively, and it is in daily use both in the administration and in the kitchens. The administration plans the recipes and the menus, and the chefs in the kitchens can view them on their own screens. When the chefs register the sales data of prepared food into the system, the administration can monitor the information both as a whole, as well as kitchen specifically.

Validia’s kitchens use the JAMIX System also for orders, which they can send directly from the system to the suppliers. The service kitchens in their part make food orders to the production kitchens with the system. Information transfers easily in the cloud within the users, and it is always up-to-date. In addition to the previously mentioned functions, Validia uses the JAMIX MENU e menu service for publishing their menus directly from the system online for customers.


The System Saves Time And Thanks To It The Food Has Consistent Quality

”With the help of the JAMIX System we can centralize procurement, and all kitchens can use the shared recipes in the system. Centralizing functions saves time, and thanks to shared recipes the food has consistent quality and content in all kitchens.”, tells the Validia Food Services Manager Erja Ruuttila. ”We track sales with the JAMIX BI reporting tool, which helps us manage finances better. Without the JAMIX System we would not get any statistics. We also manage the billing related to internal food orders with JAMIX.”


Deployment One Area At A Time

Erja tells, that the deployment of the JAMIX System went well after the first hassle. ”The system is easy to deploy one area at a time. The field thought so, too. Of course new things are always difficult to some extent.”, Erja says.

In Validia the role of the system will grow along with new features deployed, and along with possible new sites.

Erja provides her tips to a new JAMIX customer: ”Plan the deployment well. Don’t deploy the whole system at once, but rather one area at a time.”


Support Services And Co-operation Work Well With JAMIX

Erja as the administrator of the system is happy with the support she has gotten from JAMIX: ”I have always gotten help at an excellent level. Some times I feel that I ask too much, but on the other hand I have never felt to have done so.” With regards training Erja prefers efficient remote trainings where you go through only one or a few issues at a time.

”All in all the co-operation with JAMIX has been seamless and good.”, Erja summarizes.

Food Donation - JAMIX Kitchen Intelligence System

A Kitchen System Helps You Manage and Monitor Food Donations

By Anna Skyttä

Reducing food waste is more topical than ever. There is a lot of information, tips and guides available. Reducing food waste interests both the consumers and the food industry, as well as the food service operators – which is great! Increasing knowledge about the meaning of reducing food waste promotes the concrete actions, as well.

In the USDA website you can find a lot of information on Food Loss and Waste, and how to fight it. Donating food is one good way for reducing food waste. USDA provides information on donating, as well.

Food That Can Be Donated Should Not Be Wasted

Preventive actions are the most important when we talk about reducing food waste. Data is a key element that supports preventive actions. With the JAMIX Kitchen Intelligence System you can monitor the amount of food waste based on facts. When you have accurate data in hands it is easy to set targets for reducing food waste. With the system you can follow how the targets are reached, as well.

Despite preventive actions you might still generate some food waste. Food that is suitable for donation should not be wasted. Less waste equals to savings in wastage costs and less strain on the environment. In addition, donating food provides valuable help to food charity customers.

Monitor The Amount Of Donated Food In Your Kitchen System

JAMIX Kitchen Intelligence System helps you manage donated food. You can register surplus food in the system with the unique Food Bank functionality. This way you will stay in control of the amount of prepared foods you have in the inventory. The Food Bank functionality also enables you to monitor the amount of food donated. When you register the actual food waste in the system, as well, you will stay up-to-date with the big picture, which helps you to plan the future more accurately.

Information On Food Easily Available For The Customers

You need to include information on the possible allergens in the donated food. In the JAMIX Kitchen Intelligence System information on the ingredients, allergens and nutrition facts is automatically up-to-date and easily available. You can even print food labels including that information directly from the system, and use them for the packed food that will be donated.

Do you want to learn more on the comprehensive JAMIX Kitchen Intelligence System?

Profitability Food Service Restaurant

Tips For Improving The Profitability Of Your Food Service Operation

By Anna Skyttä

Profitability is a precondition for operations and continuity regardless of the industry you are in. At a minimum, a profitable operation ensures that you can cover costs, and pay for your employees. Profitability that rises above the minimum level enables you to improve your operation through investments. Related to restaurant or food service operations, external factors influencing the profitability are often brought up. Such as the costs for the property, costs related to your employees, taxation, and competition, to name a few.

You cannot deny the influence of the external factors. Still there are many factors that are within the operator’s scope of influence. The right sized margin enables you to cover the necessary costs, and by minimizing waste you can make savings. And you shouldn’t have too much of ingredients lying in your inventory, as it ties up your capital. There are a lot of details related to all of these, which enable you to fine tune your profitability and make it better. And as we know, small streams have their own significance in the big picture.

Margin Calculation Forms The Base For Profitable Operations

menu online - JAMIX Kitchen Intelligence SystemThe margin is what is left in between the sales price and the costs. With the profitability in mind, you should always define a target level for the margin. Often the target margin is defined in percentage. Some times it might make more sense to define it in dollars.

You are often forced to set the sales price following the market situation or the competitors’ pricing. In order to reach your target margin the costs should not go over a certain price point. If the target margin cannot be reached with the current costs and you cannot raise the sales price, you need to find out if you can reduce the costs in some way. For example by changing some ingredient or supplier into another. If you are not forced to set the sales price into a certain level, you can calculate it based on your costs and the target margin. So depending on the type of operation or the competition, you can look at the margin calculation from different perspectives.

The margin calculation is basically quite simple mathematics. Simple can still become complex or at least challenging if there’s a lot of information to be managed in the background. A kitchen system will help you with this, as it calculates the costs and margins for recipes, portions or whole menus automatically and accurately. With the system it is also easy to experiment how different sales prices effect on the margin, or how different sized margins effect on the sales price.

Profitability Through Optimizing The Menu Items And The Portion Sizes

Serving JAMIX Kitchen Intelligence System

The food that is left uneaten on the customer’s plate ends up in waste. This waste equals to ingredients, that have been prepared for nothing and tossed away in the end. However, these ingredients have already created costs and weakened your margin. So the food waste coming from the customers’ plates eats up your profitability in addition to putting strain on the environment.

In order to reduce the food waste from the leftovers you should look into your menu items, as well as the portion sizes. Is there some part of the dish that is left uneaten more often than others? If it is left uneaten completely, you might consider replacing it with something else or leave it out altogether. If it is left uneaten partly, you might reduce the amount of it in the portion. In a service line operation the previously mentioned are similarly valid for reducing the waste from the service line, and partly for reducing the leftovers on the plates, as well. For reducing the leftovers on the plates in a service line setting, reminding the customers to ’take only what you can eat’ is important, as well.

When you have the recipes and the menu items in a kitchen system, it is easy to make changes to them. When you change the portion size, the system automatically calculates the ingredients, the costs and the margins according to the new portion size. If you want to experiment a menu item or a recipe with a modified content, you can copy the original one as a base for the new version. This makes it easy to create a new version, and the original will still be available in the system, as well.

Sales Forecast To Promote Profitability

Menu Items JAMIX Kitchen Intelligence SystemWhen you are able to forecast sales as close as possible to the actual sales, you won’t be ordering too much of ingredients or preparing too much of food. The first mentioned will help you to reduce wastage in the inventory, and the latter wastage from the leftovers. Sales data from the past is often useful when forecasting future sales. When you have that data in your kitchen system, you can easily utilize it for planning. In the JAMIX Kitchen Intelligence System you can easily utilize sales data from the past directly as the production quantities on the upcoming menu.

Despite precise and accurate forecasts, every now and then you experience situations, where the previously made plans are not valid anymore. With regards profitability, especially a need to downsize your forecast might lead to excessive amounts of ingredients ordered or excessive amounts of food prepared. In the JAMIX System you can easily make changes to the portion amounts even at the last minute. The system will automatically calculate the need for ingredients according to the new portion amount. If you made the changes before ordering ingredients, you will be able to order the right amount of them. If the need for changes turns up just before production, you can easily adjust the production quantities with the system.

Drive Profitability By Taking Control Of Your Food Inventory

Food Inventory JAMIX Kitchen Intelligence SystemWhen you are able to keep the quantity of the food items in the inventory at a level corresponding to the need, excessive capital won’t be tied up in the inventory. You could utilize that capital for something that develops your business. When the inventory balance is at an appropriate level you shouldn’t be experiencing problems coming from outdated items. JAMIX Kitchen Intelligence System automatically calculates the need for ingredients based on the portion sizes and the portion quantities on you menu. You can use the shopping list directly as a base for you orders in the system. This makes it easy to order ingredients just according to your need.

The system helps you to stay up-to-date with the food items you have in the inventory. When you register deliveries, as well as withdrawals in the system, you will have the real-time inventory balance right on your screen. If you have several storage locations, the benefit of the system is emphasized even more. In addition to registering withdrawals related to production, it is important to register the wastage that originates in the inventory. Waste can be generated for many different reasons. When you register those reasons in the system, it is easier to get a grip of the big picture. Monitoring waste coming from the inventory enables you to set targets for reducing wastage. And less wastage drives you to better profitability.

A Kitchen System Increases Efficiency Which Leads To Improved Profitability

JAMIX Kitchen Intelligence System

A kitchen system is a great tool for managing the previously mentioned things, which already improve profitability as such. Utilizing systems and technology comprehensively in the kitchen operations increases efficiency. In addition to the earlier mentioned costs related to ingredients and wastage, technology brings savings related to your staff. With the help of a system, you can perform many tasks in the kitchen simply faster, and partly even automatically. This reduces the need for staff related to those tasks. The system also reduces the amount of possible human errors. This in its part enables your operation to run more fluently.

In the labor intensive food service industry you should utilize the possibilities of technology to the fullest. In the kitchen there are still a lot of things to do, which the systems or the equipment cannot handle. If you are able to delegate part of your work to technology, you will have more time for the tasks which it cannot do for you … as decide, which means you want to implement in your restaurant in order to improve the profitability.

restaurant inventory management

How To Manage The Restaurant Inventory Efficiently

By Anna Skyttä

”Recipe and ingredient databases establish the foundation for efficient kitchen management”. This is a quote from Certified Master Chef Ron DeSantis, from one of his newsletters. Once that foundation is in place, the kitchen needs to have the actual ingredients on hand in order to cook food according to the recipes. And in more detail, for you to be able to cook the needed amount of food at the time expected, the right amount of ingredients needs to be on hand at the right time. Seems obvious at this point: The ingredients and the solution accordingly can be found in the restaurant inventory. Might sound simple. You just need to order the ingredients needed at the right time. Could it be so simple?

Ordering Ingredients Requires Work On The Background

The answer to the previous question is basically yes. On the other hand, you could say that in a restaurant kitchen ordering ingredients already for one recipe requires work on the background. And the work required grows along with the amount of menu options to be prepared. First of all, you need to know what to order and how much. The planned quantity of portions along with the recipes effect on that. Secondly, before making the order it would be good to know what ingredients you already have in the food inventory and how much there is. In addition to these you need to take the supplier specific delivery times for different ingredients into consideration. And in addition to these… even more details could be added into this list. So what might sound simple at first, turns out to be quite complex in the end.

There’s a Lot Of Background Information Related To The Ingredients

So the ingredients build the restaurant inventory. Again, sounds simple. However, there’s a lot of background information related to the ingredients. Logistical information includes the size of the package, the product code, the bar code, the price and the supplier. Going further, information on the inventory balance is linked into these and it is needed for example for the production. The quantities determine the value of the food inventory, as well, which nearly without exception is significant information regardless of the nature of the food service operation. Other, very essential product related information includes ingredients, allergens, and nutrition facts.

How do you then manage all this information, and along with that the process which might sound simple at first, but which requires several details to be taken into consideration in the end? The best tool for this job is a kitchen system that keeps all the previously mentioned information safe, and that in addition to that works on that information for you.

A System Helps You To Manage The Restaurant Inventory And Procurement

JAMIX Kitchen Intelligence System

JAMIX Kitchen Intelligence System enables you to manage your food inventory and procurement in addition to recipes and menus. Best of all, all the information is linked within the system, and it utilizes the information automatically in several functions. When the suppliers’ product information can be found in the system, it automatically calculates costs and margins for the recipes. The system utilizes the product information also when calculating ingredient needs based on the menu or the production sheet. So it creates a finished shopping list for you, and you can then send it as a purchase order to your supplier – electronically and directly from the system.

Restaurant Inventory Management System JAMIXThe system provides you the general view into your food inventory without an effort. You can easily register information into the system on both delivered items, as well as on items withdrawn from the inventory. JAMIX Kitchen Intelligence System can be integrated with your point of sale system, and the inventory balance will be updated automatically and in real time when menu items are sold. You can also track the wastage related to your food inventory so that you know how much waste is generated and for what reasons. With the previously mentioned actions you can keep your inventory balances up-to-date in the system. This way you don’t have to physically go to the food inventory to check up on things.

Even if you register the food deliveries and the withdrawals systematically into the system, you also need to take inventory periodically. Taking inventory is especially easy with the MOBILE application related to the JAMIX Kitchen Intelligence System. You can register quantities directly into the application on a mobile device which you can carry with you in the store room.

Operation runs, when the restaurant inventory and procurement are in control

Whether you work in a full service restaurant where the same recipes are utilized every day, or in food services where the menu changes every day – along with the ingredient database and the recipes, the food inventory and the control of it ensure fluent production in the kitchen. A kitchen system that manages all of that is a crucial tool for food service operators regardless of size or type.

Carbon Footprint of Food - JAMIX CO2 Calculator

Bring Out The Carbon Footprint Of Food!

By Matleena Autio

Food is one of the three most significant factors causing the environmental effects of consumption. Major part of the environmental effects of food come from the agricultural emissions. The impact of industrial processing of products, packaging or transportation is relatively low to the environmental effect of food.

The best way to reduce the carbon footprint of food is to favor ingredients that stress the environment as little as possible. Minimizing waste is another equally important action.


Focus on the big picture

Based on a quick search through the internet there are several tools available for calculating the carbon footprint of food. After looking into these calculators in more detail you quickly realize the biggest challenge related to this subject. There is no common standard for the factors to be included in the carbon footprint calculations. As a result, the carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) emissions for the same item might have big variation depending on the operator. Hence we need more peer reviewed studies on this subject.

The carbon footprint of food evaluated on a category level or on a diet level will act as a direction indicator. It will help us to evaluate the effects of our own actions. By changing part of the proteins into plant based proteins everyone of us can reduce the carbon footprint of our diet. Similarly, when planning a menu, you can evaluate the environmental effects of different types of items based on the category specific CO2e values.  You can then make choices on items based on that information.

The most important is to make sure that the amount of food waste stays as low as possible. The emissions from producing food that ends up in wastage will stress our environment completely for no reason.


Environmental Friendly Food Is Good For Your Heart, As Well

You can easily moderate the environmental effects of your own diet by following the dietary guidelines. According to studies changing your diet according to the dietary guidelines would reduce the environmental effects of your diet significantly. This as such would reduce the environmental stress caused by food. For example, adding plant based proteins into your diet is both the healthy eating option and the better choice with regards the environment.


Bring Out the Carbon Footprint of Food to Your Customers, As Well

From a consumer’s point of view it would be great if I could compare the carbon footprint of the menu items in a restaurant. This would give me the possibility to choose a meal option with a smaller carbon footprint.

The unique CO2 Calculator in the JAMIX Kitchen Intelligence System calculates the carbon footprint for recipes based on the portion size and on the CO2e values linked to ingredients. When planning recipes and menus, this provides you the opportunity to experiment the effect of different items on the carbon footprint of the whole. With the JAMIX MENU Service you can choose to publish the carbon footprint of food together with the menu to your customers, as well.

Taking the environmental aspect into consideration is not only a concrete way for a restaurant to take responsibility on our common environment. It is also an excellent way for standing out from the crowd and providing added value to your customers.


Small Streams

The carbon footprint of food prepared by a single consumer or a small restaurant may seem as tinkering compared to the emissions of big companies or states. However, even small changes in our everyday routines do have an impact when you continue performing them everyday in the long term. Even small streams have significance and when it comes to environmental issues everyone of us can act as the forerunner.


More information:

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services: Dietary Guidelines for Americans

Attention To The Amount Of Food Waste Helps In Reducing It

In the U.S. the amount of food waste is estimated to be 30-40 percent of the food supply. A kitchen system helps food service operators in reducing food waste. The customers can also affect the amount of food waste in restaurants. In September the yearly arranged national Food Waste Week in Finland aims at raising the appreciation of food and educating consumers of the importance of reducing food waste.

By Matleena Autio

I was enjoying peaceful breakfast in a hotel lately, as I was on a business trip and there was no scheduled meeting in the morning. My breakfast is usually a pretty dull concept – some bread, yoghurt and too many cups of coffee with milk. During my kitchen career, I have become so familiar with many of the food products that a hotel breakfast rarely gets me to differ from my routine.  Most of the hotel guests seem to feel just the opposite. A buffet makes quite a few to load huge amounts of food on their plates and at the end a lot of it becomes food waste.

As I walked through the breakfast room, I embarrassedly watched the scenery that could have been from the paintings of ancient Rome feasting. Table after table was full of half-eaten servings, which the waiters cleaned away to make room for the next customer´s towering portion. Nobody seemed to care about the amount of food waste.

Are you eating with your eyes or for a need?

According to studies the number of dishes available has an impact on appetite. In circumstances when appetite is lost, you can enhance the amount of ingested food by increasing the number of the served dishes. This also works the opposite way. When there’s only one or two dishes available, the total amount of food you eat usually remains less than in a banquet.

It is also known that the size of the plate influences the size of a customer´s portion in a buffet. We easily pick more food on a large plate than a smaller one. The location of dishes in a buffet line can influence what we take more. Usually you take more of the dishes that are in the beginning of a buffet line than the dishes that are at the end of the line.

Minimizing the food waste

Restaurants are minimizing food waste in many different ways. Psychological ways that I mentioned before are often used. But also, for example info boards are placed for customers to pay attention to the amount of food waste. According to studies, as much as one fifth of the food produced in food services goes to wastage in the EU. In the U.S the amount of food waste is estimated to be 30-40 percent of the food supply.

Food waste caused almost 10 percent of the human-made greenhouse gas emissions in 2010-2016. The U.S and the EU have announced a goal to reduce food waste by 50 percent by the year 2030. For example, the EU required it´s member countries to report the amount of food waste produced to the EU commission.

Natural Resources Institute of Finland (LUKE), together with the operators of the food sector and ministries, has initiated a project to build a national monitoring system for food waste. In Finland we have also had a specific food waste week every year in September since 2013. The purpose of this food waste week is to make consumers pay attention to the amount of food waste.

Kitchen Intelligence System helps kitchens but customers must take responsibility, too

There are already good tools for documenting the amount of food waste. In the JAMIX Kitchen Intelligence System, you can document food waste and food consumption directly into the menus in the system. You can also update that information to the margin calculations of the menus. With the BI feature this information is also available in a visual format. The system enables printing complete lists of the dishes of the day or the week with the planned production quantity to assist documentation in production.

Thus, documentation on food waste and food consumption can enhance the estimations of sales and help decrease the food waste of a buffet. The system also calculates the actualized portion sizes of a buffet, based on the documentation on produced food, sold portions and food waste remaining. A rather practical tool to predict the consumption of a buffet.

So, The Kitchen Intelligence System helps professional kitchens to decrease the amount of food waste in production and in a buffet. You can influence plate wastage, too, for example in ways I mentioned before. But in the end the responsibility is ours, the customers. Only take food on your plate just the amount that you surely can eat and take more if you need – but not for good measure.

Food that you leave uneaten is expensive for us customers, but also for the restaurants. And the most expensive of all to our common environment.

More information about food waste and related actions in the U.S: FDA: Food Loss and Waste

School Food Is An Excellent Way To Affect Children’s Nutrition Habits

By Matleena Autio

As school starts again here in Finland, also starts the conversation about school food – tasty or not and why. What is more, in school kitchens you can often hear deliberation about shared recipes. Why recipes should be shared and used jointly in the company? Why professional cooks can´t prepare food just relying on their own taste? So, this is about the matter of taste, after all.

When food is prepared and eaten by countless numbers of people, we can´t and shouldn´t rely on one customer’s or cook’s “taste of the day”. For example, the National School Lunch Program requires that school food meets certain nutritional criteria, and it also should be suitable for as many as possible. As I worked in the school kitchen, I noticed that surprisingly often the dishes that were yummies for some, were pet peeves for others. So, I wonder if the dishes we regard a bit dull are also those that only a few people leave uneaten, although they are not anyone´s favorites.

Let´s take care of our hearts and of our customers hearts

Amount of sodium and saturated fat are criteria for the Heart-Check mark of the American Heart Association, and that is for a good reason. Most of us like food that is a bit salty and made with real butter. However, it is well known, that sodium and saturated fat are injurious for heart health and the amount of those should be kept to a minimum in ordinary dining.

Sense of taste gets used to varying amounts of sodium surprisingly fast and tasting minor changes in the amount of salt in food is not easy even for the experienced cook. Every one of us have our own taste preferences and too salty for one may be bland for someone else. The same with sugar. Standardized recipes help to ensure that the served food meets the required nutritional criteria and tastes the same despite the cook of the shift. Salt and sugar are also easy to increase on the plate when more flavor is needed for some reason.

Childhood habits often remain to adulthood

To affect on children´s nutrition habits is crucially important, for according to studies nutrition habits adopted in childhood often remain until adulthood. School food is an excellent way to affect children´s nutrition habits, as school feeding catches up almost every child and youngster. What is more, many of us still remember the yummies and pet peeves of our school years. So, it is not insignificant what dishes we serve on the school lunch and how do we do that.

As a parent, I appreciate Finnish school food meeting nutrition recommendations. I don´t have to feel guilty about feasting with kids on holidays or weekends, as I know that ordinary dining is on a healthy base. Ordinary food doesn´t have to be gourmet, or every day a holiday. When the basis of the ordinary dining is in order, feasting on holidays is not a problem but just part of the balanced diet.

JAMIX helps you to follow the nutritional recommendations

Nutrition recommendations are designed for professionals to help individuals consume a healthy and nutritionally adequate diet. The function of nutrition recommendations is to inform the development of food and nutrition policies and programs at the public level. There are daily nutritional goals for macro nutrients and minerals, as well as guidelines for how to support healthy eating patterns in different demographic groups. Nutrition recommendations are not meant to be actualized on an everyday basis, but on a week or a menu level. Nutritional goals for different age-sex groups – for example from The Dietary Guidelines for Americans – can be integrated in the JAMIX Kitchen Intelligence System and it is easy to compare the nutrient supply of the menus to those recommendations.

In Finland, we are proud of our safe and nutritious school food, a program that is one of the first ones in the world, and we want to lead it also into the future. In the beginning of the new school year, kitchens surely test new recipes but there are those old favorites on the menus too. JAMIX Kitchen Intelligence System is here to assist cooks to ensure that both new and old recipes meet the nutritional goals.  Let´s taste new flavors daringly and appreciate the traditional dishes of our cuisines, as well.

More information on Dietary Guidelines in the U.S.:

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Agriculture. 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. 8th Edition. December 2015.

menu online - JAMIX Kitchen Intelligence System

Publish And Share Your Menu Online Directly From Your Kitchen System

Having your menu online saves time for the kitchen staff, and it saves costs related to the printing materials. Reduction in printing materials reduces their environmental impact, as well. In addition, an e menu or a mobile menu is always available to your customer regardless of place or time.

Nowadays customers are searching for restaurant menus online in order to see the offering already before going to the restaurant. Customers are also ever more interested in food related issues. They want more information about ingredients and health benefits with regards the food they are eating. Interest in local food and traceability is growing, as well. In addition, more and more people need to find out extremely detailed ingredient information as allergies caused by food have been increasing rapidly.

Sharing your menu online is quick and easy with a system

Posting a menu in, for example, your restaurant’s website is of course possible just with word processing skills, but you can handle it with notably less effort with the help of a system. JAMIX Kitchen Intelligence System is a comprehensive system for professional kitchens, where you can manage all the essential information and functions of the kitchen. Menu planning is one of the key features in the system, and it is seamlessly linked to the recipes and the ingredients that are in use in the kitchen. The same menu, that has been created in the system for managing the kitchen’s internal operations and production, can be published with a couple clicks in a customer friendly format in selected digital channels.

Publish your menu to several digital channels at one go

menu online - JAMIX Kitchen Intelligence SystemIn addition to your own website you can easily share the e menu into digital info screens at point-of-sale, for example. The info screens can as well be tablet sized, for example near the entrance of the restaurant, or they can be large screens in lobby areas.

JAMIX Kitchen Intelligence System creates a QR code on the menu’s web address, as well. You can utilize the QR code for example in printed marketing materials. Once your customer scans the code with his/her smartphone, the web page including the menu will automatically open in the smartphone’s web browser.

In addition to the previously mentioned, you can publish your menu from the JAMIX System into the unique JAMIX MENU mobile application, which is available for free download in the app stores (at the moment available in Europe, only). In the mobile application you can browse through menus of all restaurants who have published their menu into it. The customers can make a list of their own favorite restaurants in the application, as well.

Detailed information included in the e menu

The e menu you have published from JAMIX Kitchen Intelligence System automatically includes also the sales prices for the menu items, as well as diet information, ingredients list including allergens, and nutrition facts. So, in addition to the menu items, the JAMIX online menu provides a lot of information to your customers.

CO2 calculator - carbon footprint of food - JAMIX Kitchen Intelligence SystemThese days consumers are ever more interested in the environmental effects of food. The unique CO2 Calculator in the JAMIX Kitchen Intelligence System automatically calculates the carbon footprint of food. You can choose to publish the CO2 values together with the menu for your customers, as well.

Collect customer feedback related to your menu

customer feedback survey - JAMIX Kitchen Intelligence SystemYou can also collect customer feedback related to your menus with the JAMIX MENU application. You can create the survey and decide on which topics you want to get feedback on. Activating the customer feedback survey in the JAMIX System is again quick and easy. You just have to link the survey to the menu that will be published and the system takes care of the rest. Your survey will be shown to your customers together with the e menu, and the feedback from your customers will be automatically saved into the system, where you will have versatile reporting options related to it.

Design of the online menu according to your brand

menu online - JAMIX Kitchen Intelligence SystemThe core purpose of the menu is communication, but most often it is a marketing tool, as well. For this reason the appearance of the menu is not meaningless. The JAMIX MENU application enables you to edit the appearance of the published menu according to your visual guidelines. You can, for example, add your own logo into the online menu or edit the color theme and fonts on the menu.

In addition, you can also add pictures that have been saved into the recipes in the JAMIX System into the online menu. This way you can choose to illustrate the menu with, for example tempting pictures of the menu items.

One system supports your kitchen operation all the way through

In addition to e menu JAMIX Kitchen Intelligence System includes all the essential features needed for running a food service operation:

JAMIX MENU E Menu Service

Managing Information Required In the Food Code With a Kitchen System

Following the Food Code and providing food information to restaurant customers is easy with a kitchen management system. When the information is in place in the system behind the recipes, the system will automatically deliver and compile the information into menus and food labels.

By: Matleena Autio

Ingredient Statement, Allergen Statement, Reference Daily Intake… Considering all the information required in the Food Code may feel a bit hard especially if you are a new operator in the food business. However, it is compulsory to offer specific information of food products to your customers. The purpose of the Food Code is to ensure that food offered to customers at retail and food services is safe, and that the customer has adequate information about the food (s)he is consuming.

Compulsory information

Most packaged food sold in the US must contain Ingredient Statement and Allergen Statement, and also Nutrition Facts sheet with Reference Daily Intake (RDI) values. The information about the allergens is of course important for the customer with allergies. Nutrition Fact sheet, in turn, gives the customer the opportunity to compare products and make healthier food choices easily.

Food package must also contain the name and address of the manufacturer, packer, or distributor of the food product. Net quantity of content is compulsory information as well, and some states also require dating the products with best before, expiration or sell-by -information.

Handling statements must be presented on products that require any special handling before eating, like products that are distributed frozen and thawed, and safe handling instructions for raw or partially cooked meat. The Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) law requires specific imported meat products, perishable agricultural commodities, nuts, and ginseng, to contain the name of the country of origin.

Product information out distinctly

Providing customers product information that the Food Code requires is not difficult. You can find comprehensive information about the subject on the Internet, and JAMIX Kitchen Intelligence System helps you in bringing the required information reliably and distinctly through the production all the way to the customers. You can provide product information to your customers on the label, where the system automatically compiles the information. Or you can share your menu online with the JAMIX MENU application, including the product information, for example on the web page of your company.

The Food Code is not meant to be a final test for food service operators. Just the opposite. The Food Code helps operators in food business to perceive what information of the product is the most important for the customer, and also to bring that information out distinctly. When the customer has all the adequate information about the product (s)he can easily make choices according her/his own needs and preferences. It is also an opportunity for a food service operator to stand out by providing distinct product information to its customers.

Print food labels directly from your recipe with JAMIX Kitchen Intelligence System

For more information:

JAMIX Kitchen Intelligence System

U.S. Food & Drug Administration (2017). Food Code.

US Department of Agriculture (2007). A Guide to Federal Food Labeling Requirements for Meat, Poultry, and Egg Products.

Electronic Code of Federal Regulations